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How to Split Time Between Visques & El Yunque NF

Walnut Creek, CA
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24 posts
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How to Split Time Between Visques & El Yunque NF

Greetings,

After hours of searching, I narrowed down our top two points of interest in our first ever PR visit to Visques and eastern part of main island (El Yunque NF, Farjardo). These two areas seem to provide the right balance of relaxation and activity levels for my wife and our 8yr old son. In general, we are the type of travelers who like to appreciate local culture, shop groceries at local markets, and avoid the fancy/all-inclusive type resorts. Here are the objectives for each area:

Visques: Bio(Mosquito Bay), beach time, fishing with guides (my son is crazy about it), and scuba diving (just myself).

Eastern side of main island: hiking & swimming in El Yunque NF, fishing with guides out of Fajardo, snorkeling.

However, I would appreciate some help in deciding how to split the time wisely. We will arrive at SJU around 2:30pm on a Friday in late November and will fly home the following Friday with a scheduled flight at 1:30pm. Here are my questions:

1) Is it adequate/too much to spend at least 3 nights in Vieques to truly appreciate its beauty, tranquility, and Bio Bay?

2) Is it better to head to Vieques first right after landing in SJU, then fly back to the main island after our days in Vieques? My thought is that we will then be on the main island the day of departure, which minimizes the risk of missing the outbound flight.

3) If answer to Q.2 is true, will we have enough time to get from SJU to Isla Grande to catch the VAL flight at 5pm (last one of the day)?

4) I am very much like to use the Rainforest Inn as our home base while on the main island to explore the rain forest as well as other ocean related activities near Fajardo. Will we spend too much time on driving back and forth? If so, what similar accommodations will be best to help optimize between access to both rain forest and Farjardo?

Sorry for the long note, as I try to put all the questions in one place. Comments and suggestions are most definitely welcomed. Thank.

El Yunque Rain Forest
Nature & Wildlife Areas, Forests
La Marquesa Forest Park
Nature & Wildlife Areas, Parks, Forests
Guanica Dry Forest
Nature & Wildlife Areas, Forests
Maine
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429 posts
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1. Re: How to Split Time Between Visques & El Yunque NF

I recommend 3 nights only if you can get there that first night. If not then just 2. We love Vieques, but if you can't make the first night and then spend 3 there it won't give the ElYunque part as much time as you should

El Yunque National...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Rico
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2. Re: How to Split Time Between Visques & El Yunque NF

I think 3 nights is fine for Vieques, but since you miss that first day and beaches and down time are important, I might add 1 more night there. As long as your flight arrives on-time, you will have no trouble getting to Isla Grande for your flight (it is only about 15 mins away and taxis are waiting at the airport).

I think you are correct with doing Vieques first to avoid any issue on the last day getting to the airport.

The Rainforest Inn is in a nice spot- equidistant between Fajardo and San Juan (about 40-45 mins). If your main goal is to avoid too much driving to Fajardo, then stay closer to Fajardo/Luquillo. For small inns in the country, try Hotelito or Ceiba Country Inn. Have you considered a Vacation Rental in the area? A well run vacation rental may fit your needs. There are some in the mountains in Rio Grande, Luquillo, Fajardo. Check here on TA. http://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentals Then go to the map and zoom in on the NE area and you will find lots of options.

Edited: 17 July 2013, 12:00
Walnut Creek, CA
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24 posts
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3. Re: How to Split Time Between Visques & El Yunque NF

Thank you Flowerfarm for the input. Now that you clarified the driving time to be about 45mins from the Rainforest Inn down to Fajardo, it makes less sense now to stay there. I actually focus my search on vacation rental, usually with VRBO. I will check out others on TA too. Thanks.

4. Re: How to Split Time Between Visques & El Yunque NF

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