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Catch the Ferry from Fajardo to Culebra or Vieques

Use La Lancha Entre Fajardo y Culebra o Vieques

Ver en espanolView in English Posted on May 7th, 2007 by • Updated on Oct 12th, 2014
Servicios de Traduccion prestados por la New School of Languages

The “Fast ferry” contract has ended. The PR government will once again take full control of transporting passengers between the little islands and Puerto Rico. The government owned/run ferries have lots of issues. You need to be very flexible with your plans if you intend to use the ferry system, as things can change very quickly (due to weather or maintenance issues). Update September 2014 – now that low season has started, things are doing ok. Lines are not as long during the week. But after mid November, we expect things to go back to “normal”- huge lines, many people not getting tickets/seats, policy changes at whim, poor communication about changes, lots of issues and frequent breakdowns and delayed scheduled. If you absolutely have to get there, flying is always a good option. Note- 10/14- Starting Novemeber 3rd, there will be a new ferry schedule for Vieques. I will post it soon.

I was told on 02 May 2013 that they don’t sell tickets to Culebra at the window prior to the day of departure, but they may sell tickets to Vieques a day or two before the travel date. But I don’t know if that is true, I would still try for Culebra tickets if you are near the terminal as they have 50 tickets available for pre-sale.

If you plan to take the ferry, follow @PRFerryWatch on Twitter to stay on top of the current schedule and the latest developments in the ferry situation between Fajardo, Culebra, and Vieques. If you are on the ferry, drop us a note at @PRFerryWatch on Twitter to let us know if the ferry is on time, how long the lines are, if your were able to buy tickets, etc. If you prefer Facebook, you can like our PR Ferry Watch FB page to receive some of the same info.

Fajardo Ferry

An economical (though not easy) way to get to the out-islands of Culebra and Vieques is by using the passenger ferry (La Lancha). These ferries, operated by the Integrated Transporation Authority of Puerto Rico (Autoridad de Transporte Integrado de Puerto Rico or ATI), carry about 200-600 passengers and run during the day hours, 365 days a year.

Depending on the particular ferry they’re using the day you go, you may be able to get a seat outside on the upper deck.But don’t count on it. There are fewer seats outside than inside. Depending on the wind, the diesel exhaust can make for a smelly ride if you’re outside. I normally try to get a seat outside, because it is a nice view, and the breeze is nice. Inside the main cabins, it is air conditioned to about 65 degrees! Bring a jacket or wrap up in a beach blanket, especially for the ride home when you may still be wet from swimming. Note: they do not always allow people to use the outside seating and only a few ferries even have outdoor seating.

The trip over can be a little rough. Sea sickness bags are available on-board. If you are prone to motion sickness, take sea sickness medicine at least one hour before boarding the ferry so that is ready to work when you need it. Sometimes the seas are flat, and sometimes they’re not. I find the trip back to Fajardo to be less rough than the trip to the islands.

There are only a limited number of tickets available for each ferry. It is recommended to get to the ticket office (across the street from the actual terminal) about 1-2 hours before the scheduled departure (at least 2 hrs early or more for the 9/9:30am ferry, as this one sells out the most). Residents of the municipal islands have priority over other travelers. There are sometimes long lines, and they do sell out (especially on weekends in the summer and holidays and usually the 9am ferry to Culebra almost everyday). There are separate windows for Vieques, Culebra and the cargo ferries, so make sure you get in the correct line. When you buy your tickets, buy the round trip, so you don’t have to wait on line to buy your return ticket. In the past, we have gone a day or two early before a desired trip and bought the tickets ahead of time, but this is not always allowed (see note above). Ticket windows only open for ticket sales about 1-1.5 hr before the ferry is set to leave and closes at 8pm weekdays and 7pm weekends. You will be standing( sometimes for 2-3 hrs) in one long line (in the sun) to buy your ticket, so bring a hat, sunscreen and water. After you get your ticket, you wait on another line (again in the sun) to get into the terminal, so if you have other people in your party, have them wait in separate lines. It may be difficult to figure out which line is for what, no one seems to know what is going on, or if they do, they aren’t telling anyone. Last time I used the ferry for a day trip to Culebra, it was all a nightmare.

Ferry Terminal in Fajardo

They announce the ferry boarding in Spanish. If you are unsure if you are boarding the correct ferry, just ask the ticket takers or some locals.

You can bring coolers, beach chairs, beach umbrellas, snorkel gear, etc. with you. The coolers and large things will be stored away from the seating areas- usually outside and/or in the front or the back of the boat – the crew will tell you where to put the items, and you have to go pick it up on the way off the ferry. There is a charge if you have extra stuff, just a buck or two each (see DTOP webpage for full details) – supposedly only “one bag” per person allowed. Tell them what you are bringing at the ticket counter, or you will have to run back and pay the additional fee before they allow you on the ferry. Animals are allowed on the ferry if they are in a crate or cage and you have paid the fee for them. Bikes are only allowed on the cargo ferry.

The ferries usually run "on-time", give or take a little. :-) They may leave early if they have sold all the seats and are loaded early.

When you get off the ferry on either island, you’ll find a little town right there, where you can find something to eat or drink, and places to rent snorkel gear, etc. There will also be plenty of taxis available.

There is a cargo ferry that runs from Fajardo to the islands, but this is mainly for the locals and supplies. Anyone can ride as a passenger on this ferry, but for cargo and cars, it is a locals only thing. Most car rental companies do not permit their cars to leave the mainland. Reservations must be made in advance for the cargo ferry, and you may be bumped off even if you have a reservation if there is something that has to get to the island at the last minute. Taking a car on the cargo ferry is not something I would recommend anyone try to do on vacation. There are rental cars available on the islands – reserve a car. On Culebra, there will be a car rental representative available for you when you get off the passenger ferry. On Vieques, it is better to take a taxi to the car rental agency.

If you drive to the Fajardo ferry terminal, there is a public parking lot that is available 24 hours/day. Cost $5 per day plus tax. Your car should be fine parked in this lot. Note- take your ticket with you, you have to pay before getting back to your car. Also, there are locals that have parking available in small lots in the area around the ferry terminal.

A one-way ticket to Culebra costs $2.25 per person. A one-way ticket to Vieques costs $2.00 per person. Kids 3-11 years old and seniors 60-74 years old cost $1.00 per person, seniors 75 years and older are free. Parking in the public lot costs $5.00 per day plus tax.

Here is the passenger ferry schedule, from DTOP 6/13:

  • Fajardo to Culebra (7 days/week & holidays)
    9:00am • 3:00pm • 7:00pm.
  • Culebra to Fajardo (7 days/week & holidays)
    6:30am • 1:00pm • 5:00pm.
  • Fajardo to Vieques (7 days/week & holidays) 9:30am, 1pm, 4:30pm, 8pm.
  • Vieques to Fajardo (7 days/week & holidays) 6:30am, 11am, 3pm , 6:00pm.

Note- passengers can also get onto the cargo ferry, these ships run frequently, but may (or may not) take longer. See our article for times of the the cargo ferry out of Fajardo.

If you are very patient and very lucky, you can try to call or email to buy your tickets with a credit card ahead of time. Note – this is not a reservation, it is more of a "hold". It is very difficult to get through to someone on the phone in the ticket office. They only sell 50 tickets for any future date. If you are able to purchase tickets ahead of time, on the day of your ferry trip, you can go to a separate window to pick up your tickets (it is to the far right). But be aware, your passage on the assigned ferry is not guaranteed- you don’t have a reservation. Until you have a ticket in hand, you do not have a seat on the ferry. The ticket office will be selling tickets that day also. So if you’re late, they will fill the ferry with passengers that were waiting in line ahead of you, selling your ticket. So still get there early. You can try this, it sometimes works, but not often. I have had better luck sending a message to the DTOP Facebook page.

As of Nov. 2008, there is no ferry service between the islands of Vieques and Culebra. Also, there is no high-speed ferry service to either island from the San Juan area.

Depending on wind and sea conditions, the trip between Fajardo and either island takes about 1 to 1½ hours each way. If the seas are too rough, or there is mechanical failure, they may cancel the trip. It does occasionally happen.

For info (and for hardy souls that want to try to pre-purchase of tickets) you can try:787-497-7740 or 787-494-0934 extensions 2729, 2727, 2736 (only Mon- Fri from about 7am -3pm) or email them : reservaciones@atm.gobierno.pr Good Luck!

You can visit the Puerto Rico Port Authority web site for more info.

