Flamenco Beach ranks amongst the most beautiful in the world. Located on Culebra, a Caribbean island near Puerto Rico, this public beach has crystal white sands and shallow sapphire waters and is a veritable jewel in Puerto Rico’s tourist trade.
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Stretching a mile long around a hidden U-shaped bay, the beach is by far one of the most popular tourist attractions for Culebra and Puerto Rico as a whole. The beach has regained its internationally recognized Blue Flag rating and has been voted amongst the top 20 beaches in the world almost every year by TripAdvisor.
The beach isn’t the only draw on Culebra and it literally borders the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, one of the United States’ oldest wildlife reserves. The beautiful waters are a habitat for many different species of tropical fish and if you take a dip, expect to be joined by some brightly colored companions such as the blue tang and parrot fish. In the summer, the island is home to around 50,000 migratory seabirds and they’re a common sight as they nest and breed. For those on the lookout for some rarer wildlife, the occasional hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles can be spotted here, and the sands of the archipelago serve as a breeding site for the huge, beautiful turtles.
Not just a perfectly idyllic beach, Flamenco does have some slightly more unique sights and oddities to enjoy. One of the most shocking sights on the beach may be the Sherman tanks; the rusted shells of two of these behemoths were left behind in 1975 by the United States Navy. Culebra had previously been used by the U.S. for around 30 years as grounds for weapon testing. The two tanks serve as a reminder. Although the sea and the elements have gotten to work on rusting and degrading the tanks’ frames, the locals have also gotten to work using them as an easel of sorts. They are now quite a shocking feature along the otherwise perfect beach, covered as they are in bright paint as well as ever-changing graffiti.
The island of Culebra is accessible by ferry or plane. To get there by plane you can catch a connecting flight from Luis Munoz Marin International Airport to Culebra’s airport; Flamenco Beach is a short taxi ride away from there. The ferry leaves from Fajardo and in just 50 minutes you will arrive in Culebra.
The beach itself has facilities such as bathrooms and showers and there are stalls selling local delicacies, piña coladas, and fresh seafood. There is also a campsite nearby, which, for a small fee, allows visitors to essentially live at the beach for a short while.
The beach has to be seen to be believed; if you picture the perfect beach, then Flamenco Beach is that. Every feature is exactly how you would wish it to be and the whole world agrees, with the beach being named consistently as one of the most beautiful there is.