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Puerto Rico's Bioluminescent Bays

There are five bioluminescent bays in the world and three of them are in Puerto Rico. Mosquito Bay, Laguna Grande and La Parguera. The other two are located in Luminous Lagoon in Jamaica and Halong Bay in Vietnam.

What is a Bioluminescent Bay?

A bioluminescent bay or bio bay is a body of water that glows. The bioluminescence (bio = life, luminescence = light) of a bio bay is caused by single-cell marine plankton known as dinoflagellates that glow in a blue-green color when disturbed. The glow percentage varies based on the water temperature, moon cycles, water currents, and other ecological factors.

Where are the Bioluminescent Bays Located?

Mosquito Bay is located on the island of Vieques, east of the coast of Puerto Rico. Mosquito Bay is the brightest and best-known bioluminescent bay in the world. Recognized in 2006 by the Guinness World Records as the brightest bio bay in the world. The bay is said to have one of the highest concentrations of the plankton in the world, ranging from an average of 700,000 bioluminescent dinoflagellates to 2,100,000 per gallon of water.

The second brightest is Laguna Grande located on the northeastern part of Puerto Rico, in Fajardo.

The least bright is La Parguera located southwestern part of Puerto Rico, in the town of Lajas.

Swimming is not allowed in Mosquito Bay and Laguna Grande; you can swim and snorkel in the bay at La Parguera. Remember to plan and book your tour around the moon cycle, the darker the night, the brighter the bioluminescence.

When to Go?

Tours are available all year-round; prices range from $45 to $135.

Take a look the Bioluminescent Tours noted below.

Kayaking Puerto Rico - Mon-Sat. (787) 435-1665 or (787) 245-4545.

Pure Adventure - Mon-Sat. (787) 202-6551 or (787) 314-4347.

Las Tortugas Adventures - Mon-Sat. (787) 809-0253 or (787) 637-8356.

Yokahu Kayak Trips - Mon-Sat. (787) 604-7375 or (787) 863-5374.

Island Kayaking Adventures - Mon-Sat. (787) 444-0059.

Peniel Access Eco Tours Bio bay Kayak Trips - Sunn-Thu. (787) 463-1940.

Eco Action Tours - (787) 791-7509 or (787) 640-7385.

Other Resources

Traveling to Puerto Rico? Get the Puerto Rico (National Geographic Adventure Map), includes locations of airports, harbors, anchorages, ferry routes, and toll plazas take the guesswork out of travel around the islands. Visitor centers are also marked for travelers seeking additional resources.

Did You Know?

The widest part of the island is 65 kilometers.