Brian recently landed a new job and we unexpectedly found ourselves with a few days off in between ending his old & starting his new job. We were really excited about this time off, especially since it coincided with our photography slow season, & we immediately decided we’d use the extra days to foster a puppy, celebrate birthdays & learn how to cook. After a few days home and a few days in a row of freezing cold temperatures, we decided, (or perhaps we were told), we couldn’t spend the whole time off taking pictures of our dogs, (as amazing as that sounds).
We found cheap airfare to Puerto Rico and a few days later we left for a unplanned adventure.
We spent the first leg of the trip on the small & desolate island of Vieques, (which you could only get to by ferry or small, very small, plane). I’m not sure why, with my extreme fear of flying, we opted for the small plane. But we did. Once there, we stayed at the Villa Venti and rented a jeep to explore the island. Including the 22 minute small plane ride, this was my favorite place we have ever visited together. Horses, chickens & dogs roam free. The island has the most beautiful beaches. It’s affordable. At 134 square miles, the island is easy, and pretty safe, to explore on your own. The food, including the street food, is delicious.
Another special thing about Vieques is that it’s home to one of the best examples of a bioluminescent bay in the United States. Before this trip, I had no idea what a Bioluminescent Bay was, and now, it is one of the most memorable things I have ever seen in my life. We used Abe’s Tours and I would highly recommend them for their friendliness and sense of humor. The 20 minute bumpy bus ride to Mosquito Bay was worth the $40.00 alone. I can’t put into words what the bay looks like & we have no pictures to share. The feeling that overcame me when I realized our kayak paddles were lighting up as we rowed is enough for me to recommend to go out & witness it yourself.
One final tip: Our first night at Vieques there we enjoyed a 6 course prix fixe dinner at the home of where we were staying. (This is offered weekly at either the Villa Venti and Casa Cascades & you don’t have to stay there in order to reserve a spot). Glen & Alex wereAMAZING hosts & chefs.
Once we arrived to San Juan, we immediately sensed the change of pace & scenery from Vieques. Our first day we explored Old San Juan, which was beautiful and historic. We recommend stopping for a bite in Old San Juan here. Our second day was spent literally DOING NOTHING but reading on the beach, (I highly recommend this as well). Our final day we made new friends while trying to hop a bus & visited the El Yunque rainforest and Luquillo Beach with them, (where you can buy yourself a $2.00 coconut & straw)