I think people should fully understand this tour before
deciding whether or not to book it. The tour description you
can find online is not exactly accurate/complete.
First off, it's a really long drive to get to the
Bioluminescent Bay it's across the island, so you've got a
long trip there and a long one on the way back. So when you
get there you're pretty hungry because it's around dinner
time. I understood that there was a light dinner included,
but really they just offer to buy some some empanadas at a
stall in the area. But they give you an hour in the town to
go eat dinner at one of the restaurants there, if you like,
which is what we did.
Then you get on the boat and do a short boat ride to this
one area where they park it for about an hour to wait for
the sunset. There is a small amount of fish to see if you
want to snorkel, so you can do that. If you don't, you're
just stuck on the boat waiting for the hour. After we were
there for the majority of the time, then they offered us a
beer or a bottle of water. I don't see why they didn't offer
that sooner... those of us who didn't do the snorkeling were
just sitting there on the boat.
After the sun sets, then the boat takes you to another area
where the bioluminescence is. Just so you know, it is not
like many of the photos found online-- those are done doing
a very long exposure, so they look like the water is just
glowing blue strongly. When you first see them, they're just
some sparkles in the water.
Here are the things that most people didn't realize. The
water is 9 feet deep and is completely jet black. This
unnerved a few of the people on the tour, and they didn't
want to get in for that reason. 2nd, you can't really see
the cool blue effect of the bioluminescence unless you're in
the water and you can see it around your arms and legs when
you move them. I was one of the small number of people who
actually got in the water, and I did think it was amazing.
The blue when I moved, plus looking at the sparkles with the
snorkel goggles was pretty awesome. But I heard from the
people on the boat that they couldn't really see that much
when we were moving our arms and legs around in the water,
that it was so faint they could barely see anything at all.
Another thing people don't realize is that you're probably
not going to be able to get a photo or video of it. Those
kinds of photos generally require a long exposure, which the
average person's camera can't really do, plus you're on a
boat, so it's moving, which makes long exposures difficult.
My camera is capable of pretty long exposures, and even then
I wasn't able to get any successful pictures. Another thing
some people didn't realize is that there is no way to
shower/rinse off after getting out of the saltwater. This
means that if you want to get in, you're going to be salty
and sticky for the boat ride back, plus the long drive back
to San Juan. This put some people off from doing the
snorkeling earlier or getting in the water to see the
bioluminescence. I myself had a great time, because I
thought the water was nice and warm to be in, and the glow
was awesome around my legs, and the sparkles were so cool to
see with the goggles. It's an experience you can't see that
many places, and I thought it was pretty amazing. But for
the people that remained on the boat, they were happy for
the people that got in the water and all, but for them it
wasn't as amazing.
So I'm just warning you, think before you book this tour,
because for those that didn't want to get in dark water, or
didn't want to get salty and have to be that way for hours,
it was a long drive there, an hour wait at dinner time, an
hour wait at sunset with nothing really to do, and then the
waiting time while the people who were checking out the
bioluminescence did their thing, then a long drive back..
and it's not exactly a cheap tour, either. I had a good time
overall, but I know some others were a bit disappointed.