For Tabitha77 on TripAdvisor, it was “an amazing once in a lifetime expereince.” SophieSu says, “If you are into Eco tourism, this is it at its best!” They are talking about the bioluminescent bays – or bio bays – on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. These amazing bays will simply leave you glowing.
Bio bays are filled with bioluminescent dinoflagellates, a plankton that light up when you touch them or the water is disturbed by your motion or that of a kayak. Sweep your hand through the water, and it seems surrounded by a thousands tiny lights! The stroke of your kayak paddle will leave a trail of swirling blue light. The more dinoflagellates, the more the bay will light up.
The bio bays include Mosquito Bay in Vieques – considered the brightest of the bio bays. Vieques is an island just east of the Puerto Rican mainland. Other bio bays include Laguna Grande in Fajardo, on the eastern tip of the mainland, and La Parguera in Lajas, in southwestern Puerto Rico. There are many tour operators that will take you to a bio bay, and they usually can provide tips for getting great pictures. It is recommended that you check moon charts and, if your timing is flexible, avoid several nights on either side of a full moon. Cloudy nights are better than clear nights as well. Many tour operators won’t even go out on less-than-ideal nights.
You can catch a bio bay tour from many of the area hotels, include the Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, northeast of Fajardo.
The Bio Bays of Puerto Rico: Mosquito Bay (right), Laguna Grande in Fajardo, La Parguera (left):
View The Bio Bays of Puerto Rico in a larger map
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Have you been to the Bio Bays? Share your story and photos below. (Clicking in the comment box will bring up an image uploading link.)