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Dengue Epidemic On 02 September 2014, the Puerto Rico Health Department delared an epidemic of the mosquito-borne dengue virus.

Chikungunya Epidemic On 17 July 2014, the Puerto Rico Health Department delared an epidemic of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus.

You can protect yourself from both chikungunya and dengue by using insect repellent containing DEET.

Visit the Fajardo BioBay in an Electric Boat

Posted on Dec 13th, 2009 by • Updated on Nov 30th, 2013

Bio Island Electric Biobay Boat in Fajardo

Puerto Rico is blessed with a natural phenomenon that is found in only a few other places on earth — it has 3 year-round bioluminescent bays (or BioBays). There is La Parguera in Lajas in the south-west of Puerto Rico, Mosquito Bay on Vieques and, the most visited one, Laguna Grande in Fajardo in the north-east of Puerto Rico.

I am so happy to say that there is now an eco-friendly way to visit Laguna Grande without having to kayak or walk. Bio Island is one of the 2 companies offers an electric motor boat tour that is both safe for the environment and fun.

Bio Island’s Boat

There are 2 companies that offer electric boat rides into the bay. I choose to go with Bio-Island, so I know about their boat. I don’t know what type of equipment the other company uses, but it has been approved by the DRNA. Bio Island is a new company (2010) and their tour really is eco-friendly. They use a really quiet Minn Kota electric motor that is mounted on the Honda low emissions gas motor, so it can be interchanged by a flick of a switch. They use the gas motor until they get into the channel and then switch over to electric. The boat is a small Carolina Skiff, so it has a very low profile — not much deeper than the kayak bottoms.

There was always a question about the other electric boat company following the DRNA rules and whether they used the electric motor, so when I went on this tour with this new company, I did it anonymously. I really watched and asked lots of questions and I am happy to say they followed all the DNRA rules and have a few ecologically friendly ones of their own too (like no eating/drinking in the boat- so no trash ends up in the water). And they are even applying to get "Blue Flag" status for their boat/trip. Yea!

Our Trip into Laguna Grande

The tour was really nice (and relaxing!). I went out with some older guests, who were staying in our rental, who were unable to kayak or walk very far, and the Vieques trip was out of their budget. This trip was perfect for them!

Bio Island Electric Biobay Boat in Fajardo

We left from the Las Croabas boat ramp, where they helped us into the boat. Since we were all together, we could all talk, interact and learn the whole time. Throughout the tour Captains Ron and Charlie told us about the boat/engine, the other boats docked in the Las Croabas area, the Biobay, the fish, the dinoflagellates, and they even had some jokes to tell — lots of good information. Charlie and Ron were such gentlemen, too — when it started to rain, they gave their jackets to the older ladies in our boat. I think they offer great customer service.

The tour lasts approximately 1½ hours. Since we got through the channel and into the lagoon quickly, we were able to spend about 45 minutes in the biobay itself — swirling our hands in the water to see the glow, smacking the boat to scare the fish and watching their glowing paths, talking and enjoying the stars and the evening. On the return trip, we stopped to wait while the many kayaks made their way through the channel, so we didn’t collide with them.

The bay is connected to the ocean, so as the tides change, it does get to be low tide and the channel gets shallow. The motor is the deepest part on their boat, so they lift it to avoid hitting the bottom and stirring up the silt. On the way back, after we got out of the channel and into the marina, there is a very shallow area. So Captains Ron and Charlie had to get out of the boat and walk the boat across the sandbar. We just sat there and cheered them on! Both before and after the trip, they had chips and water/soda for us to enjoy.

I really liked this tour. I think it is a great option for people who are unable to do one of the kayaking tours, such as people with small kids, elderly, handicapped, etc. or people who just don’t want to kayak. It is easy and eco-friendly. The only negative is that space is limited — they can carry a maximum of 6 people per tour.

Details

The cost is $52 for adults, less for kids. Cash is preferred, but they do accept credit cards.

If you're happy, let them know it — Don't forget to tip your your bartender, tour guide or trip operator if you enjoyed yourself. Gratuities are appreciated and typically aren't included in the price they charge you.

