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Beaches in Vieques and Culebra's insider take:

The most popular beach on Vieques is Sun Bay, just east of the town of Esperanza. While this crescent of fine, white sand is lovely, there are three dozen other named beaches (and many more that go incognito) that you will probably have to yourself. Of these, Red, Blue, and Green (named by the rather unimaginative U.S. Navy when there was a base here) are the must-tries. Red is the most accessible and family-friendly, Blue has panoramic sea views, and Green requires an off-road trek. Since all are quite a hike from the nearest convenience store, make sure to pack your own food, drinks, and sunscreen.

Beach aficionados will want to check out tiny Culebra's Playa Flamenco. The mostly unspoiled crescent of palm-fringed sand has often earned it a place on many "best beaches" lists. But don't overlook other stretches on Culebra, such as the long, walkable shore of Playa Zoni.

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