Image by Taxi Horses
Welcome to our Vieques. You got here because you have already heard about the unparalleled beauty of Vieques beaches, its friendly people and the relaxed atmosphere not found anywhere else in the Caribbean. Well, all of that is true.
But not everything you see online is real. I have seen many web sites built by outsiders use pictures that are not from Vieques and are plagued with misinformation. I am Wanda, a native Viequense and resident of the Isla Nena. I will give you the true local’s perspective and guide you, so you don’t get lost or make mistakes on your vacation planning.
Fist thing first. Our island has become so popular that it is important for you to know that Vieques vacation rental homes, hotels, as well as Vieques car rentals, get booked well ahead of time for some holidays like Christmas to New Year and Easter week, and also in mid July and the entire month of February. So book your Vieques hotel or Villa rental early and if you are thinking about renting a car during those busy periods, do it early also.
Second. To get to Vieques from Puerto Rico, you either fly or take a ferry. There are no bridges to connect the big island of Puerto Rico with Vieques. The ferries do not offer anything near what you might call “service” but they are the cheapest alternative with ticket prices at $2 per person since I can remember, and I am no spring chick.
Third. You will find that Vieques people are very friendly but although Viequenses are born U.S. citizens and English is taught in all schools, most natives speak limited English. It would be very appreciated if you took the time to learn a little Spanish. “Hola”, “Buenos Dias”, “Por Favor” and “Gracias” are a good starting points. Don’t get surprised if you get replied with “You Are Welcome”.
Fourth. While in Vieques, try to support native businesses. Why, because we are a minority among tourism related operations in our own land. And in reality, when things go down the drain, we don’t have another home town to flee to.
And lastly, Vieques was abused by the U.S. military for over 60 years. This incredibly beautiful island was continually bombed by the U.S. Navy and was rented out as a practice target to the NATO allies until April 30, 2003. The U.S. is still in the process of cleaning the mess. But unlike the land, people do not recover so easily. There are memories, the loss of loved ones and the sick. To make it worst, the U.S. Supreme Court determined in 2013 that the “King can not be sued” and did not even let the Vieques case be heard in court. We, natives, are highly sensitive about this subject. Please do not try to discredit or minimize our suffering.
Now you are set. You might want to look at my introduction to Vieques Island in this same web site.
|Map by Google View Larger Map|