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4 days
Short Escape

Trip Dates

15 Oct - 18 Oct
19 Oct - 22 Oct
Download trip notes

Tour Highlights

  • Escape to a tropical paradise and plunge into warm, blue-green waters, edged by white sand beaches

  • Share your swims with sea turtles and shoals of reef fish as you explore the local coral gardens and thread between more than 20 cays, which surround Culebra

  • More than 20% of Culebra Island is preserved by the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge – discover the abundance of marine life in this tropical paradise

  • Relax after your days in the sea at the relaxed, family-owned Villa Boheme, swinging in a hammock and watching the sunrise

Welcome to Isla Culebra! This tropical paradise is part of the Spanish Virgin Islands (also known as the ‘Passage Islands’) in Puerto Rico. It’s here you’ll find those white-sand beaches and warm, blue-green waters that swimmers’ dreams are filled with. Get ready for a truly unforgettable swimming experience as we wind our way to idyllic Caribbean beaches with powdery sands brushed by calm tides as they ebb and flow. The island is surrounded by over 20 cays and numerous coral gardens that host an abundance of marine life, including sea turtles and shoals of reef fish. Snorkelling and diving are popular activities on the island as well, with numerous natural creeks and bays to explore during your time on the island.

More than 20% of Culebra Island is preserved by the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, which results in a diverse ecosystem and plenty of wildlife for you to meet as part of your adventure. The island is also home to Mount Resaca, which offers stunning views across the island and the surrounding waters of the Atlantic, Vieques Sound and the Caribbean Sea.

Culebra Island is also home to a vibrant local culture, with a range of restaurants serving traditional Puerto Rican cuisine.

Who is this trip for?

This swimming short escape is ideal for those who are looking to combine interesting swims with exploring a relaxed island.

Swimmers should have a basic understanding of open water swimming and be capable of completing the average swim distance and average daily swim distance (over the course of two swims) prior to the start of the trip.

The average swim distance is around 2.5km. The average daily swim distance is around 5km (split over a minimum of two swims).

We have given this trip a ‘Moderate’ grading. Most swimmers comfortable in the open water will be able to take part and enjoy one of these trips.

What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday in Puerto Rico
  • Three nights' accommodation at the beachside Villa Boheme
  • Full safety escort and support from expert swim guides
  • Three breakfasts
  • Two lunches on day two and three (swimmers only)

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Dinners

Sample Trip Itinerary

Please note that the below daily itineraries are an example of the swims that may take place during your trip, however, actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and swim conditions. Your SwimTrek guides and local boat pilots will determine the most suitable swim locations each day and will communicate the plan with all guests as soon as possible.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Villa Boheme

Start Time: 16:00 on Day 1

Finish Point: Villa Boheme

Finish Time: 12:00 on Day 4

Day 1

After meeting in the reception area of the hotel, we will head down to the water for your acclimatisation swim. We will then return to the hotel for a welcome drink and a safety briefing while discussing our plans for the week ahead.

Day 2

After breakfast we make our way to our boat support which pulls up at the nearby jetty. From here we will travel to Punta Del Soldado, situated on Culebra’s southernmost tip. If conditions allow, we will enter at the southern tip, otherwise we get in at the nearby beach. Either way it’s a superb first swim as we make our way along this tranquil western shore over numerous beds of seagrass. The swim finishes at Datiles Beach, which is a spot often frequented by pelicans.

Once we have some time to explore the bay, we head back onto our support boats and head into the dock for lunch in a local restaurant, before we head out again in the afternoon.

The afternoon swim carries us on along Culebra’s west coast as we enter the water at Melones, which is surrounded by stunning reefs accessible within a few metres of the surface. From here, we head along the coast and pass stunning rainforest which flow right down to the water’s edge. The journey is both refreshing and visually stunning. The island of Luis Peña unfolds on our left during the swim. On arrival into Tamarindo Beach, we have a chance for a brief snorkel before we head back to our hotel.

Day 3

It’s time for our longest and most remote swim of the trip as we head to Culebra’s northernmost point at El Ancon. The islets and rocks here are home to various aquatic wildlife, including turtles and mackerel. From here, we head south past a coastline that is inaccessible from land. We swim over reefs abundant with corals and marine life. The finish is at Carlos Rosario, which, due to its encircling reef, is an ideal finish point to stop and snorkel.

