My family loves this island!!!! This being our first time here Id like to offer wat little advice I can for first time families visiting (and little reviews if needed)
We flew Air Flamenco to the island on Wednesday morning. Good quick flight. Rented our jeep with Maritzas, whom picked us up at the airport to bring us to their rental location. We received a Jeep in perfect condition and the service great (no long waits). We stayed at EvaMer and have no complaints. The location was gorgeous, natural beauty. Jinette and her husband keep the grounds impeccable. Luckily we arrived when the produce truck was right on the route from Maritzas to EvaMer. The produce truck and also the grocery mart were less than 5 minutes from where we stayed. The cost of groceries was only slightly higher then mainland US prices. Some restaurants were pricey, while you could find roadside tacos or pastelillos (what I know locally as an empanada) for $3. We did a little of both. Isabella II was a nice town but didn’t have too much of a late night dinner crowd to it. Esperanza was better for a late dinner than Isabella… more options.
Everything on the island that you need to get to is maximum 20 minutes (reminder, you really on drive 30 or less around here, so that’s not 20 minutes going 60) from the north side of the island. We navigated ourselves around the island so very easily.
Beaches: Day 1 – Media Luna, nice beach past Sun Bay; too much seaweed for our liking but a beautiful beach no the less. Navio Beach – THE MOST NATURALLY BEATIFUL BEACH I have ever seen!! The waves are soooo strong here, my husband, 7 and 11 year old loved them here… though the kids ended up sand burnt from the sand/waves combination. I really cant stress what a natural wonder this place was though. The road to get here from Media Luna (this particular road will get you to first Sun Bay, Media Luna then Navio) was the worst we were on, but totally worth it.
Day 2- Caracas (Red) Beach – Good Location, good crowd, good parking, nice waves, nice sand. We went here twice throughout our stay because this is your “go to” beach in our opinion. Beautiful scenery and the perfect beach feeling
Day 3- La Chiva “Blue” Beach – I think it was gorgeous, the kids were (cringe) bored here because there are no waves to jump in. We spent only a few hours here. Note to first timers…. All those numbers road markers along the drive after the “Blue Beach” sign (1-14 maybe even 21, I can’t remember) are parking places for Blue Beach. Prata Prieta “Secret Beach” one of our favorites (which one wasn’t really) right back down the road toward civilization from Blue Beach. Parking area is not viewable from the beach. Walk down a downhill path and you are on secluded beauty. Waves, tons of plant life, good sand for building castles. Just busy enough to have some people there but not so much you feel intruded on.
Day 4 – Back to Red Beach, see above.
We took the ferry back on Sunday at 11 and had no problems with tickets. We were there 1 hour early but there were many many open seats on the ferry, I figure we could have walked up while it was boarding and still get a ticket. I think the later Sunday ferry is busier with mainland PR's going back home from the day/weekend.
We love this island and are apprehensive to tell our friends because we don’t want the island to get too touristy and be spoiled!! It will be in the vacation rotation for many more visits!!!