The author in one of the beaches in Vieques

15 Best Vieques Beaches in 2022 (By a Puerto Rico Local)

Visitors could easily spend weeks beach hopping between the breathtaking beaches of Isla de Vieques. 

I’m a Puerto Rico local and I can tell you with confidence that not only does this small island off the east coast offer incredible things to do, but it boasts some of the top beaches in Puerto Rico. It’s perfect for a Caribbean getaway with your partner or family.

From secluded coves to the only black sand beach in Puerto Rico, these are the 15 best Vieques beaches you can’t miss on your next visit.

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15 Best Beaches In/Near Vieques

Playa Caracas

Puerto Ferro, Vieques

View of plants in the shoreline of Playa Caracas

Google Maps | Parking: Free parking in front of the beach | Best Nearby Hotel: El Blok

One of the most popular beaches in Vieques, Playa Caracas (also known as Red Beach) is located inside the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge. This beach has gazebos but there aren’t any bathrooms or showers. During spring and summer, the waves here are nice and gentle, perfect for families and for doing watersports.

📍 First time visiting? Pin these popular sites in Puerto Rico into your road trip map.

Playa La Chiva

Puerto Ferro, Vieques

Aerial view of the turquoise blue water in Playa La Chiva

Google Maps | Parking: Free parking in front of the beach

La Chiva, also known as Blue Beach, features flat calm waters almost all year round. Playa La Chiva is a favorite for snorkeling, especially around the cay and rocky side. Although less crowded than Caracas, Blue Beach is a big beach with multiple access points, great for relaxing while surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

👉 Looking for more inspiration? Check out these other fun things to do and see in Puerto Rico.

Playa Grande

Vieques

View of the blue water and the clear blue sky in Playa Grande

Google Maps | Parking: Free parking in front of the beach | Best Nearby Hotel: Blue Horizon Boutique and Resort

Rather than swimming or snorkeling, Playa Grande is a great beach for hiking, photography, and sunbathing. Playa Grande is home to huge boulders, wild waves, and sand full of shells. I recommend having a relaxing morning strolling through this solitary landscape and getting your feet wet on the shore. 

⛱️ Don’t plan to leave San Juan? Read all about the best beaches in San Juan to soak up the sand in style.

Playa Escondida

Puerto Diablo, Vieques

View of the rocky shoreline in Playa Escondida

Google Maps | Parking: Free parking in front of the beach

Playa Escondida, Escondida Beach, or Hidden Beach – whatever you’d like to call it – is one of the best beaches in Vieques to get lost in your natural surroundings. This beach is the smallest in Vieques, just a few feet wide, but couples and nature lovers will enjoy being in a place off the grid, with no phone signal and barely any other people around.

🚗 How to Get There: To get to Vieques, you can either take a flight from the San Juan airport or take the ferry from Ceiba. Once on the island, the easiest way to beach hop is by renting a car, preferably a 4×4, or a golf car. Don’t miss my guide to driving in Puerto Rico so you can conquer the streets of Vieques.

Playa La Plata

Puerto Diablo, Vieques

View of the small waves coming along the shoreline of Playa La Plata

Google Maps | Parking: Free parking in front of the beach

Playa la Plata is right next to Playa Escondida and is also a solitary beach with few visitors. A bit wider than its neighbor, but still small enough to fit only a few cars and visitors, La Plata’s waters are clear and shimmering during the summer. The beach is also great for couples and friends looking for a relaxing beach day.

🛏️ Staying for a few days? Don’t miss my guide on where to stay in Vieques to find the best areas and lodging.

Pata Prieta Beach

Puerto Diablo, Vieques

View of the water in Pata Prieta Beach

Google Maps | Parking: Free parking close to the beach, you’ll have to walk a few minutes downhill 

The road to Pata Prieta Beach might be one of the most difficult to traverse in the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, but the headache is worth it once you arrive at this beautiful beach. To get to Pata Prieta, you’ll have to walk a few minutes downhill with lots of crabs that will hide as you pass by. The beach itself sports calm waters and thin white sand, as well as marine life you can see while snorkeling.

