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Fort Conde de Mirasol in Vieques

Best Historical Day Trip: Fort Conde de Mirasol

Located in Isabel Segunda, this old fort - also known as Fuerte de Vieques (Strength of Vieques) - has been restored and opened for tours. Built in 1845, the fort is now the Vieques Museum of Art and History. The museum displays some of the most fascinating archeological finds from Vieques. Conde de Mirasol was restored in 1991, and the building and the surrounding grounds are appealing and well-kept.  

 

In a place that mostly gets praised for natural beauty, a little time to appreciate the history of the island can be very rewarding. Of course, Vieques' natural beauty is still an advantage here. Your admission ticket lets you see not only the exhibits, but the amazing vistas from Fort Conde de Mirasol's walls as well. This is a great day trip when you want a break from the sand and surf, and the view will probably inspire you to head straight back to the beach.

 

Best Hidden Beach: Playa Negra

This special gem of a beach is tucked away on the southern coast of the island. Getting there can be tricky, as the directions there are sometimes unclear. There are unofficial signs that say Playa Negra, but you’ll need to do your research and ask for local assistance. As the beach generates more conversation, there are more people talking about how to get there. The paths to Playa Negra usually involve rougher terrain, so be prepared to bring water shoes or sandals that have a good grip.

 

Once you're there, you'll love the different kind of beauty this beach offers. The black sand is volcanic and a stark contrast to the usually white and gold sand on other Vieques beaches. The amount of black sand on the beach varies, depending on the tide, but whatever the amount, the blend of black and gold is a rare sight. Set out in search for this gem of a beach. It’s a treasure hunt worth going on!

 

Playa Negra in Vieques
Luis Pena Marine Reserve in Vieques

Best Place to Peek Under the Waves: Luis Pena Marine Reserve

The west coast of Culebra surrounds Luis Pena Marine Reserve, where you can get in some great snorkeling and scuba diving. Colorful reefs and a variety of sea creatures make for a memorable underwater exploration.

 

The reserve can be accessed at a few points along Culebra's coast. If you're already at the famous Flamenco Beach, grab your snorkel gear and take a walk on a trail that starts at the parking lot. The first beach you'll hit is Tamarindo Grande. If you continue on to the northwest, you'll hit Carlos Rosario Beach. Both places feature some truly incredible snorkeling. Melones Beach is easier to access with a parking lot right next to the beach. You'll just hop out of the car and into the water. You'll find reefs and wildlife near the rocky outcroppings in the water. Thanks to the reserve, all of these locations teem with fish and coral for a memorable aquatic experience.

 

The Best Place to Find a Home Cooked Meal: Barbara Rosas

Barbara Rosas is a cozy establishment just south of the airport on Calle Escudero in Culebra. Barbara is the cook and hostess, and patrons eat in the living room or on the patio.

 

It’s a comfortable place and eclectic in its homie-ness. It closes earlier than most restaurants, and she’s occasionally unable to make menu items due to ingredient shortages.

 

Still, don't let that deter you. If you want some comfort food, Barabara Rosa's is the place for some culinary reassurance. She can always whip up some tasty treats for when you’re feeling a little homesick.

Barbara Rosas makes great authentic food in Vieques.

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