La Parguera Glowing Bioluminescent Bay Tour From San Juan

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Tour Information

Key Details

  • Mobile Voucher Accepted
  • Hotel pickup Available
  • Free Cancellation
  • Duration: 8 Hrs
  • Language:
    English
  • Departure Time :
    2:30 PM Hotel pickups commence approximately 30 - 60 minutes prior to this time
  • Departure Details :
    • Selected areas of San Juan (Old San Juan, Condado and Isla Verde nearby locations and touristic zones)
  • Return Details :
    Returns to original departure point
  • Cancellation Policy :
    For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.

Overview

Experience one of Puerto Ricos most magical bioluminescent bays and head to discover the South-west part of our Island. The bio bay at La Parguera is the islands only bioluminescent bay where you are still allowed to swim. Head on a 2 hour estimate journey thru the picturesque central mountains until reaching the southern coast.  Once arrived at La Parguera enjoy some appetizers at a local restaurant (additional food and beverage costs not included) before heading out in the boat ride through mangrove canals.  You will enjoy the West side's famous sunset as night falls, and we head out to the bay. Then its time to delve into La Parguera's glowing waters for approximately 30-45 minutes before returning to shore.  Here you will have the opportunity to jump into the water and enjoy this spectacle, or watch others swim as they create gleaming streams of light.

Highlights

Small group ensures personal service

Free hotel pickup and drop-off included

Instant Confirmation

Likely to Sell Out

Know More about this tour

La Parguera, a small fishing village in Lajas (southwestern area of Puerto Rico) has reborn as a local and international destination.  Because of its geographical location, La Parguera offers one of the best preserved coral reef systems and mangrove forests in the Caribbean. Various restaurants and bars add to the local attractions.

Begin with pickup from your San Juan hotel, we will then drive for about 2-hours (bathroom stops offered along the way). Enjoy the panoramic and lush green views of the Central area of the Island, and passing by the renown PONCE letters, we will continue our drive to the Southwestern side.  We will stop for some appetizers before heading out in the boat ride.

The magic begins with the beautiful sunset view while we head out for a 25 minute ride through the mangrove channels.  Here you will have the opportunity to swim before it gets dark and we head out to the area where the bioluminescence happens.  Your guide will explain everything you need to know about these microscopic dinoflagelates that give off heat in the form of light when disturbed.  Once we reach the bay you will have the opportunity to swim (optional) and experience this phenomenon first hand. We will spend some time here so everyone may take in the magic, before we head back to shore.  Activity concludes with the drive back and drop off in San Juan.

Please note:
- In order to preserve the life of the dinoflagellates if you plan to swim on the bay abstain from using perfume, her gel/spray and mosquito repellent (use only organic ones).
- You must be able to climb back to the boat thru a small ladder.

Inclusions

Complimentary pickup and drop-off in selected areas of San Juan (Old San Juan, Condado and Isla Verde locations and touristic zones)

Certified Guide 

Appetizers at La Parguera (vegetarian option available, please notify)

Bottles of water and local beer at the boat

Exclusions

Additional food and drinks

Gratuity

Additional Info

Confirmation will be received at time of booking

May be operated by a multilingual guide

Minimum numbers apply. Cancellation after confirmation is possible if there are not enough guests to meet requirements. If this occurs you can choose between an alternative tour date or full refund.

It is an approximately 2-hour drive from San Juan to La Parguera each way, depending on the time of day and traffic.

Complimentary car seats or booster seats available upon request.

If planning to swim: follow preservation instructions, wear bathing suit, bring a towel and a change of clothes.  Rash guard is also recommended as we may encounter jellyfish.

Total activity duration of 8 hours include driving time and stop for appetizers.

Traveler Reviews

  • 21-Oct-2019

    We were very skeptical taking this trip considering the length of travel but after doing the tour, all we can say is it is totally worth it. Tour started of with a prompt pick up from our hotel at 2 pm, we hit traffic on the way and with a brief 15 minute restroom break, it took us about 3 hours to reach La Parguera. We were then provided with some fresh tacos for an early dinner and then set off to our boat. It was a small group of 7 people including our 5 year old daughter and 2 crew members and a captain. The experience of bio-luminescence is truly mind blowing, we were initially watching it from the boat due to our kid being young but the crew convinced and helped us to swim in the water with a floater and we felt so glad we stepped into the water. The bio-luminescence is amazing once you swim in the water compared to seeing it from the boat. Its impossible to capture it with mobile phones or regular lenses, so don't bother trying to take a picture and just enjoy the experience. The ride back was about 2 hours long and we reached back to the hotel around 11 PM. Overall, swimming in the bio bay sets this tour apart from the rest of the bio-bay tours and would definitely recommend this tour and the company.

