Our memories of our visit to Culebra last year a plagued by vomit, diarrhea, and hospital visits. This is where we got ciguatera. We had heard beautiful things about the island, but after our experience, every time someone mentioned it my face contorted from flashbacks. Everyone else still rants and raves about the place so we knew we would have to give it a second chance. We had to see what this place is all about, you know, when you are not hanging your head over the lifelines, or waiting in line for the toilet.
Culebra’s Second Chance
Are we ever glad we did. This time we left the island saying, “wow, if we were american and could work in the US, we could live here”. This island is very family-friendly, and well set up for keeping little ones busy.
During our long haul across Puerto Rico we kept telling (ie bribing) the girls that once we arrived in Culebra we would go to the playpark. They have a ginormous playpark. One that most likely wouldn’t be legal in the rest of the US, because it is insanely tall with not many guard rails. But it is super fun and it may have been the only good memory we had of the island from our prior trip. Unfortunately for us, when we got there this time, the park was closed down for renovations. The playwark was awesome before, but from what we could see over the fence, it is going to be twice as cool once they re-open. Our girls were quite upset that they couldn’t go play on it, but we distracted them by taking them to the library.
Stick two sea shipping containers parallel to each other with a deck in the middle and you get the Culebra library. This place is pretty awesome too. The inside of the one container is the library, and the other one is their office and movie theatre. There is free internet, a plus for all cruisers. And for kids and families, they also have a really great kids section that is filled with books and toys. (They even less us nomads get a library card and take some books out on loan!) The movie theatre is not your typical size, its more like a flat screen and some couches, but it serves its purpose well.
One day we decided to go on an adventure. We rented a golf cart, from UTV rentals (which will quote you tourist prices online but if you tell them you that you know the locals only pay $26+tax, then that’s what you’ll get it for). We had already seen the beautiful Flamingo beach on our last visit, white sand and beautiful views, and were looking for something different. So on the recommendation of Lahowind, we went to Tamarindo beach instead. In hopes of seeing some sea turtles. We had the whole family geared up, with goggles, snorkels, and floaties, and headed out into the bay. But with Eben and I each dragging a kid along while we swam, and the girls getting a few salt water waves to the face, the “family” part of this adventure was short. The girls got to see 2 turtles and had enough, so we brought them back to the beach. Eben played with them while I went back into the water to look for more turtles. I had an amazing time and spent at least an hour out there swimming along side all sizes of turtles. It is definitely up there on my list of “cool things I’ve done”. (not that i have a list by that name!)
We finished off our golf cart adventure by touring a bit of the island, and ended up on Zoni beach. Wow. This is where we decided we could live. And obviously the rest of the $$ in Culebra thinks so too, because this is where you find the gorgeous homes with views of Culebrita and beyond. These homes are stunning, scattered throughout the hilltops, overlooking this not-touristy beach, with ocean and islands all around. Yes, we could live here, if our bank account was fatter and we were allowed to legally work.
We would have loved to stay longer, and stop at Culebrita, which is supposed to be amazing as well. But with boat issues on the brain (our cutlass bearing traveling up and down the shaft) and PR customs issues, we just spent a few days and then jump straight over to St Thomas where we could get hauled out. But we may be back there someday.