Pura Vida. Vieques

Pure Life. Vieques

Pura Vida Frequently Asked Questions

We have attempted to answer many of the questions we receive. There is also a handy matrix on how to get to Vieques, which details the method, cost and time associated with flying, driving, or ferrying over to Vieques.




General Pura Vida
How long have you owned a house on Vieques? We bought Pura Vida in 2006, and have been continually improving the property each year. Owning a house on a relatively remote Caribbean island is no easy task. However we've come to accept all the nuances that come with the beauty of island living. We've had an average of over 175 to 200+ rental days each year. We feel we provide an excellent location, value and convenience; especially with our vehicle at Pura Vida. Many others feel the same, as indicated by our rental history. We have had many repeat guests who have become friends each year, hopefully you will become not only a guest but a friend as well. Each year we continually invest capital into improvements to make your stay more comfortable. We've installed an outdoor shower, completely remodeled the kitchen (summer 2010), and continually update and replace amenities for your satisfaction.

Our complete and live up to date reservation history for past and future years:

Rental History
Year Number of Days Reserved Number of Reservations
2018 60 days (16.4% ...so far...) 5
2017 200 days (54.8% ...so far...) 25
2016 197 days (54.0%) 27
2015 271 days (74.2%) 38
2014 255 days (69.9%) 37
2013 263 days (72.1%) 42
2012 249 days (68.2%) 35
2011 255 days (69.9%) 36
2010 260 days (71.2%) 34
2009 219 days (60.0%) 33
2008 166 days (45.5%) 25
2007 132 days (36.2%) 21
2006 21 days (5.8%) 3


Do you have air conditioning? Yes! Each bedroom has an air conditioning unit and there are ceiling fans in each room.  We also have a ductless mini split system in the main living area of the home. Pura Vida is 100% air conditioned.
How many bathrooms do you have?
One full bathroom with a shower.
How many does the guesthouse sleep?
6 comfortably, 7 with a flip down couch.  The house has three bedrooms, one with a king sized bed, another with a queen sized bed and the third with two twin beds.
Are there beach chairs?
Yes!  The guesthouse has several beach chairs for you to use and take to the beach.
Is there a cooler to take to the beach?
Yes! There is a large cooler with wheels.  Ice is easily obtained at the convenience store right next door, or from our refrigerator. 
Is there a washing machine?
Yes!
Is there a clothes dryer?
Yes!
Is there an outdoor shower?
Yes! We installed an outdoor shower on our front porch. The showerhead is a wand type, so you can easily take the showerhead in hand and wash off shoes, beach toys, or clean the salt off yourself. Grab a bottle of shampoo and save a step later.
Is there a dish washing machine?
No, sorry.
Do you have a TV? 
Yes! We have a TV in each bedroom of the house. We also have a large library of DVD's for every genre from children to adult for your viewing pleasure. There is a Blu Ray DVD player, a Roku internet streaming device (for your netflix account), Wii and also a Playstation2, with a couple games. We do not have satellite TV reception.
Do you have a telephone? We've found that every guest brings a cellular phone. (Yes, your cell phones will work in Vieques. Some spots better than others, but we've had very good luck with reception in Esperanza and at Pura Vida). Therefore, we do not have a local land line in our home.
Will my cellphone work on Vieques, it it Roaming?AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint voice and data work well on Vieques. Some of the remote beaches will not receive good coverage but in town and at Pura Vida they work well. Coverage is 4G with AT&T, Sprint and 2G with T-Mobile. Verizon voice and data are handled via the Claro network in PR, contracted with Verizon. As of Winter 2013 we have had guests with Verizon who had no problems taking and making voice and data calls, phone displays Roaming but no additional charges.
Are there roosters in Esperanza?
Yes, like them or not they are all over Vieques and Esperanza. It really is part of the culture.
Is there parking available for a car?
Yes! We have a parking spot for two vehicles inside the gate aside the house.
Do you have wifi or internet access? We do have internet access with WiFi at Pura Vida. Wifi is here as a courtesy and not a guarantee. You just never know when Island Time strikes.

