Just Wanderlust Blog » A discerning, food-loving, & culturally curious road warrior seeks the world's beautiful and bizarre destinations.

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Puerto Rico And The Bioluminescent Bay

Many years ago, D, one of my good girl friends, and I took a trip to Puerto Rico over a long weekend.  Given that winter was around the corner, we thought it was the perfect time to fly south for some much missed sun.

During the 4 days we had there, we managed to squeeze in a visit to San Juan, toured the Bacardi factory (they give out free samples there!), went horseback riding, toured a cave, and even flew to Isla Culebra for the day.  By the way, Isla Culebra’s Flamenco Beach is one of the nicest beaches in all of the Caribbean and it was made all the nicer by the fact that we had the beach all to ourselves the morning we visited.

That being said, the most memorable of all the activities we did in Puerto Rico was our kayak trip in Fajardo at night.  We kayaked passed mangroves and then ended up in a gigantic bay where the tour guide told us to jump in.  Since we couldn’t see what the water looked like (and therefore, how clean or unclean it was) D and I hesitated to jump in, but deciding it was better to seize the moment, we jumped anyway and got to experience the bioluminescent bay first hand, which was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.  Any movements you make in the water leave a trail of glowing neon lights.  If fairy dust exists, this is what it would look like in water.

I didn’t take any pictures while we kayaked but these will give you an idea of what it was like out there:

The bioluminescence is caused by the tons of dinoflagellates in the water, which when disturbed, emit a quick flash of neon blue light.  We were swimming in a bay full of these things.  It was incredible!  The experience was made all the more special by the fact that these bio bays are only observed in a few places in the world. Lucky for us, Puerto Rico is home to 3 of these bays since they have a higher concentration of these organisms.

Anyway, if you go to Puerto Rico, you must, must, must carve out time to experience the bioluminescent bay – you can go horseback riding, touring caves, and sunbathing in many other parts of the world but few places let you get this up close and personal with the bioluminescence.  Also, if it’s still allowed, make sure you jump into the water like we did.  Here’s to carpe-ing the heck out of every diem!

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