Vieques, Puerto Rico: Caribbean Island Postcard Perfection… but no “Life of Pi” at the Bio Bay

Vieques, Puerto Rico: Caribbean Island Postcard Perfection… but no “Life of Pi” at the Bio Bay

#PuertoRico is home to many #Caribbean Island, but the #ViequeIsland is truly one of a kind. Highly undeveloped, it remains as it did in the past; peaceful, #natural, #relaxing and with Paso Fino horses roaming around freely this all amounts to the charm. Brace yourself for the magic and the beauty, as once you arrive you will never want to leave.


Getting There

We left Rincon at 9am with all intent to get to Farajado for 1pm ferry. That was before we discovered the freeway had a massive blockage and we were not going anywhere fast.

Anyway by the time we reached the ferry it was 2pm and we decided to just go and buy our tickets for the 4:30pm ferry. When Josh arrived at the window they let us know there was a ferry leaving at 2:30pm if we wanted to get on that.

All of a sudden I was parking the car and passing the bags out to my husband for a mad dash to the port to catch the 2:30pm ferry.

The Floating Cinema

The 2:30pm is not the regular ferry that makes the pass at 4:30pm. Instead it was like a death trap. We were locked into a tiny room where everyone had to be seated. A smallish box of a room holding perhaps 80 seats with no windows and only one door. They put on a movie on two LCD TVs at the front (in Spanish), turned off the lights and we were left to sit in darkness for an hour with only the terrible movie shining it’s light through the room.

Floating cinema
Floating cinema

Josh had taken his new anti seasickness tablets and fell off to sleep quickly. I decided to do some writing, but soon started to feel that familiar lurch in my tummy and dryness at the back of my throat.

I tried standing up and was told I had to sit down. I said I couldn’t and I need to go outside. They weren’t happy about that, but they let me out for a little while. After 5 minutes they asked me to go back inside the dark locked box. Thankfully it wasn’t too much longer before we arrived in Vieques, the doors were opened and we were allowed out of the darkness.

Vieques

Vieques is a small island 8 miles (13 km) east of the Puerto Rico, and measures about 21 miles (34 km) long by 4 miles (6 km) wide. We stayed in Esperanza on the southern side. The population is around 10,000. Vieques is part of the USA, but retains strong influences from 400 years of Spanish ownership, much like Puerto Rico.

Vieques is part of the USA, but retains strong influences from 400 years of Spanish ownership, much like Puerto Rico.

Publico

When we stepped out we had no idea what to do, but soon a publico stopped next to us and asked where we were headed.

TradeWinds

We arrived at our guesthouse directly on the beach. It was in the most amazing location, but perhaps not the prettiest hotel. It still had a cute quaintness to it and was clean.

We arrived at our guesthouse directly on the beach. It was in the most amazing location

The wifi never worked, but with views like this from breakfast who could be on a computer?

Beautiful view
Beautiful view
Trade Winds logo
Trade Winds logo
Our hotel
Our hotel
The rooms were better than we expected
The rooms were better than we expected

Duffy’s & Bumping Into the Legendary Anna

We decided to head to dinner before our bioluminescent bay tour. As we wandered down the street passing numerous restaurants I noticed a young girl getting out of a car. She looked familiar, but I kept on walking.

Once we were seated in a restaurant she wandered in, “Erin?”

“I thought it was you,” I exclaimed. It was Anna from the Legendary Adventures of Anna. Wow!

We had planned to meet during the trip sometime cause I knew she was in Puerto Rico, but what a coincidence! She invited us to a restaurant next door to have dinner with her and her boyfriend, which we excitedly accepted.

The taco salad I had at Duffy’s was awesome and I was so excited to have such delicious food. The conversation was interesting and it was great to meet such a brave young woman.

The taco salad I had at Duffy’s was awesome and I was so excited to have such delicious food. 

Taco salad
Taco salad
Hey there!
Hey there!

Bioluminescent bay

The drive was not too far, but it was fairly bumpy and rickety in that old bus as we traversed unpaved dirt roads filled with potholes. Tiny fireflies passed the trees on either side and we enthusiastically pointed them out to the kids. It was our first time seeing the glowing creatures.

At the end of the bus ride an electric pontoon was waiting for us, we all boarded and headed out into Mosquito Bay.

