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  • Writer's picturePolly Clover

Bioluminescent Bay St. Croix, USVI: Where and When to See It


Bioluminscent Bay, St. Croix
Bioluminscent Bay, St. Croix

Exploring the bioluminescent bay in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, is one of the most unique and fun experiences. There are two biobays in St. Croix, but only one is considered a “super glow” bio bay, where you can see water that glows at night from light emitted from living organisms in the water.


In this article, we’ll share where and when to see the glowing bioluminescent light in St. Croix. We’ll also explore fun facts about the bioluminescent bay in St. Croix and the best way to experience the biobay.


Where to See the Bioluminescent Bay in St. Croix

There are two places to see the biobay in St. Croix: Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve and Altona Lagoon. 


Salt River’s Bay is a “super glow” biobay and the most popular place on St. Croix to experience bioluminescence. It’s known as a “super glow” biobay because there’s a high enough concentration of organisms to be visible 365 days per year, regardless of the moon phase or weather conditions.


When can you see bioluminescence in St. Croix?

Although you can see bioluminescence year-round in Salt River Bay, many factors impact the visibility of the biobay concentration and glow. Ambient light in the sky, generally from the moon, can diminish the effects of the bio since there isn’t as much contrast between the light in the sky and light in the water. 


You can book a guided tour to ensure you explore the bioluminescent bay in St. Croix at the right time to see the bioluminescence. Virgin Kayak Tours offers Bioluminescence Kayak Tours when the bio is most visible. During a tour, you get a hand-held net to agitate the water for an incredible glow. The best part? It’s easy to focus on the bioluminescence since Virgin Kayak Tours’ kayaks are foot-pedaled, giving you a hands-free experience.


When the bioluminescence effects aren’t as visible, you can book a Sunset and Moonlight Biobay Tour. The Sunset and Moonlight Tour lets you explore Salt River Bay while catching the end of the sunset and learning about the bay’s unique history in a peaceful setting. As you kayak to the biobay, you still even get to see a glimpse of the bioluminescent glow.


St. Croix Salt River Bay Sunset
St. Croix Salt River Bay Sunset

Can you swim in the bioluminescent bay?

To help protect and preserve the bioluminescent organisms, swimming isn’t allowed in the bioluminescent bay. The best way to enjoy the biobay is by looking at and appreciating the scenery and glow.


Fun Facts About the Bioluminescent Bay in St. Croix

As one of only ten studied super glow biobays in the world, Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve is one of the most fascinating places in the Virgin Islands, with over 2,000 years of human history in the Caribbean.


Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve covers over a thousand acres and has numerous prehistoric and colonial-era archeological sites and ruins. The area preserves an abundance of natural, cultural, and historical resources, which document the human and natural Caribbean world from the earliest indigenous settlements to the present day. 


Not only do mangrove forests, upland watersheds, and estuarine and marine environments protect threatened and endangered species throughout Salt River Bay, but they also create a peaceful slice of paradise in St. Croix. 


Five different bioluminescent organisms are found in Salt River Bay. The two most abundant are dinoflagellates and diatoms. There are also egg sacks of the Bermuda fireworm, fireflies, and comb jellies. You can learn more about all of these organisms during a biobay tour with Virgin Kayak Tours.


Virgin Kayak Tours Bioluminescent Bay Tour
Virgin Kayak Tours Bioluminescent Bay Tour

Explore the Stunning Biobay in St. Croix

A guided tour with Virgin Kayak Tours is an incredible way to explore the bioluminescent bay in St. Croix.


Virgin Kayak Tours has been showing visitors the beauty of Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve since 1998. You can tour the biobay in a Hobie Mirage Kayak, which is foot-pedaled and offers a hands-free experience, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the opportunity of easily using the provided nets to agitate the water and see the biobay glow. 


The Hobie Mirage Kayaks are sturdy and comfortable, with a weight capacity of up to 260 pounds per person. They offer a fun experience exploring the bio bay in St. Croix for anyone six years and older. No matter your kayak level, you can easily move your legs back and forth in the Hobie Mirage Kayak to cruise along the water and enjoy your Salt River Bay experience. 


During a tour with Virgin Kayaks Tour, your guide will discuss local ecology and history as you explore the biobay and enjoy a memorable St. Croix, USVI adventure.




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