Vieques

A small island off the coast of San Juan, Vieques is a short 25-minute plane ride away. Whether you’re going to kayak in the bioluminescent bay or go for a solo retreat at a boutique hotel, like Finca Victoria, Vieques is worth the journey. Full of wonder, the island’s Mosquito Bay is the brightest in the world. And a stay at Finca Victoria means ayurvedic dining, customized massage treatments, and sleeping in a treehouse. 

Want to escape to an island with stretches of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean? An island where wild horses roam free and the water illuminates the night? It’s not a fantasy – it’s Vieques. Just seven miles off the east coast of Puerto Rico sits Vieques, a tropical paradise for the beach bum in all of us. The majority of the island (about 70%) is preserved as a US Fish & Wildlife Refuge, which means it’s untouched by construction or commercialization. While it has increased in popularity over the past decade, Vieques is still a relatively quiet, tranquil paradise, waiting to be explored and enjoyed. One of my favorite beaches in Vieques is Playa Caracas – a remote beach surrounded by palm trees and mangroves, with rocky cliffs standing like bookends at each end of the bay. You won’t find any cafes, food, or drinks here – but this also means fewer people and much more nature! So, break out your floppy hat, grab your favorite book, and lounge the day away on the gorgeous sands of Playa Caracas. And as the sun sets, prepare for a real treat at the Bioluminescent Bay (also known as Mosquito Bay), which was named by Guinness Book of World Records to be the brightest recorded bio-bay. Head out to the bay for an unforgettable nighttime adventure. As you glide across the water in a kayak, you’ll be spellbound by the glowing water surrounding you – courtesy of the luminescent organisms that live beneath the surface. This mystical experience is a natural wonder you must see to believe! While I love the enchanting beaches and bays of Vieques, my favorite part of visiting this island is the elegant Paso Fino horses that roam free. These magnificent creatures are a perfect symbol of the island’s wild, carefree vibe. Horses are actually the preferred mode of transportation on Vieques, which doesn’t have a single traffic light. In fact, you’ll probably see a local riding a horse to the store or to drop off their kids at school! Get a taste of Caribbean nirvana in Vieques.

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