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Published on May 31st, 2012 | by thevyne

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Stay-Do-Eat: Vieques, Puerto Rico

I had the pleasure of going on vacation in Vieques, Puerto, Rico a few months ago.  It was a perfect relaxing vacation on an island that really felt like paradise. If you’re looking for a stress-free getaway, Vieques is worth the trip.

What you need to know: Vieques is a small island off of the main island of Puerto Rico. Never heard of Vieques?  You’re not alone. Vieques has just recently risen in popularity since for decades the US Navy used a part of the island for bomb and missile testing until 2003. But don’t be scared, though some have worried about the impact of the bomb testing on the environment and resident health, I doubt a few days in this beautiful place would hurt.

No major air carriers fly directly there so your best bet is to fly to San Juan and take a small plane to Vieques, which is about a 30 minute flight (we flew Vieques Air).  Wherever you stay, I would highly recommend renting a Jeep. The island is only 20 miles long, you will definitely want to have a car to explore sights and beaches, and some of the roads are pretty rough so an SUV is worth getting.

Stay

Inn on the Blue Horizon: A beautiful property on the waterfront with several villas – perfect for a vacation with your honey. I would stay there again in a heartbeat! Though it’s on the water, the water is rough and not safe to swim in, so you’ll definitely have to drive to a beach that you’re able to get into the water. But the staff was friendly and accommodating, and the food was excellent (though pricey). Make sure to view a sunrise from the rooftop and don’t be afraid of the horses randomly grazing on the property.

W Retreat & Spa: If you’re looking for more of a full service, amenity filled hotel experience I would recommend the W. It’s located right next to the airport and has a complementary shuttle to transport guests to the hotel. Be sure to check out the W’s airport lounge – the coolest airport lounge I’ve seen.  The hotel is located right on the beach so you’ll have private access. While at the hotel, make sure to eat at MiX on the Beach and have a drink at their Living Room lounge. There’s even a firepit in the outdoor lounge area which is perfect on those nights that get just a little chilly.

Do

Relax: You will see this island is so laid back that you’ll likely want to rest and recharge.

Beach: There are quite a few beaches, and many named after colors. We went to the red beach which is supposed to be one of the most popular ones. As the most popular there were only 20 other people on the beach at peak, so we felt like we almost had the whole beach to ourselves.

Bio Bay: This is the one thing that you MUST do while at Vieques. The island has a bioluminescent bay and you can take a night kayak tour to experience it. I can’t explain how cool this place is – you definitely need to see it yourself. Don’t leave the island without experiencing this.

Eat

We ate at our hotel a lot especially since the food was excellent, but here are some other options that we enjoyed or were recommended.

Mix On The Beach at the W: Great food, a little pricey but worth it. The salted cod, lobster curry and candy bar dessert were all delicious!

Next Course: Eclectic menu with European and Asian influence and given it’s located in the jungle, the ambiance is pretty unique.

Sol Food: Another “must do” on the island. It is an immobile truck near the entrance to the beaches. I believe it’s only open Thursdays – Sundays so it was actually closed when I visited, but everyone who has eaten the pork carnitas can’t get enough of them!

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