Escape! To the World’s Most Beautiful Bombing Site

One week ago today I was wearing a cute new bathing suit and strolling along a sunny beach in the Caribbean.

Today I’m wearing thick wool lodge socks and fleece-lined pants. I’m under a blanket on my couch but I’m still cold. That’s because it’s -13 in Wheaton, and the wind chill is about 30 below.

Let me share my photos with you so together we can mentally transport ourselves away from whichever cold, snowy, rainy, dismal, wintery situation you find yourself in.

A short ways off the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico is the tiny 7-by-4-mile island of Culebra. There is very little here. No resorts. No nightlife. No fine dining. Because until 1975, while other islands were rapidly expanding their tourist offerings, Culebra was the place where the US Navy tested out bombs. In fact, just this winter they closed the beach temporarily because an undetonated device had been discovered.

As a result, Culebra is well behind the curve when it comes to tourism. And that’s a good thing. The one-and-a-half mile stretch of Flamenco Beach is one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches.

From my personal experience, I would rate it as beautiful as Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica, Aruba’s white sand beaches, and Hamoa Beach on Maui.

That’s some pretty decent company, and it’s a lot cheaper to get to Flamenco. Plus there are beach chickens.

We took the public ferry to the island for a day trip. At $4.50 roundtrip, you can’t beat the price, but the ferry system is a bit on the unreliable side. Our morning ferry left an hour late. Also, the hour-long ride can also be a little rough, depending on the sea conditions. Get in line early at the ticket office to ensure you’re on the first ferry out at 9am. Office opens at 7am. (theoretically–in reality, it opened at 7:30. Island time, right?)

Tiny eight-person island hoppers will fly you there (costing anywhere from $90 to $230 roundtrip, depending on where you depart from), or you can do a snorkeling day trip with one of the many tour companies operating fast catamarans for about $89 per person. But on the day we went, those folks didn’t get to see an entire double rainbow form over the ocean.

Find more information about Culebra from the local experts at