Are towels, sheets and the like included?
Yes!
Is the neighborhood quiet?
Part of Puerto Rican culture revolves around roosters, from show to fighting. There are roosters in virtually all of Esperanza and Vieques as a whole. Locals living around Pura Vida, and many residences in Esperanza and Vieques, have roosters. You can hear roosters during the day at Pura Vida and most everywhere in Esperanza. Around dusk they are silent. With the AC running they are virtually inaudible within the house. Most people report roosters don't bother them and they get used to it. Therefore we want to make it clear that roosters do exist on Vieques and the neighborhood.

Roosters are ingrained in the culture of Puerto Rico, similar to baseball in the States. Regardless of where you stay on Vieques, it's very likely you will hear roosters. We have owned the house since 2006 and have had a solid rental history with an average of 250+ reserved nights each year. Rental history like that would not be possible if roosters were a problem.

Is the neighborhood safe?
Yes! In fact the Chief of the Vieques Police department lives next door to Pura Vida. We have not had any issues of break ins or damage while we have owned Pura Vida. Most of the crime on the island is in the form of leaving things unattended at the beach. However this has really been reduced in the past couple years as there are regular police patrols of the major tourist beaches. But, take your keys, drivers license (if you are driving), and any valuables out of the car and make sure your personal belongings are within sight while at the beach or in a restaurant.  As most of you would do at home, lock the house when you are not there and when you go to bed.
Are you going to be in Vieques while we will be there? 
No, you’ll be in our house!  However, if you need anything during your stay, or need assistance at the house, please contact Joe and Mimi, our property managers who are truly wonderful and knowledgeable people.  They will help you with anything they possibly can, from providing recommendations to great restaurants, beaches, and snorkeling sites to fixing a clogged toilet or broken refrigerator.  Joe and Mimi are on-call 24 hours throughout your stay should you have questions or concerns about anything!  Joe and Mimi live a few blocks away, so if help is needed, they are ready and willing. However realize they are regular folks and if it can wait until morning vs 2AM, they would appreciate it.
Are pets allowed? 
No.  Unfortunately we cannot allow pets at the guesthouse.  The owner is allergic.  We apologize for this convenience although getting pets to the island may be more of a challenge than its worth. 
The following provides approximate distances to local amenities:
Airport:
About ten minute drive, on north coast of Vieques.
Ferry port:
About ten minute drive, near downtown Isabella.
Hospital:
About five to ten minute drive on road into Isabella (a small hospital but they do have an emergency room).
Grocery stores:   
The Tienda Verde (green store) is five minutes walk and has the biggest selection in Esperanza of food staples, beer, wine, liquor and ice. Colmado Lydia is also very close within walking distance, next to the ball fields in Esperanza. There is a bakery right next door which has excellent pastries and donuts. View our Google Map to see for yourself.
Supermarket:
Ten miles, one en-route to Isabella, one in downtown Isabella. The Green Store has many staples and is a few blocks away, not a bad walk. There is also Colmado Lydia a few blocks away in a different direction, next to the baseball field in Esperanza. The Google Map shows many of these landmarks.
Restaurants/Bars:
Several in less than five minutes walk. The Malecon, or strip, is THE island hotspot for dining. It's actually faster and easier to walk to the malecon than drive from Pura Vida.

*Our property managers will fill you in on all the details once you arrive. They are Vieques residents and know the island like the back of their hand.
Nearest Beach: Five minutes walk (Esperanza Beach at the Malecon). Nearest really nice beach (Sun Bay) 15 minutes walk or a couple minutes by car, approximately 1 mile from the house.

Where exactly are you located?: Sometimes a map is better than words. Pura Vida is located by the 'Pura Vida' icon on the map.



