La Parguera

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Ella M on July 28, 2000

During the day, La Parguera is a sleepy village on the southwestern side of the island. At night, however, the place is festive and full of life. Something to look forward to, perhaps, when you come back from your boating trip. Several boats take nightly trips to the bioluminescent bay, with its beautiful glowing creatures. These microorganisms, called dinoflagellates, are harmless, unless you happen to be plankton.

Try to get a seat in the back of the boat—you will have the best view of its glowing, foaming wake. Also, take note of where the life jackets are. This will almost certainly be an unnecessary precaution, but it could help save valuable time during an emergency.

The boats travel without lights to help the passengers get their night vision. Little happens during the long minutes it takes a boat to reach its destination; perhaps a bright flicker here and there. Then suddenly, the water around the craft will start glowing – greeted, most likely, by collective oohs and aahs. The glow gets stronger and stronger yet: a delicate neon breaking the monotony of the night. Finally, the ship will stop in the secluded bay where the bioluminescent organisms live. Any little movement will make the water glow; otherwise—darkness.

The majority of ships make passengers stay on board. If you have the opportunity to charter a boat that will let you swim in the bay, do so. The extra expense will be well worth the memory of this trip.

Tip: Please resist the urge to take some of the dinoflagellates home with you. Even if kept in a bottle with salt water, they will die within a few hours. There are very few bioluminescent bays in the world; please help preserve them.

La Parguera
Southwestern coast
San Juan, Puerto Rico

© LP 2000-2009