Esperanza is located on the southern side of Vieques island with a laid-back vibe reminiscent of Key West. This small town has an main street that runs parallel to the ocean called "El Malecón" that is dotted with friendly guest houses, funky bars and even gourmet restaurants. It makes a great base for exploring the island's treasures: it's walking distance to Playa Esperanza and Sun Bay and only a 10-20 minute drive to the secluded beaches in the wildlife refuge.
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Esparanza: Hidden Gem in the Caribbean
Esparanza is the town you want to stay in when you go to Vieques. While researching hotels and the island, we found that certain hotel locations would require us to rent a car. It was recommended we stay in Esparanza if we didn't want a car (a side note—cabs take only cash).
Esparanza could not have been a more perfect beach town to stay in. It was right on the water with probably two dozen businesses—hotels, restaurants, little shops, and the adventure tour companies. The "down" town is literally one street that runs parallel to the Caribbean Sea, providing restaurants and bars with this gorgeous view.
We did rent motorinis for one day, which helped us to explore the rest of the island. We stopped by the W Resort for lunch, and we drove through Isabelle Sequndo, the only other town. If you take a ferry from Fajardo, it docks here—a more commercial atmosphere.
We visited during the off-season (start of August) and it was the ultimate in relaxing. Places close for a few weeks the end of summer, and I get the impression that during winter's peak season it is quite lively.
Vieques is full of charm, and it is not yet built up by developers. I feel slightly guilty exposing such a hidden treasure and truly hope it stays the way it is.