SUV Rental
During the high season on Vieques, demand often outweighs the supply of available rental cars on the island. If rental cars are not booked in advance during the busy season, it is very difficult to find a vehicle for rent. Pura Vida has a SUV exclusively available for the use of our guests. If you shall choose to stay at Pura Vida, a SUV will be available for your use if you choose to rent it.
What kind of SUV is it? : We have a 2008 Honda Pilot for the exclusive use of our guests. Not many rental vehicles on Vieques can hold more than 5 passengers. Our SUV has three rows of seats holding 8 passengers. If you are a larger group staying at Pura Vida, an 8 passenger SUV negates the need to rent two vehicles, you can fit everyone in our SUV, thus saving you money on both rental fees, gas etc. During the winter months which are High Season on Vieques, rental cars are often nonexistent, as there is more demand than cars available. Our SUV is for the exclusive use of our guests and will be available if you shall choose to rent it. We also have a 2007 Dodge Durango, if you have a need of two vehicles, we can possibly arrange both vehicles during your stay, just ask.
Can I use the SUV to get to the US Fish and Wildlife beaches?: Yes, the SUV has good ground clearance and can easily get you to all the beaches on the island.
How much is the SUV? We charge $60-65 per day for the SUV, all taxes included. That may seem high, however it is an 8 passenger SUV, not many rental agencies on Vieques have vehicles that can hold that many. Those that do, such as Martineau Car Rental and Vieques Car rental, charge upwards of $85 per day PLUS taxes and fees for a similar SUV.
Do I have to pickup or drop off the SUV?: No, the SUV will be waiting at Pura Vida for you when you arrive.
Can the vehicle be waiting for us at the airport or ferry upon our arrival to Vieques?: Unfortunately, we are not able to drop off the vehicle at the airport or ferry, due to airport security rules and limited parking space at the ferry. A publico is the best way to get to Esperanza and Pura Vida and is inexpensive. Publicos are aware of the airline/ferry schedules and waiting as passengers arrive on Vieques.
Do I have to rent the vehicle with Pura Vida? No, renting the vehicle is not required if you stay with us at Pura Vida, you can walk to Sun Bay and the Malecon very easily. In fact, it's easier to walk to the Malecon vs. drive. However, to get to the Fish and Wildlife beaches, a car is a necessity.
Do I really need a vehicle? Can I rely on a Publico? Can I just rent the SUV for a few days? We often get asked 'Do we really need a vehicle on Vieques?' or 'Do I need a vehicle my entire stay?'. The answer to both questions is a Yes. We always try to take advantage of public transportation while traveling to various locations. However on Vieques there is little in the way of public transportation. The only thing close is a Publico, which is a shared 15 passenger taxi van, the same ones which will most likely deliver you to Pura Vida from the airport or ferry terminal. If you were to rely on a Publico for your entire stay on Vieques, it would be difficult and you would miss out on precious beach time. Publicos only go to a handful of beaches, cost about $5+ per person each way, and may not always be available. Let's say you did take a Publico to the beach with a party of 5, it would cost at least $25 each way or $50 round trip. For marginally more our vehicle provides more space, freedom to explore and convenience.
What is the rental agreement? Upon inquiry with Pura Vida, we will provide a rental agreement for your review. All instructions and policies will be on the form.
I would like to stay at Pura Vida and rent the SUV, how do I pay for both? On our main web page simply click on the RESERVE link at the top. Fill out your information, including email address, and select the option that you would like to rent the Jeep. We will promptly send an email with all the information needed to reserve. We accept paypal (credit transactions) and check, everything can be paid for in one transaction.

Where do I buy gasoline on Vieques? The island’s two gas stations are on Route 200 as stated above, inbetween the airport and the town of Isabel. Gas is cash only, pre pay. So ensure you bring enough cash with you, there is an ATM in the gas station if you need cash. Gas is sold in liters. If renting our SUV, we ask you leave the tank with the same amount of gas as you found it. Generally, we have guests begin their stay with ½ tank, and ask you leave it with ½ tank full.



