Itinerary Puerto Rico
After awaking and having a nice breakfast, you may want to take one last snorkel on Pyramid Reef before heading off due east to Culebra and Cayo Luis Peña. The sail is about 13 NM and you’ll find your anchorage/moorings on the southwest side of the Island. This anchorage is a sea turtle sanctuary, and features a great snorkeling reef and white sand beach. It’s perfectly fine to stay overnight here, but you may want to continue a couple of miles eastward to Playa Melones on Culebra. Here you’ll find some moorings right off a nice beach with great snorkeling. The advantage of Melones is that you are only a short dinghy ride from the town of Dewey, the capitol of Culebra, where the ferries arrive. Dewey features many small shops and some very interesting restaurants and cafés. Make dinner plans for the Island’s favorite spot, Mamacita’s. This quaint island spot can be reached by dinghy, midway up the channel that cuts through the island. Mamacita’s also offers a live music on the weekends, and impromptu gatherings of local musicians can happen any day of the week.
On day three, set your course to sail on the south side of Culebra, stopping for a snorkel in Carlos Rosario, Tamarindo or Melones. Here you’ll find plenty of free moorings and excellent snorkeling. Afterwards, sail eastwards to Bahia Tortuga on Culebrita Island, acclaimed as one of the top ten Caribbean beaches, not bad considering how many beaches there are in the Caribbean! You’ll want to spend some time here exploring the island. In addition to the picture perfect gin clear water and white sand beach, Culebrita features a historic lighthouse, which you can hike up to. In addition, don’t miss the Jacuzzis or “pozitas” as named in Spanish, natural tide pools along the north side of the island.
After time in Culebrita, take a nice downwind sail to the southern channel to Ensenada Honda, Dulebra’s main harbor. After setting anchor just behind Cayo Pirata, you can dinghy ashore and tie up at the Dinghy Dock Restaurant. Enjoy a late breakfast or early lunch while taking in the view of Ensenada Honda. The Dinghy Dock is a great spot to leave your tender while exploring the rustic town of Dewey. You can do some shopping and replenish provisions or you can even rent a scooter or jeep and explore the Island. You can opt to stay put here for the evening and have dinner at Sally’s, another nice spot, or sail down the bay of Ensenada Honda to the anchorage of Dakiti. Dakiti features many moorings in a calm reef-bound harbor. Just around the bend from the anchorage of Dakiti is Bahia Fulladoza, where you’ll find Club Seaborne, a boutique hotel with one of the finest restaurants on the island, and the Bahia Bay Resort, perfect for drinks and an amazing view. Another great mooring option for the night is Bahia Aldomovar, just outside and to the east of Ensenada Honda. Bahia Aldomovar is a calm mangrove harbor with a coral reef barrier and faces east towards St. Thomas.
On day five you’ll set sail southbound towards the island of Vieques. Enjoy a nice beam reach as you sail towards to the eastern tip of the Island. After rounding the eastern tip, you’ll sail along downwind to Bahia de la Chiva. This remote anchorage spot is unique in its exclusivity as it’s relatively inaccessible without a boat. You’ll enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Bahia Chiva, which features a large horseshoe shaped harbor with an island, Isla Chiva, in the middle of the bay. There’s a long white sand beach to explore and two great snorkeling spots: “Blue Tang” reef and Isla Chiva.
After breakfast and possibly a morning snorkel or hike, cast the mooring line loose and sail leisurely down the undeveloped south coast of Vieques to Sun Bay. Cruise in and find an anchorage on the eastern side of the bay and enjoy some nice snorkeling or a long walk on the beach. Sun Bay is just around the bend from Puerto Real, where the lively town of Esperanza is. Esperanza features its “Malecón” or in English, “waterfront walk”. Here you’ll find quaint little shops and several nice dining establishments along the strip. Lazy Jacks is fun for drinks and bar food. Duffy’s is great for lunch or dinner but if you want a real gastronomic treat, try Bili or El Quenepo, all located along the Malecón strip. A “must do” while in Esperanza is the Bioluminescent Bay Tour. There are usually 2 tours per night from one of several tour providers. The “Bio Bay” of Vieques is unique in the world as it contains one of the largest concentrations of phosphorescent that sparkle as you move the water at night.
On day seven you’ll continue sailing eastward to Punta Arenas, located on the western coast of Vieques. Here you’ll find lots of coastline where you can drop anchor. In the northwest tip and running down the east side of Vieques, you find Green Beach, a beautiful great snorkel location with many turtles. Punta Arenas is a great place to watch the sun set over the Caribbean horizon and if you choose to stay here overnight, it’s only a 2.5 hr. sail back to the SailCaribe base at Marina Puerto del Rey. You can opt to sail back up the east coast of Puerto Rico to Cayo Icacos, just east of the northeastern tip of Puerto Rico. Cayo Icacos has a spectacular white sand beach island with a couple of great snorkeling spots and is only 5NM away from the SailCaribe base. Once back at the base, after re-fueling and de-briefing, you’ll be free to go and explore the multitude of treasures that the big island of Puerto Rico has to offer.
Arrive at Marina Puerto del Rey at 9:30a.m. to board the vessel by 10:00a.m. After accommodating personal belongings and provisions, you’ll begin the technical and chart briefings. This takes about 2-3 hours and once completed you’ll be ready to set sail. You’ll sail about 4 nautical miles to the northeast from Marina Puerto del Rey to Isla Palomino. Here you’ll find a nice harbor with plenty of free moorings maintained by the Department of Natural Resources of Puerto Rico. In the middle of the mooring field is Pyramid Reef, which is at swimming distance from the boat and features a variety of marine life. Other options while moored-off Isla Palomino are visiting the island restaurant and Tiki Bar operated by El Conquistador Resort. You may also like to take a dinghy ride to Cayo Palominito, which looks like a postcard perfect island oasis with its clear turqious waters and white sparkling sand.