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Isla Culebrita, Culebra

Part of the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre de Culebra, uninhabited Isla Culebrita is clearly visible from the northeast corner of Culebra. An essential day-trip excursion, this islet is a favorite destination for sunbathers and snorkelers who want to escape the crowds at Playa Flamenco. Isolation set against a palate of crystalline, turquoise waters and dewy, lush greens makes for a one-of-a-kind natural experience. On the northern shore there are several tidal pools; snuggling into one of them is like taking a warm bath.

Snorkelers and divers love the fact that they can reach the reef from the shore and carouse with sea turtles, rays, and schools of colorful fish. Bring your sneakers, as you can hike to the peak of the island in about 20–30 minutes and where the spectacular ruins of an old lighthouse await. Climb 54 crumbling steps to the top where the views of the surrounding Caribbean are sublime. Be warned; the structure is tumbledown so enter at your own risk. To get to Culebrita, take a dive boat or hire a water taxi service.

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