Located on Vieques, a beautiful island off the east coast of Puerto Rico is a rustic, slow-paced island where horses and chickens wander the streets and going to the beach is just about the only thing to do. It’s here that Al’s Mar Azul has built a reputation that has extended from the water’s edge of the small town of Isabel Segunda on the island’s north shore and is now internationally recognized.
An exceptional accomplishment for a tawdry looking turquoise-painted, open-aired dive bar that’s perched on a low cliff above the shoreline, just a short uphill walk from the piers where the ferryboats dock from Puerto Rico’s mainland popular launching port of Fajardo.
The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly among a backdrop of international license plates, wide-open views of the Caribbean Sea, ceiling fans and old signs from the island. The setting gives a feeling of what Hemingway’s Key West may have been like those many years ago. Along with its diverse crowd of locals, mainland PRs, expats and tourists coming to play pool, drink and philosophize the day away only adds to this minds vision.
Al’s Mar Azul is the only waterfront bar on the island, with the exception of a local owned bar on the other side of the island in Esparanza who operational hours are at best irregular. Al’s is unquestionably one of my favorite places to have a drink in Vieques. The deck is warm and sunny during the day and you can see mainland Puerto Rico and Culebra Island in the distance, it’s a beautiful view. Are you on a hunt for treasure? You can search the beach below Al’s for sea glass between drinks and you may bump into Charlie the shaman who wanders and makes is home here along the shore.
Al’s is the perfect place to chill out and relax after a day of sun exploring the beaches of Vieques. It’s also happens to be the best place on the island to watch the sunset, a site not to be missed while visiting the island. So order a piña colada and watch the sunset and dream.
If you’ve been to Al’s or Vieques let me know what you thought of them in the comments below.