61A Calle Orquideas
Vieques PR 00765
Vieques is a separate island from Puerto Rico which means you will either fly or take the ferry to get here (see Getting There below) from what we call the "main island." Once in Vieques, note that we are located on the south side in the village of Esperanza on the waterfront boardwalk called the Malecon. You will arrive at either the airport or the ferry dock which are both located on the North side, which is fifteen minutes away.
DIRECTIONS TO THE HOSTEL ONCE IN VIEQUES
From The Ferry – we are a fifteen minute ride from the ferry. The publicos are usually there (unless you take the last ferry at 8pm), ask which one is headed to Esperanza, it will be approximately five dollars per person, direct them to Lazy Jacks in Esperanza on the Malecon, they will know how to find it. You can pre-arrange pickup with one of the taxies, about $15 for one or two passengers (call Vieques Taxi at 787-741-TAXI (8294)). Note that ferries can sometimes run late, if you can, let us know if this happens to you, so we know when to expect you.
From The Airport – there are taxis usually waiting for $15 approximate charge for one or two passengers, if you don’t see any, call Vieques Taxi at 787-741-TAXI (8294).
Cars. Golf Carts & Scooter Rental – if you have rented a car, the car rental agencies usually offer courtesy pickups from the ferry or airport, so pre-arrange your arrival time with them. Only Coqui car rental is within walking distance from the ferry, the rest of them are located mid-island or on the north side. There is a scooter and golf cart rental you can walk to in Esperanza, once you make it to the hostel.
DIRECTIONS TO VIEQUES FROM PUERTO RICO
Flying - In order to get to Vieques from San Juan, you can fly directly from San Juan International Airport where you arrived (airport code: SJU, most expensive), fly from Isla Grande Airport (airport code: SIG, slightly cheaper), or make your way to Fajardo/Ceiba area on the Eastern tip of Puerto Rico which is an hour and a half ride/drive away from San Juan metropolitan area and then either take a ferry from Fajardo (very cheap) or fly from Ceiba airport (cheaper than from metro area). Isla Grande regional airport is about 15 minutes and $15 away from Old San Juan or International Airport.
Taxi to Ferry/Airport - Fajardo is $80 fixed rate by taxi if you take an official taxi from one of the metro area airports.
Car Rental to Ferry/Airport - You can also rent a car at the airport to drop off in Fajardo, though beware of drop off fees ($50-60 with most agencies). Not all car rental agencies are represented in Fajardo (Avis, Thrifty, Enterprise and Leaseway are there).
Publico to Ferry - There is also a cheaper but least convenient publico option (around $10) which is time consuming and not available on Sundays nor holidays, which involves making your way to Rio Piedras publico terminal and taking a publico to Fajardo ferry terminal. Publicos stop plenty in-between, so plan on it taking two-three hours to get to the ferry (versus an hour fifteen by taxi). Getting to publico terminal from the airport is tricky, but if you are in Old San Juan already ($15 cab ride away from airport), you can walk to the Bus Terminal and take a public bus (25-50 cents) to the publico terminal.
The ferry trip to Vieques takes about 40 minutes. The schedule can be found on www.PORFERRY.com. It can occasionally change but is always updated to the current schedule on the site. You can purchase passenger tickets online. However, only a limited number of tickets are available for advance sale at the site. They only reflect availability in the next two weeks. If your desired dates/times are not available, do not worry. If your date is weeks ahead, keep checking. Otherwise, 80% of the tickets are sold 1 hour prior to each sailing. Get to the docks 1 hour early.
A publico is a public taxi, but they might not be like the taxis you’re used to. They are usually 12 seat vans that say Vieques Y Sus Barios across the tops of the windshield and their main route is from Isabel Segunda to Esperanza. Here are some things to keep in mind if you plan to use a public on Vieques.
When you get off the ferry or the airplane there will be publicos waiting to drive you wherever you need to go.
Between 6am and 6pm it will cost you $3 to get to and from the ferry. Anywhere else will cost more. Publicos will often not go to places like Green beach, the sugar mill ruins or Ensenada Honda so if you plan to travel around the island it’s a good idea to rent an eclectic bike, scooter or car.
You can either reach a publico by phone or, at certain times of day, by flagging them down in busy areas.
If you need to catch a ferry or plane you should call for transportation at least two hours ahead of time. For the 3pm ferry for instance publicos will not pick you up after 1:40pm so if you wait , even if you already have a ticket, you will probably miss your ferry.
Publicos do not have a central dispatch. They are run individually by drivers who each have a personal cell phone and a business card so if you really like the driver ask for a card so you can use them again. Because they are individuals it is up to the driver you call whether they want to come get you for the money you are offering so you might need to call a few different drivers especially if you are trying to get somewhere other than the two main towns.