Author: Daniel Colon (---.med.yale.edu)
Date: 08-23-09 17:18
I recently organized a trip to Culebra for 45 people (!!!) It was for a "group honeymoon" trip planned after a friend's wedding. I thought it was going to be an absolute logistical nightmare transporting all those people from San Juan to Fajardo in time for a 9:00 am ferry!
I found this webpage and contacted the person they call here Henry (his real name is Enrique, so his nickname is actually Enri, but it phonetically sounds like Henry in English). He was absolutely outstanding. Before calling Enri I had called at least 4 or 5 different car rental places. Enri gave me the lowest price per person (it came out to be around $12/person/way), and he was awesome. He showed up on time, with three vans that were in top condition and two other great drivers. He picked us up at the Old San Juan. He knew how busy the ferry schedule was, so he had called me before hand, walked me through the ferry situation, and volunteered to get tickets for us. He then traveled to Fajardo before our trip and got tickets for everybody. Once we made it to Fajardo, he helped us navigate the chaos in Fajardo, organizing everybody and making sure we all made it into the ferry. We had coolers we needed tickets for, so he talked to the people at the ferry terminal and paid them out of pocket so that we could make it in time to the ferry (I reimbursed him when I returned from Culebra, but still!) He called me while I was in Culebra to make sure all was well, and sent us tickets for the return ferry by plane, just to make sure we could all make it back on time. And I am glad he did because the ferry on the way out of Culebra was sold out, something we had not foreseen.
I wish we had a Enri like character in Culebra, because once in Culebra we got totally ripped-off in terms of local transport. Renting cars in Culebra is a pain in the butt. There are only a couple of companies, and they are highly overpriced. They rent a golf-cart for $50 a day (!). We had three babies in our group, so I walked from the ferry to the airport to rent a jeep. I ended up talking to an American guy who has a jeep rental place in front of the airport: I have never such an unpleasant experience in PR. The guy was a total idiot. He asked me how many people were in my group. I thought he was going to give us a discount for renting multiple jeeps, but when I told him we had 45 people he totally lost it. It was out of a cartoon: He started yelling at me to get lost, saying that I could not fit 45 people into a jeep (?). A retired American renting jeeps in Culebra and with a loose screw upstairs....
In any case, the "taxis" in Culebra were no better. They charge $2/person to drive you 1 mile, which meant that we ended up paying a guy $100 to drive us in his van for maybe 10 minutes. Unreal! I am not sure if there are any alternatives, but local transport in Culebra is abusive and might hurt tourism there in the long run.
Back to Enri though, he was professional and helped us well beyond the call of duty. All 45 people in the group kept commenting how awesome/helpful he was. I can say, without a doubt, that the trip would have been a disaster if he had not helped us with the ferry tickets. I highly recommend him for big or small groups anywhere in the main island of Puerto Rico, and plan to use him in my next trip. His number, as presented in this page, was (787) 632-9600. He speaks English well.