Travel and Logistics
How do I get to Vieques from San Juan? 
Below is a grid which details each option in how to travel to Vieques. You can view a PDF of the current airline and ferry schedules here.

Method Cost (1 way, per person) Time Notes Carriers
Fly San Juan International to Vieques $99 to $150 per person 20 minute flight San Juan International is the most convenient, but potentially most expensive option. You essentially depart your commercial carrier, pick up luggage at baggage claim, and re-check in at the commuter air counter (If your airline has an interline agreement with Cape Air they will transfer baggage without you having to pick up/recheck it in. American, Jet Blue, Delta and United have such an agreement. Southwest does not). Expect to pay around $100-$140 per person one way for a flight from San Juan International. The reason for the higher cost are the international airport rents and landing fees imposed on carriers. For a sole flyer, it may make more sense to fly directly from SJU to Vieques. We recommend Vieques Air Link, and Cape Air. Air Sunshine has been known to alter their schedules at the last minute. We would stay away from Air Sunshine at all costs, many have had similar issues with them in the past.

Cape Air also sells commuter books which consist of 10 one way coupons to/from SJU and Vieques. They are interchangeable, transferrable and good for either direction. They can really save some money and provide the convenience of SJU direct flying. As of 2015 the coupon books are $999 for 10 one way coupons, or about $99 per person one way. Coupons are valid for one year. Link to the Cape Air commuter book can be found here. If you have an extra ticket or two, we could be interested in purchasing it off you as we travel to Vieques often. Just ask.

Vieques Air Link
Cape Air
Seaborne Air
Air Sunshine

Charter flight SJU to Vieques $625-$825 for entire plane 20 minute flight If you have a larger party, you can charter a flight from Air America. A nine passenger plane will cost $825. You must pre arrange the charter, however they will depart SJU whenever you are ready, it is very convenient. Air America
Fly Isla Grande to Vieques $55 to $60 per person, $20 taxi 20 minute taxi, 25 minute flight After retrieving luggage and exiting the San Juan International airport, you will take a 20 minute cab ride to a smaller commuter airport near Old San Juan. The cab ride will cost approximately $20 plus $1/bag. The benefit of Isla Grande is the flight cost could be 1/2 per person one way vs. SJU.

Vieques Air Link
Air Flamenco

Passenger Ferry from Fajardo to Vieques with Taxi to Fajardo $2 fare per person, $75 taxi fare 1 hour to 1:30 hour taxi, 1:15 ferry ride The ferry is the least expensive option, especially if you have a party of more than 2 or 3 people. The passenger ferry is located in Fajardo, about 40 miles East of San Juan. Travel time to Fajardo is about an hour to hour and a half depending on traffic. We have used Sra. Ilca Rivera who runs a very prompt and easy to access private van service. Ilca speaks perfect english, and responds prompty via email for scheduling. She, or her grandson Jose, will pick you up in the SJU baggage claim area, or any San Juan area hotels. The service is very personal and friendly. Highly recommended by ourselves and many of our past guests.

Sra. Ilca Rivera
madea50.ir@gmail.com
Mobile: 787-644-3091

All prices one way
1 person - $65.00
2 to 3 people - $70.00
4 to 6 people - $80.00
7 to 9 people - $85.00
10 people and up - $12.00 per person
All rates include luggage.

One way car rental and ferry Variable 1 hour to 1:30 hour car ride, drop off time, 1:15 ferry ride Another option would be to rent a car with a one way drop off. Avis allows you to pickup a car at either the International airport or at their location in the lobby of the Intercontinental Hotel in Isla Verde. Their drop off location is Ceiba, note the Avis office closes at 5pm in Ceiba so the car will need to be dropped off by then. They will then take you in a shuttle to the ferry dock if it is available. Or a taxi is around $12.

