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How To Get To Flamenco Beach Puerto Rico

Detailed instructions on how to take the ferry to Flamenco Beach on Culebra, Puerto Rico. 

walkway to playa flamenco puerto rico

If you are considering a trip to Culebra, the small island off the coast of Puerto Rico, then you are probably wondering how to get to Flamenco Beach. 

Playa Flamenco (as it’s known to locals) is the most popular beach on Culebra and often makes it onto lists of the top beaches in the world

However, it’s a bit complicated to get to Flamenco Beach, but that’s part of what makes it so amazing!

Here’s how to get to Culebra and then get to the beach plus a cost breakdown.

Options for Getting To Culebra

puerto rico fast ferries picture

The first step in getting to Playa Flamenco is getting to the island of Culebra, which is 17 miles off the east coast of Puerto Rico. 

You can get to Culebra on a small plane or ferry.

We have always opted for the ferry to Flamenco Beach since it is WAY cheaper and more flexible. 

The Culebra ferry to is 45-55 minutes each way (on the fast ferry) and only costs $2.25 for adults and $1 for kids ages 4-12.

tank at flamenco beach

If you are interested in flying to Culebra, here are some details:

  • Flights depart daily from San Juan and Ceiba (on the east coast, an hour from San Juan). 
  • Flights from Ceiba start at $45 each way on Air Flamenco.
  • Flights from San Juan start at $89 each way on Cape Air.

If it is in your budget to fly, it is the fastest way to get to Culebra.

How To Take The Ferry To Culebra

inside of ferry to culebra from cieba

The ferry to Culebra is run by Puerto Rico Ferry out of the Ceiba ferry terminal, which is a little over an hour from San Juan

Note that years ago the ferry used to leave from Fajardo, so don’t follow any outdated advice and go there instead!

I suggest you save the location in your maps app for easy navigation. Here is the exact location of the Ceiba Ferry Terminal in Google Maps: 

Thankfully, you can buy tickets online ahead of time for the ferry to Culebra. 

But before you visit the Puerto Rico Ferry site, please note that there are two different types of ferries to Culebra – a passenger-only ferry and a passenger AND cargo ferry (abbreviated PAX + CARGO). 

The main difference between these boats is their speed – while the passenger-only ferry takes 45-55 minutes to get to Culebra, the Cargo ferry takes over an hour and a half!

map of cieba to culebra ferry routescreenshot of ordering ferry tickets for cieba to culebra

Ticket availability typically opens up 4-6 weeks in advance, and if you want a spot on the passenger-only ferry you will want to book as far in advance as possible. 

Click here to buy tickets for the ferry to Culebra on the Puerto Rico Ferry site. 

Tickets are super affordable at $2.25 for adults, $1.00 for kids, and $1.00 for seniors each way. 

The schedule changes seasonally so you’ll have to check the Puerto Rico Ferry site for times on the day you want to visit. 

How To Buy Culebra Ferry Tickets

puerto rico ferry tickets

After you buy your tickets online you’ll get an email with QR codes that will be scanned as you enter the ferry. This is super convenient!

Note that there are two times on your ticket – a boarding time and a departure time

In my experience the ferries seldom board more than 30 minutes in advance.

You’ll want to arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time to allow time to get from the parking lot to the ferry building and get your tickets scanned, etc. 

You likely will be able to buy tickets the day of if you arrive early enough unless it is a peak travel day. But I don’t like to leave anything to chance, so I suggest buying your tickets in advance from the PORFERRY site. 

The ferry was very nice and comfortable inside and exceeded my expectations. 

However, be warned that the 45-minute ride to Culebra was quite rough. 

girl in seats on culebra ferry

Some people got sick and I even started feeling queasy the last few minutes of the ride. Luckily my daughter was fine!

On the plus side, we did see some whales at the surface as we approached Culebra which was a treat. 

Also, the return ride to Ceiba is MUCH smoother and shouldn’t cause any issues. 

Ceiba Ferry Terminal Parking

how to get to flamenco beach ferry parking

You do have to pay to park your car at the Ceiba ferry terminal. 

When we went the cost for parking was $15 per day. You get a ticket and pay by credit card when you exit the lot. 

