Island Hop: Vieques From San Juan

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - August 25, 2013

YOU’RE IN the Caribbean, naturally having a great time. But you want to turn an already exciting vacation into a full-fledged adventure with a few extra days on an island you’ve never explored.

The solution? Some good, old-fashioned island hopping, which is alive and well in the Caribbean — if you know how to do it. Our new Island Hop feature gives you a way to add another (or more than one) destination to your trip, with a simple, easy-to-use format. These aren’t all the things to do or see in a destination — obviously —but they’re a great sample for a one or two-day trip.

So — say you’re exploring the sights and sounds of Old San Juan, but feel like adding Vieques to your itinerary. Here’s how.


There are two primary ways: one, you can hop by air. There’s Cape Air which offers flights from the early morning to the early evening from San Juan to Vieques (the flight is about 20 minutes). There’s also Vieques Air Link, which runs daily service as well, albeit not as frequently.

The other option is to rent a car and drive to Fajardo and take the ferry, which runs several times each day and, crucially, costs $4 round trip and takes about one hour and 15 minutes. If you want to bring the rented car with you, the car ferry takes about twice that. (You can also leave the car in Fajardo).


The larger Isabel II and the smaller Esperanza are both good dining bets, with restaurants ranging from more tourist-focused fare to pure culinary excellence. Some suggestions? El Quenepo (Esperanza), La Zafra (Isabel) and Bili (Esperanza), among a host of others.


You’ll become fast friends with many locals in Vieques, but no one is friendlier than the quasi-wild horses that freely roam the island. Just think twice if you’re looking for good conversation.


Vieques has more beaches than you can count (at least two dozen, give or take a few), and you’ll almost always find one that’s empty. It’s a great way to spend a quick island hop.


You can kayak in the evening on Vieques’ Mosquito Bay, also known as Bioluminescent Bay, which is an experience you’ll likely not forget. There are a number of good operators, including Abe’s Snorkeling & Bio Bay Tours and Vieques Adventure Company.

Above: the W Retreat & Spa


The island’s top hotel is the luxurious W Retreat & Spa, set on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic coast. If you’re hopping on a smaller budget, try Hector’s By the Sea.

What’s your favourite way to island hop to Vieques? Tell us below in the comments section.

— CJ

Popular Posts belize hotel mayan world

At the Falling Leaves Lodge in Belize, a Portal to the Maya World

SAN IGNACIO — There has been some form of settlement on this site for more than 3,000 years, here on a leafy hill above the town of San Ignacio, Belize. In other words, this is no ordinary hill. This is Cahal Pech, […]

In San Ignacio, Belize, The Art of Adventure (And Pupusas)

pupusas belize

The sizzle is calling you. In the early morning, corn tortillas stuffed with cheese and beans and meat sing a particularly strong siren song.  It could be that perfect blend of dough and heat, or the aroma. It might just […]

Delta Is Adding More Nonstop Curacao Flights, Citing “Booming Demand”  

the beach at the avila hotel in curacao

Curacao is hotter than ever, with a wave of new hotels and record-breaking tourism numbers. And just a few months after Delta made its long-awaited return to the island, the carrier is adding even more flights.  The reason? What Delta […]

Related Posts the pool at the hotel

This Top Caribbean Luxury Resort Has a New Brand

You’re up on a hillside overlooking St Barth’s particular brand of turquoise, peering out at Flamands Bay, nibbling on accras de morue and sipping on a freshly-made ti’ punch. As they say on this tiny jewel in the French Caribbean, […]

The Pink Palm Is the Best Boutique Hotel in St Thomas, USVI

st thomas boutique hotel

Most visitors who make the trip to St Thomas find their way at least once to downtown Charlotte Amalie, with its enviable shopping and broad array of restaurants. Far fewer, though, ever stay in Charlotte Amalie overnight. But St Thomas’ […]

Two New All-Inclusive Resorts Are Coming to Cancun in 2024

hyatt vivid in cancun

Hyatt is opening a pair of new all-inclusive resorts in Cancun this year, with the planned debut of the Dreams Grand Island resort and an adjacent Hyatt Vivid resort, Caribbean Journal has learned.  Dreams Grand Island will have 616 rooms […]


Sign up for Caribbean Journal's free newsletter for a daily dose of beaches, hotels, rum and the best Caribbean travel information on the net.

No. Thank You