👉 Don’t Forget to Pack: If you’re into snorkeling, you can’t forget your snorkel gear when visiting Vieques. The Zeeporte snorkel set includes a non-fogging mask, adjustable trek fins, dry top silicone snorkel, and a travel gear bag.

Playa Negra

Vieques

View of a small crab on the black sand of Playa Negra
Spot the orange crabs as you hike on this black sand beach

Google Maps |  Parking: Free parking across Gallery Galeon or parallel to the road | Best Nearby Hotel: Blue Horizon Boutique and Resort

Playa Negra is known as the only black sand beach in Puerto Rico. To get to the beach, you’ll have to take a trail for 15-20 minutes until the forest opens up to a scene with cliff views, black sand, and small orange crabs everywhere. The tide can be strong during the winter months and there aren’t any facilities, so plan your visit accordingly.

👉 Local Tip: The day I visited Playa Negra, the waves were strong and the beach had sargasso (seaweed). The best time to visit Puerto Rico is usually spring and summer when the waters are warmer and the tides calmer.

Sun Bay Beach

Vieques

Palm trees on the Sun Bay Beach in Vieques

Google Maps |  Parking: Free parking in front of the beach | Best Nearby Hotel: El Blok

The easy access, facilities, and beautiful landscape make Sun Bay the best beach for families in Vieques. While located close to the gorgeous beaches of the reserve, Sun Bay is more like the beaches you’d find on the main island. But, aside from the commodities, you’ll love the scenery, soft sand, and horses that roam freely along the beach.

Cofi Beach

Vieques

View from Cofi Beach in Vieques, Puerto Rico

Google Maps | Parking: Free parking in the nearby neighborhood | Best Nearby Hotel: Casa de Amistad Guesthouse

Cofi Beach is the best option if you’re staying in the Isabel II neighborhood. This beach is accessible, features calm waves, and has a top-notch view of an old pier. Also known as Sea Glass Beach, you’ll find pretty crystals scattered all over the sand. To get to the beach, park in the residential area and walk downhill to the coast.

👉 Local Tip: Almost none of the beaches in Vieques have facilities like showers, bathrooms, or lifeguards. If you’re looking for amenities during your beach day, head over to Sun Bay. Playa Esperanza, Media Luna Beach, and Sea Glass Beach are close to town centers which makes it easier to find food and bathrooms.

Punta Arenas Beach

Vieques

View of a tree branch in Punta Arenas Beach in Vieques

Google Maps | Parking: Free parking when you take the left side on the final Y division on the road | Best Nearby Hotel: Bravo Beach Hotel

The bumpy dirt road leading to Punta Arenas (also known as Green Beach) might fool you into thinking there isn’t a beautiful beach waiting on the other side. But Punta Arenas is nothing but a paradise with shallow water safe enough for the whole family. With a reef a few feet from the shore, Green Beach is one of the best places to snorkel on the island to see sea turtles, manta rays, and tropical fish.

👉 Local Tip: If you’re walking on Green Beach, use water shoes as there are sea urchins in some areas. These L-RUN Athletic hiking water shoes have a rubber sole and a quick-drying fabric. 

Esperanza Beach

Vieques

The Esperanza Beach from El Malecon
You can see Playa Esperanza from El Malecón

Google Maps | Parking: Free across El Blok hotel | Best Nearby Hotel: Great Escape and Breakfast Inn

If you’re staying in La Esperanza instead of Isabel II, then the closest beach will be Esperanza  Beach. This beach is great for everyone that wants to have the coast, restaurants, and facilities within walking distance. The main attraction in Playa Esperanza is a pier where the locals like to jump into the clear waters. From Playa Esperanza, you can easily reach Sun Bay, Cayo Adentro, and Playa Negra.

Playuela

Puerto Ferro, Vieques

Google Maps | Parking: Free parking close to the beach

One of the most secluded beaches of Vieques, Playuela (also called García Beach) sports bright turquoise waters and a dramatic landscape with a tiny island a few feet from the shore. While most people miss the entrance to Playuela on their way to Playa Caracas, this beach is worth visiting. Hiking enthusiasts can explore the Cerro Playuela trail, which boasts mesmerizing views of the Puerto Ferro Cliffs and the surrounding beaches.

