What Are the Best Beaches in Vieques? 16 Amazing Island Getaways

Isla de Vieques is the island’s island, where you can experience the raw and pristine wild of Puerto Rico’s beauty, nature, and beaches. Vieques has innumerable wonders to explore. But without a doubt, its beaches draw in visitors from all over, and for good reason. Vieques has everything from glistening white sand shores to black sand beaches and brightly glowing bays. So whether you’re looking for a quick romantic getaway or a fun and vibrant beach for the whole family, it has something for you. And to help you find the perfect idyllic escape, here is your guide to the 16 best beaches in Vieques for endless days under the sun. 

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Which Side of Vieques Has the Best Beaches?

Far and away, the south coast of Vieques takes the crown for the island’s best beaches. Stretching from the eastern town of Esperanza to the raw wilds of the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, you’ll find the prettiest shores, the most convenient beaches, and the most unique spots along the southern coast.

With so many beautiful coasts and hidden coves, there’s no telling where you’ll find your next favorite beach in Vieques.

The 15 Best Beaches in Vieques Plus One You Can’t Miss

Relax on golden sands, hike gorgeous cliffs, and dive beneath the surface of these beaches to discover vibrant worlds of color. From busy beaches to quiet and secluded oases, don’t miss these stunning shores that top the list of the best beaches in Vieques. 

1. Playa Caracas

Ask anyone in Vieques what their favorite beach on the island is. Odds are you’ll hear the name Playa Caracas quite a bit. A fan favorite for both locals and visitors, this beach’s beauty is its crown jewel. 

Playa Caracas might be one of the prettiest beaches you’ll ever visit, not just in Vieques but in all of Puerto Rico. Located just inside the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, the pristine quality of this beach is apparent as soon as you step foot on the sandy shore. 

Bordered by trees and rocky cliffs at either end, the white sand and crystal-clear waters are postcard-perfect no matter how you look at it. Stroll along the vast stretch of sand or splash about in the gentle waves. While the beach doesn’t sport any restrooms, you may snag a gazebo, perfect for a picnic if you head here early enough. As one of the island’s most scenic spots, it’s pretty clear why Playa Caracas is one of the best beaches in Vieques.

2. Pata Prieta Beach

Located within the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, Pata Prieta is known by another name, Secret Beach. The name is ironic because the beach is hardly a secret to locals or visitors. Nevertheless, despite its well-known status, you’ll find it empty most days. 

Not immediately accessible from the parking lot and lying at the bottom of a steep trail,  Pata Prieta takes a bit more effort to reach. On the way down, you’ll likely catch glimpses of the shore through the trees, but nothing will compare to the view once you emerge onto this half-moon bay. 

Calm days reveal serene waters, perfect for snorkeling and exploring the marine life at Pata Prieta Beach. Lay in the sand to soak up the sun or rest beneath the shade to enjoy the views. The jewel-like waters change with the light, making for an enchanting view no matter the time of day.

How Do I Get to Vieques’ Secret Beach?

While not actually a secret beach, Pata Prieta Beach certainly feels like a hidden escape on Vieques. Located within the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, it’s relatively easy to get to with a four-wheel drive and sturdy shoes.

After you enter the Wildlife Reserve, you can follow the main road until you see the Pata Prieta Beach sign. Turn off there, and you’ll find a parking lot where you can leave your car. From the parking lot, you’ll follow the path to the beach. The trail is roughly 200 feet, short but downhill through brush and over rocks, so be sure to wear sensible shoes. Once you arrive, you can take them off to sink your toes into the beautiful golden sands of Pata Prieta.

3. Playa La Chiva

When people say they love long walks on the beach, we’re pretty sure they’re talking about Playa La Chiva. This gorgeous painter’s palette of a beach stretches for a mile and a half along the coast of the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge with gorgeous golden sand and all the shades of blue. 

As you walk from the west end of the beach to the east, the waters lighten from dark navy to deep turquoise and eventually become so clear that you won’t be sure you’re not looking at glass as you gaze over the sea. This myriad of colors might be one reason the beach was nicknamed “Blue Beach” when the Navy resided on the island. However, locals much prefer their own name, La Chiva.

Due to its size, Playa La Chiva has 20 entrance points, all numbered. The beach at either end is a bit rockier than in the middle but ideal for snorkeling. Between these spots and the clear, shallow waters between the cay and the main island, snorkelers are in for a real treat at Playa La Chiva.  

4. Playa La Plata 

For those in search of true paradise, Playa La Plata might just be it. This secluded cove isn’t beloved for its amenities—there are none—but instead for its natural wonders: gorgeous white sand, tranquil ocean waves, and blessed quiet. 

