Author: Ram (---.hsd1.ma.comcast.net)
Date: 03-05-06 12:56
I used this forum extensively before the trip. Thank you all.
Here are some comments to help you plan.
Your choices may vary dependign on your budget.
We consider ourselves moderate spenders, willing to spend $90-120 for hotel per night and $15-30 per person for dinner. This was our FIRST trip.
=== Ferry versus Air and How to get from SJU to Fajardo and back===
We were spending 4.5 days in Culebra and 4.5 days in Peurto Rico main island. Flight got in at Noon and ferry for Fajardo is at 3pm.
After spending days deciding between airtravel versus ferryride, it turns out the most enjoyable way that gives you maximum flexibility is rent a car.
We rented am ALAMO car at SJU for $236 for 9 days (includign all costs).
Drive to Fajardo (about 1 hour away), picked up groceries, had the best orange juice and plantains at a roadside eatery and arrived at the Ferry terminal just 10 minutes before departure. (We got stuck in traffic in Fajardo city). Parked the AVIS car at the Fajardo ferry terminal (two minutes walk to Ferry) for $5 per day, very safe.
Here is the cost breakdown.
9 days ALAMO rental + parking = 236 + 25 = ~260 with complete flexibility (plus we used the car for 4.5 days back in PR)
Some other options are to rent one way (about $70) SJU to Fajardo or take a taxi ($30 per person or $70 per taxi)
But then you have additional costs on your return trip from Fajardo to San Juan area.
If you rent in Fajardo (I believe AVIS and Dollar), the cost for 5 day rental for $250 (all inclusive). The rates in Fajardo are higher. When I checked online on avis website it was not possible to rent in Fajardo and drop off the car at SJU. But when I called, they said they 'may' allow if you ask the counter at the time of renting. I didnt want to take a chance. Also note that the car rental is not close to Fajardo ferry. Although I believe about $20 taxi will take you to the counter. By renting and parking right at the ferry terminal, we had no extra hassles.
To summarize, renting one way or taxi:
Taxi to Fajardo + Rental for 5 days in PR = 70 + 250 = 320
Air: I found this option not so appealing. If you are travelling mid-week, very few flights that you have to synchronize. In some cases you have to change airport. And there is baggage weight restriction. Plus each way it is ~$85.
I enjoyed the drive from SJU to Fajardo and on the way back we went to El Yunque national forest.