Take Route 3 to Fajardo, and turn onto Route 194. There’s a traffic light and a Shell station at this intersection. It’s right near where Route 3 and Route 53 (the toll road) come together. Stay on Route 194 (it’s a winding road) until you get to Route 195. There’s a traffic light at this intersection, and a Burger King just through the light on the left. There’s also a sign for the ferry terminal on the corner. Turn right onto Route 195. Continue on Route 195 (it goes through a little town) until it ends. Pass through the arch at the end of the street (this will make sense when you see it), and the parking lot is on the right. The ferry terminal and ticket office is to the left. Just walk along the water after you park your car.

The ferry terminal in Fajardo is about a 45-minute drive from Rio Grande

Fajardo Ferry

Una forma económica de transportarse hacia las islas de Culebra y Vieques es el usar sus lanchas de pasajeros. Estas embarcaciones, operadas por la División Marítima de la Autoridad Portuaria, llevan de 200–600 pasajeros y viajan durante las horas del día, los 365 días del año.

Hay la posibilidad de que pueda conseguir un asiento en la cubierta superior, dependiendo de el ferry o lancha en particular que se esté usando el día que vaya, Hay menos asientos en el exterior que en el interior del navío. Los gases de escape diésel pueden hacer del paseo uno maloliente si se esta sentado en el exterior del barco; claro, dependiendo de la dirección del viento. Yo normalmente trato de conseguir un asiento exterior para apreciar la vista y disfrutar de la brisa. ¡Dentro de las cabinas principales, el aire acondicionado se mantiene a 65 grados! Es recomendable llevar un abrigo o envolverse en una manta de playa, especialmente en el viaje de retorno a casa, si todavía usted está húmedo por la natación o la playa. Ojo: no siempre permiten a la gente sentarse en los asientos al aire libre.

El viaje puede ser un poco áspero. Hay bolsas de mareo disponibles a bordo. Si usted es propenso al mareo, debe tomar medicamentos al menos una hora antes de subir al ferry. A veces el mar está tranquilo y a veces no. A mi me parece que el viaje de regreso a Fajardo es menos duro que el viaje de ida a las islas.

Hay sólo un número limitado de entradas disponibles para cada barco. Se recomienda llegar a la taquilla (que esta localizada al cruzar la calle del terminal) alrededor de una hora antes de la salida. Los residentes de las islas municipio tienen prioridad sobre los otros viajeros. A veces hay largas colas, y los boletos de agotan (sobre todo los fines de semana en el verano y en las vacaciones). Cuando usted compre sus entradas asegúrese de comprar el boleto de ida y vuelta, para que no tenga que volver a esperar en fila para comprarlo al regresar.

Ferry Terminal in Fajardo

Es casi inútil hacerlo, pero usted puede intentar llamar para comprar sus boletos con tarjeta de crédito antes de tiempo. Nota: esta no es una reservación , es más bien un "hold". Las entradas se pueden comprar hasta con un año de anticipación. Es muy difícil conseguir a alguien de la taquilla por teléfono, así que tenga paciencia e inténtelo unas cuantas veces.

Si usted compra boletos con anticipación, el día de su viaje en el ferry, se puede ir a una casilla separada para recogerlos (que esta en el extremo derecho). Pero tenga en cuenta, que su admisión al ferry asignado no está garantizada; no hacen reservaciones. Hasta que usted tenga un boleto en la mano, no tendrá asiento en el ferry. La taquilla venderá entradas ese día también. Así que si llega tarde, se llenará el ferry con los pasajeros que esperan en fila delante de usted Así que hay que ir con suficiente anticipación pues de lo contrario venderán su asiento.

Ellos anuncian el embarque del ferry en español. Si no sabe español y no está seguro si es el ferry que debe abordar, simplemente pregunte al encargado o a otra persona.

Usted puede traer hieleras, sillas de playa, sombrillas, equipo de bucear, etc. Las neveritas (especialmente si son grandes y contienen bebidas alcohólicas) y otras cosas de gran tamaño, se almacenan fuera, en el frente o en la parte de atrás del barco – el personal le dirá dónde ubicarlas, y donde recogerlas al abandonar el ferry. Hay un cargo extra si tiene “extra” cosas – supuestamente admiten sólo "un equipaje de mano" por persona. Se admiten animales en el ferry si se encuentran encerrados en una caja o jaula y si se ha pagado la cuota por los mismos. La bicicletas sólo se permiten en la lancha de carga.

Las lanchas generalmente salen "a tiempo", más o menos. :-)

Al bajar del ferry en cada isla, encontraras un pequeño centro urbano frente a ti, donde se puede encontrar algo para comer o beber, y lugares para alquilar equipos de buceo, etc También hay una gran cantidad de taxis.

Hay un ferry de carga que va desde Fajardo a las islas, pero este es usado principalmente para transportar a los habitantes de las islas y su carga. Cualquier persona puede ir como pasajero en este ferry, pero se usa esencialmente para transportar la carga y los automóviles de los habitantes de la isla municipio. La mayoría de las compañías de alquiler de autos no permiten que sus vehículos salgan de la isla grande. Las reservaciones para la lancha de carga deben hacerse con antelación y existe la posibilidad de que se la cancelen con o sin reservación. Tome esto en cuenta en caso de que por casualidad tuviese que llevar algo extra a la isla a última hora.

Llevarse su carro en la lancha de carga no es algo que yo recomendaría a nadie en sus vacaciones. Hay automóviles de alquiler disponibles en las islas. En Culebra, habrá un representante de alquiler de carros disponible para usted cuando usted baja del ferry de pasajeros. En Vieques, es mejor tomar un taxi que alquilar un auto.

Si usted conduce hasta el terminal del ferry de Fajardo, hay un estacionamiento público que está disponible las 24 horas del día. $5 por dia. Su carro debe estar bien estacionado en el lote. Además, hay otros locales pequeños disponibles para estacionamiento en los alrededores de ese terminal.

Un boleto de ida a Culebra cuesta $2.25 por persona. Un boleto de ida a Vieques cuesta $2.00 por persona. Niños 3–11 años de edad y adultos mayores 60–74 años de edad pagan de $1.00 por persona, las personas mayores de 75 años entran gratis. Aparcarse en el estacionamiento público cuesta $5.00 por día más impuestos.

Este es el horario del ferry, Junio 2013:

  • Fajardo a Culebra (7 días/semana y días festivos )
    9:00am • 3:00pm • 7:00pm.
  • Culebra a Fajardo (7 días/semana y días festivos)
    6:30am • 1:00pm • 5:00pm.
  • Fajardo a Vieques (7 días/semana y días festivos) 9:30am • 1:00pm • 4:30pm • 8:00pm
  • Vieques a Fajardo (7 días/semana y días festivos) 6:30am • 11:00am • 3:00pm • 6:30pm.

Desde noviembre del 2008, no hay servicio de ferry entre las islas de Vieques y Culebra. Además, no hay servicio de ferry de alta velocidad a cualquier isla de la zona.

Dependiendo de las condiciones del viento y el mar, el viaje entre Fajardo y la isla tarda de 1 a 1½ horas en cada dirección. Si el mar está demasiado agitado, o hay una falla mecánica, se puede cancelar el viaje. Esto sucede de vez en cuando.

Si usted desea tratar de comprar los boletos para La Lancha con anticipación puede intentarlo llamando a uno de los siguientes teléfonos: 787–494–0934. Estas lineas sólo son contestadas en vivo de lunes a viernes, de 7:30am- 3pm. Una vez que usted logre comunicarse puede comprar sus entradas utilizando su tarjeta de crédito. Ellos le darán un número de referencia . El día de su viaje, usted podrá recoger sus boletos en la ventanilla de Fajardo sin tener que esperar en la línea habitual. Debe haber un guardia u oficial, cerca de la ventana, le indica que ya han pagado por sus boletos y que desea recogerlos. Asegúrese de tener su número de referencia. Debe llegar temprano, incluso si es pre–pagado. Recuerde nuevamente que usted no tiene un asiento garantizado en un viaje de la lancha. Debe llegar temprano para recoger sus boletos.

Puede visitar el sitio web de la Autoridad de Puertos de Puerto Rico para mayor información.

Como llegar: Tome la Ruta 3 a Fajardo, y gire en la carretera #194. Hay un semáforo y una gasolinera Shell en esa intersección. Está justo cerca de la unión de la Ruta 3 y la Ruta 53 (la del peaje). Manténgase en la carretera 194 (esta carretera tiene algunas curvas) hasta llegar a la ruta 195. Hay un semáforo en esa intersección, y un Burger King a la izquierda. Hay también un letrero de el terminal de la lancha en la esquina. Gire a la derecha hacia la carretera 195. Continúe por la 195 (atravesará un poblado pequeño) y continúe hasta el final . Pase por el arco en el final de la calle (esto tendrá sentido cuando lo vea), y el estacionamiento se encuentra a la derecha. El terminal del ferry y la taquilla están a la izquierda. Sólo tendrá que caminar un tramo junto al mar después de estacionar su coche.

