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People in kayaks in Laguna Grande

Found on the east of San Juan is the idyllic town of Fajardo, which is surrounded by white sand beaches and verdant nature reserves. It’s also home to Laguna Grande, one of three bioluminescent lagoons in Puerto Rico.

Laguna Grande is a popular place to visit in Puerto Rico, as it has incredible natural beauty. That said, it’s not always as clear as to what you can expect, what you can do, and how you can explore it.

Rest assured, we’ve prepared a detailed guide on this Puerto Rico bioluminescent bay, including some great things to do nearby.

Top 7 Things to Do in and Around Fajardo’s Bioluminescent Bay

Laguna Grande is around a 20-minute drive from central Fajardo, which is a great place to stay in Puerto Rico. It’s also close to some fantastic attractions, including beaches, rainforests, islands, and waterfalls. That said, here are our top picks!

1. Take a Boat Tour of Laguna Grande

a group of people sitting in a kayak over Laguna Grande

The most popular method to visit the lagoon is via a kayak tour. Additionally, going on a Fajardo bioluminescent bay boat tour is a terrific way to explore the lagoon. These are the only ways to venture into the lagoon’s glowing waters. That’s because you need a permit from Puerto Rico’s Department of Natural Resources to visit it.

This is ultimately a good thing, as it prevents the lagoon from being overcrowded and conserves the condition of the water. On our El Yunque Rainforest and bio bay tour, you’ll get to see the incredible glowing effect caused by dinoflagellates in the water.

2. Hike to La Zanja

La Zanja Natural Pool

Another highlight near the bio bay and Fajardo is a stunning natural pool called La Zanja. To get to it, you’ll need to hike for around 30 minutes from Playa La Matita. It’s well worth the effort that hiking takes, as you’ll be able to enjoy a relaxing swim in its waters.

Additionally, the walk isn’t that much of a challenge as long as you don’t mind getting your feet wet along the way.

3. Swim at Its Many Beaches

Overhead views of Seven Seas Beach

Fajardo is surrounded by some of the best beaches in Puerto Rico. Seven Seas Beach has turquoise waters and has Blue Flag status. Playa Colorá has reddish sand and the perfect atmosphere for relaxing. Playa El Convento has views of El Yunque National Forest. Then, Playa Escondida, or the “Hidden Beach”, is one you have to hike through a mangrove forest to access.

4. Visit El Yunque National Forest

Overhead view of El Yunque National Forest

Another fantastic thing to do near Laguna Grande is to visit El Yunque National Forest. It’s home to some of the best hiking trails in Puerto Rico, such as the El Yunque Trail, the Mount Britton Tower Trail, and the Angelito Trail.

That’s not all this natural beauty has to offer, as there are so many other great things to do in El Yunque National Forest. This includes swimming under waterfalls, doing some horseback riding, and visiting the El Portal Visitor Center.

Top tip: If you’re looking for a fun way to experience El Yunque, our brilliant rainforest hike and waterslide tour is ideal.

5. Go Scuba Diving

The marine life around Fajardo and Laguna Grande is absolutely stunning. What’s a better way to experience this than scuba diving? Not much, as you’ll get to dive in Puerto Rico’s crystal-clear waters and see magical coral reefs. How does that sound for a fantastic day?

6. Take a Catamaran to Icacos Island

Another superb activity to do in Fajardo is voyaging on a catamaran to the nearby Icacos Island. There are so many catamaran cruise options to choose from in Puerto Rico. You can choose from a variety of pick-up locations, activities, and meal choices. Oh, and you can snorkel to your heart’s content.

7. Get Wet at Coqui Water Park

An exceptional way to cool off after busy days hiking and exploring humid rainforests is by cooling down at Coqui Water Park. It’s got a massive 253-foot-long slide, a lazy river, and a huge infinity pool. It’s open from 9 am until 5 pm, and entrance costs $20 per person.

Best Places to Stay Near Laguna Grande

As a top vacation spot in Puerto Rico, Fajardo is your best option for finding somewhere fantastic to stay. Here are our top three picks:

  • Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort – Located just 30 minutes away from Fajardo’s Bio Bay, this delightful hotel has all you need for a relaxing stay. This includes 3 outdoor swimming pools, a 1-mile private beach, 13 tennis courts, 2 18-hole championship golf courses, and a gym.


  • Yunque Mar Oceanfront Hotel – Just a 15-minute drive from Fajardo and you’ll find this charming waterfront hotel. It’s conveniently located, as it’s just a stone’s throw from Playa Fortuna, 7 miles from the El Yunque Rainforest, and 30 miles from San Juan. Plus, it has free Wi-Fi, cable TV, air conditioning, and pristine rooms.


  • El Conquistador Resort – This scenic resort is only 10 minutes away from Laguna Grande, so it’s one of the closest accommodations to the bay. That’s not its only advantage, as it’s got many onsite restaurants, an 18-hole golf course, a private beach, and an outdoor swimming pool.

How to Get to Laguna Grande in Fajardo?

Laguna Grande is around 1 hour and 20 minutes from San Juan by car. It’s approximately 42 miles from Puerto Rico’s capital and is accessed via Highway 66 and Carretera 3 E.

The easiest way to get to Laguna Grande is by renting a car. Since Puerto Rico is a US territory, you’ll find well-known car rental companies, such as Avis, Enterprise, and Budget, at all of the island’s airports, as well as many of the larger hotels. Renting a car gives you the freedom to move as you like and explore even the lesser-known parts of Puerto Rico.

That said, if you’d prefer not to drive, públicos or taxis are accessible ways to travel around the island. Just be aware that these mostly operate in highly trafficked areas and are most likely to only accept cash.

FAQs About Laguna Grande in Fajardo, Puerto Rico

Still need a bit more info? No stress, we’ve got the answers to some commonly asked questions about this Fajardo, Puerto Rico, bioluminescent bay.

Can You Swim in Laguna Grande, Fajardo?

No, you cannot swim in Laguna Grande. This is forbidden by the Department of Natural Resources. This is due to the impact sunscreen and other chemicals have on the water. It alters the water chemistry and harms the bioluminescent plankton.

If you want to see the glowing effect, you can dip your hands in the water while sitting in your kayak or from the shore.

Is Laguna Grande a Bio Bay?

Yes, Laguna Grande is a bioluminescent bay. This may not be clear at daytime, but with nightfall, this bioluminescent bay in Fajardo’s waters becomes fluorescent, thanks to microscopic plankton.

What’s the Closest Bioluminescent Bay to San Juan?

The closest bio bay in Puerto Rico to San Juan is Laguna Grande. This explains why it’s the island’s most popular bioluminescent lagoon, as it’s roughly an hour away from the capital city. In comparison, La Parguera bioluminescent bay is on the southwest side of the island and around 2 hours away from San Juan. Mosquito Bay is located on the island of Vieques, which requires transport via a ferry, boat, or seaplane to get there.

Final Thoughts About Laguna Grande Bioluminescent Bay

Fajardo’s bioluminescent lagoon, or Laguna Grande, is such an exquisite sight that it’s a must-see when visiting Puerto Rico. With its glowing and peaceful waters, it’s a memorable experience that only a few get to have.

That’s why we highly recommend taking a visit to Laguna Grande on a trip to Puerto Rico. You certainly won’t regret it, as it’s an exciting way to see the majesty of our natural world.

PS: Need some other info on all this picturesque island has to offer? Our Puerto Rico travel guide will make your next vacation stress-free and fun-filled.

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