When we checked in for our 30-minute Vieques Air Link flight, they weighed us and our bags, then assigned us seats to balance the plane. We got into our car from Vieques Car Rental, had lunch, and dodged free-roaming horses on the way to our Airbnb on the north coast. We walked to the beach from our house, and Evan found and broke open a coconut on the way. The house guide said that petty crime is a problem, and advised that we not leave anything in our car or on the beach. We locked three doors and the gate before we left the house.
We walked out to our 8 passenger Vieques Air Link plane.
Vieques Air Link weighed us and assigned seat to balance the plane.
We flew east over turquoise water toward Vieques.
After we arrived, they handed us our bags from the plane.
Cape Air had the shortest baggage carousel we'd ever seen.
Vieques day 2
The next morning, we drove out to the end of Mosquito Pier on the north coast, and snorkeled along the rocks. We saw starfish, sea urchins, sea fans, jellyfish, and lots of fish. From there, we drove across the island to the south side, and had lunch in a beachfront cafe. Just outside of town, we parked at the long sandy Playa Sun Bay. Lots of sargassum lined the sand, but we found a clear spot for swimming and relaxing under the palm trees. In the evening, we watched horses walk along the beach at sunset.
We drove to the end of Mosquito Pier to snorkel around the rocks.
We stayed away from the giant spiky sea urchins.
We drove across the island to the south coast.
Evan shared his bench with the restaurant cat.
We had lunch at Duffy's in Esperanza.
After lunch, we went to Sun Bay, just outside of Esperanza.
looking along Sun Bay toward Esperanza
the jungle path to the beach from our house
Horses walked along the beach near our house at sunset.
Houses along the beach had tall walls and sturdy shutters.
Vieques day 3
In the morning, we headed south to the beaches in the National Wildlife Refuge that covers half the island. We started at Playa La Chiva, which had parking spots with gazebos. We walked and swam out to an island in the bay. After lunch, we followed the road to the end. Playa La Plata was covered in sargassum, but we spotted a small crescent of sand around some rocks. We snorkeled and swam for a couple hours, then stopped at a small observatory tower on the way back to our house.
Google maps showed a route to the NWR beaches, but the road didn't go through.
We parked next to gazebo #10 at Playa La Chiva.
We walked and swam across to Isla Chiva.
We walked along the island.
We drove to the end of the road at Punta Conejo.
Playa La Plata was covered in sargassum, so we carried our towels around the rocks to a small sandy beach.
A big anemone waving in the sea grass
Evan spotted several giant lobsters hiding in the rocks.
view of our small private beach from the far side
Iguana crossing the road on the way back
We climbed the 8 steps up the observation tower for a view south.
We walked along the trail from the observation tower for a few minutes.
After dinner, we stopped for fresh donuts in the main plaza.
Vieques day 4
We drove to the west end of the island for more snorkeling, and saw a couple of turtles and lots of fish. We had an early dinner in Isla Segunda, and walked along Sea Glass beach before meeting our guides at Black Beard Sports for a kayak tour of the bioluminescent bay. We got into clear-bottom kayaks and paddled out into the bay. Tiny dinoflagellates create bursts of blue light whenever they touch something. Our hands and paddles glowed in the water, and streaks of light flew past the bottom of the kayaks as we moved.
We went to Punta Arenas on the west side for snorkeling.
We saw turtles, a ray, and lots of fish.
looking toward the main island
driving back through the lush greenery
Giant centipedes on a tree next to the road.
The 275+ year old ceiba tree lost all its leaves after Hurricane Maria, but survived.
Sunset from Isla Segunda
Evan found a friendly cat on the way to the beach.
along Sea Glass Beach
On the way back from the bioluminescent bay, our driver stopped to move a blue crab out of the road. He said they're delicious!
Vieques day 5
We checked out of our house, and drove up into the hills just outside of town trying to find Fortin Conde de Mirasol, the last fort built by the Spanish. We found it on the second try, then headed to the airport for our return flight to San Juan.
morning walk along the beach east of our house
View from our patio usually featured drying swimwear.
It took two tries to find our way to Fortin Conde de Mirasol just outside of town.
on our way back to San Juan
getting our bags after landing at Isla Grande