13 Best Tours & Excursions In Vieques, Puerto Rico (2022)

Vieques is an island located 6-miles off the east-coast of Puerto Rico’s main island.

Vieques is home to the world’s brightest bioluminescent bay and is known for its pristine beaches and wild horses.

After visiting Vieques many times with a local, I can tell you that there is no shortage of exciting tours to take on your trip.

In this article, I will cover the 13 best tours and excursions in Vieques, Puerto Rico:

 

1. Bioluminescent bay tour

Vieques has the brightest bio bay in the world.

You can kayak through this bay at night and experience glowing water. 

This is a once in a life time experience, and should not be missed. 

image of two people kayaking with bioluminescence around them
Image of kayakers in Mosquito Bay, Vieques.

It is difficult to capture this experience with a camera as you need special long exposure settings. Even with the right settings the images captured don’t do it justice. 

Every stroke of your paddle will cause single-celled plankton called dinoflagellates to emit blue light. 

Many tours utilize glass-bottom kayaks to enhance the experience. 

Below is a video showing Mosquito Bio Bay in Vieques:

To learn more, read our article about Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays.

 

2. Horseback riding tours

Horseback riding tours provide a view of Vieques like no other.

Explore the paths and trails of undisturbed tropical forests and secluded beaches that are not accessible with other forms of transportation.  

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Jurutungo Farm, Vieques (@jurutungofarm)

Photo Credit: @jurutungofarm

Enjoy a graceful ride across the sand on the backs of well-trained Paso Fino horses.

These horses are known for their naturally smooth gait. They are often adopted, well cared for, and loved by their owners. Your patronage helps support their rescue with some companies.

Tours can accommodate any experience level. Helmets are provided.

Below is a video showing horseback riding on the beach:

Visit Jurutungo Farm to book your tour.

 

3. Beach hopping tours

Vieques has 50 square miles of public beaches each with its own personality. 

Many of these beaches are a part of the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge.

image of Sun Bay beach
Sun Bay is has crystal clear water and white sands.

Vieques beaches are usually pretty much empty even on the busiest days. 

These beaches are truly gorgeous and offer the rare opportunity to have an entire beach to yourself.

Beach hopping tours that are available to experience several unique beaches covered in everything from white sands, gold sands, magnetic black sand, and even beaches covered in sea glass.

Check out Vieques beaches in the following video:

To book your beach hopping tour, contact Vieques Concierge.

 

4. Snorkeling tour

Vieques is home to some of the best spots to snorkel.

Swim with sea turtles, tropical fish, stingrays, dolphins, and amazing coral beds.

There are several tours run by knowledgeable local staff that will guide you on a journey to dip below the surface and see the unspoiled reefs. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Video Credit: @saltyspiritofficial

Experienced guides are able to assure safety and are able to adjust tours for specific weather conditions to cultivate unforgettable interactions with the various species of marine life. 

Some companies offer snorkeling tours that offer transportation, refreshments, sanitized snorkel gear and digital photos all included in the price.

Check out a snorkeling tour in the following video:

You can book your private snorkeling tour with Salty Spirit.

 

5. Scuba diving tours

Another charm of Vieques is its crystal clear warm water with temperatures that range from 74 to 80 degrees year-round.

These are perfect conditions for SCUBA diving.

image of scuba divers underwater
Scuba diving tours on Vieques will show you diverse marine life and secret caves.

Some diving sites have clear visibility down to 100 ft. Here, you can easily interact with turtles, dolphins, and manatees and enjoy the view of colorful coral. 

There are different diving spots around the island — Mosquito Pier, Cayo Afuera, and Corona Reef. Some companies even offer night diving with UV light.

Tours offer exclusive opportunities to visit remote areas of the waters and shipwrecks to see creatures you wouldn’t find on your own.

Below is a video showing scuba diving in Vieques:

Visit Black Beard Sports to book your dive.

 

6. Sailboat tours

One of the best ways to see Vieques is from the water.

Many private tour companies take pride in offering their personal touch of hospitality. 

Several tours provide complimentary beverages, a lite fare, or even home-cooked meals while onboard often prepared fresh from locally sourced food.

image of floating sail boat near Vieques
Boating around Vieques near sunset is highly recommended.

Knowledgeable and engaging crews offer shared stories that intimately connect you with the ecology and local history of Vieques. 

Chartered sailing offers opportunities to explore many off-grid locations for open-water snorkeling and enjoy exclusive access to marine life that has not been disturbed by large crowds. 

Whether you are a snorkeling enthusiast or simply want to enjoy a relaxing ride across Caribbean waters in the company of friends, chartering a sailboat is a satisfying way to spend the day in Vieques.

Visit Vieques Sailing to book your trip.

 

7. Hiking tours

60% of Vieques is covered by the Vieques Wildlife Refuge.

At 17,771 acres, it is the largest wildlife refuge in the Caribbean.

image of Vieques Island cove
Vieques Wildlife Refuge offers visitors the opportunity to visit picturesque Caribbean beaches.

The Vieques National Wildlife Refuge was established in 2000 to preserve the environment for the public to safely enjoy wildlife. 

Various hiking tours offer an opportunity to see some of the island’s migratory birds, 4 endangered plants, and 10 endangered animal species, as well as protected historical and archaeological resource sites. 

The refuge also features a view from the Puerto Ferro lighthouse ruins that offer fantastic views of Mosquito Bay, and the southern cays. 

Book a tour with Black Beard Sports.