  • 30-Jul-2019

    Julian and Hector were fantastic. The town is very quaint. It was a once in a life time experience. Would definitely recommend this tour.

  • 15-Apr-2019

    Note to look at availability around the time you book. We saw it unavailable for a week and quickly booked. It was unavailable because of the moon. So, when we out we could barely see the fish. Dark water didn’t bother us. The “snack” of fish tacos was fine. It should be noted you need to bring your own towels - at least 2 pp. Also, our boat I felt was overbooked. There were 10 extra people outside of our tour and there were not seats in the boats for everyone (and probably insufficient life vests). The drive is LONG - closer to 2.5 hours each way. The operator should have not used our van. The headlights didn’t work and the nice guide had to use the high beams the entire ride home. He had also been working since 7 am and I was concerned about his driving (as I was sitting in the front row). The van also had another service light on. We’ve done Viator for years all over the world; they’ve always been excellent. I did not like this one and would not recommend for the high price to see a few sparkles in the water.

  • 20-Dec-2018

    A magical once in a lifetime experience! Excellent guides made this an adventure I'll never forget. The drive across the interior from San Juan was fun: our tour guide talked about the island, it's history, and anything we wanted to know. Then they fed us excellent tacos and we also enjoyed a Modella (local beer). The boat ride during sunset was so lovely. We stopped at a mangrove for the experience (spoiler: watch for hermit crabs everywhere you walk) And then the biobay. OMG - SPECTACULAR! We jumped overboard and the water lit up like crazy around our bodies! When we moved quickly it got brighter. When we moved slowly, it sparkled like bright glitter. We got to enjoy swimming in the warm water, under the stars, with magic all around, for over half an hour. I will never forget this! Notes: Many interior roads are still under repair so the ride can be bumpy. I suggest Dramamine if this concerns you. Lifejackets and noodles were available if wanted. (you will be treading water for at least 30 minutes) There is a bathroom for drying and changing. Bring wet wipes if you need to "wash off" the salt water (honestly we didn't care, we sat on our towels during the drive back and showered after). Our meal consisted of two tacos (a couple choices of filling) and that was surprisingly too much! And I'm a taco connoisseur :) Re: kids... I suggest NO. Take them on one of the kayak biobay tours. The drive across the island to this bay is long and kind of uncomfortable, the boat ride can be as well, it gets pitch black out, the water is deep and you can't touch the bottom, there are fish etc swimming around in that "black" water which could frighten them if they touch (it startled me), guides cannot watch them for you nor should they be distracted by kids, and the trip back is long especially after all the fun (we returned at 11:30pm). And honestly, although I'm a parent and love kids, this is an adult experience and having children there could ruin it for others. (I personally am very glad there were no children to distract the hosts and other guests, or get tired and cranky on our excursion.) PS... This is pretty romantic! It's a night you'll never forget!

  • 11-Jun-2018

    This was certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity. I took with me my entire family on this trip and every person in my family loved it.

    You take a 2 hour drive from your hotel, they showed up promptly when they said they would arrive, there was 13 overall in the group we were with and were seated in a very comfortable bus as we drove to La Paguera and took in the sites that you see as your drove down. We stopped at a local place to grab some drinks and a bite to eat. The food at this place is not top of the line, but the 2 taco's provided may not be filling enough, so I would recommend grabbing something more while you are there. You do have the ability to change to a suit here, but I would recommend if your suit is dry to have it on prior to arriving and bring dry clothes to change into after the boat ride.

    After we snacked we boarded the boat and rode to one of the cays. It is only about 4 feet deep at the deepest point and was very warm water and had a great time playing in the water until the sunset was over. We gathered back up in the boat and took about a 10 minute boat ride over to the bio bay. My initial impressions were wow, I spent my money on this as I was expecting the bay to be glowing. However, my kid jumped into the water which was warmer than the cay saltier too and as he jumped in, then you could see the bay glowing as they swamp around. We grabbed some cool pictures - as there is very little light you need to be able to have a camera that can have a high ISO setting and a wide aperature. The Samsung S8/S9 or a professional camera have this capability. It would take about 12 seconds to take a picture and the guide would flash some light as we were taking the picture to allow to get the pictures showing the glowing water. You can't use a flash as it will kill the organism in the water, so work with the guide to take some amazing pictures.

