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This was advertised as a 90-minute tour with a tour guide. There was no 90-minute tour and essentially no tour guide. This was beyond a bad experience, but more like a misrepresentation of services. This was nothing more than ground transportation from the meet-up area to the bay and the rental of 2 kayaks for less than the promised 90 minutes. Here is my response to Viator upon receiving their response to my complaint suffice it to say, we won't be using Viator any longer, they have lost our business...
As I had mentioned in my telephone call with one of your representatives, we went to Vieques specifically to experience Bioluminescence Bay and spent over 860 i.e. transportation, lodging, tour and food to do so. The whole trip was to have this great experience. What we got was nowhere close to the experience described in your advertising. Essentially, we hopped into kayaks and were left on our own without much of communication from the guide! Most of the tour was spent looking for other members of the group because the guide lost them and we had to back track to find them and when we did find them, the small child that was with them was crying for being lost in the dark. The guide did not tell us much of anything about the Bio Bay itself. My wife knew more than what the guide communicated. I could go on with how the tour went, particuarly after speaking with others who had a great experience.
This is a must-do activity if you are going to Vieques. It is probably overpriced, I guess, but I do not think I could do it without a guide. You paddle a kayak out into the bay at night, so finding your way back would be tricky without a guide. Rebecca and Tom were our guides and they were very professional. We felt safe and well taken care of. The bio bay was very luminescent on the new moon night when we went, so the cost and effort was worth it for us. Also, we over-prepared for mosquitoes that did not bother us at all on the 9pm tour in July. Also, I think I would find a way to take my phone with me in a plastic bag or lifeproof so I could attempt to take a photo. Even if I didn't get a good photo of the sparking, glittery water, I would have liked to have a few family photos in the kayaks or something. Anyway, it was very fun and I would highly recommend doing Night BioBay Kayak Tour if you are on Vieques. :
We travelled in Puerto Rico Fajardo and San Juan and Vieques for a week an did lots of activities. Every Puerto Rican we met was kind, helpful and not aggressive. This was the ONLY time we felt hustled. In the middle of the bay, Rebecca, our leader told us that she got a call from her boss and said he was adding a 10:00 tour, so she brought us back approximately 15 minutes early. Several of us asked questions about the time, but she did a good job of blowing them off. On the way back on the bus, she laid it on thick. She talked about how we were all lifelong friends now and how she loved us all and how it's a spiritual experience for her. Not sure how it can be spiritual when she's talking on her phone most of the time. Also not sure how I'm going to be lifelong friends with people I spend an hour in the dark with. They all seemed really nice though because after the trip several stopped us on the street and compared notes with us about the cost and time expectations. They felt hustled too. After her speech that was intended to make us feel warm and fuzzy, she gave us a really long and sappy tip speech. It wasn't a polite tip request, it was a 5 minute speech.
Samuel was great and very informative. He did not participate in the hustling in any way.
I really tried to focus on the beauty and magic of the bay instead of being disappointed. But, she ruined it. Go the the bay, don't miss it, it's absolutely amazing and worth it. But find another tour company.
I was incredibly glad to have visited Mosquito Bay's biolumecent bay with Travesias's tour. Rebecca was a great tour guide and the bay was beautiful.
It was different than I was expecting--from the name I thought that it would be glowing coral or something, but instead it was a microorganism the glowed white when disturbed, so any fish floating through it or my kayak paddle were enough to make the water glow--but it was still beautiful.
I am not a practiced kayaker, but I could still, very easily, keep up with the rest of the group.
Information I'd wished I'd known beforehand: The 7pm tour will be just as dark as the 9pm, so there's no need to pick one or the other for a better experience. Also, if a bug spray has DEET as the active ingredient, it can kill the microorganisms that make the bay bio-luminescent, so it's better to use another kind of bug deterrent.
What an excellent tour! The company reached out and moved the time up due to the full moon effect. Thankfully they did because it was timed in a way that the moon was not out so the bioluminescent organisms were so bright. Once of the most amazing experiences I've ever had! The guide was also amazing! She new a lot of the science and had a very positive energy and enthusiastic personality. Excellent!