Glow Swimming in Puerto Rico

Upon turning 30, I got together with four friends to commemorate this important rite of passage:  Erin and Megan from Arizona, Jodi and Arin from the Twin Cities, and myself based in Fort Lauderdale. The plan was Puerto Rico for a short, girls only getaway in mid-March.

While on the Isle of Borinquen (indigenous name of the island of Puerto Rico), not only did I want to visit the beach, tour the historic cobblestone streets of Old San Juan and eat and drink well, but I also wanted to experience the rare, bio-fluorescent waters of Fajardo.  For those of you not familiar, Bay of Fajardo is a bio-luminescent bay, which contains millions of micro-organisms called“dinoflagellates.” It is truly awe-inspiring.  These little micro creatures glow in the dark for a second when agitated.  Yes, it is a bay of swimming micro fire flies!

There are two ways to experience the bio bay: by guided boat or in groups of kayaks both done at night to see the green glowing waters.  We chose to do the second option and went in a group of around 15 kayaks led by a guide to take us out to the best part of the bay.  We kayaked through the narrow mangrove alley kayak after kayak hitting numerous trees due to lack of light.  Upon arrival to the center of the bay, we were instructed to jump out of our kayaks and explore.   This struck me as strange as typically, staying in the kayak is something that is essential to a successful kayaking trip. However, that is not the case for the Bay of Fajardo.

We tangled our kayaks together with our paddles and jumped in.  It was incredible.  We were almost like comets in the water with a tail of green light following our movements.  You could see your strokes and kicks, those of the other kayakers, and of course the movements of fish and other creatures.  Pretty freaky!  The water was warm as it was mid-March….an absolutely great time to go.  So if you have vacation time saved up, now is a great time to get deals and experience glow swimming inPuerto Rico.

For those of you interested in experiencing the bio bay, there are two launches one around sunset and the other around 9:00PM.  I would highly suggest the later time and even a night that has the least amount of moonlight for more vibrant colors in the lagoon.  The food amenities are not that great at the park/marina so I would eat a mofongo prior to leaving and then stop at one of the small bars at the marina to celebrate your evening with a cold beer. BTW, this probably is not a good first date night.  The combination of the bug repellent and water did leave a rather memorable aroma.

Any recommendations for other memorable sights in Puerto Rico?

4 Comments

  1. […] I have taken you with me to Las Vegas, Spain, Boston, Morocco, Turkey, New York City, Florida Keys, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Mexico, Wisconsin, and more. However, travel hasn’t been the only thing on my plate. […]

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  3. John says:

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  4. Thanks-a-mundo for the post.Much thanks again. Will read on…

  5. Thanks for making the effort to describe the terminlogy towards the newbies!