The majority of Culebra’s properties are small, modest self-serve operations that are more true to the rustic spirit of the island. Staying at Villa Arynar B&B (Calle Fulladoza on Ensenada Honda bay, 787/742-3145, berniefrancette [at] cs [dot] com, www.culebra-island.com, Oct.–May, $90 s/d, $595 week) is like visiting friends. The two-story private home is right on the bay and surrounded by vegetation. Accommodations are limited to two spare bedrooms with a shared bathroom, but guests are free to enjoy the large decks, fishing pier, and common room with couches and a refrigerator. Owners and visitors alike eat breakfast together on the deck. Adults only.
For those who want to stay in the town of Dewey, just walking distance from the ferry dock, there are several options. Mamacita’s Guesthouse (64 Calle Castelar, 787/742-0090, http://mamacitasguesthouse.com, $102. s, $115 d, including tax) is a pastel-colored hodgepodge of balconies and archways squeezed between Calle Castelar and the canal. The hostel-like accommodations are strictly functional and feature air-conditioning and satellite TV in the bedrooms. It’s best suited for those just looking for a place to crash and a hopping bar and excellent restaurant on-site. Laundry facilities and boat dockage are available for guests. Internet access is available for a fee.
Visitors get more bang for the buck next door at
Posada La Hamaca (68 Calle Castelar, 787/742-3516, info [at] posada [dot] com, www.posada.com, $85 s, $97 d, $108 studio, $160 one-bedroom that sleeps 8, plus 9 percent tax). The Spanish-style guesthouse is under new management and has updated itself with new furnishings and fresh paint inside and out. The 10 rooms are light, airy and tidy, and they come with satellite TV, air-conditioning, mini-refrigerators, free Internet, and hot water. There’s a large shady deck overlooking the canal out back with two gas grills. Beach towels, coolers, and free ice are provided for trips to the beach.
Palmetto Guesthouse (128 Manuel Vasquez, two blocks behind Carlos Jeep, 787/742-0257 or 787/235-6736, palmettoculebra [at] yahoo [dot] com, www.palmettoculebra.com, $96 s, $115 d) is a modest six-unit property in the residential part of Dewey, within walking distance of the airport. One of the few properties that doesn’t boast a view of the water, it makes up for its location with the “we aim to please” attitude of its owners, former Peace Corps volunteers Mark and Terrie Hayward. The small, tidy rooms are appointed with modern furnishings, air-conditioning, and mini-refrigerators. Common areas include two kitchens, a computer with Internet access, and a TV with a DVD/VCR player (but no cable or satellite access). Beach chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards, and coolers are provided free of charge for a small deposit. The shady backyard has a deck and gas grill. Co-owner Mark Hayward also operates an informational website on Culebra at http://culebrablog.com.
© Suzanne Van Atten from Moon Puerto Rico, 2nd Edition