Vieques ranks high on island-hoppers’ bucket list
“We scoured the globe to find 10 islands that belong on your must list. Each of these places offers something that you can’t find anywhere else, from the largest man-made archipelago to hot springs so therapeutic they’ve been popular since Roman times,” the Yahoo Travel report reads.
Yahoo Travel’s “10 Islands to Explore Before You Die” list ranks Vieques as second behind Bali. The island town is 21 miles long and 3 miles wide, covering 52 square miles of area about 30 miles off the coast of Fajardo. Vieques derives its name from the Taíno Indian word for small island (bieques).
“If you’re going to imagine yourself on an exotic island, dare to dream big! Here are 10 one-of-a-kind islands where you’ll discover every item on your wish list, from overwater bungalows and pristine wildlife to sublime street food and mysterious cultural monuments,” Yahoo reported.
Yahoo Travel credits Vieques with the world’s clearest bioluminescent bay.
“When the U.S. Navy packed up and left Vieques in 2003, after more than 60 years, it left something behind: unspoiled nature,” Yahoo said.
Land once used for bombing practice is now designated as a national wildlife refuge.
The web powerhouse noted that mega-resorts like those found on the Puerto Rican mainland are still outnumbered in Vieques by “homey inns.”
With a population of only 10,000 and just two notable towns — Isabel Segunda on the northern side of the island and the far smaller Esperanza on the south — visitors can expect plenty of elbow room on the unspoiled beaches of Vieques.
“The effect is that when you reach a beach at the end of a dirt road here, your reward is having the sand largely to yourself,” Yahoo said.
But the real reason Vieques belongs on any island-hopper’s bucket list is Mosquito Bay.
“Of the seven bioluminescent bays on the planet, Puerto Mosquito is the most impressive, thanks to the clarity and brightness of its waters,” Yahoo said.
“Schedule a moonless night for a swim or kayak tour and you’ll be greeted by billions of micro-organisms called dinoflagellates that ignite the water with a magical blue-green glow,” Yahoo recommends. “It’s like swimming in a watercolor painting.”
Yahoo’s ‘10 Islands to Explore Before You Die’
3. Easter Island (Chile)
4. Ischia (Bay of Naples)
5. Chiloé (Chile)
Bora Bora (French Polynesia)
7. Key West
8. Penang (Malaysia)
9. Galápagos (Ecuador)
10. Palm Islands Dubai