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Vieques Trip Report 4.19-4.25

Onset, Massachusetts
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Vieques Trip Report 4.19-4.25

Just returned at the end of last week from Vieques and I know how much everyone on this forum appreciates a trip report, so here goes!

My husband and I flew to Vieques on Friday 4.19 from Ceiba, after 3 days on the big island. This was not our first trip to PR but first to Vieques. We flew VAL and although delayed 45 minutes, it was a very quick and smooth flight. It was my first time on a plane that small, but it was really fun.

Juergen from Abreeze met us at the airport; we rented a Jeep from him based on the advice of our rental home's owner. Juergen was great, picking us up and dropping us off at the airport, showing us around a little bit when we arrived, asking all about our stay at the end. I highly recommend him. Note that his rentals are all 2WD Jeep Liberty; we drove down many dirt roads and the 2WD was totally fine. I imagine you only REALLY need 4WD when things are muddy.

One thing Juergen showed us was the Farmer's Market, which was open on Friday! I had read on the forum it was only on Tuesday and Wednesday, but there it was on Friday. We visited it in the afternoon and they had plenty of produce. The woman working there said they are now opening on Fridays in addition to Tuesdays and Wednesdays, based on demand.

We stayed at El Dormilon, a rental home in Monte Carmelo. The house itself and the view of the refuge and the ocean behind it were just spectacular. The owner and the house manager were excellent to work with. Also, Abe of Abe's Bio Bay Tours lives right next door! We found Monte Carmelo to be a quiet neighborhood (other than the roosters and the dogs!) that was very convenient for getting to both Isabel II and Esperanza, along with the eastern refuge beaches.

We grocery shopped at the Morales on 200, the Green Store, and the Colmado Mambo, in addition to the farmer's market. We cooked breakfast most days and dinner a few times, and we found everything we needed/wanted without any problem. Our favorite store was the Mambo; while very cramped, it is super clean and organized. If you are looking for a cold six pack, they are in the back coolers on your right when you enter. (I had to ask since they aren't visible!)

As for the beaches, we visited La Plata, La Chiva, Playa Grande, Sun Bay, Punta Arenas, and Caracas. Our favorite was Punta Arenas. We went there on two different days, from around 9am until 2pm each time knowing that the bugs are out earlier and later. We had a lovely spot under a palm in the 3rd turn-off there, near the rocks. The snorkeling was extremely easy (I am a novice) and the beach was the most deserted of all we visited. The water was very clear and warm, and the views of the big island were great. We saw turtles and lots of fish, and a couple snorkeling nearby saw a ray.

The most crowded beach we visited was La Chiva, but I have to imagine that is due to only being open on weekends right now. When we went on Saturday and Sunday, all the turn-offs had multiple groups in them by the afternoon. We arrived early both days and had turn-off #13 to ourselves until lunch time each day. We spent time at Sun Bay and Caracas on late afternoons after Punta Arenas, and they were both great for late afternoon reading, drinking, and napping.

We ate at many different spots and I'll write reviews for many of them, but here's a quick list: Duffy's, Bananas, Al's Mar Azul, Belly Buttons, Sol Food, Roy's, La Viequense, Isla Nena at the airport, La Zafra, Next Course, and Conuco. We wanted to eat at El Resuelve twice, but our timing was off both times. Our favorite restaurant was La Zafra, in Isabel II. The owner and her staff are very nice, the food is simple but very well-cooked and seasoned. We ate dinner there twice because the fish was so fresh and the flan was so delicious (and the fact that they are still BYOB didn't hurt of course...we just brought a bottle of white with us each time!).

While the people watching in Esperanza was great and the open air bars are good for lunches, my husband and I both preferred the atmosphere of Isabel II. We spent one morning strolling around, going in the few shops, getting coffee. We also did a lot of driving around the western part of the island and exploring, which was great fun. (But you must drive slow...there truly are horses EVERYWHERE.)

For our flight out on Thursday 4.25, we flew Cape Air directly to SJU for the convenience of quickly catching our Jet Blue flight back to Boston. As we were grabbing some quick breakfast at Isla Nena before our flight, the woman working there (I cannot remember her name!) asked us when we would be coming back to see them again. I said "as soon as we can."

That "soon" will not be soon enough, but at least it's almost summer here in the Northeast!

Destination Expert
for Isla de Vieques
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1. Re: Vieques Trip Report 4.19-4.25

awesome report

thanks for sharing

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2. Re: Vieques Trip Report 4.19-4.25

Great trip report! El Dormilon is such an interesting and beautiful home. I am not sure the pictures do it justice , the owner went to extremes to have that beautiful tile handmade in the Dominican Republic especially for that home. the tile is a reproduction of the old handmade tiles found all over Spain and Latin America,some people call it Havana Tile. It is gorgeous and very special.

And yes we here on island are thrilled the veggie market added Fridays, it is so much more convenient and less crowded now.


Onset, Massachusetts
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3. Re: Vieques Trip Report 4.19-4.25

Wholegrain, you are right that the pictures online of El Dormilon do not do it justice! It is such a romantic home. The tile was amazing and the overall layout of the home was so nice. The decks on both sides of the house had breathtaking views, and all of the windows and doors can be opened up. We rented just the main portion as it was just us two, but there are two additional bedrooms downstairs if a larger party wants to rent. The owner, Perri, was so sweet and easy to work with. I will be writing them a rave review on VRBO.

Toronto, Canada
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for Toronto, Isla de Vieques
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4. Re: Vieques Trip Report 4.19-4.25

Great report! You covered a lot of ground in six days! That's exciting news about the market being open on Fridays now! We normally find some reason to return on Wednesdays so no doubt we'll now be there 3 times a week!

Good luck getting your "soon" organized!

Mount Dora, Florida
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5. Re: Vieques Trip Report 4.19-4.25

Wow. Thank you so much for your informative review. We will be spending our vacation in Vieques in Sept. or Oct. and I have soooo many houses that I am looking at. We are going a little crazy with lodging. Must have a pool with privacy. We have not had a vacation in over four years. We need it BAD. I am looking at staying in the Barrio of Los Chivos or Esperanza area.

Any additional info would be much appreciated. By the way I lived in CT. for twenty eight yrs. and now living in central Fl.

6. Re: Vieques Trip Report 4.19-4.25

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