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Extracurricular Activities in Puerto Rico
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Hello COCSA Friends!  I asked Dr. Dan Spencer, 1st VP with COCSA to give me a little info on his trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico with his beautiful family in April, 2016.  BOY did he come through for me!  I thought it would be nice to have a personal recommendation of things to do vs. the tourist version!  Hope you find some things of interest in his travel blog!  

 

Sheri Ryan,
COCSA Information Technology Specialist


 

Meet Puerto Rico - this site has a wealth of information 

 

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So, I can share lots of information on what we did last year.  I don’t know how many will be interested in visiting one of the other islands, or even going very far from the hotel for that matter.  However, I think if they see what’s out there, it will give them the opportunity to make some plans to see some really cool stuff and experience paradise if they so choose! 

 

Definitely put up some pics of Blue Beach (‘la Chiva’) on Vieques http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=photos+blue+beach+vieques&qpvt=photos+blue+beach+vieques&qpvt=photos+blue+beach+vieques&qpvt=photos+blue+beach+vieques&FORM=IGRE


and the bioluminescent bay!
 http://vieques.com/island-bioluminescent-bay/#13/18.1029/-65.4481

 

Here is a guide to the beaches of Vieques:  http://viequestravel.com/beaches.html  They are some seriously amazing beaches and when we visited, there were very few other people!  The snorkeling was fantastic, too!

 

Culebra is the other island (just north of Vieques).  We didn’t go there, but I found this link from the Travel Channel:  http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/beaches/articles/culebra-island-puerto-rico

 

This guide looks to cover all the beaches across PR, including the main island:  http://islandsofpuertorico.com/puerto-rico-beaches/

 

As for our trip, we did the electric pontoon at the bio bay (because of the little ones) rather than kayaks, but I think either way it’s worth seeing for sure!  http://www.vieques-island.com/biobay.shtml

There is a full moon on the Saturday of convention, and the bio bay is definitely better when it’s closer to the new moon.  However, I think the tours usually go out before moonrise if possible, as it does get dark pretty early there.

 

There is also a bio bay near Fajardo on the eastern side of the main island.  I heard it was overtaken by seaweed a few years ago and there was almost no bioluminescence, but the latest updates now say it’s about 60% of what it was before that.  Since it’s on the main island, it would be easier to do an excursion from the Caribe Hilton, etc.  We didn’t go there, but here is some info on that one:  http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/fajardo-bio-bay/

 

In terms of how to get where you want to go, there are a couple of options if people want to visit the other islands.  We took a Vieques Air Link puddle jumper from Isla Grande Airport (which is a short cab ride from the Caribe Hilton and is the smaller airport compared to San Juan International), and I think it’s $75 per person, one-way.  http://viequesairlink.com/  There are a couple of other small airlines that make the trip, but VAL was a good option and I think the least expensive.  They also go to Culebra.

 

We rented a Jeep from Maritza’s, and it was pretty nice:  http://www.maritzascarrental.com/  We also rented a house through vacation rentals by owner/homeaway www.vrbo.com.  There are a few hotels and resorts on Vieques, but it isn’t very commercialized.  It’s a bit of an adventure, but we felt very safe and had all the conveniences we wanted for our trip.

On our way back to fly out of SJU, we took the ferry back from Vieques to Fajardo.  It was really a nice ship and DIRT CHEAP!  Like $2.00 per adult and $1.00 per child cheap!  The only issue was that it was then a $90.00 cab fare back to SJU, and it obviously took longer than flying from Isla Grande.  There is also a ferry to Culebra.  http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/fajardo-ferry/

 

We didn’t visit the US Virgin Islands, but they are just east of Vieques and Culebra, with short flights from SJU that don’t appear to be super-expensive ($150-ish).  I know that http://www.seaborneairlines.com/ has flights, and probably some other small airlines, so that’s also an option.  No passport needed there, either!

 

Whew!  I know that’s a lot of info, but that covers most of the bases.  Maybe I should have made this read more like a travel blog! 

 

Yours in Health,

Dr. Dan Spencer


COCSA 1st Vice President

 

 

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