We arrived on Tuesday January 1, flying in from Isla Grande on Vieques Air Link. Just like last trip, the flight was scenic with no problems. We stayed at Casa Ladera which proved to be an excellent choice (separate review under Casa Ladera). Due to the holiday, the supermarcardo was closed though restaurants were open. We ate pizza at Taverna which was pretty good, but $55 for two pizzas and a salad seemed a little steep to me. Given the location, I’m not complaining. Wednesday we stocked up on supplies at the farmers market and supermarcado. Then on to Media Luna which was exactly as we remembered. It had little to no waves, and is very shallow for quite a distance; a great beach for kids. Thursday we drove to Green Beach which provided the best snorkeling of our trip; saw lots of fish, a stingray, many urchins and some corals. Stopped by the Cieba tree on the way. We were told sand flies are a nuisance at Green but we didn’t experience them while there between 10 am and 1 pm. Headed to Blue beach for the afternoon and ended up having the beach to ourselves due to light rain which cleared quickly. Almost ended up locked in the preserve as we stayed til sunset, appeared the officer was closing the gate as we drove out.
Friday we spent the morning shopping for kids’ souvenirs in Isabel; had a good time walking through the shops. We headed to Sun Bay for the afternoon. We love the beauty of sun bay, the ease of getting there and the shallow water.
Saturday was spent at Blue Beach, turnout #10. Though popular, we found this the best spot for little to no waves, clean sand (no sea grass) and shallow waters. A small reef lies just 100 yards out with a few colorful fish and corals. This was great as it was easy for our 7 year old to hang on my back and experience the underwater world. Tried Sol Truck for a late lunch but they were out of food when we arrived at 2. We ended up at the taco truck near the chicken fighting ring; great food and cheap. Decided to head out for dinner with no destination and ended up at Mamasongas. Though service was extremely friendly, food was quite terrible as the burger was raw and fries were bottom of the barrel. I wouldn’t recommend this one. Sunday we hit blue beach again, then returned to our rental house for afternoon swimming. We did the Bio Bay tour that evening with Island Adventures. They do a great tour, well organized and lots of information regarding the local ecology. However, now that swimming has been banned I felt a little less enamored by the bay. Definitely something to experience if you haven’t seen it before but will probably forgo it next trip to Vieques.
Monday we headed to Navio as my son wanted to surf. The waves looked great for surfing but a little too large for my 7 year old son so we drove back to Media Luna which had perfect waves for him that day. Something to note is the changes in conditions at beaches from day to day. Our first day Media Luna was clean sand and little to no waves, though this day it had decent waves and seagrass washed up on the shore. We drove to blue beach for the afternoon, spot #10 again and enjoyed ourselves for the remainder of the day.
Tuesday we flew out in the morning, took a cab to the Vieques airport which cost $25. Flew VAL to Cieba and drove through El Yunque on our way to San Juan. Rented a minivan with Avis which only cost $40, seemed like a steal for a one way rental minivan. Return at the San Louis Munoz airport the following morning was easy.
A few thought I have regarding Vieques. IMO, renting a house/apartment with a kitchen is the only way to go. Making your own meals with a few lunches/dinners out saves significant money. Not to mention that eating out with three young children isn’t always pleasant.
Make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, we went through 3 bottles and ended up trying to find some on the island which we paid dearly for. We packed some snacks with us, probably will pack more next time. Though the grocery is a little pricier than your local grocery, it’s not excessive. My wife and son did get bitten by some sort of bug during our stay so bringing bug spray along would be an excellent idea.
We love Puerto Rico as it’s relatively cheap, has beautiful beaches, friendly locals, a relaxed vibe and travel getting there isn’t too bad with no customs/passport required from the US. We enjoy Vieques for its unspoiled beauty, lack of development/ tourism and relatively empty beaches. This was our second visit and we are already planning our return.