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Vieques and Culebra are small island municipalities off the east coast of Puerto Rico, and are part of greater Puerto Rico. Both islands have a distinct personality and a vibrant culture of their own and are well worth the visit. If you plan on going to one of the island, plan to at least stay overnight. Trying to do a day trip is a bad idea, for reasons of logistics and transportation. Plan to spend at least one night.
There are two main ways to get there – via flight or ferry.
Fly Direct from San Juan (SJU) to Vieques (VQS) or Culebra (CPX)
This leg of the trip costs approximately $100-110 and is serviced by Cape Air, Vieques Air, and Air Sunshine. Flight time is about 30 minutes.
Fly from Isla Grande Airport in San Juan (SIG) to Vieques (VQS) or Culebra (CPX):
The cab ride from SJU international airport to Isla Grande is approximately 10 minutes and costs $20 per trip. Airfare is approximately $70 and is serviced by Flamenco Air and Vieques Air
Fly out of Ceiba Airport (RVR) to Vieques (VQS) or Culebra (CPX):
It is a 7 minute flight and costs approximately $34 one way. It is an hour cab ride away from San Juan airport and will cost about $100 per trip.
Take the Ferry out of Fajardo to Vieques (VQS) or Culebra (CPX):
An hour cab ride away from San Juan airport that will cost about $100 per trip.
Ferry tickets are $2.00 per person with an additional $1 charge per bag of luggage. It leaves Fajardo several times a day, although the schedule changes regularly, and you oculd possibly get bumped if the ferry is very vusy as local residents of the islands are seated first. Ferry timeliness has recently been better, but it is not super consistent.
Schedule of Ferries:
These change often and the government that runs the ferries does not publish or announce changes. Therefore, the best way to ensure you know the schedule is to verify with a local (your hotel or lodgings contact). However, here is the general schedule: (as of January 2015)
- You can track the progress of the ferries via the Marine Traffic App.
- You can now also view the situation on each harbor by using online cameras. Here is the one in Vieques and here is the one in Culebra. Here is the one for Fajardo. The website: http://its.dtop.gov.pr/es/Default.aspx
- The approach to the airport in Culebra is like a roller coaster! For a hair-raising approach definitely fly into Culebra. The airport is noted for the mountain at the approach end of the runway to the North. This obstacle, as well as the short length of the runway, keep jet aircraft and airlines from using this airport.
- You cannot bring your rental car from Puerto Rico to the islands.