View our Welcome PDF document for options on how to drop off your vehicle at the ferry terminal or the Avis location near the Ceiba airport.


You may be asking 'Can I just drive my main island rental car on the ferry and use it on Vieques?'. The answer is No. First, the cargo ferry is separate from the passenger ferry (Lancha). The Cargo ferry is relatively small and you must have a reservation which takes weeks in advance to get. It is mainly used for trucks to get supplies to the island. In addition, your main island car rental contract specifically states you are prohibited from taking the car to Vieques and Culebra. Believe me, it's just easier to have a car waiting for you on Vieques.

Avis
Fly from Ceiba to Vieques $35 taxi or 1 way car rental,7 minute flight You can fly from Ceiba to Vieques in about 7 minutes. However you need to get to Ceiba using either the above mentioned taxi service or one way car rental. The Ceiba airport is also where you return the Avis rental cars.

Vieques Air Link
Air Flamenco
Isla Nena Airlines 877-741-6362

Just be advised that Vieques Air Link charges $1 per pound for all baggage over 25 pounds per person. They will put all bags on scale (purses, backpacks, checked bags, roll ons) and weigh, subtract 25 and you owe the remaining. For litght travelers, not a big deal. For those with lots of bags, could add up. Just an FYI.

I want to spend a few days on the main island or in Old San Juan, how do I incorporate Vieques?: This is not as hard as it may seem. For example:

  1. Staying in San Juan pre-Vieques is beneficial when your flight arrival to SJU from the continental US is late in the evening, anytime after 6pm or so.
    • You can either take a cab to your hotel or rent a one way car rental (at this time only through Avis, see information above in chart). Since you will have the car for 24 hours (or 2+ days if you want to spend more time in San Juan), the car will get you to the hotel for the night and also to the drop off location in Ceiba for the same expense the following day. Once at Ceiba, the Avis agent will drop you off at the airport (about a mile down the road from the Avis location) and you can fly to Vieques in about 7 minutes and $30 per person one way via Vieques Air Link. If you prefer to take the ferry to Vieques, the Avis agent, time permitting, may take you to the ferry in Fajardo, about 10 to 15 minute drive. Or if he is busy call you a cab which will cost $12 or so.
    • You can also fly to Vieques after spending time in San Juan. I would recommend flying out of the Isla Grande airport via Vieques Air Link. Isla Grande is a small commuter airport and very close to the Old San Juan area. There are always taxis outside of Isla Grande.
  2. If you decide to go to Vieques immediately from SJU, but want to stay a night in San Juan on the tail end of your trip, you would do all the above, just in reverse.


I want to rent a one way car rental to Ceiba or the ferry, how do I get there?: My Welcome PDF document contains the map, or you can view the map yourself here.
How do I get to Pura Vida from the ferry or Vieques Air Port?: Nearly all guests take a Publico, which is a shared 15 passenger taxi van. The driver will know how to get to Esperanza, and many of them know where Pura Vida is located. However if they do not, the PDF below has a map you can show the driver. The cost of the taxi will be about $5 per person plus $1 per bag.
Here is a Welcome PDF document which we've compiled that can answer some questions once you arrive in San Juan, how to get to Vieques, and directions to Pura Vida in Esperanza.

Do I need a passport to travel to/from Puerto Rico/Vieques and the United States?
No, U.S. citizens do not need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico from the mainland US or it's territories. The following is extracted from the US Dept. of State web site:

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative will not affect travel between the United States and its territories.  U.S. citizens traveling between the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa will continue to be able to use established forms of identification to board flights and for entry. 

If traveling outside the United States or a U.S. territory, a passport or other secure document will be required.  For example, a person may travel to and from the United States to the U.S. Virgin islands without a passport or other secure document, but under proposed regulations, a passport or other secure document would be required to re-enter the U.S. Virgin Islands from the British Virgin Islands or another country as of December 31, 2006.


