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Vieques is a separate island off the coast of Puerto Rico.

You cannot rent a car in Puerto Rico and drive to Vieques and rental cars are not permitted on the cargo ferry. 

  • Vieques is a municipality of Puerto Rico which is a commonwealth of the United States. For over 60 years the island was used as a live munitions target practice site until protesters forced the Navy out in May, 2003. Read more about Vieques history here.

  • Vieques is known for its beautiful beaches, pristine water and the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world

  • Plan ahead. The busiest season is from Thanksgiving until Easter. It is wise to book flights, cars and accommodation well in advance as the supply doesn't always meet the demand.
  • The ferry boards Vieques residents first and at certain times of the year (holidays) it is difficult for a non-resident to get a seat. 

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There are two main "towns" on Vieques, Esperanza on the south side and Isabel II on the North. 


Esperanza / South Side

Esperanza, on the southern coast, boasts the deep aqua and crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, gently lapping along a picturesque walkway known as the Malecón. Esperanza offers a walkable array of restaurants, museums, stores, piers, boating and social interaction. Sundays are full of music, dominos, and libations. Extend your pleasure east or west along the Caribbean shore to discover art, black sand, roadside food experiences and an endless string of unique beaches so visually outrageous you’ll be at a loss for words and pictures.


Isabel II / North Side

Bordered by the wavy blue of the Atlantic, the north side offers a loosely organized configuration of main and side streets, churches, stores, bars, restaurants, shops and municipal offices, all loosely draped around the Plaza, a community square for great gatherings all year round. Charming and colorful, Isabel II ("town" or "el pueblo" to the residents) is named after the first reigning female monarch of Spain. Sitting like a decorated cake high above the town is the Fortin Conde de Mirasol, the last Spanish fort built in the Americas. 

Maybe leave out info below

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•  Take warm clothes on the ferry! It’s very cold when the AC is on. 


•  Always lock up when leaving your accomodations. 


•  Make reservations for restaurants and activities.

•  Don’t lock your car at the beach Leave it open with nothing of value in it.


•  If you hire a publico to take you to the beaches arrange a pick up time before they drive off because cell service may not be available.


• Fill Up or Top Off! During high season [Thanksgiving through Easter] the two gas stations on the island routinely run out of gas. The gas trucks come on the ferry so it can be a long wait if you run out. If the lines at the station are not long, fill up!


•  Turn off the AC when you leave your hotel or guesthouse for the day. The condensation will attract mosquitos. 


•  Some airlines charge $1 per pound for luggage over 25 pounds.


•  Remember to tip!


•  Marine Traffic App displays near real-time positions of ships and ferries worldwide. Check if the ferry has left Ceiba or Vieques and where it is en route! 


•  1 Gallon = 3.78541 liters


•  Fix a Flat / Pick one of these up at any convenience store or gas station on the island and save
yourself a lot of trouble. Just connect to your flat tire, inflate and go! It will only seal temporarily so call
your rental company fordirections on where to go to get it fixed. 


A Twist or a Tap  / If your car won’t start when leaving the beach, before panicking, first check your battery cable connections. On rough roads they tend to bounce and loosen. Tighten them up, give them a tap and try again! 


The United States Navy occupied Vieques from 1941 until 2003, using two thirds of the island, or 22,000 acres for military exercises. The western end of the island was primarily used for ammunition and disposal waste storage in the military bunkers that you will still see there today. The eastern end was used for live training exercises, ship to shore gunfire and air to ground bombing using a 900 acre tract of land for target practice with live bombs. Over the course of six decades about 5 million pounds of ordinance was dropped on Vieques every year that included toxic elements such as arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, depleted uranium and napalm. 

On April 19,1999 a civilian security guard, David Sanes, was killed when a bomb was accidentally dropped near his post triggering a massive protest on Vieques to stop the bombing practices and get the Navy off Vieques land. Between 2001 – 2003 the Navy left the occupied land much of which became the US Fish and Wildlife refuge. The EPA has declared it a superfund site and both the US Navy and EPA are coordinating to clean up Vieques but it will be decades and millions of dollars before Vieques will be rid of the contaminants and ordnance.


To find out more about the continued struggle against the contamination, clean up process and effect on health to the Vieques residents visit El Fortin Conde Mirasol. 

Vieques nickname “Isla Nena” (Little Girl Island)

Population: approx 9,000

Time Zone AST year round (PR does not observe daylight savings time)

Malecon - Esplanade or boardwalk (oceanfront Esperanza)


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