ELECTRICITY IS BACK ON @ CASITA ROSITA!
Great Location/great block: Stay in the most accessible neighborhood on Vieques, a blk from seaside promenade. Blks from SunBay & other beaches, 4 restaurants & 2 markets. POST MARIA: Banana's, Duffy's & El Bok, Colmado Lydias & Green Store are all open and close. Electricity is back on, but we have generators as back up so you can be assured of power for your frig, fans, hot water, washing machine & WIFI. Cistern, solar chargers & solar lights included.
POST MARIA: Stay in the charming neighborhood of Esperanza, a block from beaches, restaurants, boutiques, vendors & the Malecon—our boardwalk. POST MARIA: 7 beaches and the amazing snorkeling at the old Navy pier still await you. The stove works, their's hot water, you can enjoy WIFI when the generator's on which will also keep the frig cold.
Enjoy being in the most accessible neighborhood in Vieques—with a bakery & market around the corner from our house. Casita Rosita offers value, comfort and easy logistics—go carless if you want. Our spacious 2 bedroom home was renovated in 2012 and has:
Light-filled large rooms, fully furnished indoor & out
Air conditioning, ceiling fans & an ocean view from the back yard
Large roomy bathroom, plus outdoor shower & dressing room
Watch horses roam by from our front porch or grill on the big back deck
Full complement of beach & snorkeling equipment
Casita Rosita features king & queen bedrooms in a fully equipped home, complete kitchen, all linens, hammock under the shade of our towering mango tree, front porch to watch the sun rise. There’s a games table, desk, luggage racks, reading lights, outdoor furniture front & back. Kitchen includes a bar, microwave, filtered water spout, espresso and coffee makers, full complement of matching dishes, pans, etc.
Rent kayaks, bio bay tours, jet skis, sailing, reef snorkeling tours right from the beaches of Esperanza/steps from CASITA ROSITA. Snorkel from shore! Swim to the little island in Esperanza Bay? Baseball field and basketball court around the corner.
Walk to Beaches:
From Casita Rosita you can walk past 3 house and a short path down hill to a lovely cove. Walk around the rocks to your right and get to a wide open coconut grove lined beach. Or walk to the Malecon and take the entrance down steps by the Malecon Inn, or across from Duffy’s, or get in between the piers, or beyond the piers, or walk around the corner along the shore to the lower end of SunBay State Park.
Drive to beaches:
1) U.S. Fish & Wildlife Refuge beaches are not to be missed, for the diversity of settings, beach entrances, most make you feel you own the place. See the island maps in the house and distributed everywhere. 2) Quick beach trip by car: Be at SunBay in 5 minutes if you drive; 3) Quick beach trip to the Refuge: Red Beach.
Snorkeling from shore by Casita Rosita: The beach just down from our house has good snorkeling that continues along the high cliff and a short ways the other direction. Snorkel also on the west side of the little island you can see from shore—it’s a 15 minutes swim out.
Bio Bay Phenomena: The water glows at night in the bioluminescent bay–here in Vieques, close to Casita Rosita. Single-celled organisms by the hundreds of thousands emit a flash of light when the water moves–the kayak, your hand, the paddle, the fish swimming by. It is a unique experience. Vieques’ bio bay is considered the best in the world. Many tour companies will take you out with a guide for about $30 a person. These one cell organisms, called dinofalgenates, are half-plant, half-animal. We have the greatest concentrations of these dinoflaggelates because of our healthy mangroves. Come see the water light up with a glittery trail when anything moves through it. Our bay is surrounded by healthy mangroves with roots reaching down into the water, acting as a nursery for fish. Is is in these roots, also, that the food for dinoflagellates is. There is a delicate balance between the bio bay, the narrow channel leading to the ocean and the exchange of water. The conditions for our bio bay are rare. Scientists say perhaps only six places in the world have bio bays like ours. The bio bay is a special thrill. You can go out on kayaks or on a ponton boat. It helps to have a red night headlight.
FLY TO SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico:
You want to fly into Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (code SJU), the biggest airport in San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. Low cost airlines that fly to San Juan, PR from the U.S. include AirTran (Southwest Airlines now owns them & their Rapid Rewards can be transfer to Air Tran) and Jet Blue.
