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Visit The Isle of Vieques: its Bioluminescent Bay is arguably the world’s best.
About 6 miles to the south east of Puerto Rico, lies the Isla De Vieques, otherwise known as ‘Isla Nena’ (Spanish for little girl), a reference to its little sister relationship with the larger neighbouring island. Under Spanish influence for 400 years, it was ceded to the United States along with Puerto Rico in 1898, after Spain's defeat in the Spanish–American War.
Infamously used by the U.S. Navy for bombing practice, most of the island was closed off to tourism for sixty years and this lack of development is now its key attraction. The U.S Navy left Vieques in 2003 and it's fast becoming a popular get-away-from-it-all destination.
It’s easy to see why. Most of the island has been designated a national wildlife refuge and there are only two notable towns: Isabel Segunda to the north, and Esperanza to the south. It’s a far cry from the typical Caribbean resort. The island’s fabulous deserted beaches are great for snorkelling especially at the Bahía de la Chiva, but the real draw is Puerto Mosquito. Don’t be put off by the name. It’s arguably the world’s most impressive bioluminescent bay thanks to the clarity and brightness of its waters. Micro-organisms called dinoflagellates glow when the water is disturbed causing a magical neon blue sheen.
This amazing phenomenon is only possible given certain conditions, including the red mangrove trees surrounding the water (the dead leaves provide food for the micro-organisms), a complete lack of modern development and a small channel to keep the dinoflagellates in the bay. The Spanish, believing the bioluminescence was the work of the Devil, dropped huge boulders in the channel to block the ocean's waters, but only increased the glow. Take a guided kayak trip or swim and see the fascinating phenomenon for yourself.