Fix a Flat • Pick one of these up at any convenience store or gas station on the island and save yourself a lot of trouble. Flats happen and usually not in the most convenient places. Just connect, inflate and go! It will only seal temporarily so call your rental company for directions on where to go to get it fixed.
Leave No Trace • Remember to leave the beach just as you found it. If you or your children dig holes or make sand castles, level the sand before you go. Many beaches are turtle nesting beaches and baby sea turtles can get stuck in a hole or diverted by sand mounds on their way to the ocean.
Cell Service at the Beach • If you hire a publico (public transportation) to take you to the beaches, remember to arrange a pick up time before they drive off because cell service may not be available.
A Twist or a Tap • If your car won’t start when leaving the beach, before panicking, first check your battery cable connections. On rough roads they tend to bounce and loosen. Tighten them up or give them a tap and try again!
Watch Where you Step • Sandburs are prevalent on some of the beaches like Caracus and La Plata. The burs will stick to your feet and cause pain until they are removed. They will also get caught in your towels, clothes and the bottom of shoes. When visiting Caracus, La Plata, La Chiva, and Pata Prieta, wear flip flops in grassy areas and on the upper part of the beach.
Avoid the Flop • Put your snorkel equipment on in the water not far from the shore. Fins go on easier when they are wet and the snorkel strap slides easily over wet hair. Snorkels should always be on the left.
For a Lobster to Last • After purchasing a fresh lobster do not put it in fresh water. Wrap it in damp newspaper or a damp towel and place it in the fridge. It should last about 48 hours. Lobsters start to decompose as soon as they are dry.
Portuguese Man O’ War Treatment• These look like a child’s inflatable toy when washed up on the beach or floating in the water. They do not need to be alive to sting you and the tenacles can float 20 feet from the body. Pour warm seawater over the area. Remove the tentacles so they don’t continue to sting. Do NOT use vinegar or freshwater. Seek medical attention. More info.
Fill Up or Top Off! • During high season [Christmas through Easter] and holidays the two gas stations on the island routinely run out of gas. The gas trucks come on the ferry so it can be a long wait if you run out. So if the lines at the station are not long, stop in. When it is busy the lines form in one direction only and sometimes go around the block. If you see an empty spot at the pump, before pulling in, check to see if there is a line coming from the opposite direction. Go with cash, they don’t take debit or credit cards.
Produce Procurement• The fruit and veggie stand at the corner of 200 and 201 is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (only Tuesday and Friday during low season May-Oct) 6am-4pm. Morales grocery store receives produce Wednesday afternoons. Buen Proveco in Isabel II has a selection of fresh produce daily. There is a refrigerated truck at the intersection of 997 and 200 that has produce daily.
Drinking the Water • Yes you can. It comes from El Yunque Puerto Rico’s rainforest.
Luggage• Some airlines flying from SJU, Isla Grande or Ceiba to Vieques charge $1 per pound over 25 pounds.
The Ferry • It is usually freezing on the ferry. Bring a sweater. Island residents are seated first and during the busiest times of the year visitors may not get a seat.
Allergies • Mangos and cashew fruit are members of the same plant family as poison ivy and poison oak and possess the same toxic phytochemicals in lesser amounts. If you are highly allergic sample the fruit with care.