Mosquito Bay “Bioluminescent Bay”
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Mosquito Bay (Mosquito Bay) also known as Bioluminescent Bay is located on the southern coast of the island of Vieques, one of the islands east of Puerto Rico. This bioluminescent bay is the brightest in the world. The magical quality of this natural wonder makes a visit to this bay almost mandatory, for those who want a unique experience.
There are only a few bioluminescent bays left in the world, and Puerto Rico is fortunate to have three of them. The bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico are Laguana Grande in Fajardo, Mosquito Bay in Vieques, and La Parguera in Lajas, with Mosquito Bay being the brightest of the three.
The bioluminescent bay of Puerto Mosquito is a fascinating, rare and absolutely spectacular natural phenomenon. The waters of the bay glow blue-green with each movement. Fish and other sea creatures sparkle as they make their way through the waters.
In Mosquito Bay, there are organisms called dinoflagellates “dinos” (specifically Pyrodimium bahamense or “swirling fire”). These “dinos” are responsible for this amazing natural phenomenon. When “dinos” come into contact with another organism or are agitated, they produce a brilliant burst of blue light.
This bioluminescent bay is the perfect environment for these “dinos” to thrive and multiply. Its waters are shallow and the mouth of the bay is small, so these bright little organisms are trapped and protected in the bay, which makes it very bright.
Trapped by a bend in the opening of the bay and fed by the surrounding mangroves, dinoflagellates find a perfect home in Mosquito Bay. Microscopic organisms emit light when they feel any movement in the water, forming eddies of bright blue-green columns that eventually diffuse back into the dark darkness of the bay.
The kayaks and boats full of tourists are amazed to see the mysterious glowing contours and how each splash of a paddle creates a magical luminous path in the dark waters of the bay. The glow of these warm waters caused by countless microscopic organisms are illuminated with the slightest disturbance. All this results in the formation of a unique environment.
The bioluminescent bay was officially declared the brightest in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2008. In this bay, there are supposedly more than 750,000 dinoflagellates per gallon of water. This is the highest concentration anywhere in the world.
When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, Mosquito Bay was devastated. The strong wind and rain from the storm pushed the water out of the bay and destroyed many of the mangroves that line its shores. Sudden and drastic changes in the environment affected the dinoflagellate population, and for a time the water became dark. Slowly and to everyone’s surprise, the bioluminescent bay not only recovered, but also its characteristic blue glow is brighter than in the past.
To see this incredible sight, it is necessary to use the services of a tour guide. Although there are a number of tour “tours” available, it is best to go with a company that offers smaller groups, of only 6 to 8 participants, and uses glass-bottom kayaks. This will allow you to better appreciate the natural beauty of the bay.
The cost of the tours will average between $ 35.00 and $ 55.00 for adults and $ 20.00 to $ 25.00 for children 6 to 11 years old.
Hours and Operational Days
Touring “tours” run throughout the year at nightfall and continue late into the night. Most tour companies operate Monday through Saturday. Winter tours take place before 6:00 p.m. at 11:00 p.m.
The “tours” last approximately 2 hours, including transfer to the bay and vice versa.
Do not leave the Island of Vieques without taking a tour of this magnificent and magical natural wonder. It will be a magical and priceless memory that you will remember for a lifetime.
How to get there:
Located on the south coast of Vieques, Mosquito Bay can be reached by ferry from Fajardo, on the main island of Puerto Rico. Tour companies generally provide transportation to the bay, from the island town of Esperanza.