Paddle through a thin mangrove channel which leads to a warm lagoon, and enter a world where everything is surreal. The shallow water is bounded by mangroves and there is no moon. Blackness surrounds you yet the water is lit by an emerald green and ultramarine illumination. Strange creatures seem to being dancing and cavorting in the water, flitting around dusting radiance. This unique light spreads from the depth of the water like magic. This is the Bioluminescent Bay in Fajardo.
The light in the water is triggered by tiny organisms called Dinoflagellates , oceanic plankton which generates this green illumination. They have the ability to move their whip like tail and dart across when the water is physically disturbed. They are very delicate and small and can only travel by wind, waves, currents and tides. They are very sensitive to the environment, balance of salt in the water, local climate, depth of the lagoon, and water pollution. The Bio Bay at Fajardo is a perfect bay for these creatures. The mangrove leaves fall into the water and these rotting leaves are perfect for the Dinoflagellates diet. Decomposing mangrove roots promote the concentration of bacteria in the water and these bacteria produce vitamin B12 which is an essential nutrient to the protozoa The salinity of the water is extremely suitable for these creatures, although the bay is encircled by salt ponds just behind the mangrove. But the water in this bay is kept within tolerance level by intense rain which filter fresh water back in through a small channel. The small channel was created by the Spanish in the 1800’s, who believed that the Devil lived in this water and blocked the ocean water from entering into the bay by dropping huge boulders in the channel. However they only succeeded in preserving and increasing the luminescence in the now isolated bay.
The best time to view this phenomenon comes after a sunny day. The ideal time is at night when these creatures give off the light that they collected during the day. The early trips are accompanied by iguanas and sea birds. Kayaking is the only method of getting into the bay and paddle around the bioluminescent bay under the stars and the moon and watch as each stroke of your paddle lights up the microscopic plankton below and fish light up their path like shooting stars in the water. The adventure to Laguna Grande can only be described as magical, creating memories that will last a lifetime! This two hour kayaking trip leaves from the Las Croabas launch in Fajardo Puerto Rico, just before sunset, heading through a thin mangrove channel that leads into the warm bio-lagoon. An informative guide will give you details about the ecology and preservation of this delicate eco system.
Bioluminescent Bay Travel Tips
- Kayaking with a full moon is remarkable but the light from the moon and the surrounding light may affect the desired tour. It should be on a night when the moon is not too bright.
- Book according to the moon calendar. Moonlight is usually too bright for the first 6 days prior to a full moon. Normally, the darker sky, the more desirable watching conditions are.
- Each Bio Bay tour has a guide who will educate you on how to use the kayak, and provide a mandatory life jacket to wear.
- Children 6 years and up can go for these tours and some of the tours provide electric motor boats for older people and the handicapped.
- This is a kayaking trip so expect to get completely wet.
- The group leader usually will help out when people go astray and their kayak meets the mangrove bushes.
- There are 2 places where the canal gets thin but the guide will help yu manoeuvre the kayak.
- If you take the early tours, you get to see the iguanas on the trees.
- You have to go in a single file to avoid hitting each other and the sides of the channel.
- All of the kayak operators use sit in ocean kayaks, so you will get wet. Wear a bathing suit or shorts. Carry a change of clothes and a towel to dry off.
- Getting into the kayak involves walking into the water so wear water shoes or go bare foot.
- Generally Sundays are off to give the bay a rest though some companies do tours on Sundays as well.
- The public bathrooms near the boat ramp are in bad maintenance, so plan accordingly. You can use the rest room at the restaurants.
- Even if an operator has a web site, it is better to call since emails often go unanswered.
Bioluminescent Bay Hours
- Opening Hours is at 6 pm.
- Closing Hours: Depends on the tour.
- The recommended time to visit is at 9 pm.
- Late tour 8.30pm depending on the season.
- Other Ticket Prices: Ask for the Internet Cash Discount $40 per person.
- For groups of 8 adventurers and more a deposit will be required.
- Boricuba: Caribbean, Cuban, Latin, Puerto Rican
- Port House Restaurant: Caribbean
- Blossoms: Asian
- La Estrella Del Norte: Caribbean
Love this? Explore the entire list of places to visit in Fajardo before you plan your trip.
Fancy a good night's sleep after a tiring day? Check out where to stay in Fajardo and book an accommodation of your choice.
95% of people who visit Fajardo include Bioluminescent Bay in their plan
09 AM - 10 AM
22.39% of people start their Bioluminescent Bay visit around 09 AM - 10 AM
People usually take around 2 Hrs to see Bioluminescent Bay
80% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Bioluminescent Bay