Looking to visit one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico? Well then you, our fine friend, need to make your way to Puerto Rico’s island of Culebra!
Wondering how to get to Culebra?
From day trips to ferries and flights, we have a complete transportation guide on the best way to get to Culebra Puerto Rico below.
Good Reasons to Visit Culebra Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico has many fantastic sights to see and many great things to do. So why should you visit Culebra? Here are the top reasons for this to be an absolute must when visiting this part of the world.
Jump Ahead To:
Culebra is an island
The fact that Culebra is an island should be enough to convince you that this is a must for your holiday. Like many other islands, this one isn’t too populated and it isn’t exactly party central (with lots of nightlife activities). But it is romantic, quiet, whimsical, beautiful, and everything else you might want from your holiday.
Visit Flamenco Beach
This horseshoe-shaped beach with its green hill frames and crisp clean waters is a divine spot to stop and spend your day. Flamenco Beach is one of the main attractions of this island and an ideal spot for a picnic, romantic beach dinner or to simply have some fun in the sun.
You Can Go Diving
Just off the island you will find lots of sea life that is waiting to be explored. Culebra is a fantastic spot for beginner to advanced divers who would love experience something thrilling. Any diving experience is a must bucket list item and diving in Culebra is the perfect place to tick of this item.
Go Visit Culebrita
Culebrita is a tiny island that is very close to Culebra. You can take a water taxi to this island and spend your day here enjoying the beautiful beach with its shallow waters. Culebrita also offers lots of things to do, such as snorkeling and hiking.
If you want to go snorkeling then you should visit the Carlos Rosario beach. This beach isn’t as nice as Flamenco beach but it does have an impressive coral reef that you can go and explore. The coral reef is close enough to the shore for snorkeling and it offers an abundance of beautiful sea creatures to view.
If you are visiting Culebra during April or June then you might just be in luck to see Leatherback and Hawkbill turtles visit the island. You can even become part of the island’s volunteer program by contacting the Department of Natural Resources. Volunteers assist in protecting these beautiful animals and also get a close peek at hatchlings.
Explore and Explore
The island has many wonderful views to marvel at. You can rent a scooter or car and visit various sights and trails. Beaches like the Brava beach and Resaca beach are wonderful places to spend your day. You can also go and enjoy hiking trails and various other amenities.
How To Get to Culebra from San Juan Puerto Rico
Now that you know more about all the fantastic things to do when you visit this beautiful island, it is time for you to find out about the best ways to reach Culebra, Puerto Rico.
Where is Culebra Puerto Rico?
You’ve read about the beaches and Culebra’s amazing snorkeling, but where is Culebra exactly?
Culebra is a small island located 17 miles (27 km) east of the mainland of Puerto Rico. Home to crystal clear waters, white sand beaches and loads of marine life (like sea turtles), Culebra, Puerto Rico is a beach goer’s dream!
Getting To Culebra
Since Culebra is an island, driving to Culebra is not possible. Wah, wah, wah. So, how do you get to Culebra then?
Well, there are three ways you can get to Culebra island. The first transportation option is to book a day trip, the second is to take the ferry, and the third is to fly.
Culebra Day Trip (Getting There Option 1)
If you don’t have the time to do an overnight or several day trip to Culebra island or just like the idea of someone planning your trip for you, then a day trip is perfect for you!
There are lots of different types of day trips that you can book for a quick trip to Culebra. Here is a quick look at some of the top day trips to consider if you prefer to travel with a group or if you prefer to leave all the planning in the hands of someone else.
If you love the water, then you’ll love this day trip by high-speed catamaran watercraft to Culebra. Not only do you get to enjoy a tropical island paradise – exploring the pristine coral reefs and relaxing on white-sand beaches in the sun – but you’ll also get an included buffet lunch. The complimentary refreshments include rum punch and piña coladas! All told, it’s about a 5.5-hour trip.
Get ready for a full day beach hopping tour! This day trip to Flamenco Beach and Tamarindo Beach and is one-of-a-kind. You’ll take a ferry from San Juan to Flamenco beach for roughly three hours, enjoying the water, sand, and cocktails. Then, you’ll head to Tamarindo Beach for snorkel in crystal-clear water among vibrant marine wildlife like sea turtles. Snorkeling gear is included. You can expect the day trip to last about 11 hours.
This type of day trip includes a quick 25-minute flight from San Juan to Culebra with amazing aerial views. The trip features a scenic air trip around the island, ground transportation, beach hopping between Flamenco Beach and Tamarindo Beach, snorkeling excursions, and more!
