I'm a current resident of Puerto Rico & am a sucker for gorgeous beaches. I typically like to take the ferry to Culebra, but the process of waiting in line for 2+ hours with no guarantee of boarding became old after awhile. So I'm happy to announce that Island Venture PR now has an online reservation site where you can purchase tickets by credit card or paypal....too good to be true, right? (http://islandventurepr.com/en)
From San Juan to Ponce, it's a straight shot on the freeway with minimal traffic. It takes roughly about 1 1/2 hours. Once you reach the La Guancha Marina, you can park anywhere free of charge. Along the boardwalk, you will see the ferry & crewman at a small table. He has a list of people who have purchased online tickets. Tell him your name and he will cross your name off the list. I printed out my invoice, but he never asked for it. Also, if you bring anything big such as a cooler, you will be charged an extra $5. So make sure to bring cash.
The ferry ride was approx 45 min & very smooth. It was like heaven once we approached the boat dock...beautiful, turquoise, calm, clear water all around!!! Plenty of gazebos for everyone to have for their own.
If you decide to hike any of the trails, please remember to bring bug spray & plenty of water!!! One trail, roughly about a 30 min hike, leads you all the way to the lighthouse for some postcard like pictures. The view is absolutely stunning. Also, when the trail splits (taking right leads to lighthouse), if you take a left, another beautiful beach awaits you...roughly 10 min hike from the split off.
Overall, you are on the island from 9:30am to 3:30pm. The ferry docks there the entire time and they have refreshments, beer, alcohol, & light food for sale at reasonable rates. There is no fresh water & remember to bring a garbage bag since no garbage can be left on the island. Also, they will play local music which tends to be a little loud. I'd suggest sitting in the lower deck if you don't want it blaring in your ears.
I had one of the best beach experiences all due to a reliable, customer friendly ferry service!!!
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