Rico, but it may not be your only ;ight. My
long-standing go-to destination in Puerto
Rico is 8 miles off the coast: the idyllic,
21-square-mile Isla de Vieques. This tiny
island was managed by the U.S. Navy for sev-
eral decades—meaning it was o;-limits to
tourists and developers. ;e legacy le; by our
military is a sobering one: The inhabited
island was the site of aggressive naval test-
bombing and training exercises for 60 years.
But in 2003, things turned around. ;e U.S.
Navy stopped the bombing, le; the island and
turned the land over to the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service. A massive cleanup ensued,
and now, more than 10 years later, Vieques has
returned to being a pristine, rugged wildlife
refuge under strict management.
You can get there by a 30-minute ;ight or
40-minute ferry ride. And once on Vieques
you can hop into a jeep to escape to the
uncrowded beaches. ;e beauty of Vieques is
that if you’re looking for footprints in the sand,
just turn around. Because it’s likely the only
footprints out there are the ones you made.
One of the most incredible local experiences on Vieques is spotting the wild horses
that roam the island. ;ey’re the descendants
of the horses that were brought to Vieques by
conquistadors early in the 16th century.
And you definitely don’t want to miss
Mosquito Bay on the southern shore of
Vieques, which has one of the highest concen-
The Costco Connection
Costco Travel offers a variety of packages
to Puerto Rico. Just click "Travel" at
Costco.com or call 1-877-849-2730.
trations of bioluminescence in the world.
Paddle through the mangrove tunnel by kayak
or pontoon at night and you’ll be greeted by
the brilliant glow of hundreds of living organisms that populate the bay.
Accommodations on Vieques range from
charming local villas up to the upscale W
Hotel, with a very cool bar scene that starts
right a;er lunch and doesn’t quit.
Bring your sunscreen. Bring your favorite
books. And enjoy—more or less—your own
private island. C
Peter Greenberg is the multiple Emmy
Award–winning travel editor for CBS News
and host of The Travel Detective on public
television. Check your local listings.
RUM WITH A VIEW
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 71
Bahia Beach, Puerto Rico
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