So, it’s been a while since I last posted, but it’s about time I did. Today’s topic: the beaches of Vieques. This is a topic that must be addressed, because, well, they’re too beautiful to be left out. So, without further ado, a guide to the beaches of Vieques:
It goes without saying that all the beaches on Vieques are beautiful in their own way. But how to know which beach is right for you? I’ll list them, by their characteristics, here. So if you want . . .
Seclusion: Green Beach is the right beach for you. It’s one of those beaches that appear as wallpaper backgrounds on computers: white sand, overhanging palms, blue water. But it’s tucked away on the west side of the island, reachable only by quite a drive through the forest surrounding Laguna Kiani (which, I believe, is also a wildlife refuge). And once you get there, you’re separated from the rest of the island by acres and acres of, basically, jungle. It’s a plus that the beach has excellent snorkeling. But watch out for sea urchins, which line some areas of the shallows.
Culture: Esperanza Beach is the right beach for you. It lies in front of Esperanza, the island’s southernmost town. While the beach is thin and occasionally somewhat crowded, you’ll never be bored. Here, you can rent kayaks, eat authentic Puerto Rican food from stands and trucks, and shop the tents just yards away. Esperanza’s restaurants are also just a few steps off the beach. You’re also most likely to see horses along or on the beach, and sometimes even in the water with their owners. Plus, if you want to go for a dip, you can swim out to Cayo Afuera; you can also hike and explore Cayo de Tierra.
A perfect getaway: I’d suggest Sun Bay Beach. It stretches for nearly a mile—and is pure white sand all the way down. The water is clear and warm, the bottom sandy; and thanks to its length, it’s not too busy either. You can also explore some of the short stretches of sand that appear on the far side of the bay, if you’re feeling adventurous. They’re secluded and offer a fantastic view.
Adventure: There is a section of beaches toward the east side of the island. Not all are open to the public (some are still being combed for unexploded bombs), but some are—and they’re worth visiting. It takes a trek to get to these beaches; you have to go through the National Wildlife Refuge. But it’s worth it. Each beach is unique. For instance, some are lined with rocks; another one has great scuba diving. And Bahia de la Chiva (a.k.a. Blue Beach) has stretches of sand, some snorkeling, and a great view of the sunset.
I’d also advice checking out the Playa Negra. The sand is actually only a little black, but it’s still beautiful. The beach certainly requires a more adventuresome person to enjoy it. For instance, you have to hike about a half mile through jungle to get to the beach. Then, the beach is lined with rock cliffs. It’s wavy, and sometimes the current can be strong, but the water is clear and warm. Still, overall: a gorgeous beach, with a spectacular view of the ocean.
Shelling: Alright, Vieques doesn’t have much in the way of shells. But what it does have is sea glass. My advice: hit Sea Glass Beach by Isabel Segunda—the island’s capital city. There, beside the walls of hotels and a shipwrecked boat from years before, you can find tons of sea glass in all colors. Collect as much as you can—or you’ll have to buy it from the island’s jewelers.
So there you have it, folks: a guide to some of the best beaches in Vieques. But please, pass the word on to a limited number of people. These beaches are wondrously secluded and authentic; it would be great to keep them that way.