Just a 20 mins flight from Puerto Rico, and we landed into a paradise – Vieques, one of the Spanish Virgin Islands.
This small island gem is only 21 miles by 4 miles, and is surrounded by nature where wild horses roam, a bioluminescent bay glows, tiny coquis (frogs) make sweet sounds, and white sandy beaches are some of the best in the Caribbean. R&R seekers flock here and quickly surrender to an island life with a laid-back atmosphere.
We spent 24 hours on Vieques, where you can recline, relax on the beach, or for explorers like me…discovered there’s lots to do! Sharing highlights on where to go, stay & dine.
HIGHLIGHTS OF VIEQUES…
- Bio Bay Tours: Bio Bay, or Puerto Mosquito, is famous for being the brightest bio-luminescent bay in the world. One of the highlights during our brief stay on Vieques, was the Bio Bay Tour with Black Beard Sports.
Photo credit: www.Vieques.com
Listed as one to the Top 50 Most Romantic Places in the World, Mosquito Bay is where we kayaked at night through the bio-luminescent blue-green waters below looked up to see the milky way above – everything sparkled & glowed. Black Beard Sports also offers diving, hiking, biking, kayaking, snorkeling tours.
- Best Way to Explore Vieques is with a Local Guide, we recommend Dimary Cubero who knows pretty much everything about the island. She picked us up from the W Retreat & Spa, and showed us the highlights.
She knows the best places to eat, best beaches, and can customize a variety of tours – eco, architectural, gastronomy, adventure, history or a combination of a little bit of everything. We choose the 3 hour island tour and visited both of the main towns – Isabella & Esperanza, as well as a couple beaches – La Chiva & Caracas. Dimary can drop you off at a remote beach, and pick you up whenever you want.
She also knows where the island’s most popular roasted pork, rice & beans stand – best $8 meal ever.
You can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org OR #787 318-7864.
Don’t Miss! Visit the 350 yr old Ceiba tree, most beloved tree in Puerto Rico – it’s gigantic.
- Visit the Vieques Conservation & Historical Trust (VCHT) where you’ll find the World’s Smallest Aquarium and learn about the history of the island, and conservation efforts. Ask to meet Mark Martin, Community Relations Director at VCHT, who has a wealth of knowledge about this island.
- Isabel Segunda: This town is the capital of Vieques where visitors find boutiques, bakeries, cafes, charming cottages, and historical points of interest.
- Esperanza: Stroll along the El Malecon, sea promenade, in Vieques 2nd little town that hugs the Caribbean. Lots of restaurants and nightlife here.
- Historical Tours: This island is rich in history with the El Fortin Conde De Mirasol — the last Spanish fort in the Americas, and the Punta Mulas Lighthouse.
- Museums & Galleries: Visit the museums and art galleries on the island. Check with the W Concierge on locations of art venues and artist studios.
- Beaches: There are 132 beaches on this island – check with your guide or hotel concierge which beaches they suggest visiting.
- Spa at the Away Spa: After a spa treatment at the W Away Spa, relax poolside and at the beach at the W Retreat & Spa Vieques.
- Shopping: some favorite boutiques are Sol Creation and Funky Beehive – located at the W Vieques and in town at Isabel Segunda.
More favorite photos of Vieques – see the Pinterest board at Global Adventuress, click here
W Retreat & Spa on Vieques Island: The first W Retreat in North America is on this tiny island, just 8 miles from Puerto Rico. Guests find they can totally disconnect, decompress, and find the R&R they need at this W Retreat.
We loved the hipster bohemian vibe and the award-winning décor. The open-air interiors, and spacious suites with ocean front views and porches/balconies keeps guests connected to nature and the fresh air.
Sorcé Restaurant presented healthy Caribbean-inspired cuisine with local dishes like Mofongo – smashed plaintains with lemon garlic sauce, paired with grilled Sea Bass.
The WET pool, beaches and plunge pool are set in lush landscape with views of the ocean. The Away Spa offers a variety of treatments from Crystaline Gemstone Facial, Coco & Tropical Citrus & Papaya Pineappple Scrubs or an Ocean Escape Massage.
The concierge at the W Retreat & Spa is very helpful to plan your island stay. Also, we recommend the local guide, Vieques Insider, a great resource for island activities.
Design Details: The hotel was designed by Patricia Urquiola & Madrid-based architecture/design firm Rockwell Group Europe, San Juan-based architect Sierra Cardona Ferrer and Ft. Lauderdale-based landscape firm, EDSA.
PLACES TO EAT…
- Sorcé Restaurant at the W Retreat
- Coqui Fire Café
- El Quenepo
- El Blok Restaurant
HOW TO GET THERE…
ELITE CHAUFFEURS PR offers limousine services in San Juan and throughout Puerto Rico. They provide full-service luxury transportation services – prompt, reliable, safe and luxurious transportation, catering to all transfers needs within city and island wide. Their chauffeurs provide nothing but quality service and meet the high expectations of their customers every need.
CAPE AIR: We flew Cape Air to/from Puerto Rico to Vieques. With up to 100 flights a day in Puerto Rico, the USVI and the BVI, we flew when we wanted to, and easily connected with major carriers. Cape Air serves 40 destinations across the Northeast, Cape Cod & the Islands, the Midwest, Eastern Montana, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands and Micronesia. Cape Air Founder & CEO, Dan Wolf goal is to “Make our customers happy and have a good time doing it.”
JET BLUE: Our airline of choice to fly from Seattle to San Juan, Puerto Rico is Jet Blue. JetBlue offers flights to 90+ destinations with free inflight entertainment, free brand-name snacks and drinks, lots of legroom and award-winning service.
JetBlue Airways aims to provide superior service in every aspect of their customer’s air travel experience. They even offer a Bill of Rights for their customers! Click here to learn more.
Good to note: Jet Blue and Cape Air are Partners
Global Adventuress thanks Jet Blue and Cape Air for hosting our flights, W Retreat & Spa for hosting our stay, and Elite Chauffeurs for hosting our airport transfers.
Also, we want to thank our local guide Dimari for an excellent island tour, and the following companies for providing products for this assignment to one of Puerto Rico’s islands – Vieques.
RADEN: Our favorite suitcase for this Caribbean trip is Raden! Called the “Smart Suitcase” since Raden delivers a seamless travel experience by pairing the world’s best materials with technology – built-in charger, weight sensor, and location awareness, connecting seamlessly to the Raden mobile app.
Raden cases are super light and incredibly strong, gliding smoothly across airport terminals and city sidewalks. And there are several FUN colors to choose from. We selected the checked bag A28, 28” in the Lavender – it stood out at the baggage carousel and was easy to find. There’s also the A22, a 22” Carry On suitcase that is “smart” too. Can’t wait to travel with the carry on soon.
Get your smart suitcase at www.Raden.com
GRETCHEN SCOTT DESIGNS: We are traveling this spring and summer in some of Gretchen Scott’s tunics, skorts, skirts and dresses! Her designs are versatile and can be worn on vacation, and also when you return to home and work.
Gretchen’s mantra is, “Laugh More; Gripe Less; Ignore Critics; Say Yes; Order Dessert; Love Life ®.” She has traveled the world, “looking and hoping always to see – really see.” She is convinced that is what makes for great design, “knowledge of what exists, along with a wide open view of it – coupled with the ability to interpret it cleverly.”
Find your vacation wardrobe at: www.GretchenScottDesigns.com
HATS! Looking for some fun hats for your vacation or trips to the beach?
Here are some Etsy shops that sell fantastic hats with clever sayings & customizable: