South of Fajardo is Ceiba, the site of the former Roosevelt Roads Navy base, and the seaside fishing town of Naguabo. Once dominated by the Navy presence, which set sail in 2004, the two towns are now sleepy places, waiting for government plans to transform the former military base into a new "Caribbean Riviera." Today, you can come here to a nice seafood lunch at the town harbors or visit the south side of El Yunque rainforest.
The local Ports Authority has taken over the former Navy airport. Visitors can catch flights to San Juan, Vieques and Culebra and other Caribbean islands from here.
Naguabo's town harbor is fronted by modest seafood restaurants and is a great place to stop for a lunch on a sunny afternoon. I've eaten at several of the numerous casual, open-air seafood restaurants, serving tasty, economically priced seafood and other local specialties and have never been disappointed. The 1917 revival mansion Castillo Villa del Mar, now a National Historic Monument, is at the harbor's southern end.
Naguabo is also home to a charming guest house, Casa Flamboyant, nestled in the lush south side of El Yunque rainforest, about a half-hour drive along country roads from the town harbor.
The Ceiba International Airport (tel. 787/534-4101) has replaced the Fajardo and Humacao airports. The Fajardo airport has closed and the Humacao airport is only used on weekends and holidays by local private pilots. It is no longer certified for scheduled passenger or commercial travel. The Ceiba airport hosts several small airlines serving Vieques and Culebra and other destinations. All the small airlines-Vieques Air Link, Isla Nena, Air Flamenco-that served the islands from Fajardo now serve them from Ceiba. To get here from Fajardo, take Expressway 53 south to exit 2 (the Puerto del Rey Marina exit) and pick up Hwy. 3 south. Follow signs to the Ceiba airport until you exit on Tarawa Drive. You'll pass a guardhouse at the entrance to the former base and proceed along the main road for the airport. Parking runs about $10 daily.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.