Vieques Journals

Vieques: A Unique Caribbean Jewel

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A February 2004 trip to Vieques by JenLara

Red & Blue Beaches Photo, Vieques, Puerto Rico More Photos
Quote: Vieques is one of my favorite Caribbean getaways; it's got gorgeous unspoiled beaches, great restaurants, and friendly people. What more could you want?

Vieques: A Unique Caribbean Jewel

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Overview

Navio Beach Photo, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Quote:
Vieques is getting lots of attention in the media these days, and for good reason. In May 2003, the US Navy finally left after many years. While the island was always beautiful and off-the-beaten-path, it has now started to really come into its own. It's truly unique: no casinos, nightclubs or McDonalds. Not even a single traffic light! It's old-world Caribbean, the way I've heard things used to be -- a slower, relaxed, non-commercialized way of life, and really just paradise on earth. I've been to Vieques five times, and it's just beautiful: spectacular beaches, lush green scenery and vegetation, wild horses grazing everywhere you turn, and two small, charming towns to visit and explore. ...Read More

Casa Ladera

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Hotel

Casa Ladera Photo, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Quote:
We had heard that accommodations in Vieques could be either very expensive and great, or dirt cheap but of questionable quality. We wanted a place with a kitchen and grill so we could opt to stay in some nights and cook our own dinner, or prepare lunches for the beach. We found Casa Ladera online, and decided to give it a try. It was perfect! Casa Ladera is actually a rental house, and we had the one-bedroom "casita" or small apartment, which fit us just right. It consisted of a bedroom, private bathroom, living room and kitchenette. The rooms were very nice, clean and charming. But the best part was the pool, the beautiful grounds, and the proximity to the beach! You can wal...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 24, 2004

Casa Ladera
Monte Santo Playa
Vieques, Puerto Rico
(917) 570-7558

Chez Shack

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Restaurant

Chez Shack Photo, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Quote:
Chez Shack is a favorite restaurant of many folks who live in Vieques. Six nights a week, the restaurant features phenomenal Caribbean fusion cuisine, that is, lots of fresh fish and seafood, steak and chicken, prepared with local flavors and spices, all delicious and bursting with flavor. The seventh night -- Monday -- is Grill Night. Chef Tony takes a night off, all food is thrown onto a massive grill, and an all-you-can-eat gourmet salad bar is included with your meal. A steel band plays, room is cleared for a dance floor, and a very festive atmosphere ensues. On any night, the atmosphere of Chez Shack is great, and is described by the name of the place itself. It's a combination of upsc...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 24, 2004

Chez Shack
Route 995
Vieques, Puerto Rico
(787) 741-2175

Bananas Bar and Grill

Restaurant | "Bananas"

Bananas Bar and Grill Photo, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Quote:
Bananas is the quintessential Caribbean beach bar and cafe. It sits right on the "Malecon" or promenade, in Esperanza, which is the smaller of the two towns in Vieques. The Malecon features lots of small, cheap guesthouses, casual restaurants and small bars, and it's fun to walk up and down with the Caribbean Sea stretching out to one side, and the bars and cafes on your other side. Bananas is great for an after-beach drink (try a Strawberry Daiquiri with fresh berries crushed right in - yum!) and a burger or big salad. For something a little fancier, try the Red Snapper or Jerk Chicken Club. The atmosphere is great: friendly and very relaxed. It's a large, open-air space with ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 24, 2004

Bananas Bar and Grill
142 Calle Flamboyan
Esperanza, Vieques, Puerto Rico 00765
(787) 741-8700

The Blu Bar

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Restaurant

The Blu Bar Photo, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Quote:
The Inn on the Blue Horizon is a beautiful guesthouse in Vieques that has both a bar that serves food as well as a separate restaurant. The Blu Bar is stunning, and we actually preferred it over the more formal dining room of the restaurant (the Blue Macaw). As you approach the Blu Bar, walking down a path that snakes alongside a massive boulder and past a gigantic fanned-out palm tree (called a traveler palm), you realize you're in for a treat. The thatched roof and gorgeous ocean views are quintessential tropical style; the soft lighting, wicker sofas, and funky modern accessories make this bar unique and welcoming. We liked sitting at either the bar or one of the casually arra...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 6, 2004

The Blu Bar

Vieques, Puerto Rico
(787) 741-3318

Red & Blue Beaches

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Attraction | "Red & Blue Beaches"

Red & Blue Beaches Photo, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Quote:
Red Beach and Blue Beach are definitely my two favorite beach spots in Vieques. These are the beaches the Navy used for recreation before they left Vieques in 2003, and they sure kept the best ones to themselves! They're similar in shape and look: both are huge crescents of powdery white sand, leading into crystal-clear water that turns shades of turquoise and green as it gets deeper. You can walk out a good few dozen feet before the water gets too deep to stand, and just enjoy the gentle waves lapping around you. Both beaches are framed by gently rolling green hills in the near distance. You can also see some small, uninhabited islands and outcroppings not too far offshore, which I...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 24, 2004

Red & Blue Beaches
South Coast, Inside Garcia Gate
Vieques, Puerto Rico

Al's Mar Azul

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Attraction

Al's Mar Azul Photo, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Quote:
Al's Mar Azul is definitely one of my favorite places to have a drink in Vieques. It's perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, with unbroken views of the ocean and horizon. You can see mainland Puerto Rico and Culebra Island in the distance - it's a gorgeous view. The atmosphere is super-relaxed and friendly. You'll strike up a conversation with the bartender, a fellow patron, or Al himself, who's usually parked at the bar reading the paper. A native of Westerley, Rhode Island, Al is quite the character, especially on a raucous Saturday night. Have a cocktail or a beer - Medalla is the best; it's a local beer and I believe just $2.50. Play pool, video games or darts, put...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 24, 2004

Al's Mar Azul

Vieques, Puerto Rico