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WELCOME TO ISLA DE VIEQUES

 

Isla de Vieques Lighthouse

Isla de Vieques, Punta Mulas Lighthouse

Welcome to la isla de Vieques. This site is owned and mantained by a native and resident of this small island. I hope to be able to provide you with all the information you need to plan a wonderful vacation on this mostly undeveloped island to the south-east of Puerto Rico.

Although Vieques has been named many things lately, Spanish Virgin Island and Green Isle among the new names, these names are not recognized nor accepted by the locals. Internet search rules forces the use of "Island" or "Isla de" but the reality is that the island is named Vieques. Pronounced "Bee-eh-kes" by the locals. To keep up with the Internet game I will use Vieques Island or Isla de Vieques on this website.

The waters surrounding Vieques are, the Caribbean Sea in the South, and the Vieques Passage and Vieques Sound in the north. The water body in the north side of Vieques is not the Atlantic Ocean. There are more protected bays in the south and there are more shallow coastlines in the north. There are beautiful reefs and beaches on both sides.

Vieques is not like any other island in the Caribbean. Most of its land is undeveloped due to the presence of the US Navy for over 60 years. The Navy had posession of 2/3 of the total land. As a result most of the beaches are located in undeveloped areas. In 2003 the Navy passed control of most of this land to the Department of Interior. Today the land is under Fish and Wildlife administration, making Vieques the largest national refuge in the Caribbean.

The beaches at the Refuge are pristine, clear, undeveloped, plentiful, and surrounded by wild native flora instead of concrete and asphalt. This is a place where horses are allowed to roam freely. Crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, secluded bays... Come and see what true tropical sandy beaches are like.

Vieques sports the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world. If there is something you must do during your vacation in Isla de Vieques is to visit the bio-bay. Make sure you hire a licensed operator. There are several illegal operators around the bay. Licensed ones are trained and care about protecting the bay for our children in the future. Current laws forbid a licensed operator from letting a tourist enter the bio-bay waters. This is so to protect the bay from pesticides, sun blockers and other chemicals tourists use on their skin that are dangerous to the bay. Visit by kayak, electric boat or fisherman's boat but do not skip this natural wonder. Do not miss a trip to the bio-bay while in Isla de Vieques.

 

Malecon

Isla de Vieques, Malecón in Esperanza

 

The two most populat Barrios in Vieques Island are: Esperanza, in the south; and Downtown Isabel II in the north. Esperanza is known for its fishing tradition and the boardwalk ("malecón") along its beach. Isabel II is the island's capital city. It is where the ferry boats arrive and is the economic center of town. The bank, post office, government offices, police, courthouse, city hall and most stores, including all the gas stations, are located here. The Town Square at Isabel II is the place where most festivals are celebrated and young and old people gather to see the shows and maybe reunite with long lost friends that are visiting the island again. At the "malecón" in Esperanza there will be movement of people on Friday nights and more on Saturday nights.

There are great restaurants in the south and in the north and in many places in between. Check the restaurant page on this site.

If you want to know about Vieques history, visit the museum at the Fort Conde de Mirasol. Check their bookstore too. Visit the Navy section on this site and find out about the viequense struggle to get the Navy out of the island.

I want to make your vacation pleasant and memorable. Be aware that some beaches are off limits due to the cleaning effort the Navy is now conducting under CERCLA law. It is against the law to set foot on these beaches. These beaches are clearly marked as off limits. Obey the posted signs. The beaches I list on these pages are accessible and clear, unless stated otherwise. Some websites and tourist maps in Vieques list beaches that are currently contaminated and off limits according to the Navy, as available and open to the public. Other sites have pictures of Culebra beaches as if they were in Vieques. Verify your sources.

So that you do not experience cultural shock, this is a summary of what you will and will not see in Isla de Vieques. You will see loose animals crossing the roads, they could be chicken, or horses, rarely a cow, but most often a wild iguana, so be careful when driving around curves or over steep hills. You will be awaken by the sound of singing roosters unless your room has A/C. You will not see any traffic lights, Mc Donald's, or T-shirt-shop-laden-street. Expect the sun to be out, it does not rain much in Vieques and when it does the sun usually prevails.

 

 


updated Jan 05, 2014

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