Kayaking through the mangroves was enjoyable, as well as
paddling out onto the large lake with a beautiful sunset.
However, the bioluminesence was largely non-existent due it
still being the twilight hour and the full moon shining like
a spotlight onto Laguna Grande lake. As a result of the moon
and other ambient light, the guides had us group our kayaks
together where we received an astronomy lesson on the first
stars that were appearing in the sky, as well as the
dinoflagellates which cause the luminescence. We then
proceeded to pull a large tarp over the entire group to
darken our view of the water. With the tarp over our heads,
and under increased but not total darkness, we were told to
splash the water with our hands to see the bioluminesence.
While you could see a few flashes of light here and there,
it was really difficult to see anything which was the point
of the whole excursion. In hindsight, I should have checked
the lunar calendar.
I should point out that in the beginning of the tour
during the guide talk, we thought were a bit overdressed in
long sleeves and long pants in preparation for mosquitoes.
However, I am definitely glad we were protected but could
have used more mosquito repellent on all exposed skin. My 8
year old daughter did not like the trip and was attacked
pretty fiercely by mosquitoes about 25 to 30 bites on her
face alone. However, my son and I simply enjoyed paddling in
a new environment.
You will have to wade through waste deep water to get to
the kayaks so be prepared to get very wet. The day we were
there the bay/inlet where you start from was full of smelly
dead sea grass which we had to wade through.
Booking through Viator was easy, the tour company Pure
Adventure was responsive. They are also very easy to find in
Parque La Juventud. We initially planned to walk from the El
Conquistador resort to the Pure Adventures tent in the park
as it is about a 10 minute walk from the bottom of the
Funicular just go North from the gate at the El Conquistador
Marina but I thought that area was a little sketch to be
walking back late at night with my kids.
Ultimately, I gave it three stars because it was new and
different and we paddled to a beautiful lake but did not
meet any expectation to see the bioluminesence. I do chalk
that up partially to my own fault for not planning for the
Lunar schedule, it just did not occur to me. However, it
would have been nice if the outfitter, with their
experience, had pointed that out beforehand so we could make
an informed decision. As an ex river guide myself, I know
how difficult it is to provide an enjoyable experience for
customers when conditions are less than desirable so kudos
to them for trying.
I would like to do this again, on a night with a new moon
instead of Full moon, and to see Mosquito Bay on