Sailing area: Spanish Virgin Islands


The Spanish Virgin Islands


The Spanish Virgin Islands are a group of Caribbean islands located to the east of Porto Rico, to which they belong administratively. The language spoken there is English because they have been transferred to the USA. The main islands in the group are Culebra and Vieques, along with several small islands and reefs.  On the island, the way of life is American but Hispanic-Caribbean culture spanning four centuries is still well-established nonetheless.
 
The coastline of Vieques and Culebra are mainly day trip destinations for Porto Ricans thanks to the ferries that run between Fajardo and the two islands. The inhabitants live from tourism and enjoy a peaceful life. The atmosphere of a small village reigns there.
 
For more than 60 years, the island of Vieques was occupied by the American army. After evacuating the population, it was used for training camps and for testing missiles and other weapons.

Culebra, which is more circular, offers a natural port with very sheltered deep water: Ensenada Honda. This port was used for many years as a refuge by pirates after the island was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493. It was only in 1880 that the Spaniards established a colony there which they named San Ildefonso in tribute to the Bishop of Toledo: San Ildefonse de la Culebra. The island ended up being called Culebra.



Sailing in the Spanish Virgin Islands



In order to get the most out of your holidays and enjoy sailing in the Caribbean, we recommend that you travel there from December to April when the sea is relatively calm and the trade winds are constant. From San Juan, make your way to Culebra and then Vieques.


Places to visit  



The capital of Porto-Rico, San Juan is the island's metropolis and its port is one of the largest in the area. Modern and dynamic, San Juan offers an astonishing combination of colonial architecture and skyscrapers. San Juan is divided into 3 districts: the old San Juan, the beaches and tourism infrastructure, and the former municipality of Rio Pedras. Enjoy an outing in old San Juan, this neighbourhood. along with Fort San Felipe del Morro, was built to guard and defend the bay, now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The port of San Juan is the second largest port in the region after New York and is one of the busiest in the Caribbean. Be sure to visit old San Juan and enjoy a walk on the Muralla (ramparts), discover the craft stalls on Plaza de Hostos and visit the site where Bacardi rum is made. Also, take a tour of the Contado neighbourhood, 10 minutes from old San Juan, which is very lively until late into the night. Do not miss Sojo, the other lively neighbourhood of San Juan, near Plaza de Colon.  
 
Then stop off in Culebra, a magnificent island lined with white sand beaches and turquoise waters, it is a place where you will be able to enjoy water-skiing and wakeboarding in a stunning setting. Scuba diving enthusiasts will also be able to admire the seabed beneath the crystal-clear waters. Do not miss Flamenco Beach with its turtles and tropical fish. Tamarindo beach is also a very beautiful wild beach. You will be able to sea kayak, dive and snorkel there. Then continue your journey to the island of Vieques.

Stop off at the island of Vieques where you will discover some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, such as Media Luna, Navio, Red Beach and, finally, Blue Beach. Vieques offers its visitors an amazing surprise, a magical bioluminescent bay. This bay, which used to be a military base, is now protected and offers its treasures to a privileged few. Mosquito Bay is home to the largest concentration of dinoflagellates. These are fluorescent micro-organisms that form a trail of blue light along the shore as a result of the movement of the water. It is an incredible night time display.

Do not wait to book your boat rental. We rent several ranges of boats, from catamarans to luxury yachts with or without a skipper. You can also set sail with a crew and benefit from half-board or an all-inclusive package. Please do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to help you.




Worth knowing/Advice

  • The old town of San Juan is one of the best examples of Hispanic colonial architecture, classed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
  • Tortolas Beach on the island of Culebra, breeding site for giant tortoises.
  • Flamenco Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world: warm, clear waters, white sand...
  • Places of interest: the floating bar in Dakity Bay. the inhabited island of Culebrita. To do: Visit Vieques Island by scooter.
  • Mosquitos Bay, one of the five bioluminescent bays in the world.
  • The Mona and Desecheo islands.
  • Surfers can catch a wave at Rincon beach.

The ports in this sailing area

Fajardo, Porto Rico, San Juan ...


Formalities

Before leaving:

  • Passport which is valid 6 months after your return.
  • ESTA electronic authorisation.

Skipper:

  • Sailing license or offshore boating permit compulsory.

When to travel?

  • The Spanish Virgin Islands, also known as the "Passage Islands", enjoy a tropical climate and moderate winds.
  • The islands are perfect for short sailing trips, thanks to being so close. The islands of Puerto Rico and San Juan are served by Luis-Munoz-Marin International Airport. Direct flights are available from London, Madrid and Frankfurt.

Winds

summer
10-15 knots
(average)
Winter
15-25 knots
(average)

Temperatures

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
26° 26° 26° 28° 29° 31°
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
32° 32° 32° 31° 29° 28°