La terminal de la lancha en Fajardo está a unos 45 minutos de Río Grande

Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.

Utilice el siguiente mapa para localizar los lugares mencionados en este artículo. Puede hacer clic en cualquiera de las marcas de posición para ver las coordenadas GPS de ese lugar.

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid ... then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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170 comments
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  1. This was very helpful! I was completely unaware that you could reserve tickets in advance. I’ll plan on doing that now!

  2. Thank u so much, this info answered all my question!!!

  3. very comprehensive information

  4. How can I book on-line? We’ve been trying for three days. Please help us. We need 7 tickets to Culebra. Thank you very much.

  5. Unfortunately, you cannot purchase ferry tickets on-line. Your best bet on getting through on the phone is to call right around the time that the ferry leaves. See our ferry schedule above for those times.

    The majority of the people just go to the ferry terminal the morning they want to travel and buy tickets at the ticket window.

    Unless you’re going on a _really_ popular day (day after Thanksgiving, Easter weekend, etc) you should have no problem getting tickets.

  6. i am taking my rent a car…..is there a schedule for this?

  7. It is our understanding that cars rented on the “big island” cannot be transported to Culebra or Vieques. You should verify that with your rental car company. In most cases, it will void your rental contract.

    There is no “car ferry” to the islands. There is a “cargo ferry” used to transport goods and construction materials and equipment. There is no posted schedule for this cargo ferry. You need to make a reservation to get onto it, and you may very well be bumped off if there’s a shipment that has higher priority.

    There are ample cars for rent on both Culebra and Vieques, and you can park your rental car in the lot near the ferry terminal for about $5/day.

  8. Can we park the rental in the terminal parking lot for more than 1 day? We are planning on picking up and using the rental for 3 days on the mainland then spending 4 nights on Vieques. We will then drive ourselves back to the airport from the ferry terminal after our visit to Vieques. Is this possible?

  9. Yes. You can park overnight in the parking lot near the ferry terminal for about $5/day.

  10. Great info! We’ve taken both the cargo and the passenger ferry and I completely agree that unless you absolutely HAVE to take the cargo ferry, don’t. And the info about the passenger ferry being cold, is right on….it’s downright chilly, especially after being in the sun all day!! Thanks for the updated schedules and numbers!!

  11. could anyone recommend a way of getting between the san jose airport and fajardo?
    we’re arriving at SJU and our ultimate destination will be culebra (or possibly vieques).
    is it worth flying from SJU to the islands or driving to fajardo and taking the ferry?

    thanks for the help!

  12. I guess it really depends on how many people are in your group. The cheapest way to get from San Juan to Fajardo is a private driver for about $60 one-way. The other option is a taxi @ about $80 one-way. A flight from San Juan to one of the sister islands costs about $70 per person each way. The ferry is about $3 per person each way. So you need to do the math and divide out the per person costs versus the time involved.

  13. TRAVELER BEWARE! There are a few other things you need to know about the ferry from Fajardo to Vieques/Culebra. (1) Local residents get to jump in line ahead of you to purchase tickets for the ferry – they live there, you don’t, so they get first dibs on tickets. If a ferry is close to full, you can get “bumped” in favor of a resident who’s returning home. (2) The Fajardo terminal does not appear to be well-organized or well-run, and no one appeared to be in charge on the day I was there (2/18/09)…if you have a question or complaint, there’s not a manager present who can help (or is willing to admit that they are the manager). (3) Several of the locals I spoke to were very frustrated because they say that the PR Port Authority does not provide adequate preventative maintenance to keep the ferry fleet moving on a regular schedule. Based on what I saw – there were three ferries tied to the docks that did not move all day 2/18/09, and one that went out of service later in the day – causing 7+ hour delays in departure schedules – I’d have to agree with their assessment. I suspect that part of the reason for all of this is (4) the fact that adult tickets are $2.50 each, meaning that this is a government-subsidized venture with no profit potential – and in turn, that creates an environment for sloppy operations management and maintenance practices. TRAVELER BEWARE! Use the Fajardo ferries only if price is your primary motivation, and you have no time committments on Vieques or Culebra. If you have any kind of schedule to keep, take a commuter flight from San Juan instead (about $160 per person, round trip as of 2/17/09).

  14. I agree- the ferry is far from perfect.
    The ferry is actually public transportation for the residents on Vieques/Culebra. These locals need the ferry to go to school or the doctor or to pay taxes etc. It is the only way they can live their daily lives. It is not a money making venture. So- yes, these locals do and should have priority for tickets. I would hate to see a child stuck in Fajardo for the night because a tourist took the last seat.
    Yes, it is not well organized. And I doubt you will ever find anyone in charge at the ferry terminals. The head offices are elsewhere.
    Tourists need to be flexible. If you HAVE TO get to Vieques or Culebra, then fly. You can get a flight from Ceiba airport for under $30.
    If you only want to spend $2.50 for the ferry, then you will need to deal with some inconvenience- that is the way it is.
    Luckily, there is a new person in charge of the ferries this year, and he is making some improvements. I hope it helps!
    We always say- if you have more money than time- fly. If you have more time than money, take the ferry.

  15. we are flying into san juan late friday night and then thinking of staying at the gran melia in rio grande (since it is one of the less expensive places) and then need to get to the ferry terminal the next day and hopefully take the 9am ferry to culebra and staying (camping ) in culebra until monday am and then will have to head back from culebra to the airport. would it make the most sense to rent a car and just keep it at the ferry terminal until monday when we get back? since it seems like all of the taxi prices will cost more and the car is only about 80 something from friday night until monday evening… ?

  16. The cost of a taxi from the SJU airport to Rio Grande will be about $63 one way. Then by the time you figure in taxi from Rio Grande to Fajardo (metered fare) and taxi from Fajardo back to SJU at the end of your trip (around $80) … it may be more cost effective to rent a car and leave it sit in the lot at the ferry terminal. Just don’t forget to factor in parking (about $5/day) at the ferry and the possibility of a charge to park at your resort.

  17. Can bikes be brought on the Culebra Ferry?

  18. Yes. I believe they can.

    update: 7/15/09 Technically, bikes can only go on the cargo ferry, but you may get lucky and be able to bring them on the passenger ferry. I think it depends on how busy it is and how much the ferry people care that day about following the rules.

  19. As a patron of the ferry for the past 40 years, I can tell you it is at best a third world operation. As a Puerto Rican, I am deeply ashamed of the complete lack of customer service, the behavior of the locals, the lack of information, and the overall attitude of everyone involved. Except for some new ships, you would think this was some ferry service in an underdeveloped country in 1920. I have called 2,000 times for information and only had my phone called answered once! The price for a ferry ride has never changed; I would be willing to pay a little more for better service.

    Go to the Ceiba or San Juan airport and fly instead.

  20. We tried to get the ferry from Fajardo to Culebra on Tuesday (july 7th) and the line wrapped down the street, around the corner and down the block. After waiting for 45 minutes in the blazing early morning heat, they announced the ferry was full. The line had only moved maybe 10 feet in that time. Everything I read said that Culebra was pretty empty except on weekends and holidays. So I don’t understand what is going on and whether we should try again tomorrow (thursday). We tried both Vieques Air Link and Air Flamenco and neither have any seats available either. We really wanted to visit Culebra and are extremely disappointed that as of right now, it does not look like we have any possible way to get there.

  21. What you’ve read about Culebra being empty may or may not be true for July. You see, July is the big “local” vacation month. We have 5 major holidays in July, so this is the month that locals choose to take their vacations. And where do many of them go? Culebra … expecially for “day trips”.

    We live in Rio Grande, and we’ve noticed a considerable amount of “beach traffic” along Route 3 over the past couple of days.

    I think what you’re running into is the normal summertime rush.

  22. While I don’t disagree with your observations, you have to keep in mind that it only costs $2.00-$2.25 for the ride between the islands. For many locals, that cheap transportation is a god-send and their only option for travel between the islands. And you get what you pay for. If you can afford the difference, fly.

  23. We plan to visit Culebra on either August 5 or August 6. Is it possible for us to get 9am tickets by getting to the ticket booth 1 hour ahead of time? Since August is in the hurrican season, ordering the tickets ahead of time sounds a bit risky.

    Many thanks.

