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Culebra & Vieques

Separated from mainland Puerto Rico by an 13km stretch of choppy blue water, the two bejeweled Caribbean havens of Culebra and Vieques have an irresistible charm thanks to mellow locals, laid-back expats and itinerant sailors.

Disembark for a few days and you’ll uncover a wealth of surprises – horses roaming free in Vieques, endangered turtles in Culebra – and people who reclaimed their prized islands from the US Navy in 1975 (Culebra) and 2003 (Vieques) after more than 50 years of military occupation.

But it's the beaches that will have you purring with delight. Between them, the two members of the Spanish Virgin Islands may have the greatest variety of truly superb beaches in the Caribbean. Many are deserted, giving you the chance for boundless frolic. Best of all, these two islands have yet to attract mass tourism, so there's nary a golf course, casino or huge resort.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Culebra & Vieques.