👉 Local Tip: If you’re visiting the Wildlife Refuge, keep in mind you probably won’t have any phone signal and there aren’t lifeguards on the beaches. Always take safety precautions when swimming, snorkeling, or hiking, as getting help in case of emergency will be difficult.

Media Luna Beach

Vieques 

View from the shoreline of Media Luna Beach

Google Maps | Parking: Free parking in front of the beach | Best Nearby Hotel: El Blok

Media Luna Beach is right next to Sun Bay Beach on the southern coast. With lots of palm trees for shade, white sand, and calm waves, this half-moon-shaped beach offers beach lovers the complete Caribbean vacation experience. Media Luna is optimal for doing watersports and visitors can also bring their snorkel gear to explore the reef on the far left side of the beach.

👉 Local Tip: If you’re planning on snorkeling close to the reefs of Vieques, please make sure that your sunscreen is reef-friendly. Sunscreen lotions can contain chemicals that damage marine life, so opt for a lotion that protects both the environment and your skin. Sun Bum sunscreen lotion is SPF 50, reef-friendly, vegan, and has Vitamin E.

Playa El Gallito

Vieques

View of the Playa El Gallito sign on the entrance

Google Maps | Parking: Free parking parallel to the road or next to the sign of the beach | Best Nearby Hotel: Bravo Beach Hotel

This golden sand beach located on the north end of Vieques is easily accessible and perfect for an improvised beach stop. While many visitors head straight to the south beaches, Playa El Gallito offers clear waters and reefs for snorkeling. More often than not the tide is calm, and although rocky, you can take a quick dip.

👉 Don’t Miss This: Bookmark our epic and totally free travel guide to Vieques and be in the know with all the best tips visiting Vieques!

Vieques

The blue sky and the blue water from Navio Beach

Google Maps | Parking: Free parking in Media Luna or in front of Navio

The last beach after Sun Bay and before Mosquito Bay, Navio Beach is the go-to place for adventure seekers. The waves at Navio are great for bodyboarding and hikers can hunt the hidden caves on the east side of the beach. Adrenaline junkies can try diving from the rocks and cliffs that surround the beach, and beach bums can relax on the white sand under the palm trees.

👉 Local Tip: Visitors should always exercise caution when doing activities and take advice from the locals. During the winter, the tides in Navio Beach, Sun Bay, Playa Esperanza, and other beaches of Vieques island are stronger and usually unsafe for swimming. See our full Vieques safety guide for more information.

FAQs About Vieques Beaches

Which side of Vieques has the best beaches?

The south and southeast of Vieques feature the best beaches on the island, with scenery, clear waters, white sands, reefs, and hidden caves. The north side of Vieques is home to beaches with easy access and overall calmer tides, even during the winter season.

Does Vieques have good beaches?

Vieques has some of the best beaches in Puerto Rico, preserved and hidden within the Vieques Wildlife Refuge. While some beaches are great for swimming and snorkeling, travelers often enjoy the beaches in Vieques for their solitude and scenery.

Which does Culebra or Vieques have better beaches?

While Vieques has beautiful beaches, Culebra beaches tend to be more popular among tourists for their paradisiacal landscape and crystal clear waters. Playa Flamenco in Culebra often competes as one of the best beaches in the world.

Are the beaches in Vieques safe for swimming?

Most beaches in Vieques are safe for swimming during the spring and summer seasons when the tides are calmer. But, during the winter season, Sea Glass, La Chiva, Pata Prieta, Sun Bay, and Media Luna tend to have safe tides. Always consult the local weather to see any warning for undertow and riptides.

📚 Continue Reading: Staying Safe in Puerto Rico

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Thanks for reading about the best beaches in Vieques you can’t miss! I hope this helped you map out the best spots.

And while you’re still here, check out other popular things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico.

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