After all of that hiking and sightseeing in the rainforest, it was necessary to find some food to replenish our energy. So we stopped by a restaurant by the beach and enjoyed some absolutely delicious burgers before hurrying back to San Juan for a nap – I’m not even going to try to call it a night’s sleep. Because in the middle of the night around 2 or 3am, Shirin drove us back to the Fajardo port (I was passed out and I mean passed out, people.) We had to catch the early morning ferry in order to make it to the island of Culebra with Shirin’s car along for the ride.
I pretty much strained my neck trying to sleep the whole duration of the ferry ride as well. Remember, my dear readers, that rest is absolutely necessary for any sporty sightseeing adventure to go successfully. Your body needs to recover in order to run around and do all sorts of active things, so it is absolutely essential that you take any opportunity to sleep; usually engaging in any form of transportation is an excellent opportunity to get this much needed rest.
Upon arriving in Culebra along with the sunrise, we drove the car straight to one of the top beaches IN THE WORLD, Flamenco Beach. This beach shows up again and again on top lists of the best beaches worldwide, like this one from CNN, and this one from Trip Advisor reviewers on Business Insider, and also this raving positive review by travel giant Fodor’s.
So you can imagine I was kind of excited to see it for myself. Well, actually a lot of excited to see it for myself.
And it was stunning! Crystal clear water, smooth sand, and easy access to Puerto Rican snacks and beer from cabanas set back from the water. And overall, not too crowded. I think the beaches of Culebra are not too crowded because there is such limited access to the island. The only way to arrive there from the mainland is via ferry or airplane. If I go again, I will travel via airplane, and I would recommend this option to you as well since getting tickets to the ferry is a nightmare. But a stay on this island is most definitely a highlight of visiting Puerto Rico, and not to be missed!
After an initial walk and exploration of the beach, Shirin and I settled back on our beach towels and dozed a bit longer while the sun continued to rise in the sky. After a while, I pulled out my Nook and started reading one of my favorite books from this summer, “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. As I was reading, the clouds kept moving closer and closer to the beach. Shirin and I grabbed our things and headed to the shelter of a cabana in just enough time to avoid getting completely drenched! The rain came and it came down hard for about 20 or 30 minutes.
Finally, it stopped and the sky cleared and beautiful weather ensued for the rest of our time on the beach. I took a long walk all the way down the beach, finding coconuts in the sand and watching families swim in the water. I did a short swim through the clear water and bought some food and beer from the cabanas for lunch. Shortly after lunch in the early afternoon, we left Flamenco Beach to go check into our resort, which we had gotten a great deal on using Gustazos, the Puerto Rican equivalent to Groupon. We were feeling pretty grungy from hours lounging in the sand, wading through the water, and drenched by rain. It was time for a reset and some rest before exploring the other side of the island that afternoon. In my next post, I’ll tell you more about the resort where we stayed and our exploration of Zoni beach, on the other side of the island of Culebra.