  24. HI Jane- It is almost impossible to book tickets early. So everyone has to go to the ticket booth. Early August is still kind of busy for the ferries, but not like crazy July. You are on the right track getting there 1 hr early and getting on line for tickets. Of course, there is no guarantee there will be tickets left when you get to the ticket window. It is a problem.

  25. The family is planning to go to Culebra on July 19, I would like to know is there only the Lancha or the Ferry is available to bring out our cars
    Please answer me as soon you can!!!
    Mariel

  26. The regular ferry is a passenger-only ferry … no cars. There is a cargo ferry, but space is limited and hard-to-come-by for personal vehicles unless you live on Culebra. You can contact the port authority to see if they can accommodate you … but I wouldn’t count on it.

  27. Thanks Gwenn for the advice. Is it possible to get tickets the day before? When does the ticket booth close in the afternoon?

    Thanks in advance

  28. Sorry for not explaining it in details. What I meant is whether it is possible to go to the ticket booth and buy the advanced round-trip tickets for the next day in person.

    Thanks again.

  29. Jane- yes, you can go to the window and buy tickets for a future trip. But you need to go during normal ticket hours (about 1 hr before ferry time until about 10 mins after the ferries leave). The windows are closed the rest of the time (at least that has been what I have seen).
    The 9am/9:30 ferry time is crazy- loads of long lines in Fajardo. The lines are much shorter (or non existent!) during the later ferry times.

  30. It was mentioned that bikes were technically only permitted on the cargo ship, but how do you get camp gear over if you are only entitled a small amount of personal belongings? My family and I are planning on going to camp for a night and were hoping to bring our bikes to get around, but with three of them that doesn’t seem to be possible based on these posts. Does anyone have more experience with this?

  31. SM-
    You could try to bring the bikes on the passenger ferry, but they may not allow it (I guess it dependson who is working, how busy they are , if they want to look the other way etc). They allow camping stuff (I have seen people bring tons of it!) but no flammable things like lighter fluid are allowed- they will go through your stuff to make sure you don’t have it with your grill supplies.
    But the Cargo ferry also carries people and it goes to the islands a couple times/day. Check this post for times for your island:
    http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/cargo-ferry/

    Have fun!

  32. Just small tidbits I have learned. The ferry is as mentioned above but some other thoughts you might like are these… It is beautiful to lay on the top benches on a clear night and stargaze if you are on the last ferry. It will be cool but you can snuggle under a blanket or what not. There will be taxis (vans) when you arrive and they will only take cash so have some handy but they will take you just about anywhere. In Vieques and I am sure Culebra too, some of the locals will hang around the beach and take you snorkeling for a small fee. I find that you can have a great time if you have fewer people snorkeling with you as the fish get stirred when you go in bulk. The ferry ride itself can be enjoyable if you get there with time to spare and relax. The locals will roll up a shirt and take a nap on deck, as did I. Have fun!

  33. I just called the Lanchas to purchase my tickets in advance for myself and my three kids. The gentleman on the phone told me that we can no longer purchase over the phone and would have to buy them the day of the trip and wait on line. This is such a problem…I really wanted my kids to see Culebra

  34. Very informative page but I don’t see anything about travelling with pets. I have a small 7 pound yorki that I would need to travel with.

  35. The dog is allowed on the ferry as long as it is in a crate and you have paid the fee for it. I did not see the fee for a dog, but I assume it is just a few dollars.

  36. “The ferries usually run “on-time”, give or take a little.”

    Hardly. As the day goes on the ferry runs later and later. We had wanted to go out to Vieques on the 3 pm ferry which, after the incredibly long delay, finally pulled into the dock around 5 pm and finally left around 5:45 pm.

    So a note – if you want to get to your port on time, GET THERE EARLY!

  37. We’ve tried getting on the culebra ferry three times without success. The last time I arrived about three hours early and only had 20 people ahead of me. As soon as they started selling tickets locals cut in line until all the tickets were gone. Very disappointing! A local small time car rental guy said next time we could arrange for him to get our tickets for a small premium. It’s a shady operation. We love visiting PR but the ferry to Culebra is our worst memory.

  38. I’ve made the trip a few times and the best advice I can give is get there early. You need to find a place to park, get you tickets, and get in line for the ferry.

    Parking – If it’s not busy, you can find a place on the street nearby or in a public parking lot just before the ferry dock. On a busy day, you can try to find a parking spot on the street, but if you can’t, people will advertise parking for about $5 on day on small private lots. Beware that if someone tells you they have parking right around the corner, and you don’t see the lot, they may lead you several blocks away.

    Ticket Line – I’ve never had a problem with locals filling a ferry since there are not that may of them, but the general disorganization on lines can be very unpredictable. If you go on a weekday when the Puerto Rican kids are in school, the lines are pretty short and you would probably be fine getting there 45 min. early. On a weekend or in the Summer, the line can get longer and you probably need to be there at least 1.5 hours ahead of time. On a holiday weekend…. well it’s just not going to happen unless you are there several hours ahead of time. If you get there and the line stretches around the corner, consider looking to see if the Vieques line (in the same terminal) is shorter and going there instead.

    Getting on the ferry – Everyone will be getting in line for the ferry early, and so should you (at least 30 minutes before departure). Being as it’s Puerto Rico, everybody (and their entire families) will be pushing and shoving to get on the boat first and get the best seat (or a seat at all on crowded days).

  39. Great article! Found all the information I needed!Thank you!

  40. Is there a place on Culebra to rent scooters?
    If so, does anyone have a link to their site or a phone number?
    Thanks.

  41. A bag of Beers and Rums is allowed on the ferry to Culebra?

  42. By “bag of beers” I assume you mean a cooler?

    Anyway, the answer is “yes”, you can bring alcohol onto the ferry to take to Culebra.

    It costs an extra couple bucks to bring a cooler on the ferry.

    Once on the ferry, they will store all coolers in one area … they don’t want people drinking on the ferry, obviously.

    If you’re taking bags and/or coolers to the beach (especially Flamenco), they will check (at the beach) that you are not bringing any GLASS bottles. Cans and plastic are OK.

  43. As a tourist you can forget about catching a ferry over. It will never happen.

  44. Adam- during peak times (summer and holiday weekends), it is near impossible for day-trippers to get on the ferries. It seems everyone wants to go to the small island beaches for the day. You will have better luck going mid-week and mid-day.

  45. Has anybody experienced taking the ferry on thanksgiving weekend? We’re planning on catching the 9am Sunday ferry to Culebra. Are there long lines too? We might need to change our plans if this is not a good idea.

  46. Gwenn — I’ve seen conflicting times on the morning ferry from Fajardo to Vieques. Can you confirm it departs at 9 a.m.? I saw here that it leaves at 9:30 a.m.: http://www.viequestravelguide.com/Vieques-Ferry-Schedule.html. We’re planning to go mid-week next week (there are nine of us). Do we have any shot of getting on the ferry?

    Thanks, Erin

  47. Erin- the morning ferry from Fajardo to Vieques is at 9:30am (as our schedule also says). The ferry to Culebra is at 9am.
    However, next week is Holy Week. The ferry system will be crazily busy. They will be adding additional ferries to help get everyone to/from. So the schedule doing Holy Week may be different from the usual one.

  48. you are the best! this is so helpful and will make the trip more at ease!!!!!

  49. Do we need to buy a ticket for kids under 3.

  50. According to their price list, I would say no- children under 3 don’t need a ticket.

  51. Greetings

    Would you recommend going to Culebra on the Sunday afternoon 3pm route or could it be packed out on May 27th, 2012.

    Thanks for all the good info!

  52. The beaches will be busy, but most people will already be there and will be leaving Monday on the 5pm ferry.
    I think you will be able to get on the Sunday afternoon ferry without too much of a problem. At least that is my best guess. Good luck!

  53. I am a tourist traveling to Vieques and did not want to pay the extra cost to fly. One of the individuals in my party rides an ecv which is a transportable scooter (almost like a wheel chair but not). Will they be able to board the ferry and is there an extra cost? Also is it difficult to get a ticket from Vieques in the middle of the week on the last ferry? Do we have to get to the terminal in Vieques early in order to make it back to the main land?

  54. I am unsure if they would have to pay extra for the scooter, but I would think no. Ask at the ticket counter when you get there. Yes, they will be able to board the ferry. How hard it is to get a ticket on the ferry depends on the week. Holiday weeks can be touch, but usually the later ferry is not as crowded. As long as the weather and ship maintenance is all good, it should be ok. You can buy a round trip ticket in Fajardo, so you don’t have to get to Vieques terminal too early. The person with the wheelchair scooter will probably get preferential boarding, but I don’t know about the rest of your party. Check with the people working the boarding gate.

