vieques, puerto rico

“Can you believe we’re in water this blue?!”, I asked Bob.

Then we spotted schools of angel fish in the water and he said to me, “Can you believe we’re in water with actual living organisms in it?”. #nycproblems

As a kid, Vieques – a small island just east of Puerto Rico – was my summer camp. Almost every year, my parents would send me to stay with my grandmother, who lives here. I never truly appreciated the island’s beauty until I came back recently. I can’t even begin to tell you how pretty and lovely and charming Vieques is. I can’t even show you because the pictures don’t do it justice – though I will anyway.

I wish I could take your hand and we could dive into these photos together and swim in its crystal blue waters, coming out only to dry off in the sun. Maybe a few cold beers, naps in the hammock, arepas and meat-filled pastellijos in hand, bioluminescent boat rides by night? Sound good to you?

Let’s just pretend we’re doing that.

Where my uncle, grandfather and great grandparents are buried.

We walked to another island, Cayo do Tierra, which is deserted. I remember discovering it for the first time years ago and was completely enchanted by the view and the sheer coolness of actually walking to an island. I’m still mesmerized.

Black Sand Beach was such a novelty considering I’ve never seen volcanic sand  before. When you pick it up in your hands, it glitters like graphite. My grandfather used to come fishing here.

Bob’s more of an adventurer than I am, so he ventured out a little farther on the rocks than I was comfortable with.

We celebrated my grandmother’s birthday at El Resuelve, a great no-frills local spot, which had the most delicious garlicky mofongo (mashed up plantains).

A typical day for us was waking up to the sounds of roosters crowing, beach-bumming it all day, a few wild horse and iguana spottings and talks of how we’d like to spend our lives just floating in this water (while floating in the water). I often found myself just staring at the scenery, just to get my fill of its gorgeousness.

It was truly and unequivocally paradise.

14 responses to “vieques, puerto rico”

  1. That water is beautiful! I bet you could’ve stayed there forever! Love that last picture of you. Glad you guys had a great time. Gorgeous place!

  2. Love these pictures. I just shoveled 10 inches of snow off my car, so I’m totally feeling these images. Thanks so much for sharing your warm weather pics.

    That blue water!

  3. Laura says:

    Oh I’ve been waiting for this post! So glad you had such a wonderful vacation! Your photos don’t do it justice I’m sure, but they are wonderful to look at as I sit in my office 😉

  4. angela says:

    Lovely vacations you had!! What a wonderful place with the hammock. Whau!! Great photos and thanks for sharing.

  5. colleen says:

    oh be still my heart! i always feel like puerto rico gets pushed down on my travel list because i have to go to some far-flung locale “while i can”, but i really need to be mindful of it. so beautiful. easy to get to, easy to navigate. thanks for the beautiful reminder (what a place to spend your summers! nice!)

  6. Vida says:

    Your pics are beautiful! I am dying to escape the city cold right now! Great blog =)

  7. April says:

    These photos are just beautiful! I’ve been to Puerto Rico once, only in San Juan though but I wasn’t able to do sight seeing. I am returning this April there and I am so excited. Still in San Juan… any tips for a tourist like me? :) Thank you!!

    • Jillian says:

      I’d definitely recommend the rainforest (El Yunque), the fort, Old San Juan and the bioluminescent bay tours. Other than that, I’m not terribly familiar with the main island as I am with Vieques. It’s only about 40 minutes away on a ferry, so you might want to consider making a day trip!

      • April says:

        Thanks Jillian! Sorry for the very late reply. Anyway, we only stayed in San Juan at Isla Verde. We weren’t able to go to the rainforest though I really want to. But we did visit the Fort which is amazing, so beautiful. Also Old San Juan is wonderful! :)

  8. sherri lynn says:

    oh my goodness I want to jump through the screen into that beautiful blue water! this looks like THE perfect little trip to cure the winter blues. i can’t get over that water!!! and the black sand – i’ve never been to a beach with that before! so glad you guys were able to get away and enjoy all of that beauty!

  9. ashley says:


  10. rooth says:

    Now I really want to go – that beach is unreal. I think I’d have the same reaction as Bob had

  11. Jamillah says:

    gaaawwwwwsssh i need a vacation. i’ve been to vieques!!!! last time i was in pr, my friend’s cousins took us to this gem of a place, it was so peaceful and gorgeous, how lucky you have childhood memories of this beautiful place.

  12. How to make Puerto Rican coffee

    1 / 2 cup water
    2 tablespoons coffee
    2 ounces boiled milk
    1 tablespoon sugar (or to taste)


    1. Mix the coffee with water and boil 2 minutes.
    2. Strain the coffee in coffee sock.
    3. In a cup, combine brewed coffee with milk.
    4. Add sugar to taste.

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