if you've been on vieques

Jan 18th, 2008, 07:24 PM
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if you've been on vieques

we are hoping to find a house to rent on vieques in april. i have found: abreeze, casa tucepi, las piedras, ababor suites & altimira. i've never been so have no clue whether these are decent houses in good locations or not.
ideally we want beachfront, on a flat, swimming beach with snorkeling nearby. we'd like 3brs and hopefully a pool. if the house in not on the beach definitely a pool. our main focus is snorkeling.
we will bring a cooler of food but we'd like to have some idea what's available island grocery. milk? is there a liquor store? bakery?
any info about these houses or any others you think might work would be greatly appreciated.
virginia is offline  
Jan 19th, 2008, 05:29 AM
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The best beaches are on the military bases and have no houses anywhere near them. I would not worry about the house being on the beach, because if even if the house is ocean front, the beach there will not be as nice as the military beaches.

There are 2 adequate grocery stores, a liquor store full of character (El Sombrero Viejo in Isabel) and several excellent panaderias (bakeries). Milk should not be a problem, but the produce selection is often not great.
eaf2007 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2008, 10:37 AM
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I visited Vieques two years ago. Coming from New England, it was heaven to take a direct flight to Puerto Rico and then a short Cape Air flight to Vieques. I was in Puerto Rico for business so we decided to add on a 5 days and spend them in Vieques. Overall, it was an okay experience. If you are seeking any type of luxury location or quiety, quaint island, I would concur that this is not the place for you.
The beaches are ample, pretty and accessible. Howerer, there were no restrooms or really anything except a random picnic table at any of the beaches we visited. We did not snorkel even though we brought our gear with us. As noted in another reply, the beaches are mainly found on former bases. You definitely need to rent a car as the island is very hilly and the bases are scattered around the island.
We stayed at the "nicest" hotel on the island that was preparing for a renovation to convert it to a luxury hotel. The hotel was marginal at best. It was centrally located near "town" and a supermarket was nearby. As you can expect from an island, the prices are high at the market. One day when coming home from the beach, we literally purchased fruit from the back of a refrigerated track trailor truck. Hotel operators, restaurants and others were there buying too. There seems to be one bakery. You have to be there at o-dark thirty in the morning to sample the day's pastries and breads.
The island struck us as one with a lot of potential. Undoubtedly, there are beautiful beaches and wild horses roaming around. Unfortunately, those signts are accompanied by abject poverty and complete disrepair of many former buldings, homes and shacks. So the natural beauty is really distorted by all the depressive sights. It's as if the people on this tiny island have been forgotten and overlooked by the rest of Puerto Rico.

We sampled a lot of the restaurants outside of the hotel. They are pricey as most island restaurants. There was only one that was very good. When we inquired if the fish they served was locally caught, they laughed and said they would never serve the local fish. This is due to the controversal testing conducted in the past on the now defunct bases.

Hoping these observations are useful in planning your vacation.
AEB is offline  
Jan 19th, 2008, 01:37 PM
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thanks for both your replies. very helpful. apparently villa location is not an issue so this opens up our selection.
fortunately one of my travel buddies loves to get up at o-dark thirty, so she will be put in charge of the pastry runs!
we are not put off by things being rundown - actually prefer it to the building boom on say provo.
i'd still love to hear from anyone who has seen any of these properties, or stayed in another they liked.
virginia is offline  
Jan 19th, 2008, 11:46 PM
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We visited Vieques in August. We also enjoy renting homes. For months previous to our trip I had researched exhaustively about where to stay. We decided on a particular waterfront rental and paid in advance. Once we got there it was a disaster: dirty, rusty and run-down.

We did a lot of calling around and were able to secure the Palm Cottage. What a difference! This is one of the properties run by the "Bravo Boyz", Tom and Kevin, who are interior designers and Tom is a landscape architect. Every property they put their hand to is beautiful in every detail.

The Palm Cottage may not be right for you, since it only has two bedrooms (although it is rented with the adjacent Pool Cottage for extra guests) but we did tour their latest project, Bravos by the Sea, and it is gorgeous to say the least. I can highly recommend it. It will definitely be the place we stay should we return. I am also giving you a link to my blog, in case you are interested in reading more details about our trip.



Maggi is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 07:25 AM
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maggi, the palm and pool cottage look wonderful. it sounds like you had a great stoke of luck with "the boyz" thanks for the tip.
anyone else?? by the way we've had to put this trip off til fall.
virginia is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 10:34 AM
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We were on Vieques March 07. We stayed at Casa Ladera (website http://www.vrbo.com/60161)
We loved it. There is a large house and a casita. We stayed in the casita. 2 BR, but you can rent the whole place. There is a great pool, little kitchen/grill off the pool. The house is located in Isabel Segunda. Close drive to the grocery store. It is a quick walk to the beach, though it is not sandy. We took a field trip every day to a different beach for snorkeling.
Lauren and Jen (the owners) were so helpful. We rented a jeep from them.
We really loved our time on the island.
Chuckster is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 02:45 PM
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maggi, would you mind posting the name of the disaster house. i'd like to avoid it...
chuck, looked at vrbo house. how handy that you can get the jeep with the house. thanks.
i'm starting to be amazed at how many houses there are on this island.
virginia is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2008, 05:57 PM
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Virginia, I just noticed you mentioned it in your opening paragraph: Las Piedras. Avoid it at all costs. Unless it has been fixed up to the tune of 10's of thousands of dollars I wouldn't stay there. You can see some photos of it on my blog referenced above. Just scroll down until you hit my Vieques trip report.
Maggi is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 06:04 AM
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thanks maggi, i had read your trip report but had failed to notice the name of the house. i will be taking it off the list - no reason to take a chance.
virginia is offline  
Jan 29th, 2008, 04:29 PM
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First of all,are you the "virginia" that posts from Maine??
I am notfamiliar with the villas you mention, but if you tell me the location, I can help you in figuring out if that is the part of theisland you want to be on. As others have said, there are not many places on the water and if they are, it is rocky and with a high surf. Mainly the Bravos area and the north (Atlantic) side. The south side beaches are down long roads and belong to the Fish and Wildlife dept.
There are 2 supermarkets, The prices are no higher than any other island. Sometimes there is no milk, sometimes no eggs, butter etc. last week we watched for days to find butter and sour cream. When you find something you like, get enough of it to last you. I think of it as a treasure hunt. Veggies come into the markets on Wed. Personally I avoid the produce trailer that was mentioned.
Only 2 gas stations, if you are half empty and there are no lines, pull in and fill up.
The local bread pan de agua is $1.50(price just went up). Lots of the bakeries do notopen til 7 am, so you will not have to go in the dark. Let me know if you have other questions (don't use the above email, it is not working right now)
mahobaygirl is offline  
Jan 29th, 2008, 06:36 PM
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You should try for the south side (Carib) as it is much calmer for snorkling etc. We stayed at Ababor and really liked it but it is on the Atlantic side (north) and the water is much more turbulent there.
Rent a little jeep and drive into the nature preserve to Caracas Beach (red beach). It is a beauty!
spook is offline  

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