 

8. Fishing tours

If you are not one to dine out, you can catch your dinner deep sea fishing.

There are many fishing tours in Vieques and if you are a fishing enthusiast, you are in for a treat.

image of boat used for fishing tour
Fishing on Vieques can be done with a spear or a line.

Explore the hidden coves around Vieques and be transported to remote ocean areas where you can catch Mahi Mahi, wahoo, African pompano, and barracuda.

All equipment is provided on most tours, including coolers and licenses. You must bring your own drinks and snacks.

Below is a video of fishing in Vieques:

To book a tour, contact Vieques Sport Fishing.

 

9. Sugar Mill Ruins tour

A guided tour of The Sugar Mill Ruins is a sweet treat for history lovers.

 
 
 
 
 
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Photo Credit: @gr.ee.n_orchid

Passionate and knowledgeable guides point out clues to spark your imagination taking you back through the culture and history of this 19th-century sugar mill now covered in green foliage. 

Vieques had a strong sugar cane economy prior to the 1940s. It is not easy to find this landmark as there are no well-defined roads or trails and the markers are hard to notice. 

The Sugar Mill Ruins tour is a true hands-on history lesson.

Learn more about the Sugar Mill Ruins in the following video:

Get more information about this tour by contacting the Vieques Historical Trust.

 

10. Abandoned military bunkers 

Camouflaged to appear like rolling hills, the now abandoned area is where the military stored their ammunition during their 60-year operation in Vieques.

Located about 4 miles past Mosquito Pier along Route 200, there is an unmarked road that can prove difficult to find. This is where the bunkers are, and it is located in the same wooded area as the Sugar Mill Ruins.

View from inside the bunkers looking out.

Following the Peace for Vieques protests in 2003, the military shut down its bases on the island and left behind many artifacts.

Visitors can explore open abandoned bunkers, and perhaps stumble upon the illusive Bunker 412. 

At Bunker 412, you can see a collaborative art installation entitled “Reclaiming Vieques: Memory and Imagination.”

Photos taken in the 1940’s cover the doors of the bunker and depict Viequenses being evicted from their homes. 

vieques bunker inside
Inside an abandoned bunker.

Years after the military left, the bunkers were transformed into a disco that played salsa and bachata, attracting visitors to dance in the middle of nowhere.

This club is no longer in existence but is an interesting part of the area’s history.

Below is a video showing the bunkers:

For more information about touring, visit the Vieques Historical Trust on the boardwalk in Esperanza.

 

11. Food tour 

There is no shortage of yummy things to eat on Vieques

Esperanza has plenty of creative food trucks and eateries to try. The Malecón is perfect for enjoying lunch by the sea.

image of Puerto Rican dishes
Food at Bili, a restaurant located on the boardwalk in Esperanza.

A 3-hour food tour may very well fill your belly with 4-7 culinary stops along the way. 

A food tour can create an opportunity to indulge in a variety of Puerto Rican food guided by a local, like mofongo, tostones, empanadas, and arepas. 

Try Bili, the official drink of Vieques, made with quenepas and rum. The drink is traditionally buried underground until it is ready to drink.

Nourish yourself with the catch of the day like whole lobster and scallops, conch, or yellow tail just to name a few. 

To book this tour, visit Vieques Concierge.

 

12. Crab Island Distillery tour

Vieques has its own distillery called Crab Island Rum Distillery. 

Crab Island is the first and only handcrafted distillery in Vieques.

 
 
 
 
 
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Photo Credit: @crabislandrum

With knowledgeable staff, you can learn about the distilling process, taste different rums like coffee or orange infusions, and even purchase rum to take home as a souvenir. 

The venue is a relaxed family farm-like atmosphere with pigs, chickens, and cute and friendly family pups roaming about. 

There is a shaded picnic table and a food truck to complement the rum drinks available.

For more information, visit the Crab Island Rum website.

 

13. Ceiba Tree tour

Visit the oldest Ceiba tree in the eastern region of Puerto Rico.

image of the oldest Ceiba Tree in Vieques
The oldest Ceiba Tree in Vieques is a starting point for many tours on the island.

This enormous tree is said to be over 500 years old. 

In the religion of the Indigenous people of Puerto Rico (Taino), the Ceiba tree is the daughter of the Goddess YaYa. 

Tours visiting the Ceiba Tree are generally part of a package that includes other historical landmarks in Vieques like the fort in Isabela II and the island’s lighthouses. 

When it rains, water pools in around the various limbs and roots to quench the thirst of various local creatures like tiny crabs and Paso Fino horses roaming about. 

This iconic tree is a meeting place for various tours on the island. 

Book your tour with Vieques Concierge.

 

 

FAQ section

What is the best tour in Vieques?

The Mosquito Bay Bioluminescent Bay tour is the best tour on Vieques.

Can cruise ship passengers visit Vieques?

No. There is a boat docking area in Isabel Segunda, but you can only arrive here by public ferry or private boat.

 

Final thoughts

Vieques is a small tropical island located off the east-coast of Puerto Rico’s main island. 

It has so much to offer, and should not be missed.

The best tour in Vieques is the bioluminescent night kayak tour. To learn more about how you can experience this excursion, read our guide about Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays.

Also, check out our article that explains how to get to Vieques from San Juan

Article by

Tree Alexander

Writer at PuertoRico.com. I have collected countless memories from traveling in Puerto Rico. I share my knowledge of Puerto Rico in my articles. When I’m not writing, I can be found traveling with my toy poodle and homeschooling my children.

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