If you’re looking for the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime experience, exploring a bioluminescent bay is essential. Did you know that Puerto Rico is home to three of the seven bioluminescent bays in the entire world? From Mosquito Bay to Laguna Grande and more, there’ll be no shortage of breathless moments spent in awe and incredible photos to last a lifetime. Read on for our guide to the bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico!
Bio Bay 101
Before we get started, let’s cover the basics. What is a bioluminescent bay after all? A bioluminescent bay is made possible by the existence of organisms called dinoflagellates, who when stimulated by movement around them, create a radiant electric blue glow. While these can be found all over the world’s oceans, in order to classify as a bioluminescent bay, there needs to be a colony of tens of thousands residing in one particular body of water.
Perhaps the most famous bioluminescent bay in the world is none other than Mosquito Bay, located in Vieques. Situated just off the island’s east coast, Mosquito Bay has been crowned the brightest bay of them all according to the Guinness World Records. What makes venturing out to Mosquito Bay so special is that it’s situated away from the hustle and bustle of the main island, therefore keeping the light pollution in the area to a minimum and providing ideal viewing conditions of the bay. Be sure to plan your visit to Mosquito Bay in advance while staying at Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort, as you may find as many as 200 people visiting on a given night.
Located opposite to Mosquito Bay you’ll find La Parguera. Just off the island’s southwestern coast, La Parguera is the only bio bay on the island that you can swim in. A true treat, swimming in a bioluminescent bay is a bucket list item which we’d highly recommend! If you find yourself on the west side of the island, you will also find that accessing La Parguera is far simpler than the others, as it’s the only bay in Puerto Rico which allows motor boat traffic.
Situated in Fajardo just off the coast from San Juan you’ll find Laguna Grande, the island’s most popular bioluminescent bay. With its ease of access from San Juan and hotels such as the Caribe Hilton and Embassy Suites by Hilton San Juan Hotel & Casino nearby, be sure to plan your visit in advance as it’s the most heavily visited of them all! Accessed via a small, narrow canal, we recommend adventuring to Laguna Grande via kayak or glass bottom boat to experience the glowing bay up close! Fun fact: Laguna Grande is actually a lagoon and not a bay!
Regardless of which bay you choose, we guarantee it’ll be one for the books! Get ready to explore the rich natural splendor of Puerto Rico today.