Someone brought it to my attention that some people are put off coming to Vieques because of the air fares tney find on line . This is especially true if you try and book yourselves all the way through to Vieques (VQS )using a search engine like Kayak or Orbitz or even the airline web sites themselves.
If you try and book all the way through you will only have the option of using Cape Air from San Juan .( SJU) because they are the only local carrier that has interline agreements with a few major carriers and there fore show up on the search engines. Cape Air is great and a convenient way to get to V ieques but it is not the most economical choice. Also it appears that when you enter that destination all the way thru to VQS the search engines often does not give you a fare as low as you can find if you book separetely even if your intention is to fly on Cape Air. in some markets the fares may be as much as double what you could book separately.. CHECK before deciding how to book.
You may end up saving hundreds of dollars booking your self in two records. Most of the other airlines that serve Vieques and Culebra really have almost no presence on the internet and certainly not on the big search engines nor will they give you the option of changing airports to save money. The downside is that without having your connecting flights in your record your fare is not protected if one of the flights is delayed,Some airlines will enter your connectiong flight info manually into your record if you phone them.
Using the old fahioned phone may be the only way to book certain flights to Vieques, for example flights from Ceiba .
below I am going to post a letter on getting to Vieques I send to clients and friends who are coming to visit.
Traveling to/from Vieques
There are many ways to get to Vieques. The choice you make will probably be dictated by budget and/or time. The fastest way to get to Vieques from San Juan is to take a direct flight from San Juan International Airport. Vieques Air Link (VAL) and Cape Air provide this service. These flights cost approximately $125.00 each way.
The next and less expensive alternative is to take a 10-20 minute cab ride from San Juan International Airport (Taxi prices are dictated by the Tourism Company in Puerto Rico and this trip is currently about $18.00) to Isla Grande Airport and fly to Vieques from there, it is a 25 minute flight which costs about $60.00 each way. VAL and Flamenco airlines fly this route.
Another option is taking a cab to Ceiba and the former Roosevelt Rhodes Naval Air Station on the east coast of Puerto Rico, about an hour from San Juan and costs about $70.00 then taking a 7 minute flight to Vieques for about $30.00 each way. VAL and Flamenco Airlines fly this route with frequent flights until about 6 pm. This option only makes sense for a larger party.
The least expensive but most problematic way to get to Vieques is to take the ferry. You must still take a cab to Fajardo, on the east coast of Puerto Rico and then take the ferry for $2.00 a person. The cab generally costs about $70.00 for two people. The ferry only makes a few trips a day, often breaks down or doesn’t leave at scheduled times, and sometimes goes to Culebra first. The ferry is the least expensive but not always the most reliable way to get to Vieques.
Many travelers use a combination of the above methods. Please understand that when flying to Ceiba or taking the ferry to Fajardo, you must make arrangements with a taxi to meet you. They do not wait at either location. There are públicos, a cross between a cab and a bus which follow specific routes, but they fill up fast and do not go directly to SJU.
Flight and ferry schedules and numbers for restaurants, activities, stores, hotels ,etc. can be found on www.viequesevents.net or www.enchanted-isle.com. Please look for the Isla de Vieques forum under Puerto Rico on http://www.tripadvisor.com/ These topics and lots more are discussed often .
Useful numbers: Vieques Air Link (787)-741-8331 or (888)-901-9247, Cape Air (800)352-0714, Flamenco (787) 724 1105 Charters are available from both airlines and also MN Aviation (787)722-5980 . For reliable transportation from San Juan to Fajardo or return in Puerto Rico try: Julian Transportation (787)385-7604 or Mary & Angel (787)649-9155.
Do not even consider renting a car in Puerto Rico and bringing it on the ferry. The Cargo ferry is not meant for tourism, the very limited number of daily trips supply the island with food, gasoline and other needed goods. It takes months to get a reservation. Many an unlucky tourist who was thrilled to get over on a standby basis has been left stranded on the return. Private cars are the first ones bumped when a commercial or government vehicle needs the space. Furthermore, the rental companies prohibit the transportation of their cars to Vieques, should you have a problem the insurance would not cover you! There are cars for rent on Vieques.
For some travelers spending time on both Vieques and Puerto Rico, a one Way rental with a drop charge may make sense. Call Avis or Enterprise (both have offices both in San Juan and on the east coast of the big island) to see what the current rate for this service is. It changes frequently.Edited: 19 February 2012, 06:34