By itself, kayaking at night beneath the stars is an adventurous and romantic experience, where the only sound is that of your paddles slowly breaking the surface of the water. Crane your neck skywards to look at the stars and navigate only by the moon, as the only sight is the faint bit of lining shining down from the dark sky above. Here off the island of Vieques, however, at Bioluminescent Bay, the adventure is ratcheted up a notch by water that glows when you touch it. Thanks to microorganisms that are best known simply as “dinos,” when you swirl your paddle or fingers in the water of this famous Puerto Rican bay, a flash of neon blue and green will burst right next to your kayak. It’s an experience that runs counter to all your senses, since touching doesn’t usually mean seeing, and a sight that continuously manages to surprise with you with every stroke that you take. Arriving in darkness to “Bio Bay”—which is also known as “Mosquito Bay”—you’ll either board a pontoon boat for a cruise out onto the water, or wade towards a plastic, sit on top kayak for an experience just inches from the surface. Because the lights are best viewed in darkness, trips aren’t offered when the moon is full and shining brightly overhead, and for the largest explosion of light from your paddle, try to visit around the new moon.
Despite being known as Mosquito Bay, the mosquitos here aren’t any worse than anywhere else on the island. Apply repellent as you regularly would elsewhere, and you should be able to swim and be a relatively strong paddler should you decide to visit by kayak. Also, simply reaching the bay is an adventure in itself, which requires a 10-minute drive down a very bumpy and rutted 4WD track.