This flight day trip is best for anyone who wants more time to enjoy Culebra, without spending so much time traveling by boat. With a total duration of around 9 hours, this tour is packed with adventure, including multiple beaches and several activities in a single day. It’s one of the best and easiest ways to get to Culebra if you are pressed for time.
Ferry To Culebra (Getting There Option 2)
The second transportation option, which also happens to be the cheapest way to get to Culebra, is taking the high-speed ferry from Ceiba.
Taking the ferry isn’t the quickest way to reach the island, but it certainly is one of the most fun and scenic routes to enjoy if you want to get the most experience out of your holiday.
Many people feel that taking the ferry is a very important part of the Culebra experience.
These trips are ideal for those who might be spending several days on the island. Everything from the ferry to the camping or beach hotels offer a magical experience and you will have plenty of time to explore all the beaches, enjoy various activities such as snorkeling or 4×4 drives or simply take a nap on the beach.
NOTE: The ferry from Puerto Rico to Culebra USED to be located in Fajardo. Ferry service to Culebra no longer operates out of Fajardo. It now operates out of Ceiba.
San Juan to Ceiba Ferry Terminal
Are you staying in Old San Juan and wondering, “How do I get from San Juan to Ceiba ferry?” Well, it’s simple. You’ll need to take an Uber or Taxi to get from Old San Juan to the Ceiba Ferry Terminal.
The ride from San Juan to Ceiba is about an hour (33 m / 53 km) and for an Uber, we paid about $75 (one way, not including tip).
Culebra Ferry Tickets
There is no guarantee you’ll be able to purchase a ferry ticket once you arrive at the ferry terminal in Ceiba, so it’s best to book your ferry ticket ahead of time.
You can buy tickets in advance at PORFERRY. You’ll have your tickets emailed to you and that is what you’ll show to the ferry terminal worker as you are in line to board ferry to Culebra.
NOTE: The PORFERRY site is in Spanish. If Spanish is a foreign language to you, make sure you have your “Google Translate” on and with a simple click, the site turns to English.
We recommend not buying your ticket in person on the day of your departure, but if you’d like to, the ticket window opens 1 hour before each scheduled departure.
Check Out: Puerto Rico Vacation Planning and Travel Guide to get great travel tips to plan your ultimate Puerto Rico vacation.
How Much is The Ferry to Culebra?
The ferry to Culebra is a really affordable way to visit one of Puerto Rico’s most popular island. Below are tickets prices that will help you plan your trip to your Puerto Rican island getaway.
|Person||Culebra Ferry Ticket Cost|
|Infants (0-2)||$0.00 per person, one way|
|Children (3-11)||$1.00 per person, one way|
|Adults (12-59)||$2.25 per person, one way|
|Seniors (60-74)||$1.25 per person, one way|
|Senior (75+)||$0.00 per person, one way|
|Disabled||$1.13 per person, one way|
When you buy tickets, you should keep in mind that prices may vary based on the season. Ferry rates might be a bit higher in peek seasons.
How Long Is The Ferry Ride to Culebra
The ferry ride to Culebra itself is a 45 minutes ride, but for planning purposes, 3 hours is more accurate for the one-way trip as a whole.
3 hours, you say?!? Well yes, let us explain…
If you add up the total time it takes you to get to Culebra, you’re looking at about 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- 1 hour: The ride from San Juan to Ceiba
- 1 hour: The suggested arrival time at the ferry terminal before your scheduled departure
- 45 minutes: The ferry ride
See, about three hours 🙂
The 45 minute ferry ride flies by and it’s a very comfortable – cushioned seats, AC, outdoor as well as indoor seating.
The ferry ride is a perfect opportunity to search some places to stay or to book a rental car if you change your mind about your previous holiday plans.
Ceiba to Culebra Ferry Schedule
There are several daily ferry departures that operate weekly. For more details, check out the ferry schedule below.
|Depart Ceiba for Culebra||Depart Culebra for Ceiba|
For the most up-to-date ferry schedule, please visit PORFERRY
For planning purposes, if you take the 9:00am ferry, you’ll need to leave San Juan at 6:45am/7am for you to arrive at the ferry terminal by 8am for your 9am departure. Remember, it’s recommended to arrive an hour before your scheduled departure.
If you take the 9am ferry, you can plan to have your feet on Culebra soil by 9:45am and your toes in the sand around 11:00am 🙂
Culebra Puerto Rico Ferry Planning Tips
Book In Advance
Play the better safe than sorry route and do yourself a favor and book your ferry ticket to Culebra in advance. We’d hate for you to travel 1-hour from San Juan only to find that tickets have sold out.
