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Best part of the island? Where to stay? Car rental?

South Burlington...
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Best part of the island? Where to stay? Car rental?

I am starting to plan a vacation to Puerto Rico and have heard that Vieques and Culebra Islands are both wonderful for different reasons. We have never been to PR and are a family of 4 (parents of teenage daughters, 16 and 14). We would be coming in late February-early March for 9 days. I am considering splitting the time on each island, but am undecided. We would like to find a relaxing vacation rental in each spot (2 bedrooms) and would like something quiet, near beaches, convenient (whatever that means locally) to town, etc. Hoping to get information on which parts of the island tend to benefit from trade winds, be safe, etc. Also, does it make sense to split the vacation as I have mentioned? Does it make sense to take a ferry to Culebra and then to Vieques (is that even possible) after flying into San Juan, or is the cost of short flights a huge saver of time and frustration? Finally, would it be wise to rent a car? If so, where is a good place? Thanks in advance for your advice!

Virginia
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1. Re: Best part of the island? Where to stay? Car rental?

We've never been to Culebra - Vieques has always done it for us but with 9 days I think it is doable without feeling like you've left too early from either island. But again, not having been to Culebra, I may be wrong.

Some folks say Esperanza is noisier at night then say Isabel II.

The winters tend to be drier and therefore cooler than this time of year (July) where the humidity adds to the "heat" factor.

Ferrying between Vieques - Fajardo - Culebra is a long trip - I think you can fly with one or two of the local airlines but I don't know which ones - you can do a search or someone will know what the current situation is - although it could change by March.

Definitely rent a car - no matter where on the island you stay b/c the beaches are on the wildlife preserve and you'll want your own transportation. Most of the local rentals on the island will do, haven't personally had a bad experience but only used Avis, B&E, Martineau and Island (years ago).

Good luck with your planning and enjoy Vieques!

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Best part of the island? Where to stay? Car rental?

Hi, welcome to the Vieques forum!

Good advice from rchandler as always.

We see that you've posted the same questions on the Culebra forum, so obviously you'll have to take on board the info you receive from there & make your own decision. What we would say though, right of the top, is that (in our opinion) with only 9 days you're best not to split your vacation. Getting from one island to the other requires a return to the main island. Having said that though, we haven't been to Culebra either.

Answers to the Vieques- Culebra transport question & many more of your initial queries can be found in the "Top Questions" column on the right hand side of the page. Also the search function above your question is pretty effective. And the question of rental properties, besides being well represented by searching the archives, is currently being discussed on page 1 at this link:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147326-i649-k5559…

Trade winds at the time of year you're planning to travel are predominantly from the southeast, in our experience. However, depending on the place you rent that may not mean much. North of the island is a little more "towny" and the south a little more undeveloped, but it's a small place. Everything is basically "convenient" with a car. Speaking of which...

Yes, rent a car (see top questions), and do it as soon as you've decided that Vieques will be your destination. You'll be here in prime time & there's a bit of a rental car shortage. Tons of discussion here about who to rent from, all with fans & detractors (it's a small island!)- we always use Chepito.

Edited: 07 July 2012, 01:39
NYC
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3. Re: Best part of the island? Where to stay? Car rental?

Hi

choosing Puerto Rico, and especialy Vieques, for a vacation is a great idea. Check out www.puertoricodaytrips.com for excellent suggestions and info on what to do on the main island.

Personally, I would split the vacation between Vieques and the main Island. There are many interesting things to do on the main land. If you like surfing, it's a great time of year for surfing. Rincon would be your best bet. Rincon is the northwest coast of the island. heading east from there is the Camuy caves. east again is san juan. keep going east all the way to Fajardo where you can get on a ferry to Vieques.

Vieques is an amazing island.Not just becuse of the dozens of pristine beaches or the bio bay; which is enough on its own but Vieques has museums and art galleries. hiking biking horseback riding kayak tours scuba and snorkeling excursions really excellent dining and just what you need if you wan t to unwind and relax.

The information on the T.A. pages and forums as well as www.enchanted-isle.com and www.viequesevents.net is more than enough to proved the info you need to make your plans.

Check out the Vieques Events for a good list of rentals. Both car and home. It is a wealth of needed info.

plus Im sure others here will be offering great advice.

if you want to include Culebra you will either have to charter a plane($250 each way) or ferry from one place back to fajardo then to the other island. its tedious but not bad as long as you are not going for only a day trip.

I would spend two days on the main island two days on culebra and 5 days on Vieques. think about flying into aquadilla. spend a day or two in Rincon then head east to san juan. on your way stop at camuy then on to san juan. stay there overnight then head to el yunque on your way east to Fajardo.

Avis rents cars that you can drop off in Ceiba(fajardo) to get to the ferry or airport in Ceiba. on the way home fly back into San Juan. Fly into Isla Grande airport then take a short cab to the airport in san juan(SJU) for your trip home.

i hope this was clear.

Edited: 07 July 2012, 01:41
South Burlington...
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4. Re: Best part of the island? Where to stay? Car rental?

Thank you, RC Handler, Bruce, John, and Frankipoo, for the detailed responses. I really appreciate the input. I guess the main and first step is to consider how, and if, to split the time I'll have to consider the sound advice about the main island). Thanks again!

5. Re: Best part of the island? Where to stay? Car rental?

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NYC
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for Isla de Vieques
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6. Re: Best part of the island? Where to stay? Car rental?

hmmm, i wonder if that deleted postb was about a car rental company???

anyway

kcook, i am wondering if you have gotten any further with your plans? is there any info you need?

keep us posted.

:)

Cambridge...
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7. Re: Best part of the island? Where to stay? Car rental?

I had a great experience with Juergen at Abreeze Rental Cars (if you search the forum you will see other similar reports). He is a very nice man from Germany who has run his business on Vieques for 19 years. His rates were lower than the others, and I was fully satisfied with the Jeep Liberty we rented (not spanking new - 50K miles - but it ran great, and it cost less).

Juergen is very organized (he says it's because he's German) and reliable. We have rented from Maritza in the past, which was also fine, but they charge more and were out of cars the week we were there.

787 741 1856

Toronto, Canada
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for Toronto, Isla de Vieques
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8. Re: Best part of the island? Where to stay? Car rental?

frankipoo; the deleted post was a solicitation from a property owner.

Indiana
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9. Re: Best part of the island? Where to stay? Car rental?

Hello and welcome to the Vieques forum.

It sounds like your looking for a nice relaxing Caribbean vacation. No matter which island you pick I believe you would be better off to not split your vacation. Giving yourself a week or more allows you to dial in and sync. In as little as a week you can become familiar with the island and begin to experience some of it's idiosyncrasies. My wife and I always say that it takes us three days to finally get onto "island time." You know..when you get to the point where you forget which day it is and everything just slows down. IMO it's those times when the island can really make an imprint on you. It's little things that are sometimes hard to quantify but in the grand scheme offer a much richer experience than what you see in the vacation brochures. Shuttling between islands doesn't really allow for that.

Just my take...I luv the place and can't get enough of it.

I tried to think of a video we have that might explain what I was talking about above. There's so many different things..but this one from one of our first trips kinda sums it up. It's the morning of our last full day and we're on the veranda drinking coffee and listening to the roosters. I wrote in that post that there was a ylang-ylang tree just off the veranda and that it smelled luxurious. Lorrie and I still talk about that.

…blogspot.com/2010/11/morning-of-last-full-d…

Curt

Washington, DC
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10. Re: Best part of the island? Where to stay? Car rental?

This video I shot while driving into Isabel always brings me right there. The background music I found for it also helps set the mood: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Md1K484oNSI

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