Pata Prieta


Alternate name:
Secret Beach
Good for:
Swimming, snorkeling, watersports, beachcombing

Sand Type/Color:
White Caribbean Sand
I've almost never seen any trash here
Water Quality: 
Crystal clear Caribbean water

Pata Prieta is a southside beach off Route 997. Enter the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge at Garcia Gate and drive past the right turn toward Caracas, keep going onto the gravel road. The next road to the right will be the turn to Pata Prieta – it is well marked.

This is a rocky, rutted road but golf carts and small cars can usually make it almost all the way. If you are in one of these small vehicles, note where the road takes a sharp right and then goes down a steep hill. Don’t go down this hill, just park your smaller vehicle in the pull-off area. If you have a Jeep or other high-clearance vehicle, drive on down into the normal parking lot.

All parking is completely out of view of the beach, so it is advised to not leave valuables in the car, and simply leave the vehicle unlocked. The path down to the beach is also a bit steep and rocky, so even though it is short, people with mobility issues may not like the walk.


Pata Prieta, Secret Beach, isn’t exactly a secret, but it isn’t well travelled either. It is a south shore beach.

The largest crowds we’ve seen there were about 6 cars of people, maybe 12-15 other people, total. We have also been there when we were the only ones. It is another half-moon shaped beach, not much more than 1/8 mile long, with rocks on either end and beautiful white sand in the middle.

On the left (east) side of this beach there are large areas of broken coral but the rest of the beach is nice sand for walking. The water is beautiful and inviting with only small waves.

We have snorkeled the right (west side) rocks all the way out at the point, and it was really nice. It was difficult to get in and out of the water out there because of waves and some sea urchins, but it can be done. There’s also a bee’s nest out there in the rocks. An alternative is to launch from the beach and make the long-ish swim out to the point.

There is good shade here in the trees on the sand.