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Sun Bay Beach is one of the most popular things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico.

The Best Things to Do in Vieques, Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rico is the perfect island getaway for any American who wants Caribbean vibes, but doesn't want to feel too far from home. But did you know that Puerto Rico also has its own islands? There are a ton of things to do in Vieques and Culebra alike, making them the perfect tropical escape from the already tropical island of Puerto Rico.


The bigger of the two Spanish Caribbean islands, Vieques, has plenty to offer its visitors. I went for just a day trip, but there are plenty of people who spend several days on the beautiful island! 


In this guide I'm going to share everything you need to know for visiting, how to get around, and all of the best things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Let's jump right in!

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Where is Vieques?

Vieques is a small island that belongs to Puerto Rico, an island that belongs to the US, but is located in the Caribbean Sea. It is situated just 6 miles south east off the coast of the main island.

where is Vieques Puerto Rico

Vieques is located 6 miles off the shore of the main island of Puerto Rico.


How Do I Get to Vieques in Puerto Rico?

In order to get to Vieques, you will first need to make it to the main island of Puerto Rico. Once you are in Puerto Rico, you can either fly to Vieques or take the ferry. Here are the details for doing either one of the two.


Flying into Vieques

There are several flights daily from San Juan airport to Vieques Airport, operating with Cape Air and Silver Airways. Flights range from $109 to $229. The earliest flights operate around 9:30 am, and the latest flights go out around 4 and 5:00 pm.


Flight times and prices change every day, and do sell out, so we suggest booking in advance if this is the option you want to take. Flight time is between 25-30 minutes, and the views are the highlight of going this route.

Taking the Ferry to Vieques

If you're looking for a more economically friendly option, then the ferry will be the way to go. Ferries claim online to be 30 minutes, but in reality take an hour, or sometime a little more.


You will also need to make sure to get tickets in advance, as they do sell out a few days in advance. The good thing though, is that only a certain percentage of the tickets are actually sold online, and the rest are there to be sold at the ticket office an hour before the ferry time. If you decide to do it this way, you'll want to ensure to get there early, especially if it is the weekend.


Tickets for the ferry are just $2/ person, and leave from Ceiba. If you want to purchase your tickets in advance you can buy them by clicking here. Also keep in mind there are small charges if you decide to bring coolers, tents, or some other bigger items. The ferries hold cars, but they are only for locals, so you won't be able to bring your rental if you have one.


Taking a Tour to Vieques

If you want everything taken care of for you, then the easiest and most fun way to visit Vieques is on an excursion. This way you don't have to worry about the details, and you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the highlights of the island.


Can You Do a Tour From San Juan to Vieques?

Yes! There are tours from both Fajardo and San Juan that visit Vieques on a day trip.


Want to book an excursion to Vieques? Here are a couple that we've found:

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Entry Requirements for Puerto Rico

When traveling somewhere new, there are different requirements at times, even if it within your country! Here we're going to outline the different things you need to know for entering Puerto Rico.


Visa Requirements for Puerto Rico

The same visa requirements go for Puerto Rico that go for the US. If you are from the states, you can simply bring your license, as there is no need for a passport. If you are not from the US and need a visa to enter the US, then make sure you do so before arriving in Puerto Rico.


Covid Entry Requirements for Puerto Rico

Unlike the rest of the US, Puerto Rico has been a bit stricter with their Covid requirements. Good news is that you no longer need to prove you are vaccinated or have a negative Covid test to enter the island.


They do have some other protocols due to Covid, which we will go over later in the article. (you can also just skip to that part).


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Local Adjustments for Vieques, Puerto Rico

Whenever traveling there are things that you may forget about, which may be different from where you are coming from. Here are a few of the local adjustments to keep in mind while traveling to Vieques, Puerto Rico.


What Language Do They Speak in Vieques, Puerto Rico?

The official language in Puerto Rico and the islands that belong to it is Spanish. The Spanish is Puerto Rico can be very difficult to understand as they speak extremely fast, and tend to slur their words together.


Do They Speak English in Vieques?

If you do speak Spanish, it will surely help and be appreciated by the locals. If you don't speak the language, then not to worry- most locals do speak English as well.


What Currency Do They Use in Vieques?

The currency used in Vieques is the same as Puerto Rico and the rest of the US, which is the USD. Credit card is able to be used almost anywhere, but we do suggest having some cash for the taxis or for tipping.


Outlets in Puerto Rico

Vieques uses the same outlets as Puerto Rico and the rest of the US, which are plug types A and B. The standard voltage in Puerto Rico is 120 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.


Can I Drink Tap Water in Vieques?

The tap water in Vieques is usually the same that comes from the main island of Puerto Rico, and is completely safe to drink. We suggest bringing a refillable and insulated water bottle, as it gets very hot on this Caribbean island.


How Much Do You Tip in Puerto Rico?

The tipping culture in Vieques, and Puerto Rico as a whole is pretty much the same as the rest of the US. It is standard for 15-20% for tipping in restaurants. Some restaurants do include gratuity, so make sure to check on your bill to ensure you're not tipping twice, or are tipping enough.


