Tortuga Bay is large enough for many people to enjoy, but few do. The exclusivity of the beach comes from the difficulty of getting there, so while Flamenco Beach on the main island of Culebra filled up by early afternoon, Tortuga was mostly empty besides the large yachts bobbing on the calm waves. Shirin & I took our snorkel equipment and walked all the way to the end of the beach to see the tidal pools. We had to navigate over lots of rocks and shells to get there, so again good, sturdy shoes are a must if you decided to visit Culebrita!
The pools were a bit underwhelming for all the work it took to get to them, if I went again I would probably just walk and swim along the beach and ignore the pools. The beach itself was beautiful, the colors of the sky and the sea were so vibrant they looked fake. I had never seen fresh ocean water that color of turquoise before! There are not many beaches which I find worth returning. The list is quite short, actually. It includes: the Cinque Terre in Italy, the Cliffs north of San Diego, California, and now Tortuga Bay, Puerto Rico. These three are the most beautiful seascapes I have found during my travels due to the scenery around the beach, the beach itself, and the overall vibe of the area.
Shirin’s shoe ended up breaking during the tidal pool adventure, so a bit later I walked back across the island alone to ask the water taxi to come around to the other side of the island. Unfortunately, when I got there, he explained that was impossible due to the waves coming into Tortuga Bay… so I started walking back with some borrowed shoes in hand to find Shirin, who was starting to make her way across the island. We finally made it back to the water taxi after snapping photos like this one of the millions of hermit crabs scurrying across the path.
We showered at the resort and then set out for food; we were starving after a long day in the sun and the water! We wanted to try another place, but everything was either closed or too long of a wait, so we ended up going back to Dinghy Dock. While waiting for a table, we ordered tropical drinks at the bar. Two guys started chatting with us and invited us to eat dinner with them. The wait was long, so we agreed and got seated quickly at a table. Both guys were Puerto Rican and their English wasn’t too great so most of the conversation took place in fast Spanish, difficult for me to follow.
Dinner was great again; this place would definitely be a go to if I lived on the island. Many of the servers working there came to the island as visitors and fell in love with the easy going, laid back lifestyle and decided to stay. After dinner, we headed down to the boat dock to another bar with karaoke. We sang all of one song and then, quickly realizing that there were 4 guys to every 1 girl in the bar, we decided to head out. We got some rest before taking the ferry back early in the morning. A nap was in order when we got back to Shirin’s apartment. Running all around the island had worn us out.
After the nap, we headed to the Museum of Belles Artes, I was excited to see some Puerto Rican artists! The museum had some interesting exhibits, I especially enjoyed one about old posters and advertisements from the 1920s – 1940s. The museum also had a beautiful garden with goldfish and lots of plants and trees native to Puerto Rico. That night, we met with some of Shirin’s medical school friends to go to a wine bar, which was a lot of fun! We decided not to head downtown in order to get some rest for zip lining the next day in the center of the island. We bought the tickets online several months in advance, both of us were excited to go on La Bestia, a zip line more than a mile long where you are suspended tummy towards the earth like a bird. More on our zip lining adventure in my next post!