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Bioluminescent Bays

Swimming or kayaking in bioluminescent waters can be your most memorable experience in Puerto Rico

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen
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There are only five places on the planet where the high concentration of bioluminescent plankton makes the water glow with blue light at night. Puerto Rico is one of these unique locations where you can have such a surreal experience. The plankton glows year-round, however, the best time to see it is during the new moon when the nights are the darkest. You can choose from up to three bays to plan your kayaking or swimming adventure.

Mosquito Bay

Mosquito Bay on the southern shore of the island of Vieques boasts the highest concentration of dinoflagellates that produce the glow. There are from 1 to 2 million of them in just a gallon of water. The Guinness World Records called it the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world in 2006. Kayaking tours to Mosquito Bay depart from Las Croabas, about one hour drive from San Juan.

On the southwestern coast of the island, you can visit La Parguera Bay, near Lajas, the only bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico where you'll be allowed to swim and dive. Glass-bottom boats will enhance your experience as you glide through the glowing waters.

Fajardo

Laguna Grande in the Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve near Fajardo is the closest bioluminescent location to San Juan and the most popular with tourists. It is also the most interesting trip for a kayaker. The tour starts among mangrove coves, and then kayakers have to go through a narrow and long channel into the lagoon. In addition to kayaking, Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve can be explored on foot during a walking tour or by a motorboat.

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