After a relaxing lunch, we begin the crossing of the trip from Carlos Rosario to the island of Luis Peña. The highest peak on the island rises to around 140-metres and is a great sighting point as we undergo the crossing. Once we arrive at the island, we swim along the coast until we hit the island’s largest beach. It’s a wonderful place to relax and swim/snorkel!

Day 4

We fit in one final swim in the morning before breakfast just outside the hotel. This is the perfect way to start the day before breakfast and our departure from the island.


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Villa Boheme

Villa Boheme - a charming, family-owned guest house. The guest house boasts a large patio area, which is perfect for relaxing in a hammock or watching the sunrise as you take in the relaxing view of Ensenada Honda Bay. The hotel has 12 ensuite rooms in total and they are all equipped with air conditioning, water heaters and some also have private kitchens and balconies.

Location Summary

National Wildlife Refuge

Designated in 1909, this refuge enables you to explore diverse ecosystems, ranging from beaches and dry forests to lush beds of seagrass. The protected area also serves as a habitat for endangered sea turtles and has become one of the largest seabird nesting grounds in the Caribbean, with more than 13 species and 50,000 birds that spend at least part of the year here. It’s a birder’s paradise!

Cayo Luis Peña

Part of the Luis Peña nature Reserve, the island of Luis Peña is edged by tiered coral reefs, sea grass beds, and mangroves, which protect and nourish the great biodiversity within this whole reserve.

Punta Del Soldado

On the southwestern tip of the island, Punta Soldado has a rocky beach that is perfect for exploring. The water is calm and clear and filled with healthy coral, also making it a great spot for snorkelling – turtles and puffer fish are often sighted here with a small reef about 150-feet offshore.

Trip Grading

We have given this trip a ‘Moderate’ grading. Most swimmers comfortable in the open water will be able to take part and enjoy one of these trips.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distances
Punta Del Soldado – Datiles 2½ km
El Ancon – Carlos Rosario 3 km
Cayo Pirata 1 km
Melones – Tamarindo 2½ km
Carlos Rosario – Luis Pena Crossing 2 km

*Please note that these swims are an example of what may take place during your trip and should be used as a guide only. Actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and swim conditions.

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience, however you should be aware that certain marine life such as sea lice, jellyfish, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however if you suffer from anaphylaxis, please consult the office prior to booking.

Walking Conditions

While there aren’t any significant planned walks, any walks that we do undertake will take place on recognised paths and tracks, however there may be cases where we walk along trails or other unsealed surfaces and care should be taken in these areas.


Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
October 28-29˚C / 83-85˚F 23-30˚C / 73-86˚F

*Please note that these temperatures are indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. Therefore, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible.

Trip Information

Group Size

This trip has a maximum group size of 15. The group will be split into a maximum of three groups, based on speed, with each group being accompanied by their own safety vessel/escort. 

Boat Support

Boat support on this trip includes three main boats to be piloted by your SwimTrek guides and a local boat pilot. Please note that this boat support is subject to change without notice and cannot be guaranteed.

Equipment Checklist

For your basic, essential packing list, please visit our Packing List page on the website. There are no additional, specific items required for this location.

SwimTrek will also provide water and electrolytes at every location and refill your bottles.

Getting There

As SwimTrekkers come from all over the world, and join our swimming holidays in numerous destinations, we don't currently offer flights as part of our SwimTrek packages. We do however want to do as much as we can to ensure that our guests get the best deals when travelling to one of our trips so check out SwimTrek's tips to help you get the best deals for your flights page on the website.

Flights to Culebra Island

The easiest way to get to Culebra Island, Puerto Rico is by flying to Aeropuerto Benjamín Rivera Noriega CPX. Local airlines such as Vieques Air Link offer direct flights to Culebra from various regional airports on Puerto Rico. You can fly to the island from San Juan, Fajardo, or Ceiba (the flight from Ceiba is the shortest at about 15 – 20 minutes).

Another option is to book through a major airline while purchasing your flight to Puerto Rico. You can usually get a combined fare, and you can easily make your connection flight. Please note that you must leave the international San Juan Airport (SJU) and board your connecting flight at the Isla Grande Airport (SIG/TJIG), which is just a few minutes away.

