Vieques Travel Guides
Super useful & totally free travel guides, written by locals who love Vieques
Why We Love Vieques: Vieques is the perfect mix of a relaxing Caribbean Eden and an outdoor adventure destination. It’s the dream island for beach bums (there are sandy beaches galore), hiking enthusiasts, party spirits, history geeks, and nature lovers alike. The municipalities are safe and tourist-friendly with many English speakers that openly welcome families, couples, and solo travelers. An island with a history of war and destruction that was reborn and transformed into a beautiful haven, Vieques will become the “happy place” you escape to in your daydreams.
Best of Vieques
Vieques is small in size but not in entertainment. This island offers activities for outdoor lovers, families, and couples that are looking for a unique vacation:
- Mosquito Bay – Kayak in the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world, hidden in the Vieques Wildlife Refuge.
- Beach Hopping – Spend hours hopping between the paradisiacal beaches with crystal clear waters and golden sand.
- Snorkeling – Reefs with a variety of marine life, snorkeling in Vieques is an out-of-this-world experience.
- Horseback Riding – The fantasy of riding a horse along a coast of shimmering sand and relaxing waves comes true in Vieques.
- Hiking – This small island has multiple hiking trails with astonishing views of the coast and the beaches that it lays claim to.
👉 Explore all things to do in Vieques.
You’ll find hotels and apartment rentals almost everywhere on the island, but these are the best areas to stay in Vieques:
- Isabel II – Close to the ferry port and the town center, Isabel II features both prime locations and great beaches.
- La Esperanza – La Esperanza is close to the best beaches in Vieques, and has lots of restaurants, bars, and shops.
- Bravos de Boston – Minutes away from the airport and terminal, this area hosts top-notch hotels in a central location.
- Colonia Luján – The charming mountainous interior of Vieques offers a relaxing stay and cheaper apartment rentals.
👉 Read the complete guide to where to stay in Vieques
🛎️ Best Hotels
Whether you’re looking for a beachside hotel or a relaxing stay in the countryside, Vieques has a hotel for you:
- Bravo Beach Hotel – Within walking distance of the ferry, this hotel offers great sea views and amenities year-round.
- Malecón House Boutique Hotel – A small hotel with high-class service that’s close to restaurants, bars, and the beach.
- El Blok – This adult-only hotel features its own restaurant and a prime location – just steps from the beach.
- Great Escape and Breakfast Inn – Away from the crowds, this hotel has a bar and a restaurant that serves on-site breakfast.
- Finca Victoria – A unique stay in the countryside of Vieques with an outdoor pool, a bar, and an on-site car rental service.
While beaches are the main attraction of Vieques, foodies will love the local gastronomy which boasts a great variety of delicious snacks and dishes:
- Duffy’s Esperanza – A beachfront restaurant with seafood dishes, craft beer, tropical cocktails, and lively atmosphere.
- El Resuelve de Carmen – A local favorite with budget prices and staples like rice, tostones, and roasted pork.
- D’ Frozz – Besides selling ice cream and coffee, this place offers delicious all-day brunch and soups.
- El Local – A restaurant where you can enjoy local food with unique presentation, open late.
- Rincon del Sabor – If you’re craving the traditional mofongo with fried pork, this is the place to go in Vieques.
⛱️ Best Beaches
While visiting the island, you’ll find a wide variety of beach options that range from family-friendly to relaxing:
- Caracas Beach – An all-time favorite, Caracas boasts breathtaking landscapes, white sand, and crystal clear waters.
- La Chiva Beach – Featuring calm waters almost all year, La Chiva is great for snorkeling and swimming.
- Sun Bay Beach – The perfect beach for families, Sun Bay sports showers, lifeguards, bathrooms, and a beautiful landscape.
- Black Beach – Considered the only black sand beach in Puerto Rico, Playa Negra is great for hiking and swimming.
- Navio Beach – A beach for thrill-seekers, Navio offers playful waves, cliff diving, and caves you can explore.
👉 Read the complete guide to Vieques beaches.
⛰️ Best Hikes
Even if it’s small, Vieques is home to multiple hiking trails worth exploring – all with amazing views:
- Puerto Ferro – A 20-minute trail that leads to the ruins of a lighthouse with a picture-perfect view of the cliffs.
- Cayo de Tierra – A hike along Esperanza beach and one of the cays of Vieques, with lots of wildlife and scenery.
- Mosquito Viewpoint – A trail that crosses the Wildlife Refuge from the main road to a viewpoint with views of the coast.
- Cerro Playuela – A trail that goes through Playuela Beach, Playa Corcho, and the dry forest with picturesque views.
- Playa Grande Sugar Mills – Starting at the main road, this trail ends up in the historical ruins of a sugar mill in Vieques.
🖼️ Historical Sites
While the beaches are irresistible, Vieques also features an interesting history you can discover in its historical sites and museums. Some of them are:
- Castillo Conde Mirasol – The last Spanish fort built in America in 1845, this museum hosts exhibitions about Vieques history.
- Playa Grande Sugar Mills – Vieques had an active sugar cane industry in the 19th century. Playa Grande Central was active until 1941.
- Navy Bunkers – The military bunkers still hold old furniture and equipment left behind by the USA military.
- Old Sugar Cane Pier – Once used for sugar cane transportation, this pier is now the local-favorite diving and snorkeling spot.
