We just returned from a wonderful trip to Vieques. The house was perfect for our family of five (3 boys - 17, 15, 11). Tranquility by the Sea strikes the right balance for people who want a comfortable, spotlessly clean home base for their visit. High ceilings, ceiling fans throughout, easy to keep clean tiled floors, lots of windows and plenty of spots to park tired bodies are all there. We thoroughly enjoyed the two beaches in front of the house (to the left is great for sea glass collecting and wading; to the right was sandier swimming) and used them each day. Do remember to bring water shoes, the beach is a bit rocky and there are sea urchins nestled in the little nooks and crannies. But, if you forget, as we did, just head down to Blackbeard's in Isabel Segunda for a reasonably priced pair ($16).
Gloria is a helpful, patient owner who has done a good job of anticipating the needs of her renters. Marcel and her friend, William, are generous-hearted gems who greeted us at the ferry, ferried us to the house and to the car rental company and showed us how to find the house. Marcel stayed with our sons at the house for the close to 45 minutes it took for us to get our car and return to the house and showed the boys all around.
Yes, you are across from the Humane Society and the dogs do bark occasionally. But, really, unless a little canine noise bothers you excessively, it isn't a problem. If the noise did get too loud for you, all you would need to do is turn on one of the window a/c units and you wouldn't hear them at all. Gloria's preparations for her renters go above and beyond and she provides all the necessary contact info you might need for the Humane Society.
We opted for the ferry over the airplane to Vieques and had an easy time of it. The $18 for our family of five to travel roundtrip ($2/person over 12; $1/11 and under) far outweighed the one hour delay we had when we left Fajardo for Vieques. Still, we had time over cash and the locals we spoke with did say universally that the airplanes are far more reliable.
Must do's: Biobay tour with Vieques Adventures (transparent canoe-kayak hybrids are the ONLY way to see the gorgeousness), snorkeling with Captain Judy of SeaVieques (probably the best money we spent on side trips) and, if there are fisherfolk in your crew, contact Captain J of Amity Charters (well-seasoned captain, knows the island and is a font of useful information!).
Oh yeah, don't miss at least one dinner and sunset at Al's Mar Azul. A scrupulously clean "dive" bar which serves tasty food, beautiful sunsets in an environment which simultaneously welcomes families, expats and others seeking a rum punch with a punch and a tasty frozen concoction!
Now that Southwest has direct flights from Baltimore to San Juan - we will be back!!!
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