“Green Beach” – Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
If you are seeking to visit a place that has a less traveled feeling, then the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico is for you and Punta Arenas must be in your list of beaches to explore in this tropical paradise. Punta Arenas is on the north west tip and runs down the east side of Vieques. This beach is part of the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge and offers very scenic views of the main island of Puerto Rico, and El Yunque; the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest system.
At Green beach you’ll feel embraced by the Vieques tropical bliss. Once we get to the beach, you’ll find a spot to yourselves, the snorkeling it’s really great and and it’s a nice beach for swimming.
Punta Arenas is child friendly, there are many shallow spots with playful schools of colorful fish your kids will enjoy. If you are not an experienced snorkeler, it’s a good beach since the waters are pretty calm on the Caribbean side of Punta Arenas.
Driving to Punta Arenas (Green Beach) is half the fun. The flora along the dirt road that leads to Green Beach is lush and very “Green”. Drive through lush tropical foliage, tall and leaning palm trees that give you a break from the sun before you arrive to the beach. You will pass Laguna Kiani with healthy mangroves systems, you’ll be serenaded by the sounds of birds. This beach it’s a great place for those that love bird watching and you’ll also find ruins on the shore.
One of the paths will take you right by an old track that now rests on the sand touching the ocean. You’ll see how climate change has changed our shores as sea levels have risen and covered what used to be a route to transport sugar cane.
If you want a little fun adventure, go on a treasure hunt for the tracks that are now under water. Schools of friendly tropical fish have claimed it as their playground. Our son had tons of fun snorkeling in this area. The one thing we not enjoy were the sand flies that come around in the afternoon. We highly recommend to get there in the morning and avoid the afternoon.
The sandy point at the end of the beach (north west most point of Vieques) is popular for boaters from the main island of Puerto Rico and a very scenic spot on a clear day. From the map below you can see where the Caribbean Sea and the Altantic Ocean meet (on satellite) and if you walk around the tip you can almost sense the two colliding. This is a wonderful place to park my beach chair, on a clear day you can see the silhouette of Puerto Rico’s mainland and the green of the rainforest perfectly contrasting with the blue of the Atlantic Ocean.
Map of Punta Arenas Beach, Vieques, PR
Getting to Punta Arenas Beach, Vieques
Take Route 111. On the way there, make sure you make a short stop by the Old Ceiba Tree and Mosquito Pier with a spectacular scenic view of the coast and lush green flora of the island. After a small tour of the mentioned, turn around and head west again, on your left there is an entrance to former Navy Magazines which is a must see attraction. If you keep going all the way, you will head up to Monte Pirata, the highest peak on the island. If you go all the way, you will have to drive all the way back, so my advise is head to the beach early and after a relaxing and fun time at Punta Arenas, drive by the Bunkers.
Pass through the Yellow NWRS gate towards Laguna Kiani, scenic lagoon with mangroves and birds. On your way you will pass through a kiosk with information of the area and its natural treasures. On your way there you will pass metal bridges and find several dirt pathways along the way, which lead to beautiful scenic tropical nooks where most likely you will be the only one there at that time.