What is the closest international airport?  San Juan International (SJU) is the closest international airport and is on the big island of Puerto Rico. Vieques does have its own airport, VQS, approximately 20 minutes from the guesthouse.  Flights are available daily from SJU to VQS or from Isla Grande, another airport located on the main island to VQS.  Flights to Vieques from Isla Grande are less expensive than flights out of SJU but you must take taxi from SJU to Isla Grande if you go that route.  Feel free to contact us if you want to know more about the process of departing out of Isla Grande.
Should I book my flight from the mainland US to the VQS airport using a search engine like Kayak or Orbitz or even the airline web sites themselves?  If you try and book all the way through you will only have the option of using Cape Air from San Juan (SJU), because they are the only local carrier that has interline agreements with a few major carriers and therefore show up on the search engines. Cape Air is great and a convenient way to get to Vieques but it is not the most economical choice. Also it appears that when you enter that destination all the way thru to VQS the search engines often does not give you a fare as low as you can find if you book separetely even if your intention is to fly on Cape Air. in some markets the fares may be as much as double what you could book separately. CHECK before deciding how to book.
You may end up saving hundreds of dollars booking your self in two records. Most of the other airlines that serve Vieques and Culebra really have almost no presence on the internet and certainly not on the big search engines nor will they give you the option of changing airports to save money. The downside is that without having your connecting flights in your record your fare is not protected if one of the flights is delayed,Some airlines will enter your connectiong flight info manually into your record if you phone them.

Do you provide airport/ferry transportation?  Our property managers are available to pick you up and take you to the Vieques airport for $35. However most guests take a publico, as they are almost always waiting outside both the ferry and airport and the cost is relatively little at $5 per person to Esperanza.
I am spending a few days on the main island, and will be renting a car, can I bring it over to Vieques?  Do not even consider renting a car in Puerto Rico and bringing it on the ferry. The Cargo ferry is not meant for tourism, the very limited number of daily trips supply the island with food, gasoline and other needed goods. It takes months to get a reservation. Many an unlucky tourist who was thrilled to get over on a standby basis has been left stranded on the return. Private cars are the first ones bumped when a commercial or government vehicle needs the space. Furthermore, the rental companies prohibit the transportation of their cars to Vieques, should you have a problem the insurance would not cover you!
Do we need a car on Vieques?  No, but we would recommend that you do rent one.  All of the local shops and restaurants are accessible within a 5 minute walk from the guesthouse. You can get to Sun Bay, the public beach, within 15 minutes or so and publicos are also available to take you to the supermarket in Isabella II on the north side of the island.  However, there is so much to see and explore on Vieques, we believe that to truly get a true sense of the island and all its beauty, a car is needed. 
How late is too late? Can I take the last ferry of the night to Vieques?  Our care takers are advising guests not to take the 8:00PM ferry. The ferry has offered decent service at times, and other times horrible service in regards to punctuality. We've had check ins recently at 11:00 PM and later due to ferry delays. Guests arrive, tired, hungry and there are no restaurants open at that time. The publicos don't wait around for the 8:00PM ferry. If you choose to arrive at that time, the only available taxi is the private taxi: 787-741-TAXI. Rates will be higher than $5 per person.



Reservations
Do you have a minimum stay requirement?  Yes.  We generally require a minimum 5-night stay In Season and Holiday weeks.  However, if there is availability for a shorter time period that you are thinking about, please contact us and we’ll see if we can work something out. We do not have a minimum stay in Off Season (summer).
Do you have a refund/cancellation policy?  Yes. Our cancellation policy is as follows, all dates from the START of your stay at Pura Vida:

  1. Reservations require a deposit of $500 to confirm your stay
  2. The balance of your payment, including security deposit and 7% room tax is due 30 days before your arrival date
  3. Cancellation more than 60 days before your arrival will result in a full refund of all monies received
  4. Cancellation between 30-60 before your arrival will result in a refund less the $500 initial reservation deposit
  5. Cancellation 30 days or less before your arrival will result in a refund less the $500 initial reservation deposit if Pura Vida is re-rented for the time period you reserved the house for, and no refund if the house remains vacant.

