Thursday, January 27, 2011

Getting Around

Luis Munoz Marin San Juan International Airport (SJU) is a public airport located in Carolina, 3 miles southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (787/791-4670) or (787/791-3840)

Driving Directions
Baldorioty de Castro Avenue runs west from the airport past the Isla Verde, Ocean Park and Condado sectors (tourist areas) into Old San Juan.

Car Rentals
A car is not necesary if you are staying in Old San Juan, Isla Verde or San Juan; taxis are more cost-effective. However, if you want to explore the island for a day or two, then a car is a necessity. Car rental companies with desks on the first level of each terminal include Avis, Budget, Charlie, Dollar, Hertz, National and Thrifty. Offices are in Concourse E, and there are courtesy telephones in the Arrivals area

Taxis are available from the first level of each terminal (journey time to San Juan is 30-45 minutes). The Puerto Rico Tourism Company has instituted a well-organized taxi program. Taxis painted white and displaying the taxi turistico logo charge set rates depending on the destination; they run from the airport or the cruise-ship piers to Isla Verde, Condado/Ocean Park, and Old San Juan, with fixed "zone" rates ranging from $10 to $19. If you take a cab going somewhere outside the fixed zones, insist on setting the meter. City tours start at $30 per hour. Metered cabs authorized by the Public Service Commission start at $1 and charge 10¢ for every additional 1/3 mi. 

Public Transportion
Regular buses and airport shuttles run to San Juan, where there is a ferry service from Pier 2 across the bay to Catano. The journey time is about 45 minutes.

The Tren Urbano (urban train) is a 10.7 mile  metropolitan rapid-transit system which links the central business district to residential and employment areas in San Juan, Bayamón, and Guaynabo. At the present the Tren Urbano is composed of 16 stations, ten of which are elevated, four at grade or in open cuttings, and two underground.  The train runs everyday with from 5:30am to 11:30pm. The $1.50 fare includes a one-way transfer to ride the bus. (866/900-1284).

Boat and Ferry
The Puerto Rico Ports Authority (787/863-0705) runs passenger ferries from Fajardo to Culebra and Vieques. Service is from the ferry terminal in Fajardo, about a 90-minute drive from San Juan. There are a limited number of seats on the ferries, so get to the terminal in plenty of time.

The Fajardo-Culebra ferry leaves Culebra daily at 9:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m., returning at 6:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m.. The 90-minute trip is $2.25.

The Fajardo-Vieques passenger ferry departs from Vieques weekdays at 9:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 4:30 p..m, and 8:00p.m., returning at 6:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m.

On weekends ferries depart from Vieques at 9:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m., returning at 6:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 4:30 p.m..

Tickets for the 90-minute journey are $2 each way.


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