If you’re going to Vieques, Puerto Rico, you are in for a unique vacation. From exceptional beaches (that you’ll often have all to yourself) to a troubled military history and a bioluminescent bay, Vieques is an under-rated and beautiful island in the Caribbean. We’ve put together 10 answers to common Vieques FAQs.
We’re sure they’ll help you plan your trip! We’ve also written a sample Vieques itinerary that we think readers might find helpful.
Truthfully, Vieques is an island most people don’t know about. While millions of people travel to Puerto Rico every year, most of them don’t make it over to this island. Most of them haven’t even heard of the place. Puerto Rico is sort of like other islands in the Caribbean – you visit the major town and think you’ve seen it all. You haven’t.
We think it’s a shame more people don’t make the journey to Vieques. But we assume you’ve reached this page because you’re at least interested in taking a look. You really should go.
Here are the answers to the top ten Vieques FAQs. If you have any other questions, please leave them in the comments. We usually don’t take more than a day to answer – many times sooner!
And if we don’t know the answer, chances are, we can either find it or put you in touch with someone who knows the answer.
1. What’s the weather like in Vieques?
Like most places in the tropics, Vieques has two seasons – wet and dry. It’s warm all year round though and most visitors will enjoy the island in the winter months from December through March.
May, October, and November are usually the rainiest months in Vieques. During these months, it’ll often rain for a little while in the afternoon, stop suddenly, and be sunny for the rest of the day.
Sometimes, that rain can be a downpour. Keep that in mind when you’re choosing a vehicle to rent on Vieques.
Temperatures pretty much stay in the 80s Fahrenheit and 25+ Celsius all year round.
2. How do you get to Vieques?
There are two common ways to get to Vieques – by ferry from Ceiba and by plane. We’ve written a guide to how to get to Vieques that explains all of your options. We particularly focus on the ferry because that’s how most people go there, but flight options are mentioned.
We even show you how we saved $60 on the trip to the Vieques Ferry terminal in Ceiba.
3. Do you need a car in Vieques?
No, you don’t technically need a car in Vieques. But your trip there will be immeasurably better if you have something to drive. That’s just our opinion, of course. But we’ve been from one end of the island to the other and can’t imagine trying to arrange taxis or vans every time we wanted to go somewhere on Vieques.
Renting a regular car is not your best option. We’ve written an entire post about this because we believe it’s important for you to know what type of vehicle you should rent in Vieques.
4. What are the roads like in Vieques?
“Mild to wild,” as they say!
The roads in Vieques range from fairly decent paved roads to others with potholes. Many of the roads that lead to beaches and other places, like Mosquito Bay, for example, are very rough.
You will want to take this into consideration when planning your car rental options above.
5. What is the currency in Vieques?
Vieques is part of Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. territory. As such, they use U.S. currency.
6. Is Vieques expensive?
We wouldn’t say that Vieques is cheap but we also don’t think it’s wildly expensive. Expect to pay prices on par with a mid-sized U.S. city.
We paid $60 a night for a nice Airbnb in Isabella II. Our golf cart rental in Vieques was $50 a day. You can cut down on costs significantly by renting a place with a kitchen. During our week in Vieques, we only ate out 4-5 times and found the restaurants to be quite reasonably-priced.
When we want to check the general cost of living in a city, we use a site called Numbeo. Here is the Numbeo data for Vieques.
7. Are Vieques beaches nice?
Beaches are one of the main reasons people come to Vieques. Some are quite beautiful. Some aren’t all that great. Many are secluded, some not so much. But all of the beaches of Vieques are interesting for their own reasons. A few of them are great places to cook out and spend the day with family and friends.
We traveled to 18 separate beaches in Vieques. Check out our post on Vieques Beaches for information about the ones we visited. You’re sure to find at least a couple of them that suit your taste.
8. When should I go to Bioluminescent Bay?
This is actually a very good question because going at the wrong time is a complete waste of time and money. And it’s not exactly cheap, starting at around $60 per person.
When did we go? You guessed it – at the wrong time!
If you visit Bioluminescent Bay, it’s important to NOT do it when the moon is bright. If you do, all you’re going to see is the reflection of the moon on the water. And trust me, there are operators on the island who will still sell you the trip and tell you how awesome it will be. It won’t be.
Check this calendar for the moon phases in Vieques and only do the excursion when there is no more than 30% light from the moon.
In the Vieques moon phase calendar above, for example, you’d probably only want to go to Bioluminescent Bay from the 23-28. The only exception would be if there is a lot of cloud cover during the other times.
Also, if there’s a lot of rain when you’re there, Bio Bay will be less than impressive. The glowing dinoflagellates don’t like fresh water.
We’d advise not booking your Bioluminescent Bay tour in advance. Book it when you know how the weather will likely be.
9. I hear there are military bunkers. What’s that about?
You heard right! There is a lot of military history on Vieques. It was once used as a military training range. After the Navy left in the early 2000s, a major cleanup began.
It’s currently the largest military cleanup operation in U.S. history. Read more about the military bunkers on Vieques, including how to get there.
10. Is there Internet/cell service on Vieques?
Yes, there is. But don’t expect it to be as reliable as what you’re used to. The farther you get away from a populated area, the less likely you’ll get a cell connection.
And that’s important because a lot of the beaches in Vieques are far away from populated areas. That means you have to be extra careful. If you have an emergency, you’ll be on your own for a while.
In your hotel or Airbnb, you’ll likely have a WiFi connection of at least 25 Mbps.
More questions about Vieques?
These are the most common Vieques FAQs we had before we went to the island. Do you have others? If so, leave them in the comments and we will either answer them or find someone who can.
And if we think the answer is important for everyone to know, we’ll add it to the list!
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Michael is originally from Canada but now resides in Atlanta, GA with his husband, Halef, who also writes here. He is a Couchsurfing expert. Michael has traveled to over 50 countries learning how to experience more for less as he travels.