La Parguera Bioluminescent Bay

Boats leave from La Parguera dock. Great for a trip on a moonless night. Take one of the many local boats to Bahía La Parguera for a little dinoflagellate watching. Due to their delicate ecology, bioluminescent bays are rare.

Imagine the blackness of the sea on a moonless night. Now watch it sparkle with the darting lights of a million fireflies. Nature lovers will not want to miss the phenomenal experience of visiting a tropical phosphorescent bay! The phosphorescence is actually bioluminescence generated by microscopic organisms in the water. It is believed to be part of a natural defense system triggered by the movement of predators. Many scientists believe the tiny organisms light up so their predators can see more desirable prey – and thus leave them alone. The phenomenon occurs sporadically in warm seas around the world, but Puerto Rico is one of the only places on the planet where you can depend on it every evening at two different protected bays. The best known is at La Parguera, between Mayagüez and Ponce in the southwest of the island. A cottage industry in the village is based on showing the bay to visitors. The more spectacular phosphorescent bay is in Vieques, the island municipality off of the main island’s northeastern shore. The experience of seeing—and being surrounded by—this eerie light is nothing less than magical! NOTE: If you are on the south area of Puerto Rico, you cannot miss this trip. Once you arrive at La Parguera, you will see countless boating services offering excursions to see the phosphorecent bay. You can take any of these, as long as you follow these precautions: It is reccommended that you go as part of a group. If you are going alone, DO NOT take a small boat or charter that will get you alone pitch-dark on the middle of the ocean. Use one of the bigger boats that accommodate a big group, even if it means paying a bit more. These are often crowded and offer less trips in and out the bay, but the general experience will be more satisfying. Also, try to go to on the early hours of the night, between 7 and 8 pm.

How to Get There

Located on the La Parguera tourism area. Click here for more details.

Location Map

Location features

Location has scenic / panoramic view

bio bioluminescent bio bay