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Laguna Grande, Bioluminescent Bay in Puerto Rico, at sunset

Things to Do in Puerto Rico – Bioluminescent Bay Kayak Tour

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Puerto Rico is filled with adventure, if you want it. My family is always in search of new experiences, so when researching things to do in Puerto Rico, we were excited to try kayaking through the bioluminescent bay. Puerto Rico is one of the few places in the world that has bioluminescent bays. There are three in Puerto Rico and we experienced the second most active bioluminescent bay, Laguna Grande in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

What Is a Bioluminescent Bay? (Also called a Bio Bay)

Bioluminescent bays are made of dinoflagellates that live in the bay. When the water is moved in any way, the dinoflagellates glow. You can run your hand through the water or see fish swimming by the blue glow that is created. It is amazing!

Laguna Grande, Bioluminescent Bay in Puerto Rico, at night

It’s difficult to capture the bioluminescence by camera, but the guides of BioIsland can help!

Bio Bay Kayak Tours

We booked our excursion through Kayaking Puerto Rico. There are two nightly tours every day except for Sunday. After basic kayak instructions, we set out as a group. You start out by kayaking though a narrow channel in to the bay. Iguanas rested on trees overhead and fireflies flew around us. When we made it in to the bio bay, our tour company gave an explanation of the bay and how it was created and then let us explore on our own. We could splash water on to our kayaks and it glowed like diamonds.

Things to Consider Before You Go

My family loved this adventure, but there are a few things to consider before you go. First, you want to go when there is little or no moonlight. Many of the tour companies have links to help you check the moon calendar and select the best time to go.

Also, the bio bay is highly protected, so there is no swimming in the bay, and they ask that you do not bring anything, including food or cameras. Only kayaks or small battery operated boats are allowed.

I recommend going by kayak, but be ready to do some work. It is a mile in to the bay. I can’t tell you how many people I met during the week that were not interested in physical activity on their vacation.

The kayaks are built for two, so have an adult ride with a child. Not only is it a long distance to kayak, there is another challenge. The dinoflagellates are seen best with a dark sky, so there is no light as you are navigating the narrow channel in to the bay. My family again thought this was exciting but it is not for everyone.

Note: If you don’t want to kayak and do want to bring your camera, another Hilton Mom Voyage team member recommends BioIsland, which offers an electric boat ride into the bio bay that seats six so make a reservation in advance.

We loved this tour and thought it was a great adventure. When visiting Puerto Rico, a fantastic resort for families is Caribe Hilton. The concierge team can assist you with a bio bay kayak tour or any other excursions or things to do in Puerto Rico that your family wishes to brave!

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Tricia lives in Phoenix with her husband, 12 year-old daughter and 10 year-old son. She is a special education teacher for elementary students. Her family’s favorite memories…

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