...are some of the most beautiful in
all of Puerto Rico and probably in all of the Caribbean. Most are
easily accessible and never crowded.
Esperanza and Southside beaches
Sun Bay in Esperanza is Vieques' only 'Balneario
Público' (Public Bathing Beach). It is over a mile of
turquoise water and white sand,
lined with coconut palms and sea grape trees. During much of the year
it is virtually empty. Only for a few weeks of the year, are there
ever more than a hundred people at any given time at the beach. If
that's too crowded, you can follow the road through Sun Bay to Media
Luna Beach and further on to Navio Beach. Media Luna is a great beach for children , as
the water is very shallow and there are copious amounts of shade. Navio is well known for its bodysurfing, but there are limited areas to
escape the sun.
There are beaches in La Hueca in the southwest (hard
to get to-no beach roads, and no parking roadside), but beyond that on
the same road is the old base on the western end where there are many
private areas along that southwest coast.
East of the airport on the north coast is Gringo Beach (good
snorkeling-next to W Retreat & Spa), and there are beaches in Bravos de Boston
(very little parking) and east of
there towards the dump (Bastimento Beach) with good snorkeling, but a difficult water entry in some
areas (coral and sea urchins).
Sea turtle hatchlings heading home to the waters
photo courtesy of NAVFAC
Wildlife Area beaches
The most sought-after beaches, of course, are on the old
As of May 1st, 2003 Vieques has gotten back many of its
beaches. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has become the caretaker of most
of the former military property and it is now the largest Wildlife Preserve in the Caribbean.
On the western tip of Vieques is Green beach, At its
southern end you'll find excellent snorkeling. There are paved roads which allow you full exploration of
the southwest coast of the island as well with many new and previously
inaccessible beaches. The view of the main
island of Puerto Rico is also spectacular from Green Beach. There are
also beaches along either side of Mosquito Pier. On the
south side is Playa Grande Beach.
the eastern end of the island, the beaches are only accessible during daylight
hours, but you don't want to be on the beaches in the late afternoon when the
no-see-ums start biting anyway.
The better known beaches
have very original military names like Red, Blue, Purple, and Garcia Beach, but
there is also Secret Beach, which was so named by the few people who knew how to
get there. Needless to say, it's not a secret anymore.
There are also great beaches
and many favorites on the main part of the island which is not US
Fish & Wildlife Service property.
Many of these are easily accessible, easy on you and your vehicle,
and not far from food and drink. Did I mention that they're not
crowded most of the time either? Sun Bay is still the most beautiful
beach on the island in my opinion. Some others are mentioned above
and others can be found in Bravos de Boston, Monte Santo Playa, and
All of the pictures on these pages
are owned by James Starke or Vieques.Travel and cannot be
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Vieques, What's Happenin'!
a column by Janie Chadwick