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Thread: Vieques - belated report

  1. #1
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106

    Vieques - belated report

    This post was stimulated by a PM by another forum member who is going to Vieques so I thought I'd share my memories of our trip this past March. We flew Vieques Air Link from San Juan. We stayed at Hacienda Tamarindo which I would highly recommend. It's near the south coast tourist town of Esperanza. Definitely rent a jeep or high-clearance vehicle to get to the beaches. They are spectacular. Lots of open undeveloped land unlike most islands. Do the bioluminescent bay - great experience. Good restaurants (we liked El Quenepo in Esperanza and the one at the Inn at the Blue Horizon near Tamarindo), but don't expect St. Barts.

    Nice people in Esperanza. Some of the locals do look rowdy but we had no
    trouble. Usual precautions apply. Here are some photos:

    Pool at Tamarindo


    Horses roam freely


    East end beach


    South shore beach


    Tamarindo pet

  2. #2
    onebigdawg53 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2004 Beautiful hunterdon county new jersey Posts: 3,157

    Re: Vieques - belated report

    Hi Josh

    I've been wanting to visit Vieques. Last year I was in touch with several hotels and they all seemed to have an anti-kid policy. Even though my two boys have been travelling with us since they were born and are well behaved, it seems like they were not welcome. As I looked through various Vieques websites for accommodations it seemed like many had kid policy with minimum ages 14, or 15 and even 18 years old. So, my question is, did you get the feeling that as far as tourists were concerned it was mostly couples without kids?

    I am fluent in spanish so I would think that I might have it easier than a tourist with little or no knowledge of the spanish language, but curious if you found english widely spoken.

    take care
    georgedp

  3. #3
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106

    Re: Vieques - belated report

    George: It does seem like the tourists on Vieques are primarily young couples. It might be because of the relatively primitive beach infrastructure (i.e none) and the rough sand roads. Tamarindo and many of the other places are relatively small B&B-style places where they may not be able to handle small kids. Some are also set up in a high-style South Beach vibe. I would think the one large hotel, Wyndham -> W, should have no problem, though. I know binnie felt uncomfortable with his kids there. Maybe he can chime in. We loved the wild feel but a family may see it differently.

    Fluent English is widely spoken, just like in PR, although speaking Spanish will likely help at some of the local places in Isabel Segundo and environs. Not needed in the tourist-oriented places.

  4. #4
    onebigdawg53 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2004 Beautiful hunterdon county new jersey Posts: 3,157

    Re: Vieques - belated report

    Thanks Josh

    Last year I was trying to book something during the off season, late june after the kids got out of school and one of the hotels, I don't remember which one, was downright hostile when I e-mailed them inquiring about bringing out two boys.

    I remember sending this person a message back essentially telling him that we would skip travelling to Vieques and continue going to sbh, where our children have always been welcome.

    By contrast, a lot of the sbh hotels are also smallish B+B type places and they seem to handle families OK - so I don't really know why Vieques hotels seem to have a virtual ban on children. Oh well, to each his own, I suppose.

    Hopefully binnie will chime in, as I remember his posts about going to Vieques and getting the hell out of there and going to sbh. I've been curious as to what the problem was.
    take care
    georgedp

  5. #5

    Re: Vieques - belated report

    Another option is to rent a villa in Vieques...we rented this one a few years back and had a great time (with the little one):

    http://home.bellsouth.net/personalpa...k=&ver=3.0

    Here are a few others which looks nice:

    http://www.casacolumbia.net/
    http://www.islandcharm.net/content.html

  6. #6
    onebigdawg53 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2004 Beautiful hunterdon county new jersey Posts: 3,157

    Re: Vieques - belated report

    Thanks dwl - pretty nice villas and reasonably priced compared to SBH prices.
    I will give that careful consideration. Cacimar House if appealing and at only usd 2,100 per week in low season and usd 2,400 in shoulder season, seems like a good deal. By the way, is dwl your initials? Reason I ask is that my oldest son is also a dw (Daniel William).

  7. #7
    Island Visitor is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2002 Here for our friends Posts: 9,598

    Re: Vieques - belated report

    Puerto Rico = America
    America = Chauvanistic Anti-women swimwear
    Chauvanistic Anti-women swimwear = No Thanks

  8. #8
    onebigdawg53 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2004 Beautiful hunterdon county new jersey Posts: 3,157

    Re: Vieques - belated report

    Puerto Rico = America
    America = Chauvanistic Anti-women swimwear
    Chauvanistic Anti-women swimwear = No Thanks
    But go to a secluded beach in Vieques, where there is no one around, get nekkid.
    No problem.

  9. #9
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106

    Re: Vieques - belated report

    Vraiment. I personally observed such nudity on a fairly secluded Vieques beach. Not that I minded ;-)

  10. #10
    Island Visitor is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2002 Here for our friends Posts: 9,598

    Re: Vieques - belated report

    george and josh: That pretty much applies anywhere.

