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Any suggestions for my itinerary?

Seattle, Washington
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Any suggestions for my itinerary?

My boyfriend and I will be meeting up in New York and then flying down to San Juan before ending up in Vieques! We have never been here before and are going at the recommendation of many friends. We will be there from December 1st to 7th, at which time we will go and enjoy San Juan for a week.

We are staying at a rental cottage, but I am not one hundred percent sure where it is in relation to everything else on the island. (From what I understand, it's small, so that shouldn't be an issue.) Thanks to many of the other forum posts, we decided to fly instead of ferry and opted to rent a car for the week.

Here is our itinerary as of right now:

Dec 1: Fly to Vieques

Dec 2: Drive around, explore, and eat

Dec 3: Drive around, explore, and eat

Dec 4: Abe's Biobay Tour at night

Dec 5: Drive around, explore, and eat

Dec 6: Afternoon snorkeling trip with Sea Vieques

Dec 7: Fly to San Juan

Is this itinerary too open? This trip will serve as a reunion (as we have been away from each other for about 6 months) and a vacation. We are both beach bums, which is why we wanted to spend a lot of time doing nothing. :) I want to make sure that we don't miss anything though.

Is there a standard for tipping for services such as the tours? Is it the usual 15 percent plus or minus according to the level of service?

Is the suggestion to always leave the rental car unlocked valid? I have seen it a lot on the Puerto Rico forums. We don't mind having to do it, if it would alleviate a destructive break-in.

Are there any special considerations to take for December travel? I am in Afghanistan and my boyfriend is in North Carolina, so we are both hoping that the weather will be much warmer down there than it is where we are! I will be packing bathing suits and other warm weather clothes. Should I throw in a sweater just in case?

Will the restaurants be open by then? I keep reading that they are closed for part of the year.

I think that all of my other questions have been answered by other posters already, such as where to buy food and what restaurants to eat at. Thank you in advance for your feedback! Sorry about the long post. I am getting very excited. After a five month wait, the trip is only 25 days away!

-Janet

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Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: Any suggestions for my itinerary?

Wow! Sounds like you guys really deserve this vacation! Based on how long you've been apart we'd say your itinerary sounds just about perfect!

We always bring a sweater or hoodie just in case, but usually end up using them only on the flights between mainland and San Juan!

Leaving the car unlocked and free of valuables is still good advice.

Hope you have a great vacation!

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2. Re: Any suggestions for my itinerary?

Hi

I also think it is a good itinerary. that is assuming that by "Drive around, explore, and eat" you mean drive around to different beaches and explore different beaches. what about Dec 4?exploring Vieques is a good idea and can be a lot of fun, but you also do not need to plan every moment. get familiar and just do what you feel like doing that day.

tipping is the same as home. I don't know about 15% for tours, just do the same as if you were home. remember most of the people you would tip are not the owners so it means more to them.

don't overpack. you don't need more than one or two light dresses. you don't need several pairs of shoes.

make sure your cottage rental has beach gear for you, remember the gas stations are cash only.

have a great time and if you get a chance please write a trip report to share your experience.

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Any suggestions for my itinerary?

Thank you both for your feedback. I appreciate the tips about packing and the gas stations being cash only.

Bruce_and_John, I agree. I have been counting down to this trip for months! :) I will definitely listen to your suggestion and take a sweater. (Like I said, we are meeting in New York, and I keep hearing how cold it is up there!)

Yes, Frankipoo, we will probably drive to the beaches and just enjoy everything. I have been to San Juan before, but this will be my first time in Vieques. (His first time to both places.) To be honest, the laid-back nature of Vieques is what I am looking forward to the most about the trip, so we wanted to ensure that didn't overbook.

I will definitely write a trip report when we get back. 24 more days! :)

-Janet

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Fernandina Beach...
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4. Re: Any suggestions for my itinerary?

I just returned from a trip to Puerto Rico and spent a day in Vieques and LOVED it. --All the people I met there were friendly and helpful. But, that is one of the things that I like about people who live in Puerto Rico--the ones I have met have all been friendly and helpful. I took a tour with ANGIE from Vieques Island Tours and Transportation (787 397 2048). I wanted a tour of as many beaches as I could see and she took me to about 7 or 8 and gave me a wonderful history of the island. I had plenty of time to enjoy the natural beauty of the island, see the towns, the Esperanza waterfront and many of the beautiful Caribbean beaches. Some of the beaches were remote but she knew where they were and took me to them. I had a chance to take pictures of all of them. She also took me to the CENTURY OLD TREE which was awesome too.

I took a flight from Cieba and found it convenient and fast. I couldn't make the 9 am ferry from Fajardo so the 11 am flight was perfect. It took five minutes and I was landing in the convenient Vieques airport. The return flight was delayed due to weather, but once it arrived, I was back on the mainland in 5 minutes!

Parking at Cieba airport was easy, although on my return driving the airport access road at night was a bit challenging.

Edited: 08 November 2013, 19:38
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5. Re: Any suggestions for my itinerary?

Janet, my husband and I are on the island now and your itinerary looks a lot like mine, the only thing we had scheduled was the bio bay, also with Abe's. We had a great time with our guide, Cruz.

The no schedule is great, we have kind of picked an area to explore for part of the day and beaches to explore for the afternoon. It's great with such an open schedule!

Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Any suggestions for my itinerary?

Thank you for the advice Frenchy and Cktwcoll! I may have to give Angie a call. That sounds like a great tour.

21 days until I'm in PR! :)

Vieques
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7. Re: Any suggestions for my itinerary?

FYI

The Ceiba tree is more like 4 centuries old and maybe even much older.

i do not know it is true , but The legend Goes that , that tree watched Columbus sail by when it was very young, which would make it 500+ years old.

Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: Any suggestions for my itinerary?

Oh wow, wholegrain! I'll definitely put the Ceiba tree on my list.

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9. Re: Any suggestions for my itinerary?

I am very excited for you guys. If you can get the ferry oing to Fajardo from Vierques, you guys can do alot of activities.

Driving around is ok but there are too many fun things to do as a couple for example, the catamaran snorkeling, the BioBay lagoon

Tour, and you have the majestic run forest tour. In the rain forest you guys can swim in the waterfalls. Also if you have a rental car a drive to Ponce another part of the island, has breathtaking scenery. It's about a 2-3. Hour drive from Fajardo. Have fun and I hope you guys

Grow closer together on the "island that I love".

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10. Re: Any suggestions for my itinerary?

BIO BAY - Excellent !!

Go to Liquillo Beach if you can and explore the row of tin roofed restaurants that serve exquisite dining !!!

Have some great restaurant suggestion if you want

robincolautti@yahoo.ca

Edited: 09 November 2013, 21:33
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