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“Outstanding Experience and Attraction” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bioluminescent Bay

Bioluminescent Bay
Fajardo, Puerto Rico
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Ranked #3 of 5 Attractions in Fajardo
Type: Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Outdoors
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: One of the three bioluminescent bays in PR - others are in Vieques and in SW of Island.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Crown Point, Indiana
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Outstanding Experience and Attraction”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2014

There is litle doubt that the kayak trip around the lake was a great highlight of our time in Puerto Rico. The kayak guides were very informative both before we took off for the trip and during our time in the water. The bioluniescent Bay was everything advertised and more. Being in the kayak for 2 hours and the safety guidelines prior was one of those things that you would put on your bucket list as a must do. Hope to come back again to experience at least one more time under the full moon. Outstanding!!

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

What a spectacular experience and worth every penny for children and adults alike. Kayak through the mangroves in the a gorgeous bay where the plankton lights up. Very few places in the world offer this and it is a do not miss experience.

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Incredible experience if you're adventurous; reservations required so book early - used E & B Tours”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

I would like to say the following before going into my review:

Do NOT go on this tour by kayak if:
1) You are an inexperienced kayaker
2) Are afraid of the dark
3) Are agitated easily if things go slightly awry

NOTE: You have the option to take a small, motorized boat that still goes through the dark and mangled mangroves, but I doubt the experience is anything like being down near the water in the kayak. The boat is a good option for the young, elderly, and those who cannot kayak for an hour or more.

DO go on this tour if:
1) You have kayaked at least once before
2) Are exhilarated by navigating through dark mangroves
3) Do not mind occasional mishaps while kayaking through a narrow mangrove path crammed with other kayak tours and motorized boat tours

NOTE: Reservations are required! This is one of the most popular attractions in PR so book a week in advance or more. We almost didn't end up getting to go, but a lot of people cancelled because it was the day after the full moon and they thought they wouldn't see anything, but it turned out you could, so don't be discouraged by moon lit evenings

Things to bring if you're kayaking:
-Water proof camera, or you can risk taking your regular one if you have a dry pack
-Wear your bathing suit - you WILL get wet from the waist down
-Flip flops or water shoes
-A change of clothes
-Towels
-Water bottle

TIPS:
-We used E&B Tours which we booked through our hotel concierge and it was $90/person including transportation to and from your hotel. If you pay by credit card you are charged an additional fee. You use your CC to hold the reservation, and can pay cash once on-site at no additional fee
-Eat dinner before you leave if you're doing the 6:00pm-11:00pm tour. It's a long trip (90 minutes to get to Fajadro) and you'll need the energy to kayak.
-Use the bathroom at the pit stop, even if it's a shady Burger King! The bathroom at the kayak site was a scene out of a horror movie. There was no door on the women's bathroom and guys were looking in, there were red ants coming out of the sink, and there was no soap. I'm shuddering at reliving it to write the review.
-Be prepared to kayak through a maze of unanchored boats to get to the mangroves
-There will more than likely be inexperienced kayakers on this tour so beware of getting hit with a paddle
-E&B Tour Guides Michael 1 and Michael 2 are hilarious and make the tour very memorable so don't forget to tip them (I can't imagine it's easy doing their job and having to deal with some of the people that end up on the tour)

The above was all informational. If that's all you need, then go on and have a great adventure! If you'd like to know about my personal experience, continue below.

We booked our tour through the concierge at La Concha hotel who recommended E&B Tours. It was $90/pp which included transportation from and to the hotel, the kayak tour, and some water bottles and snacks post-tour. I thought it was a fair price for what we got.

We were picked up in a large van that stopped at several hotels to pick up other kayakers. It can be a bit cramped, and the ride is a bit long especially during rush hour. The second half of our ride was bumpy, so be prepared if you get motion sickness easily. We made a pit stop at a weird Burger King, but I am so glad I decided to use the washroom there. It was about another 10-15 minute ride to the kayak site. Once there, we had to sign release forms that unnerved my cousin. It basically covered every natural disaster including avalanches?! What the heck. We found it very bizarre, but it didn't keep us from signing our lives away. We had to wait almost a half hour for the previous tour to come back and were getting antsy at this point.

FINALLY! We were getting rallied to listen to the guides teach us how to kayak and maneuver through the mangroves. We got partnered up and into the water. You will have to have a partner, there are no single kayaks so go with someone if you can otherwise prepare to go with a stranger. We had to kayak through a maze of unanchored boats that seemed like they were going to run us over at times. We had one guide in front of us and one behind and your kayak is lit by a small glow ring. Unfortunately, my brother and I didn't kayak fast enough from the get go and got stuck in a cluster of a group of inexperienced kayakers that were freaking out, crying, screaming, and flailing their paddles around. I know it's not nice, but I was prepared to use my paddle as a weapon if one of them hit me in the head with their paddle. Seriously, don't do the kayak tour if you don't know what you're doing.

Even though it was the night after the full moon, once in the mangroves it is pitch black. There are other kayak tours ahead of you, behind you, and also coming from the opposite direction of you. It's very cramped in there so you have to be patient. Expect to run into other kayakers, run into mangroves, have your kayak turned around, and possibly flip over. Worry not though, the water is only 4 ft. deep so it won't be too bad. You'll just be wet.

I found the whole experience fun and only slightly irritating with others on the tour that were clueless.

Once in the lagoon, you line your kayaks up and get to experience the bio experience - which is super magical. As a previous reviewer mentioned, don't anticipate a scene out of the movie Life of Pi. While the bioluminescence is visible when you shake your hand in the water or dip your paddle in, it's not as bright blue and green as some of the photos would have you believe. Regardless, it's still an amazing experience as this only occurs in a few parts of the world and we are fortunate enough to see it at Fajadro.

I have traveled all over the world and I would say that this is one of my favorite water activities thus far.

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Must see”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

This is one of the reasons we came to Puerto Rico. It is a rare experience to see the bio luminescence. We were very happy with our guides through the Enchanted Island Eco Tours

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lansing, MI
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“a good choice”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

You will have a choice of going to the bay paddling your own kayak or on an open flat boat powered by a small motor with others. We chose the latter because there was some wind and surf that night. It began to rain and we had rain ponchos provided by the company. We felt we made the right choice, rain or not, because there is no lighting the entire trip through mangroves but if you think it is fun to run into each other choose a kayak. I thought the bay would be lit up with the organisms but they only light up when disturbed, like around the oars etc. It is interesting but not "wow!"

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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