How To Get To Culebra From Puerto Rico – San Juan To Culebra (2024)

If you’re planning a trip to Puerto Rico, you might be wondering how to get to the paradise island of Culebra. 

Fortunately, getting to Culebra from San Juan is easy and can be done in a few different ways.

I’ve lived in Puerto Rico for 14 years and I love to visit Culebra any chance I get. 

In this article, I will cover all of the different ways that you can get to Culebra:

How to get to Culebra from San Juan?
How to get to Culebra from Fajardo?
How to get to Culebra from Ceiba?
Can you fly to Culebra?
Where can you catch the ferry to Culebra?
How long is the boat ride from Puerto Rico to Culebra? 
Useful tips to consider before traveling


How to get to Culebra from San Juan?

There are three main ways to get from Culebra from San Juan.

The most popular options is to take a ferry from Ceiba, which is an hour and a half drive east of San Juan.

The ferry ride is about 45 minutes and costs around $3-$5 depending on what items you’re bringing with you. Heavier items like coolers and beach chairs will cost extra.

image of a ferry
Taking the ferry from Ceiba to Culebra is the most popular way to travel to the island.

Although the ferry has improved in the past years, it’s important to remember that the ferry schedule can be unreliable and often change unexpectedly.

Luckily, you can buy tickets online without having to do the line (or without the horror story of waiting in line just so that they sell out of tickets by the time it’s your turn. This has happened to me a lot).

If you’re looking for a more adventurous way to get to Culebra, rent a private boat or go on a guided boat tour.

image of a private boat
A private boat ride to Culebra is a leisurely way to arrive to your destination.

This can be a great way to see the island from a unique perspective and explore some of the remote beaches and coves.

However, if you want to get to Culebra quicker, I recommend booking a plane where you’ll get to Culebra in under 30 minutes.

image of a private plane
Taking a plane from San Juan to Culebra is the fastest way to arrive on the island.

Each option has its own pros and cons, so be sure to weigh your options and choose the one that works best for your budget and travel style.

We have an article where we discuss the 12 Best Tours & Excursions in Culebra, where you can learn about booking a chartered boat ride.


How to get to Culebra from Fajardo?

As of 2020, the ferry service from Fajardo to Culebra was suspended and moved to Ceiba.

This decision was made because it would be better in the long term for tourists and residents in Vieques and Culebra to come to Puerto Rico.

image of a ferry
Ferry service from Fajardo to Culebra was discontinued in 2020, and now the ferry departs from Ceiba.

You can take a short 30-minute drive from Fajardo to Ceiba and take the ferry to Culebra.

You can also drive to Ceibas’ small airport and hop on a quick 20-minute plane ride to Culebra.

Learn more about things to do in Fajardo in our guide to Fajardo – All You Need To Know.


How to get to Culebra from Ceiba?

To travel to Culebra from Ceiba, you have two main transportation options: a ferry or a flight. 

The ferry takes approximately an hour to get to Culebra and can cost between $3-$5 per person each way. 

The ferry schedule can be unpredictable and subject to change, so it’s important to check the current schedule and plan accordingly. 

image of Vieques Air Link plane
You can take a quick 15 minute flight from Ceiba to Culebra.

On the other hand, a flight from Ceiba’s airport to Culebra is relatively faster, taking only about 15 minutes.

You can book your tickets in advance with local airlines such as Cape Air and Vieques Air Link, among others.

However, the cost of a flight is higher than that of a ferry, so transportation is all based on your budget.


Can you fly to Culebra?

Yes, you can fly to Culebra from San Juan or Ceiba.

Cape Air and Vieques Air Link are the two airlines that operate flights to Culebra from both San Juan and Ceiba.

image of a tourists riding a plane to Culebra
Flying to Culebra is a unique experience, be prepared to fly in a smaller aircraft than you might be used to.

The flight from San Juan to Culebra takes around 25 minutes, while the flight from Ceiba to Culebra takes approximately 15 minutes.

However, it’s important to note that flights to Culebra are pricier than taking a ferry, and may not be as frequent as ferry services.

So, while flying to Culebra sounds like an easier option, it may not be the most practical or cost-effective one for everyone.

Check out our article featuring the 25 Best Things To Do In Culebra.


Where can you catch the ferry to Culebra?

There’s only one place for you to catch the ferry to Culebra, and that’s in Ceiba.

It’s highly recommended to buy tickets online before getting there to avoid last-minute changes like schedule changes or tickets are sold out. 

image of Ceiba's ferry termina
The waiting area at Ceiba’s ferry terminal.

Additionally, the number of ferries running each day may be limited, so it’s a good idea to check the current schedule and plan ahead accordingly.

Culebra is very popular! Once you arrive in Culebra, you’ll understand why there are always lines and big crowds to get there.

Here’s a Google Maps on how to get to Ceiba’s ferry terminal:

Also, I can’t stress this enough: If you’re easily seasick, please take Dramamine with you!

Depending on the weather and water conditions, the boat ride can get pretty jumpy and if you’re sitting inside the ferry, it can feel like hell.

If you easily get seasick or not, I highly recommend sitting outside on the roof of the ferry to feel less impact and enjoy the beautiful view while on your way to Culebra.

Read up on the most popular beach in Culebra in our guide to Flamenco Beach – All You Need To Know.


How long is the boat ride from Puerto Rico to Culebra? 

If you are traveling by boat from Puerto Rico to Culebra, the boat ride’s duration will depend on the mode of transportation you choose.

image of a ferry
Ramps make accessing the ferry easy with luggage or mobility limitations.

