Q. I’m having trouble planning a trip to the island of Vieques, in Puerto Rico. I guess this is part of visiting a place that isn’t very commercialized, but the companies I’m trying to contact have little to no online presence and don't regularly answer the phones. Figuring out the best way to do everything—from getting there to renting a car—has been difficult. Any tips?
Vieques is a bit tricky to get to, but if you like that sense of seclusion, it’s worthwhile. The quickest way is to take a connecting flight from San Juan. An alternative would be renting a car, driving to Fajardo and taking the ferry, which is less expensive but time-consuming. The ferry is about two hours each way. If you’re in San Juan, have your hotel (or travel agent) book your space.
—Albert Paz, Gabriel's Travel Agency, Paterson, NJ
Cape Air offers 6 to 7 flights per day from San Juan on aircraft seating 8 to 9 people. The flight time is less than 20 minutes and the airline offers code-share service with Continental’s flights from Newark and Houston. Starwood’s W Retreat & Spa offers private transfers from the airport to the resort. Guests are met in the W’s airport lounge upon arrival and offered refreshments.
—Rick Ardis, Ardis Travel, East Rutherford NJ
Vieques is probably one of the least developed islands in the Caribbean: There are no traffic lights, no mass transportation, we have wild horses all over, there is no major nightlife, things definitely flow at an island's pace. With that in mind: Aside from the W, there are no hotels or resorts; most places where you can stay are small inns or house/villa rentals. (Vrbo.com has a nice selection.) To explore the island, rent a car or a scooter. Try Maritza's Car Rental (787-741-0078) or Martineau Car Rental (787-741-0087). They have an updated fleet and the most reliable 24/7 emergency service. Reserve ahead: three months in high season (late November to April), a month in low season and before August for Christmas or New Years. Scooters you can get at Fun Brothers (787-435-9372) but they do not take reservations in advance.
–Edison Fernandez, Reservations Manager, W Retreat & Spa Vieques Island