VIEQUES, PUERTO RICO
LA FINCA VIEQUES Eco Retreat
Now, here’s a travel post completely different to the other ones I’ve written. This one involves an eco-friendly retreat, in the middle of Puerto Rico’s jungle, where guests get to have their own “casita” (small home) with a private kitchen and balcony! In other words, you get to feel at home while being away from home! I spent four relaxing days at La Finca Vieques falling asleep to dozens of crickets and frogs orchestrating a soothing symphony outside my room, waking up to birds singing loudly while the sun peeked in through my window, putting on my bohemian and fair-trade dresses every day, walking barefoot on green grass, picking up flowers off the ground and braiding them into my curly humid hair, sipping fresh coffee at the communal casita with astonishing Pachamama views, cooking with fresh veggies and fruits from the nearest farmers market (and La Finca’s gardens), driving an electric golf cart to the nearest beaches with the most astonishing clear blue waters., and bathing in delicious outdoor showers powered by solar panels. A back-to-your-essence getaway I can’t wait to relive soon!
La Finca Vieques has a unique charming beauty with five guest casitas (entirely built by local women and the current owners) and made with reclaimed materials, solar panels providing electricity and heating the water and pool, and a big garden growing bananas, mangoes, starfruit and passionfruit. La Finca also has a communal casita for everyone to use. A super colorful and bohemian two-floor home offering daily morning coffee, beautiful views, board games, yoga mats, hammocks, and the perfect place for you to bond with other guests if you feel like doing so.
The casita we stayed at was simply perfect! Two floors, big windows, boho décor (just how I like it!), big balcony, colorful kitchen, and recycled furniture.
There are different ways of getting to La Finca and I tried both options. On the way there, I decided to take the adventurous route and chose the ferry. I flew from Miami to San Juan, Puerto Rico (about a 3 hour flight), took a 1-hr taxi from San Juan’s airport to Fajardo (Ferry station), and a 60-minute ferry from Fajardo to Vieques. La Finca is only a 20-minute drive from the ferry station. The second option is to take a charter plane from San Juan to Vieques, which is what I did on my way back. It’s a little pricier but saves a lot of time since the flight from Vieques to San Juan (or vice versa) is only 30 minutes, compared to the three hours you’ll waste hopping in and out of taxis and the ferry. Whichever route you take, getting to La Finca will make the entire sweaty trip worth it!
The hosts, Scott and Bill, are adorable! Sweet, attentive and kind human beings ready to make your stay extra comfortable, and to bathe you with tips and secrets about the island. We bonded over our morning cup of coffee and, in between sharing our lives’ stories and watching the sunrise, they also recommended which beaches I should visit and what tours to take. During those four days, I got to enjoy the Bioluminescent Bay Kayaking experience, the farmer’s market, the restaurants on Esperanza (one of the settlements in Vieques and an ocean-front area full of bars, restaurants, and tiny stores), and a quiet beach with turquoise water called Sun Bay Beach.
If you are looking for a getaway within the US (Puerto Rico is a US territory, hence, no passport needed), this is the place! Ocean, peace and quiet, eco-friendly “hotel”, nature and delicious food. All in one single gem!
Things to know about La Finca Vieques:
-Made by women with recycled materials and solar panels
-Collects rain water for garden
-Has a garden with fruits
-10 minutes away from town and the nearest beach
-15 to 20 minutes away from the ferry
-10 to 15 minutes away from the charter airport
-No A/C but a lot of fans
-No need to bring your pots and silverware, they provide everything. You’ll just need to buy the ingredients at the nearest farmer’s market or store. Scott and Bill can also cook for you if you make those arrangements beforehand.
-There are car and golf cart rentals everywhere, but make sure you reserve in advance. They sell out fast during high season!!
-Scott and Bill will provide you with all the tips and contacts you need to book your tours, taxis, etc.
-Service dogs allowed.
Things to know about Vieques:
-Vieques is incredibly safe!
-There are mosquitoes everywhere! Bring your eco-friendly repellent.
-Delicious vegan or vegetarian food spots: 1) El Blok Hotel (cute eco-friendly boutique hotel in Esperanza. Order the vegan risotto or the grilled veggie salad. Delicious!) 2) at Sun Bay they have a small food restaurant. Order the veggie burrito. It’s sooo good! 3) Go to the nearest farmers market and get ingredients to cook for yourself!
-The ferry from Fajardo to Vieques is USD2 per person (yes, only two dollars!)
-The charter plane from San Juan to Vieques (or vice versa) cost us around $150 per person. (We bought it the night before though)
-Click here for a list of all the beaches
Fair-trade & Sustainable Brands I wore and used: