The Bioluminescent Bay at La Parguera in Puerto Rico

One of the most amazing natural phenomena in our world’s oceans is the presence of what is known as bioluminescence. Caused by tiny microorganisms, known as dinoflagellates, the water glows blue, green, or white when stirred. The result is a supernatural experience, a unique gift for the visitor.

Although bioluminescence itself is not incredibly rare, the effect is usually transient, coming and going at certain times of the year or at night in areas that cannot be identified. Some fish or small marine organisms such as squid emit a type of luminescence. Sailors often report seeing bioluminescence in the wake of a ship or at the peak of an ocean wave at night.

The world has seven known year-round bioluminescent bays, three of which are located in Puerto Rico. These three amazing bioluminescent bays are located throughout the island in Fajardo, Vieques and La Parguera. Each of these bays has a high concentration of dinoflagellates in a unique marine environment that allows observation throughout the year.

The bioluminescent bay of La Parguera is located in the southwestern corner of the island of Puerto Rico. La Parguera Bay is the closest bioluminescent bay to the west coast cities of Aguadilla, Rincón, Mayagüez and Ponce. La Parguera is a small and picturesque fishing village surrounded by calm waters and protected from the ocean with a bay created by mangrove islands. Easily accessible from the main tourist destination of Rincón, a visit to La Parguera is a great day trip for guests looking to explore more of Puerto Rico’s west coast.

Tours of the bioluminescent bay depart from the La Parguera marina. The bay is approximately a 20-minute boat ride from the main marina. Many tour operators offer a snorkeling experience that is unique to many bioluminescent bays. Snorkel underwater at night to experience the glowing organisms in a truly unforgettable experience.

Puerto Rico is known as the jewel of the Caribbean travel experience and with three bioluminescent bays, as well as hundreds of miles of white sand beaches, warm ocean waters and blue skies with ideal weather, it’s no wonder why. Puerto Rico is located just east of the islands of Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, and can be reached by many international flights. Visitors from the United States do not need a passport to visit Puerto Rico, as the island is a US territory. The high season for tourism on the island is from mid-December to April.