  55. im planning a day trip (weekday) trip to Culebra and back to Fajardo same day. is there a chance the 5pm would be full and i would have to wait until the next day? thanks

  56. We are scheduled to check-into a Viequez hotel on Sunday, August 15th in the afternoon and will be taking the ferry there. We are thinking about taking the 1:00 pm ferry. What do you think should be our strategy for purchasing the ticket? I saw that some folks commented that they were not able to purchase their tickets in advance (a day or two in advance) at the location. Thanks!

  57. I think you should be ok getting tickets at 1pm on a Sunday, just by showing up at the window 1 hr before the ferry. That is not the popular time.
    There is also a cargo ferry( which has room for about 60 passengers) that goes to Vieques at 11am and 5pm and another passenger ferry at 4:30pm. So with all those options, barring any mechanical or weather-related troubles, you will get to Vieques that afternoon.

  58. If you buy a round trip ticket, they will get you back to Fajardo some time that evening (and most probably on the 5pm ferry). If there is some problem with the 5pm ferry, they have backups they run until all are taken home. This is barring any weather related issues that may prevent the ferries from running. Not usually a problem.

  59. Can one person stand in line and purchase for let’s say 5 people. Or do all 5 people have to be present? On the return ferry. Do we have to be there one hr early even though we purchased the round trip? Thanks

  60. One person can stand in line and buy up to 10 tickets. Others do not have to be present. On the return trip, they recommend you get there 1 hr ahead of time, but if you don’t care where you sit, you can arrive later and hope to get seats somewhere near each other.

  61. How safe is it to leave your belongings in the car and park in the parking lot at the ferry? We are switching hotel from Wyndham to gran melia or Waldorf but we won’t be able to check in yet since the ferry leaves at 9am. Would it be safer to leave our belongings at the front desk of the new hotel or in the parking lot of the ferry? Or should I take things like passport and cash with me to Culebra? It’s only going to be a day trip and we will be doing water sports so I didn’t want to bring too much with me to the island. Also we are thinking of Culebra on Sunday would that be a busy time to go or should we just go with the plane? Thanks

  62. We have been taking the ferry to Vieques and Culebras for 25 years while there in the winter .
    This is a great trip. You MAY see whales along the way. The best trip is to Culebras now at 9am.
    Try to get seats outside on top deck. When you get there take a publico to Flamenco Beach ( one of
    the most beautiful beaches in the world. There is food there and showers. Rent an umbrella from Joe from Hoboken on the beach. The sun is very strong. The water is blue and like a swimming pool!!
    Enjoy the ride home at 5 PM Leave the beach at 3 and stop at Mamamcita’s for a drink and nachos.
    The trip back is a beautiful sunset cruise. Bring a snack and a drink with you. You will arrive back in Fajardo around 7pm Parking is $5.35 Try to have exact change. Enjoy your trip Also you may purchase your tickets the day before in the afternoon. Remember in March spring breakers fill the boats and you may not get on. Midweek is the best time to go.

  63. Hi, do you know what is the cost to bring a cooler and do they charge per item “inside” the cooler as well?

  64. Whoever you are, you will go to heaven for posting this info :-)
    thanks a lot.

  65. I have never heard about robberies at the ferry parking lot, but I can’t guarantee they never happen. If you could, I would try to leave your stuff at the front desk of the new or old hotel. If not, put stuff out of sight in the locked car.
    However, I would never leave anything in the car that would ruin my vacation if I lost it (like my passport or spending cash). I would get a waterproof pouch and put your valuables in it and take it in the water with you (I wouldn’t leave it on the beach unattended).
    Culebra will be busier on a Sunday- locals like to visit it also on the weekend. If you go in the off season (non-holiday weekend in winter months) you should probably be ok with the ferry. However, having taken both plane and ferry there, we always choose the plane trip from Ceiba. And use the time you would spend waiting and on the ferry (about 4 hours total RT) actually enjoying what you went over to Culebra for!

  66. It costs $2.00 for a cooler and they do not charge for what is inside it.

  67. :-) You are welcome, we are glad we can help!

  68. I am thinking of taking the ferry to Culebra on a Friday morning in mid February, but I will be in Fajardo the Wednesday before for a bio bay tour. I just want to confirm that I can still purchase my ferry ticket for future trips in advanced at the window. Please advise. Thank you for all the great info.

  69. I can’t guarantee it since I haven’t been to the ferry dock in a while, but I believe you can.

  70. Looking to take ferry to Culebra July 1 a Monday will I be bumped as there is 1 child 3 adults tourists wanna spend a day there..thanks on advance

  71. If you are asking about the passenger ferry, you won’t be bumped, but it it always possible for tickets to sell out. You will be going during a high use time so that could be a worry. But many people do get on the ferries everyday with a problem, so hopefully that will be your experience. Maybe by then they will have extra trips over scheduled due to the holiday week.

  72. Gwenn – first and foremost… THANK YOU for this great post and all your replied to the oodles of comments/questions!!!!!!!!

    Here are my questions. I will be visiting Friday, May 10, 2013 a from Fajarao to Vieques. How busy do you think the ferry will be? What is the best time that day to take the ferry?

    Also, how much would a taxi from Fajaro Ferry station to the Cieba airport?

    thanks!

  73. If you can, the 1 pm passenger ferry or the 10:30 cargo ferry would probably be your best bets.
    The taxi would be a metered rate- I would estimate about $10 taxi rate. It is only abut 5 miles away.

  74. Simple put: inefficient.

    Friend and I drove to Fajardo and arrived to the ferry dock by 6:30 a.m. in order to get on the 9:30 a.m. trip to Culebra. We had a pre-existing scuba diving trip planned on the island and were definitely looking forward to it. After three hours in line we were informed that the 9:30 was sold out. Fortunately there was a 10:30 trip as well. We continued to wait in line and after another hour of waiting and 20 people in front of us… we were informed the 10:30 was now sold out. I don’t know how this was possible since they only sold tickets for this ferry for approx. 30 people. They also informed us that they didn’t pre-sell tickets since it was a holiday weekend. Things didn’t add up and my friend and I had to cancel our scuba trip & culebra trip. So much for the dive & flamenco beach!

    PS – they had one booth open to sell tickets to 400 people in line. Why not sell tickets online or open more booths? Beware and good luck.

    Good luck!

  75. Hi,

    Thanks for all the great info ! I have a question; I am traveling to San Juan this Thursday. We will be staying at the Gran Melia in Rio Grande. We are planning on going to Flamenco Beach on Friday for a daytrip, what would be the most efficient way for me to get there? (On the ferry)

    Thanks !

    Pravesh

  76. Sorry- we are too late in replying. I hope you were able to get on the ferry and enjoyed Flamenco!

  77. Hi Gwenn,
    We are planning a ferry trip to Culebra on Sunday, July 7th at 7:00PM and coming back on Thursday, July 11th. At what time do you recommend for us to be at the ferry terminal line to purchase the tickets? Any advise in this matter is greatly appreciated.

  78. Well, I think you should be ok getting to the ferry terminal about 5:30pm. That is not a popular ferry for the tourists, just some locals.

  79. I am staying at the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar in Puerto Rico, I have a room for Hotel Kokomo on Culebra for JULY 4, 2013. we will have a rental car. Can you give me a play by play on my best way to do this and also the time it will take to get from Wyndham on 6000 Rio Mar Boulevard.

    Now after reading the Ferry sold out stories I am more inclined to fly, what do you think, I really don’t want to spend the extra money. Does Culebra have firework displays for 4th of July or do they not celebrate it?

    Also do you know of what company does snorkeling from a group boat, I am afraid to kayak and would rather do it from a regular boat. Thanx so much!

  80. You are going during a very busy time, so getting a ferry ticket might be tough. But if you plan on getting the 3pm ferry, it will be less crowded than the 9am one.
    You could ask your Culebra hotel if they can get you a RT ticket for your dates.

    It will take about 30-40 mins from the Rio Mar to the ferry. Just going down RT 3. Then turn at the light in Fajardo at RT 194 and then onto 195 to ferry parking. Park the car, and then get on line for your ferry ticket. Then wait for them to announce boarding. The directions and a map are at the bottom of the article.
    We like flying- you know you will get there.

    I don’t think there will be a firework display by the town, but there will be some people with them. It is not a real holiday for Puerto Rico, but it is a day off!

    You can contact Taz at Aquatic Adventures or Culebra Divers for boat trips.

  81. If we go tomorrow, since it isn’t a holiday, will we be able to get on the ferry? And how early should we arrive to get a ticket?

  82. There is no way of knowing for sure. But the weather is not supposed to be great, so maybe some people will stay away. I would get there about 7am for tickets.