    I like places that dont go all nucking futs if a woman gets a good bronzage on a public beach.

  11. #11
    Dennis is online now
    Senior Insider Joined: Apr 2004 Austin, TX Posts: 9,421

    Re: Vieques - belated report

    george and josh: That pretty much applies anywhere.

    I like places that dont go all nucking futs if a woman gets a good bronzage on a public beach.
    You mis-spelled pubic.

  12. #12
    Island Visitor is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2002 Here for our friends Posts: 9,598

    Re: Vieques - belated report

    Dennis: Indeed.

    The epiphany that you can run to some remote corner of Vieques were Los Federales might not find you is not much of a selling point.

    There are over a dozen islands in the caribbean these days that allow a proper tan. If a place want to become the next It Place, that place will have to grow up and allow people to actually have a little fun.

  13. #13
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106

    Re: Vieques - belated report

    IV: I'm chuckling that you think the Federales are an issue on Vieques. They are certainly not visible. It's one of the more laid-back places in the Caribbean. BTW, isn't nudity illegal on SB?

  14. #14
    Island Visitor is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2002 Here for our friends Posts: 9,598

    Re: Vieques - belated report

    IV: I'm chuckling that you think the Federales are an issue on Vieques. They are certainly not visible. It's one of the more laid-back places in the Caribbean. BTW, isn't nudity illegal on SB?
    Josh, josh, josh. Let me 'splain something to you.

    First of all, women being topless are not only NOT illegal on St Barth, they are protected by French law which gives them the right to be topless anywhere a man can be topless.

    As to the law against nudity, that is one of those French laws that French people know you are expected to break. The ONLY reason they still have that law on the books is so that they can haul you in for other reasons if they have to do so.

    "But I dont care WHAT les gendarmes said, I WAS NOT BEING INAPPROPRIATE AND LOUD!"

    "Well, he was the nekkids, so we hauled him ins".

    It's their legal ace in the hole they like to have if they need it for other reasons.

  15. #15
    JoshA is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2005 Annapolis Posts: 4,106

    Re: Vieques - belated report

    Merci for 'splainin that. Believe the law works the same way on many islands. They got Al Capone for tax evasion. We're really talkin' 'bout local culture and practice now, ain't we? The practice on a deserted beach is ....

    Well, now, if a tree falls naked in a forest and there's no one around to see it, does it still make a noise?

  16. #16
    PBnJ is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Mar 2005 St Barth Posts: 2,504

    Re: Vieques - belated report

    GDP, Josh, sorry I just noticed this thread. George, what we didn't like was the overall feeling we got when we arrived. When we were driven to the villa we were to stay at (in a minivan which looked as though it had spent it's previous life delivering Chinese food in NYC) we were greeted by the car rental "guy". He informed us to leave the doors all unlocked when we left the car because "they" will just smash them to get inside and maybe we could hide the baby seat in the back each time we get out because "they" try to steal everything. Not too convenient. The radio was already missing and don't worry about the check engine light because the engine is fine, it's just "missing" something . Hmmmm, not the most pleasing thing to hear when we first arrive. The villa itself was not really a rental but rather a home to somebody who vacated so we could rent it so "don't answer the phone, let the machine get it". The pool looked nice enough so after before heading to the store I jumped in and created a cloud of dirt that apparently had nicely settled itself on the floor of the pool since it's last use. The villa was surrounded by a six to eight foot fence with barb wire on top and had a gate that we would open and close with a garage door opener. We went down the street to the local store, I think it was called the green store and upon exiting the car we found ourselves basically in a pile of trash and empty beer cans. Entering the store was just as fun since we both got an immediate scent of urine up our nose. It didn't smell to pretty and was just as dirty offering pretty much bare necessities, while locals just hang outside smoking and drinking. The random chickens and dogs running around didn't bother me, neither did the horses, but the amount of s**t around the streets wasn't to pretty. We did go to a beach the first day and there was no guard in the guard house so we kind of enjoyed it but were weary of the few odd looking lurkers hanging out in the little cabana picnic table things. The second day we were refused entry to that same beach because the now present guard couldn't or didn't want to break a twenty for the five dollar fee. Well, we went into town to the larger store and were greeted by some whistlers hanging out under a tree out front apparently pleased with the look of my wife. Just gave as a creepy feeling and felt uncomfortable enough to head directly back to the villa to book our way out. The few restaurants we did get to try in our short stay were not that great to say the least. I would recommend the Island for spring breakers, since most of the tourist we saw looked like college kids who were on a tight budget. After returning home after gettting our fix on SBH, we shared our story with family and one gentleman, Jose, who works with my sister-in-law, who is a Puerto Rican native said, "man, I wish I knew that's where you were going. I would have told you to stay in San Juan." But, to each their own. Everybody's opinion counts.
    I don't have a solution but I admire the problem.

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