Your destination wedding was a spectacular success. Your family and friends are flying home or staying on for a tropical vacation. You and your spouse want a little time alone before rejoining them at the host hotel or at home.
|W Retreat & Spa Beach, Vieques|
There are no traffic lights, no fast food franchises, no big-box stores, no malls, and no crowds. Each island has just one main town, a few thousand residents, a handful of roads, one airport, one dock, a few choice places to stay or to dine, and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Since there are no rivers or streams, there is no run-off. The ocean water is always crystal-clear and the sand white and wonderful.
There is plenty to do on either island—if it happens in, on or around the water, that is. Culebra is definitely more intimate and laid back: there is only one endorsed hotel—the highly rated Club Seabourne—one gas station, one bank, one bridge, one supermarket, and one main road. Flamenco Beach is regarded by many as the most beautiful in the world.
Vieques is the bigger sister. It has eight lodging choices, most with fewer than 15 rooms, capped by the sophisticated 156-room W Retreat & Spa. With a population of about 10,000 (compared with Culebra’s 2,000), there is a larger variety of restaurants and shops. Major attractions include Conde de Mirasol, a Spanish colonial fort (now a museum), Mosquito Bay, a bioluminescent natural wonder, a black-sand beach—and about 40 gorgeous white-sand beaches. Even at the height of the winter season, couples will often find themselves the only beachcombers.
How to Get There
The following commuter airlines offer scheduled and charter flights to Vieques and/or Culebra from LMM International Airport in Isla Verde, Fernando L. Ribas Dominici Airport in Isla Grande or José Aponte de la Torre Airport in Ceiba (call to confirm airport, schedule, and destinations):
Air America (787-276-5669), Air Flamenco (787-724-1818), Air Margarita (787-529-2336), Air Sunshine (787-791-8900, 800-327-8900), Cape Air (866-227-3247), MN Aviation (787-791-7090), Seabourne Airlines (888-359-8687), and Vieques Air Link (787-741-8331).
By Public Ferry
A ferry travels between the town of Fajardo (on the “big island”) and Vieques four times a day, and between Fajardo and Culebra three times a day, year-round (see schedule in this issue.) You must purchase your tickets at the ferry office in Fajardo one hour before departure. At peak vacation time--such as spring breaks and weekends from May to August--you’ll want to get there two hours before.
There are eight PRTC-endorsed hotels in Vieques and one in Culebra. See our lodging list for details. “At press time, the Vieques-Culebra-Fajardo passenger ferries were not operating, please call to confirm before traveling to Fajardo.”
Vieques: Casa de Amistad, Great Escape, Hacienda Tamarindo, Hix Island House, Blue Horizon, Malecón House, Seagate Guest House, Villa Coral Guest House, and W Retreat & Spa.
Culebra: Club Seabourne.