  83. I already bought passenger ferry tickets for July 12th thru July 14th. Im planning to bring boxes of beer cans, bottles of Rum and some groceries. How can I be sure this items will be allowed in the passenger ferry and how much and where I need to pay to bring them in the passenger ferry? Thanks for your prompt response!

  84. Each person can have 1 bag with them on the ferry at no cost. Extra bags/cases of beer will cost about $2 each. Almost anything (as long as it is not flammable) is allowed. Sad to say, I think you will need to wait on the line to pay for your extra stuff. But you can wait until right before the ferry leaves (after all the tickets have sold out), so the line is shorter.

  85. Can you pick up tickets for a group of people so they don’t have to wait in line a long time also. Say one person buying tickets for 6 people?

  86. According to their website, you are allowed to buy 10 tickets per person.

  87. Hello, this has been very helpful. We, a family of 6, would like to take the ferry to Vieques on July 3rd. Suitcases and all as we are staying in Esperanze at a house. Coming back to Fajardo from Vieques on July 7th. We were thinking about taking the 1:00 pm ferry going to Vieques and returning on the 11:00 am ferry. Do you forsee any problems or should we scratch it and go by air to Vieques? Not really wanting to spend the money for 6 to fly there and back. Thank you very much for your help.

  88. I think you should be ok- A mid-day on Sunday to Vieques should not be too busy. Buy round trip tickets and pay the extra for your suitcases. But I can’t guarantee anything!

  89. Good Morning!
    I have reservations in a hotel in culebra this coming saturday ( august 3 2013) and wanted to buy the tickets before the date to be on the safe side. Can i go to the ticket window to bought them before saturday? If so how many days in advance and what timeframe? If not what do you suggest to get in time for my planned trip? Thank you, have a blessed day :)

  90. Carlos- You won’t be able to buy tickets early….it is a busy weekend (last weekend of summer before school starts). If you are hoping for the 9am ferry, I would ask the hotel to buy them and send them to you. Or you can try calling Corbin Powersports in Fajardo. They will buy tickets early that morning and then you stop by their store (right by the ferry).
    If you are wanting the afternoon ferry, that won’t be as crowded and you should be able to get them that afternoon.

  91. Hi,
    I’m trying to make reservations for the cargo ferry for the morning of August 16. Unfortunately, I have tried all the phone numbers published in the different sites, but some are not in service while others just ring or a coputer operator keeps talking. Do you have a more reliable number? Thanks!

  92. Yes, I have had trouble with the phones also. Try 787-494-0034. That was the number from the latest DTOP post. From 7:30am – 3pm.

  93. Thank you for this great information. I will be bringing a pickup truck (full of tools and luggage–and the truck will be mine, not a rental) on the Vieques ferry and will have a small dog and a cat with me. All of this, along with 3 people, will be able to travel together on the cargo ferry, correct? I just have to have both animals in carriers? My timing will be flexible and I can go in person to purchase tickets, but I just want to make sure the trip itself is feasible before I start to make arrangements. Thank you. :)

  94. Yes, I think that will all work out, that is all allowed on. There may be an additional fee for the animals, or maybe not if they are in the truck. The 2 other people will need to buy tickets, but the driver is included in the price.
    When you are making the reservation, make sure you tell them about all of that. As long as the gas truck is not on the same ferry, it should all be fine. If the gas truck is on it, the passengers can’t go. But they can tell you all the details better than I can!

  95. Our group of 6 adults and 5 kids plan to visit Puerto Rico from Nov 25 to Nov 29. We want to visit Vieques for 1 or 2 nights. Which day is the best time to get the ticket at the ferry ? It is a bit stressful to plan this trip due to the uncertainty of this ferry. We haven’t booked the hotel yet since we do not know if we are able to get tickets Vieques or not. Thanks a lot for your help!

  96. Well, that is a holiday week, so earlier in the week the better (less crowded). But Vieques is a little less popular for day-trips, so usually, getting the ferry to Vieques is not a problem (barring mechanical issues or storms). If you really want to be safe, I would ask the place where you decide to stay on Vieques if they can pre-purchase tickets for you and send them to you beforehand. Or try contacting Corbin Powersports in Fajardo. I hear they sometimes buy ferry tickets for people ahead of time.

  97. Left San Juan at 5:30 this morning, arrived at ferry station by 6:40, it is now 8:05 and I’m still waitin in a long line to buy a ticket.

    If you want to take a car over you have to benhere by 4am apparently.

    Very very angry frustrated and swearing up a storm in my head.

  98. We will be going to Culebra on Monday Feb. 3 and returning to Fajardo on Thursday Feb. 6. Should we expect any delays on these dates (are there any holidays or events that will cause a delay) ?

    We saw there is a cargo ferry that leaves from Fajardo to Culebra around 4AM, is this only for cars or can we get on if we have no vehicle? If we cannot take this ferry we will take the next one around 9AM.

    For our return we were hoping to catch the last ferry so we can enjoy the day in the island. Do you think it might be risky to catch the last ferry leaving Culebra?

    Thank you! We appreciate you taking your time to answer all of our questions!

  99. Claudia- your dates don’t correspond to any holiday, so that should be fine. But the big question is whether the ferry contract will be extended after 1/31/14. If it is not extended, ferry service will be difficult to predict.
    But if you can get on the 4am cargo ferry (it has space for passengers) that would be great or get there early (before 6am) to buy tickets for the 9am ferry. When you buy your tickets, buy roundtrip and you will specify which time you want to return. They only sell as many tickets for any time as they have space, so with a return ticket at a certain time, you are fine.

    The only thing with the cargo ferry is that if there is a gas truck on it, they don’t allow passengers. I will look around for the days/time they do gas trucks. I have that info somewhere.

  100. Hi. My family and I are going to be going out to Culebra on Friday Jan 24th, and returning on Monday the 27th. I think this is a fairly low season and don’t believe it corresponds with any holiday. Should we still really expect to have to show up a full 3 hours early to get tickets?

    Another idea I had was to get there about an hour and a half before the ferry leaves and if the lines are too long or the ferry appears to be having problems, just drive down to Cieba and take a flight. Does that sound reasonable, or would that be a terrible idea?

  101. Hello gwen, love the website. I have some questions if you don’t mind. I was thinking of doing either vieques or culebra by ferry on sat 25th of jan. I am a budget traveler so plane is not a feasible option. Can you tell me which island would be easier to naviagate to the beaches? I love food and will be staying in fajardo. Thanks a bunch

  102. It is easier to get to Vieques via ferry (fewer people go there as a day trip). But you can only get to a few beaches on either island via taxi/Publico. But on Vieques, you can get a taxi right from the ferry to Sun Bay and you can walk to other beaches (a bit of a walk) and Esperanza for nice restaurants/bars.

  103. Hi, we are taking the ferry to vieques tomorrow morning. How early should we go?

  104. Fewer people go to Vieques for day trips, so the line is not as bad as for Culebra. I would be there about 1- 1.5 hrs before ferry leaves.

  105. Culebra tickets for 9am sell out all year long. But if you can go on the next one (3pm) you should be ok.
    If you want to try the ferry, yes, I would get there at least 2 hours early, or contact one of the local places (Corbin powersports) to buy them for you (for a fee).

    Or yes, fly- it is just easier and faster and vacation is stress free.

  106. Yes, it is very difficult.

  107. Thank you for your response Gwenn! We really appreciate it!

  108. Traveling to culebra on Wednesday feb. 19th. Want to get the 9 am ferry. What is it like in February?

  109. It will be busy but you should probably get tickets. Just get there early on-line.

  110. Is there a specific taxi service you’d recommend to get from airport to ferry in Fajardo?

  111. How is getting the feet from Culebra to Fajardo at 6:30 am?

  112. No problem, it is not crowded at 6:30 am from Culebra. Mostly people going to appointments, shopping, or school on the main island.

  113. We have never used a taxi service here, though occasionally one will advertise on our site. For specific drivers, you can check over on Trip Advisor- there people can recommend their favorite private driver. Looks like the charge will be about $70 each way.

  114. We will be in PR 4/20 (Easter) through 4/26. We were planning on a day trip to Culebra on Tuesday or Wednesday. How busy will the ferry be this week? We will be staying in Isla Verde and renting a car get to the ferry terminal or Ceiba airport if we decide to fly over.

  115. We are a family of 3 trying to head out to Culebra from Fajardo on 21st March(Friday) 2014 and get back on 23rd March(Sunday) 2014. We will have a couple of pieces of luggage with us since we will be in Culebra for 2 nights. Do you think it will be feasible for us to get tickets on the 9am passenger ferry to Culebra? Is this timeframe a peak season for travel? Would we be able to purchase our return tickets at Fajardo?