Playa La Plata has some of the purest white sand in Vieques. Add in the way the turquoise water shines and makes the beach sand glimmer, and Playa La Plata really lives up to the name Silver Beach.

On top of the scenery, the silence of this cove is a definite draw. You’ll rarely find more than two to three other cars at this beach, and cell service drops regularly. This means that for many, it’s just them and the sounds of the waves gently rolling against the shore.

While it might be known as a lover’s haven, Playa La Plata is great for friends and singles who want to enjoy the glittering sand and breathtaking scenery.

5. Navio Beach

It’s not often that you find a one-size-fits-all beach that caters to almost every type of beachgoer. Yet nestled between the Vieques beaches of Sun Bay and Mosquito Bay lies just that beach. 

Lined by palm trees and framed by cliffs at either end, the scene at Navio Beach is one of pristine beauty. Jewel-toned waters playfully dash against the shore, providing the perfect backdrop for beach lounging. The gentle waves make it a great spot to learn surfing or try boogie boarding out on the water. Hidden caves will draw curious hikers to the east end of the beach, where daredevils looking to take things up a notch can leap from the cliffs into the waters below. 

Whether you’re in the mood for relaxed lounging, playful fun, or serious thrills, Navio Beach promises all that and more amid a lush and adventurous landscape.

6. Playa Grande

Just as the name would suggest, Playa Grande is a large beach offering a long stretch of sand and magnificent views that encapsulate the term grand. 

Waving palm trees and craggy rock walls line the back of the beach, while rocky boulders dot the shoreline. Out on the water, the rougher waves don’t lend themselves to much swimming or snorkeling, which is fine because the shore will keep beachgoers plenty occupied. Walk the long stretch of sand from Playa Grande to Playa Negrita and take in the views, stopping to snap photos of the dramatic panoramas. Lucky visitors may just spot Paso Fino horses enjoying the beach scene while pelicans soar overhead. Wild and free, the scene at Playa Grande perfectly encapsulates the raw beauty of Vieques beaches.

7. Playa Escondida

Escape to your own little slice of paradise at Playa Escondida. The name Escondida (hidden) is perfect for this private beach tucked away within the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge. Only a few feet wide, this little cove could be in the running for the smallest beach in the world. As it stands, it’s certainly the smallest among the many Vieques beaches. 

So naturally, the intimate setting lends itself to romantic getaways nestled in a picture-perfect tropical scene. The narrow strip of sand is backed by verdant hills and fronted by gentle ocean waves. The water is perfect for a swim, or you can sit back on the shore and take in the sight of distant cays as you listen to the sounds of the sea. Whatever your preference, Playa Escondida is the spot to hide away from the world and simply enjoy nature and the company of each other.  

8. Playa Negra/Negrita

Black sand beaches in the US aren’t exclusive to the Big Island of Hawaii. If you’re tired of strolling white sand beaches and golden shores, then a little jaunt to Playa Negra may be just the thing. 

As the name suggests, Playa Negra is a black sand beach. Uniquely, it’s the only one in Puerto Rico. Though more recently, storms have washed away more of the black sand, the beach’s remaining sands are a sight to see. Gold sand sloping into the sea mixes with the black sand clinging to the cliff base. The landscape also offers a mesmerizing display of foamy waves and rocky cliffs, creating a gorgeous contrast to this multi-colored sand. The result is a gorgeous shore that makes for a great photo-op.

Unsurprisingly, Playa Negra is one of the most famous beaches in Vieques. While it’s not the best beach for swimming or water sports, it’s still a must-see shore during your time on Vieques.

9. Sun Bay Beach

Located across the way from Mosquito Bay, the neighboring shore holds the attention of many a visitor during nighttime hours. But as its name would suggest, the daylight hours quite firmly belong to Playa Sun Bay. 

The only beach in Vieques with public facilities, Sun Bay sports lifeguards, showers, bathrooms, and even a spot to purchase food. But if all of that sounds busy, Sun Bay stretches for over two miles, ensuring plenty of uncrowded sand for beachgoers to spread out and find a quiet section to enjoy to themselves—and perhaps with some wild horses. 

While the waters don’t hold much in the way of marine life, the calm waves are perfect for families with little ones. The convenient amenities, paired with the beach’s natural serenity, make Sun Bay one of the best beaches in Vieques.

10. Playa El Gallito

You don’t always have to head into the wild to take a trip off the beaten path. Nowhere is that more apparent than this little slip of sand just off Route 200 on the island’s busy north shore.  