You can catch a local bus, D53, between the two airports but large luggage is not allowed on any of the AMA buses, only small carry-on items allowed. If you have luggage, you will need to catch a shuttle or taxi between airports. Local taxis are readily available outside the airport and the journey takes around 15 minutes.

Ferry from Puerto Rico to Culebra Island

Alternatively, the most affordable way to get to Culebra by taking the ferry from Ceiba and there are several taxi services from the main airport (SJU) to the ferry port.

Ferry tickets only cost about $2 – $3 per passenger each way, however, you need to find transportation to Ceiba, which is about an hour and a half from the city.

The ferry runs from around 0430am to around 8pm but are subject to change. More information can be found at and tickets can be purchased directly at

Ferry terminal or airport to Villa Boheme

The hotel is a 20-minute walk or 5-minute car journey from the Airport and a 10-minute walk or a 3-minute car journey from the ferry terminal.

Local taxis are readily available outside both the airport and ferry terminal.


Accommodation during this trip is at Villa Boheme - a charming, family-owned guest house. The guest house boasts a large patio area, which is perfect for relaxing in a hammock or watching the sunrise as you take in the relaxing view of Ensenada Honda Bay. The hotel has 12 ensuite rooms in total and they are all equipped with air conditioning, water heaters and some also have private kitchens and balconies.

Pre/Post Trip Accommodation and Trip Extension Options

If you want to book additional nights either side of your trip, please contact the hotel directly at or you may wish to explore Virgin Gorda and perhaps stay in Spanish Town.

Food and Drink

All breakfasts and lunches are included in your trip price (swimmers only), however, dinners are at your own expense. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to explore and experience the local cafes and restaurants of your choice over the course of your trip.

Breakfasts will take place at a local café. If you would rather cater for yourself, some rooms have a private kitchen, but Villa Boheme also offers a communal kitchen where you can prepare your own if you prefer.

For more information, please visit our food and drink page on the website.

Travel Advice

For more information on any of the following sections please visit the Travel Advice page of our website.

Money, Extra Expenses and Tipping

You should bring extra money with you to cover dinner and such items as entertainment, off menu, souvenirs, travel etc. The local currency is the US Dollar.

In some countries tipping (gratuities) is not part of the culture - in others it has become an expected norm. We believe that tipping is entirely at your discretion. If you have been provided with excellent it may be something you wish to do. Your SwimTrek Guides can advise on local norms for service providers like boat crew, waiters, or taxis. Nothing is expected for your SwimTrek Guides, but many groups like to present something to the Guides at the end of the trip.

Responsible Travel

SwimTrek is conscious of the importance of protecting the world’s natural wonders. We are acutely aware of our responsibility to not only take care of the natural environments which we are lucky enough to explore, but also to educate our guests about the importance of conservation efforts and responsible tourism. It’s for this reason that we have worked so closely with our partners to ensure that our trips are conducted in the most responsible and sustainable way possible, working tirelessly to minimise the impact of our presence on local marine life and the natural habitat.

For more information, please visit our Responsible Travel page on the website.

Passports and Visas

United States citizens and permanent residents don't need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico. Travelers from other countries visiting Puerto Rico have the same visa and passport requirements that would apply if visiting the mainland United States.

Non-residents require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of all EU member states, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter the. For further information, please visit

Please note that visa regulations are subject to change, and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Travel Insurance

We consider comprehensive travel insurance to be essential, and we strongly recommend that you purchase insurance which includes, but is not limited to, cover for illness, accident, emergency repatriation, ambulance, air ambulance, helicopter rescue services, cancellation, lost luggage and delays. Your travel insurance should also cover you for open water swimming and any other activity listed in your trip itinerary (including races and competitions, where applicable). Please read your policy details carefully and remember to take them with you on your trip for your own reference.

For further information, please visit our Travel Insurance page on the website.

Here at SwimTrek, we pride ourselves on our focus on safety and the well-being of all our guests. As we operate in some beautiful and remote locations medical facilities are not always easily accessible. SwimTrek Guides, and many staff working for our local partners, are first aid trained. However, we ask that you read our Travel Health page to ensure that you are informed about general Travel and Swim Health precautions.

Travel Plugs and Electricity

There is free WIFI throughout the hotel.

For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit

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