Sunday, June 25, 2017

Vieques island

A magical island
Have you heard of Vieques? It's a small peace of paradise in the east of the island of Puerto Rico.

This island is about 10 kilometers or so and you can take a ferry to go there from the big island at Fajardo. You'll find gorgeous primitive beaches with white sand and even some hidden beaches with volcanic black sand. If you are a nature lover and a beach person, you'll enjoy your time there. If you do go to Puerto Rico, no matter where you end up visiting, make sure your visit to spend some time in the ocean.

On this little gem of an island there was formerly a US Marine military practice base. You can still see Navy buildings that have been left vacant since 2003.

Once you are there, you can rent a motor vehicle like a jeep or a bike to move around since there is no public transportation there. There are several renters in the island. Just ask as soon as you get there on the ferry or the plane. There are just two gas stations in town, near the jeep rental office which is practical.

Many tourists go there to see its beautiful beaches.Vieques still stays pretty primitive. Do not expect a lot of services around. At times you are pretty much on your own in order to find the good beaches and places to eat. No traffic lights, and you'll see kilometers of Natural Reserves. You may also see the wild horses that live there as well. Although there is plenty too see, half of the island still remains inaccessible to the public because of government regulations.

Transport to Vieques
Ferry from Fajardo -Vieques: will cost you around 3 US dollars/trip. The trip last around two hours or so and you better get there early in the morning because the ferry books fast. Here is the telephone number to call for more info. (787) 494-0934. Office of Vieques (787) 494-0931
Planes from San Juan-Vieques:another option is flying with small companies like CAPE AIR who leave form the Int. Airport Luis Muñoz Marin in the city of Carolina in Puerto Rico. It'll cost around 100 US dollars and the breathtaking views are worth the ride. It will take around 30 minutes to fly to Vieques Airport.
If you can afford it, take the plane. It is so much easier but you won't be able to take much things with you like on the ferry.

TRAVEL TIPMake sure you bring cash, ATMs are scarce.

Sleep there or stay just for the day

Many people go spend a day and return back home. I still think it is worth it to stay a night or two because there are very cool sport to see and one day will not be enough to move around and enjoy.
For sleeping it is up to you. You can either camp, rent an apartment or choose to stay in a hotel. If you can afford it, stay at the luxury hotel like the W or others you'll see in hospitality sites like tripadvisor or

Dining out

If you are into beach bars or fine dining, you'll find something for everyone. Go enjoy a nice dinner in the south of the island. The town of Esperanza has several restaurants who offer great food at different price points.

Snorkeling, scuba or Bioluminescent Mosquito Bay tour

Several areas remain restricted but you'll still enjoy nature to another level. Scuba diving, snorkeling and paddle boarding are also available through companies in town. The water is beautiful. You can easily find a beach without anyone else on it. If you didn't bring equipment to paddle, scuba or snorkle you can arrange this when you get there.
The bio-bay trip is worth it if you want to experience the bioluminescent organisms that make the water flash into a blueish tone. Visibility is not guaranteed though. Usually you have more chances to enjoy the light show if there is no moon. It will depend on several other factors.  The tour is done on kayaks and it's fun.
Different price points are offered depending on the tour operator. They are running trips to the bioluminescent bay, scuba dive and snorkeling companies and paddle boards line the narrow streets of Vieques or you can organise it before your arrival.

So if you have two days or so and want to do something different in Puerto Rico, trust me, going to Vieques island is worth it!