paradise, vieques style

Alternate title: Vacation Photo-Dump.

Second alternate title: A Quick Guide to a Small Island.dog

If you follow along on Instagram, you might already know where I’ve been. Two weeks ago, Bob and I left to Vieques, Puerto Rico with my parents. And if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might already know I came here last year too. Obviously I just can’t get enough of this place. It’s gorgeous, lush, largely untouched and pleases anyone looking for a clear blue ocean and pure relaxation. Plus, my grandmother lives here so it’s great to see her in her element.

road

There is such a magic and simplicity to this place. No traffic lights, no chain stores, the preservation of nature, the lively hot spots along the Malecón and of course, the pristine beaches for any mood (Media Luna for when you prefer calm, shallow water; Sun Bay for when you want some waves and maybe a few angel fish spottings; Red Beach for the white sand, cabanas and bright aquamarine water and Black Sand beach for exploring and of course, black sand). It was a fantastic week off and away.

whats the hurry

Now pics, as promised!

snorkeling

My dad and I capturing a moment. And Bob capturing us.
taking pics

Bob scooping out the flesh of a coconut with a machete like a true local 😉
bob cutting up a coconut

coconut2

We hiked Cayo de Tierra, a small cay, and reached the top of an 80-foot cliff. The photo doesn’t do the height justice  but I’ll tell you that was certainly an intimidating ledge to be on. Definitely not for people with a fear of heights.
ledge

The Ceiba tree is believed to be over 300 years-old and it’s HUGE.
ceiba2

Here’s a little perspective for you: Bob is 6’2″.
ceiba4

I couldn’t even bring myself to read on the beach, like I had planned to, because all I could do was take in the sight of the ocean and its surrounding landscape.
crash

My grandmother’s homemade crab trap works!
crabs

And her home cooking is simply the best. Don’t tell my dad.
home cookin

Floatin’ in that crystal blue. This here is Red Beach, my favorite beach on the island.
floating

Teeny tiny snails.
snails

The Fort (El Fortin) is the best place to learn about the fascinating and often devastating history of Vieques.
fortin

fortin2

Some other stuff to do on the island, if you ever visit (as you should):

~ Mosquito (Bioluminescent) Bay tour. But be sure to go on a night when the moon is less than half full. You won’t see the glow of the plankton as well with the bright moonlight.

~ The Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust. It’s very small, so you can get through it under 20 minutes easily. Lots of interesting artifacts, but I mostly enjoyed the tiny aqaurium of odd sea creatures. What’s great is that they usually toss the wildlife back into the ocean after a period of time, so the exhibit is always changing.

~ La Nasa is a bar along the beach, almost completely visited by locals. They’re the liveliest party on the strip and have the cheapest beer at $2 (or $3?) a pop.

~ Shop in Isabel II, the hub of Vieques. You’ll find cafes, grocery stores, the public plaza, restaurants, places to sign up for water sports and thrift shops. I really loved Nu2U, where I bought a book for $1 and snorkel gear for less than $10.

~ El Resuelve is an unassuming outdoor restaurant that serves delicous and authentic Puerto Rican food. Prime spot for lunch and cheap, cheap, cheap!

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