My husband and I just returned from 5 fabulous nights in Vieques. It was our first visit (never been to PR) and we fell in love with it! The island is so beautiful and the people are wonderful. Here’s our report:
Transportation: Flew from SJU to Vieques on Cape Air. No problems with either flight. However, the plane is so small (10 seater) that part of the ride over felt like a roller coaster! I bought some Dramamine from the grocery store in Esperanza for the return flight. For anyone wondering how to get your Cape Air boarding pass, we just walked to the Cape Air gate in terminal B, and they printed it out for us. We did not have to exit and re-enter through security.
Car rental- Maritza’s: no problems, the Jeep we got was very new and clean. We paid $70/day for a 2 door Wrangler. It was very crowded when we got to Maritza’s on Sat. morning, so it did take about an hour to get our car. I would say having a car is a definite must, we couldn’t imagine not having a car to roam around in. Not only would it have been tough to get around, but we felt having the flexibility of a rental car enabled us to more fully experience and enjoy Vieques. From the back roads / trails to beaches, roaming horses, etc. - just driving around was an enjoyment in itself.
Hotel: We stayed the W using Starwood points. I will write a longer report in the hotel’s reviews, but the property is beautiful and the people were very nice. And it was free, therefore hard to complain. LOL.
Food: Due to the expense and mixed reviews of the food at the W, we didn’t really eat there. It’s hard to justify an $8 cup of coffee, when you can get a full breakfast for the same price elsewhere. We ate breakfast at Trade Winds and Belly Buttons (twice). Both were good, we preferred Belly Buttons, and we both ate for around $15. We ate lunch at Bananas, the margaritas were very good, and the food was pretty good and relatively inexpensive. Dinners: Cantina la Reina: very good Mexican food. We were very bummed that they were out of avocados b/c we really were looking forward to their homemade guacamole. The entrees were fresh and delicious. I thought it was a little on the expensive side for Mexican (about $20/entrée). El Quenepo - more upscale, very good. Interesting menu, we both got a red snapper special that was delicious. We also had duck spring rolls that were delicious. My only complaint is it was SO HOT… most places we sat either on a patio or near windows, but here we were in the middle of a large room, and the heat was pretty intense. We’ll know next time to request a table closer to the windows or outside. Next Course: By far our favorite meal. Sat on the balcony, it is a beautiful setting. Lots of interesting menu choices. If I only had one night in Vieques I would go to Next Course. Bili- we went to Bili after Biobay, so we just did tapas. The food was very good and service was friendly.
Beaches/Biobay- We went on the kayak Biobay tour with Abe’s. Abe was very nice and funny. The biobay is amazing. However, I’m a bit of a nervous nelly so I wasn’t really excited to kayak out to the middle of the bay in the pitch dark. It was a little intense for me, but my husband loved it. I think I would have preferred a boat tour to the kayak. One note, it seemed as though Abe only accepted cash. We met in the Sun Bay parking lot, and we hadn’t really thought about it before hand, but everyone paid with cash. It was $30/pp. We were glad that we had cash, and it may be worth checking in advance if you don’t plan to carry cash.
Beaches: We rented a package from Blackbeard’s (they have a small storefront at the W) that was 2 chairs, towels, an umbrella, snorkeling gear, straw mats, and a cooler for $45/day. We hadn’t done a ton of research other than knowing we wanted to see the beaches on the southern side of the island, but we took our map and set off. We tried to start with Green beach on western end of the island, but when we got close, the road was blocked and a man told us you can’t take vehicles any farther, and that the beach is at least a 35 minute walk. This surprised us, and not wanting to lug all of our junk that far, we decided to move on. There must be some other way to get there? We went to the other side of the island and checked out Red, Blue, and Orchid. Secret Beach really held up to its name, b/c we couldn’t find it! We drove back there and walked around, but only saw a rocky cliff, which we weren’t brave enough to climb down. So we never actually saw the beach. Red beach was beautiful, but had a decent amount of people already there, so we went to check out Blue and Orchid. We stayed at Orchid b/c there was no one else there. Our own little paradise for several hours! While we thoroughly enjoyed visiting the other beaches, it was hard to beat the convenience of the beaches at the W, where we didn’t have to lug stuff around, could alternate between the beaches and the pool area, and we could order frozen rum drinks without leaving our chairs!
All in all, it was a fabulous trip. Thanks to everyone who posted on these boards, we got lots of good info from you guys.