Things to Do in Vieques, Puerto Rico

Now that you've arrived, what are the best things to even do in Vieques? The island is much bigger than you'd expect, and there are actually quite a few great places to check out. Here are the best things to do in Vieques for those visiting on a quick trip.


Playa La Chiva

Our first stop with our golf cart was Playa la Chivia, a true slice of paradise. This beach had white sands, turquoise waters, and not a soul to share it with. It was the perfect place to go and just have a relaxing beach day. Keep in mind if you do want to come here that it has no amenities.


Playa la Chiva, things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico
Playa la Chiva, things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico

Playa La Chiva is the perfect place to get away from the crowds.

Playa Caracas

Just down the road from Playa la Chiva lies another beautiful beach of Vieques, Playa Caracas. Locals will argue that this is the most beautiful beach in Vieques, and we can definitely see why. This bay was a bit more lively that Playa la Chiva, and has bathrooms and wild horses relaxing next to it.


Playa Caracas, things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico
Playa Caracas, things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico
Playa Caracas, things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico

Playa Caracas is one of the best beaches in Vieques.

Sun Bay Beach

When we were researching the best things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico, this was the top of everyone's lists. Unfortunately when we went there was a lot of seaweed. However, without it we could imagine the beauty of the blue waters and the swaying palm trees perched on the beach.


Here is another place where you'll have the pleasure of seeing a bunch of wild horses! We also saw quite a few kiosks for food and drinks, although we got there late and nothing was open.

wild horses in Vieques, Puerto Rico

There are wild horses all around this beach in Vieques.

We do think that this would be a great option for one of the best things to do in Vieques if you are on a day trip like we were.

things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico

Sun Bay Beach is one of the most popular things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Black Sand Beach

We absolutely love black sand beaches! We had the pleasure of visiting quite a few throughout El Salvador, Costa Rica, and the Canary Islands.


This beach is actually a bit more hidden, as you have to walk 10 minutes through the jungle to get here. This spot is super unique, and although there isn't much black sand left, it is definitely worth a visit.


black sand beach, things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico
black sand beach, things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico

The black sand beach is one of the most unique things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Black sand is very unique, and tempting to take as a souvenir. Each year the beach is losing more and more of its beautiful black sand. Please respect the beauty of nature and leave it so that more can enjoy it in the future.


Bioluminescent Bay

Another unique thing that Vieques has is a bioluminescent bay. Puerto Rico actually has three in total. One is located in Fajardo (the east of Puerto Rico near Ceiba) and the third is located on the western part of the island. (If you'd like to read about how it works and how to visit that one, you can check out our guide for bioluminescence in Puerto Rico).


Also known as Mosquito Bay, this bay has microorganisms that shimmer with movement. Unfortunately, if you are just visiting for the day you won't be able to experience this (it needs to be pitch black), but if you stay a night then it is definitely one of the best things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico!

If you want to experience a bioluminescence in Puerto Rico, there are three destinations you may want to consider.  There's one on the west side of the island, another one on the east side (Fajardo), and a third one on the neighbor island of Vieques. Today we will tell you

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If you are staying a night, you should definitely book your tour in advance, as they tend to sell out from popularity. Below you can see a few of the different tour options:


Things to Do in Vieques, Puerto Rico: Food & Drink

We only got to spend one full day in Vieques, so we were only able to dine at one place. That being said, the food was great, and the service was even better! Conveniently located just minutes from the port, we highly suggest giving a go to Casa Nativo.


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things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico Pin
things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico Pin
things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico Pin

If you're looking for drinks and food at the beach, we were also recommended El Quenepo and Bananas, which sit right along Playa Esperanza.


As far as cuisine goes, we hope you're ready for very flavorful and calorie-dense food. Puerto Rican food isn't the healthiest, but it definitely doesn't lack in flavor. For special dishes we have a few different island specialties worth trying out.

local food in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has a ton of great local food.

Mofongo

This is the national dish of Puerto Rico, and you can't visit these islands without trying it. Mashed plantains with garlic and topped with grilled meat or seafood make up this Puerto Rican specialty.


Tostones Rellenos

Tostones are fried plantains, but tostones rellenos are stuffed tostones. Puerto Ricans take the plantains and press them into the form of small cups, and then stuff them with either meat or shrimp. They're the perfect snack to start your meal off with or to accompany your beer.


Pastelillos

Looking for a quick snack to bring to the beach with you? Pastelillos are kind of like mini empanadas that you can easily find at beach bars throughout Puerto Rico, and are about $1-2 per piece.


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Momposteo

This hearty mix of rice, beans, and spices is another staple in the Puerto Rican cuisine. We tried a special variety of the dish at Casa Nativo and absolutely loved it.


Piña Colada

Did you know that the official drink in Puerto Rico is the Piña Colada? Head to one of the beach bars and don't miss out on these delicious frozen drinks.


