Discover Mosquito Bay: Puerto Rico’s Bioluminescent Wonder
Mosquito Bay, also known as Puerto Mosquito, is a natural bioluminescent bay on Puerto Rico’s magical island of Vieques. Spanning close to 160 acres, this small and uninhabited area in the Caribbean Sea is renowned for its mesmerizing display of natural light. As the sun sets, the waters sparkle with a mystical glow you must see in person.
So famous is this glow that Vieques’s Mosquito Bay has been internationally recognized. In 2006, the Guinness Book of World Records acknowledged the bio bay as the world’s brightest bioluminescence effect. Condé Nast Traveler also ranked it in first place as one of the Seven Wonders of the World in 2020.
Besides this spectacular display of light, Mosquito Bay is well known for its shallow waters, which are great for kayaking. Continue reading to discover Puerto Rico’s hidden gem.
Read next: Speaking of waters, try out these locations for a splendid time fishing in Puerto Rico.
Uncovering the Best of the Bioluminescent Mosquito Bay
Without further ado, here’s a quick dive into what Puerto Mosquito, Puerto Rico, has to offer.
What to Know About Mosquito Bay
A type of plankton called dinoflagellates causes the bioluminescence seen in the waters. When disturbed, they produce a chemical reaction that gives off blue-green light.
Travelers flock to Puerto Rico to marvel at this glow. As a result, Mosquito Bay is one of the country’s most popular attractions.
It comes as no surprise that Mosquito Bay’s bioluminescent waters call all who are interested in seeing its magnificence. But there are a few things to know before visiting this slice of Caribbean paradise.
Why Is It Called Mosquito Bay?
Despite its name, Mosquito Bay does not get its moniker from buzzing mosquitoes.
The iconic bio bay was actually named after a ship used by the famous Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresí. He owned a small vessel called “El Mosquito,” which he often hid in the bay to evade capture.
What to Expect When Visiting Mosquito Bay, Puerto Rico
Visiting a destination with this name is sure to elicit the question, “Does Mosquito Bay have mosquitoes?” Yes, it does. But compared to other parts of Puerto Rico, you won’t find nearly as many mosquitoes here.
This is because the island is too far from any other land mass. In addition, the surrounding waters are far too deep to sustain them. That said, you will encounter mosquitoes as your kayak passes through the mangroves.
It’s natural (and valid) to wonder if the mosquitoes are dangerous. Bites and itchiness aren’t your only concern. Mosquitoes in Puerto Rico can infect you with a disease like dengue, which is spread by their bites.
So, how can you protect yourself as a traveler in Mosquito Bay and Puerto Rico as a whole?
Follow these tips to avoid mosquito bites and stay safe:
- Wearing long sleeves and pants is the best way to prevent mosquito bites.
- If you’re going to be outside for any extended period of time, consider using an insect repellant – but make sure you use it sparingly because it could also be bad for your health and the environment.
- Place a mosquito net around your sleeping area to create a protective barrier so mosquitoes don’t bite you.
- If you do need to go out and about, ensure you cover your skin with clothing before applying repellant. Look at using an effective DEET-free mosquito repellent and reapply as needed. This is because repellents containing DEET can harm dinoflagellates, the tiny organisms that give the bay its blue-green glow. Natural alternatives include citronella, lemongrass, and lemon eucalyptus oil.
What is the Best Time of Year to Visit Puerto Rico’s Mosquito Bay?
To make the most of your trip to see the bioluminescence, consider visiting Mosquito Bay between December and mid-April (during the dry season).
This way, you’ll find that seeing the glowing dinoflagellates will be much easier than in the rainy season. Running from late April to November, the rain from this season makes it difficult to see the bioluminescence as it tends to cloud the water.
Also, when planning your visit, it’s essential to consider moon phases. The new or crescent moon is best. You’ll get a better view of the glowing effect with minimal light from the skies.
Another consideration is insects. Despite mosquitoes in Puerto Rico being active year-round, they’re less likely to be as prevalent in the dry season as they prefer hot, humid weather.
3 Ways to Enjoy the Mosquito Bay of Puerto Rico
Restrictions that have been placed on specific activities, like swimming, are to prevent disruption or harm to the organisms responsible for the bioluminescence. This is why most guided tours and activities in Mosquito Bay focus on kayaking and catamaran boat tours.
Paddling whilst in kayaks doesn’t disturb the waters as much as swimming does. The skin oils and chemicals from people’s bodies can disrupt Mosquito Bay’s ecosystem. Furthermore, the use of kayaks and electric-powered boats doesn’t release pollutants or harmful gasses into the air and water.
Mosquito Bay is a fragile ecosystem. So it’s crucial to follow guidelines set by tour operators to protect the bioluminescence for generations to come.
With these restrictions in place, you can experience the wonders of Puerto Mosquito without negatively impacting the environment.
That said, here are fun, unique ways you can enjoy the magic of Mosquito Bay in Vieques, Puerto Rico.
1. Enjoy Bioluminescent Bay Night Kayaking
Kayaking is one of the most popular activities in Mosquito Bay. Paddle through the bio bay’s enchanting waters at night. Here, you can watch the bioluminescence come alive as you glide your hands through the waters.
Tip: For an even more magical experience, opt for clear-bottom kayaks. You’ll get to see the mystical glow from a unique perspective.
2. Relax on Mosquito Beach With Crystal-Clear Water Views
Situated near the opening of the bay is Mosquito Beach. While waiting for the night to fall, spend your day unwinding and enjoying your natural surroundings. Mosquito Beach is a great spot to relax while passing time.
3. Go on a Mosquito Bay Tour via Boat
If you’re keen on seeing the bioluminescence but aren’t too fond of getting wet on a kayak, then a boat tour is your best bet.
Here, you can observe the bioluminescence all from the comfort of a dry boat ride with other guests.
FAQs on Mosquito Bay
Here are answers to commonly asked questions about Mosquito Bay.
What Is Mosquito Bay Also Known As?
Mosquito Bay is also known as Bahía Bioluminiscente.
What Is Special About Mosquito Bay?
The bay is home to the world’s brightest bioluminescent effect.
Is Mosquito Bay Worth It?
Absolutely. The bioluminescent bay is a great way to experience unique natural phenomena up close.
Ready for Mosquito Bay, The Best Bioluminescent Bay in Puerto Rico?
Mosquito Bay, Vieques, is one of Puerto Rico’s natural paradises that promises you an illuminating adventure like no other. In addition to experiencing the breathtaking light show firsthand, there are a variety of activities to do on this island.
Keen on visiting another bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico? Island Journeys offers both El Yunque Rainforest and Bio Bay kayaking tours that will take you around the island, allowing you to enjoy nature’s brilliance. Your journey will leave you with fond memories you’ll carry long after the lights fade as night turns to day.
Call 787-978-8080 now and book the most inspirational vacation ever!