Isla de Vieques is located 7-8 miles off the southeast coast of Puerto Rico. It has a population of approximately 9,300 people and it is where you will find Mosquito Bay, the aquatic home of the world’s largest and brightest bioluminiscent bay.
Vieques also has secluded white and black sand beaches, some of the country’s best snorkeling sites, and the Caribbean’s largest wildlife sanctuary. In fact, over two-thirds of the island is a federally-protected Wildlife Refuge so wild horses roaming the island is a frequent sight.
With the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge planted on more than half of the eastern section of the island, most of the island’s attractions are in the west. This is where you can enjoy a morning of introspection in the rustic Sun Bay National Park, explore Fortin Conde de Marisol, the last Spanish fort built in the Americas, learn about the island’s history at the charming Faro Punta Mulas, go birding with friendly staff from The Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust or go for an unforgettable swim under the The Old Sugar Pier in Esperanza.
To take your Vieques visit up a notch, try to visit the island in mid-June to participate in Festival Cultural Viequense, a cultural festival with a book and artisan fair, art exhibit, storytelling, and live musical performances.
Without a doubt, one of the island’s most popular attractions is Mosquito Bay–the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world and one of the three bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico; the other two are Laguna Grande in Fajardo and La Parguera in Lajas.
The bioluminescent glow is caused by the high concentration of microscopic dinoflagellates in the water that produce a bright blue light when they come into contact with another organism or are shaken or moved. After Hurricane Maria in 2017, it is reported that after months of darkness–no bioluminescence–the bay’s glow has returned and is said to be brighter than before with a reported 2,100,000 dinoflagellates per gallon of water! Several knowledgeable tour operators offer biobay tours that guide you through mangrove canals in kayaks to the edge of the sea where you can experience these amazing glowing organisms.
With so much diversity of amazing things to experience, it is no surprise that there is equal diversity in the places to stay in Vieques. Scroll down to read about the places to stay we compiled to save you time and inspire you to whisk away to the unspoiled nature of Vieques.
Learn about the hotel with curved interior walls and a puckered exterior that was inspired by coral reefs, a top-rated guesthouse and the luxurious rustic retreat that is also home to the Caribbean’s first all-solar guesthouse.
Finca Victoria is a modern yet nature-inspired bed and breakfast in Vieques. The suites, treehouse, walk-up style apartment and two smart houses are beautifully designed to awaken what inspires you.
Whether you stay in one of the Victoria Suites, Casa Nuria, Sahar’s Tree House or Baez-Haus, each room invites guests to relax among vintage furnishings, organic mattress and bedding, natural textures and perfectly-placed splashes of color. Some rooms include outdoor showers, furnished terraces for stunning views of the garden or the ocean, and even homemade oils for in-room diffusers.
Pocketed on a 2.5 acre property among numerous fruit trees and flowers and further complemented by an herb garden and medicinal garden, guests also enjoy complimentary vegetarian breakfast, locally-grown coffee and herb infusions, and all-you-can-eat fruit from the garden. Guided yoga and body treatments are also available.
Malécon House is a 13-room boutique hotel located just across the street from the boardwalk (Malécon) along Esperanza Beach. With its minimal classic design elements and muted color palette, the rooms and common areas invite a sense of calm and stillness. Ensconced in a garden of mature fruit trees and other native flora and complemented by an inviting pool, sunbathing deck, and even rooftop outdoor space, Malécon House is a great option for your Vieques getaway.
Hix Island House
For loft-style apartments in a 13-acre rustic yet luxurious retreat surrounded by native trees, birds and other elements of undisturbed nature, Hix Island House has it all and then some.
The property’s Casa Solaris is the Caribbean’s first all-solar guesthouse but rest assured that nothing is spared with some rooms having up to 1,500 feet of living space, outdoor showers, mesmerizing ocean or garden views, well-stocked kitchens, and complete concierge service. Casa Redonda, Casa Triangular, and Casa Rectangular all incorporate the Wabi Sabi design used throughout the property and house additional loft-style apartments. Guided yoga classes are also available.
Hix Island House is also the first recipient of the Sustainable Tourism Facility certification in Puerto Rico.
Casa de Amistad
Consistently voted as the top guesthouse in Vieques, Casa de Amistad is an eight-room home away from home located in the heart of Isabel II. It is close to many of the island’s best restaurants, art galleries, beaches, and the National Wildlife Refuge. The rooms are cozy some with balconies from which to enjoy an above ground view of the serene courtyard garden.
El Blok Hotel
Designed by award-winning architect Natanial Fuster as an ode to the coral reefs that surround the island and to inspire a sense of ethereality, El Blok Hotel is an adults-only hotel for those who dare to be different. Rooms are designed within curved walls and few in-room corners and further softened by luxe bedding.
Custom décor, private balconies and delightfully spotted sunlight that stream through the puckered walls of the building’s exterior during the day combine to make each room feel like a private fantasyland. You can enjoy DJs and live music on the rooftop, contemporary Puerto Rican cuisine and cocktails in the restaurant, and with Esperanza Beach just a few steps away, just relax on the beach.
Hacienda Tamarindo is an award-winning hotel in Vieques that offers luxury suities, two-room suites, and a villa.
Casa Linda Villa can accommodate up to four people and has a living space, full kitchen, private patio and available parking. The luxury suites vary in size, can accommodate up to four people and are complemented by private patios. The two-room suites can comfortably accommodate up to three people.
Services and amenities at this hilltop retreat includes a hearty breakfast prepared onsite with locally-grown fruts and vegetables, made-to-order picnic lunch for a day at the beach, onsite concierge services, and equipment rental.
Vieques is undoubtedly rich in natural beauty with its awe-inspiring mix of leveled white or black sand beaches, rugged coastlines, the “fourth best national wildlife refuge in the entire Refuge System,” nutrient-rich mangrove forests, and the humbling sight of dancing glow-in-the-dark dinoflagellates in Mosquito Bay.
For many years, Viequenses and other Puerto Ricans tirelessly pursued a labor of love to return all of the island to the local population. When you go, keep that in mind and honor their efforts by supporting local businesses, visiting the museums and engaging in genuine discourse with its people.
Finally, we hope we inspired you to visit Vieques. Let us know if there is a favorite attraction or activity we missed or a place to stay you want to share. We would love to hear from you.
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