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Flamenco Beach

The Most Beautiful Demilitarized Beach in the Caribbean
Suppose I told you there was a small, remarkably idyllic and fairly unpopulated island in the Caribbean just a short distance from the mainland United States, an island so immaculate, plans were in the works to make it a National Wildlife Refuge, an island with a beach rated one of the best beaches in the world, an island where you could basically do whatever you wanted along its iridescent shores with little chance of being interrupted by prying eyes.... What’s the first thing you’d do?

Well, if you were the U.S. military back in 1901 and the destination in question was the island of Culebra, you’d blow it all to hell!

For nearly 75 years, bombs pounded Flamenco Beach on Culebra, la “Última Virgen,” while the U.S. military used it for target practice. Protests drove the Navy away, but some relics remain on the once pristine sands as a reminder of how never to treat one of the best strips of beach in the world.

During the weekends, Flamenco Beach can get fairly crowded with "mainland" Puerto Ricans taking the ferry over for a day in the sun, so I recommend you make time during the week for a more secluded experience. There are vendors nearby, but not too near, to make your stay a pleasant one with local cuisine and plenty of ice-cold beer.

Escape It All on Flamenco Beach
The Culebra Beach Villas are pushed just back from one of the best beaches in the world: Flamenco Beach. A loose collection of 33 individually-owned units, the property is equal parts idyllic and quirky.

But if your goal is to spend as much time on that pristine white sand as possible, you simply can't do better.

Clear Your Mind with Clear Waters
The crystal waters and relaxing waves of Puerto Rican beaches make for great swimming, floating, or just wading with a beer in hand. In Culebra, Flamenco Beach’s peaceful waters and fine white sand charm visitors. (And for history buffs, several war tanks sit around Flamenco, hinting at the former American military activity in Puerto Rico.) Bishop’s Pool combines peaceful waters for observing colorful fish with crashing waves farther down.