Why Vieques should be the island for your next Caribbean holiday

It’s not the best known of the Caribbean islands, however that is exactly the reason the island of Vieques Puerto Rico is perfect for your next trip.

Nowhere else in the Caribbean can you find an island so unspoiled and uncrowded. If you want to sail on a turquoise ocean on a vintage boat with your own captain, fresh, home cooked food and rum cocktails on board, you have it, two minutes walk along a white sandy beach to a small pier.

You will find beaches with no one else on them, reached by bike along sandy roads, the only other traffic wild ponies and itinerant hermit crabs.

Why unspoilt, laid back Vieques should be the island for your next Caribbean holiday Pata Prieta beach, look at all the people A bio luminescent bay, the brightest in the world, explored by kayak at night, the glittering water set alight by your oar.

Horses that roam free, grazing by the beach and running in groups between grasslands. Here’s why you need to visit New Zealand this summer Vieques feels like your own personal paradise. Paradise is found at Navio beach, a place the locals call ‘church’; at the Beach With No Name, a bay so remote that it is scattered with bleached sea urchin skeletons, vast fans of purple coral and conch shells; or Playa Negra, a volcanic beach with glittering black sand that creates photogenic perfection as the waves break white on the shore.

There are countless reasons why Vieques should be the island for your next Caribbean holiday – here are just a handful.

It is the least busy of all the Caribbean islands Vieques is 21 miles long by 4 miles wide, 69 sq mi, has 9,300 permanent residents and just 70,000 tourists per year, yet it is the same size as nearby Saint Martin, which at 34 sq mi has 77,000 permanent residents and 1 million tourists annually. Won’t you just look at that sea…

Dominican Republic has 4 million tourists per year, Jamaica has 2 million. What does that mean? Deserted beaches, quiet roads shared with more horses than cars, zero high rise buildings, no seething metropolis and not a single traffic jam – or even a traffic light. Just a peaceful, green, laidback, palm-fringed, rum-tinged way of life.

You will have own personal Caribbean beach This is pretty much a guarantee. It is not difficult to find yourself on white sandy beach with only yourself for company. There are 40 beaches on the island, each with its own charm and allure. La Chiva is a broad bay with islands dotted off the coast that makes it perfect for paddle boarding, snorkelling or swimming.

Navio is a small bay with rocks for snorkelling, white sand and some of the bigger waves on the island. Playa Prieta, in the Nature Reserve on the east of the island, is a turquoise, sheltered bay with sand even whiter than Navio (it is possible) and plenty of natural shade from forest and conveniently placed palm trees. The diversity of each bay makes Vieques even harder to leave – and infinitely easier to return to. It’s chic Vieques may have strict building regulations in place protect the beaches and the environment, but it does not adhere to the usual architectural norms of the Caribbean.

We stayed at El Blok, a stylish, laidback, boutique hotel designed to draw in the golden Caribbean light through amorphous holes in the walls that cast mirror-ball-style pools of sunlight across floors and walls.


The now-famous flamingos on the roof terrace of El Blok during a sunset party a restaurant run by Puerto Rican wunderkind chef Carlos Perez is fast becoming a must-visit on the island. Perez sources everything as locally as possible – and serves many of his dishes with beautifully flavoursome local greens, grown on the island.

This is a tiny island and everyone here knows everyone. If you want anything, the person you are with will know someone who can help you out. No taxis? The Maitre d’s brother will pick you up. You want bikes? Paddle boards? Scooter? Kayaks? Looking for real estate? A quick call and they’re here. Viequenses are family and they will welcome you like one too.

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