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Vieques, Not for Me

Columbus, Ohio
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25 posts
9 reviews
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Vieques, Not for Me

I have used Trip Advisor for years to plan our vacations and have always felt confident that the traveler reviews would help me plan the perfect trip. But, I have to say that I wasn't nearly as impressed with Vieques as the majority of people on this forum are. I've debated submitting my review because I don't want to be attacked by people who don't agree with me, but I think that people who are considering visiting Vieques should hear varying opinions.

First, Vieques is definitely not a "touristy" island. I liked that. I enjoyed feeling like we were really being immersed in the way people truly live on the island. There were no tour buses or large tourist crowds which was nice. Certainly, this means that your options for accommodations, car rental, restaurants, etc. aren't as numerous as on other islands, but there are enough choices to meet your needs.

The beaches are beautiful and secluded and you can certainly feel alone in your own slice of paradise. But, you have to work to get to many of the nicer beaches. The holes in the roads leading to the beaches were so huge and they were filled with water when we were there. There were a couple times that our jeep got stuck and I had this "Oh no! Who will come help us?" sickening feeling. The first time we drove through all the holes to get to the beach, we felt like "Wow, this is an exciting journey". After that thrill of that first adventure wore off, we felt like "Good grief, this is a whole lot of work to get to a beach". There were times when we wanted to take a quick trip to the beach, but getting there was such a hassle that we couldn't take a "quick trip". We had to plan to go to the beach and make sure we had enough time to stay a while and make it worth the effort.

Finally, I have to say something about the horses. They are EVERYWHERE! They are up close and personal, not far off in some field in the distance. Now, I"m going to mention something that I haven't seen mentioned on the forum. Horse poop! It's EVERYWHERE too! You are literally driving around piles of horse poop on the road. There are piles of horse poop at some of the beaches. For me, it really detracted from the beauty of the island. Also, all of the dogs roaming around the island were a bit too much for me. They walk in and out of some of the restaurants which I didn't care for. I'm sure that some people love being so close to the animals, but it just isn't my thing.

We enjoyed our time in Vieques. After spending a year planning our trip, I wasn't going to let anything spoil it. But, I will not return to Vieques and I would not recommend it to others. i have enjoyed trips to Kauai and Aruba much more. Also, we loved Old San Juan.

Phoenix, Arizona
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1. Re: Vieques, Not for Me

You are definitely welcome to your opinion and Vieques is definitly not for everyone. Thankfully...

However, in defense of some of your comments and so that things are clarified (without a personal attack)...

There are several wonderful beach options which are very easily accessible. I would be curious to know which beaches you chose to explore as I can honestly only think of a few that would put you through the driving adventure you experienced?

I think for an island the size of Vieques, we actually have a great number of options for dining...some fabulous, some casual, some as fancy as we get here, local fare, roadside stands, etc...you could be here for a month and not run out of great places to try.

There are also many many guest house options...some you will find in more densely populated areas than others. Some have immediate neighbors, but are set up to make you feel isolated. Some are very isolated without a neighbor in site. We have had the pleasure of experiencing several over the years and have not yet been disappointed with any of our accommodations.

As a suggestion so as to not generalize the island with your somewhat limited (and I don't mean that to be an insult) experience, perhaps you can be more specific about the areas, beaches, etc that you were disappointed with...just a thought.

Again...Vieques is not for everyone. Just as those of us that love Vieques would not find other places to suit us.

Thanks for your comments...I look forward to your clarifications.

Canada
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123 posts
8 reviews
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2. Re: Vieques, Not for Me

Vieques is definitely not like Aruba or Hawaii or any of these other commercial islands. It is a Caribbean paradise that abounds with beaches, and nature. No golf, no cinemas, no malls.....that's why I love it. I hope you enjoyed Vieques for what it is..... a laid back and only partially developed paradise, and that you have many happy and enjoyable vacations in the years to come!

Canada
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123 posts
8 reviews
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3. Re: Vieques, Not for Me

We just came back in february from Vieques and fell in love with the place. it inspired me to make this 3 minute you tube video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzh22-cH4EE

Atlanta, Georgia
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1,850 posts
25 reviews
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4. Re: Vieques, Not for Me

Thank you for your report. I am happy that Vieques is not for everyone. I liked the word CanadaMuzz described the other islands, "commercialized". I hope Viequenses continue to keep it the way it is, natural, and not copy and paste Aruba or Kauai.

new york
Destination Expert
for Isla Mujeres
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20,108 posts
97 reviews
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5. Re: Vieques, Not for Me

You are absolutely right in that it’s not for everyone and you should have a right to express your opinion without being attacked. Not all of us like the same things (thank God) so what is one man’s (or woman’s) pleasure, is another’s pain in the butt. I for one found those hard to reach beaches fun to reach and riding our jeep through some pretty rough roads to get there made it seem like an adventure. When I read that they were paving or fixing the roads to the red, blue, etc., beaches, my reaction was, “Oh, no! Now it’ll be like any other place.”

Ditto for the horses. I found sharing the road with them magical. Where else do you see mom and baby walking alongside of you? And honestly, I was oblivious to the poop, lol. Maybe it’s because I prefer to see horse poop on the side of the road, which is after all natural, to seeing discarded soda cans or plastic bags or other man-made refuse.

I think it’s important for people to know what to expect so they are not disappointed. I know which friends would feel comfortable there and which would not, so I would never recommend Vieques to them. The beauty of travel is that there’s a place that’s perfect for everyone; we don’t all have to agree on the same things :)

BTW, loved the video, CanadaMuzz!

New England
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1,546 posts
155 reviews
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6. Re: Vieques, Not for Me

Thank you for posting that video CanadaMuzz. It has put Vieques very much on my radar screen.

As far as horse poop and dogs are concerned, that post had me laughing out loud! I think dogs and horses roaming an area only add to the charm as long as they are healthy and not a hazard to others. We were in Mexico recently and there were dozens of dogs roaming the streets. However they never really bothered anyone.

King of Prussia...
Destination Expert
for San Juan, Ponce
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8,414 posts
47 reviews
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7. Re: Vieques, Not for Me

That video makes me want to quit my boring job, run out of the office and just chillax by the beach with a Medalla on hand. That sounds so nice right now!!!!

Thanks for sharing!

Edited: 15 March 2011, 14:52
Atlantic City, New...
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342 posts
20 reviews
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8. Re: Vieques, Not for Me

Principal, Thanks for posting. I understand what its like to want to offer an unfavorable opnion, but weary that others will get offended.

Likewise everyone raves about St Lucia but when i went I found its mostly ghetto towns with expensive (although very nice) resorts. And then the rain came. After 3 days we were ready to leave.

Back to Vieques, if you could tell me which beaches were ultra remote...that way i might avoid them and look for others. I greatly appreciate it.

happy travels everyone. :0)

9. Re: Vieques, Not for Me

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Canada
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123 posts
8 reviews
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10. Re: Vieques, Not for Me

vieques will not dissapoint

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