Which bio bay? Moon phase? Culebra or Vieques, or both?
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Nov 20, 2012 11:58 AM Last Post By: vindaloo2
Nov 10, 2012 11:31 AM
I'll be in PR between Dec 23 and Jan 4, traveling alone, not renting a car, budget accommodations where I can find them, and am thinking about 3 days exploring Old San Juan, a stop in Fajardo for the bio bay on the way to Culebra, Vieques, or possibly both. I am leaning towards Culebra instead of Vieques, as I like that it sounds more laid back.
I understand the bio bay is best during the new moon. I checked the moon phase calendar and it doesn't look like any of my possible days are very ideal for the bio bay, but would you recommend I do it anyway? I think the full moon is Dec 28, so the days I could do Fajardo would be right before and after that. How much does the moon phase matter in terms of one's experience of the bio bay?
Or, I could just try to go to the bio bay in Vieques instead of the one in Fajardo (a recent post I read seems to suggest that changes to allow bigger boats in Fajardo's bio bay have had a detrimental effect), which would solve the question of transportation to Fajardo.
Finally, I'm undecided as to Vieques, Culebra, or trying to spend a few days in both. (This requires taking the ferry back to Fajardo, then out again to the other island, right?) I'm mostly interested in hanging out on not-too-crowded beaches, easy access to snorkeling, and the relative cost of accommodations on the two islands would be a factor too. I'm less interested in shopping, nightlife, etc.
And finally, does anyone know exactly how to get from San Juan to Fajardo using publicos or buses? I'm wondering if this is possible if I don't have a lot of luggage, give myself plenty of time to do it, and don't mind a bit of adventure.
Any advice much appreciated! Thanks.
Nov 11, 2012 5:52 PM
1For biobay timing, it's not solely a question of moon phase, it also matters whether moonrise follows sunset and by how much. You can try to figure out the variables, but the simplest thing is to find the calendars posted on the web by several Vieques tour operators. But it does need to be dark. When the timing's not right, most or all tours won't even go out. It's a beautiful light show, but any appreciable moonlight will narrow your pupils too much for it to work.
To get to the reserve beaches that make Vieques worthwhile, you really should have a rental car. Since you'll be there at peak time, TODAY is not to soon to be making sure you have that liined up.
Nov 16, 2012 2:09 PM
Nov 20, 2012 11:58 AM
3Hi! It's been several years, but I've been to both the bio bay in Fajardo and the one in Vieques, and thought Fajardo was ten times better. The experience in Fajardo involves kayaking through some really cool mangroves, as the bioluminescence gets stronger and stronger as you go. The one in Vieques you just push off right into the bay.
One thing to remember--it's really hard to get a cab in Fajardo, especially late at night after you finish the bio bay tour. My friend and I basically got stranded, and ultimately had to hitchhike back to our rented room. Felt very unsafe and wouldn't do it again.
I also think you'd prefer Culebra to Vieques--so much cheaper and more laid back! There isn't much of a party scene, but there's good cheap food to be had (the rice and beans from the vendors on the beach are cheap and delicious). Also, you do not need a car there, whereas on Vieques you really do need a jeep to get to some of the best beaches.
Another nice thing about Culebra--you can chill on Playa Flamenco and enjoy a mellow, good swimming beach and when you want to snorkel it's a short hike over the ridge behind the parking lot to get to a good snorkelling beach (I think it's called Playa Tamarindo). Good luck and enjoy, you'll have a great trip!
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