There are a lot of beaches on Vieques, most of them beautiful and unspoiled. By and large, with the occasional exception of Sun Bay, they will also be uncrowded most of time. During peak season – holidays seasons, February, and weekends when the locals come to the beach, Sun Bay can get crowded. Other than that, you will often have beaches to yourself or with just a few other folks.
Beaches are public and accessible pretty much at all times. In theory the Sun Bay complex may charge you $4 (per car) to go in at weekends and high season, but most of the time you will arrive and find no one there to collect any money.
Here’s a brief list of beaches. These are in order of distance from Casa Violeta. Times are an estimate, but we think realistic. Distances are not far, but the beaches are mostly accessible over unmade up roads so driving is slow.
Coco Beach – secluded and five minutes walk from the Casa. Secluded because (1) its not on any maps and (2) it has a reef just off shore which makes getting into the water difficult if the sea is at all rough. On the other hand, good snorkeling over the reef! To get there, head out of the house, and turn right at the first cross street over Almendro. Go down to the coast road (100 yards), turn right, go about 30 yards, then turn left down a dirt track. Follow this down and round until you see the sea through a gap in the cliffs (about 100 yards again from the road). Go down this path to the sea, then turn right and scramble over the rocks under the cliffs for about another 100 yards. You’ll come out on Coco Beach where the cliff ends round the corner. You will get wet feet, but you can do this usually at any state of the tide.
Town Beach – quite public and five minutes walk from the Casa. Town beach is basically any bit of beach in Esperanza Harbor. You’ll be swimming in the harbor, there are boats there and other swimmers, especially at weekends. We often go down for a sunset dip or sometimes a pre-breakfast dip if we are not going further afield.
Sun Bay Complex – 20 min. walk, five min. in car. Has a gate on it, though if you walk you can go round the coast and avoid the entrance fee. If you do go by car there is a $4 charge per car for entry (keep the ticket, it is valid all day), if anyone bothers to stop you. Sun Bay itself is a beautiful mile long crescent beach. Media Luna (another 15 min. walk beyond Sun Bay), is a smaller calmer beach. Finally there is Navio (another 15 min. walk after Media Luna), an even smaller beach, but with quite good surf for body surfing.
South West End – pretty much deserted beaches, some reefs. 15 min. by car to Playa Grande then scramble to anything you can see. Or, you can walk all the way here from Coco Beach along the sea – a walk that will take an hour or two and involve some light scrambles over rocks and wading. The walk will also take in Playa Negra (Black Sand Beach) about half way down.
East End – a Nature Reserve which was formerly the Navy firing grounds (at the tip of the island 10 miles away). Has some magnificent beaches, sand, no rocks, and pretty quiet because you have to drive out a way to get to them. The main ones are Caracas (Red) and La Chiva (Blue). Both these beaches have Casitas (a beach struture with a roof and picnic table) availiable free on a first come first served basis. Several other smaller beaches to explore as well. Between 15-25 minutes by car depending how far you want to drive. You are almost certain to find seclusion and perfect beaches.
North West End – the main beach is Puna Arenas (Green Beach). Tends to have too many inscets and is best visited first thing in the morning or on windy days. 20-25 min. by car, depending on route. Generally very uncrowded. There are several smaller beaches on the way to explore.
North Shore beaches near Isabella. (Bravos de Boston.) There are some, but we are not familiar with them. Local kids tend to surf here.