GETTING TO VIEQUES FROM SAN JUAN:
Vieques is a small island 7 miles off the east coast of Puerto Rico. You will land at the San Juan international airport about an hour northwest along the coast from Vieques. To get to Vieques after you land in San Juan, you need to choose between a ferry from Farjado; OR a short small airplane ride from one of three airports: 1) International Airport in San Juan; 2) Isla Grande Airport in San Juan; and 3) Ceiba Airport, 10 minutes south from Farjado ferry dock.
Flights into Vieques run from 6:15 a.m . to 7:30 p.m. (depending on which airport) & out of Vieques’ only airport, 7 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. All these airplanes are 8-10 seaters. There are enough options to coordinate with your flight into San Juan, as long as you fly in time to connect to a flight or ferry. Book this leg of the trip in coordination with your main flight. If necessary, you can consider spending a night in the airport at the Best Western, or taking the opportunity to go into nearby historic & charming Old San Juan.
It is less expensive to fly to Vieques from San Juan, if you switch from the international airport and take a $18 cab to the “Isla Grande” airport—you’ll think you’re in a Humphrey Bogart movie when you get there. Taxi vans (called PUB-LEE-COS) at the San Juan International Airport, just outside of the baggage pick up area exit, can take you to this smaller airport (or anywhere on the big island). It’s the same airlines, and the same planes, just less airport taxes. Flying from “Isla Grande” airport can cost $ 40 less, each way.
FROM SAN JUAN INTERNATIONAL: To fly directly from San Juan international to Vieques, costs about $100 – 130 each way, depending on if you are buying one way or round trip, and which airlines you use. You can see the combined schedule of all the airlines in the Vieques Events (JUSTIN: internal LINK TO SCAN I have ATTACHed), but you must call the airlines, as times do change. Planes can fill up fast because they are small, so make your reservations immediately. Most regular flights are on Vieques Air Link**, Air Flamenco, Seaborne (only on Thurs. & Sun.) & Cape Air** (which offers a coupon book of 10 one-ways—around $ 77 each) that can be used by multiple passengers, and either direction, expires in 1 year.) Rosita’s personal favorites = **.
FROM “ISLA GRANDE” AIRPORT IN SAN JUAN: To fly to Vieques from the little Isla Grande Airport, costs about $ 75 – 100, each way, depending on if you are buying one-way or round trip, and which airlines. Regular flights from this airport are on Vieques Air Link & Air Flamenco. (Cape Air & Seaborne do not fly from this airport.) Take a $18 taxi van (called PUB-LEE-COS) to this airport from the international airport, outside the baggage area (15 + minute drive depending on traffic).
FROM CIEBA AIRPORT: Take a taxi van 1 hour/40 minutes south of San Juan International to the Ceiba airport (about 5 miles south of the Farjado ferry) and take a 10 minute flight for about $25 – 35 one way. Call airlines below, English spoken at all the toll free numbers.
Vieques Air Link Toll free reservations: (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) ck up local office in a pinch: (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) . Vieques airport: (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) or -0508.
Cape Air Toll free reservations: (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) . Vieques airport: (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) .
Seaborne Airshuttle Toll free reservations: (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) .
Air Flamenco Toll free reservations: (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) . Local office: (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) or (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) .
This is the cheapest route if you have the time & especially if you are a group. Taxi vans (called PUB-LEE-COS) at the San Juan International Airport, just outside of the baggage pick up area exit, can take you to the Ferry dock in Fajado (no more than 1.5 hours), for a set fee of $80—which can be shared by a group that presents itself together—ask on your flight into San Juan if anyone wants to share a taxi van to Farjado (pronounced FAR-HAD-DO). There is usually a tourist aide who speaks English at a stand right there on the sidewalk and can show you the published rates.
