Kathy’s Snorkeling Guide to Vieques South Beaches
- All beaches are good, sandy beaches for swimming (unless otherwise noted)
- The only beach with a bathroom and snack bar is Sun Bay.
- Almost all beaches have shade trees except where noted. Gazebos for shade are found only at Red, Blue, Green and Media Luna.
created by Casa de Kathy
Beaches walking distance from Esperanza
|1||Esperanza Beach||2||1||Snorkel under the long pier and between the two piers, to see fish, turtles, rays|
|2||Outside Key (Cayo Afuera)||1||2||Snorkel to the left and right side of the Cayo. Do not swim to Cayo unless you are well-marked to avoid being hit by a boat. Or rent kayaks for about $35 per day.|
|3||In front of Trade Winds Restaurant||2||1||Enter the water in the sandy beach across from Banana’s and swim west past the Trade Winds. Lots of fish.|
|4||Coco Beach (Playa Cocal)||2||2||This beach can be accessed by a dirt road near the intersection of Flamboyan & Tintillos streets. You need water shoes or fins to enter the water because it is a rocky coast. Be careful when there are waves. Good snorkeling is away from the shore in deep water in the middle of the bay. Very isolated, do not go alone.|
|5||Sun Bay||3||1||Some snorkeling in the middle of the bay where you see reefs along the shore. Also decent snorkeling on the far east (left) side but you have swim a distance to see the reefs. Fish & sea fans. Snack bar.|
|6||Media Luna||3||1||Calms waters make it good swimming for small kids. Decent snorkeling on the far east (left) side but you have swim a distance to see the reefs. Shallow. Fish & sea fans.|
|7||Navio||2||3||Great for jumping the waves. Unless the sea is calm, you cannot snorkel much here. Snorkel on the west (right) side.|
|8||Black Sand Beach /Beaches west of Esperanza||2||3||All the beaches west of Esperanza have waves breaking on rocks and reefs. Water shoes or fins are needed. Be careful. Don’t go alone because it is isolated.|
Beaches inside the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge
|9||Playa Caracas (Red Beach)||1||2||Snorkel on the east side (left). Go to the point where the waves start crashing on the rocks. Lots of great sea fans.|
|10||Playuela (Playa Garcia)||1||3||Snorkel on the island off the beach. Be careful if there are waves.|
|11||Playa la Chiva (Blue Beach)||1||2||Start opposite Goat Island (La Chiva) and swim to the west side of staying away from the close end of the island because that is shallow. Many pretty things to see. In good weather you can swim all around the island – leave plenty of time to do that.|
|12||Pata Prieta (Secret Beach)||2||1||Snorkel on the left and right to see nice reefs with fish. Very little shade on this beach.|
|13||Playa Plata (Silver Beach)||1||2||There are several places to snorkel – best is on the right (west) side. Sometimes ocean is too rough to snorkel. Little shade on this beach.|
Snorkeling: 1 – Excellent, 2 – Good, 3 – OK, 4 – Poor.
Difficulty: 1 – Easy, 2 – Normal, 3 – Advanced.
There are more snorkeling areas on the north and west coasts of Vieques.
Most popular are the beach at Mosquito Pier (the old Navy pier) where you will usually see many starfish, the end of Mosquito Pier to swim with turtles and Puntas Arenas (Green Beach) on the western tip of Vieques. Do not stay much later than 4:30 PM at Puntas Arenas because the biting flies and gnats will bother you.