Culebra & Vieques
Just a short boat ride from the Puerto Rico mainland, these enchanting islands are home to world-renowned beaches and the world's brightest bioluminescent bay.
If Puerto Rico has a best-kept secret, it is the islands of Culebra and Vieques. Puerto Rico is an archipelago, so it has dozens of cays and islets. Two of its most popular nearby islands are Culebra and Vieques. Whether you're coming for a day trip or making it an extended stay, these two islands are worth the trip, and both are world-class destinations in their own right.
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Things to Do
From the municipalities of Ceiba and Fajardo on the east side of Puerto Rico, you can hop on a boat to reach the islands of Culebra and Vieques, two of the most pristine, secluded places in Puerto Rico. With their breathtaking beaches, Culebra and Vieques are excellent destinations for water activities such as swimming, diving, kayaking, or snorkeling.
Mosquito Bay in Vieques is the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Culebra has Flamenco beach, which the Discovery Channel named the second-best beach on the planet. There is also the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, which has hiking trails and other amenities for nature lovers. At the Cayo Luis Peña Natural Reserve in Culebra, you’ll find impressive spots for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Where to Eat
The restaurants of the island municipalities offer a unique dining experience in a gorgeous setting. Suppose you're getting away from it all during a few days hanging out on the Spanish Virgin Islands. In that case, you'll find a variety of dining options, from casual beach-front favorites to more refined offerings with craft cocktails and fresh seafood.
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Where to Stay
There are several lodging options in Vieques, including vacation rentals, guesthouses, and a small selection of eclectic hotels. To give you an idea, there is El Blok, a trendy, modern property that offers fine dining and first-class service. Also, it is close to the bio bay and the famous Playa Negra. Hacienda Tamarindo is perfect for families who want a cozy and relaxed atmosphere along with a pool and views of the Caribbean Sea. Another option is Hix Island House, an eco-friendly hotel ideal for couples designed to enhance contact with nature.
For its part, Culebra has more than 100 options for vacation rentals that you can book through services such as Airbnb and HomeAway. Other lodging options include Club Seabourne and Palmetto Guesthouse.
Getting to the Islands
You can only reach these islands by boat, ferry, water taxis, or small planes, and you'll find a range of options available for each.
Both Vieques Airport (VQS) and Culebra Airport (CPX) are accessible via flights from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) or the smaller Isla Grande Airport (SIG) in San Juan. In Ceiba, the new Ceiba Airport (RVR) on the east coast offers some flight service to the islands. There are ferry terminals in Ceiba and Fajardo, with boats traveling back and forth several times a day.
Learn more about how to get to Vieques & Culebra