Laguna Grande Bio Bay In Fajardo, Puerto Rico (2022) – All You Need To Know

Laguna Grande is a bioluminescent bay in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

It is one of only a few bioluminescent bays in the world that glows year-round.

I’ve been to Laguna Grande Bioluminescent Bay and seen the bioluminescence; it’s definitely a must-do activity when visiting Puerto Rico.

In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about Laguna Grande Bio Bay:

What is bioluminescence?
What is Laguna Grande (Fajardo) Bioluminescent Bay?
Where is Laguna Grande Bio Bay located?
How to get to Laguna Grande from San Juan
Can you swim in Laguna Grande Bio Bay?
Which is better: kayaking or a boat tour?
Can you go to Laguna Grande without a tour?

 

What is bioluminescence?

Bioluminescence is the term used to describe organisms that give off light. 

image of woman swimming with bioluminescence
Woman swimming with bioluminescence.

Fireflies and jellyfish are common examples of bioluminescence. It’s common in other sea creatures like squids, fungi and arthropods too. 

Bioluminescence is usually blue or greenish. But, some organisms also produce red lights.

Water itself is not bioluminescent. The bioluminescence in water occurs due to a very high concentration of bioluminescent plankton called “Dinoflagellates“. These plankton emit light when the water is moved, giving the appearance of glowing water.

Below is a video showing bioluminescence:

 

What is Laguna Grande (Fajardo) Bioluminescent Bay?

Laguna Grande Bioluminescent Bay is a bio bay located near the city of Fajardo, on the east coast of Puerto Rico’s main island. 

It’s part of the Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve, and it’s open to visitors all year.

Laguna Grande Bio Bay has a very high concentration of “Dinoflagellate” plankton. When you move the water in the bay, these plankton emit light, giving the appearance of glowing water.

This is a unique phenomenon that attracts tourists from all over the world. There are only a few places globally that have bio bays.

You can read our article about Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays to learn about the three bio bays that are in Puerto Rico.

You can also read our article to learn when the best time is to see the bioluminescence in Puerto Rico.

Below is a video that shows Laguna Grande Bio Bay:

 

Where is Laguna Grande Bio Bay located?

Laguna Grande bio bay is located in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

It’s inside the Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve and it’s surrounded by a red mangrove forest.

Map showing Laguna Grande Bio Bay on the east-side of Puerto Rico’s main island, in relation to San Juan.

It’s an hour away from San Juan, and 55 minutes from the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport. 

Below is a Google Map that shows the location of Laguna Grande Bio Bay:

 

How to get to Laguna Grande from San Juan

There are multiple ways to get to Laguna Grande from San Juan.

The transport option that you choose will depend on your budget and what you’re looking for.

image of two people in a kayak in the water with bioluminescence glowing around them
Kayaking through bioluminescence.

The easiest way to visit Laguna Grande is by booking a tour that offers complimentary pick-up in San Juan.

Many tour operators offer pick-up and drop-off, so you don’t have to worry about anything else but enjoying the experience.

You can book shuttle service through SJU Shuttle Services and ECS Transportation Group.

You can also use local services like Jayride and Go Puerto Rico Shuttle. 

Finally, the most common way to get from San Juan to Fajardo is by renting a car.

 

Can you swim in Laguna Grande Bio Bay?

Visitors can’t swim in Laguna Grande, as it is forbidden by the Department of Natural Resources of Puerto Rico. 

image of a hand dipped in the lagoon
When bioluminescent plankton are touched, the movement initiates their famous glow.

Instead, you can dip your hands and kayak paddles in the bay to see the glowing effect.

If you can’t reach the water, boat tours will give you a stick to move it. 

 

Which is better: kayaking or a boat tour?

Travelers that want to visit Laguna Grande Bio Bay have two options to do so: kayak or boat tour.

Kayaking is the most common option for visiting the bay. If you’re into water sports, this is the best way to visit Laguna Grande. 

image of 2 girls kayaking in Laguna Grande Bio Bay
Kayaking the bio bay is best for those who are comfortable with water sports and enjoy physical activity.

You will get to kayak for about 30 minutes through the water channels of a red mangrove forest before reaching the bay. 

Once in the bay, you’ll get to see the lagoon glow every time you paddle. You’ll also be closer to the water, so you can agitate it with your hand in to see the bioluminescence. 

Boat tours are another way to visit Laguna Grande Bio Bay. This is a good option if you’re traveling with people that are older or can’t do intense physical activity. 

image of a boat used for tours in Laguna Grande
Boating is best for those who are not physically fit and want to relax during the tour.

The boat tour is also your best option if you’re unfamiliar with kayaking. It allows you to enjoy the guided tour without worrying about flipping over or bumping into anyone. 

Another advantage of boat tours is that they can travel all around the bay until they find the best spot to appreciate the bioluminescence.

It’s also the best way to take pictures, as your hands are not occupied with a kayak paddle.

The only downside to the boat tour is that you’re a bit farther from the water, and you might not be able to reach it if you want to touch it. 

 

Can you go to Laguna Grande without a tour?

You can’t visit Laguna Grande Bio Bay without a tour.

image of a group of people kayaking in Laguna Grande
A guided tour is best so you can find the best spots to see bioluminescence in Laguna Grande.

To visit Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays you need a permit from the Department of Natural Resources in Puerto Rico. 

The lagoon is not accessible from the main road nor can you see it from the shore in Kayak Village (where most tours depart from). 

 

FAQ section

Is Laguna Grande bio bay worth it?

Laguna bio bay in Fajardo is worth visiting in Puerto Rico. It’s a short ride from San Juan and it offers both kayaking and boat tours to see the bioluminescence.

Is this a fun activity for families with kids?

Laguna Grande is a fun activity to do with kids. Everyone will enjoy kayaking through the mangrove channels and seeing the water glow in the bay.

 

Final thoughts

If you’re visiting Puerto Rico, Laguna Grande Bio Bay is worth your time!

Laguna Grande is the easiest bio bay to visit if you’re staying in San Juan.

Kayaking through the mangrove channels and seeing the bioluminescent water glow is a once in a lifetime experience.

You can read our article about Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays to learn more about the three bio bays that are in Puerto Rico. Laguna Grande is not the only bio bay in Puerto Rico.

You can also read our other article to learn when the best time is to see the bioluminescence in Puerto Rico.

 

Article by

Vanessa Ramos

Writer at PuertoRico.com. I’m an avid traveler and freelance writer from Puerto Rico. I love the outdoors, coffee, hiking, and letters. When I’m not inside typing letters on my laptop, I’m out exploring the hidden treasures that Puerto Rico has to offer!

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