Visit the Vieques Biobay by Electric Boat
Update Dec 06, 2018- Post Maria- Island Adventure’s electric boat was damaged in the hurricanes. But there is a new company Vieques Sea Tours that takes an electric boat out into the Vieques BioBay.
Perhaps you have about the “glowing waters” here in Puerto Rico. In a couple different places around the island, we have bays that contain tiny, single-cell organisms called dinoflagellates (specifically the species Pyrodinium bahamense) that are bioluminescent. Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organizm. Each one makes a sparkle when agitated. When you have a bay full of them, the water practically glows when moved. Locally, these bays are called bio bays.
The one in Vieques, Bahía de Puerto Mosquito (Mosquito Bay), is located on the southern shore of the island. Of all the bio bays in Puerto Rico, Mosquito Bay is the brightest and most protected. It is worth planning on spending at least one night on Vieques to see it.
It used to be that you could get to Vieques and see the bio bay without spending the night. But that is no longer true. Now, you need to stay overnight. But that is not a bad thing … Vieques has loads of beautiful beaches, and some other interesting things to do to keep you busy. And once night falls, you head to the biobay. There are two ways to see this bay … either by kayak, or by electric pontoon boat with
Island Adventures Vieques Sea Tours.
An electric bio bay boat tour is fun, easy, and educational. It is great for people with disabilities, or kids too young to kayak.
At The Bio Bay
This bay area has very few houses around it, so there is not much light pollution. The bay is also usually calm, so no waves to worry about getting seasick. They use electric motors, so it eco-friendly, and extremely quiet.
You can notice the glow around the boat immediately. The dinoflagellates glow when they are disturbed, so the wake of the boat glows. It looks almost fake, like there must be light on under the boat. Another cool thing is when the fish in the bay are frightened by the boat, they swim off and leave a glowing trail behind them. Really neat!
They stop the boat in a nice dark section of the bay, and the crew tells you about the bay, mangroves and the dinoflagellates (those are the organisms that make the bay glow). The guys on the boat are knowledgeable, interesting, and entertaining. They bring up buckets of water so you can play in it and make it glow. Have it run down your arm — it is like sparkly glitter — really cool. They also let you stand on back of boat ladder and kick feet in water to make splashes.
We tried getting photos, and even through the glow is very bright, it is difficult to get any useful shots. If you want to try, you should set your camera to ISO 1200 or higher, turn the flash off, and set it for a long (4 or more seconds) exposure. But because the boat is moving, any picture you get will probably be blurred anyway. The wake of the motor will probably be the best photo opportunity.
After everyone is done making the water sparkle, check out the different constellations. It was nice and dark in the bay area, so you should be able to see tons of stars. Beautiful. The stars where almost as beautiful as the sparkles in the water.
call them for details.
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 offer 2 tours every night, except for nights around the full moon. Check our bio bay calendar for the best viewing nights.
If you want to wear insect repellent, make sure it is eco-friendly, so as to not harm the bio bay.
You can call 939-208-1072 or 787-435-3661 for more information or to make a reservation.
You can get more information on their web page
We are in the process of updating the maps we use on our web site. While we're working on that, you can click on the GPS coordinates below to view the location on Google Maps ...
- Island Adventures, biobay tours: (18.099799, -65.486417)
- Mosquito Bay, biobay: (18.102986, -65.448389)
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!