PR Forsaken Places
Vieques, in full Isla de Vieques, is an island–municipality of Puerto Rico in the northeastern Caribbean, part of an island grouping sometimes known as the Spanish Virgin Islands. Vieques is part of the United States Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, but, like the rest of Puerto Rico, retains strong influences from 400 years of Spanish ownership. The total population of the island is approximately 20,000.
The island's name is a Spanish spelling of an American Indian word (likely Taíno) said to mean "small island". It also has the nickname "Isla Nena", usually translated from the Spanish as "Little Girl Island", alluding to its perception as Puerto Rico's little sister. During the colonial period, the British name was "Crab Island".
Vieques is best known internationally as the site of a series of protests against the United States Navy's use of the island as a bombing range and testing ground, which led to the navy's departure in 2003. Today the former navy land is a national wildlife refuge, with numerous beaches that still retain the names given by the navy, including Red Beach, Blue Beach, Green Beach and others. The beaches are commonly listed among the top beaches in the Caribbean for their azure-colored waters and white sands.
Isabel Segunda (sometimes written "Isabel II") was founded in 1843, the same year that Queen Isabel II began her reign. It is considered the capital of Vieques and houses the government offices. The town has a total population of roughly 11,000.
The town of Esperanza, the second largest town in Vieques, is located on the southern coast. It is a quaint fishing town that has become the center of tourism. It has a total population of roughly 5,000.
Other Populated Areas
Each of the areas below are unincorporated areas with a population of no more than a few hundred apiece:
Publicly Known Loci
Jose's Bar and Grill
The first Tur (neutral ground) established on Vieques in recent years. It is owned by Jose Gordon, a local Wolf-Blooded. It is adjacent to a small locus with a resonance of community.
Landmarks and other places of interest
The navy used the western lands principally for weapons and ammunition storage, which they called the Naval Ammunition Storage Facility, or NAF. The armaments were stored in large concrete warehouses called magazines that were cut into the hills of western Vieques and then covered with earth and planted in grass.
Antonio Rivera Rodríguez Airport
Antonio Rivera Rodríguez Airport is a small public use airport on the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico. Because a large amount of Vieques' yearly revenue comes from the tourism industry, this small airport plays an important part in Vieques' economic outlook. The airport has been for decades the hub of Vieques Air Link, and also a landing facility for a number of small airlines.
Mosquito Bay, also known as the Bioluminescent Bay, on the south coast of Vieques is the healthiest and best example of a bioluminescent bay in the world. With the slightest agitation of the water tiny bioluminescent creatures emit an electric bluish white light.
Cayo de Tierra
Cayo de Tierra and Cayo Afuera lie off the southern coast of Vieques between the town of Esperanza and Sun Bay. Cayo de Tierra is connected to the main island by a narrow sand spit and may be accessed by land. Adventurers can hike to the top of the island where you can stand at the edge of the 100-foot cliffs with exciting views of the Caribbean, Sun Bay and much of the southern coast and low-lying interior of Vieques.
Fuerte de Vieques
Fuerte de Vieques, also known as El Fortin Conde de Mirasol, is a fort built in 1845 located in the town of Isabel Segunda in Vieques, an island municipality of Puerto Rico. In 1991, the fort was restored by the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture. The structure houses the Vieques Museum of Art and History and the Vieques Historic Archives, an extensive collection of documents related to the history of Vieques.
La Capilla Ecuménica
On April 19, 1999, Viequense security guard, David Sanes, was killed by a 500 pound bomb that missed its target and exploded near the observation post where he was working. The incident led to the establishment of civil disobedience camps in the bombing range. The occupants of one of these camps built a chapel on the beach called Playa Icacos.
Punta Mulas Lighthouse
The Punta Mulas Lighthouse marks the entrance to the harbor at Isabel Segunda. It was constructed by Don Juan Puig Cerber in 1895. The Punta Mulas Lighthouse was the second lighthouse built on Vieques after the Puerto Ferro Lighthouse. The lighthouse serves to guide vessels through the chain of dangerous reefs that lie offshore.
The Relocatable Over the Horizon Radar (ROTHR) facility on Vieques was originally installed to be used in the "War on Drugs" and to monitor the activities of leftist insurgents operating in Colombia and other countries of South America. It operates on navy-owned property.
The Mosquito Pier
The Mosquito Pier is a mile-long seawall, which is often referred to as the Rompeolas, meaning "wave breaker" or "breakwater." Once onsite you will easily understand the concept. Looking to the east you’ll feel the wind in your face and see the waves breaking against the seawall. Turn around and look the other way and you’ll see tranquil turquoise waters with barely a ripple of waves.
Vieques Ferry Terminal
Passenger and Cargo ferry is available from the municipality of Fajardo and managed by the Autoridad de Transporte Maritimo (ATM) , a government agency. Four vessels run between the town of Fajardo and Vieques several times a day. The ride generally takes about one hour and 15 minutes. The car ferry takes about two hours. The time may vary upon the boat you board and the weather conditions.