Home to three out of five bioluminescent bays in the world, Puerto Rico offers a unique bio-bay moon watch experience that is sure to leave you spellbound. It truly is one of the most stunning sights to behold in the whole world. Although, it is called a ‘moon watch’, the waters honestly are more of the ‘stars’ of the show. This breath-taking phenomenon is so unique because of the high concentrations of micro-organisms called dinoflagellates that light up whatever they come into contact with- especially when they come into contact with movement.
There are three spots in Puerto Rico where you can experience this wonder; La Parguera, Laguna Grande, and Mosquito bay- which is actually rumoured to shine the brightest. To fully captivate the glory of this experience, it is essential to know what the best nights are to embark on this tour. It is advised to visit these bays on a new moon night. During this time, the sky will be dark enough and the moon will not reflect on the water so much. This will allow you to fully experience the bay.
What to Expect on a Bio-bay Moon Watch
Now that your appetite has been whetted and your excitement has been stirred, here are a few things you can expect when you participate in the bio-bay moon watch experience. You may be allowed to kayak through the waters or sit in a glass-bottom boat and watch the pretty lights beneath you. With every stroke of your paddle, millions of our luminescent friends put on a delightful display.
As mentioned above, Mosquito Bay is the brightest of the three. This is followed by Laguna Grande in Fajardo. As a result of poor conservation efforts and mass tourist exploitation, La Paguera in Lajas is considered the least bright of the three. This should not discourage you from paying a visit, however, as it is still as captivating as the others. A kayak trip is probably the best option when visiting La Parguera as you will be taken to the best spots where the bio-bay shines the brightest.
When on the watch, make sure you do not swim in the waters unless you are allowed to. Throwing any type of object, food, or trash is strictly prohibited as they are terribly harmful to the dinoflagellates that create the display. It is best to refrain from applying harmful chemicals such as bug repellent or lotions as this could cause an imbalance to the delicate ecosystem. Make sure you do your bit to protect the magic.
If you are struggling for what to bring or wear, here is a little help. You definitely will not want to forget you picture or video taking devices, so be sure to bring those along. Dress comfortably as you will be kayaking. In case you get the opportunity to swim, it is best to come along with a change of clothes and perhaps, a towel so you can dry off.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Night for a Bio-bay Moon in Puerto Rico
Yep, you guessed it- the moon. The moon plays a huge role in the enchantment. To help you pick the best night to participate in this experience, here are some thoughtful suggestions.
The primary factor that has an effect on the bio-bay’s visibility (yes, besides the moon) is the dinoflagellate concentration. The greater the concentration, the more enthralling your experience is set to be.
It is a good idea to have this experience on a cloudy, moonless night. Although clouds are unpredictable, the moon’s phases are a bit more easier to track. Make sure you have a look at the moon phase calendar or have a chat with the bio-bay tour operator to determine what the best day to moon watch will be.
Other Attractions in the Area
Now, the bio-bay moon watch is not the only thing that can keep you occupied and falling in love with Puerto Rico- no sir. There are gorgeous palm-lined beaches that attract any kind of beach seeker. There are caves and mountains with your name on them, waiting to be explored.
You can walk down the vibrant streets of Old San Juan and envision yourself as a movie star. You can also take a stroll back in time and visit the largest Spanish fort ever built in the New World; Castillo de San Cristobal. Admire the lushness of the El Yunque National Forest- one of Puerto Rico’s most popular tourist attractions. The options are endless.
If you are thinking about good places to stay and grab some food at, these options will be a great solution. You can opt for The Vieques Guesthouse which is budget friendly or the Great Escape and Breakfast Inn which is mid-range. Additionally, you can stay at Blue Horizon Boutique resort if you feel like spoiling yourself. For couples, a cosy alternative would be El Bok. There are, honestly, so many perfect accommodation options it will be a hard task deciding which one to pick. Some good places to eat at are: Biekes Bistro, Buen Provecho, Lazy Jacks, and so many others.
When choosing to participate in this experience be sure to remember to look at the moon phase calendar to help create the perfect night. What are you waiting for? Plan the trip now!