We had chosen the darkest night with a new moon (no moon). As you splash through the water you think at first that the waves are really white in the moonlight. But there is no moonlight, just tiny organisms in the water lighting the way.

As you splash through the water you think at first that the waves are really white in the moonlight

The boat stopped in the water and with every shake or stomp you could see the water light up in several spots. The guides brought water in buckets onto the boat where you could dip your hands in and splash the water around watching it light up with the light of thousands of sparkling stars.

from  $50

Bioluminescent Bay Tour in Vieques

Relaxation
 Vieques, Puerto Rico
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Boluminescent bio bay

When I cupped the water in my hands it glittered like the night sky and I told my children to, “Come see. I’m holding stars in my hands.”

When I cupped the water in my hands it glittered like the night sky

The only time you couldn’t see it was when God was filling the sky with lightning and the whole bay lit up.

The kids loved splashing the water in the bucket, over the deck and watching the “stars”. I was also able to descend the ladder at the back of the boat and have a small splash around with my feet in the water.

Our ride
Our ride
Bioluminescent bay
Bioluminescent bay
NOO, I DON'T WANT TO GO IN!
NOO, I DON'T WANT TO GO IN!

Photos were near impossible and I was not keen to get too far in as I have heard a rumour of sharks. Legendary Anna had the previous night gone swimming in the bay with no such sightings of sharks.

Finally the pontoons engines restarted and we made our way back through the bay.

I have to admit a little disappointment. Damn Life of PI had given me high expectations. Not that I was hoping to see a whale swimming underneath me or anything, but some fish or something swimming through it would have been cool. It wasn’t a full-on glowing body of water like the movie depicts, but more like seeing the bay under a giant black light.

The bus ride home was fairly slow as the rain started to pour. I thank God it stared when we were on the bus, not on the boat. We raced our sleeping kids through the rain to our room and all jumped into our warm beds.

Breakfast & Plans

The next morning the kids were awake early so we decided to make the most of it and headed to breakfast. Beautiful views and delicious breakfast. Not too long in Anna and her boyfriend showed up and we made plans for the day. Deciding on a relaxing day at the beach before heading back to Puerto Rico on the 3pm ferry.

Deciding on a relaxing day at the beach before heading back to Puerto Rico on the 3pm ferry.

La Merida Beach

 La Merida is a gorgeous beach, perfect for children. The water was still, barely a ripple. The sand was white and extremely fine, perfect for sandcastles and swimming in the shallow water. I don’t know how many times I can describe crystal blue water, but this one was completely translucent and not very deep at all. You could wade out all the way to the rope and not even wet your chest.

I don’t know how many times I can describe crystal blue water, but this one was completely translucent and not very deep at all. 

Towards shore it was warm and bath-like, easy to enter and further out it got a little cooler. Nice enough to be refreshing, but not too cool to be cold.

We spent a good 3 hours or so on that beach with our new friends and it was everything a perfect day could be. Including trying the Puerto Rican Gasolina.

I am perfect for commercials
I am perfect for commercials
Got ya!
Got ya!
She punched me so hard! She is getting grounded
She punched me so hard! She is getting grounded
STOP POWER PUNCHING PEOPLE, MIA!
STOP POWER PUNCHING PEOPLE, MIA!
FREEEDOOOOOOM!
FREEEDOOOOOOM!
He leaped at me like a zombie leaps at his pray
He leaped at me like a zombie leaps at his pray
Having a drink
Having a drink
Castle making
Castle making
Kiss mommy!
Kiss mommy!

Finally it was time to go. Our taxi came back to collect us and then our bags from the hotel before dropping us off at the ferry terminal.

We brought our tickets , had lunch at café nearby, which was delicious, and got on our ferry.

Ferry Ride Home

The ferry ride home was very different to the ride to the island. The ferry was 2 story and very large with big windows and no rules. It was a much more pleasant ride with no sickness because the windows allowed constant views of the horizon, and the sea was in a fairly good mood.

Vieques is a gorgeous asset to Puerto Rico. We never witnessed any of the reported crimes from the island, however we did witness a lot of police in the backstreets while dropping off an old lady on the way to our hotel.

Our friends actually slept on the beach in a tent and were never bothered, except by the wild horses that roam quite freely around.

Would I go again? Positively. The beaches were warm and pretty, the hotels were directly on the beach and the food was pretty good. It’s great for either a day trip or a short holiday for a few days. All in all, my kind of island. 

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