The El Yunque portion of our trip had to be cancelled the day before it was scheduled because too much rain had made the area unsafe. The company made every attempt to reach me, and even though I couldn't call back until 9pm because of air travel restrictions, they answered right away and gave me the option to refund the entire tour or continue with the bio bay tour and a refund for the El Yunque portion. The refund went through right away. Our bus driver and tour guides for the bio bay were all very courteous, especially considering how many people in our tour had never kayaked before. Kayaking in the dusk is certainly a novel experience! There are some twists and turns in the mangrove stream that we took from the main bay to the bio bay, and there was the occasional bumping of kayaks as we struggled to keep a single-file line while looking out for roots and each other in the dim lighting, but it was very safe and the worst I got were a couple bug bites. When they say they will weigh everyone, I think they only weighed a few people whom they thought were close to the limit. Those over 190 lbs were told to use a regular, non-glass-bottom kayak, but since we couldn't see any of the bioluminesence through the glass it didn't really matter. I think the glass bottom must be more interesting during the daytime. The bioluminescence shows up as tiny sparks when you stick your hand in the water and agitate it, as the plankton only light up when they are agitated. With apologies to the plankton I must have annoyed, it was a beautiful experience to see tiny stars in the water, along with so many stars in the sky on such a clear night -- and because this was close to New Year's, we even saw a couple fireworks!The promised snacks were small bottles of water and bags of chips, so it's not a bad idea to pack along a larger water bottle and some more to eat as we were gone from 3:45 to 9:30. We packed towels and extra clothes as well, though we were asked to leave all of our stuff on the bus -- not a bad idea, since the kayaks couldn't really support much storage. My wife took her phone but couldn't see anything to take photos, so there's not much point in taking that in the kayak, either. After the tour we had a chance to change clothes. There is a small, dirty restroom with two stalls at the bay, and a long line of women trying to change clothes, so easy-to-change outfits are a must.All in all, this was a great, unique experience!
El Yunque Rainforest was amazing!!! Hector was an excellent tour guide. He was hilarious, very smart and knew a lot about Puerto Rican history or Boricua. I learned so much, and I loved how he showed us how to participate in every activity first like the cliff jump and waterfall slide so that we could see it for ourselves before doing it. This tour is not for someone who gets tired easy though, it's a full body workout but a lot of fun. We went hiking, climbing, rope swinging, swimming, and sliding down one several natural waterslides.
We ate fresh fruits that he bought locally. He helped us climbing all the rocks. It's not an easy trail but totally worth it. After the hurrican Maria, things are getting back to normal slowly but it's a must to do this activity while you are in Puerto Rico! Best experience ever!
The kayaking Bioluminescent Bay was super cool! The tours guys were super funny and super nice. They were singing all the way. There were several restaurants and locals go there so be aware of the timing. We ordered and then we had to wait a lot because we didn't tell the waitress that we have to hurry for our tour. If you go, let them know about your limit time to eat. Amazing!
We loved this full day tour. The company was very responsive and thorough in answering my questions and preparing us for the activity. They even arranged for the transportation to pick us up near our AirBnB.
Alex was our guide. He was knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive to the entire group's needs there were about 17 of us. He was very informative about the history of Puerto Rico, the rainforest, native and non-native plants and birds/animals. Alex provided water and lifejackets for the group as well. After our hike he provided delicious avocado and papaya as our snack by the waterfall.
We stopped at a fruit stand prior to the hiike best empanadas ive ever eaten, called Frutera de Ana. I would recommend using the bathroom here but there is also one available right before the start of the hike.
The hike itself was probably beginner to intermediate level for most. The trail was a bit muddy and there was definitely some boulder climbing but nothing too extreme. I would recommend bringing at least two changes of socks for the hike and kayak later and water shoes in addition to hiking shoes. The waterfall and pool were gorgeous but very rocky and slippery on bare feet. I stubbed my toe a few times crossing the stream. There is a rope swing, free dive, and natural rock slide at the pool. I would also recommend bringing sunscreen on the hike to reapply, as you are in and out of the water.
We had lunch at a little restaurant good food and drinks reasonably priced. about 10-15 for an entree and the second driver picked us up for the biobay outside.
Our guides for the biobay were friendly and attentive. They provided lifejackets for everyone but i would recommend using bug spray prior to kayaking as you are paddling during dusk and nighttime. You should also not bring anything that can get wet so consider a waterproof pouch or case for your camera if you want to bring it. The guides will take nighttime pictures of the group and post them on facebook for you.
The ride through the mangroves was really nice and pleasant during the daytime but we had a harder time navigating in the pitch black night on the way back. The kayaks have little glow in the dark rings but they can be hard to see/follow. The lagoon/bio bay was beautiful but the bioluminescence is only really visible when covered with a tarp provided by the guides even with little to no moon above.
Overall we had a great time with this fun day trip and would highly recommend it!
It was a wonderful experience! Hector was a great tour guide with great perspective, great stories, I learned so much, and I loved how he himself participated in every activity first like the cliff jump and waterfall slide so that we could see it for ourselves before doing it. This tour is not for someone who gets tired easy though, it's a full body workout but a lot of fun. We went hiking, climbing, rope swinging, swimming, and sliding down a natural waterslide.
The kayaking tour was GREAT and the tour guides were just as fun to listen to as famous stand-up comedians. And I also love how the guides took us to a place where Puerto Rican street food is sold. Amazing!
This tour was not your run of the mill nature walk and kayak tour. It was a little off the beaten path with great trails that didn't feel commercial. The bio bay, although not as the blue and iridescent as the photoshopped images, was amazing and fun. Our tour guide Hector was friendly, informative and fun! Make this a must do!
The hike at El Yunque rainforest was nice and challenging. I enjoyed the hike. However the bioluminescent bay kayaking night tour was disappointment because I didn't see the the glowing pyrodinium bahamense as shown in the pictures but the tour guide and the crew that were in charged of the kayaking trip were great young guys, they were fun and very nice. I like the service and the tour guide Alex for the hiking trip as well. I believe maybe I went to see the glowing pyrodinium bahamense at the wrong time of the year that's why I didn't see them glowing like in the online photos. Overall, my group and I had great experience on this combo tour.
If you do one thing in Puerto Rico, GO ON THIS TOUR!!! Alex was the most incredible guide and took us to amazing hidden spots in the rainforest, including a rope swing, natural water slides, and a hidden whirlpool! The whole tour is beautifully organized, with a perfect amount of downtime trekking in El Yunque can get very tiring, amazing food options for lunch, and very well informed guides who know everything about what they're doing. We booked this on a whim and it was easily one of the best days of my entire life-- I couldn't recommend this more!!
The rainforest was closed due to the hurricane we did receive a refund for that portion of the tour. We were able to kayak. We learned that December is not a good time for bioluminescence since the micro-organisms prefer warm weather, so set your expectations accordingly. However, the nighttime Kayaking is peaceful and beautiful. Many stars with canopies of trees. Lovely.