Public cabs or vans called públicos transport people around the island. To fully experience Vieques, however, you should rent a jeep. The mountainous interior, more than a dozen beaches, and the nature reserves on former military bases absolutely require it. Públicos are economical, however, and can be used to and from the airport and ferry on the days you arrive and leave Vieques if you plan to veg at the hotel pool and beach those days, and you can cut down on car expenses.
Most island rental companies offer small SUV and Jeeps, as well as standard autos, which are fine if that’s all that’s available. A recreational vehicle will ensure you can make it to any beach, even those accessible by rutty dirt roads. Prices generally range from $50 to $110 daily.
Maritza Car Rentals (tel. 787/741-0078; www.martizascarrental.com) is a Vieques veteran with a fleet of Jeep Wranglers ($70–$80) and scooters ($50) and a few other models ($50–$110). Island Car Rental (tel. 800/981-5181 or 787/741-8822; www.islandcarrental.com) has Jeep Wranglers ($85) and Dodge Grand Caravans ($100), while Vieques Car Rental (tel. 787/741-1037 or 787/435-1323; www.viequescarrental.com) has a wide variety of models from $65 to $95 daily. You can prearrange pickup at the airport, ferry terminal, or hotel.