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Puerto Rican Paradise

Went on the BEST last minute trip ever. But what do I expect when traveling with my friend Justin, who’s life motto seems to be changing every day. Took a private plane from the mainland of Puerto Rico to this cute island called Vieques. I was happy to know it resembled St. Thomas (where my mom grew up). We checked in at The Bravo Beach Hotel and immediately went right out for a walk around town in search of food.

The island was relatively small and easy to get around. Took these over sized construction worker vans to and from places, where they charged $15 flat or sometimes $10 if more passengers were picked up along the way. There seemed to be one main street for attraction, called Esperanza and especially this time of year as it was Easter Weekend and there was to be a live reenactment of Jesus being crucified.

We rented bikes first and went toward a dusty road that led to a private beach. It was quiet and secluded as jumped into the warm Caribbean waters. Read books and snorkeled a little bit, although I hate to admit I was deathly afraid of the spiked black sea anemones.

Later that night we took kayaks across the Puerto Mosquito Bioluminescent Bay, where hundreds of thousands of tiny green creatures dancing across your hand in the water.

The phytoplankton were so beautiful I wanted to scoop some and take it with me, but I knew they would never last, and why try to uproot it from their home anyway? The waves lapped across our kayaks as we made our way back to the lagoon-like shore, just 50 meters out. That night we ate fresh seafood and danced in town.

The next day we went on an even longer bike ride in search of this great snorkel spot near Punta Arenas. We trekked across horse-filled pastures, explored caves in an old molasses mill, and even found a ginormous ancient tree. We hadn’t packed food because we figured we would grab food at a road stand like we did the day prior. However this was not the case and we had to make a pit stop off track north at the airport to feed our appetite.

The water felt rewarding and great – Justin even saw a manta ray! I was able to snorkel by myself for a while but soon feared the unknown – AKA getting chopped into pieces in a hammer head feeding. We biked back exhausted and relaxed before the night Easter actives.

The following day, our last day (SAD), we concluded the trip with a “mild” horseback on the beach. I was worried that the horses were under fed and weak, however they surprised us in their gallop, causing Justin to even loose his sunglasses!

I felt silly because he left his sunglasses and shrugged it off, while I left my hat and cardigan and was extremely frustrated with myself as it seemed out of character to be so forgetful. Justin was a trouper and patiently waited for me to get my shit together. Then we said goodbye to the beautiful island and headed back to the dirty grime of NYC.



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