Cayo de Tierra
Cayo de Tierra and Cayo Afuera lie off the southern coast of Vieques
between the town of Esperanza and Sun Bay. Cayo de Tierra is connected
to the main island by a narrow sand spit and may be accessed by
Adventurers can hike to the top of the island where you can stand
at the edge of the 100-foot cliffs with exciting views of the
Caribbean, Sun Bay and much of the southern coast and low-lying
interior of Vieques.
Walk along the sand spit and then bear left following the coast
on the east side of the island. Inland there will be a laguna.
In the dry season, the laguna becomes a salt pond where you can
scrape up natural sea salt containing all the minerals in the
sea and all that are essential to the human body. On Vieques,
this is the favored salt to use for ice cream churning.
Keep walking until the end of the laguna and before the beginning
of the cliffs. Look for a trail through the sea grapes that leads
to the laguna. Once you get to the perimeter of the laguna, follow
one of the steep paths up to the top of the island.
It is really an awesome experience to stand on the edge of these
cliffs, feel the trade winds blowing in your face and to experience
in such a dramatic way the incredible beauty of the Caribbean.
Once up on top of the island, you can continue around the perimeter
where you can scramble down the rocks and walk around the coast.
There is a beautiful beach just before you return to the sand
spit from where you originally crossed over to the island, where
you can take a refreshing swim, a welcome experience after your
hike around the island.
There are 127 identified species of birds on Vieques and Cayo
de Tierra is an excellent venue for birdwatchers. An exciting
experience is to watch the big seabirds such as tropicbirds and
brown boobies sailing through the air below you.
From the sand spit, you can often see three different varieties
of terns, royal, sandwich and least. From the laguna in the winter,
look for white-cheeked pintail and blue-winged teal.