Once in Farjado, the ferry is very inexpensive, $2 one-way or $4 round trip. The office to buy tickets is across the street and around the corner in a trailer with a metal canopy. The other direction across the street is a breakfast/lunch coffee shop/café. There is a pizza joint inside the Farjado ferry station. The ferry ride can be 45 minutes or 1.5 hours—see the schedule—depending on which ferry you take. Note: Very occasionally, the ferries are delayed or full, or canceled for bad weather. The Fajado Inn is recommended in such rare instances. Note: the ferry ride can be very pretty standing outside (the new cargo ferries don’t allow one to stand outside, but do offer great seats & a group TV). Rough weather can cause the ferry to be choppy.
Both cargo & passenger ferries take passengers, but on the cargos there are substantially less passengers. Buy tickets only in person. The new cargo ferries don’t allow one to stand outside, but do offer great seats & a group TV, and go twice as fast. Rentals are not allowed on the ferry! Note: when the cargo ferry gets their fill of cars, they leave early, and if transporting gasoline, they will further limit passengers—about once a week, one ferry. Farjado also has ferry’s to other destinations. There is an area on the left of the ferry dock station for passengers going to Cuelebra. Vieques passengers leave from the right side of the inside of the station. Vieques cargo ferries leave from outside the station across from where you bought the tickets. Vehicles load first, and then passengers. On all ferry’s the elderly and women with children are given preference. Here, a ferry is called (LA-LAN-CHA).
WANT MORE? …Kayaking out fitters at the other end of the Malecon 3 blocks from Casita Rosita. Sailing tours from Esperanza Bay in our neighborhood. Horseback riding with Seagate, or Esperanza Horseback Riding right along our coastline. Tennis courts one neighborhood over from Casita Rosita.
** = Based in Esperanza
Abe’s Snorke (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) Certified bio-bay tours, long running, respected, more expensive than some. 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm.
Aqua Frenzy Kayak (Phone number hidden by Airbnb)
Amity Deep Sea & Bone Fishing Charters (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) (Website hidden by Airbnb)
Bayoya Adventures (Phone number hidden by Airbnb)
Bieque Eco Trips (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) Mountain bike, snorkeling, beach camping, paddle boarding class & tour, or kayaking on the beach, bay, lagoons, and mangrove
Black Beard Sports (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) scuba tours & lessons, bicycle & snorkel rental. Big shop in Isabel Segundo just down from PO (Website hidden by Airbnb)
Vieques Dives (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) Ask for Arno, boat and shore dives, guided snorkeling, too (Website hidden by Airbnb)
**Blue Caribe Kayaks (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) Snorkeling & fishing, snorkel rental
**Caribbean Fly Fishing Co. (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) Saltwater fly fishing, deep sea/offshore fishing, beach charters in 28′ Bertram
Carribean Lady Charters (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) Day sailing/snorkeling
Dindin’s Tours by Boat or Kayak Will pick you up. tours 7 days a week. (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) or (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) DinDin
**Fun Brothers Land & Sea Equipment Rental- Right in Esperanza/Malecon parking lot: scooters, jet skis, kayaks, snorkel gear, scooters, boat rentals & tours (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) .
