- The Washington Times - Friday, June 27, 2003

Tourists are allowed to get to Isla Mona only by sea, which takes about three hours in usually choppy seas. A rocky airfield is used only for tiny government planes.

Chartering a small boat costs $115 to $135 round trip. Just four boats are registered to ferry passengers there. Call individual charter captains at 787/851-2185, 787/255-2031, 787/851-9259 or 787/833-1196. There’s one road on the island, but the only vehicles belong to park rangers and biologists.

Camping is the only option. Bring your own tent, sleeping bag, etc. and be aware that the two seaside campsites do not have bathrooms. Playa Sardinera, located in the western part, accommodates up to 75 people and is surrounded by cabins used by park rangers and biologists. On the east end, Playa de Pajaros can take up to 35 people. Cost: $4 a night. Permits must be obtained by calling the Department of Natural Resources in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 787/724-8774, 787/723-6435 or 787/724-2816.

There are no shops or restaurants, so be sure to carry enough food, water and ice.

Bring good hiking boots for some jagged terrain, bug spray to fend off mosquitoes, and long-sleeved shirts and pants to avoid contact with poisonous plants that cause rashes.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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