Unfortunately, the parking is not directly next to the terminal. 

free shuttle ceiba ferry

You can walk (about 10 minutes) or take a free shuttle bus pictured above.

Keep in mind that when the ferry returns there are a lot of people trying to get back to the parking lot at once and you will likely have to wait for a shuttle. 

Two shuttles were running the last time we went so it wasn’t a long wait. 

How To Get To Flamenco Beach: Ceiba Ferry Terminal 

cafe in cieba ferry terminal puerto rico

There is a cute little cafe inside the ferry building if you need to grab a snack. There are restrooms as well. 

seating in ceiba ferry terminal

To get into the waiting area for the ferry you will have your tickets scanned on your phone (or you can print them out of course). 

The waiting area was great – covered to protect you from the sun and kept cool by giant fans. 

mom and daughter with shaved ice

A man was selling shaved ice in the waiting area so we got some while we waited. 

They started to board the ferry about 20 minutes before departure. 

How To Get To Flamenco Beach from Culebra Ferry Terminal

jeep rental playa flamenco puerto rico

The ferry from Ceiba arrives in Culebra in the only town on the island, Dewey. 

Flamenco Beach is about 3 miles from town, so getting there is the next leg of your journey. 

You can either take a public shared van (publico) or rent a vehicle for the day. 

The cost per person for the publico is $5 cash each way. This is a set cost so you won’t be gouged on the price!

There are dozens of shuttle buses waiting outside the ferry terminal so just grab the first one with room and you are good to go. 

Or you can rent a Jeep or golf cart for the day through the popular Carlos Jeep Rental. Just be sure to make your reservation well in advance!

If you do rent a vehicle it is $5 to park at Flamenco Beach.

How To Get To Flamenco Beach in Puerto Rico: Cost Breakdown

girl walking on flamenco beach in puerto rico

As you can see, it is complicated to get to Flamenco Beach in Puerto Rico – but that is part of the adventure of going here!

There is a cost of $2 cash per person to enter the beach area, which supports the maintenance of the facilities there. 

And once you set foot on the slice of paradise, it will all be worth it. 

Here is a breakdown of the costs involved in getting to Playa Flamenco Puerto Rico for one adult and one child:

  • Ferry terminal parking: $15
  • Round trip ferry tickets: $10
  • Publico transport to the beach: $20
  • Entrance fee/donation to the beach: $4

flamenco beach

The total cost to visit Flamenco Beach for the day was about $25 per person.

Wow, does that seem like a deal when I reflect on the experience.

I hope this post answers all of your questions about how to take the ferry to Flamenco Beach in Puerto Rico

Culebra is part of my recommended four-day Puerto Rico itinerary which you can check out here!

I also suggest a visit to Flamenco Beach in my ultimate guide to a Puerto Rico Family vacation.

 

Check out these related posts:

Anything else you want to know? Just leave a comment below!

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Gelixa Ortiz

Wednesday 6th of March 2024

Are you able to visit flamenco beach in the month of may

Leah

Saturday 9th of March 2024

Absolutely! May is a great month to visit - before summer crowds and not yet hurrican season.

Crystal M.

Friday 19th of January 2024

Awesome! Thanks for the layout

Lutfi

Saturday 25th of November 2023

Whats your recommendations for going from san juan to Ceiba? Also does the ferry takes a car if I rent one.

Thanks

LA

Monday 22nd of April 2024

@Lutfi, the ferry will not permit you to take a rental car to Culebra. A rental car is definitely the best way to get to Cieba to catch the ferry though. You will have to leave the car at the Ferry terminal and take public transit or rent a car in Culebra.

Jus

Tuesday 25th of July 2023

Do you think if we show up at 4am at the ferry terminal on a Saturday- 5 of us would get on a ferry ..by noon? The puerto rico ferry thing - I was not successful with :( in booking in advance- the don't release tickets predictably. Basically, my question is -can we "wing it"? Thanks!

Leah

Saturday 29th of July 2023

Yes, there are tickets available the day of. You shouldn't have any trouble!

Adelma

Monday 24th of July 2023

Leah thank you very much for all the information. Question there is umbrella or beach chair rental?

Leah

Saturday 29th of July 2023

Yes, there are umbrella and beach chair rentals!

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