costa rica bioluminescence waters kayak tour
Kayaks in the beach during sunset ready for night kayak tour
Sunset orange sky in Paquera Bay calm waters
Bioluminiscent waters at night in Costa Rica
Bay bioluminescent waters costa rica
Bioluminiscent water and sky full of stars Costa Rica
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Costa Rica bioluminescence kayak

Bioluminescent kayak tour in Paquera Bay (Nicoya)

(2 reviews)
Paquera Bay
1 day
English and Spanish
Starts: From the meeting point in Paquera Bay between 5:45 and 6:15 p.m. (depending on sunset time)
Ends: To the meeting point between 7:15 and 7:45 p.m. (depending on the starting time).
Free cancellation!


South of the Gulf of Nicoya lies Paquera Bay, one of the magical places hidden in Costa Rica. During the Costa Rica Bioluminescence Tour you will paddle in the calm waters of the bay while getting amazed how, with every movement, the waters light up thanks to its bioluminescent plankton.

For more than an hour the guide will show you the places where you can see this unique natural phenomenon more intensely. Enjoy the magic!

Tour details


  • Kayak (single or double)
  • Guide
  • Life jacket
  • Snacks and drinks

Not included

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Accomodation pick up

Important information

This tour can be enjoyed every day, but on full moon days, the bioluminescence effect can not be seen because there is too much light. So it will be a night kayak tour in the bay by the light of the full moon. In the following link, you can see a moon calendar. Note that 7 days before and the night of the full moon it is more difficult to observe the bioluminescence because of the strong moonlight. Just the day after the full moon is again very good, because, although the moon is strong, we can do the tour in total darkness because the moon rises after we finish the tour. So far 3 weeks every month we can enjoy dark nights and see the bioluminescence more intensely. 🌚 Moon phases We like small groups, so each guide will have a maximum of 8 people. In case the group gets bigger, another guide will be added and the people will be divided into 2 groups. If these 16 places are filled, a second round will be created and will start around 7:30 p.m.

Cancellation policy

If you cancel between 8 and 4 days in advance you will receive 50% of the amount paid. After this time, or in case of no-show, no refunds will be made.

Tour itinerary

Costa Rica Bioluminescence Tour

Difficulty: low
Minimum age: children under 10 years old can only take the tour if they are not afraid of the dark and must be accompanied by an adult. Their companion must know how to swim and have previous kayaking experience.

5 : 45 PM

Sunset meeting and tour briefing 🌅

Depending on the time of the year, the start of the tour will change slightly, as we need the darkness of the night to enjoy this experience. The group will meet at the meeting point, where we will be welcomed with snacks and drinks. Once the group is gathered, the guide will explain the science behind this magic. He will also give us a talk on how to use the kayak, hand out the safety equipment and make sure we are all ready to paddle and enjoy the water!

Travelers with their kayaks at sunset and night tour in Paquera Bay
6 : 15 PM

Kayaking in Paquera Bay

We will walk the few meters that separate us from the beach, where the kayaks are located, we will put them in the water and start paddling, the magic begins! 🛶 Just a few meters into the water and we will begin to see how the water lights up as our paddles pass. The guide will be marking the way, looking for the areas where this phenomenon is more intense. He will be our reference while making sure that no one gets too separated from the group, giving us the freedom to explore on our own. Halfway through the tour, we make a 5 minute stop to regroup. We continue the experience freely until, as a reference, a light will be turned on in the area where we have to leave.

Bahia Paquera coastline at night illuminated by plankton
7 : 15 PM

Costa Rica bioluminescence kayak come to and end

After having seen the water light ✨ up our paddles, on the keel of our kayak, and even in our own hands for more than an hour, it's time to say goodbye. We will paddle back to the point where we entered the water and return to the meeting point where we will return the vests. Finally, we will share experiences while we have a snack and we will conclude this experience.

water illuminated by bioluminescent plankton costa rica

What to bring to Costa Rica bioluminescence kayak

  • Headlamp
  • Swimsuit or clothes you don't mind getting wet
  • Towel
  • Phone or camera
  • Dry clothes

Where does the tour Costa Rica bioluminescence kayak start

Many travelers arrive to Paquera from the beaches near Tamarindo by rental car, although you can also arrive by public transportation. If you arrive from San José, you will save a lot of time by taking the ferry from Puntarenas to Puerto Paquera. Finally, from the town called Paquera to the meeting point there are only 6.5km along a road (1.5km unpaved) and with a slope that you can drive with your vehicle or by cab.

Questions & Answers

  • Can bioluminescence be seen every day?

    No, a dark night is needed to appreciate it well, that's why during the 7 days before and the night of the full moon will not be appreciated in the same way. On the contrary, the days after the full moon until the crescent of the moon will be seen with great intensity. Remember to check this lunar calendar before deciding your date: Moon phases
  • Does the tour run every day?

    Yes, but the 7 days before and the night of the full moon the bioluminescence will not be appreciated as much, and it will be a kayak ride in the bay by moonlight, which is also a good plan 😉
  • Where is the meeting point?

    The meeting point is located 6.5km from the town of Paquera, a few meters from the beach, in an area known as Punta Cuchillos. In the booking confirmation document, we include all the indications for you to get there easily.
  • How can I get to the meeting point?

    Travelers who have their own vehicle usually drive it, but you can also take a cab or include the extra transfer when you make your reservation.
  • How will I know the exact starting time?

    The exact start time changes with the time of sunset, so we cannot indicate it exactly on the website. In the confirmation document, you will find the contact details of the tour operator, who will contact you to tell you the exact time. And in case you have any questions, contact us.

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