Bio Bay, El Yuncue and Flamenco Beach

If you only do one thing while in Puerto Rico, go to one of their Bioluminescent Bays.  There are a couple of them and I'm sure they're all great so just pick one and go.  I'm not sure the name of the one we went to, but it was on the main island near a market.  We set it up with our hotel and headed to the meeting spot to find our group one night.  

We arrived early and walked around looking for food (the boys were ALWAYS hungry).  During our search for food and souvenirs we found parrots!  They made for a fun photo opportunity.
This one was trying to fight Brandon haha
Once you're at the Bio Bay you double up in kayaks and navigate through mangroves until you're out in the open water.   Luckily we (the four of us) were pretty good kayakers but the same can't be said for everyone else in the group.  It's a good arm workout for sure.  
What makes the Bio Bay so very amazing is that when you touch the water it lights up light blue.  I felt like a 4 year old at Disneyland.  I can't even describe how awesome it is.  So magical.  I couldn't take my hands out of the water - it was so fun splashing around and see it magically light up.  When my hands weren't in the water I loved watching the oars stir the water and create a light blue light around us.  It is amazing and truly something you must do in your lifetime.

I tried taking 10,000 pictures of the water, with no success, as you can tell from the photo below.  I think a super long exposure is needed to capture it.  
So, here are some cheesey pictures from internet-land that give you an idea of what the water looks like.

For more pics of what the water looks like click here and here.

Now onto El Yunque.  Interesting fact - it is the only rainforest in the Caribbean.  We spent a day here and had a great time.  On the drive up we listened to the Jurassic Park theme music because it seemed so fitting.  We expected to see a dinosaur pop out at any minute!  We were really glad we had rented a car instead of having a taxi take us because it saved us a lot of money and gave us the freedom to roam around as we please inside the forest.

It was so lush and green and tropical.

Next stop, Culebra.  Although tiny, the airports here in PR that are used to get between smaller islands were fairly legit (especially compared to some of the little ones in Fiji).  We were freezing cold at the airport and used every blanket we could find to bundle up.  

Finally on board the tiny plane head to the little island of Culebra!

We had planned to take the boat out of Fajardo to the island since it's a lot cheaper, but they were having all sorts of difficulties and fewer boats were running so there wasn't room for us which meant if we wanted to go then we needed to fly. Although it was about $45 each way, it ended up being the better option because it was A) faster B) no motion sickness and C) the most beautiful views. I recommend flying, but if you do want to take the boat make sure to get there early since a lot of the locals use the boat as well and it fills up quickly, especially if something breaks down and or they're carrying especially large loads of cargo (as was the case when we were there).

Whenever I fly in small planes I feel overcome with gratitude.  I'm not sure what triggers this feeling, but I feel so immensely grateful for everything in my life as I sit in the window and look out at the world below me.  It's the best feeling.

Looking at a little plane and boat making their way back to the island at sunset.
Made it to Flamenco Beach.
Flamenco Beach is supposedly in the top 10 beaches in the world.  I'm not sure about that, but it was beautiful.  Click here to see where it's been voted in the top.  

I got such a wicked sun burn laying out on this beach for hours and hours.  I'm fortunate in that I tan more than I burn, but laying out in the blazing sun for hours on end without sunscreen after being inside all winter is not a smart idea!  I also became dehydrated and lost my appetite the following day and slept a lot.  Could've been worse, but lesson learned.  
From the picture below you can see I wasn't the only one who left with a burn!  We all got pretty burned, except for Dakota who seems to be part Indian or something.

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