  116. Well….with the current ferry situation, it might be tough to get tickets for the 9am ferry. They sell out very quickly. And it is a weekend, so yes, it will be extra busy. But maybe you will get lucky and they will have the large ferry repaired and back in service. If you can opt for the mid day ferry it would probably be fewer people and a better chance of getting a seat.
    But you need to be at the terminal at least 2 hours early and wait on line for the 9am one. Tell them you have luggage with you (each person is allowed 1 bag) and they will include the extra in the ticket. If not, they will make you go back to ticket counter to pay for extra baggage before getting on ferry. Buy round trip tickets at Fajardo so you don’t have to worry.
    Good luck!

  117. The ferry will be busy, but not too much worse than usual. Locals usually get the week before Easter off, not after Easter. But many tourists may be visiting as schools in the States usually have the week after Easter off.
    If you can, go for the mid day ferry over to Culebra and you should have no problem getting on.

  118. Hi, we will be staying in Fajardo and are considering whether to take a day trip to Culebra or to stay a night there. We will be there the first week of June and will be traveling with 4 kids, the youngest is 3. After reading all of the comments I’m not sure whether we would be better off staying the night on Culebra or just opting for the day trip. We will definitely be using the ferry. Thanks!

  119. My husband and I are planning on heading to Culbera for the day on wednesday, March 19th. We are hoping to catch the 9AM ferry. I am pregnant and read somewhere that there is a different line for older people and pregnant women. Do you know anything about this? Should I be worried about getting tickets this time of year? I was planning on arriving at the ferry dock around 7:00 AM.

  120. People with disabilities and usually people over 60 years old get priority, I haven’t heard of pregnant ladies getting anything special. I don’t remember seeing anything, but there would be a sign on one of the sales windows that says “impedidos”. You could ask.
    Yes, it will be a problem getting on the ferry as the ferry they are using now is smaller than before. Only about 200 seats. Everyday people are being turned away. Hate to say it, but you might want to try for before 7am. Goof Luck!

  121. Culebra is great as a day trip or for overnight. But what are your plans…just beaching it? If so, then Vieques might work better for you. But with 4 kids and one so little, going to an island and using the ferry may be more of a hassle than it is worth. It is a LONG day.
    Either way, the ferry system is very iffy. But maybe it will be straightened out by June. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

  122. Hi Gwenn. Is the 7pm ferry to Culebra still running on a regular basis?

  123. They say the ferry is running as scheduled, though I hear not always on time. But I haven’t heard of any mechanical problems recently, so I think it is ok.

  124. Hi, We are planning on taking the 3 pm ferry from Fajardo to Culebra on sunday March 23rd and return on monday March 24 by the 1pm ferry. If we plan to get there by 1 pm on sunday, will that be sufficient? Do the tickets to Culebra for the 3pm ferry on sunday too get sold out?

  125. How far by car is this Ferry Terminal from Isla Verde?

  126. For those days/times, there are not tons of people. So as long as there is a ferry running, you should be able to get a ticket.

  127. The ferry terminal is about 1- 1.25 hours from Isla Verde.

  128. I would like to know if Arpil 10 a good day to try and get on boat to go to Culebra

  129. Hello! My husband and I are planning on taking the ferry from fajardo to vieques on April 20th which is Easter Sunday. We have hotel reservations for 2 nights. What are our chances of getting on the ferry that day? I’m little worried.

  130. Honestly, the ferry system is so bad at this moment, I would say no day is good. But things could change. We will try to keep the site updated with ferry news as we find it out.

  131. The ferry system is awful right now. But it may improve by Easter week (they promised it would). Mid Day on Easter probably won’t be too busy if there is a boat running. We will try to keep this site updated with current ferry situation. But I really would fly over, better safe than sorry and one less worry.

  132. 5 of us need to get on the ferry Monday 3/31 the 3pm. Niece is getting married Wednesday 4/2 on Culebrea. Been trying to get tickets online for days, it’s not happening. I’m worried, don’t have extra money for a plane trip. Is there any hope for us?????

  133. Hard to say, but I did hear that yesterday’s 3pm ferry had space on it. So maybe there is hope. I would go to the terminal a few hours earlier to try to get the tickets. They may have fixed another ferry….I am awaiting confirmation.

  134. Thanks for the updates. I’ve tried to call the ticket office but no one answers. Do you know if the passenger ferries will be running on Tues. April 1st? I would like to take my family on a day trip tomorrow.

  135. Highly doubtful :-( But you can try to tickets at the dock. If you can’t get to Culebra, ask for one to Vieques and go to Playas Sun Bay or Caracas. I think Caracas is almost as pretty as Flamenco and usually fewer people try to go there, so there are usually more available tickets. But you need to bring a cooler full of drinks/food and chairs/umbrella because there are no concession stands there.

  136. We arrived at the ticket counter on mon 3/31 at 7:30 am and waited an hour in line to find out that tkts to culebra at 9 am were sold out. Would it help getting there at 6 am to try to get tkts ? Thanks in advance for your help

  137. Also, someone told us that you could purchase ferry tkts at the san juan airport. Do you know if that is true?

  138. I have never heard that and highly doubt that….there is not Maritime Transportation Authority window there.

  139. You could try and you would probably have a better chance. Have you considered going to Vieques instead? More seats available and fewer people want to go. Playa Caracas is almost as beautiful, but you need to bring all your supplies.

  140. Tried going on Sunday March 30, 2014. my friend warned us to be there by 3am. My grandmother didn’t really believe her so we got there by 4:45am. there was already a line formed to go to Culebra. It was bout 40 people in line. They started to sell the tickets at 7:30am, about 10 minutes later (not exaggerating) the 9am sold out. The line barely moved, 11am to Culebra sold out. people moved over to the Vieques line because the only tickets left to Culebra were at 3pm. I looked at the time it was only 8:10am. So the line proceeded. Then the security guard stopped us from going up the booth & he let people in another line go first. I asked “what’s the difference between this line & that line?” & he asked offended “what?” & i said “yeah. what’s the difference between this line & that one (pointing to it)? why are they going ahead of us?” he said “its for residence, pregnant women, 1 person with a small child & for seniors.” My grandmother said “well can i buy the tickets for all 3 of us then?” he said “no. only for you.” & he looked at me mad for asking & i said “well hey it was just a question.” & he just looked away. so we stood there in line about 8:45am. no one moved. he didn’t let anyone go to the booth. A puertorican lady got mad & said “hey why isn’t the line moving?!” he said “i just do what i’m told” not looking at her. she said “well that’s stupid! we have elderly people standing in line, look at her ankles, they are getting sore! at least let us buy the tickets so we can go on with our day, go eat, go to the restroom, do something else instead of waiting in line here!” & he said “i’m just doing what i’m told. no one can buy tickets till the 9am boat has left.” & she just walked back in line mad. he kept saying “don’t worry. if you all catch the ferry at 3pm there is a FORSURE ferry coming back at 8:30pm.” a tourist went up to the guard & asked him something but i couldn’t hear. the guard replied “sir you need to be patient.” the same puertorican woman was furious at what she heard & said ” don’t be telling him to be patient! we’ve been patient!” & he said “you don’t need to talk that way. i’m getting paid to hear all of you all complain” & she said “well then let me talk to your manager! You’re getting paid to stand here, to hear us. We’re paying YOU ALL to stand here!” & he just smirked & walked away. We were talking with the other tourist they said they had been trying to get on the boat to Culebra since 3 days ago. They asked the lady at the booth “hey I can’t buy tickets a day ahead?” she said “no.” He said “well then how do we make it on the boat?” she said “i don’t know. people sleep here at night. do what they do.” he said she said it with attitude. The guard finally let us go to the booth at 9:10am. my grandma asked the lady for 3 tickets to Culebra & for 3 tickets coming back at 8:30pm the same night. she said “no. we’re not selling the return for today anymore. you can only get on the ferry if you are staying. i was furious. turned around & told everybody what she said & everyone was also mad & walked away. i cried. not because we couldn’t go. but because of how we were all treated. next time we will just take a plane. Most horrible experience ever in Fajardo.