Playa El Gallito is not the oft-visited Playa Caracas or even the hidden away Playa Escondida. It can’t claim the picture-perfect sands of some of the best Vieques beaches or the quiet seclusion of others. But this little beach isn’t lacking in its own unique charms. From the minute you step foot on the sand, it feels like an authentic island beach, and that may be because it’s not crowded by tourists but frequented by Vieques residents. If you come on the right day, it’s the perfect time to interact with the locals and experience some of the real Vieques.

Plan your visit for a calm day, and Playa El Gallito becomes an excellent snorkeling spot, thanks to a small reef just offshore on the east side of the beach. With lush trees providing pockets of shade, El Gallito is the perfect spot for a chill hangout.

11. Cofi Beach

One of the best beaches in the Isabel II barrio, Playa Cofi is best known to English speakers by another name: Sea Glass Beach. Visitors arriving at the shore are immediately greeted by a dazzling display of color. From the crisp blue of the water to the foaming waves and the reddish-brown rocks sitting atop golden sand, Sea Glass Beach is a spot of surreal beauty. 

But, of course, the true reason for the name is apparent upon a stroll along the coast. Colorful bits of sea glass dot the glittering beach, so prized that even local artisans come to sift through the sand for pretty stones to make into their handicrafts. Take a stone from the beach or buy one of the handicrafts as a souvenir. It’s the perfect memento to take with you as a reminder of visiting one of the best and most beautiful beaches in Vieques.

12. Punta Arenas

It’s not often you find a beach where getting to the beach is half the fun. Punta Arenas promises a delightful journey along with a mesmerizing destination. Located inside the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, visitors must drive along a dirt road flush with verdant foliage reminiscent of a large tropical jungle. Nature reigns, with birds singing in trees and lush greenery every way you look. In fact, all the beautiful green is likely how the English name “Green Beach” came about, but you’ll rarely hear it called that now.

When you arrive at Punta Arenas, you’re treated to even more spectacular scenes, with large palm fronds waving in the wind and blue waters lapping at golden shores. Punta Arenas is one of the best beaches in Vieques to snorkel and see stunning creatures like manta rays, tropical fish, and beloved sea turtles. With the gentle waves and shallow spots, it’s ideal for families to enjoy a day at the beach.

13. Playa Esperanza

The quintessential beach with everything, Playa Esperanza sits within walking distance of numerous bars and restaurants, hotels, and restroom facilities. One of the crowning features of the beach is La Esperanza pier jutting out over the water. Plan your visit to Esperanza Beach on a Sunday, and you can join the local tradition of jumping from the pier into the crystal-clear waters below. 

Travel beyond the pier, and the beach gets quieter, with more room to spread out. You can grab a spot to unwind or keep walking. To the west lies Playa Negrita, which can be reached during low tide, while Sun Bay sits to the east.

Centrally located for a good time, Playa Esperanza puts many of the best beaches in Vieques within easy reach.

14. Playuela

Located along the same route that takes visitors to Playa Caracas, this beautiful beach is easy to miss and often overlooked. However, it’s definitely worth a stop on your tour of the best beaches in Vieques. It requires a bit of a hike, which dissuades more easy-going beach lovers but means this beach is virtually untouched by the masses. 

The soft golden sand slopes gently into sparkling turquoise waters with gentle waves rolling onto the shore. Playuela is backed by rolling green hills and rocky cliffs, and hikers will love exploring the Cerro Playuela trail near the beach. The path that ends atop the Puerto Ferro Cliffs offers stunning views of the cliffs, the Caribbean, and the surrounding beaches. Just be sure to watch your step!

15. Media Luna Beach

The name says it all. Media Luna Beach is a half-moon-shaped beach that screams Caribbean paradise. Soft white sand stretches along the shore, waving palm trees offer shady spots to hide from the blazing sun, and calm waves invite those of all ages into the water. 

Walk through the shallow waters and watch schools of colorful tropical fish dart around your feet. Or take your snorkel gear to the reef on the left side of the beach for a closer look. Enjoy the watersports with your kids, splash about in the water, or simply relax on the sand. Media Luna Beach is one of the best beaches for families visiting Vieques and absolutely perfect for children.

16. Mosquito Bay

While you can’t exactly lounge on the beach at Mosquito Bay as you can at other beaches in Vieques, this magical shore is a must to include on any proper list of the best beaches on the island. As one of three bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico and the brightest bay in the world, come nightfall this beach quite literally shines. 

Running your hand through the waters of the bay produces bright bursts of beautiful blue light. In the water’s depths, you may catch glimpses of nurse sharks and gliding manta rays backlit by the haunting yet mesmerizing glow.

Kayak tours out on the water are one of the best ways to experience the magic of this natural phenomenon. As you glide over the bay, it’ll look like you’re paddling through the stars. While not exactly your typical beach day—or night—it’s undoubtedly an experience you’ll never forget.

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