Plan Your Visit

Plan your Visit

In addition to its ecological value, the refuge contains important archeological and historic sites such as the Puerto Ferro Lighthouse, sugar cane era ruins and military era facilities.


Station Address: PO Box 1527 – Vieques, PR 00765

Road: PR 997 – Km 3.2, Vieques, PR 00765

Phone Number: 787-741-2138 – Fax 787-741-2158

General Email address: caribbeanisland@fws.gov

How to get there: 

From the Antonio Rivera Airport take Road PR200 east to PR997 (Isabel II to Esperanza road). The entrance of the Wildlife Refuge (east tract) is at km. 3.2. Approximately 15 minutes at a distance of 8.5 km. From the Vieques Ferry Terminal take Road PR200 south to PR997 (Isabel II to Esperanza road). 

The entrance of the Wildlife Refuge is at km. 3.2. Approximately 8 minutes at a distance of 4.2 km. The Vieques National Wildife Refuge (VNWR) office/visitor center is located on the left, 100 meters from the east tract main gate. The Refuge is open to the public year-round (October 1 to March 31 from 6:00 am – 6:30 pm / April 1 – September 30 from 6:00 am – 7:30 pm).

Please keep to the posted hours, especially on the east tract, where the gate closes automatically. Once the refuge gate has shut, visitation and public use to the refuge has ended, unless a Special Use Permit has been issued. During closing, we have staff patrolling the area for the safety of visitors who might have become stranded or broken down.

Points of Interest

The Vieques NWR can be visited on both the western and eastern sides of Vieques (except for the areas that are currently restricted from public use) and is open to the public year-round from 6:00 am – 6:30 pm (October 1 – March 31) and from 6:00 am – 7:30 pm (April 1 – September 30).  Recreational activities include bicycling, hiking, horseback riding, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, environmental education, interpretation and access to kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, SCUBA diving and beach use. The beaches that are currently open to public access are considered by many to be among the most beautiful in Puerto Rico and are one of the chief aesthetic attractions to the area. In addition to the beaches, there are also various marine ecosystems such as lagoons, salt flats and mangrove forests to explore. The expanses of subtropical dry and subtropical moist forest are other ecosystems of the areas that can be appreciated.

The recreational areas at the western side of the refuge are known as Playa Grande, Punta Arenas, Monte Pirata and Kiani Lagoon. The eastern side of the refuge offers recreation at various beaches, especially at Caracas Beach, La Chiva Beach, and Pata Prieta Beach, among others. The refuge has hiking, biking and horseback riding trails. Currently, a major portion of the eastern refuge is closed due to the danger of unexploded ordnance and the associated clean-up process occurring in that area; as the clean-up progresses, more areas will become available for public access.

The Vieques NWR Visitor Center is located at the Administration Office.  The entrance to the Center is free and is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Visitor Center provides environmental education opportunities to explore, discover, and learn more about the flora, fauna and history of the island. Plan to stop by to view exhibits, ask questions, pick up maps, and plan trips to the refuge. Exhibits include endangered species replicas, preserved animals, sea shell collections, fresh water fishes, sea turtles and manatee skeletons. A small butterfly pavilion, fresh water turtle pond and a pollinator garden are being built for environmental education and outreach at the Visitor Center.

The Refuge has different hiking, biking and horseback riding trails, located in both eastern (Puerto Ferro, Tapon, Cerro Playuela & Playuela Trails) and western (Monte Pirata & Kiani Lagoon Boardwalk) areas.

In addition to its ecological value, the refuge contains important archeological and historic sites such as the Puerto Ferro Lighthouse, sugar cane era ruins and military era facilities.

We understand that you are here to relax and enjoy the refuge, nature and beaches. To avoid becoming a statistic for petty theft, it is recommended that you use good safety practices to ensure that your stay is a happy one. Here are some simple tips:

 Know Before You Go

- Leave unneeded valuables secure at your residence/hotel

- Bring only small amounts of cash  

- Do not leave belongings in your vehicle

- Park vehicles in plain sight

- Carry waterproof or disposable cameras

- Use a waterproof container to keep items with you or take turns watching valuables while others swim

- Follow all municipal, commonwealth and federal laws on the refuge. To ensure the safety of public and wildlife, speeding is strictly enforced. 

- After closing hours, the refuge is off limits to all public use

- For the safety of the public and for wildlife protection, all pets that enter the refuge must be kept confined or on a leash

Know Before You Go PDF Sheet