The Best Fajardo Bioluminscent Bay Tour in Puerto Rico

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Puerto Rico | 0 comments

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Puerto Rico is home to three of the world’s bioluminescent bays. These bioluminescent bays are bodies of water where microscopic organisms grow in large quanities that can produce a “glow in the dark” effect known as bioluminescence. The three bays in Puerto Rico are Mosquito Bay, Laguna Grande and La Parguera.

The brightest bay in the world is located in Vieques at Mosquito Bay. This is also the most challenging bay to get to. You need to take a short flight from San Juan or a ferry to get to the island of Vieques. This bay is only accessible by kayaks and you will need to book a tour to access it.

La Parguera is located in Lajas in the southwest corner of the island. This bay is located about 2 hours from San Juan and is the only bay where swimming is permitted.

Laguna Grande is the easiest bio bay to get to from San Juan. It is located about 1.5 hours from San Juan. The bay is only accessible through tours which need to be booked in advanced. This is the bio bay we went to and I will go into more details below about our experience.  

Things To Know Before Your Visit:

When visiting a bioluminescent bay, there are a few things to keep in mind before visiting.

1. Since you visit bioluminescent bays at night, there will be a lot of mosquitos out. Make sure to bring lots of bug spray and wear long sleeves. 

2. The best time to see the bioluminescent bay is during a new moon. This is when the sky is darkest and the bio bay will be at its brightest. We went just after the new moon and had great visibility.

3. All the tour companies depart from the same area. It is very easy to find and there are few restaurants nearby if you want to eat before your tour. I would highly recommend eating at Puerto Fino. It is located right by the entrance to the bio bay and has excellent food. 

4. There are two different ways to see the bay at Laguna Grande; you can do a kayak tour or a boat tour. There is only one tour operator that you can book a boat tour through and that company is BioIsland Tours.

5. Tours tend to book up quickly so be sure to reserve your time and day in advanced. The boat tours book up especially quickly.

6. All kayak and boat tours operate in rain or shine so be sure to check the weather and dress appropriately.    

 

Should you Choose a Kayak or Boat Tour?

Both the kayak tours and the boat tour go to the exact same place so it is up to you what kind of experience you want to have. Most of the kayaking tours leave around the same time so you can expect the lagoon to be a little crowded when leaving the docks. We ended up choosing the boat tour for several reasons and I will explain below why we loved this option versus the kayaking tours.

1. The boat tour leaves at different times than the kayaking tours so when we arrived at the bioluminescent bay, we were the only ones there. Our guides had tons of time to find the brighest spots in the bay and we were not competing with other groups.

2. The boat tour can accomodate small children. The minimum age for the boat tour is three where most of the kayaking tours is six. This makes the boat tour a great option for people traveling with small children. 

3. You get to spend more time in the bio bay because the boat can get to it quicker. We had way more time to experience the bioluminescence because we did not have to spend the time kayaking there and back. 

4. We were able to learn a lot about the lagoon and mangrove trees in the channel. Since we were on a boat, we could all hear our tour guide and I loved learning all about why this bio bay appeared. It was also fun to have them point out some unique wildlife along the way. 

5. We did not have to deal with the traffic jams that happen with the kayaks. There are a lot of kayak tours trying to get through a small channel to the bio bay so it is very easy to get stuck when kayaking. 

6. You don’t have to worry about having any kayaking experience. Even though my husband and I kayak quite a bit, it was nice to just relax and cruise through the mangrove channel to the bio bay.  

7. The boat tour can only accomodate six people per boat so you know that your group will be very small. Most kayak groups are quite large so we choose the boat tour to be sure to have a more personalized tour. 

 

Other Things to Know About the Boat Tour:

We loved the BioIsland Boat Tour and would do it again in a hearbeat. The bioluminescence is something everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. I would highly recommend doing the boat tour if you have the chance and here are a few other things to consider when booking your bio bay tour:

– The boat tour only has two boats that go out during each time slot. This means that there are only 12 spots for each time slot. Be sure to book well in advance as the time slots fill up quickly.

– There are three time slots per night. Depending on the time of year you go, the time slots will fall around 6:45pm, 8:00pm, and 9:15pm. These times depend on the setting sun so they will vary throughout the year. 

– The boat tour is only about $10.00 more than most of the kayakying tours. 

– You don’t need to wear anything special for the boat ride. You will not get wet during the ride expect when you put your hands in the water to see the bioluminescence. 

If you are looking for a fun, relaxing way to see the bioluminescent bay in Fijardo, look no further than BioIsland Boat Tours. The company itself was wonderful and they communicated with us very well. Their directions were spot on and we had no trouble finding their building. We loved being the only tour at the bio bay and having the whole lagoon to ourselves. I would highly recommend visiting one of the bio bays on the island when in Puerto Rico. It is an experience that you will not regret!