Mask Requirement (updated 18 Apr 2022)
😷 Masks are not required, neither indoors (with some execptions) nor outdoors. Masks are recommended in indoor situations where you cannot be certain of the vaccination status of other people
😷 Masks are required inside airports, per Federal/CDC mandates
😷 Masks are required at events/activities where 1000 or more people are gathered, effective 18 Apr 2022
😷 Masks are required indoors in places like hospitals, emergency rooms, nursing homes, medical offices, health centers, clinics, labs, pharmacies, and on public transportation (including taxis and buses). The Department of Health may make masks mandetory in other situations where their use is deemed necessary.
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks.
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 08 Mar 2022)
👪 The capacity limit has been removed, as has the requirment to check for vaccination card or negative test result
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 08 Mar 2022)
👪 The requirment to check for vaccination card or negative test result has been eliminated
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Tours & Excursions (updated 08 Mar 2022)
⛵ Tour operators may require proof of vaccination or negative test results to participate. Check with the operator to make sure you have what they require.
Events, Stadiums & Theaters (updated 18 Apr 2022)
👪 The capacity limit has been removed, as has the requirement to wear a mask (if less than 1000 people are gathered)
😷 Masks are required at events/activities where 1000 or more people are gathered, effective 18 Apr 2022
🏟️ All attendees at group activities of 1000 or more people at facilities that encourage crowding — indoor or outdoor — must show proof of vaccination with booster (if eligible), OR negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 72 hours prior to arrival at the event. Facilities include theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, conference and activity centers, and any other place where events are held. Effective 10 Mar 2022, per executive order EO-2022-019 and administrative order OA-2022-533
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Cruise Ship Passengers (updated 08 Mar 2022)
🚢 All cruise ship passengers and crew who wish to disembark in Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated, OR must have a negative molecular or antigen COVID test performed within 48 hours before disembarking in PR. All passengers and crew who test positive, or have been in close contact to someone who has tested positive, will not be permitted to disembark in Puerto Rico, regarless of vaccination status.
Air Travelers Arriving in Puerto Rico (updated 08 Mar 2022)
📄 The requirement to complete the travel declaration has been eliminated for ALL travelers arriving in Puerto Rico
✈️ DOMESTIC TRAVELERS (effective 10 Mar 2022, per EO-2022-019)
• The requirement to present a vaccination card or negative test results has been eliminated for DOMESTIC travelers
✈️ INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS (effective 06 Dec 2021, per CDC)
• All INTERNATIONAL air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show (before boarding flight to the US) a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the US. This applies to all travelers, 2 years old and up, flying from INTERNATIONAL (outside of the US) destinations. Flights between Puerto Rico and the States are domestic flights, so this does not apply to travelers arriving in Puerto Rico from the States.

Visit Playa Caracas on Vieques, With a Car or Not

7/21 Beach has reopened!

Vieques is a small island, located about 8 miles east of the big island of Puerto Rico, that is known for its beautiful and remote beaches. One of the problems with remote beaches is that they are hard to get to, so you have to figure out some type of transportation. On Vieques, rental Jeeps are the vehicle of choice. But since it’s a small island, car rentals are limited, and they can go for a premium price.

Thanks to some relatively recent road improvements on Vieques, you don’t need have a car to enjoy a great beach there. Playa Caracas (aka Red Beach) is one of the beautiful beaches in the US Fish & Wildlife reserve, and now that the road to it is paved, it is accessible by the local public transportation.

Day-Trip or More?

Playa Caracas Red Beach

The island of Vieques is usually recommended as a destination for beach-lovers. If you do go to Vieques, it is best that you plan on staying for a few nights, in order to get a feel for the island and to give yourself enough time to sample some of the amazing beaches. Having said that, Vieques is still an enjoyable day-trip if that is all the time that your vacation schedule allows.

Getting There

You can get to Vieques via passenger ferry from Ceiba, or by flying from the San Juan (SJU), Isla Grande (SIG) or Ceiba (RVR) airports.

Given those options, what’s the best way to get to Vieques? Well, that’s really an individual decision, but sometimes the ferry system is a nightmare. It’s commonly said that “If you have more time than money, take the ferry. If you have more money than time, take a plane”. So it’s really up to you how to spend you vacation time and money.

Regardless of how you get to Vieques, there will be a taxi (carro público) available at the ferry terminal or airport ready to take you where you want to go. These are shared vans that may stop a few times along the route, depending on the passengers’ needs.

Beaches, Beaches, Beaches

It used to be that Sun Bay Beach (Playa Sombe) in Esperanza was the only beach that the public transport vans (públicos) would go to. It is a great beach, but having options is nice!

A few years ago, the US Fish & Wildlife Service paved the road to Playa Caracas, which opened up a whole new day trip experience! Since now has easy access, Playa Caracas will not be secluded. If you go early in the day, you will have just a few other beach-goers. But as the day progresses, it can get more crowded (especially mid-day, weekends, and summer). But there is lots of room for everyone, and it is a beautiful beach and worth a visit, no matter what!

Playa Caracas Red Beach

Playa Caracas is one of my favorite beaches on Vieques. It has beautiful white sand, clear Caribbean-blue water, some picnic shelters, a large open parking area, and even a composting toilet. There is even some decent snorkeling on the left side of the cove. To the right side of the cove, there is a nice rock wall with some cool “caves” — makes nice photos.

There is not a lot of shade on the beach, just a few small palms in the grassy areas. Having a beach umbrella would be helpful, though we found a cool, shaded area all the way in the back right corner that we claimed as our own a few times.

Playa Caracas Red Beach

The wave conditions vary depending on the season, wind, weather, etc. It can be almost flat with no waves one day, and then have some great body-boarding waves the next.

The area to the left side of the cove seemed much calmer most days we have been there, with more wave action as you go to the right side of the cove.

There is some seaweed up a the high-tide mark in the sand, but not enough to be a bother.

We snorkeled here on the left side of the cove, along the rocks and around into deeper water. There was not a ton of coral, but there were a decent number of fish of all types, and an area with an amazing sea fan “garden” — loads of purple and yellow fans swaying in the current … just beautiful.

Playa Caracas Red Beach

Topside, there is a “trail” that goes to the left along the rocks where you can get some nice photos of the beach, and some rock “cliffs”. But wear sturdy-soled shoes as they rocks are sharp!

You will need to bring everything you need to this beach as there are no food/drink stands there. No lifeguards either. We encountered some burrs in the grass, so wear sandals when not in sand.

Details

The F&W National Wildlife Refuge is open 7 days/week, from 7am – dark ( which is 6:30pm from Sept – Feb, 7:30p rest of year).

There is no charge to use the beaches in the US Fish & Wildlife reserve. If you need to take a público, the fares are regulated … It’s $10/person one-way from the ferry or airport to Playa Caracas or Playa Sun Bay. The driver may charge you a little more if you have a lot of bags with you.

Playa Caracas Red Beach

If you’re taking a público, tell the driver what time you want to be picked up. Or just catch a different público when you are ready to leave. When we visited, a new público seemed to so show up every 15 minutes or so. Most cell phones get reception at the beach, so you might want to keep the driver’s name/number handy in case you want to leave at a particular time.

If you do have a rental car, just enter the US Fish & Wildlife beach road and watch for signs to turn to the right. There is plenty of (free) parking.

Click on a placename below to view the location on Google Maps ...

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

Ads & Sponsors

Other Puerto Rico Resources …

Coqui's Hideaway Rainforest Villa in Rio Grande Located in the Foothills of El Yunque