  141. Well, after reading these posts I’m more than worried but I really do appreciate you putting the information out there. On Sunday, April 27th, I have a 1 night stay hotel and bio-bay tour booked on Vieques with 1 other person. I am planning on renting a car in San Juan then driving to Fajardo, parking overnight, and taking the ferry over then back the next day. If I got to the terminal around 7:30/8AM it seems like that would be too late for the 9:30 Vieques ferry… but I would be OK waiting around Fajardo and catching the next one, 1PM, or 4:30 if necessary. I just don’t want to show up bright and early, wait in the terminal for 5 hours, and then have to cancel my reservation and then turn around and drive back to San Juan. Culebra seems brutal but I’m wondering if Vieques is much better at this point. So what do you think my odds are and do you have any advice to get it done? I don’t really think I can afford to catch a plane and I really want to drive through the country to be honest, but am seriously considering finding a way to pay for the flight. Any advice or info would be appreciated – J

  142. Well, they are getting a few more ferries operating for this next week, so hopefully they will keep them going. I have heard if you have a reservation to stay overnight, they sometimes give priority, so print out your reservation confirmation. And I think the 1pm ferry might be your best bet- fewer people will be trying for that one. Just as an FYI- they have said the glow is not good right now again. Check with your tour company and see what they say before you commit to waking up early or plane tickets.

  143. We are hoping to make it over to Culebra on Monday, 4/21. How busy is it usually the day after Easter? Does traffic over there slow any at that point? Also, there are 12 of us and we will have 4 physically disabled children going with us……is there anything special we need to know in travelling the ferry with them? Is there a different line for purchasing tickets or boarding? Thank you in advance for your assistance!

  144. I am planning to go to Culebra on 4-29 with my family for the night. Can I buy the tickets the day before or do I need to be on line by 4am.

  145. You can try calling the reservation phone number (but wait until after 4/21) to pre-book tickets. If that doesn’t work, you can try buying them the day before, but that hasn’t been working lately). Now that the 600 passenger ferry is back in service, you probably won’t need to be at the dock so early. Good luck!

  146. Monday the 21st is still a holiday here, so the line might be long. But with handicapped children, you should be able to get on the shorter impedido line. I am sure there will be a guard/officer at the ticket area you can ask.

  147. Reading the reviews I feel safer booking the flight from San Juan to Culebra. On the way back, however, I’d like to get the ferry. Is it possible to buy the ticket in Culebra?

  148. Hello and thank you for all of the useful information you have provided! I have a few question about getting to Vieques. My family and I (4 ppl) will be arriving at San Juan Airport on Saturday morning and we were planning on driving to the Fajardo ticket office to purchase tickets to Vieques for Monday morning. We were wanting to buy tickets for the first trip out to Vieques on Monday morning (9:30 a.m.). Do you think if we get to Fajardo on Saturday morning about 8:30 a.m. to purchase tickets for the ferry on Monday morning at 9:30 a.m., we will be able to get some tickets for a few days ahead? And do you think that getting there at 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning will be too late, since I heard the lines are ridiculously long on the weekends? By the way, we arrive on Saturday, May 31 and want to travel to Vieques on Monday, June 2. Thank you in advance!

  149. Hello Gwen,
    Is the big passenger ferry in service?
    I am going to Culebra on Wednesday May 28th( Two days after Memorial Day). What is the chance I get a ticket and when should I arrive to wait?

  150. Great post with useful updates. As with many others here, I was looking to travel to Culebra on 2nd July 2014. I wanted to know if traveling on the 2nd is going to be as crowded as going on the 4th of July. Any insights from those who have traveled to Culebra before the big holiday will be appreciated.

    Also, there were talks on other sites about a new ferry being brought in to service. Any updates on that?
    Thanks

  151. As of today, the 600 passenger ferry is working for Culebra. But that can change over night, so check back right before the holiday. Traveling July 2nd will be way better than trying on the 4th, as it is a 3 day holiday weekend.

  152. The Cayo Blanco 600-person ferry is operating, generally between Fajardo and Culebra. We have heard that the US Coast Guard has limited the capacity to around 250 passengers during their latest inspection of the vessel. For the “9am” ferry (in quotes because it seldom leaves at 9am), get to Fajardo 2 or more hours ahead of time to get on line.

  153. You can try to buy advance tickets to Vieques. They have a block of about 50 tickets per trip that are available for “advance sale”. If they haven’t sold out the trip you want, then you should be able to get them. But don’t be surprised if they refuse to sell them to you in advance. That’s been happening a lot lately.

  154. Yes. You can buy the Culebra to Fajardo ticket at the ferry terminal in Culebra. You may have to go to the terminal a couple times, as the ticket window is not always open when it should be.

  155. Going to luquillo on the 14th. Want to take the family to see flamemco beach. What is the best way? Is it worth it?

  156. My short answer is NOT via the ferry. You can fly, but it is kind of pricey and very limited seating. Honestly…..I just used the ferry last week on a Friday….we got there at 6:25am and almost didn’t get on (so many people on line). Weekends will be worse. Ferry left 45 mins late. So we woke up at 5am, drove there, stood in hot sun for 2.5 hrs, sat on boat for almost 2 hrs (for trip and waiting before/after)….got to beach around 11am and had to get back to wait for ferry at 4pm, stood for another hour, 1 hr trip, etc. Got home close to 7:30pm for 5 hours at the beach. Not worth it just to see it.
    I noticed the ticket line for Vieques was much shorter…. You could try going to Playa Caracas (Red Beach) on Vieques. But the ferry still sucks, and weekends are busiest, but at least you have a better chance of getting on.

    So unless you have $ and can get plane tickets, I would say- No, stick to Balneario Monserrate in Luquillo.

  157. Traveling over the next few days (during the week, before Friday) to Culebra. But staying in San Juan and I don’t want to rent a car for a one way trip. What’s the best option? Publico, taxi, or bus? Are there shared ride vans to Fajardo? It doesn’t matter what time I get into Culebra so I’m open to recommendations.

    Cheers and thanks for all the awesome information, I suspect that your bus map will be a life saver.

  158. Renting a car one way might be best bet, depending on the time you want to go. The only other viable option is to go via a taxi (you would be best to call and reserve one). That costs about $80 one way for up to 5 people.
    There are shared rides “Publicos”, but that could take about 4 hours (if you know the route- it requires a couple transfers). And no luggage except carry-ons allowed. Usually not feasible for tourists.
    Or- just fly over from Isla Grande airport in San Juan.- Easiest!

    How are you getting back to SJ after Culebra? Are you staying for a few days there or no? It still might be cheapest to rent a car and park it at Ferry or Ceiba airport so you have transportation back. But you need to do the math.

  159. There was a post about someone trying to get their ferry tickets ONLINE??? Is there a place to actually do that? I have been searching and have not come up with anything.

  160. I’m planning to go to Culebra and came across a web site that claims you could purchase ferry tickets online through pay pal. Is this real? After reading several post it seems is very hard to get tickets pre-sold. Is this site a scam?

  161. I believe it is a legit site, but it does seem like something fishy is going on. I have been told by the Maritime Transport people that there are no tickets left for sale for most dates until August, yet he is able to sell them at $15 extra each. And I am not sure how you would get a refund if the ferry is cancelled or something.

  162. IslaCulebra.com offers it. But use at own risk.

  163. Sunday is the ferry open for culebra

  164. The ferry is scheduled 7 days a week. Barring terrible sea conditions, maintenance troubles,strikes or other unforeseen issue, the ferry will go.

  165. Also found the ferry tickets available for sale on IslaCulebra.com via Paypal. Just wondering if anyone have had successful experiences with it? Do they send you a confirmation email after purchase? Do you print the ticket out and show it to the ferry staff?
    How about ferry tickets from Culebra to Fajardo? Are them easier to buy at the ferry terminal in Culebra? Is it still necessary to wait in line for several hours to get it?
    I know buying online costs several extra dollars but if that means you can just show up before the departure time and get on the ferry it’ should be a no-brainer for tourists.

  166. I know about that guy, but have not heard much back about how it all works out. I think they just send you a number which you go to a special window and they give you a one way ticket. You would still have to wait on line for tickets in Culebra for the return trip, but that line is usually not that long. From Late August- mid November it is slow season, so getting round trip tickets at the dock in Fajardo is not bad, especially during the week.

  167. How long is the Ferry ride to Vieques?
    How long is the Ferry ride to Culebra?
    Is there luggage storage at the Fajardo or Culebra Ferry Building?

  168. 1 to 1½ hours depending on which ferry is in use, sea conditions, etc. There is no luggage storage at the ferry terminals.

  169. I have a rental carthat I will need to park at the ferry terminal in Fajardo for one night, is parking available and how much does it cost? Will the car be safe overnight?

  170. Yes, there is plenty of parking, cost is $5.35 per 24 hr. We have never had issues leaving our cars at the lot for days at a time many times over the years. I have no worries over the safety of it there (assuming you don’t leave anything of value in sight).

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