Beachcombing, swimming (sometimes), solitude
White Caribbean sand
The shape and angle of this beach attracts some ocean trash, but it's in pretty good shape since the latest cleanup.
The water is usually clear, but this beach can gather enormous amounts of seaweed at times.
This is a southside beach off Route 997. Enter the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge at Garcia Gate and drive until you see signs to turn right for Caracas. Before you get all the way to Caracas, you will turn right down a gravel road to Playuela (there is a sign). Drive about 1/4 mile and park in the small parking lot on the left.
Walk through the gate and hike the last 1/2 mile down the dirt road to find Playuela. Pro tip: there are times when that hike requires either a fast pace or mosquito spray, or both!
Playuela is a wide, all-natural beach that is often covered with Sargassum weed in the summer, due to the shape of the bay and the prevailing winds. People don’t swim here often because of that, but there are exceptional days when it is clear and truly beautiful. It is an easy hike from the parking area, but because of the hike and the chance of seaweed, very few people go there. Playuela is literally “just around the corner” from the busier Playa Caracas; from the right side of this beach you can easily see the beautiful sands of Caracas. But if it’s peace and quiet you want, this is the place.
There is no shade except way up on the sand away from the water.