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Relax at Casa Violeta,Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

Frequently Asked Questions - Travel

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What is the local airport and how far is it? The closest international airport is San Juan International (SJU) on the big island of Puerto Rico. Vieques has its own small airport (VQS). It is about a 20 minute flight from San Juan to Vieques, or about a 4 hour trip by taxi/ferry. Vieques airport is on the north side of Vieques, about 20 minutes drive from our house which is in Esperanza on the south side of the island.

Do you do an airport pickup service? Not usually, but we can organize one if you want it. (It would cost you about $50). Generally, we recommend that you either get a Publico (taxi) directly from the airport, or arrange to be met by your car hire company and get a car as soon as you arrive on the island.

What is the typical rate for a taxi ride on Vieques? There are one or two true taxis on the island, what they charge we don't know exactly, but they might be cheaper for large groups since you pay more by the ride rather than the number of passengers. However, most everyone rides in "Publicos". A Publico is somewhat like a taxi, but will stop and pick up multiple groups of passengers going to different destinations. So sometimes you have one to yourself, sometimes you get a slice of island life and get diverted down back roads en-route to your destination while the driver picks up or drops off other passengers. Rates are regulated and are $2/passenger anywhere in the old civilian area (central third of the island), and $5 to go onto any old military area (east and west ends), or most beaches.

Can I take a taxi to and from Beaches? Yes. Publicos will take you to the beach and either pick you up again at a prearranged time, or, if your cell phone works on Vieques, you can call when you are ready to be picked up.

Do we need a rental car? No, but it sure is nice to have one. You can walk to all local shops and restaurants within five minutes or so. Nearest beaches are five minutes walk or 20 minutes to the nearest really nice ones (Sun Bay). You can take Publicos to more distant beaches and to the supermarkets in Isabella II on the north side of the island. However, to really explore and get a feel for the island we do recommend that you hire a car. Another possibility, which we often do ourselves, is to hire a car for a couple of days at the start of the holiday so you can go shopping and get a feel for the place, then do without for a few days and just go to the beach. Then maybe hire a car again at the end of the holiday for a couple of days of exploring, and maybe arrange to leave the car at the airport when you leave.

How close is the rental car pickup? Vieques is not a big place, and all of the car rental places are within 5-10 miles. They all offer a free service where they will take you to and from the car rental pickup - just telephone them from the house and they will come collect you.

Can we visit El Yunque while we are on Vieques? El Yunque Puerto Rico's famous mountain and rain forests, is on the big island of Puerto Rico. If you want to go visit it would be easiest to do it at the beginning or end of your stay on Vieques to minimize travel.

Can we visit Culebra while we are on Vieques? Culebra is another island off the coast of Puerto Rico, and about 10 miles from Vieques. Services from Vieques to Culebra have historically been infrequent and changeable. Check Vieques Air Link for on-demand flight details and costs on 1-888-901-9247. See below for ferry details.

Is there a direct ferry service between Vieques and Culebra? In February 2003 a direct daily service between the islands started, leaving at 6.30am and returning at 4.30pm. We have not tried it and don't know if the service will get enough use to be viable. Try calling the ferry company and asking, 1-787-741-4761.