Vieques Transportation

You can fly, sail, or cruise to Vieques, then you'll have to choose between taking a ferry or a domestic flight to complete your travels

Once a bombing range for the United States Navy, Vieques is now a protected wildlife refuge and a popular tourist destination for visitors looking to spend time in one of the lesser developed, quieter municipalities. The island is located about seven miles off the island's east coast and is one of the lesser known destinations. Because of the island's small size, as well as part of an effort to preserve the land, transportation options here may be a bit different than what you'll find in large cities like Ponce and San Juan.

Getting There

The first leg of your journey will take you to the main island of Puerto Rico, whether you fly, sail, or cruise. From there, it'll be up to you to make your way to Vieques.

Getting Around

The most important form of local transportation for most tourists visiting Vieques is the ferry that will get them from the main island to its smaller sister. Once you've arrived, you'll be able to choose between the convenience of a rental car, the privacy of a taxi, or the money-saving publicos.

Air Travel

Although your original flight to Puerto Rico will take you to the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Puerto Rico near San Juan, from that point you have several different options regarding flying to Vieques. The easiest and most obvious option is to transfer to a domestic airline and fly to the Antonio Rivera Rodriguez Airport directly from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. You can also get flights from two other airports on Puerto Rico: the Isla Grande Airport and the Roosevelt Rhodes Naval Air Station in Ciebra. Both airports offer cheaper flights than those from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, but you'll have to take into consideration the convenience of not having to leave an airport you are already at. Most tourists will fly directly from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport if they have plans to stay on Vieques during their whole trip, but make arrangements from the other airports if they have plans to explore the main island more thoroughly first. Learn more about each option by clicking here, and read about taking the ferry from Fajardo below.

Sailing

Sailors with experience can certainly sail their private or chartered yacht to their Vieques getaway. There are anchorages just off the southern coast near Esparanza where you can safely leave your boat as you go ashore to explore. The first stop on your way to Vieques will have to be on mainland Puerto Rico, at an official port of entry in San Juan, Mayagüez, Ponce, or Fajardo. Don't leave it up to fate. If you're planning to sail to Vieques, make sure to learn everything you need to know about the process by clicking here.

Cruising

You may not think that cruising to Puerto Rico is the optimal way to get to see Vieques because you can't simply get off the ship and drive there, but many cruisers each year do end up making their way to the island. Some do so as part of an excursion hosted by the cruise line, or by heading to Fajardo and taking the ferry you'll read about below. However you manage to get to Vieques from San Juan, where the cruise terminal is located, you'll find it easy to plan a cruise to Puerto Rico because it is a major hub for cruising in the Caribbean.

Rental Cars

...roads are a bit more rugged...

 

Tourists who have spent some time on the main island of Puerto Rico before traveling to Vieques will notice a few differences in renting a car on the island. The first is that the cost is usually slightly higher, and the second is that the roads are a bit more rugged. This is mainly because the island prefers to keep construction to a minimal in order for nature to thrive. Learn more about how to rent a car on Vieques as well as tips about how to drive here.

Taxis

On Vieques, you'll have to call for a taxi to pick you up when you need a ride, and it is typically an off duty publico that will provide the private transportation. This means you'll be paying a little bit extra for the convenience, which can range from $9 to $40(USD) depending upon your destination. Ask your driver for a specific price before you take off. To see some routes on Vieques, and the companies that you will be using, .

Publicos

On Vieques you'll find another form of transportation that you might describe as a public taxi called a publico. They are typically large vans or cars driven by friendly locals who are known to talk your ear off as they take you from place to place. Be warned, publicos tend to blend in with other cars on the street, but you'll quickly learn to recognize them by their yellow license plate. Publicos run throughout the busier parts of the island, particularly in Isabel, El Malecon, and Esperanza, and can be a great way to see the area as you travel to your destination. Unfortunately, these vehicles do not travel to the more remote parts of the island. Fares for publicos are regulated and range from $3 to $5(USD) per person depending on the destination and how many people are in the vehicle. Remember, these are public vehicles, which means you'll likely be sharing space with a stranger. For general information about publicos on Vieques, as well as contact information for local drivers, you can call the Union de Choferes Publicos at 787-385-1925 or 787-741-3246 or stop by and talk to someone in the main office by the pier on Munoz Rivera Street.

Ferries

Ferries run on a regular basis each day between Fajardo on the main island of Puerto Rico, and Vieques. They are operated by the Autoridad de Transporte Maritimo (ATM), which is a government organization. Between the four ferries in operation, you'll never have to wait long for the next one to pick you up. The trip takes about an hour and 15 minutes, though the weather may slow things sown on occasion, and if you take the car barge, the trip could take up to two hours. Be sure to click here to view more information about the Vieques ferries, including companies and routes.

Planning your trip to Vieques should be as relaxed and peaceful as your time spend there, but anyone who has every put together a vacation knows this is a difficult task to manage. Knowing a bit about each form of transportation before you begin to make your final arrangements is one way to help bring the stress levels down to a manageable level.

 

Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.