VIEQUES, Puerto Rico -- It's 2003, and the Caribbean has a new
tourist destination to tout -- one that offers plenty to see and
do. Here's a sampling:
• Fort Conde de Mirasol dates from 1843 and was the last Spanish
fort built in the Caribbean. The fort has been restored as a museum
with exhibits, old maps and an art gallery. Hours are Wednesdays to
Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; admission is $2; call (787)
• El Faro de Punta Mulas Lighthouse, built in 1896, has a beam
that can be seen 16 miles away. It was restored in 1992 and now
houses a museum. Hours are Tuesdays through Sundays; admission is
free. For information, call (787) 741-0060.
• The bioluminescent bay is best seen on moonless nights when
millions of one-celled creatures called dinoflagellates glow in
neonlike blue colors. Island Adventures offers two-hour evening
trips by pontoon boat at $20 per person; (787) 741-0720. Blue
Lagoon Kayaks features kayak trips for $10 person, (787)
• More than 50 beaches ring Vieques, and most are open to the
public. Locals recommend Green Beach, Sun Bay, Red Beach and Blue
Beach. Secret Beach has great snorkeling.
• Cafe Media Luna, on the second floor of a yellow colonial
house in Isabel Segunda, one of the two towns on the island, serves
tapas-style dinners featuring Latin/Asian cuisine. Call (787)
• Also recommended: The restaurant at the Inn on the Blue
Horizon, (787) 741-3318.
• Blue Caribe Dive Center in Esperanza, the other town on
Vieques, charges $90 for a two-tank dive and equipment rental. Lots
of reefs and sea life. Call (787) 741-2522.
For Vieques information, visit www.gotopuertorico.com; www.enchantedisle.com; and www.islavieques.com. Puerto Rico Tourism Co. has
offices in Isabel Segunda.
For more details on this article, see Wyndham gets in on ground floor.