You've heard of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, but what about the Spanish? Top among the Spanish V.I. is Vieques, located just eight miles off the eastern tip of Puerto Rico. It's small, verdant and easy to reach, accessible by frequent ferry from Fajardo, or by air from San Juan and Tortola. For 60 years, most of Vieques was off limits, the U.S. military treating it like a punching bag using the western and eastern parts of the island as a weapons testing ground. When the military took leave just a few years ago, these areas opened as protected parkland. Lack of development has been a boon for this island. The pristine coastline is punctuated with wonderful sandy coves and natural beaches -- most still bearing droll military nomenclature like Green, Red and Blue beach.
October 7, 2008
October 1, 2008
The Casa de Amistad is found on Vieques, a small island easily reached by ferry from Fajardo, on the eastern tip of Puerto Rico. Meaning, Friendship House in Spanish, the hotel couldn't be better named - Owner Owen Smith has created a congenial atmosphere with this comfortable seven room guesthouse in the heart of the main town, Isabel Segunda. Casa de Amistad is located in a residential neighborhood, only a short walk away from restaurants, bars and shops. The hosts at the Casa de Amistad make you feel welcome, and encourage guests to use the common kitchen and have a dip in the backyard plunge pool. WiFi is free, however a computer is available for guests to use. An honor payment system is in effect for beach towels (the first one is free), computer use, and bottled water. There is also an extensive lending library. Great value for excellent accommodation.
Prices are $70-$90 nightly plus tax
January 30, 2008
Some Caribbean islands are easier to get to than others. Those would be the ones you can fly into. However, once you land think about taking local ferries to experience some of the smaller islands. The following is a short guide to the possibilities:
The USVI and The BVI are well connected to each other, as well as to their local island communities. Ferry companies, Smiths and Speedy's connect Tortola to Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and other smaller isles in the BVI. St. Thomas and St John are almost joined at the hip due to excellent, frequent service. Tip: You can go from the US side to the British side easily. (http://bvivacations.com/Ferry.html).
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