Bioluminescent kayak tour | Gulf of Nicoya
A nighttime kayaking tour in the Gulf of Nicoya is an incredible experience. The ocean lights up with bioluminescence, giving the appearance of millions of shiny stars in the night sky.
See the plankton glow in the dark from your first paddle stroke on the bioluminescent kayak tour. It is a kayak experience not to be missed while in Costa Rica! As the night grows dark, step into your very comfortable sit inside kayak and get ready for a personal encounter with this remarkable phenomenon.
Our professional guide will lead you to the best spots where the glowing algae accumulates. For a full hour, you will be enchanted by how every stroke of your paddles leaves behind a glowing swirl of bluish light, and fish light up their path like shooting stars in the water.
An oceAn full of stars: Bioluminescent algae
This visible light made by living creatures is known as bioluminescence. Some bioluminescent organisms, – for example, the dinoflagellates produce a blue-green color light. Their ecosystems are very rare, often found in warm-water lagoons with narrow openings to the sea.
In the Paquera Bay the bioluminescent plankton is so abundant that any disturbance such as a kayak, a fish or, as you will see from your kayak. Even a hand passing through the water can produce a shimmering light show.
There are living lights in the ocean, which you can experience right here.
Bioluminescent kayak tour overview
This incredible tour is peaceful and breathtaking, all at the same time. The kayak launch area is just a short distance from the Paquera ferry landing, and the calm gulf water is very accessible by kayak. Our enthusiastic guide ensures a safe and enjoyable kayaking tour.
We don’t let the day end when the sun goes down. At sunset, we gather under the palm trees overlooking the bio-bay for a welcome with complimentary refreshments. Our experienced guide, Eddy gives a briefing of the tour. He will equip everyone with suitable life jackets and lead the way to the launch area for the kayaks. He is careful to help entering the kayaks and giving instructions to those that do not have kayaking experience. Everyone gets to do the full hour of the tour in their own kayak.
It’s like going on a cozy family tour, as the maximum group size is 10 persons including the guide. You stops along the way, where Eddy will explain more about the magical glowing water and the marine life in the bay.
Upon the return to the Bahia Rica beach, we have fresh water and towels available, and bathroom facilities if needed.
The darker the night, the better the experience will be. Around full moon the light from the moon is so strong that it makes it harder to see the bioluminescence. Still we can take you out on a beautiful sunset and full moon night kayak tour.
Make sure to check our calendar or contact us to find out which tour we offer on the date you would like to come.
Bioluminescence / Full moon calendar
The bioluminescent bay makes Paquera a unique destination
We have grown up seeing millions of stars light up the night sky, beautiful, far away and untouchable. Paddling around in a kayak you are virtually floating in the bioluminescence, you trigger the marine light-show with your actions. From the kayak, you can reach into the water and let your hand light up and give the appearance of an Avatar-like character.
Enjoy being part of a small intimate group of kayakers, in an area with very little light pollution, because the darker it is, the better you see the glowing sparks in the water.
Bioluminescence is found in many parts of the world, however in most locations it is either seasonal or requires perfect conditions in order to occur. Contrastingly, the Paquera Bay is home to bioluminescence year-round.
The original bioluminescent kayak Tour
Bahia Rica is the original founder of the bioluminescent kayak tour in Paquera. When Thomas and Vigdis, the owners of Bahia Rica moved to Costa Rica a decade ago, they were thrilled to discover that the bay right in front of their doorstep was like a natural wonderland. Thomas, the marine biologist, soon discovered that although it was totally unknown to everyone apart from the local fishermen, the bioluminescent dinoflagellates thrives in this bay year-round.
Vigdis was already running day tours sea kayaking and the road was short to launch the first bioluminescent kayak tour in the Gulf of Nicoya.
You will be brought to the best spots in the bay where the bioluminescent algae accumulate by the experienced guides.
Bioluminescent kayak tour Logistics / Pricing / Booking
– Departure from: The beach at Bahia Rica Fishing & Kayak Lodge
– Departure time: Between 18:00 and 19:00
– Duration: Approximately 1 hour
– Kayaking experience: Beginner level
– Age limit: 10 years (for family tours, please contact us for more information)
– Weight Limit: 250 Pounds / 115 kg (please contact us if you have concerns)
– Capacity: Minimum 2 and maximum 10 persons per group
(We keep our group size small, so if we have more than 10 people, we will open a second departure)
– Please do not consume alcohol before the kayak tour
– Sea kayak rental
– Safety equipment
– Multi-lingual guide
What to bring:
– Flash light
– Sandals or water shoes
– Light clothes that can get wet
– Bug spray (in the rainy season)
$35 per person (minimum 2 persons)