Arriving in Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan, I was taken aback with just how close the beach was to the city. It seemed to be quite possible to experience this idyllic island without venturing far from the capital. Whilst this is undoubtedly true and possibly quite tempting for some, I knew I had to leave the bustle of San Juan behind to see what else the island had to offer. Soon, the busy casinos and beaches became wildlife watching and food festivals. With so much to do on the island, the focus of this article is on some of the most unique destinations to steer the unacquainted visitor towards the wonderful fusion of natural beauty and Latin energy that is Puerto Rico.
The Vieques Bio Bay
Lying just off the southern shores of Puerto Rico is Vieques Island, the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world. This magical natural wonder is best visited at night, when in the waters of the bay are millions of micro-organisms called dinoflagellates,which are responsible for this natural phenomenon. When these tiny, plant-like particles under the water’s surface are disturbed, they produce a burst of glowing blue-green light. Kayaking through the mangrove trees on a moonless night, watching the oars glowing blue in the water is certainly a memorable experience, and the bay is a worthy member of the Puerto Rican Natural Landmark Association. If you arrive earlier in the day and find yourself waiting for night to fall, the waters surrounding the island are home to humpback whales. Look out for any movement which breaks the surface of the water, such as whales’ fins, tails or the water spouts which are formed when they exhale at the water’s surface.