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“Fantastic Experience”

Aleli Tours - Day Tours
Ranked #3 of 12 things to do in La Parguera
Certificate of Excellence
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Fantastic Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 7, 2014

The trip was amazing. Let me start by setting a couple of expectations.
1. You are in a 2 person Kayak
2. You kayak for about 45-60 min each way
3. It gets dark when you do this
4. Your guide is not holding your hand or paddling for you.
5. You are safe.

My group consisted of a couple of parents in their 40's. Also, a 18, 15, 13, 12, 7 and 5 year old. We paired up on 2 person kayaks. Each person had a life vest. Each boat had a head lamp and a whistle. The main bio bay is 45-50 minutes away. The day we went was very windy and we couldn't make it to the main bio bay, so we went to a secondary site. Ismael, the guide is in front of you in a motorized boat. Basically, Ismael shoots a bit ahead and waits. We paddle to Ismael and repeat.

All of that being said, it is a great team building/bonding experience with not only the other person in your kayak, but your group as a whole. There is something peaceful and centering about paddling through the mangrove trees after the sun goes down.

The best part of the experience by far is swimming in the bio bay. There is really no better way to experience it. Not all of my party swam, but most of us did. It is one of those things that words can't truly describe. Lifetime memory.

When you anchor in the bay, after you swim, Ismael provides a nice snack. Ishmael is also a marine biologist and is a wealth of information.

Last thing, I read the negative review and I think of it like this. If you are not experienced kayakers, which most in our group had never done it before, Ismael is the patient father with the toddler. The toddler can walk by himself, but if he falls, Ismael is there to pick you up. Not one of our group felt unsafe. Some felt anxious at first because they never had done anything like it, but that soon was replaced with wonder.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Todd B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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82 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A very scary experience”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2014

My husband and I took this tour with a group of friends we were traveling with recently. We were excited to see the biobay and really thought we were in for a treat. Our guide gave us no instructions other than to follow him. He did not indicate how long the kayaking would be before we arrived at the biobay (turned out to be over an hour and a half one way). Our guide went ahead of the group for everyone to follow and this was fine as first, as we were all together and the sun was just starting to go down. However, as the sky became darker and darker, we had a hard time keeping us with our group and could barely see the guide's light from his boat. At times, we were indeed in pitch blackness and did not see any lights! My husband actually started shouting for help because we felt scared and the guide was nowhere in sight, nor could we hear our friends' voices. At one point it seemed like we were rehearsing a script from a horror movie. My husband and I are in average shape (we don't go to the gym regularly) but we did not know we had to be seasoned kayakers to keep up with our guide. Finally, after about 45 minutes (or more) of being in pitch blackness following a light which kept going on and off (we were not even certain that was the guide's light), the guide's boat came closer to us. We thought he would ask if we were OK or if we needed help. Instead he told us brusquely to move out of the way or we could get run over by an incoming boat. He acted in a very dismissive manner towards us and almost seemed annoyed that were had been slower than the other people in our group.

He did not act in a friendly manner either while he was discussing the biobay with our group and seemed unapproachable for questions. My husband and I were very disappointed in the quality of this tour and very alarmed with the way we were treated by the guide. We would not recommend this tour for anyone who just wants to enjoy the biobay.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank MFine82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Aleli Kayaking Parguera”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2014

We took our chances with a short trip to Parguera with no advance reservations or plans and called Ismael based on other Trip advisor reviews and were not disappointed. Ismael called us back THREE times as we were having trouble with our cell service in our parador, and sent us on a kayak tour through mangroves hugging the coastline. He is an experienced tour operator and can quickly size up your ability and advise appropriately. When we returned he did not have change and humbly charged us only $40 for 2.5 hours of kayaking in two single kayaks. When we realized that he did not charge us nearly enough, we quickly returned to give him the proper amount and a tip. He embraced us like family and we learned a great deal about the area and its evolution. Wonderful!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Chamstravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, New Jersey
Level Contributor
31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Others give you tours, Aleli take you on a trip to share their playground!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2014 via mobile

From the initial phone call I knew we were in for a very special day. Ismael was not only very knowleagable and pleasant to deal with, but quickly made us feel that we were simply joining an old friend for a trip on his playground.

We arranged a "surprise/early" three kings day present for my kids and nieces, a paddle boarding/kayaking /snorkeling trip and Ismael delivered beyond all our expectations, and provided for memory of a lifetime for the "kids".(ages 15 to 25). While he was very casual on the "crash" course in paddle boarding and instructions at the different transitions of the "route" , he was constantly assessing each kid, and gave each one individual tips and encouragement that increased their enjoyment of the trip.

Again, this was not a tour, it was an experience and a now a family memory! Thank you Aleli!

Todos. Seran...Atendidos

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Pizartinez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Augustine, Florida
Level Contributor
61 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Incredible Bioluminescent Bay tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2013

We booked the evening kayak tour to the bio bay! What a tour! Ismael, who is the tour guide and also a marine biologist, really explanined what the bio bay is and its fascinating!! I'm so happy we chose to use him rather than one of the bigger tour operators who use big boats. We had the entire bay to ourselves!! It was one of a kind experience! Thank you Ismael!!

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank prolwing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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