After the sun goes down and the stars come out, the dark bays of Puerto Rico become illuminated by tiny bioluminescent plankton: one of the most spectacular sights in the Caribbean. Puerto Rico is home to some of the few remaining bioluminescent bays on the planet. Here are some places where you can enjoy the view from a kayak.
Laguna Grande Bio Bay Near Fajardo
Located within Las Cabezas De San Juan nature reserve, mangrove-lined Laguna Grande sits on the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico, and its calm waters make paddling easy. The world’s only bioluminescent lagoon shines with a blue-green light from thousands of tiny pyrodiniums bahamenses organisms as your kayak cuts through the water.
Mosquito Bay on Vieques
The island of Vieques, situated off the coast of mainland Puerto Rico, has its own bioluminescent bay, and it is considered the brightest in Puerto Rico. Though Mosquito Bay isn’t as easily accessible as Laguna Grande, the blue-green glow produced by the dinoflagellates in these waters is a worthy reward for your efforts. Nighttime tours typically involve an overnight stay on the island, and offer insight into the biology of these microorganisms and the role they play in the island’s ecosystems.
La Parguera Bio Bay in Lajas
The third of Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays is situated near the town of Lajas, making it the most accessible of the three. If you’re not into night kayaking, you can visit the bay on a guided boat trip, which often includes the opportunity to don snorkeling gear and jump in the gentle glowing water.