i hate to admit it, but ian and i are back from puerto rico, and we had the most amazing time. vieques is the island off the coast of puerto rico – known for its beaches, snorkeling and abundance of wild horses.
oh, and postcard picture like views
we filled our time with lots of relaxing. and swimming. and snorkeling. it wasn’t the worst place to spend a week. (;
we landed in san juan and had to take a taxi to fajardo where the ferry is. there are only a few ferrys that leave every day and if it’s full, the locals are guaranteed a spot before the tourists. luckily we didn’t hit capacity so we climbed right on and sailed into the sunset.
renting a car in vieques is highly recommended. there are a ton of taxis but it was nice to have a car to jump into and explore the whole island. we spent half a day just driving around checking it out.
we stayed in an airbnb which was conveniently located right near the downtown portion of isabel. the views couldn’t have been any prettier, it was a gorgeous backdrop for the nightly sunset.
i know, it’s rough. this was the sunset that we had to look at for the 6 nights we were there. the pictures just don’t do it justice.
[insert sound of waves in 85 degrees here]
we ate at places all around the island but here were a few of our favorites that certainly shouldn’t be missed:
–coqui fire cafe – small little restaurant on the opposite side of town in isabel. it’s amazing! we actually went there twice when we were there-we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to eat there again. the guy who owns the restaurant is actually one of the 2 line chefs which is think is very admirable. he clearly cares about the food and his customers. at the end of both meals he walks around asking how everything was and will strike up conversations with all his guests. the first night we were there he brought around some homemade coquito. it’s puerto rico’s traditional egg nog. we met the infamous “80 year old coquito man”. we wished we could’ve brought it home with us.
–sol food truck– i had actually found this little gem with the help of fellow trip advisor watchers. 😀 it’s located at the entrance of the national wildlife refuge. it’s only open friday-sunday during the lunch hour [or until everything is sold] and it was most definitely worth planning our day around.
–tin box cafe – we stumbled upon tin box when we were driving to the bioluminescent bay (more on that later) and said, “well that looks cool, let’s give it a shot.” and boy are we glad we did. the restaurant prides itself on their sushi and oyster bar. we (albeit, probably stupidly) didn’t order either sushi or oysters and it was still fabulous. they grow all of their own vegetables in their backyard. we sat on the back porch and listened to the sounds of the rainforest. these were way more authentic and enjoyable than the chain restaurant.
like i said before, we ate our way around the island but these were by far the most enjoyable and memorable meals.
i’ve already stressed how much snorkeling and sunning we did, which was definitely the highlight of our trip. one thing that most undoubtedly cannot be missed is a kayak on the bio luminescent bay, mosquito bay.
mosquito bay is claimed to be the brightest bio luminescent bay in the world. we booked our tour with a local guide (and to be honest, i think any tour group that you use will tell you all the exact same stuff), although our kayaks had clear bottoms, which was amazing.
we had to drive down this extremely unkept, bumpy, one lane dirt road in a rickety old 12 passenger van and halfway to the bay, the guide shut the lights off. at this point, all of us had concussions from hitting our heads all over the van and i thought he was going to drive straight into the water. not the most relaxing entrance into the bay….
once we unloaded, strapped on our life jackets and waded through the sulfer smelling mud, we climbed into the kayaks and paddled in the center of the bay. every paddle stroke shot bursts of color into the bay. every fish swimming looked like shooting stars. every so often, we would bang the front of the kayak, fish would scatter and it looked like fireworks.
we took the tour with a couple from maimi who flew in for one night just for the bio bay tour. that’s how remarkable it is. definitely something to be added to the bucket list.
our last day there, we went sailing with little boat sailing to some amazing reefs. the reefs we went to were super clear and had thousands of fish. everything we saw was gorgeous. we sailed to a few different locations and each was equally beautiful. i never thought the day would come where i’d be telling tiffany how many fish, manta rays, turtles and jellyfish i snorkeled with. 😀
we’re waiting on some pictures from our guide still, so when we get them, i’ll be sure to post some of them.
the day came, where reality was calling and we had to answer. but that didn’t happen until we flew off the island in a 8 person plane.
if relaxation is the name of your vacation game, vieques it is.
and let me know when you go, i’ll tag along.