Author: Jim H (---.ORA.upenn.edu)
Date: 02-21-06 16:54
got in a few hours ago from a great 5 days on culebra. just thought Id post my lessons learned-- and hopefully help others have a smooth trip to paradise. Take em or leave em. I'll definitely be back.
1- My first piece of bold advice--I recommend not going to fajardo. Just take a flight or the high speed ferry from SJ. We thought we'd save money by going to Fajardo, but it wasnt worth the hassle, AND-- we actually didnt save money. The guy driving our publico, while charging .75 cents for every local he picked up on the way, DEMANDED 40$ from us when we got out in fajardo. not sure of his reasoning, but based on the looks of this guy I thought I wouldnt mess with him too much, and just do what he said. It had something to do with the size of my backpack, because I had my tent in it. but theres no doubt we were taken advantage of. After the 22$ taxi ride from SJ airport to Rio Piedras, the 2 of us were at $62 one way to fajardo, and it took about 4 hours. you make a cost/benefit calculation based on that.
2- Jerry rules. I definitely recommend Jerry's Jeeps. The other establishments looked good too, and I cant say either way how they are. But Jerry took an hour or so to go over some island secrets with us, and led us to some great spots, with some excellent advice. And a hand-drawn pirate-esque map to boot.
ASK WHOEVER YOU RENT FROM TO EXPLAIN PARKING REGULATIONS VERY CAREFULLY. Jerry did this for us and saved us from what sounds like are crazy parking tickets that are being handed out like candy. But not quite as pleasantly. And always wear your seatbelt. They ticket for that too I guess.
3. If you fly Air Flamenco-- be sure to hang on to your receipt and return ticket when they give you your initial ticket for the flight over. No electronic tracking system-- you lose your ticket, which is provided in a piece of trashy advertising, just begging to be thrown away--- and you pay again.
4. Make sure to have a drink at the Dinghy Dock. And if they have the spicy grouper at Mamacita's-- get it. With rice and beans and fried plantains. Tasty. If youre there Sat night, check out the Conga drummers from 9-11.
5. If youre goign to be there a few days, and are planning on renting snorkel and mask-- dont-- just buy one. We found one from the vendors at flamenco beach for 15$ that didnt leak, and no one else had ever slobbered in it. Snorkel at Carlos Rosario.
6. If youre the camping type-- definitely haul your tent out there, and camp. 20$ is a bit steep for a piece of grass to lay your tent out on, but its better than 100$ anyway you slice it. and listening to the waves all night, looking at the milky way, rolling out of the tent walking 10 steps into the turquoise water in the AM was epic. Make sure you have your rain fly bc it rained on us for about 5 minutes at a time several times over the trip. and make sure you keep it zipped. the ants know how to get in. and they certainly know how to bite.
7. Drink Cruzan reserve and tonics.
8. Bring travel scrabble.
K. Back to work. (God it hurts to say that)