5 of the Best Things To Do in Vieques, Puerto Rico
So you’ve decided to take a tropical vacation to the big and beautiful island of Puerto Rico, and you’ve just found out that like Hawaii, Puerto Rico is actually more than one island. Sure, there’s the big one, but there are the obscenely beautiful and tiny islands of Vieques and Culebra as well. Who knew?!
Like so many people, you’ve decided to take a trip to the smaller islands as well to check them out. But with only a few days there, you want to maximize your visit and know ahead of time what are the best things to do in Vieques. I know, because I was in your shoes just a year ago when I first visited Puerto Rico.
I’ve now been to Vieques three different times, and even tied the knot on that tiny little island! My wife Becki and I certainly haven’t doneeverythingthere is to do there, but we can tell you what we showed off to our family and friends while they were there for our wedding.
The Bioluminescent Bay
Seriously, this should be at the absolute top of your list of things to do while you’re on Vieques. People do come from literally all over the world to see this natural wonder. Joe and Maria, the owners of the place we normally stay at while there, even keep a signature board up of everyone who’s been there and where they’re from, and it’s very impressive.
A bioluminescent bay is simply a bay filled with seawater that has an unusually high number of dinoflagellates(microorganisms found in all seawater worldwide). The organisms glow a pale neon-blue when irritated by anything, from a boat motor, a fish swimming through them, a kayak paddle, or simply your hand.
There are only five bioluminescent bays in the world, and Puerto Rico was lucky enough to be blessed with four of them. However, the bay in Vieques is always reported to be the best for multiple reasons:
- All of the features that make a good bio-bay (low water exchange, s-shaped entry, decaying plant matter) are strongest there
- They were the first to protect their bay, and the pollution in the others is killing the microorganisms that glow
- There is far less light pollution on the sparsely populated Vieques, making the glowing effect much stronger when compared to other bio-bays
I guarantee if you go and see the biobay while you’re on Vieques, you won’t go home disappointed.
The Kiana Lagoon and Boardwalk
This is the kind of thing where you’re going to have to rent a good 4×4 vehicle, embrace your inner adventurer < link to your post, http://channelvoyager.com/discover-your-inner-adventurer/ >, and go have some fun!The lagoon is located in one of Vieques’ wildlife refuges. The roads are well kept for gravel roads, but it is the Caribbean and flooding and hurricanes can take their toll.
You can rent kayaks and take them to the lagoon, or do what Becki and I did and just walk the boardwalk. It winds in and out among the mangrove trees, over the water letting you see plenty of birds, fish, lizards and crabs!
Any of the Beautiful Beaches
If you go past the lagoon and keep heading for the ocean, you’ll eventually reach Playa Punta Arenas, otherwise known as Green Beach. It’s a gravel beach that is very remote and therefore very quiet and peaceful. There’s a lot of rocks and sea urchins in the area, which means it’s not great for swimming but an awesome place to kayak or snorkel off a pier.
Bahia de la Chiva, also known as Blue Beach, is one of our favorites! It’s also a quiet beach as most people stop at Red Beach and never make it down there. It’s very relaxing – great for families with small children and seashell collectors.
Red Beach is often the beach people will tell you to go to. We liked this one too, but it’s more of a “see and be seen” beach than we care for. The water is clear without many rocks or seaweed, so it’s good for swimming. The surf can really kick up here though, so be careful!
Deep Sea Fishing Charter
This is one of Becki’s dreams (she’s the fisherman in our relationship and the waters around Puerto Rico and Vieques are some of the best in the world for it. Mahi mahi, tuna, wahoo, dorado, bonefish, tarpon, marlin, and many others all can be found here.
We haven’t done this one yet, but the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean lies just off the shores of Puerto Rico; in other words, deep sea fishing was practically invented here, so it must be pretty good.
Nothing… just, nothing.
Doing nothing while in a beautiful tropical paradise while on vacation can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. After driving through water crossings and over washed out roads, getting sunburned and worn out from adventures, it’s definitely nice to just sit back with a cold drink and watch the sun slowly sink into the horizon.
One of the best places to do this is on The Malecon of Esperanza. The Malecon is the name of the road along the waterfront, with plenty of bars and restaurants serving frosty, fruity rum drinks. Make sure to order a pina colada or a painkiller – two of the best drinks the Caribbean has created – and let the cares of your life back home just fade away.