You might know Vieques for its bioluminescent bay, but this island located southeast of Puerto Rico is full of incredible snorkeling spots and natural wonders. Home to the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, the island boasts ecologically diverse marine habitats and many stunning beaches to choose from – with both white and black sand!
Where to Snorkel in Vieques
Since the island was occupied by the Navy for decades, it was essentially uninhabited, allowing the coral reefs to thrive without interference from humans and developments. Breathtaking reefs and fascinating artifacts left behind by the Navy are just some examples of what you might find on a Vieques snorkeling tour. Be on the lookout for rays, fish, hawksbill turtles and nurse sharks as well.
Families love Blue Beach (known by the locals as La Chiva) for being one of the best places to snorkel in Vieques. That’s because the aquamarine water is shallow and has excellent visibility. You can snorkel right off the beach and spread out along the length of the shoreline so you’ll feel like you have the place to yourself. Grass beds along the beach draw colorful schools of fish close to shore, and the waters are calm year-round, making this a top Vieques snorkeling spot for beginners. Stick to the rocky areas where marine life tends to congregate.
Punta Arenas is perhaps one of the most remote snorkeling beaches in Vieques, with many activities to entertain visitors. Snorkeling isn’t the only way to enjoy yourself here; bird watching is another popular pastime. Located on the northwest tip of Vieques, Punta Arenas is part of the National Wildlife Refuge, with many shallow spots to swim and snorkel. The beautiful flora along the beach makes you feel like you’ve stepped into the rainforest. Be careful not to step on the reefs as you enter the water. Many of them are very close to the shoreline, making it easy to spot sea creatures without having to snorkel out too far.
Esperanza Beach, on the south side of Vieques, is the only snorkeling spot with places to eat and stay within walking distance. If you’re a snorkeling aficionado, book a hotel near Esperanza Beach to enjoy easy access to incredible snorkeling and swimming. Some of the best snorkeling in the area is right under the concrete pier and in front of the Trade Winds Guesthouse.
If you’re looking for more secluded snorkeling spots or recommendations from locals, be sure to book a Vieques snorkeling tour or rental to get tips from local guides. They’ll help you find the best spots on the island and make your vacation a memorable one.