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La Parguera Glowing Bioluminescent Bay Tour from San Juan

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San Juan, Caribbean
Book online or call: (888) 651-9785(888) 651-9785

From US$199.00

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8 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
Offered in: English and 1 more

Overview

Swim and snorkel in the bioluminescent bay at La Parguera during this 8-hour tour from San Juan. Learn about this natural phenomenon through your guide's informative commentary during a short boat trip through the mangrove forests on the way to the bay. Slip on the provided snorkel equipment and dive into the water after dark, surrounded by tiny, harmless dinoflagellates that light up with the disturbance of the water. A light pre-swim dinner at a local restaurant is included, as well as round-trip transportation from your San Juan hotel. 
  • 8-hour swim and snorkel tour to the La Parguera bioluminescent bay from San Juan
  • Swim and snorkel in a secluded bay lit up by microscopic organisms
  • Learn about dinoflagellates, the tiny, harmless creatures that cause this natural phenomenon
  • Light dinner of empanadillas included
  • Pickup and drop-off from most San Juan hotels included
Begin your evening excursion with pickup at your San Juan hotel. Board a tour vehicle with your small group of fellow adventurers and travel to La Parguera, a small fishing village in southwestern Puerto Rico. The bioluminescent bay located there is the only one in Puerto Rico that allows swimming and snorkeling. 

Arrive in La Parguera and listen to a short introduction to the natural phenomenon by your local guide. Eat a light meal of homemade empanadillas, soda and beer while you learn. After the sun sets, board a boat for the 25-minute ride through the mangrove swamps to the bioluminescent bay. Once you reach the bay, sip on the provided snorkel gear and dive in. Your swimming and snorkeling disturbs the glowing dinoflagellates, microscopic creatures that give off a glowing light, creating an otherworldly effect. Spend 30 to 45 minutes marveling at this strange, lovely light show before heading back to the tour center. 

Board your transportation back to San Juan for hotel drop-off. 

Traveler Photos

Reviews

4.5
42 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers
Worth the money
llmacklin
, 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.
Amazing experience!
Tour61131617547
, Jun 2019
The tour guide was pretty energetic and knowledgeable about Puerto Rico. We had a wonderful experience with the bioluminescent bay.
Very disappointed
Rhonda M
, 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.
OMG!
FarAway47411133709
, 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 & 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 & 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!
This was certainly a once in a...
Joshua W
, 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.
WOW!!!! what an amazing experience...
More
, 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.
I love this tour .amazing guide and...
eviberlingo
, Mar 2017
I love this tour .amazing guide and beatiful tour in tha boat
I think people should fully...
Raquel R
, 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.
This tour was awesome, and the guide...
Adriana A
, 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!

Product code: 9406P29

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