They do 3 trips per night, depending on the season and demand. Trips are at 6:00pm, 7:30pm and 9:00pm . The operate Monday through Saturday, they take Sunday night off.

Minimum age for kids is 2 years old. It really depends on the size of the child and if an infant life vest fits securely.

Allow about 1½ hours for the trip, plus a little time before and after.

You can call them at 787-422-7857 for more information or to make a reservation.

You can visit their web site for more information.

Captain Suarez and his Baby Bay Cruising Lagoon Company also offers the electric boat experience. He goes out on Sunday nights! Phone: 787-655-2739. $45/adults, $35 children under 12 years old. 3 trips a night 6p,8p and 10p in “winter” and 7p, 9p and 11p in summer. Call him , or email him at Captainsuarezbiobaypr@gmail.com for more information and reservations.

As with any trip into any of the biobays, be sure to check our biobay/moon calendar to make sure the moon will be favorable for viewing the biobay on the night you want to go.

Las Croabas boat ramp is located at the end of Road 987 in Fajardo.

Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid ... then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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4 comments
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  1. Thanks for the very good information, really appreciate the hard work. But a word of caution about Bio Island.

    We first booked for a 930 pm slot, but a thunder storm was developing aroung 830 pm. I repeatedly asked Captain Charlie if it would be safe, he kept saying yes, it would be safe, “we would cancel the tour if we felt it would be unsafe”. Eventually, the lightning wa so bright and thunder got so loud, we cancelled the tour ourselves. We felt they never cared for our safety.

    On second try, we did the Bio bay ride last week with our 2 girls and a couple of friends (a total of 6) at 630 pm as a later slot was not available. I asked “Captain Charlie” several times if going at 630 pm is too early (too much light). He assured me that we could observe the photo luminiscnence as early as 700 PM. Turned out we could only see anything at 740 pm and his brother “Captain Jeff” said that they had to go back to base for the next tour, so we got a scant 3 minutes in the lagoon.. We felt cheated.

    When we arrived to go on the tour, they never once told us of the dengue epidemic in PR. When we got bitten by musquitoes in the lagoon, they told us “sorry our dad screwed up not telling you to use OFF”… Now we are wondering if one of us is going to develop any sort of dengue syptoms… They did have a can of OFF at the sign up desk, but we were never warned / guided..

  2. We appreciate your comments but also we reafirm that always, in all of the Bio Bay trips, we care for the safety of our passengers. One of our strengths is the VIP treat is given to all of our guests. Because you’re using a nickname, I don’t know who are you – so I can’t answer directly what happened specifically in your trip (if you get late to the departure area, according to the schedule of trips, the time in the lagoon could be shortened in respect to the passengers in the other trips … sorry if this was your case).
    Our experience, and the comments made by the 99% of our guests, has been excellent ones.
    Captain Charlie

  3. After seeing the posting here, my family & I decided to go with Bio Island Tours when we visited Puerto Rico in the beginning June 2011. Although I have been to Guanica and taken the ferry boat ride to the Bio Bay there, this trip blew the other out of the water! We weren’t feeling the kayaking tours but it seemed the other people were having a great time. Our guides at Bio Island were very knowledgeable and they explained everything about our trip before and after we got on the water. It seemed like they coordinate their trips to the lagoon when the kayaks are back at the docks which made a trip a little nicer since we were on the lagoon by ourselves for a little while. Luckily, on our trip, we even saw a Puerto Rican Boa Snake in the trees on our way back in. The staff was friendly and our boat ride was one of the highlights of our trip to PR.

  4. I had the same poor experience as the reviewer above, though with the other boat company. We arrived 35 minutes early to take the first tour (6:45pm), though it didn’t leave until 7pm. In the bay, we had maybe a total of 5 minutes or less to enjoy the bio bay glow, once it got dark enough, before the captain took us back into the mangroves. We left before it was even dark enough to see the effect very well. The whole trip was only 1 hour. We certainly felt cheated and were very disappointed! Buyer beware: do not go on the first tour of the night.

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