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Trip Itinerary - Mainland and Vieques - thoughts?

New York City, New...
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Trip Itinerary - Mainland and Vieques - thoughts?

Hello all,

been reading a lot of the forums but haven't seen anyone post my exact plan - wondered what any frequent or recent visitors or experts thought.

1) Fly into San Juan from NY - spend either 1 or 2 nights there (do you think this is enough time in SJ?).

2) Rent car on Day 3 and drive to rainforest and spend day there and night in or near rain forest.

3) Morning on Day 4 - drop off rental car and ferry to Vieques. I understand they're somewhat unreliable but really need to budget for my trip.

4) Day 5 and 6 in Vieques (as well as some of day 4)

5) Day 7 - fly to Isla Grand Airport from Vieques - cab to SJU to fly home to NY.

Thoughts or advice??? Thanks!!!

Indiana
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1. Re: Trip Itinerary - Mainland and Vieques - thoughts?

Welcome Jesse, I see this is your first post in the Vieques forum. I can't speak to San Juan, most we spend there is a few hours. But you didn't mention "when" you were planning on going to Vieques, allso you didn't mention a car for Vieques...which, IMHO, you should get. The reason I bring this up is because rental cars need to be booked well in advance on Vieques, especially in peak season. Given a car and 2.5 days you should be able to see a good part of the island.

Curt

NYC
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2. Re: Trip Itinerary - Mainland and Vieques - thoughts?

I agree with Curt, get that car.

Besides that, one day in SJ.

If you are not a huge hiker and love the idea of hiking in the rainforest. I would either just do the morning in the rainforest and head over to Vieques in the afternoon or do the rainforest in the morning and do other stuff around the island. Like go to Guavate. then the next morning go to Vieques. If you do the rainforest then go to Vieques in the same day you will save money on a hotel and can spend it on a flight instead of the ferry. or take the ferry anyway and pay for the car andlodging.

the plan overall sounds like a good one though.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Trip Itinerary - Mainland and Vieques - thoughts?

Oh yes - I am definitely renting a car in Vieques - no doubt. Trip is in Feb.

Thanks guys for your input - taking a flight to Vieques same day as rainforest is a great idea actually. Thanks!

Minneapolis...
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4. Re: Trip Itinerary - Mainland and Vieques - thoughts?

I think your itinerary will work, but I would shorten the time on the main island. Old San Juan is great, and you could easily spend two days there, but one full day is probably all that is needed. I like starting the trip out there rather than ending there. I personally wouldn't spend much time in San Juan outside of the Old Town. El Yunque is also great, but can be well covered in a half day. However, if you really like hiking, I would maybe spend the full day. I don't think there's much reason to spend the night near the rainforest unless it's otherwise convenient to your trip.

So, my two cents - arrive on day 1, spend 2 nights in Old San Juan, get up early on day 3 and head to El Yunque for the morning, then catch an afternoon ferry or flight to vieques and spend the rest of your trip there just relaxing.

Puerto Rico
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5. Re: Trip Itinerary - Mainland and Vieques - thoughts?

Hey, Jesse - Props for asking advice. Now the key is to follow it. If you want to enjoy a tropical vacation at an island pace, skip half your itinerary. Choose either Old San Juan (two days, one night) or the rain forest, El Yunque - but by all means spend as much time as you can in Vieques. Coming from NY in Feb you're going to need some sun & fun & that's all we have here. But it does take time to get here. So plan to visit Puerto Rico again and this trip, pick two highlights. You won't regret it. Buen viaje!

Yardley...
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6. Re: Trip Itinerary - Mainland and Vieques - thoughts?

Thought I would share my own upcoming february itinerary, which I modified a little based on the great advice from Trip Advisor.

Saturday: Arrive SJU pick up car rental, drive to Ceiba Country Inn, check in, then out for either a quick drive thru El Yunque or a short visit to the beach (Luquillo or Seven Seas), dinner & sleep.

Sunday: Up early for morning hikes in El Yunque, return car in Fajardo, fly mid-afternoon to Vieques, house and car already booked. Bio Bay that night (best moon night of the week).

Monday-Friday: take in as much of the Vieques relaxation and vibe as we can; Friday afternoon fly to Isla Grande near OSJ, check in to hotel.

Friday night-Sunday noon: explore OSJ; Sunday afernoon flight back home.

So for me it's 1 night Ceiba, 5 nights Vieques, 2 nights OSJ and I can't wait. I plan to give full report when I return.

NYC
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7. Re: Trip Itinerary - Mainland and Vieques - thoughts?

good plan Jimmy. Take San Juan at the end of your Vieques time is good because you can always cancel San Juan and stay in Vieques. Which is what you will probably want to do.

Im looking forward to your report.

Philadelphia
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8. Re: Trip Itinerary - Mainland and Vieques - thoughts?

I disagree that one day is enough to see and enjoy San Juan (I'm assuming you mean Old San Juan). It's a beautiful city with a lot of history, wonderful nightlife, good restaurants, a great art museum, and interesting architecture. I would suggest just 3 days in Vieques and the rest in OSJ. If you tire of the city you can take day trips. Be advised: El Yunque gets very crowded later in the day. Plan on getting there early. You can also do a day trip along the northern coast to Arecibo, or into the mountains in the central region. In any event, we loved Vieques, but I wish we had cut our visit there down from 5 days to 3. Enjoy your trip!!

El Yunque National...
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9. Re: Trip Itinerary - Mainland and Vieques - thoughts?

I have to agree with JustCurious. But I guess it just depends on what you are looking for in a vacation. Vieques quiet beach vacation is great for some people for weeks (or even lifetimes), but for others, it gets old after a few days.

I love seeing the white sand beaches and calm blue water of Vieques, it is great for sunning and relaxing and the biabay is amazing. But for me, it can't make up for missing the rugged beauty of the north coast by Arecibo or south coast by Cabo Rojo. Crashing blue waves, white foam, jagged cliffs and arches. Or the amazing waterfalls of the rain forests and mountain ranges of the main island, or historical OSJ, or many of the other varied offerings of the main island of PR. PR has so much to see, I would hate to limit myself to one place.

Yardley...
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10. Re: Trip Itinerary - Mainland and Vieques - thoughts?

No Frankipoo, I won't be canceling the San Juan portion of my trip, I am very much looking forward to returning there (although I did cut the time there to 3 days/2 nights so to have more time on Vieques). I had been to San Juan twice before on separate trips with my older sons who traveled there to play baseball. They are both in college now, charting their own course, so this time I am returning with my wife and two children who didn't make the prior trips.

My 12 yr old son is an avid reader and loves history (just like his dad). When I visited Old San Juan with its beauty and history and the fortresses, etc., I knew I'd have to return with him. My wife and daughter on the other hand are the diehard beachlovers (we are about an hour's drive from the NJ Shore - no it's not all as depicted on "Jersey Shore"). When I learned about Vieques and its beaches, I knew I could put together a vacation that should satisfy us all.

In a few more years I expect to be like Curt in Indiana - empty nest and mortgage free - then maybe I too will be a regular Vieques visitor.

Happy New Year, everyone.