Get To The Ferry Terminal An Hour Early
Plan to arrive at the Ceiba Ferry Terminal an hour before your scheduled departure. An hour will give you plenty of time to get the lay of the land, grab a snack and line up to ensure you get a seat on the ferry.
Pay Attention Where You Line Up
As you line up to catch the ferry, pay attention. The left side of the queue is for passengers going to Culebra where as the right side of the queue is for passengers going to Vieques.
Thirsty and Hungry?
There is small cafe located within the Ceiba Ferry Terminal – The Surf Shack.
The Surf Shack offers coffee, muffins, chips, and hot sandwiches for those needing some food before jumping on the 45-minute ferry ride.
There is also wifi and outlets in the cafe for those who need it.
Parking At The Ceiba Ferry Terminal
If you have a rental car, there is a public parking located next to the ferry terminal where you can leave your car for about $5 per day.
Each passenger visiting Culebra can board with a small piece of luggage for no additional fees.
If you’re carrying on items like coolers, umbrellas, surf boards, etc. you’ll need to pay additional fees. Depending on what exactly you’re carrying on, the prices vary from an additional $1 to $6 USD one way.
Flights to Culebra (Getting There Option 3)
The third and final option on how to get to Culebra happens to be one of our favorites – the San Juan to Culebra flight. Flying to Culebra from San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is as easy and 1-2-3.
FFlying to Culebra is ideal if you do not have too much time to explore the island or if you prefer a quicker trip. The ferry to Culebra takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes where a plain trip could take as little as just 25 minutes. Flying to Culebra is also ideal if you are afraid of getting seasick on the ferry ride. Just make sure to take a few nausea tablets if you are prone to motion sickness since even a quick plane ride can make you feel a bit sick. .
Culebra Airport Airlines
Culebra’s Airport is known as Aeropuerto Benjamín Rivera Noriega. It’s a small airport that operates several daily flights to and from the mainland of Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands.
There are a few airlines that fly from San Juan to Culebra – Silver Airways and Cape Air. Other airlines like Air Flamenco and Vieques Air Link fly to and from Culebra but to Cieba instead of Old San Juan.
It is always a good idea to get a quote from different airlines before your flight so you can determine which ones offer the best rates. Booking in advance can also save you a lot of money, especially if you are booking during peak season.
San Juan to Culebra Flight Cost & Flight Time
The flight time is about a 30 to 35 minute flight costing anywhere from $89 – $135 for a one-way ticket.
For reference, from take off to touch down, our flight took about 28 minutes.
About The Flight To Culebra
The flight into Culebra can be a bit bumpy but the scenery more than makes up for the bumpy ride!
The airline we flew with was Cape Air and allow us to paint a little picture for you. We left Flamenco Beach an hour before our flight and with sand still on our toes and salt water in our hair, we took off for San Juan.
No stress, easy-peasy.
Before we knew it, we were in San Juan and back in our hotel showering up for dinner that night.
So, What’s The Best Way To Get to Culebra?
Really, it’s up to you! Personal preference as they say. But if you’re asking us (the people who took the high speed ferry and flight), we’d have to say flying was the better choice.
When comparing ticket prices, the ferry is by far the cheapest option – which is why we booked it.
However, our first mistake was not even entertaining the idea of flying to Culebra. When you add in the drive time, the cost to get from San Juan to Ceiba and then taking the high-speed ferry, flying to Culebra isn’t that absurd of an option.
After looking into the flight more, we forwent our return ferry ticket to Ceiba and booked a one-way ticket flight from Culebra to San Juan. For us, it was totally worth it and a great experience!
If your goal is to spend as much time on the island as possible, we say fly. If you have the time to spare and are in no hurry, the high-speed ferry is for you.
- The Luxury Inclined: The Seabourne Hotel offers private balconies and bay views, making this hotel perfect for relaxing. With an easy to access dock and signature rum cocktails, a few days at Seabourne will have you feeling right.
- The Budget Conscious: Hotel Kokomo is located in the center of town close to the ferry terminal, restaurants and bars. Offering private rooms with AC, Kokomo is a great place to call home for a few days.
- Something in Between: Mamacitas Guest House is situated along a water way. With an onsite restaurant and bar, Mamacita’s is a great location on Culebra.
For more accommodation choices and places to stay on Culebra, you can check the latest place and prices here to secure an unforgettable Puerto Rican accommodation.
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