Welcome to Vieques
Since the official withdrawal of the US Navy in 2003, Vieques has regularly been touted as the Caribbean’s next ‘big thing,’ with pristine beaches and a coastline ripe for the developer’s bulldozer. Fortunately, environmental authorities swept in quickly after the handover and promptly declared all of the former military land (70% of the island’s total area) a US Fish & Wildlife Refuge. The measure has meant that the bulk of the island remains virgin territory to be explored and enjoyed by all. Development elsewhere has been slow and low-key. Understandably, Vieques’ residents – many of whom are US expats – are fiercely protective of their Caribbean nirvana.