Vieques has become famous for the secluded, unspoiled beaches and the wonderful snorkeling. Because Vieques is an island , if it is rough on one side it is usually calm and clear on the other. Here on Vieques there is a lot of healthy reef to choose from, each place different from the last.
GREEN BEACH is on Vieques' western tip. It has beautiful turquoise waters and many distinct beach areas to claim as your own for the day. It also has some of the finest off-the-beach snorkeling as you head to the south a little. I've experienced the most spectacular displays of tropical fish here of any snorkeling spot in Vieques. There are various reef ecosystems and not all of them are in deep water- some start right at the beach shoreline. Tip - check the underwater area with your mask on and then walk out in a sandy spot to your waist before putting fins on. That way you are not ruining what you came to see.
It is amazing how much there is to see here close to the shore. The NAVY PIER (the Rompeolas) is a wonderful example of this. Snorkel along the pier left and in the grassy areas to the left of the beach.
BLUE BEACH is a cornucopia of snorkeling spots - the big island off Blue has wonderful snorkeling along the right side. There is also a little inshore reef in the middle ot Blue Beach. The back side of the left isthmus of Blue also has wonderful snorkeling. On Blue, you can swim out to Isla Chiva. The trick to good snorkeling is to determine which way the wind is blowing and go to the opposite side of the island to snorkel. Lots of waves mean low visibility.
SECRET BEACH: Best snorkeling on the east side of the beach around the rocks and in front of the rock walls bordering Blue. This was the best for visibility and quantity/variety of fish. Also try the center and right areas of the beach for rays.
GRINGO BEACH has a decent snorkeling straight out from the right/east quadrant of the beach and around the rocks toward Martineau Bay. Only good for days with a southeast wind. If there is a northeast wind, there can be larger breakers.
There are beautiful fish to see while snorkeling in ESPERANZA near the old concrete pier, these include manta rays, turtles and skate fish.
There are many, many other areas to snorkel as I have just named a few. The advantage of having had the Navy here all these years is that many areas have only recently been opened up to visitors.
Vieques is like the Caribbean used to be 15 years ago. If you love the ocean, quiet pristine beaches with no buildings, and have a sense of adventure then this is the island for you.