Discovering Puerto Rico's Bio Bay
When I was planning my trip to Puerto Rico I did some research about different activities tourist could do. I stumbled upon kayaking, but not just any kayaking but midnight bio-bay kayaking. For those who aren’t familiar with what exactly a “bio-bay” is (like I was before I asked google) it's “a body of water that contains millions of micro-organisms, called “dinoflagellates”, that glow in the dark for a second when agitated.” Pretty much water that lights up bright blue when you touch it! There are only a few areas in the world where you can see this amazing site; they are, New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, and Puerto Rico.
(disclosure, this is a picture I looked up; however the water really does look this blue!)
When I looked up pictures of a bio-bay I was not 100% convinced that there was an actual real place in the world where the water lite up bright blue when you touched it. And I thought even if there was such a place there was no way that it was so close to home. But I was definitely in for an amazing surprise.
The best time to witness the bio-bay is during a new moon, this is when the moon is completely covered. Conveniently for me I planned my trip perfectly in accordance to the moon calendar and I booked my kayaking excursion during a new moon. What I was not prepared for was how extremely dark it would be out in the middle of the ocean at 8:00 at night without a moon in the sky for light.
Unfortunately the tour companies fail to mention that you would have to kayak a mile out to the actual bay then another mile through tight, low hanging mangroves, and shrubs in complete darkness alongside of 10 other tour groups. And if you are not an expert in midnight kayaking like I wasn't this will be extremely scary and difficult for you too.
After a few bumps into other kayakers, two encounters with the mangroves and getting turned around me and my boyfriend finally got the hang of midnight kayaking. After 2 miles of kayaking through a dark, narrow, tunnel we finally reach our destination; a wide open bay that seemed as if it stretched for miles and gave the illusion of if it somehow being connected to the dark sky. The tour guide spent 10-15min giving our group a brief description about the bay and how, and why it glows blue and he also gave us an overview of the stars and constellations. I honestly don’t remember too much about what our guide was saying because I was too preoccupied with moving the water around watching it sparkle bright blue.
The remainder of our time each kayaker was able to venture out on their own in the wide open bay and explore the bright blue wonder. Every time the paddle hit the water it turned blue and strips of blue light followed you as you drifted through the bay. The coolest part for me was seeing a fish actually jump out of the water highlighted in blue specs of water.
The whole experience while yes scary at times was also breathtaking, and amazing. It was a true natural phenomena. I definitely recommend everyone to experience the bio-bay if you decide to travel to Puerto Rico. There are two places in Puerto Rico where the bio-bay exists which are Fajardo and Vieques Island. Fajardo is only an hour away from San Juan and from there Vieques Island is a $1.50 USD short ferry ride. The bio-bay is a natural attraction you cannot pass up when visiting Puerto Rico.