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Destinations & Sample Itineraries

Spanish Virgin Islands

This sample itinerary for the Spanish Virgin Islands was provided by the s/v Fidelity (no longer in charter).

The Spanish Virgin Islands consists of three major islands of Vieques, Culebra and Culebrita and a myriad of smaller islands located west of the Virgin Passage midway between the island of Puerto Rico and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. While these islands are favorites of the resident mariners of Puerto Rico on weekends, the bays and beaches are relatively uninhabited otherwise. A week's itinerary or longer, of course, depends on the interests and wishes of our guests. However, possibilities include: Isla de Culebrita, Isla de Culebra, and Isla de Vieques.

Map of the Spanish Virgin Islands Vieques, Culebra and Culebrita
The Spanish Virgin Islands


On the island of Culebrita, Bahia de Tortuga lies on the north side, a pristine, half-mile long crescent shape ringed by palm trees and bordered at the northwestern end by "The Jacuzzis," unusual volcanic rock formations similar to The Baths on Virgin Gorda. If there are no north swells, this is a great anchorage but becomes untenable with winds much to the north of east. Culebrita is a wildlife refuge available for daytime hiking to the top where a 125-year-old lighthouse remains at an elevation of over 300 feet.

Culebrita is ringed with reefs and no other anchorage is a realistic alternative although, with a total of six beaches, some are reachable by dingy if the seas are especially quiet.


Located on the southeast side of Culebra, these anchorages are surrounded mostly by mangroves with no beaches available. While this bay used to be almost completely void of surrounding structures, building has now resulted in a number of magnificent homes ringing these areas.

By far the best anchorage is in Bahia Almodovar, shielded by the island itself to the west and north, islets in Manglar to the east and reefs to the south. Snorkeling is interesting along the mangrove shores and also along the reef where conch and spiny lobster abound.

By far the best anchorage is in Bahia Almodovar, shielded by the island itself to the west and north, islets in Manglar to the east and reefs to the south. Snorkeling is interesting along the mangrove shores and also along the reef where conch and spiny lobster abound.

Besides being a great refuge in a storm, Ensenada Honda provides numerous opportunities for anchoring in undisturbed areas and also access to the town of Dewey from the east. Besides anchoring in the bay itself, alternatives exist including Ensenada Fulladoso, Ensenada Dakity an especially well protected area, and around the islet of Cayo Pirata in the north of the bay.

The town of Dewey, accessible from the east anchorage of Ensenada Honda, is the population center of Culebra whose total numbers are approximately 2000. This is an interesting town to explore with boutiques, gift shops, bar/restaurants, and a ferry terminal on the west side of town. One can walk around the major areas in a couple of hours. There is a canal which spans the short distance from the Ensenada to the western side of the island and can be safely navigated by dingy. The canal is bordered by restaurants which provide an enjoyable interlude to an afternoon's exploration, or delightful dining atmosphere for an evening's repast.

Slightly south of the Bahia Tamarindo opposite Cayo de Luis Pena, the town of Dewey has an anchorage named Bahia de Sardinas immediately to the western entrance of the cross-Dewey canal. This anchorage can be rolly with any wind at all and is also occasionally subject to 'rockin-n-a-rollin' due to passage of the ferry boats as they approach and depart the terminal on shore.

There are numerous beaches and snorkeling spots around the island although most on the northerly side are suitable only for day anchorages. Some of these include:


The island of Vieques was once home to the U.S. Navy practice bombing and targeting area and still shows the remnants of these activities. Last time we were there, they were still clearing unexploded ordnance from Bahia Salinas del Sur at the southeastern tip of the island. However, there are several interesting and enjoyable stopovers that make the trip to this southernmost island of the SVI most enjoyable.

This quaint little village borders the southern side of the island of Vieques about 1/3 of the distance from Punta Arenas on the west to the eastern end of the island. As many towns of Spanish origin adjacent to the sea, this one has a malecon or cement boardwalk nicely decorated along the beachfront. Across the road from the malecon are a number of restaurants and bars and a couple of boutiques and gift shops. One anchors in well sheltered Puerto Real to the west of the twin sheltering islands of Cayo Real and Cayo de Tierra, or in Ensenada Sun Bay to the east. From Esperanza, one can catch a taxi across the island to Isabel Segunda or rent a car to tour the island, well worth the day.

Immediately to the east of Puerto Mosquito east of Esperanza lies Puerto Ferro, both are phosphorescent bays but only the latter with sufficient water to carry a boat of Fidelity's draft into the bay. With an opening of perhaps 500 feet, the bay itself is on the order of a half mile wide and usually perfectly undisturbed by wind and waves from outside. The bay itself is ringed with mangrove with only one tiny beach area. But the stay is well worth the evening's anchorage as the phosphorescence is spectacular... far more impressive than Puerto Phosphorescencia in southwestern Puerto Rico. On diving into the water at night, streamers of light span from the fingertips on past your field of vision and one can make "light angels" in the water similar to those we used to make in the snow.

For the ultimate in peace and quiet, enter and spend time in Ensenada Honda on the south coast midway between east and west tips of the island. This bay is entirely ringed with mangroves with passages between small islets and inlets carrying up to 15 feet of water. This is the perfect place to spend a day or two exploring the bay by dinghy, dropping a fishing lure overboard or snorkeling the reefs that shelter the entrance from the south.

The town of Isabel Segunda (Isabel II) is the capital of Vieques island and lies almost directly opposite Esperanza on the north shore of the island. The architecture is fabulous and traditional, well worth the visit. As stated by the Vieques Travel Guide, Isabel Segunda has "...old fashioned charm with rich history." The last Spanish fort built in the western hemisphere, El Fortin Conde de Marisol, is just off the center of town and is now a museum. Never having been fired upon, this structure is in pristine condition and well worth the trip itself.

The town is terminus of a ferry service from Fajardo on Puerto Rico and thus presents itself as the perfect place to end an enjoyable period aboard Fidelity in the SVI as it is only a short ride back, thus eliminating having to sail upwind into churlish conditions to St. Thomas.

Remember, there are many variations to this sample itinerary. Your charter will be customized to fulfill the dreams of your charter party. That's the beauty of a Virgin Islands crewed charter yacht sailing vacation.

If you want to scuba dive, there are boats that specialize in this activity. They will be well-equipped and have a divemaster or dive instructor aboard and will make sure you dive on some spectacular spots. Another possibility is to do a "rendezvous" dive. This is where a yacht will coordinate with shore-based dive operators to take you on a dive.

Or maybe you want to spend more time sailing than at anchor and improve your sailing skills at the same time. Your experienced captain will be happy to oblige your wishes.

Whether you want an active nightlife visiting local hot spots or just enjoy the pleasure of quiet, secluded anchorages, a charter yacht in the Virgin Islands can accommodate your desires.

And, of course, if your idea of the ideal vacation is no itinerary at all, then a crewed yacht charter vacation is the perfect choice. You can decide each morning over coffee in the cockpit what you want to do that day (even if it's nothing at all), and it's OK to change your mind, too!

Our professional crews will make sure each charter guest experiences the perfect personalized itinerary for their Virgin Islands sailing vacation.

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