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Trip Report 2-19 to2-23

New York
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Trip Report 2-19 to2-23

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!!!

usa
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1. Re: Trip Report 2-19 to2-23

Thanks for sharing.

Indiana
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2. Re: Trip Report 2-19 to2-23

"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!!!"

I felt the same way a number of years ago and not much has changed. Thanks for the report and so glad you enjoyed your trip. There has been some recent discussion regarding road condition, so I appreciate your take on the road to Navio.

Finally, don't be a stranger here on the forum, especially since your a "seasoned" visitor.

:-)

Toronto, Canada
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for Toronto, Isla de Vieques
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3. Re: Trip Report 2-19 to2-23

It's pretty special, isn't it?!

We felt the same way about not talking it up for the longest time, but we came to realize that a lot of people weren't really all that interested when they found out there weren't golf courses and nightclubs. Plus it's written up in some New York publication every second week, so our little raves weren't going to have much of an impact in the bigger scheme of things!

Vieques is still in our vacation rotation after 20 years!!

NYC
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4. Re: Trip Report 2-19 to2-23

great report, thanks for sharing.

I agree about Navio. definitely my favorite. did you get into the cave or jump off the cliff? popular things to do there.

did you consider the bio bay?

did you go to any restaurants?

did you do any snorkeling?

New York
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5. Re: Trip Report 2-19 to2-23

@Frankiepoo

As for the cliff jumping and cave exploring, we were with a 7 and 11 year old and decided against it this time, but it WILL happen next time we are here!

We actually had reservations with Island Adventures to do the Bio Bay in pedal boats (the kayaks and the kids may have created a ruckus so we decided on pedal boats) but they called us the day of the tour and said that water conditions were too rough to take the pedal boats out. They offered the electric boat ride but we opted not to take that as the boat wasn’t the experience we were looking for. Next time for this too! Kudos to Island Adventures for being upfront so we didn’t waste our money.

We ate at Tin Box (the food was good but the atmosphere was the best... it felt like we were dining in the jungle!) the open air upstairs of Mamasongas in Isabel on the waterfront that had THE BEST burgers on the island and Duffy’s in Esperanza which we enjoyed. We had great tacos from the pink taco truck across from the smaller Morales in Isabella. We also stopped at Chicken King and Ice Cream a few times!! This is where we mistakenly asked for Empanadas and ended up with potato wedges… now we know what we are asking for!

No snorkeling. Green beach wasn’t on our list of beaches this time; the boys did use their snorkels at Secret Beach and saw some fish.

Lafayette, Indiana
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6. Re: Trip Report 2-19 to2-23

Great review of the beaches - I can't wait to check them all out in a couple weeks!

Did you ever get a picnic lunch for the beaches? If so, where from? I see you were there on some weekdays - were any restaurants closed, or did you have any trouble with food?

NYC
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7. Re: Trip Report 2-19 to2-23

awesome

New York
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8. Re: Trip Report 2-19 to2-23

@nicole970 Sol Food truck is located right on the corner before the Red Beach, Secret Beach, Blue beach etc. road. It is only opened on the weekends but it is perfect on those days to grab food from on your way. We grocery shopped a little, had a cooler and packed self made sandwiches and salads for lunch every single day we went to the beach. Freeze some water bottles and it works double time for ice and then for water :)

Missouri
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9. Re: Trip Report 2-19 to2-23

Nicole- there is a great Bakery in Isabella, on the main drag (someone help with street name) it's a couple of blocks past the fruit truck on the right hand side, a bright yellow building that just says "Bakery" They have amazing sandwiches to go, wrapped to take to the beach. They were huge portions for $6-$7 each, and really good on fabulous fresh made bread. Service is a bit slow, but they were soooo worth the wait.

Edited: 28 February 2014, 19:59
Niagara Falls...
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10. Re: Trip Report 2-19 to2-23

We're off to Vieques, for two months, starting the beginning of April. We are very impressed with all the good feed back from previous visitors. My one concern was buying fresh fruit, vegetables, and fish, which I guess we will be lucky to find. Any suggestions for fruit and veggies?

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