The Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust occasionally offers tours of the Central Playa Grande Sugar Mill ruins. Their museum/office is located in Esperanza. You can try calling them at 787-741-8850 to make a (required) reservation for a tour.
Allow at least 1 hour to walk around the ruins.
Wear closed-toe shoes with sturdy soles. Bring bug spray and plenty of water.
In its heyday, from the early 1800s until the 1920s, Vieques had a thriving sugar industry. But, like all sugar production in Puerto Rico, the industry declined severely in the 1930s. Sugar production was completely finished when the US expropriated the lands of the last remaining sugar mill (Central Playa Grande) on Vieques in 1941.
There is a small (unmarked) footpath that criss-cross parts of the site. But, at times, the footpath disappears into weeds, leaving you to blaze your own trail through the woods. It was thick with vines, and you can easily get turned around.
There is no cell service at this location, which means no internet. So you won’t have access to Google Maps, or anything similar. You’ll need to plan ahead and have a non-internet-based GPS app on your smartphone to use for navigation around the site.
These ruins were really in ruins! Be careful where you walk, where go into, and what you climb on top of. There are still some steps leading between (what remains of) the different levels of the structures. There are remains of doorways and there are holes in walls so one is able to get inside the structures.
Roofs have fallen in, and floors have collapsed. You really need to use common sense here while walking around and exploring. We found many pieces of rusting machinery, and beautiful old rock and brick walls. And some more "modern" concrete walls and structures.
GPS COORDINATES: 18.096337,-65.423427