Snorkeling Around Vieques

Photo credit © Sea Vieques
 

Home to what are arguably the best snorkeling sites in all of Puerto Rico, Vieques is located just off the eastern shore of the main island, accessible by ferry from Fajardo, and a favorite destination among snorkeling tour guides. 

What exactly is it that is so great about Vieques?  Soft sands lead out to shallow waters that are shockingly blue and feature excellent visibility.  Underwater, snorkelers are privy to patch reefs, vibrant fish, and other marine creatures such as sting rays, sea urchins, the occasional manatee, sometimes a nurse shark, and much more.

Almost every beach in Vieques is great for snorkeling, so you can bring your gear along with you and alternate your day between relaxing on the shore and under the surface of the sea exploring the aforementioned sites.  

If you aren't staying on the island, you can make it to Vieques on your own by taking the ferry from Fajardo, but many tour guides and sailing charters offer daily snorkeling excursions here for anywhere from $40 to $100(USD) per person.  

Snorkeling Sites

If you want to explore what's below the surface you might want to check out Esperanza Beach. This site is great for those interested in the more unique sites because here you'll likely encounter antler coral, manatees, and the occasional nurse shark. This snorkeling site is located in Esperanza, Vieques.

La Chiva is another option. As the breeding ground for several different juvenile fish species, you can definitely expect to see a lot of colorful little fish darting in and out of the nooks and crannies of this gorgonian coral forest. There are several other species of hard coral here, plus eagle rays, sea urchins, sea turtles, and much more.

A third site to consider is Secret Beach. The diversity of sea life is what most snorkelers find to be so appealing about this site, which has great visibility.

A fourth place where you can go snorkeling is El Gallito. Snorkeling is only good here on days when there is a southeast wind. The reef stretches from a rock outcropping on the west all the way to the rocks on the east, and within space is marine life galore. If you're interested, you'll find this site located in the western part of Vieques.

Esperanza Beach is a fifth option to consider. Visitors will find the best snorkeling here to be along the pier, but be warned that because it is so popular it can get busy -- especially on weekends.

Take some time to look through the following table for a quick overview of 9 of the most popular places where you can enjoy snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Vieques
Site Location
Esperanza Beach 0.4 mi. Southeast of Central Esperanza
La Chiva Central Vieques
Secret Beach 5.0 mi. East-Southeast of Central Isabel Segunda
El Gallito 2.1 mi. West of Central Isabel Segunda
Esperanza Beach 0.4 mi. Southeast of Central Esperanza
Green Beach 9.2 mi. West of Central Isabel Segunda
Secret Beach Central Vieques
Media Luna Beach 1.7 mi. East-Southeast of Central Esperanza
Mosquito Beach Pier 4.6 mi. West of Central Isabel Segunda

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Caribbean Lady Sailing Charters

For some people, the most enjoyable snorkeling is experienced away from the shore.

If you're ready to snorkel during a boat trip, you should consider Caribbean Lady Sailing Charters. All of Caribean Lady's charters are private, so there is no need to worry about mixing groups. The yacht can accommodate up to 6 people.

Another option worth investigating is Marauder Sailing Charters. Operating since 2003 and licensed by the United States Coast Guard, Marauder is a 34' classic sailing yacht that may accommodate up to 6 people. They're located within southwestern Vieques.

A third option is Little Boat Sailing. The featured excursions lead you to rarely visited areas of Vieques. They provide you with safety equipment, snorkeling gear, dry bags, and complimentary snacks and bottled water.

Some information regarding boat trips and day sails that offer snorkeling opportunities are displayed below.

Day Sails and Boat Trips On Vieques
Name Phone Location
Caribbean Lady Sailing Charters (787) 930-5610 0.5 mi. South-Southeast of Central Esperanza
Little Boat Sailing (787) 366-5202 Central Vieques
Marauder Sailing Charters (787) 435-4858 4.2 mi. South-Southwest of Central Isabel Segunda
SeaVieques (787) 435-0256 0.2 mi. North-Northwest of Central Isabel Segunda
Vieques Classic Charter (787) 467-3447 0.4 mi. South-Southeast of Central Esperanza
Vieques Island Powercat (787) 980-9978 0.4 mi. South-Southeast of Central Esperanza

Snorkeling Services

Isla Nena Snorkeling

If you're looking for a place offering snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you can check with Black Beard Sports. Guided snorkeling tours take visitors around to the top sports on Vieques. The tours last three hours and include transportation from the store to the snorkeling sites, equipment, snacks, water, and a guide. They are located within Isabel Segunda, Vieques.

A second company catering to snorkelers is Isla Nena Snorkeling. Socially responsible and focused on education as well as enjoyment, this dive center takes guests both diving and snorkeling off the coast of Vieques. Owned by Arnaud Erhart and Tania Puell, this small owner-operated business focuses on serious dive education and experience along with customer service.

A third place to consider is Fin Time Adventures. For a top-notch snorkeling and sailing adventure, this operation has you covered. Their trips are regularly scheduled, so there is always one on the horizon for you to book as a highlight of your trip. They're found in the northwestern part of Vieques.

The chart directly below enables you to get some key facts concerning 5 companies that offer services related to snorkeling.

Snorkeling Services On Vieques
Name Phone Location
Abe's Snorkeling (787) 741-2134 Isabel Segunda, Southern part of Vieques
Black Beard Sports (787) 741-1892 Isabel Segunda, Northwestern part of Vieques
Fin Time Adventures (787) 981-4109 0.3 mi. West-Southwest of Central Isabel Segunda
Isla Nena Snorkeling (787) 718-7605 0.4 mi. South-Southeast of Central Isabel Segunda
SeaVieques (787) 435-0256 Vieques

To learn more concerning snorkeling, including tips and suggestions for beginners and "pros" read this extensive Caribbean snorkeling article.

There are a lot of great snorkeling sites in Puerto Rico, but those that exist around the island of  Vieques are sure to amaze even the most seasoned watersports enthusiast.  

 

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