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Things to Do in Vieques, Puerto Rico: Getting Around

If you want to check out a few of the best things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico, then you'll definitely want to find a mode of transportation, was Vieques is not really walkable. Despite the island not seeming so big, walking all of it would be quite difficult. Here are the different options for getting around Vieques.


Renting a Golf Cart in Vieques

Our absolute favorite way to get around the island of Vieques is by golf cart. There are just a couple of companies on the island, and the one we used was actually waiting in the port at 9:30 am for the tourists to come pouring in.


We used Vieques UTV rental, who were located 8 minutes from the port (they drive you to the facility). Golf carts are for 4 people, and you'll need a license and a deposit to put down. There are a few different options, and the only one available at the time for us was the most expensive- which was $110 for the day.


The cheapest cart is available in advance online for just $50, so we definitely suggest making your reservation in advance, especially since on weekends they sometimes sell out before the morning ferry arrives.


Renting a Car in Vieques

The same place that offers golf carts actually also offers Ford Broncos for $95/day. We personally think a golf cart is more fun, but if you want a bit more comfort and speed then this is also a great option.


We suggest booking in advance, which is why we're attaching this rental search box.

Taking Taxis in Vieques

Ubers are not available on the island of Vieques, so if you don't rent something, then you'll unfortunately be stuck relying on taxis.


While taxis on the mainland run by a meter generally, the taxis in Vieques are a flat rate. We're not talking $10 rides, we're talking flat per person rates. You can imagine that paying $30-$40 for your group to go to the beach can be quite frustrating, which is why we don't necessarily recommend it.


If you do want a taxi you can simply call one (don't worry if you're from the US your phone will work as if you were in the states).

wild horses in Vieques, Puerto Rico

Driving in Vieques you'll find plenty fo wild horses.

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Where to Stay in Vieques, Puerto Rico

Many people do decide to spend a night in Vieques. Options can be quite limited, and a bit pricey for staying here. For that reason, we definitely suggest booking in advance if this is something you are considering. Check the map below to see the different accommodation options around the island.

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How Safe is Vieques?

There are a lot of mixed reviews for safety in Puerto Rico, especially from the Raggaeton songs about "La Perla" outside San Juan. We're happy to say that none of the dangerous areas are located in Vieques, and it is an extremely safe and pleasant island to travel as a tourist.


Other Things to Know About Visiting Vieques, Puerto Rico

Now that you know how to get around, how to get to the island, and the best things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico, we have a few other things to share with you to help make your travels go smoothly.


What Is the Best Month to Visit Vieques, Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico is located in the Caribbean, so our favorite time is definitely to visit in the winter time, when temperatures are a little more mild. Try to avoid visiting from August to October, as this is hurricane season, and Puerto Rico is pretty susceptible to these storms.

weather in Vieques, Puerto Rico

You can enjoy beach weather in Vieques year round.

For visiting the island of Vieques in general, we suggest going during the week when it isn't so busy. Nightlife also isn't as exciting here as it is in San Juan or other areas of Puerto Rico, so we suggest going anytime from Sunday to Thursday.


Weather & Packing for a Trip to Vieques, Puerto Rico

Vieques is super hot year round, and the Caribbean sun is strong. Make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and aloe. A towel, swimsuits, and flip-flops are all you'll need for staying on the island. However, it is important to note that the ferry requires everyone to be fully covered. 


You can't simply wear a sheer cover-up, bathing suit as a top, or a towel around you. They are quite strict about this, and we even saw them turning people away.


Masks are required for the ferry ride, and they won't even let you to the ticket counter unless you have one. Make sure to have one on you before you enter the gates to not have security freaking out on you like they did on us. Finally, you may want to bring bug spray, as some of the beaches had little sand fleas.


Vieques Packing List:

  • Mask for the ferry
  • Cover up (not sheer) for the ferry
  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe
  • Bug Spray
  • Towel 
  • Bathing Suit
  • Flip flops (our favorites are Havaianas)
  • Power bank (we use Anker power banks, as they are super long lasting and sturdy)
  • License (if you rent a golf cart or car)
  • Action Camera (for all water activities) we use the Insta 360 X3 because it's small & waterproof
  • Drone (You can get epic shots at the beaches! We use the Mavic Mini Pro 3 because it's super light and high quality)
  • Waterproof phone pouch (we use the Cafago Waterproof Phone Pouch)
  • Water Bottle (we use Cafago Water Bottles because they hold the temperature well)


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Is Vieques Worth Visiting?

I loved this island, and definitely think it is worth visiting! There are a lot of things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico, so although a day trip is doable, we definitely think it's worth spending a couple of days in Vieques.


Now that you know all there is to know, you are ready for a fun trip to this Caribbean Island! With all of the fun things to do in Vieques, Puerto Rico, we definitely suggest spending at least one night.


Are you planning visiting other parts of Puerto Rico? We have plenty of other guides for great things to do all around the main island!


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