We love trying new activities or going on tours we haven’t done before. Our friends suggested doing the Bioluminescent Kayak Tour, and we were all for it! Little did I know, it was about to be one of the best experiences with nature I ever fathomed in my life!
There are multiple tour companies that offer the tour in Costa Rica. While we inquired with other companies, we decided to go with Bahia Rica since they replied quickly and had a tour that worked perfectly with our schedule. Bahia Rica also offers lodging with free breakfast, and other tours such as sports fishing, day and full moon kayaking, paddle boarding, and boat tours.
HOW TO BOOK WITH BAHIA RICA
To book a tour with Bahia Rica, we inquired via email, mentioning which day we were planning on going and how many people in our party. Then they quickly replied via email and even inquired if we could text to make it speedy – We exchanged numbers and given available time slots for the tour. Once confirmed, they emailed with clear directions on how to get to their property. They accept payment via PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, USD, or Costa Rican colones. If paying with cash, payment was accepted in person once we checked-in for the tour. For prices and what to bring on the tour, visit here.
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BEST TIME TO SEE THE BIOLUMINESCENCE
Before getting into the details of the tour, let me tell you the best time to go: The best time is the darkest times of the night. We suggest going an hour after sunset or later. The darker it is at night, the better. We were lucky enough to go the day before the full moon! When the moon is full, it’s too bright and makes it harder to see the bioluminescence.
BIOLUMINESCENT KAYAK TOUR EXPERIENCE
With the directions they provided via email, we were able to get to their place. Although, we did get a bit lost when we misinterpreted an arrow pointing which way to go. Instead of going straight, we went up a small hill followed by frightening experiences with orb-spiders and their extravagant webs.
The check-in booth, building, spot – was more like a home that ran a business. Adding to the confusion of going in the wrong direction, we were caught off guard when a family eating dinner greeted us for the tour… the “Pura Vida” life. Once checked-in, we met up with the rest of the group (who found no problem getting there) and our tour guide for a QUICK safety briefing. I mean, seriously quick. In Costa Rica, the briefing went something along the lines of: “Did everyone go kayaking before?”, “Yes!”, “Okay, just follow me and no problem.” – No signing safety forms – PURA VIDA lifestyle!
After this quick introduction and strapping up to a life-vest, we picked a double ended paddle (again, no contract or waiver needed to be signed) – we didn’t mind – and headed down to the ocean bank where multiple kayaks were parked on the sand. Being a quintuple, 4 couples picked their kayaks. Mary and I, along with our visiting friends, picked out the individual kayaks which in the end, made a world of difference when exploring the realm of bioluminescence.
As the crescent moon began to rise over the placid bay, we paddled out then gradually drifted in again, closer to shore, near mangroves where its tentacles dug into the shallow waters home of these tiny energetic bodies -where the sea started to glow. Barely visible at first, then as if the ocean decided to speak back to us, it sparkled. The sea algae lit up turning the blackness of the shallow sea into what seemed like a reflection of the starry night.
The light is a form of energy transformation. Algae lights up as it exasperates energy if touched – like a knee-jerk reaction. It was similar to fireflies. These were living organisms dancing, showing off its miraculous recharge rate. After being pushed by vigorous movement, the organisms take a recharge before spouting out beautiful, blue, I’d even say, angelic colors.
Quite literally the entire time, and I mean the ENTIRE time I was in a trance. My profanity overtook me as I could only respond with “HOLY SH*T” upon every reaction these creatures had when I interacted with it. It was something out of science fiction except it was reality!
The reality can’t be captured on the phone or camera. At least, in our experience, although completely overwhelming to us, I can see why it may be underwhelming to others with high expectations. The tour an hour before us shared that they had seen very little to no bioluminescence in the water, which may be the case for other tours as well. We were lucky enough to see them in volume – our kayak wake itself made those little guys spew fascinating colors. Also, it’s not like the bioluminescence is there, lit up for long, it’s about as quick as a spark flickering outside the main source. Once seen, it disappears in an instance. It was still captivating.
The reaction of life can be an immense emotion when seeing it in a different light. I mean that sentence in every literal sense: When we saw the algae lighting up, it was captivating. Only a few places in the world offer such amazing things so if you’re visiting Costa Rica, we highly suggest doing a bioluminescence kayak tour. Being able to see it in person is a once in a lifetime experience. It’s definitely a great activity for the whole family!