Friday, January 24, 2014

Vieques Honeymoon: The Beaches and the Jungle

There isn't tons to do on Vieques.  There aren't any clubs or movie theaters or anything like that.  There are plenty of beaches, though, each a little different from the others.  And there is the jungle.  It's not a rainforest, mind you, but there are trees and iguanas and mongooses and vines and huge wasp nests.

I didn't get a chance to dig very deep into the jungle, but we did find some sugar mill ruins among the trees.  If you take the roads to the western side of the radar, park right where the road splits to the radar and goes into the woods.  In the triangle section of the Y, beyond a few trees, you'll find paths that wind around remarkable tree trunks and that weave between vines like hair.  There are ruins there, great concrete structures that look like they were once important.  Caleb and I arrived just at dusk, and we didn't have much time before we could hardly see anything.  The canopy is so thick and the vines are so everywhere that not much light gets through to where we were at the ruins.  If you can make it during the day, you'll have a great adventure.  Don't forget the bug spray!

Hanging vines in the Vieques Jungle | Lindsay Eryn
See all the vines hanging down?  It was so cool!  And about halfway into the picture, you can see some stone pillars from the ruins.

We spent an entire week on the island, and we only went to the beach properly twice.  The first we visited was Blue Beach.  We snorkeled a bit and saw mostly sea grass.  We were told there was better snorkling toward the little nearby island called La Chiva, but when we say the signs warning of explosives on that island, we decided to steer clear.  We walked up and down the beach and I stepped on some nasty burs that almost had me crying.  Caleb rescued me, and after all the commotion died down, we waded into the water to watch the sunset.  We were the only two at the beach by this point, and it was very romantic, until we got out of the water and were swarmed by mosquitoes!  I panicked, and we rushed to pick up our gear, sprayed ourselves with bug spray as quickly as we good, and gasped out the rest of our escape plan as we ran the 200 yards it took us to get back to the safety of our rented Jeep.  It was intense, y'all.  I hate mosquitoes.

Later in the week, Caleb  and I scrambled down to Black Beach.  The entrance to the trail is barely marked on a road's shoulder guard on Hwy 201.  The sand really is black, though a local told us it used to be blacker.  Regardless, black beaches are always cool, and the sand there felt so soft and luxurious.  I loved feeling it with my feet.

Black Beach on Vieques | Lindsay Eryn

I saw we visited the beach properly only twice, because the other times we made it down to the shore weren't really for the beach itself.  One day was a snorkeling day, and we snorkeled off the pier on the north side of the island and off the pier at Esperanza.  The pier on the north is wonderful for seeing chorals and sea fans and starfish and colorful fish.  I got a craving to see Finding Nemo when we were down there.  Another day we were heading towards the mangroves on the western side of the island and we stopped at a beach to set up our hammock and eat our pincho lunch.  One evening we laid on the pier at Esperanza to wait until our dinner reservation.  It was so relaxing and free out there in the dark with the water and the anchored boats.

Our adventur honeymoon on Vieques, Puerto Rico | Lindsay Eryn
No one came by while we were eating.  Most of the times we were at the shore, we were the only ones around.  It felt like we had our own personal island all the time.

I've always been the type to enjoy beaches when there are things to do.  Sand volleyball, building sandcastles, walk along the boardwalk, get a buko shake from a smoothie stand...  On Vieques, there is none of that.  You have only yourselves to entertain yourselves.  Bringing the snorkeling gear was a great idea, and then there's walking and reading.  So, this is either the adventurer's vacation or the tanner's vacation.  As you can see by my complexion in the pictures above, we did adventuring.  Sun block for the win!


  1. Have a great time there! Both of you are lucky that there are nobody there on the island.

  2. Wow, sugar mill ruins and black sand on the beach! I'm just imagining all the photos I could take!

    x Jasmine


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