    This was by far one of the best things that we have done and we debated doing the kayak tour or this one and I am glad that I exceeded the 190 lbs so I couldn't do the kayak tour, because actually being able to swim in the biobay and watch as you brought your arm out of the water and it just glowing as the water runs off your arm and the bay was absolutely incredible.

    After we spent time in the bay for a while we rode back to shore and dried up and changed clothes so we weren't wet for the 2 hour drive back. There is not a place to shower, so if you have baby wipes to wipe off your body afterwards - this can help with any itchiness from the salt, but it wasn't that bad.

    the drive back to San Juan was silent as most everybody was sleeping and they dropped us off directly back at our hotel.

    My kids were talking non-stop about this for the next few days after this trip and said that was the coolest thing they have ever done! So if a group of technology based teenagers can say that it is the coolest thing, then you really need to try out this excursion. This is not something that is advertised well as there is very limited spots to do this.

  • 30-May-2018

    This was amazing! And I don't use that word lightly. It does take a bit longer to get there than the bay at Fajardo and it does cost a bit more, but it's worth it. Unlike the kayaking tours at Fajardo, you boat in and are allowed to actually get out and swim. Every time you move, the water glows. And even when you're still in the water, when it's really dark i.e. no moon, you can see your skin seem to twinkle in the water. It's one of the coolest experiences ever! But don't expect to capture photos like they show here. Unfortunately, most phone cameras aren't capable of really catching the glow even though it's easily visible to the human eye.

    You'll ride by van to La Parguera, a cute little village about two hours from San Juan. There you'll stop at a local bar where you'll have a few tacos we had three each with a choice of fish, chicken, or veggie and beer or water/soft drinks. Then on the boat you'll have more water or beer they call it Puerto Rican water, your choice.

    My biggest suggestion is to try to go on a night when there is either no moon or it is overcast. You can clearly see the glow even when there's a moon, but it really is more spectacular when it's dark dark. We went on a night when there was a half moon that was periodically blotted out by clouds so we could see the difference.

    And one more thing...the kayaking tours have a weight limit usually 190 lbs, but this one doesn't. So if you're on the large side, this one is definitely a better choice.

  • 26-May-2017

    WOW!!!! what an amazing experience! If there is anything that you think that you might not get around to on your Puerto Rico vacation, make sure this isn't it.

    The bay is absolutely incredible. Pictures don't really capture the glow of the water adequately unless you have the new Sony a7sii. This is something that you have to see for yourself. My favorite part is how you can see fish darting away underwater in a bright blue-greenish light as they push through the plankton. They look like small underwater lightning bolts. Also saw the outline of sting rays which was very cool.

    My friends and I took the Boat Tour To the Bio Bay in La Parguera with Bespoke Tours. Our driver and tour guide Krystal, was awesome! She gave us a bunch of information on the drive there and back about the island history, culture and politics. So glad that we did this BioBay tour because it turned out to be a much better value than the kayak tour in Vieques and Fajardo. The boat takes you all the way to the other side of the mangrove forest. Also don't forget to bring your swimsuits and towels you won't want to miss swimming!

    This is a must do while in Puerto Rico since this is one of only 5 bays in the world.
    We want to see Krystal next time we go to Puerto Rico :. Thank you so much Viator and their partners for a unforgettable experience.

  • 04-Mar-2017

    I love this tour .amazing guide and beatiful tour in tha boat

  • 01-Jan-2017

    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.

  • 31-Dec-2016

    This tour was awesome, and the guide unsurpassable. Very knowledgeable, welcoming and helpful. The boat ride was fun, and the snorkeling outstanding. We were able to watch several colorful fish and discover the mysteries of the mangroves. Now, the bioluminescent bay itself is simply indescribable! We were swimming and glowing with the water and the bioluminescent organisms, plus, we had a canopy of thousands of stars watching over us. It was the MOST amazing experience I have had in my life! My son and I truly enjoyed this trip and highly recommend it to anyone thinking of taking it. Believe me, it is worth more than one can ever imagine!