- Mosquito Pier – A pier built in 1941, meant to connect Vieques and the main island, is now a place to relax and snorkel.
Vieques Travel Advice
🗓️ Best Time to Visit
Although Vieques’ season changes are barely noticeable, depending on when you visit you’ll find fresher temperatures, better tides, or awesome hotel deals. Here’s the rundown:
- 🌞 Summer – Though the start of the rainy season, summer is the high season for locals with great tides and weather.
- 🌼 Spring – Has better beach tides than winter but without the stifling heat of the summer.
- ❄️ Winter – The high season for tourists, winter is when most attractions and tours are available in Vieques.
- 🍂 Fall – A great season to find cheap prices on hotels, rentals, and tours, but also the peak of hurricane season.
✈️ Getting There
Since Vieques is a municipality island outside of Puerto Rico, you can’t drive all the way there. These are the ways to get to Vieques.
- ✈️ Airplane – Vieques has its own airport offering commercial flights from around Puerto Rico.
- ⛴️ Ferry – The cheapest way to get to Vieques is by taking a 30-minute trip on a ferry from Ceiba to Isabel II.
- 🚗 Driving – If you’re taking the ferry then you’ll need to drive all the way to Roosevelt Roads in Ceiba to catch it.
👉 Read our full guide on how to go from San Juan to Vieques.
🚌 Getting Around
There are different options for transportation around Vieques, so the method you choose will depend on where you want to go and your budget:
- 🚶♀️ Walking – Both Isabel II and La Esperanza offer great attractions within walking distance.
- 🚗 Driving – The easiest way to move around and visit all the attractions is by renting a car.
- 🚇 Public Transit – Vans and cars with a yellow tag that go to main attractions for between $5.00 and $20.00.
- 🚴♀️ Biking – Biking in Vieques is difficult due to the terrain, although there are some area-specific exceptions.
👉 Tips & Things to Know
- 🥤 The drinking age is 18 – If you’re planning on bar hopping, keep in mind the legal drinking age is 18 and you’ll need ID if you look younger.
- 🌧️ There is a hurricane season – Fall is the peak of the hurricane season. Monitor the local weather and buy travel insurance before visiting.
- 🏪 Stores Close – Fall is the low season for Vieques, and many restaurants and attractions close for the season or operate on reduced hours.
- 🌑 Visit with New Moon – Although noticeable other nights too, Mosquito Bioluminescent Bay in Vieques shines brightest during new moon nights.
- 🚙 Rent a Jeep – If you’re renting a car, get a Jeep so you can move freely in the Wildlife Refuge and the mountainous interior of Vieques.
🧳 What to Pack
- ☀️ Sunscreen – You´ll be spending a lot of time outdoors in Vieques. To avoid sunburn, wear sunscreen and reapply every 4 hours.
- 👙 Swimsuit – Leave the heels and dresses at home – you won’t be needing them on Vieques’ beaches. Pack your swimsuit, flip-flops, and a hat.
- 🦟 Bug Spray – If you’re visiting the beach in the evening, mosquitoes will eat you alive. Avoid bites and illnesses by using bug spray.
- 📱 Waterproof case – Whether you’re visiting the bio bay or swimming on the beach, keep your phone dry and safe with a waterproof pouch.
- 💧 Reusable Bottle of Water – The warm weather calls for constant hydration. A reusable bottle will save you money and help keep the island clean.
👉 Read our full Puerto Rico packing checklist.
🤓 Facts & Info
- Census Population (2020) – 8, 931 habitants
- Time Zone – AST (UTC/GMT -4 hours all year) No daylight saving time.
- Area Codes – 787, 939
- Airports – Vieques Airport (VQS).
- Nickname – Isla Nena
- Demonym – Viequenses
- Territory – Puerto Rico
- Country – United States of America
👉 Read our full list of Puerto Rico facts.
💵 Costs & Budgeting
- 3 Star Hotel Room – $130-300/night
- 1 Bedroom Apartment Rental – $60-400/night
- Rental Car – $90-150/day
- Public Transit Ticket – ~$5 if shared ($20 to the airport from the center if alone)
- Take Out Meal for Two – $15-40
- Sit Down Dinnerfor Two – $25-50
FAQs About Visiting Vieques
Is Vieques safe for tourists?
Vieques is a safe city for tourists. The island is one of the main tourist attractions of Puerto Rico and is home to many ex-pats, which is why visitors should feel safe all the time.
👉 Read the complete guide for safety in Vieques.
Is Vieques worth visiting?
Vieques is home to the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world, amazing paradisiacal beaches, and breathtaking scenery. People who travel to Puerto Rico should definitely make time to visit Vieques.
What’s better Vieques or Culebra?
While both Vieques and Culebra are wonderful destinations, visitors looking for entertainment, bars, museums, historical ruins, beaches, hiking trails, restaurants, and shops should travel to Vieques.
Do I need a Car in Vieques?
Although there is public transportation in Vieques, the public taxis won’t go everywhere and the easiest way to move around and visit all the attractions is by renting a car.
Meet Our Vieques Travel Experts
Vanessa Ramos is a travel and lifestyle writer from Puerto Rico. Vanessa has traveled for international work exchange, backpacking, and solo traveling around three continents. When she’s not writing about the best things to do, places to visit, or where to stay on the island of Puerto Rico, she’s hunting airplane tickets for her next trip abroad. Vanessa also writes her own lifestyle blog, Existence as I Know It.
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