The ferry ride from Ceiba to Culebra takes approximately one hour, while private water taxis can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the water conditions and the type of boat.

While you plan your trip, take a look at our picks for Where To Stay In Culebra.


Useful tips to consider before traveling:

If this is your first time traveling to Culebra, there are a couple of tips I want to share with you I wish I had when I was first traveling to Culebra.

These tips will help you make your traveling experience there a lot smoother, easier, and without any inconvenience 

Here are 8 Do’s and Don’ts of traveling to Culebra:


1. DO pack lightly

While you may be tempted to pack everything you need for your trip, keep in mind that Culebra is a small island with limited transportation options.

image of Culebra National Wildlife Refuge
Pack lightly, Culebra is a small island with a lot of nature and relaxation to be had.

Pack only what you need, and try to bring items that can serve multiple purposes.


2. DON’T forget sunscreen

The sun can be very strong in Culebra, so be sure to bring plenty of sunscreens and apply it regularly throughout the day.

image of a tourist sitting at the beach
Don’t forget to pack sunscreen so you can soak up the sun on Culebra.

It’s also a good idea to wear a hat and protective clothing to avoid sunburn.


3. DO explore the island’s beaches

Culebra is known for its beautiful beaches, so be sure to take some time to explore them. 

Flamenco Beach is one of the most popular and picturesque beaches on the island, but there are many other beautiful beaches to discover as well.

image of Flamenco Beach
Flamenco Beach has been rated one of the world’s most beautiful beaches for many years in a row.

We wrote a 12 Best Beaches in Culebra article so you can check them out!


4. DON’T litter

Culebra’s natural beauty is a big part of what makes it such a special place, so it’s important to do your part to keep it clean.

image of no littering sign
Follow the rules; leave the place better than when you came.

Be sure to dispose of trash properly and follow the island’s rules and regulations.


5. DO try the local cuisine

Culebra has a rich culinary tradition that’s well worth exploring.

image of Culebra's local cuisine
Fried snapper and plantains; highlights of Culebra’s local cuisine.

Be sure to try some of the local dishes, such as conch fritters, mofongo, and arroz con gandules, at one of the island’s many restaurants and food stands.


6. DON’T forget medication

When planning your trip to Culebra, don’t forget about the Dramamine!

image of dramamine mediine
Dramamine can be a major relief for travelers prone to motion sickness.

The waters between the two islands can be choppy, particularly during bad weather or high winds, and the ferry can be subject to sudden movements and jolts. 

For some travelers, this can lead to seasickness, which can be a major discomfort and even ruin the entire trip. 


7. DO arrive on time and earlier if possible

It’s important to arrive on time or even earlier if possible to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey. The earlier you get to the terminal, the better!

The ferry schedule can be unpredictable, and delays are not uncommon, so it’s a good idea to give yourself plenty of time to check in and board the ferry.

image of Ceiba's ferry termina
Ceiba’s ferry terminal.

Additionally, the ferry can get quite crowded during peak travel times, especially during weekends and holidays, so arriving early can help ensure that you get a seat and have enough room to move around comfortably during the journey.

It’s best to arrive at least 30 minutes before your departure time.

If you purchased your tickets online, then you don’t have to wait in line at the ticket booth. 

If you did not purchase your tickets online, arrive at least 3 hours before to secure your ticket. 

You can look at the schedules through the Puerto Rico Ferry website and under “See route and schedules,” pick the current dates.


8. DON’T leave things for the last minute

Don’t be like me and leave things for the last minute. The more prepared you are, the better your trip to Culebra will be.

The more prepared you are, the more you can enjoy your trip to Culebra.

Avoid buying ferry tickets to Culebra last minute. Culebra is a very popular island, and the ferries are almost always sold out. 

If possible, buy tickets 3-4 days before your trip to Culebra to assure availability.

It’s best to have your bag ready to go the night before you plan on going to Culebra. If you’re wasting time preparing your bag before leaving, theres a 95% chance you are going to miss your ferry.

If you’re not renting a car, ensure you have transportation ready to pick you up and take you to Ceiba. 


FAQ section

How much does it cost to get from San Juan to Culebra?

If you're taking a plane from San Juan to Culebra, you can expect to spend $120 per person for a 20-minute ride to Culebra. If the budget is tight, then you'll have to spend $15-$20 for gas to get to Ceiba and around $5 per person for the ferry ride to Culebra.

Can you take your car to Culebra?

Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take your car to Culebra unless you're a Culebra resident. Before the pandemic, you were able to take the cargo ship at 5 am with your car and get to Culebra so you could easily drive around without depending on taxis. 


Final thoughts

Culebra is the best island getaway!

You’ll definitely have the best experience when traveling to Culebra, with its stunning beaches, clear blue waters, and laid-back atmosphere, it’s a great place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. 

Culebra is also a great place to spice things up and explore outside the tourist-centered metropolitan area.

Whether you choose to travel by ferry, private water taxi, or plane, be sure to plan your trip carefully.

Check our article on Safety In Culebra before visiting the island.

You may also enjoy our article 25 Things To Do In Culebra.

How To Get To Culebra From Puerto Rico – San Juan To Culebra (2024)
Article by

Miguel Concepcion

Writer at I’ve lived in Puerto Rico for 14 years and have experienced every inch of this stunning island. Growing up in Puerto Rico has helped me truly learn about the rich culture and extensive history this island has to offer. I share my local knowledge in all of the articles that I write. 

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