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Traveling to and From Vieques

Wisconsin
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Traveling to and From Vieques

Hi everyone,

I am looking at planning a trip to Vieques and I have a couple of questions. First of all, I would like to spend most of my trip in Vieques, but I would like to spend one full day in El Yunque. My first question is do you think it would be best to go to El Yunque the first day (after I fly into San Juan) or at the end of my trip before I get home?

Also, I saw that flights from San Juan to Vieques are about $135-$140. I saw that some people were getting cheaper flights, but I am not sure where that airport is. And if I do travel from SJU to a different airport, would you suggest a taxi, and are they easy to find?

I appreciate your help, and I hope someone would be able to help me. I am looking at renting a car on vieques, but I realize if I want to go to El Yunque, I may have to rent another car on the mainland. I am just hoping that someone can give me some insight. Thank you all very much!

Edited: 9:57 am, August 10, 2013
Wisconsin
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1. Re: Traveling to and From Vieques

Also, I am wondering about getting flights from Vieques, is it easy to stop by an airport and buy tickets at the counter? Or do you have to book before hand? I found another post on someone traveling from Vieques to El Yunque, so that helped a lot. But, if you have any more insight it would help as well.

usa
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2. Re: Traveling to and From Vieques

You failed to mention what time your flight will arrive in SJU. At any rate there are several options:

1. If your flight arrives early enough, rent a vehicle from Avis and do a one-way rental (there is an extra charge). Drive to El Yunque and enjoy the day there. Afterward drive to Ceiba and drop off the vehicle at Avis and have them drive you to Ceiba Airport for a flight to Vieques. Either return to LMM International or Isla Grande Airport (cheaper) on your return flight to San Juan. From IGA take a taxi back to the International airport. You can take a chance and try to buy tickets at the counter on the spot but it is best to make advance reservations.

2. After your arrival into SJU take a taxi to Isla Grande Airport and fly directly to Vieques. It is cheaper than taking a connecting flight from LMM International. Spend your time in Vieques. On your return rent a vehicle and spend time in El Yunque. Return the vehicle and take a taxi back to LMM.

Edited: 10:16 am, August 10, 2013
Wisconsin
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3. Re: Traveling to and From Vieques

I haven't thought about flight times yet, I am thinking about traveling to Vieques next summer so I haven't settled on times. Thank you for your information. It helps a lot.

Vieques
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4. Re: Traveling to and From Vieques

I have posted this before but it is still relevant:

Traveling to/from Vieques

There are many ways to get to Vieques. The choice you make will probably be dictated by budget and/or time. The fastest way to get to Vieques from San Juan is to take a direct flight from San Juan International Airport. Vieques Air Link (VAL) and Cape Air provide this service. These flights cost approximately $125.00 each way.

The next and less expensive alternative is to take a 10-20 minute cab ride from San Juan International Airport (Taxi prices are dictated by the Tourism Company in Puerto Rico and this trip is currently about $18.00) to Isla Grande Airport and fly to Vieques from there, it is a 25 minute flight which costs about $60.00 each way. VAL and Flamenco airlines fly this route.

Another option is taking a cab to Ceiba and the former Roosevelt Rhodes Naval Air Station on the east coast of Puerto Rico, about an hour from San Juan and costs about $70.00 then taking a 7 minute flight to Vieques for about $30.00 each way. VAL and Flamenco Airlines fly this route with frequent flights until about 6 pm. This option only makes sense for a larger party.

The least expensive but most problematic way to get to Vieques is to take the ferry. You must still take a cab to Fajardo, on the east coast of Puerto Rico and then take the ferry for $2.00 a person. The cab generally costs about $70.00 for two people. The ferry only makes a few trips a day, often breaks down or doesn’t leave at scheduled times, and sometimes goes to Culebra first. The ferry is the least expensive but not always the most reliable way to get to Vieques.

Many travelers use a combination of the above methods. Please understand that when flying to Ceiba or taking the ferry to Fajardo, you must make arrangements with a taxi to meet you. They do not wait at either location. There are públicos, a cross between a cab and a bus which follow specific routes, but they fill up fast and do not go directly to SJU.

Flight and ferry schedules and numbers for restaurants, activities, stores, hotels ,etc. can be found on www.viequesevents.net or www.enchanted-isle.com. Please look for the Isla de Vieques forum under Puerto Rico on www.tripadvisor.com These topics and lots more are discussed often .

Useful numbers: Vieques Air Link (787)-741-8331 or (888)-901-9247, Cape Air (800)352-0714, Flamenco (787) 724 1105 Charters are available from both airlines and also MN Aviation (787)722-5980 . For reliable transportation from San Juan to Fajardo or return in Puerto Rico try: Julian Transportation (787)385-7604 or Mary & Angel (787)649-9155.

Do not even consider renting a car in Puerto Rico and bringing it on the ferry. The Cargo ferry is not meant for tourism, the very limited number of daily trips supply the island with food, gasoline and other needed goods. It takes months to get a reservation. Many an unlucky tourist who was thrilled to get over on a standby basis has been left stranded on the return. Private cars are the first ones bumped when a commercial or government vehicle needs the space. Furthermore, the rental companies prohibit the transportation of their cars to Vieques, should you have a problem the insurance would not cover you! There are cars for rent on Vieques.

For some travelers spending time on both Vieques and Puerto Rico, a one rental with a drop charge may make sense. Call Avis or Enterprise (both have offices both in San Juan and on the east coast of the big island) to see what the current rate for this service is. It changes frequently.

Wisconsin
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5. Re: Traveling to and From Vieques

Great. Thank you so much! Are cabs easily accessible at SJU to go to Isla Grande Airport?

Austin, Texas
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6. Re: Traveling to and From Vieques

We are in Vieques right now. We flew into San Juan and spent a day in old San Juan. We rented a car and drove to Yunque. Spent the night at Ceiba Country Inn by the rainforest. Avis car is by the Ceiba airport. Flights to Vieques are $30. I would not do the ferry. It may be cheap, but we have watched them packed like cattle waiting for days. Well worth the money.

usa
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7. Re: Traveling to and From Vieques

EricaB, yes the cabs are lined up outside the arrival terminal. You'll see them when you exit.

Worcester...
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8. Re: Traveling to and From Vieques

We booked with cape air from sju for 109 and at the time isla grande was 74, plus we would have had about 35 in baggage fees out of isla grande. It seems the price gap can be smaller depending when you look at fares and if you will have more luggage than VAL allows for free. Either way, I would do the rain forest on your way home.

Wisconsin
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9. Re: Traveling to and From Vieques

Amalia24, thank you for your insight. Were there baggage fees on the flight with Cape Air? We will have luggage with us, so we would have to be mindful of fees.

Worcester...
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10. Re: Traveling to and From Vieques

Cape air allows, without an additional fee, one checked bag up to 50 lbs, a carry on type, and personal item. VAL I believe allows 25 lbs total of all bags, with an additional charge of 1 dollar per pound......although these numbers may have changed. If you call someone should be able to tell you. We fly to vqs on cape air, and fly back on Val. We stay on the main island and are renting a car anyway, so any taxi fares are not part for us on the return. Also, a rental car out of ceiba, or the locations that service isla grande, are often cheaper rates than sju locations.

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