Well it wasn’t quite as exciting as the movie Avatar, but the bio-luminescent bay is still a must see while in Puerto Rico! We arrived to the kayak launch spot close to the ocean town of Fajardo in plenty of time to enjoy some Puerto Rican street food of beans and rice with plantains from one of the food trucks and sip some Sprite with Don Q lime rum. When it was time for our tour to start, everyone in the group put on life vests and we got into the two person kayaks.
Getting through the mangrove trees in pitch black darkness was what really ruins the experience from being relaxing or romantic. With some tour groups heading towards the bay and some coming away with only small glow sticks on the ends of their kayak, collisions happened more than once. The group struggled to stay together with some people paddling too fast and some too slow. The guides did the best they could but still the process was quite stressful. Thanks goodness I had some rum before getting out there, geez!
Upon arriving in the bay, we were free to paddle around for a bit. The water glittered with light when we put our paddles into it, and sparkled in our hands when we scooped it up. One of the guides entertained us by twirling the water into cool designs with his paddle. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to swim in the bay because the government is trying to protect the microorganisms which cause the glow, which can be damaged from the oils of sweat and sunscreen, not to mention the heaps of bug spray we were all wearing.
I don’t have any pictures of the bay since it was pitch dark outside when we visited. I would highly recommend the late night trip that we did though, because the darkness really brought out the glow of the water. I think at twilight the glow would not have been as impressive!
Exhausted after kayaking and dealing with the crazy crowd of people at the bay, Shirin drove back to the apartment and we collapsed into bed. We were planning to get more sporty sightseeing in the next day with a visit to the rainforest as well, so rest was essential.
But before heading to the rainforest, we headed to the Bacardi rum factory in the morning. Obviously, we needed to hydrate for our hike later in the day. Upon arriving, we sipped a complimentary Bacardi beverage and waited in the pavilion until it was time for the tour to begin. We took the tour in Spanish and I practiced my listening skills with clarification from Shirin about what was being said.
We walked through a sort of “museum” of the history of Bacardi; even though we were on the grounds where they make the rum, they don’t let the tours go behind the scenes. The whole thing felt like a kind of Disneyland for rum production, complete with a gift shop at the end. I bought a few souvenirs, then we got out of there to head to the rain forest. Touristy? Heck yes. Worth it? I’d have to say this is an attraction to skip, not nearly as nice or exciting as some other distillery and brewery tours I have taken.
In my next post, I’ll tell you all about our tour of the El Yunque rain forest! In the meantime, where is a cool place you have kayaked? Have you ever kayaked in the dark? Share some kayaking love in the comments below!