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Trip Report March 13-20 2010

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MISSISSIPPI
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89 posts
14 reviews
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Trip Report March 13-20 2010

Great week.

Used Julian's transport service to get our group of six folks to/from San Juan and Fajardo. He charged $90 each time. Well worth it.

HAD to stay in the hotel at the airport b/c our flight was so late.

Nice set up there. Friendly staff, clean rooms, decent free breakfast. The ferry was not a problem at all. The price was right. Our entire party of 6 bought round-trip tickets for $24.

Martineua car rental sent someone to get us. Rented a Durango - in fair shape by island standards. A bit pricey imho - over $500 for six days. Cookie's Paradise was a perfect villa for our group. The property manager, Isabel, went out of her way to see to it that our needs were met. She even did shopping for me ahead of time so we had some essentials in the fridge/pantry when we arrived. The villa is not luxurious, but it was very clean and comfortable. We all agreed that we'd stay there again ANY time. We cooked most of our meals at home. Favorite was grilled lobster and yellow tail fish.

Found a guy near the north shore who sells it from a freezer on his driveway! Got the lobster for $8/lb. Only ate out 2 times - once at Mofongo's in Iz II - it was ok, but nothing to rave about.

Enjoyed our meal at Duffys in Esperanza much more. Best crab cakes ever. Also go food from the "sol food" truck at beaches exit.

First time empanadas were top-notch. Second time they were cold, maybe even frozen, in the middle. Regret not trying Pinchos from various stands. Just never got around to it.

Beaches were the star of this vacation. Loved them all.

My favorite snorkeling was the small island off of Red Beach.

WE tried some DIY flats fishing and don't reccomend that to anybody. Wish we had just booked a guide on the first day of the trip to get some pointers first hand. Kids thought the Bio Bay was the best thing of all. We went with Island Adventures.

Never felt threatened or unsafe anywhere on the island.

It was a glorious week. Now I'm seeking my next island destination.... I loved one shirt I saw in Esperanza - it listed all of the days of the week and then ended with

"see, there is no SOME day." I've posted a few pics on this site.

Atlanta, Georgia
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1,850 posts
25 reviews
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1. Re: Trip Report March 13-20 2010

cool!!! thanks for posting. Din't see the pics posted.

NYC
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for Isla de Vieques
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56 reviews
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2. Re: Trip Report March 13-20 2010

thanks for the report.

which restaurant is mofongo?

which beach did you like best?

Chicago
2 posts
1 review
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3. Re: Trip Report March 13-20 2010

Glad to hear that your trip went well. We are using Julians transport as well and have in the past. After the one negative post, I'm glad to hear that you and others are saying you enjoyed Cookie's Paradise and would return there. Did you have much rain? My husband has been watching the radar and is a bit distressed to see rain forecasted next week for our visit. If it were to be a wash out for a day, what would you recommend for a family to do in the area? I see that the pool has a covered area. Does Cookies have games, beach chairs, coolers, etc? We will check out Red Beach; my kids are looking forward to snorkeling. Where did you purchase the lobster and fish you cooked? Thanks for posting your report!

MISSISSIPPI
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89 posts
14 reviews
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4. Re: Trip Report March 13-20 2010

Mofongo is in Isabelle Segunda right down the street from the ferry port.

We loved Navio for playing. One day the waves were HUGE and we couldn't even get in there, but another day they were absolutely perfect for my 10 year old to play in. For just soaking in the beauty I liked the sea glass beach on the Atlantic side. Once again, waves WAY too rough for us to venture in.

MISSISSIPPI
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89 posts
14 reviews
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5. Re: Trip Report March 13-20 2010

The weather was picture perfect every day for 6 days straight. The wind does make a huge difference in the wave action. Luckily, we had a steady but calm breeze the first 5 days. On our 6th day the wind was whipping and the only beach with "calm" water was Media Luna. The island we snorkeled off of Red Beach was about 100 yds. out. We had to swim over some pretty deep water to get there. It is actually easier to get to the island if you park at the beach near Red Beach (I think it is called Grand Beach or Playa Plata). You have to walk a bit down a path to get the beach, but it puts you closer to the island. We used inflatable snorkel vests for an added measure of safety. If the water is calm enough, be sure to snorkel around to the front side of the little island to see more cool stuff. The lobster guy was near the north shore in Isabelle Segunda. HIs ph # is (787) 741-7626. It was $8 per pound for gorgeous lobster.

I would stay at Cookie's again in a HEARTBEAT. The covered area at the pool is huge and has a 1/2 bath and outdoor shower. You can even see the ocean from there, but the view from the upstairs balcony is the best. In the event of rain I had packed some dvds and we all had novels to read. We did pay the extra $100 to run the main AC unit because it was near or above 90 degrees every day. I love telling about our FABULOUS trip so just let me know if you have other questions.

Edited: 23 March 2010, 23:48
Isla de Vieques...
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52 posts
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6. Re: Trip Report March 13-20 2010

I think you mean Mamasonga's not Mofongo. They have both a great breakfast as well as crabcakes and fettuccine shrimp alrfredo for dinner (my 2 favorites when I go there). It is directly across the street from the Mar Azul (blue bar).

Clearwater
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260 posts
4 reviews
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7. Re: Trip Report March 13-20 2010

For Mogongo, Richard's Cafe, Isabel and I believe Conuco (spelling) in Isabel across from Banco Popular. Trying Conuco tonite and Richard's was great. Last time I loved Blue Beahc, this time Red Beach. Road's paved to Red Beach, get there early to get a cabana/palapa for lack of a better word, roads to Blue Beach have grading in them and make a very bumpy ride. ENJOY. El Quenepo, pricy, but I did see a gentlemen eating Mofongo.

Chicago, IL
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8. Re: Trip Report March 13-20 2010

lad to hear Sol Food back open. We loved it last year and we were hoping it was open again. Guess the girls are back from their trip or did someone else buy it? Can't wait - leaving Monday morning!

Indianapolis Indiana
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63 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: Trip Report March 13-20 2010

Thanks for trip report. Love reading them!

Southern Maine
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10. Re: Trip Report March 13-20 2010

Could you detail more about the A/C arrangements at Cookie's? We're planning to travel there next year and I have heard some conflicting information on the web...just trying to figure out what to expect. Thanks!