Gorgeous Puerto RicoAuthor: weary but satisfied
Date of Trip: May 2004
Our trip in a nutshell
We canvassed the east coast of Puerto Rico from Old San Juan to Vieques and Farejo. This was basically our agenda. Fly in Friday, drive 1/2 hour to San Juan and Old San Juan. Tour the small but quaint old town, dinner and nightlife at the Marriott casino. Shoot to catch the Bacardi rum tour the next day before heading out to Vieques (didn't make it). Bio Bay that night. Snorkeled the next day before flying out to Farjado. Wedding, beach, jet skis and gambling at the Wyndham for the remainder of the trip. Three things wanted to but wasn't able -- rainforest near Farjado, eating from outside food stand and drink from a coconut!
Bio Bay at Island Adventures
This was an AWESOME experience. Island Adventures offers boat rides out to the bay, under the beautiful, clear, starlit night. Once there, you can jump in and enjoy the INCREDIBLE glowing microorganisms. We felt likekids doing snow angels, water falling out of our mouths! With every motion, tiny diamond-like drops glowed with yellow light. Remember to snap your bathing suit once you're out to the water -- the droplets will fall like rain.
It was just us and the guide as we kayaked to a small island off Vieques. There were plenty of reefs and fishes to see. Since it was such a small group, we determined how far we wanted to go and for how long -- very relaxed island attitude. The actual shop is a run down house, so don't expect much there.
The restaraunt appeared to be a bar and tables set out in someone's backyard --with very tacky yellowish decor. But upon closer survey, the menu was very eclectic and creative. We didn't actually eat, but had drinks. The bartender made a fabulous sangria.
The W in Vieques was very romantic with a Bombay, island decor. The old fashioned bathtub had blinds that, when pulled, had a direct view out the windows and of the gorgeous view. The W in Farjado was more cookie cutter decor. But the amenities couldn't be beat. There were at leastthree pools,two outdoor jacuzzis and even a pool bar and casino. The tram takes you to a couplemore restaurants/shops but mostly to Palimino -- a private island and W's only beach, which got a little annoying. Waste of time to spend 20 minutes each way just to enjoy the beach! Though it was gorgeous and very secluded.
This is on the main strip in Vieques. You'll have to find the local dining gems away from the strip. This place serves very typical American cuisine of hotdogs and hamburgers, which surprisingly was way in abundance in PR. At Bananas, just remember to have the tostones (fried banana chips) -- they're crunchy with a mild taste, as addictive as potatoes chips, but more satisfying!
Transport to Vieques
Don't take the ferry to Vieques! Though it's cheap at $2 per person, it is not worth the 1.5-hour ride, not to mention that the station is like Ellis Island: a mad exodus of people. Do take the commuter flights for $20 per person. You're in and out of Vieques in 15 minutes and on to the next adventure. Also, it's recommended to bring your car on the ferry to Vieques, otherwise you're dependent on cab rides. But keep in mind that the ferry doesn't ship cars over on the weekends. Cab rides were about $3 per person, which we did. I'm not sure about the car rental availability in Vieques.
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