The Culebra Ferry: Make It Part Of The Adventure


The Culebra Ferry is one of most commonly used methods to get to Culebra. Follow our advice and make this trip part of the fun and the adventure you will have during your best Culebra Beach Vacations.

The other popular way of getting to Culebra is by airplane. I will be talking about it on another page.

There are two types of ferries: the passenger ferry and the cargo ferry. On this page I will concentrate on the passenger ferry wich we puertorricans call 'La Lancha'.

The ferries are run by the government, by the 'Autoridad de Transporte Marítimo' or as translated by me :), the 'Maritime Transportation Authority'. That's the reason why the tickets to come to Culebra are so cheap... only $2.25 per person! And children, people with disabilities and senior citizens pay an even lower price or travel for free.

These are the special fares:

  • People with disabilities.........................$1.00
  • People that have the Medicare card.......$1.00
  • Persons whose age is between 60-74.....$1.00
  • Persons whose age is 75 or older.............Free
  • Children from 3-11 years old.................$1.00
  • Children younger than 3 years old............Free

These prices are very low, taking into consideration that the Culebra ferry ride takes about an hour and 15 to 30 minutes to arrive.

If you are carrying with you big and heavy things like big ice coolers, you might have to pay an extra charge. Ask the person that sells you the ticket for more information.

The ferry's port is located on an eastern city of Puerto Rico called Fajardo. It is about an hour drive from the capital of Puerto Rico, San Juan.

On The Ferry Terminal

Once you have arrived to the Culebra ferry terminal you will have three different hours you can choose from to come to Culebra. This is the Culebra ferry schedule:

From Fajardo to Culebra:

9:00 am
3:00 pm
7:00 pm

From Culebra to Fajardo:

6:30 am
1:00 pm
5:00 pm

They start selling the tickets around one hour before the departure time. For example, if you want to take the 9:00 am Culebra ferry they will start to sell the tickets at around 8:00 am. Some people are standing in the line even earlier than that.

Phone Numbers and Reservations

To communicate with the Ferry Terminal at Fajardo and make reservations you can call the following numbers:

  • 787-494-0934 exts. 2729, 2727, reception 2736
  • 787-497-7740
  • 787-860-2005

To make reservations you can also call:

  • 787-801-0250/1, exts. 221, 222 y 234 or
  • 1-800-981-2005

To make a reservation by phone you will need a Visa or Mastercard credit card.  You will be able to pick up your tickets at the Fajardo Terminal on the day of your trip.

You can also buy the tickets personally beforehand directly on the Fajardo Terminal.  But keep in mind that this will not be always possible and that it will depend on tickets availability.  You also need to take in consideration that Culebra's residents have priority.

If you buy the tickets personally at the Terminal you will be able to pay in cash, with an ATM, or with a credit card.  To make reservations you need to call from Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  You will need to be patient and persistent as they sometimes are hard to reach. 

To visit the government's official ferry's website click here

At The Ferry Terminal

Once you have bought your tickets you will be waiting on the ferry terminal for the announcement that it is time to aboard the culebra ferry. These announcements are made in Spanish.

If you don't speak spanish make sure and ask someone in the crowd or the supervisor who is taking your ticket if you are boarding the ferry to Culebra. Remember, from this terminal you can choose to go to Vieques island or Culebra island.

I have personally met people that have ended on Vieques island instead of Culebra!

Basically what they say on these announcements is that those heading to Culebra please use exit number... and that elderly people and persons with disabilities will go first, following the Culebra residents and then the visitors or tourists.

The gate for the elderly people is a different one from the gate that the residents and tourists use. Please, be kind and let the Culebra residents go first, they have to take this ferry again and again.

How do you tell who is a resident and who is a visitor? Is not that difficult. Culebra's residents are not in the spirit of going to the beach but of returning home, so they might be dressing differently than the visitors. We might be carrying a grocery cart, shopping bags or even a small suitcase because we sometimes need to stay in Puerto Rico for a few days.

Culebra has a very small population and we pretty much know each other, even if it is only by sight. The ferry terminal workers are also familiar with the Vieques and Culebra residents from their frequent rides back and forth during many years.

You don't need to worry. There's plenty of space at the Culebra II, the passenger ferry that is being currently used. It can hold around 450 people.

Of course, there are times when more than 450 people are trying to come to Culebra at the same time. On a future page I will be giving tips on how to avoid this.

For now, if you don't want to make a very long line very early in the morning, just abstain from coming on the 9:00 a.m. Culebra ferry during holidays and on summer weekends.

Inside The Ferry

Once you are aboard the vessel follow the directions of the ferry workers, or sailors, as we usually call them, on were to put your things if you are carrying a lot of packages or anything else they tell you. They are usually dressed in navy blue.

If you need to go to the bathroom, it will be better if you go at the ferry terminal, before boarding the Culebra ferry. If you didn't had time, then you can go inside the ferry, there are bathrooms in it too. But it will be better if you go before the ferry starts its journey. Is not easy to go to the bathroom with all that ocean movement :).

By the way, before I forget, these ferries are air conditioned. I have seen so many times people with very light clothing feeling cold inside the ferry. If you are accustomed to lower temperatures you won't have a problem. But if you live on a warmer climate, like me!, this is something you should take into consideration for you to have a more comfortable trip.

It's not that you have to wear a coat or anything. You can also sit on the outside area, which is smaller. There's no air conditioner there.

While navigating to Culebra some people enjoy watching the ocean, the keys, Vieques island (which will be to your right while traveling to Culebra), the clouds, the birds, all the nature. Some people have seen during these trips whales - from February to April - and some have also seen dolphins and other sea creatures.

The Culebra ferry: such a hard worker

This ferry is a hard worker. It travels 7 days a week and does 6 trips per day. Three of those trips from Fajardo to Culebra and three are from Culebra back to Fajardo. That's a total of around 7.5 to 9 hours of work per day!

So, if on that very special day that you decide to visit our beautiful Culebra there is some delay or something happens to the Culebra ferry, remain calm. The diligent people that work there on all aspects of the ferry will do everything they can to keep things moving.

On the very rare occasion when there is nothing that can be done you can always go to Ceiba, a city very close to Fajardo, and take a 15 minute flight to Culebra.

Arriving to Culebra: Hooray!

When the ferry is getting close to Culebra the tendency of many people is to get up and stand in a line to get out even before the ferry stops moving.

This is not permitted and it is for your own safety. The ferry makes some sudden movements when the sailors are tying it on the port and someone may fall down because of this. So, please remain seated until the vessel stops completely.

Culebra's Port

Well, this is it. Culebra at last! Hope you enjoy our small jewel and have the greatest beach vacations!

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