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Measuring 21 miles long by 5 miles wide, Vieques is substantially bigger than Culebra and distinctly different in ambience. Though still a million metaphorical miles from the bright lights of the Puerto Rican mainland, the larger population here has meant more choice of accommodations, swankier restaurants and generally more buzz. It's renowned for its gorgeous beaches, semi-wild horses and unforgettable bioluminescent bay.

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.

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


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