**Heaven Caribe Snorkel w/ local biologist: $25 for 1+-2 hours, Bili Restaurant, Esperanza. (Phone number hidden by Airbnb)
Island Adventures (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) Electric boat certified tours of the bio-bay. $30-15
Kiani Tour (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) Daily history & culture tours (Website hidden by Airbnb) (see also free and small fee programs at the VCHT (Vieques Cultural & Historical Trust on the Malecon)
Little Boat Sai (Phone number hidden by Airbnb)
Luminata BioBay Tours (Phone number hidden by Airbnb)
** Maruader Sai (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) In the Malecon parking lot. 34 ft/up to six guests, since 2003 licenced/insure (Website hidden by Airbnb)
Nan-Sea Scu (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) Tours, instruction; snorkeling, sightseeing, too (Website hidden by Airbnb)
Snorkel By Boat (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) Reef snorkeling: liscensed/insured, $30/pp: boat/gear/ instruction
Travesias Isleñas Yaureibo (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) or (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) Certified biobay tours, snorkeling, kayaking, island, hiking, walking
Vieques Adventures Company (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) Certified biobay tours; trek bikes rental: $25/day, kayaks: $45/day; kayak/fishing: 3-4hrs: $150/person
Vieques Charters (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) Snorkeling, sunset cruise, photo opportunities, fishing; half day snorkeling $75.00 p/p
**Vieques Paddleboarding- Stand on a surf board and paddle in Esperanza Bay, snorkeling, fitness. Call (Phone number hidden by Airbnb)
Vieques Adventure Co. (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) Trek bike rental $25/day, kayak rentals $45/day and kayak fishing trips (Email hidden by Airbnb)
HORSEBACK RIDING:** Esperanza Riding Company Horseback riding in Esperanz (Website hidden by Airbnb) for $70 cash (other riding outfitter is $ 55 pp & near Fort Marisol—Seagate Hotel, above Isabel Segundo) (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) (Website hidden by Airbnb) Vieques Trail Ride ( (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) guided horseback riding of town/ mnts./ beach, from Sea Gate Hotel, 2 hrs/$65 pp tour
TENNIS: Inn on the Blue Horizon Omni Courts. Artificial grass turf filled with sand. Day play $25 per hour. Lighted night play $35/hour. Summer Tennis Club for experienced players. Call to reserve court time (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) or -0527. Vieques Tennis Club @ Blue Horizon: ( (Phone number hidden by Airbnb)
There are 8 restaurants within 4 blocks of Casita Rosita & 35 more on the island. Local specialties are conch salad, whole snapper, mafongo made from green plantains—there’s also sweet plantain, local spiny lobster, fried stuffed pastelillos, arepas breads (Rosita prefers the baked, not the fried, sold weekends from a vendor on the Malecon). The Esperanza Bakery around the corner from Casita Rosita carries a handful of different kinds of pastries made daily, plus the hot bread in the morning—a soft doughy confection—& Sat a.m. they sell a whole wheat version (ask for “Pan Intergal”). They also do cooked breakfasts & pizzas on weekend nights. Colmado Lydia, market next to bakery & around the corner from Casita Rosita, has a little of nearly everything. The Malecon, a block from Casita Rosita, is the concrete promenade on the water in Esperanza, which is where 8 restaurants await you.
Inexpensive on the Malecon in Esperanza:
Duffy’s – large mircobrew selection, only on the island
Belly Buttons – mostly does breakfast & lunch, but also has night chef’s for weekly special food events: Wed: Paella night, Thurs: Taco night (great value).
Lazy Jacks – a good drinking bar, has Karoke on Monday nights, sometimes brick oven pizza, good jewelry deals, like the vendors, in the shops behind
La Nasa – fried Puerto Rican foods, locals eat here, great dancing out back over the water
Mucho Gusto – we like the conch salad and whole fish, Puerto Rican owned
Columbian Food Cart – Friday-Sunday, good/inexpensive vendor in the parking lot by La Nasa
All the restaurants in Esperanza face the
“malecon” which means boardwalk in Spanish.
Medium to Expensive Prices
(in order) on the Malecon in Esperanza:
Tradewinds – specials are good value, view is lovely (great T-shirt selection in gift shop)
Billi – love the whole snapper, try what was caught that day
El Quenepo – unique food, posh atmosphere, high end
Eating off the Malecon:
At the Refuge entrance: Sol Food wagon highly recommended;
In Isabel Segundo: Coconuts, Mamasongas, El Patio/Barefoot Be’stro
Expensive, but worth it: Second Course – great food; and, Carambola – nicest ambiance/destination, at the Blue Horizon Inn to the west of Esperanza along the coast;
Destination rich, but not great value: W Hotel MiX on the Beach & pool side cafe. (Other ways to hit this destination is to try their fire pit at sunset with special priced drink of the night, or the yoga classes open to the public.)
Vieques Airport: Good breakfast/lunch joint up top by the parking lot where you check in.
At Sunbay: Restaurant will delivered to your beach site, call in orders.
