Destinations Directory

Flight Deals to Vieques

$306+ Dec 5 – Dec 12 EWR – VQS View Deal
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Vieques Beach Hotel

$129+ per night The Village at Costa Bonita Culebra Swimming pool Pool Outdoor View Deals
$171+ per night Bravo Beach Hotel Swimming pool Free Wi-Fi View Deals
$272+ per night Club Seabourne Hotel Swimming pool Refrigerator Pool Outdoor View Deals

Best Beaches in Vieques

1. Luquillo Beach

A Puerto Rican Favorite

About an hour's drive east of the city of San Juan lies Luquillo Beach, a popular, lively beach and a favorite of both locals and tourists. Visitors are mesmerized by its blue waters and by views of El Yunque National Forest far off in the distance. Coconut palms span the mile-long beachfront, providing respite from the sun's rays.

Though it clearly has all the preferred natural attributes, Luquillo also boasts conveniences beachgoers need, such as lifeguards, bathrooms, showers, parking and equipment rentals of all kinds.

What To Do

Rent snorkel gear and explore the water close to the beachfront — the sea is soothing even if you don't end up seeing any tropical fish.

You can also rent a kayak at Luquillo Beach and glide along the serene water. Bring some snacks and have a picnic, or choose from the treats vendors offer when they pass by.

Refreshments

Of course, any mention of Luquillo Beach has to include a mention of the "kioskos." Dozens of kiosks are located on a strip not far from the beach, and these rustic shacks serve as informal dining spots for those visiting the beach.

Seafood, local cuisine, international cuisine, cocktails, beer—it's all here, and it's affordable, too. It's not 5-star dining, but pull up a chair and chat with the owners. You'll see why these family-owned restaurants are so beloved.

Luquillo Beach at a glance

City: Luquillo

Country or State: Puerto Rico

Length of Beach: 1 mile

Access: By car, by taxi

Best time to visit: April to June - lower rates

High Season: December to May

Low Season: June to November

Facilities:

  • Kiosks (bars and eateries)
  • Rentals: Chairs, umbrellas, kayaks
  • No lifeguards
  • Public restrooms

Beach Type:

  • White sand
  • Saltwater
  • Popular

Beach Type:

  • Coconut Festival
  • Typical Dish Festival
  • Leatherback Turtle Festival

2. Mosquito Bay (Bioluminescent Bay)

Natural Wonder

Hidden away on the small island of Vieques, about 8 miles from the Puerto Rican mainland, is the mysteriously glowing Mosquito Bay, also known as Bioluminescent Bay. This tropical beach is perfectly lovely during the day, but unlike most other Caribbean beaches, it attracts many more visitors at night.

That's because it's home to a stunning natural wonder—a sea of tiny creatures that light up the bay in surreal blues and greens.

Though it sounds unbelievable, it's true: Visitors to Mosquito Bay can swim in the waters while the eerie glow surrounds their bodies.

How is the Bioluminescence Possible?

Mosquito Bay is the thriving home of millions of dinoflagellates, organisms that produce a burst of light when they come into contact with other organisms.

In just one gallon of bay water there are more than 700,000 microscopic dinoflagellates, and in 2008 this bioluminescent bay was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the brightest recorded in the world.

Tips for Visiting Mosquito Bay

If this awe-inspiring curiosity has you entranced, you're not alone. Travelers love to make the trek here to experience it firsthand. The easiest way to get to Mosquito Bay is to book with a tour operator, which can cost up to $60 per person.

It's best to explore the bay by kayak, as motorized boats will likely cause too much of a disturbance. Remember, too, to avoid the bay during a full moon or on bright nights, so you can view the bursts of light in total darkness. And skip the bug repellant—it can kill the dinoflagellates.

Mosquito Bay (Bioluminescent Bay) at a glance

City: Vieques

Country or State: Puerto Rico

Access: By boat, ferry or plane

Best time to visit: April to June

High Season: December to May

Low Season: April to November

Facilities:

  • Restaurants in nearby villages
  • No lifeguards
  • No public restrooms

Beach Type:

  • White sand
  • Saltwater
  • Secluded

3. Playa La Pocita

Local Hangout

Though San Juan boasts impressive beaches right within the city proper, there's nothing like escaping urban commotion to a place where you can truly let your hair down. Make the short drive east to Playa La Pocita (also called Piñones) on the edge of the Afro-Caribbean town of Loiza, a gathering place for those who love traditional bomba beats and Puerto Rican fried treats.

Come One, Come All

The preferred weekend beach spot for city-dwellers and locals, Playa La Pocita offers lagoon-style swimming, a long stretch of golden sand, and patches of palm trees for protection against the sun's rays. On busier days, expect to hear the excited squeals of children, plus a little salsa or reggaeton music.

Make the trek to the beach an adventure by cycling along the Paseo Tablado de Piñones, a boardwalk and bike path that starts several miles west near a community center and a cluster of food shacks. You'll weave through lush wooded areas and panoramic oceanfront stretches.

Fried Feast

Aside from the beach, the town's many roadside kioskos, or food shacks, are the primary draw to the area. Some line the road across from the beachfront, while others are set up further down route 187. Sample local delights such as alcapurrias, fritters of plantain and taro root stuffed with meat or seafood, or pastelitos, fried turnovers similar to empanadas. Mofongo, a dish of fried green plantains mixed with pork or seafood, is a must-try.

Enjoy a refreshing piña colada or a cold Medalla beer. Water from a freshly chopped coconut, poured over ice, can wet even the driest whistle.

Playa La Pocita at a glance

City: Loiza

Country or State: Puerto Rico

Length of Beach: 1 mile

Access: By car or bike trail

Best time to visit: Late summer/early fall

High Season: December to April

Low Season: May to November

Facilities:

  • Food and drink at kioskos near beachfront

Beach Type:

  • Golden sand
  • Saltwater
  • Popular

Beach Type:

  • St. James Festival in July

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