If you like to snorkel, then the island of Culebra is calling your name.
Hardly developed, this tiny island has miles of shoreline, and lots of healthy sea life and coral formations. Which makes for what is arguably some of the best snorkeling available in Puerto Rico. To make things even better, most of the great snorkel spots are easy to get to right from the beach. So grab a mask, snorkel and fins, and jump in!
Culebra is located just 17 miles to the east of the “big island” of Puerto Rico, but it is million miles away from the big island in feel and vibe. Culebra has been spared all the urban sprawl and development that most of Puerto Rico has experienced. This, coupled with being a coral island (meaning no muddy run-off from rivers to muck-up the water), very few inhabitants, and large tracts of wildlife refuges, enable the reefs around the island to thrive. Visibility depends on the sea and weather conditions, but there is usually great underwater viewing.
The beaches and coves facing west (the leeward side) have the best snorkeling because land masses block most of the waves that come from the north/norteast. These beaches are not known for their sand, and as you move southward, they are actually kind of rocky. But don’t worry, you can find some nice sandy spots to sit on the beach.
Underwater, expect to see stingrays in the sandy areas, turtles (especially eating the grasses), and loads of fish and corals of all types. Sometimes, I felt like I was snorkeling in an aquarium.
We did notice a number of types of sea urchins and fire coral. So watch where you step in the water and don’t touch anything while snorkeling!