Culebra Island History

Culebra Island History

Culebra (snake) Island is a small island-municipality located to the east of Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean Sea. In pre-Columbian times, the island of Culebra was inhabited by aborigines such as the Igneris and the Taínos. The island, also known as Isla Pasaje, was mainly used by pirates in the 18th century for hiding. And it was not until 1880, that Culebra was founded with the first name of San Ildefonso de la Culebra, in honor of the Bishop of Toledo and became part of the Spanish colony of Puerto Rico. This is the reason why the snake is on the island's shield.

When the Spanish-American War ended in 1898, Culebra was ceded to the United States government with the promise that property titles granted by the Spanish Government would be honored. Titled land would not be confiscated by the military government established in Puerto Rico. These agreements were reached in the Treaty of Paris and by the general order number 1 of the United States of the military government of Puerto Rico.

However, in 1901, the US armed forces invaded the island of Culebra to use it as bombing practice and military exercises and resettlement of residents, violating the Treaty of Paris. It wasn't until 1975 that the Culebra locals drove the US Navy but left behind serious destruction, such as mines that are still active and their tanks.

Currently, the island is known for its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and marine life. Among the most famous beaches are Flamenco Beach, Tamarindo Beach, Carlos Rosario Beach and Zoní Beach. The island is also a popular scuba diving and snorkeling destination due to its impressive coral reef.  And it also has Culebra's museum, El Polvorín, an old naval ammunition warehouse that now tells the history and ecology of Culebra.

Culebra is a calm and relaxed place where people can enjoy beautiful beaches and a tropical atmosphere. Although it is small, the island has a rich history and is a unique and beautiful place to visit in Puerto Rico.  But remember to bring your swimwear and sunblock!
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.