Do you require a security deposit?: Yes. We require a $350 security deposit to cover any damage caused to Pura Vida or its belongings during your stay.  This $350 will be promptly returned after your stay assuming no damage outside of normal wear and tear was done.   If you will be reserving the SUV with the house, the total security deposit required is $500. Again, this will promptly be returned pending no abnormal damage.
Can you make a reservation online?  Yes.  For your convenience, you can reserve online by making your reservation deposit through the PayPal link, which will be sent to you in an email after you submit the reservation form on the RESERVE page.
Can we pay by credit card?  Yes.  You may pay with a credit card through the PayPal link, which will be included in our email to you.  This provides you, the guest, security and convenience.
Do you charge any other taxes or fees?  Yes. We charge the 7% room tax imposed by the government of Puerto Rico on vacation rentals like Pura Vida. 
Do you charge a per guest fee? No. Our house sleeps 6 to 7 comfortably and we don't mind if you have 1 or 7 people staying. We do ask no more than 7 please. The 7th spot is a fold out futon/couch, for full disclosure. If there is excessive cleaning due to a large number of people, we may imply an extra cleaning fee based on our care takers hourly rate.
What is the Check-In and Check-Out time? Check-In time is 4PM. Check-out time is 10AM, either of these times may be modified only with approval from our caretakers. It may, however, be acceptable to leave your luggage at the house while you spend your last day on the beach, just check with our caretakers ahead of time.



Activities
Can we rent kayaks?  Yes, there is a shop on the Malecon which rents kayaks. Last time we've checked, they rent for $30 a day.
Is the “Bio-Bay” worth it?  Yes!  It is a must see.  I literally thought I was dreaming the first time I experienced it.  One of the most exciting adventures of Vieques.   Try to go when there is no (New) moon or little moon.  The darker, the better! Here is a link to a moon phase calendar.  
Tell me about the different ways I can experience the Bio Bay?  With outfitters, you essentially have two ways to see the bio bay, via kayak or a pontoon boat. It all depends on how engaged you want to be. With both sets of tours, the guides are all very engaging and knowledgeable and will explain the phenomena , constellations, why it occurs, etc.

  • With the kayak you will obviously have to paddle the kayak, it will either be a one or two person kayak. You dip the oars in the water and the water trickles down them and glows as you paddle through the lagoon. It's quite the experience. You can dip your arm and hand in the water and see little dots of fairy dust tinkle as it rolls off. You will get wet, at least your legs up to your knees and your arms. Someone might accidentally splash you if they are a beginner or something. It's all part of the experience. We've always done kayak tours and love them. The group is anywhere from a few people to 12 or so, I'm not really sure, depends on how busy they are on that particular night. We have been on
    • Abe's Bio Bay Tours abessnorkeling.com
    • Gary from Vieques Adventure Company viequesadventures.com
      VAC is kind of unique in the fact they have clear kayaks and canoes which is kind of cool. You should be happy with either of them.
  • That being said, there is nothing wrong with the pontoon boat tour. You will probably have more people in the group than the kayak tour. You will all get on an old school bus and drive to the bio bay, which is half the adventure, and then load up on the pontoon boat via a ramp. With this option you probably won't get wet at all. You will be motored around the lagoon and see the bioluminescence from the waves in the boat.
    • Island Adventures is the tour group with the boat. biobay.com


How is the snorkeling? Snorkeling at the many beaches on Vieques is pretty good.  There are some spots better than others.  A couple of organized snorkeling tours do exist.  Our property managers can lead you to some hidden spots to see amazing sea life. Another Vieques regular has created a blog post with his favorite spots here.
I want to go snorkeling. Do I need to rent gear or where can I buy it? Things change in Vieques often, but last time we were there, a guy literally in a hut called Fun Brothers in Esperanza, rents snorkel gear for around $12 a day. Our care takers can fill you in on his status upon arrival. There is also a dive/sport shop in Isabel which also rents gear, Black Beards: www.blackbeardsports.com
What other activities can we do with kids?

