A quick visit to the early days of Culebra Island history.

Culebra Island history is fascinating! Not the least were the days it was used as a stronghold by swashbuckling marauders of the high seas, a period lasting for over three hundred years.

Culebra Island also known as Isla Culebra is a minicipality of Puerto Rico. Because of its closer proximity to the Virgin Islands than Puerto Rico, the island, along with its larger sister to the west, Vieques, is sometimes referred to as the Spanish Virgin Islands.

It is quite common for proud Culebreneses to call the island by its nicknames, Ultima Virgen (Last Virgin), or Isla Chiquita (Small Island).

Prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493, the Culebra island was inhabited by the Taino and Carib tribes. In the succeeding years, the two warring tribes would come together unsuccessfully to thwart Spanish rule.

The first official settlement established in 1880, was called San Ildefonso, in honor of the Bishop of Toledo, San Ildefonso de la Culebra. After the Spanish-American war in 1898, Spain gave up possession of Puerto Rico to the United States.

In 1939, Isla Culebra witnessed the U.S. Navy beginning to use the island as a bombing practice site as a preparatory step for the United States' involvement in World War II. After decades of these bombing practices, Culebreneses initiated a series of protests in 1971 that ultimately led to the U.S. Navy moving its operations to nearby Vieques in 1975.

Puerto Rico--Geography, People & Culture Including Culebra Island history