Due to arriving late on our first day in Vieques, we only had 2 full days to explore all that the island has to offer. We had waited to the last minute and unfortunately missed out on the opportunity to rent a jeep (the best method of getting around Vieques). We called car rental companies and checked out an equipment rental booth in Esperanza to see if there were any scooters available. None. We came up empty each time and started to get discouraged. The equipment rental shop said to come back in an hour thought and the might have one. We came back and what we heard was something like this:
We have one left but its kind of reserved for someone else. If you fill out the paperwork quick and leave then you can have it!
Jake signed the papers and we took off as fast as we could! We had a blast checking out the awesome food cart, Sol Food, and snorkeling at Blue Beach and jumping waves a Red Beach (read here about day #1). Simply, driving around the stunning island was amazing! We had a little mishap when our scooter blew a tire on the way back from the beach though. Not to mention, we had 2nd degree sunburns brewing and we were pretty dehydrated. And we broke down near yellow jackets. Aaaaaand there were wild horses nearby (which we were told to stay away from). But we were in PARADISE and NOTHING could get our spirits down! We were eventually rescued and made out with an even better scooter 😉 In the end, exploring Vieques by scooter turned out to be one of our best travel memories.
On our last day on Vieques we decided to explore as much as we could on the island. We did not prepare well at all. I don’t know why we didn’t think to pack snacks, but we didn’t. We picked up a couple water bottles on our way out of Esperanza and made our way to the other side of the island towards Isabel II. Nothing really caught our attention in Isabel II expect some ice cream while getting gas. Ice cream cone in hand, we were off. We didn’t know where we were going, we just kept going in a new direction.
400 Year old Ceiba Tree
We then came across (the above) massive 400 year old Ceiba tree. It was pretty cool to see up close, but even better because of the wild horses roaming around us. This was one of my favorite parts of our road trip because we only saw one other scooter the entire time. For a busy holiday weekend we had expected more people to be exploring this part of the island, but that wasn’t the case. There are also some old ruins from a sugar plantation near here. We didn’t see it but I wish that we had.
We also passed the stunning Ecumenical Chapel, which was feet away from the beach. Driving on the main road towards Green Beach you can’t miss this site.
Mosquito Pier was another place that we hadn’t expected to come upon, but were so glad we did! The memory of driving down this pier, with the sun shining and the waves crashing is what gives me a wild sense of wanderlust! Apparently there is some good snorkeling near Mosquito Pier and you can catch some sights of turtles.
Green Beach and Kiani Lagoon
Our end goal was to eventually find the elusive Green Beach, which apparently is difficult to get to without a vehicle. It was definitely difficult once we hit the dirt roads. We never made it to Green Beach. We got hungry. As mentioned above, we (who love to eat!) somehow forgot to pack snacks. So by the time we made it to the other side of the island (which takes a long time on a scooter on dirt roads), we were famished.
We made it as far as Kiani Lagoon (pictured below). Looking at a map, it kills me because we were SO CLOSE! But alas, I guess it wasn’t meant to happen. Next time we will be better prepared. We decided to take an alternative route on the way back to Esperanza, and cut directly across the island. The green vegetation was absolutely stunning. If you make it to Vieques, do yourself a favor and find some mode of transortation. Vieques can’t really be fully explored without it. Esperanza is lovely, but it’s such a small part of the island.