A Very Brief History

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Culebra and Culebrita were reportedly discovered by Columbus on his second voyage in 1493. The first known inhabitants on the island were Taíno Indians. Throughout the centuries of prosperous Spanish trade with the New World, Culebra's protected harbor served as a base for Caribbean pirates. Legend has it that lost and hidden treasure still lies undiscovered on and around the island.
The first colonists arrived in 1880 from neighboring Vieques and Puerto Rico. In 1898 Puerto Rico was ceded to the U.S. by Spain at the end of the Spanish-American War. In 1901 the Culebra Naval Reservation was established by Theodore Roosevelt, who later also created Culebra's Wildlife Refuge.


In 1939, with the outbreak of World War II in Europe, the Culebra Archipelago became the primary gunnery and bombing practice site for the U.S. Navy and continued to be used as such until 1975 when, following strong local opposition to its presence in Culebra, the Navy moved its operations to Vieques.
Visit the Culebra Museum to learn more about our valiant history and view artifacts from the Taíno Indians to modern-day archeological finds.  

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