If you’re looking for a beach that you can get naked on, unfurl your towel on Playa La Chiva. It’s definitely not referred to as a “nude” beach, but I’m of the opinion that if you don’t have neighbors on the sand and feel comfortable, take off your suit and soak up the rays!
If you want to keep your swimsuit on, that’s fine, too. Many of the pull offs on the nearly eight mile beach loop are private, so you can enjoy your own personal oasis however your choose.
Without a doubt, Playa La Chiva (formerly called Blue Beach by the United States Navy) is one of my favorite beaches on Vieques Island. This coming from a girl who doesn’t take “beaching it” lightly. Also from a girl who doesn’t like tan lines, and wants to feel like she’s the only one on the beach.
To get to La Chiva, enter the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge (aka “The Reserve”) off Route 997. Travel until you pass the sign for Playa Caracas (Red Beach), which turns from paved to gravel road. Approximately 1 mile in you’ll spot the big sign for La Chiva. Bear right and you’ll start to see the numbered signs.
If you’re meeting someone at La Chiva, people refer to a particular “number.” This corresponds to the pull-off where you’ll find them for the afternoon. Whether it’s snorkeling, exploring, or sunbathing you wish to enjoy, you’ll find the perfect numbered spot that suits your needs.
On this day, my lucky number was 11. Because I didn’t have my own beach umbrella, I wanted to find a spot with shade. You never know exactly where the palm trees will stand on the beach, so you can’t go wrong with a gazebo.
La Chiva is breathtaking. Visually it’s hard to beat, with soft, golden sand and crystal clear turquoise waters. The surf on the day I was there was gentle and inviting. I couldn’t wait to jump into the water after baking in the hot sun. I floated. I felt weightless and free. I’m not sure what effect the ocean has on you, but for me, it’s the most therapeutic thing possible.
And the privacy. I know that I’ve mentioned it before, but it honestly feels like you’re the only one there. I heard some cars go by, but usually when they see your car they continue on their way. Except…true story to follow…
So I’m sitting in my chair, enjoying some wine from El Sombrero Viejo, and soaking up the sun, naked. My suit is right next to me, on the cooler, just in case. A jeep pulls in next to mine, and before I know it, there’s this girl walking up to me. I grab my cover-up and quickly throw it over me. Clearly, I’m unclothed. She turns around and heads back to her car. I figure she’s going to leave.
It’s pretty much common knowledge that if you see a car at the beach, you keep going and look for your own private spot. Nope. I turn around, and she and a male friend have decided to eat lunch right behind me in MY gazebo. The nerve! So I was a prisoner in my beach chair until they finished up and decided to find their own private slice of paradise, or once again, crash someone else’s spot!
The diversity of the beaches on Vieques is significant. From more public, family oriented beaches to private, seemingly deserted stretches, you’ll soon discover which beaches speak to you the most. Playa La Chiva was one of the beaches that called to me over and over again during my stay on the island.