Caribbean Snapshots: Vieques Sunset, Puerto Rico

The wildest of the Virgin Islands offers a quiet respite from civilization


To discover the wild side of Puerto Rico, hop a ferry or take a short flight to the island of Vieques. Lying just seven miles east of the resort town of Fajardo, this quiet and sparsely populated member of the Spanish Virgin Islands is a world apart.

Much of the island falls within the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, with forests and green valleys where horses roam wild and coqui frogs fill the nights with sounds. Island roads twist and turn through groves of tamarind and mango trees as they lead to pristine beaches and secluded coves.

With more than 50 miles of undeveloped coastline to choose from, it’s easy to find a stretch of sand that sees few human footprints, especially for those who are willing to walk beyond the roadway’s end.

Come evening, island sunsets can be quite spectacular, as the day’s final light is transformed to dramatic shades of orange and red as it is refracted by the clouds that often shroud the highlands of Puerto Rico to the west.