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marniemoore Jul 3rd, 2010 03:59 AM

Is Vieques safe for tourists?
My husband's work buddy is a San Juan native with family on Vieques. He said that there has been a huge increase in crime in the past 2 years. More specifically, that tourists are being robbed in alarming numbers. He recommended leaving your car doors and windows open so the bad guys don't break them; avoiding the secluded beaches; and to never leave your beach bag unattended because the thieves watch you from a distance and grab your belongings when you are in the ocean. This is a particularly sore subject because we were robbed in Rincon this spring. Someone broke into our (luxurious!) condo and swiped our cash and electronics while we slept. Don't get me wrong...I'm sure there is way more crime in my home town than in all of PR. But I don't want to plan a vacation around seeking out secluded beaches if I'm going to have to pack the car keys and debit card in my underpants. Has anybody been there recently? What's the scoop?

sassy_cat Jul 3rd, 2010 07:11 AM

Yes, it's safe but take precautions!
The advice to remove your valuables and leave your car unlocked applies to many places including Hawaii, Mexico and many Caribbean islands.

I think there are opportunistic thieves everywhere and we were cautious in Vieques. We don't take valuables to the beach and keep an eye on our belongings. My DH stores cc, cash and car keys in a sealed plastic box on a lanyard which we bought in Florida (but we've seen them sold in Mexico, and all over the Caribbean too).

We also stay in accommodations that have a safe and we use it.

We've been to Vieques twice and our last trip was Feb 2008. No experience of any theft but like I said we take precautions.

foodiechan Jul 3rd, 2010 10:16 AM

Diddo with sassy_cat. Our last trip there was in 2005 and we did not find the island unsafe at all. Of course we do take all necessary precautions, and so long as you are aware, you are cool.

Been to Secret Beach a few times when we were the only people around and did not feel unsafe at all. We do take extra care when visiting Isabella II, but when we stayed in Esperanza, we did not find Vieques harboring more crime than any other island destination.

That said its 5 years ago and lots can change. Nevertheless, Vieques was one of the better island experiences that my wife and I had over the last 8 years of exploring the Caribbean.


rowanu Jul 14th, 2010 07:06 AM

Agree that the crime is opportunistic. Above advice is sound. When we first went there the mode was: arrive on horseback with a long stick and grab those cameras/bags through the handles! Quiet and effective!! The island is wonderful--as are the locals. Have a wonderful time!!

Jimmy_Musignac Aug 1st, 2010 08:17 AM

I live in Puerto Rico, Vieques is great, romantic, quite, great food, beaches are the best in Puerto Rico. Rent a Jeep, so you can go to all the beaches in the Island, and dont go by ferry... you can loose your trip the service is a disaster, so take a plane fro San Juan or from Fajardo and you will have no problems, the island is safe and more than 75% of the residents are bilingual. About the cars they recommend that, I would say don't leave valuables in the car, stay at a goog secure hotel as the W retreat, as I say I live in Puerto Rico, this hotel is the best, is an out of this world experience, since opening I been there two times. Is great, romantic, quite, great food, beaches are the best in Puerto Rico.

jamamac Aug 3rd, 2010 03:31 PM

Have been reading: and it is scary. Will be going to Vieques this winter but didn't realize it was this bad. Have traveled extensively in Central America and Mexico. Is this information accurate?

BeachGirl247 Aug 3rd, 2010 03:39 PM

No! I would not place any value on that site. They have posted on Fodor's before as a troll and were deleted.

As stated above, just be smart. I found the island to be very friendly and welcoming. We didn't leave things in the jeep to be stolen nor did we have problems on the beach. That's not to say it can't happen but just be aware and careful just as you would anywhere else.

Vieques is a gem that will not remain the unspoiled, charming island that it is. Word is out on this tropical paradise.

burry Oct 10th, 2010 05:25 AM

My daughter and I went to Vieques in August and felt safe. We did the precautions mentioned above -- key and $20 was in a waterproof container on my neck. We took disposal cameras for the beach and had nothing that we couldn't stand to lose. We never felt threatened even though we walked on the malecon in the later evening and even did a late night biobay tour --actually two of them. Let me know if you have any questions.

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