  • Geocaching - If you have heard of geocaching, Vieques has a few treasures to find. Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online. Great fun for adults and kids, and allows you to explore the island. All you need is your GPS enabled smart phone such as an iPhone or Android, download their app and start hunting.
  • Vieques Conservation And Historical Trust – The kids will love it and you’ll love the gift shop. On the Malecon next to Duffy’s (closed on Monday)


Tell me about all the beaches Vieques has to offer. Vieques has so many beaches, each unique and different. Part of the fun is exploring each beach and finding your favorite. We have compiled a helpful guide and placed it with our Welcome PDF document which deatils many beaches and provides helpful hints accumulated over many Medallas.
I would like to go horse back riding, can you recommend an outfitter? The Esperanza Riding Company is highly regarded and recommended. While we have not been on the tour, others we know have and had a great time. Yes, you will go for a ride on the beach. The Travel Channel had an episode on Vieques in December 2011 and highlighted Elizabeth with The Esperanza Riding Company.

What are some other activities on Vieques?
  • The Fort – Learn some of the history of Vieques.  Fabulous view.  Grounds are open every day (free), a $2.00 charge to go inside to view the displays.
  • The Ceiba Tree – Past the airport on route 200 on the way to Mosquito Pier.  One of the most photographed spots on the island
  • Fun Brothers – Scooter, snorkeling and kayak rentals on the Malecon
  • Rent Bikes - Gary, the owner of Vieques Adventure Company, also rents mountain bikes.

Baby and Child Amenities
What sort of baby and children items do you have on hand?  We have a toddler born in 2007 and an infant born in very early 2010, whom we also bring along with us to Vieques. Therefore we've accumulated quite a bit to keep them occupied. The list of items grows every time we go down, but the following list may help you if you're interested in bringing down a little one to the island. You are free to use any of our items, just ask us when inquiring about the house and we will ensure our care takers point out the items to you upon check in. All we ask is clean the items after departure so the next child can enjoy them as much as you.

  • 3 Car Seats, 1 booster seat
  • Stroller
  • Pack N Play crib, with sheet
  • Booster Seat for eating
  • Infant bouncy seat
  • Wireless baby monitor
  • 2 small child life vests
  • Beach toys, sand castle molds, buckets
  • Kid books, board games, puzzles
  • Plenty of Disney DVDs


How much does a beer cost?
The most important question: How much does a case of beer cost? First of all, most if not all beer in Puerto Rico is served in a 10oz can. As of Summer 2013 a case of 24 10oz cans is $23 for the local Medalla Light beer at The Green Store, $19 at the warehouse in town near the Post Office. Coors Light and Heineken are the other most readily available beer choices on Vieques. All of these can be bought quite conveniently and easily at the Green Store, which is right on the way to the beaches each day. We recommend two bags of ice ($1.75) per case of beer (We're pros!). Pack the cooler in the Green Store parking lot, by the time you reach the beaches the cans will be nice and cold and ready to go. Oh, the Green Store sells 'To Go' cans as well. At the local bars on the Malecon, you'll pay around $2 to $2.50 for a can of Medalla.
Where can I buy food on Vieques, will they have my [fill in the blank]?
Since the Green Store is so close, you can easily get there in a few minutes walk if you only need a few things. They have plenty of items and can hold you over until you go to Supermarket Morales, which is the island's main grocery store on the other side of the island. You can find pretty much everything you want food wise on the island within reason. Fresh produce is delivered once a week (Tuesdays I believe) to Morales and there is a local produce stand at the intersection of 200 and 201.
What is the legal age to purchase and consume alcohol? The legal drinking age in Puerto Rico, including Vieques is 18.