How to Best Enjoy a Tour (and what to avoid)
While bio bays worldwide are seasonal, the bioluminescence in Puerto Rico is year-round, but there are a few things to keep in mind when planning your trip. For starters, the less light there is, the better the experience, so to best enjoy the luminescence, try to avoid full moon nights. Note that if it is a full moon, the water will still glow, but the darker it is, the more you'll witness the effect that movement has on these single-celled organisms.
Tides and water temperatures affect the brightness of the bays as well. You should call a day or two in advance to confirm that the bay's brightness has been above 30% in the days before your tour.
Most of these eco-adventures are made in kayaks, so wear comfortable clothing and be ready to paddle your way through the mystical glowing waters. For conservation purposes, swimming at the bay and lagoon is not allowed. Avoid using hand creams, bug repellant, and any other lotion that can harm the organisms.
Motorboats are strictly prohibited.
Prices may vary depending on the Bay Tour Operator (BTO), but they range from $48 to $76 per person, taxes included. The Department of Natural Resources has a list of over 13 tour operators authorized to carry on guided tours through the bays.
Customarily, BTO has two trips per day, around sunset and a later one after 7:30 p.m. Deciding for the earlier one gives you the chance to see the mangroves and absorb the environment as you kayak towards the nightfall. If you choose to go on the latest trip, you can fully guarantee that darkness needed to see the dinoflagellates glow throughout your adventure.
Finally, taking your camera is unnecessary; it won't capture the glow as you see it. So, instead, immerse yourself in the experience, don't risk getting electronics wet, and enjoy the moment.
Plan other eco-friendly adventures