Getting to Vieques from the States can be easy and reasonably inexpensive. It’s no more difficult than flying to the Florida Keys and less hassle than traveling to almost any other Caribbean island. Here’s a couple of tips on how I do it when I travel back and forth.
For starters, Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth and American citizens currently do not need a passport to enter or exit. This will eventually change but we’ll deal with that later. No matter where you’re flying from in the States you’ll book a flight to San Juan International Airport (SJU). Almost every major east coast city has direct flights to San Juan several times a day and it’s serviced by half a dozen airlines, including American and United.
Book the earliest possible flight into San Juan. If you’re coming from an east coast city like New York or D.C. you can easily arrive before noon. This will give you plenty of time and options to for getting to Vieques that same afternoon.
You have two ways of getting to the island, flying or taking the ferry. Let’s start with the latter. The Vieques ferry is located in the town of Fajardo which is about thirty five miles from San Juan and it departs several times per day. From the San Juan Airport you’ll take a taxi van, called a publico, to Fajardo. There is a publico stand just outside the airport’s baggage claim area. The ride currently costs $80 and takes between forty five minutes to an hour depending on traffic. One quick note here: San Juan taxi drivers can be insane. If you’re a soldier coming home from convoy duty in Iraq you’ll be quite comfortable with the trip. For the rest of you, take a Valium and hang on. The cabbies do speak English and you should tip them. I give an extra $20 if we don’t kill anyone on the way.
Once you get to Fajardo you’ll be dropped off at the ferry terminal. You’ll want to buy your tickets immediately. The ticket agents are in the smaller building directly across the street from the main terminal. This can be a very chaotic scene on a small street so get your cabbie to point out where to go.
The ferry costs only $2 per person one way but you may be charged for an extra ticket if your luggage is exceptionally big. Keep your bags with you at all times. Theft is actually rare here and the terminal always seems to have several cops hanging around, but don’t tempt the occasional idiot. If you have a large group and a pile of bags, send one person up to buy tickets for everyone, but point out the group to the agents. They’ll determine if you need extra tickets for your bags. Don’t try to sneak huge luggage on without paying. It won’t work and you’ll probably miss the boat because of it.
Plan on being in the terminal and in line at least an hour before your departure time. The ferry is first come, first serve and once it’s full they leave. Getting on the boat is chaotic at best and the locals will shove their way in front of you to be on first. Don’t get insulted by this. The ferry is the lifeline for Vieques. Many locals work in Fajardo, not to mention go to school, the doctor, and shop on the main island. They all want to get home to their families and they’re not shoving just because you’re a gringo tourist. Keep a smile on your face but be persistent and you’ll get your seat.
The ferries rarely leave on time but usually are usually underway within half an hour of their schedule. If you are prone to seasickness sit on the top deck in the fresh air. The main cabin is air conditioned like a meat locker and in rough water you’ll want your eyes on the horizon. The ride usually takes an hour depending on the sea state. You’ll arrive at the terminal in Isabel Segunda on the north side of Vieques. If you need a taxi to your guesthouse you’ll find several publicos parked off to your right.
Using the ferry puts a lot more effort and uncertainty in your trip to Vieques, but at $2 per person it’s a steal. If you have a party of four you’ll spend around $25 per person, including your cab ride from San Juan. If you take a plane you’ll spend at least $90. I’ll go over some tips on flying in Part 2.
- Trump rejects Puerto Rico storm toll of 3,000 as Democrat plot
- Hillary Clinton wins Puerto Rico primary
- Miss Puerto Rico lands Miss World 2016 crown
- US reports first Zika virus death in Puerto Rico
- Clinton wins Puerto Rico in race for Democratic nomination
- US declares a Zika public health emergency in Puerto Rico
- Trump blames Puerto Ricans for slow hurricane response
- Quest Diagnostics says its Zika virus test gets U.S. approval
- Saudi judoka gets go-ahead after hijab dispute
- Vietnamese embassy to ensure arrested fishermen get fair trial
- U.S. reports 279 Zika cases in pregnant women, Obama pushes Congress on funds
- Maria intensifies to rare Category 5 hurricane in Caribbean
- Hurricane Irma churns through Caribbean islands, possibly en route to Florida
- Hurricane Maria bears down on battered Caribbean
- Zika affects 5 percent of babies with confirmed infections: CDC
- Hurricane Irma worsens Latin America's fuel supply crunch
- U.S. urges waiting period before conception after Zika infection
- Women in areas with Zika transmission should delay pregnancy: WHO
- Thuy An’s competition for Miss International 2018
- Vietnam among top 10 budget honeymoons
Vieques, Puerto Rico - Getting There, Part 1 have 952 words, post on ezinearticles.com at November 17, 2008. This is cached page on Movie News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.