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Where to stay? Vieques or Esperanza

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Chicago
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Where to stay? Vieques or Esperanza

Hi,

My girlfriend and will be visiting Vieques in February and I am trying to decide whether we should stay in Vieques or Esperanza. We are taking the ferry to Vieques on Tuesday afternoon and staying until Friday. Our plan is to relax, visit beaches, snorkel, bio-bay tour and check out different restaurants. My questions are:

1. Will Vieques or Esperanza be quieter, have more restaurants, shops and things to see?

2. Do I need to rent a car to go on the bio-bay tour?

3. Is it possible to rent a car for just one day (i.e., could we spend one day exploring the beaches around our accommodations then spend another day exploring other beaches)?

4. Do I need to rent a 4wd SUV if the only beaches we are going to visit are red beach, blue beach, bio-bay and maybe green beach?

Thanks,

Mark

Worcester...
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1. Re: Where to stay? Vieques or Esperanza

1)Vieques is the whole island, and esperanza is a community within the island of Vieques, so am I not sure how to help guide there.

2)You may or may not need a car to see the bio-bay, depending on where you are staying. ...But, if you search the forum a bit, you will find renting a car is an almost must do for your stay in Vieques, bio bay or not.

3)You probably CAN rent a car for one day, but again, highly recommend haying a car for your whole stay.

4)You can reach blue, red and the bio tour meeting spots without 4x4. I would not recommend trying Green without 4x4. You never know how that road will be depending on the rain.

One CAN visit Vieques without a car or a car for part of the stay. But it is usually not recommend to fully enjoy the island and what it has to offer

NYC
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2. Re: Where to stay? Vieques or Esperanza

I think you mean to choose between Isabel 2 and Esperanza.

there is a lot of discussion on this very topic. do a forum search on this for more opinions. meanwhile, if you want to be able to visit beaches without a car, you need to stay in Esperanza. The beach in Esperanza itself is nice, although not picturesque. You can walk to Sun Bay Beach from Esperanza. It is easy to catch cabs in Esperanza and almost every bio bay operator operates out of Esperanza or uses it as a central pick up point. I would say the bio bay is the last thing you need a car for.

Esperanza is where the main bar and restaurants are, so they are convenient to get to while staying in Esperanza but that also means that, generally, Esperanza is noisy. It is not the best place to stay if you want a serene environment. But it is very convenient without a car.

What time do you leave Friday? Will you have time for a beach then? If so, save red beach for that morning. You really should have a car for the whole time. Especially with so short a stay. You want to make the most out of what little time you have, and time is money. It may cost more to have a car but it will give you time to do more. Call around and get prices to pick up a car Tuesday afternoon and drop it off Friday before you go. Make sure the rental company will pick you up and drop you off at the ferry. the taxi savings will help pay for the vehicle. Try chepitos or coqui. You can find a list of the rental companies in the info pages of the Vieques Events at www.viequesevents.net or try enchanted-isle.com.

You can walk to Sun Bay Beach from Esperanza, but in my opinion, that beach cannot compete with the others. Make sure you have an SUV to get to Navio. No 4x4 should be ok. Navio is amazing. go there. Green beach is nice too, but hit or miss. I would make sure to go only if snorkeling is important, otherwise, make Red Blue Garcia Navio your priorities. Then green or secret or silver.

good luck

Chicago
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3. Re: Where to stay? Vieques or Esperanza

Thanks for the quick reply, amalia24. I was trying to understand the difference between the area near the ferry terminal (Santa Maria?) and Esperanza. Does Santa Maria have good restaurants, nightlife, shops, etc or is Esperanza a better place to stay?

If we stay in Santa Maria / near the ferry terminal, but want to go out in Esperanza one night but don't want to drive (in order to avoid drinking and driving) what is the best way to get back to our accommodations?

Thanks

Worcester...
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4. Re: Where to stay? Vieques or Esperanza

The area near in the ferry is Isabel Segunda, the main community on Vieques. There is where that bank, post office and more business like stores might be found. There are also restaurants there, as well as a fairly popular bar. It just isn't set up in a strip type fashion like Esperanza and has a different feel. Most taxis do not run into the night. You would need a car to get home, if not staying in Esperanza and out there.

I am not sure if you are only looking to stay in Esperanza or Isabel, but I would recommend finding an accommodation that you like, wherever it may be, and rent a car. The island is small (though not walkable). Most people I( think) rent houses throughout the island, verses just clustered in the two 'towns'. Unless you want to be in the middle of the Vieques bar/strip scene, find a place you like best, verses where.

Indiana
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5. Re: Where to stay? Vieques or Esperanza

Look for houses on VRBO or likewise that fit your budget. You can pick some out and then ask here for pro's/cons. Don't worry about if your near Isabel or Esperanza, the island is very small and the bulk of people live in a 4 square mile radius. Rent a car. You said you want to visit beaches and tour so you'll need a car. It's money well spent, imo. I know of places as cheap as $650 a week and four times that, it all depends on your budget and what your looking for. If it's just two of you the place I'm at right now is pretty much perfect, Colores Del Mar. I think you can get it with car for around $1200 per week (but dont' quote me on that cause we're here for two weeks and there's a security deposit and all, I'm trying to do the math here in my head). If you want to be on the ocean check out Los Cocos, been there too, great bang for the buck. If you want a middle island between both Esperanza and Isabel, yet close to refuge beaches, check out Casa Dos Chivos, been there too. If you want over the top romantic unobstructed Caribbean views check out Quinta Jabali, been there too. We've been to many other houses on the island. There's more than enough to fit any need and all in all the owners/property managers are the best.

You mention about being quiet. Generally Esperanza is not going to be very quiet. Most of the houses I mentioned are going to be quiet, some are extremely private. Some you won't want to leave to go to the beach.

Since your going in Feb most of the roads should be relatively dry and you can get by with a 2x4, especially so if your not going beyond La Chiva, nor heading our to Green beach.

You mention exploring beaches around your accomodations. Unless your staying on the north shore I don't really think your going to do a lot of exploring of beaches near where your staying. Like I mentioned above, Los Cocos is right on the beach, La Chata beach. You can literally walk out of the house right onto that beach. But again this is not really a swimming beach as is the case with a lot of the north shore. For swimming beaches check out Sun Bay, Media Luna, Navio and then for the best beaches, imo, check out the refuge.

I hope this helps some. Remember it's a small island, very easy to get to from point A to B. Find a house, get a car, everything else will just fall into place.

Curt

NYC
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6. Re: Where to stay? Vieques or Esperanza

theyre only on the island for three nights.

Worcester...
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7. Re: Where to stay? Vieques or Esperanza

Good clarification. In Feb I am guessing a rental is out of the question than(too few nights), and a hotel like accommodation is the best bet.

Vieques
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8. Re: Where to stay? Vieques or Esperanza

Some of the guesthouses that have some units with kitchens will do three two or three nights.

Chicago
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9. Re: Where to stay? Vieques or Esperanza

Thanks for all the replies! We found a rental in Bravos de Boston that seems right for us. I'm going to rent a car for our entire trip. I think we'll take the ferry--we're up for the adventure. Thanks again!

10. Re: Where to stay? Vieques or Esperanza

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