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Diving & Other Outdoor Pursuits

For a small island, Vieques offers big opportunities for diving, snorkeling, sailing, and a huge array of other watersports. Natural conditions are incredible, and prices remain a bargain. More and more operators are popping up each year, which should only improve the offerings and the value for customers. Blue Caribe Kayaks, Calle Flamboyan 149 (El Malecón; tel. 787/741-2522), is one of the most experienced and comprehensive watersports outfits on Vieques, with kayaking, snorkeling, scuba-diving, fishing, or swimming in the nighttime waters of Vieques's bioluminescent bays. They've been doing it for more than a decade. Kayak rentals are $10 an hour, $25 for a half-day, and $45 for a full day. Snorkeling equipment (fins, mask, and snorkel) rent for $12 daily. Guided snorkeling tours by kayak transport you for $35 through gin-clear waters, with stunning coral and brilliantly colored tropical fish, en route to an offshore cay with great beaches. These jacks-of-all-watersports also run a half-day spin-casting fishing tour from a kayak, wherein you'll fish for barracuda, grouper, or other reef fish, using segments of squid or octopus as bait. The trip costs $50 per person. Tours last from around 3pm to sundown daily, as well as nighttime trips to the local biobay ($33 per person), one of the world's best bioluminescent bays.

If you want to go diving, the Vieques veteran is Nan-Sea Charters, Calle Flamboyan 149, Vieques (tel. 787/741-2390), which brings an insider's knowledge to your dive experience.

Abe’s Snorkeling & Bio-Bay Tours (tel. 787/741-2134; www.abessnorkeling.com) also offers competitive rates, hands-on inspection of marine critters, and some amusing storytelling, at least if you’re with Abe. The company offers several tours lasting between 2 and 6 hours, ranging in price from $40 to $150. Children 4 and under go for free, while older kids up to 11 years old pay half-price for the expeditions. Ask about full-day island tours, 6 whole hours of fun.

Black Beard Sports, Calle Muñoz Rivera 101, Isabela Segunda, Vieques (tel. 787/741-1892; www.blackbeardsports.com), is a PADI dive center offering introductory dive trips and half-day open-water dives with equipment included for $150. If you have your gear, the open-water dive is $120, $150 with rental gear. They also have class programs ranging from $130 to $400, and varying in skill level and duration. Its downtown location in a restored Puerto Rican casita has a great sporting goods and sportswear shop. They rent dive equipment, snorkels and fins, mountain bikes, kayaks, fishing gear and other stuff, even tents.

A well-rehearsed outfit that’s good at leading newcomers into the island’s most savage landscapes is Vieques Adventure Company (tel. 787/692-9162; www.bikevieques.com). Gary Lowe and members of his staff lead mountain bikers on half-day ($150 per person) tours of obscure trails that are noteworthy for their panoramas and technical difficulties. Use of a mountain bike, usually an aluminum-framed, 28-speed, state-of-the-art model, is included in the price. You can rent one of these bikes, without the services of a trail guide, for $25 per day. The company also rents sea kayaks ($45 daily). Anglers will want to try a kayak fly-fishing tour at a price of $175 per person for a truly unique experience. The company also runs glass bottomed canoe tours of the biobay at night ($50).

Taxi Horses (tel. 787/206-0122; www.blackbeardsports.com), gives 2-hour group tours that leave at 10am and 4pm daily (riders must arrive 30 min. before each departure). The guides are engaging and the coastal route breathtakingly beautiful. $75 per person when two or more riders form a group.

Fin Time Adventures (tel. 787/981-4109; www.fintimeadventures.com) and SeaVieques (tel. 787/435-0256; www.seavieques.com) offer daylong snorkel and sail trips on beautiful sailing vessels, and indulge with nice lunches and open bars.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.