FOODIES NOTE Organic vegetable market on Tuesdays (& Wednesdays in winter) by the GE plant at the corner of Rt. 200 & Rt.201) a 10 minute drive from Casita Rosita; Fabulous local specialty: “Arepas” (baked not fried like so many) sold on Sat/Sun by a vendor on the Malecon. Best 6-pack beer in Esperanza: Stella Artois at Colmado Lydias (around the corner from our house—$ 9 a six pack if you ask for the warm; $ 12 for the cold); some fruits, vegetables, frozen meats, and all the usual convenience store options. Great small health food store: YerbaBuena (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) (just around the corner from 5 & dime) with surprising select; say hello to Mayra from Rosita. Fish from the Pescadoria just beyond the Ferry dock in Isabel Segundo: (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) blocks away, on the other end of Esperanza toward SunBay, is the Green Store market with some extras worth note: specialty cheeses, individual serving size bottles of Barefoot wines, widest wine selection in the neighborhood, large contains of mango salsa & nuts, marinated artichokes, smoked salmon, and other “gringo/Costco” food items.
Market right around the corner with Bakery next door!
GROCERY STORES: Two “Morales” grocery stores on the island: one on the north side of Rt. 200 (much larger of the two, with parking lot) not far from Isabel Segundo and the other conveniently in town, two streets down from the PO, turn right on Baldorioty De Castro street, park in front.
MEAL DEALS: happy hour specials at many restaurants—see Vieques Events magazine; special chefs’ nights at Belly Buttons & Mar Azul; cooked value breakfast at the bakery around corner. High-end limited space private home dining is by reservation—see Vieques Events. At Sunbay State Park the restaurant will deliver drinks and food to your beach spot.
GOOD BREAD: Wanda’s artisan bread at the organic market on Tues’ ( (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) ); Green Man Baked Goods (will deliver to Casita Rosita). Good bread, fresh Puerto Rican coffee, high end cheeses, breads, etc. available at Buen Proveco tony market in Isabel Segundo ( (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) ).
FRUIT, FRUIT & MORE FRUIT To eat fruit constantly: pick mangoes and papaya in our yard, Tuesday/Wednesday hit the organic market, or the truck stand across from the school just on the outskirt of Isabel Segundo at Rt. (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) huge air conditioned trailers full of fruit & vegetables.
LIQUOR: Drinkable wine is expensive in Vieques, best deals are actually the Green Store, or the large Morales usually has something on sale; kahlua & rum are cheap at the big Morales grocery. Don’t forget the duty free shop on your way out of San Juan International Airport: great deals for gifts or to stock your bar & the latest limit seems to be 5 bottles a person.
ENTERTAINMENT: See the listing in the local magazines, Vieques Events, as well as flyers posted along the Malecon and in front of restaurants. There are many one off events that are not highly promoted, so keep your eyes open. Live musicians play on the Malecon; Bananas has a guitarists a couple nights a week. Locals dance Thursday-Sunday, usually to taped music, sometimes accompanied by live musicians at La Nasa. Don’t miss Willie Colon if he is playing with one of his steel drums groups, (including the children’s orchestra)—he’s great fun. A good blues-rock band plays Fridays at Mar Azul. Municipal concerts and other events at the town square in Isabel Segundo. Annual Calendar of Events
NIGHTS IN VIEQUES: Drumming on Beach: At nearby Sunbay on the full moon, once a month 6:30, some instruments provided. Karoke on Saturdays at Mar Azul—great regulars or try their open mike backed by a blues-rock band on Friday nights. More Karoke in Esperanza at Lazy Jacks on Mondays. Dance with the locals at La Nasa on the Malecon in Esperanza on the weekends. Annual festivals: Easter (big week for locals with tent city camping all over lower Sunbay; Paternales in July (Saints Day of the patron saint of Vieques) with a big festival on the plaza, early December pre-Christmas lead ups; New Years: concert and fireworks on the Plaza—lots of fun. Bananas in Esperanza often has a musician in the spring and summer, 2 nights a week. Willie Colon steel drum band plays on the Malecon occasion as well as elsewhere. Concerts are advertised by flyers and in Vieques Events, the local monthly magazine. Check them out ahead of time.
How everything is nearby without getting into a car. You can vacation independently for part of the day. Good neighbors, close to Malecon but not too close.
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Vieques, Vieques, Portoriko