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No turning back now on our trip to Vieques...

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Springfield...
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No turning back now on our trip to Vieques...

Our family of five (Mom, Dad, 2 sons - 21 & 23 and daughter - 17) are heading to Vieques for the first time in early August. Arriving in San Juan on a Thursday evening and staying two nights at Caleta 64. Going to explore the old city and flying out on VAL for a week long stay at Vista dos Mares. Wranger rented at Maritza's and ready for this adventure.

Places we've been and love include St. John, Akumal/Tulum and Zihuatanejo/Troncones. We like to explore and our daily routine is to hit a beach early and stay until bugged out. Our rental includes beach chairs, coolers and the like but no mention of an umbrella. First concern is finding, bringing or building shade. I've read Curt's (?) blog about building shelter which sounds interesting. Understand there are some cabanas on Red or Caracas Beach if you get there early. Also want to visit Blue, Silver (Playa Plata?) and Navio (boogie boarding?). ANY advice on how to find some shade much appreciated. Gonna feel stupid if there is a lot of natural shade after asking this!

Our must do's include the Biobay and Little Boat Sailing. The lunar calendar indicates there will be a new moon during our trip with 0.2% illumination. So, that would be a good time to go?

Sounds like you can spend a lot of money dining out especially for a group of five. Our preference would be to eat breakfast in, pick up sandwiches for the beach, hit the Malecon for some sightseeing and drinks and spend happy hour at the villa. I understand fresh fish is available and would love to grill but not sure about how to procure. Another uniformed question is can fish be purchased ready to grill? Any and all techniques on doing so are appreciated.

Sandwiches for beach - Sol (when open) and La Viequence Deli and ?

Less expensive places - El Resuelve, Lazy Jacks, Mar Azul, Chez Shack (Monday bbq) and ?

Special dinners for two - open for recommendations.

My firstborn speaks fluent Spanish which has come in very handy on other trips so not afraid of any language barrier. To the extent possible, we want to experience the "local" way of life on Vieques and would like to hear other's stories in this regard.

Are there any items to purchase in San Juan? With a washer/dryer at the villa we plan to travel light as possible and carry-on. Not trying to overanalyze this trip as I'm sure but have found this forum to be very informative so any responses are much appreciated.

1. Re: No turning back now on our trip to Vieques...

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Removed on: 29 July 2013, 23:46
St. Louis, Missouri
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2. Re: No turning back now on our trip to Vieques...

Blue Beach is my favorite and it has shelters - but get there early!

Chester County, Pa.
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3. Re: No turning back now on our trip to Vieques...

If you are early to most beaches , you can find shade under a palm.. Blue has huts to claim early, they are not right on the beach, but very close.

You could make arrangements with Hacienda Tamarino for umbrella rental, although when I stayed there I felt a little gouged......but it's like a plumber or a doctor, they have you where they want you.

Chester County, Pa.
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4. Re: No turning back now on our trip to Vieques...

Yes. Book the no moon.Best results and the best fellow travelers . I recommend the clear canoes.

Missouri
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5. Re: No turning back now on our trip to Vieques...

just spent the day on green beach. Very different from the beaches on the other end. Many palm trees, great shady very private spots to set up camp on. Snorkeling very good also. It's a long rough road getting there but for us it was worth it. We were at LaPlata yesterday and there were remnants of a tee-pee like shelter which we snagged early in the morning. Sitting under the shelter in the shade, with a view of the beautiful snow white sand and turquoise water was NERVANA!!!!!

Missouri
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6. Re: No turning back now on our trip to Vieques...

just spent the day on green beach. Very different from the beaches on the other end. Many palm trees, great shady very private spots to set up camp on. Snorkeling very good also. It's a long rough road getting there but for us it was worth it. We were at LaPlata yesterday and there were remnants of a tee-pee like shelter which we snagged early in the morning. Sitting under the shelter in the shade, with a view of the beautiful snow white sand and turquoise water was NERVANA!!!!!

Indiana
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7. Re: No turning back now on our trip to Vieques...

ah yes...sitting under a cabana with the Caribbean just steps away is Nirvana, or at least it was in times past. The sun can be brutal and it's nice to have a place to get some shade.

:-)

Hartford...
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8. Re: No turning back now on our trip to Vieques...

We just got back last week from our second trip to our favorite island :) I'm sure that there will be some strong feelings about this, but we bought a sunshade/tent and brought it in our suitcase. It weighed less han 4 pounds and packed up to the size of about 2 shoeboxes. We have a super fairskinned kiddo, and I HATE the little bugs that live in the sand and bite my legs. We weren't sure if the shade was going to be worth the trouble, but it absolutely was!! It was big enough for all 4 of us to sit in the shady part, even at noon when the sun shines straight down. It kept the darn bugs out from underneath me, and it took less than 10 minutes to set up. We strongly recommend it for anyone who's worried about shade. The palm trees are beautiful but the get taken early, and they don't help at all with the bugs :) (PS- we didn't have to use stakes or weights or anything, even at Navio in the wind- the towels and cooler and books weighed it down beautifully, even when there was no one inside of it. That made me feel better, because I was worried about accidentally hitting turtle eggs, plus it was easy to turn to cast the best shade and catch the breeze!)

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: No turning back now on our trip to Vieques...

Good to know SmallWorldCT, thanks for that input.

John V, if you're making breakfast at home it's not much of a stretch to make your own lunches before you leave for the beach. We have an old Sam's Club insulated bag that we bring along. We freeze water in a 2 liter bottle every evening and next day it acts as a freezer pack to keep sandwiches, fruit, pop, etc. cool while we're at the beach, plus we can drink from it as it thaws. Sounds a little steampunk, but it works like a charm! Just size up according to your group size.

NYC
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10. Re: No turning back now on our trip to Vieques...

I agree with Bruce and John, thanks Smallworld, thats excellent info. Also about making your own lunches. Buy some fresh produce from the farmers market or the produce trailers so that you have ingredients for things like chicken or tuna salad and lettuce for lunch meat sandwiches, if thats what you plan. To save money, I often buy lunch at Shaunnas and have it for dinner.

In August the competition for the "cabanas" shouldnt be so terrible. personally I would rather be in the shade on the sand close to the water. not so far back under the trees or cabanas.

a romantic dinner for two would be next course. or you can send the kids out with Sandra and have Beverly spoil you in your own rental...