You will find a relaxed way of life on Vieques and if you are in a hurry… you are in the wrong place. The eastern side of the island is still off-limits to visitors, as the Navy continues to remove vestiges of its presence here. Eat lunch on the boat. If you take the earlier kayak tour, iguanas and sea birds will guide your way into the lagoon. Facilities include changing rooms, lockers, toilets, showers, picnic tables, barbecue pits, lifeguards and a café for food and drinks.
Playa de Luquillo East Coast — Pick your own spot to sunbathe, stroll and swim on this 3. To protect the threatened and endangered animals from poachers and predators, Julian Garcia Martinez, a biology teacher at the Vieques middle school, began a grassroots conservation group six years ago. While Spanish is the primary language, English is widely spoken. Beyond a pair of padlocked gates, the blacktop narrows and climbs through lush forest that was never cleared for cane. Ponce recalls 19th century colonialism in Puerto - By the time the U. The culture fuses Spanish, African, and indigenous Taino influences, while its beautiful beaches are always ready for their close-up. Though it measures just 55 square miles, Vieques brims with natural flora, exotic animals, secluded beaches, and gracious people.
In fact, assume all hours of operation are more suggestions than fact. There are only a few bars clustered along the main street near the pier. So I take the plunge and suddenly find myself in a world made of liquid fire, where every movement sets off an eerie, glimmering reaction made by millions of bioluminescent plankton. Visit the last Spanish Fort built the Americas, hiking trails, small interesting museums and lush nature reserves. Inland Vieques is thickly forested hills and arid stretches of desert-like land. Caja de Muertos South Coast — Located a few miles off the coast, this island has the best beaches in the Ponce area, and is probably the second-best area in southern Puerto Rico for snorkelling second only to La Parguera. Helpful maps guide travelers through the best of this beachside locale.
Playa Bahia del Sol is the most popular beach on Vieques, and you'll likely see packs of wild horses in the parks surrounding it. The commonwealth counted nearly 5 million tourists last year; a quarter came from the U. Excerpted from the Fourth Edition of. Ocean Park in Puerto Rico. Then hop another flight to the smaller island of Culebra and sunbathe on Playa Flamenco, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. That afternoon, tour the Spanish forts of and Castillo de San Cristóbal. The beaches of Vieques are like works of art painted by the Master Hand with perfectly coordinated shades of blue, shores with sand ranging from soft white, deep golden, to sparkly black.
Back in 2006, Puerto Mosquito was declared the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world by Guinness, back then the bay had about 1 million dinoflagellates per gallon. After you dock, drive 13 miles south to Mayagüez. Still, he allows that places like the live impact area may never be entirely clean. Day 5 Wake up early and head to Black Eagle Marina for a snorkel or dive tour of Desecheo Island. There are a few things travelers should know when visiting Vieques. Facilities include changing rooms, toilets, showers and picnic tables. But the strand, a one-and-a-half-mile stretch of gently scalloped, powdery white sand, redeems the bad road.
Keep in mind that you'll have to shell out for the cab fare between San Juan and Fajardo, which isn't cheap. The former firing ranges are now part of Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, the largest, most ecologically diverse refuge in the Caribbean—and a potential ecotourism engine to drive the moribund local economy. Most guesthouses encourage visitors to get out and experience the island, but a handful of luxury properties offer full-service, resort-like amenities. We rely on our members for support. Enjoy a traditional Puerto Rican lunch of mofongo or arroz con pollo at Restaurante Raíces. Nearby Ashford Drive offers a selection of cafes and restaurants.
Plus, most major airlines departing from the U. The wide beach is flanked by a string of hotels and apartment blocks. Unwind beneath the beachfront palm trees or stroll around the nearby park that sits at the eastern end of Puerta de Tierra. Facilities on this palm-fringed beach include changing rooms, toilets, showers and several beachfront restaurants. Also be prepared for steep curving roads throughout Vieques' interior. Far less gracefully, I cinch a safety flotation belt and lean from a boat ladder to dip a toe into this wondrous Caribbean bay. With expert advice on exploring the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, sampling local cuisine at the Luquillo kiosks, and lounging on the uncrowded white sand beaches of Culebra, Moon San Juan, Vieques, and Culebra gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience.
San Juan, Vieques and Culebra. On Culebra, we strongly recommend renting bikes, as it's small enough to cover and this gives you enough mobility while keeping you outdoors and enjoying the amazing sea views. Visit for the day or stay longer at the luxury all-suite Gran Melia Puerto Rico. Suzanne is currently the arts and travel editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That is a big part of the charm of Vieques. The bioluminescent bays in Fajardo and Vieques are created by microscopic organisms living throughout the water.
Moon Puerto Rico Dec 4 2012. Hop a flight to Vieques and go for a swim at Balneario Sun Bay during the day and tour the bioluminescent waters of Mosquito Bay at night. Beauty, tranquility, and awe await. Playa Jobos Northwest Coast — Unwind on the golden sands of this 700m-long beach that curves around a dune-covered rocky spit with sheltered waters perfect for swimming and snorkelling. Surf usually pounds the offshore reef at the western end of the beach. Options include the buzzing and secluded , which has two private beaches, a range of massive rooms and suites, amazing dining, and pools that would make South Beach's best blush. The outing turns into a splash party as more than a dozen other swimmers delightedly kick up blazing wakes or churn great depth-charge-like balls of fire.
Keep in mind that many of these are located down deeply rutted roads, sometimes with holes that are large enough to partially swallow a car. There are no public facilities at this beach, however toilets can be found at the beachside park at the eastern end of the beach and at nearby water sport equipment clubhouses, where you can also hire sea kayaks and windsurfing boards. Synopsis Moon Spotlight San Juan and Puerto Ricoand 8217;s East Coast is a X-page compact guide covering the best of San Juan and Puerto Ricoand 8217;s East Coast. . Along Highway 200 we pass a boarded-up Navy checkpoint; small herds of free-range horses; and telephone poles being worked over by carpinteros, Puerto Rican woodpeckers. The aftermath of those operations is clearly visible, especially in the heavily cratered Live Impact Area. When you're on the islands, you will need transport.