Vieques Island: W Retreat & Spa
Hello Darlings, As the waves crushed against the white sands, an espresso has never tasted better. As I sat on a shore of Caracas beach in Vieques Island, a day following my 26th birthday I have never felt more blessed. I do feel very fortunate to be where I am in my life and having have achieved what I have this far. However no time or place have I felt more content and at ease with myself than on that beach in that very moment.
Vieques Island is 13 km or 20 minute flight away from the main island of Puerto Rico and is part of Spanish Virgin Islands. From Toronto, there are direct flights to San Juan and from there a Cessna plane will take you to this tiny paradise in the Atlantic Ocean. The journey of getting to the island is an adventure on its own but one that is well worth taking.Out of all places that I've traveled to this is by far one of my favorite. Since part of the island was occupies by US navy until 2003, it is only after their leaving that it became available for commercial development. Due to this, the island has remained unspoilede and is true to its Caribbean roots and authenticity. With not a single traffic light and a low key lifestyle of its 9,000 citizens, it is a quaint getaway from the rest of the North America with pristine beaches and wonderful people.
As part of my morning ritual I would drive up to a local bakery for an espresso and then enjoy it at a new beach every day. There are more beaches than I can name and even more that are still a part of wildlife refugee that remain unavailable to the public. As much as I enjoyed staying at the luxe W Resort & Spa, I preferred getting off the resort to spend time at local markets, beaches or cafes. The best way to experience a location is to get out and explore. Naturally as a female traveler that is not always the best option but traveling safely while solo is possible and I will talk about that in my next article.
For the duration of my 8 day vacation I booked to stay at the stunning W Retreat & Spa which is one of its kind in North America. As a big fan of the brand it was exactly as I expected with beautiful grounds, chic atmosphere and a great crowd. I had a room on the ground floor with a direct access to the swimming pool which proved to be a great choice especially in the evenings. The pools are open 24 hours and therefore a midnight swim was an ideal way to wrap up the day. In the evenings I ate out at local restaurants among them Sabores and Coqui Fire being my favorite.For an island that small there are plenty of restaurant choices.
One of my most memorable experiences was going kayak in the middle of the night at the Bioluminescent Bay which unfortunately does not photograph but will forever remain as one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. The luminescence in the bay is caused by a micro-organism which glows whenever the water is disturbed, leaving a trail of neon blue. The entire experience feels like something straight from Avatar movie. Every movement in the water is illuminated! Surrounded by the stars in the midst of darkness in the middle of a large body of water where random movements provide the most beautiful of spectacles is an experience impossible to describe but one that if given an opportunity worth experiencing.
For those looking for a unique vacation with a truly beautiful experience look into Vieques Island which will steal a special piece of your heart as it did with mine. I cannot wait to go back!