Best Puerto Rico Tour | Kayaking Puerto Rico
Should you visit Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria? Is Puerto Rico still a good place to visit after the Hurricane? Is Puerto Rico still a hot vacation spot? Before booking our tickets to vacation in Puerto Rico these were a few of the questions we had. We visited 9 months after Hurricane Maria and we can positively say that Puerto Rico is ready for you!
(Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico)
We had an incredible time while on vacation and had the opportunity to explore hidden gems of Puerto Rico with Kayaking Puerto Rico. In our opinion the best tour operators in Puerto Rico. Keep on reading to see the incredible adventures we went on!
CHECK OUT OUR ADVENTURE IN PUERTO RICO
The real question is “What isn't included?!”. Don’t be fooled by the name Kayaking Puerto Rico offers a lot more than just kayaking. At the time of writing this Kayaking Puerto Rico offers six different excursions:
5. Surf Lessons
We would’ve done every single tour that Kayaking Puerto Rico offered but with limited time we could only do 3 of the 6. I guess that means we will just have to go back! Every excursion they offer is very different so I’ll lay out in detail what the tours we went on entailed.
Bio Bay Kayak Tour
Of all the things we did in Puerto Rico this had to be one of the most magical experiences. Puerto Rico is home to 3 of the worlds 5 Bioluminescent Bays. These Bays light up at night thanks to the billions of dinoflagellates found in their water. When disturbed these single-celled organisms give off a stunning blue/green glow.
The tour begins at the shores of Las Croabas, get ready to be amazed because the entrance to this magical destination will require you to kayak through an extensive red mangrove forest (Keep your eyes open to spot dinosaur sized iguanas). As you break out of the mangrove channel you enter Laguna Grande (The Bio Bay). Peacefully wait in the bay as the sun completely sets and watch the water beneath you come to life. With every stroke you will see a magical swirl of light. It’s tempting to be mesmerized by the water but don’t forget to look up and see a breathtaking view of the stars. If you are with someone take some time to just be silent, focus on your surroundings, and slowly take it all in.
(Laguna Grande, Bio Bay)
Bio Bay Kayak Tour: At the time of writing this the cost with tax came out to be about $56 USD (Well worth it)
What to Bring:
Swimwear, Water shoes, Towel. They have eco-friendly bug repellent to use so you don’t harm the bay. Also leave your camera because you won’t be able to capture the glow anyways.
Plan your trip around the Moon Cycle, a full moon will make it nearly impossible to see the glow. Try taking your tour on the night of a New moon if possible. Also try to pick the LATEST possible tour time if you or really interested in seeing the bay at its full capacity BUT leaving during the sunset tour allows you to see the beautiful mangroves along the bay entrance.
Would we do it again?
Yes (BUT). We truly believe that everyone should see a bioluminescent bay at some point in their life but you must have the proper expectations going into it. First of all, all the pictures you have seen online of bio bays are heavily edited with long exposures so NO the water will not necessarily live up to the stunning glowing pictures on the web.
We visited 9 months post-Maria so the Bay had not fully recovered yet and we visited on the night of a quarter moon so the glow was not as powerful. We also went on the Tour that left at sunset so there was still some light when we reached the bay in order to see the glow better the guides placed a massive tarp over all our Kayaks to create artificial darkness. As the sun fully descended and we made our way back we could clearly see the glow with out any assistance. I would do it again just not at that time slot, I would opt for a later tour time so I could see the bay at its maximum potential.
Mini-Boat and Snorkel Adventure
The first thing that drew our attention to Kayaking Puerto Rico had nothing to do with kayaking, instead we were drawn to their Mini Boat & Snorkel excursion. Most places we have been have a variety of Boat and Snorkel excursions that drive you out to a reef to snorkel but we had never had the chance to captain our own boat. At Kayaking Puerto Rico you get to take command of your own boat and go on a guided wild island hopping, beach wandering, and snorkeling tour.
(Picture credit: Kayaking Puerto Rico)
The experience begins with going through a quick orientation of how the boat works and safety protocols. You launch from Puerto Chico Marina in Fajardo and make a 30 minute journey across the sound and land at your first stop which is Icacos Island. Hang out on the beach, walk around or hop in the water to snorkel! After spending a luxurious hour on the beach you’ll hop over to Palominitos Island where you can once again enjoy t white sandy beaches, vibrant coral reefs and turquoise water. Once time is up you’ll cross the Fajardo sound and pull into Puerto Chico Marina.
Mini-Boat Snorkel Adventure: We did a 2 person boat and at the time of writing this article it was $85 per person plus taxes. In total it was $199.75. This includes light snacks, boat, and snorkel equipment.
What to Bring:
Make sure you have swimwear, BRING SUNSCREEN (eco-friendly), and a GoPro.
No experience is needed to drive a boat, mini-boats are very user friendly for beginners.
Would we do it again?
YES! (BUT). Next time I am in Eastern Puerto Rico I will be booking another Mini-Boat excursion. For the experience delivered it is more than a fair price to pay. Unfortunately when we went we were not able to enjoy our full 3hr excursion because of an approaching tropical storm that cut the trip short. The sea was pretty rough and as a result we weren’t able to approach either island. When you book your trip do your best to look at the weather, Puerto Rico weather can be very unpredictable so just be ready.
Culebra Island Aquafari
There is so much to see and do on the main island of Puerto Rico but we’ll let you in on one of Puerto Ricos biggest secrets that doesn’t happen to be on the main island. Culebra Island is about a 45 minute ferry ride east from Ceiba and on the north shore of the island you can find a hidden jewel of the world amongst beaches. Flamenco beach has consistently been rated one of the top beaches in the world. When making our plans to Puerto Rico we wanted to visit Culebra but didn’t want to figure out all the logistics of getting there, how to get around, and plan our activities once we were there, so we booked the Culebra Island Aquafari and it was one of the smartest things we did!
I have a lot of memories from our trip to Puerto Rico and a large portion of them come from the Aquafari on Culebra Island. The trip begins by meeting your host from Kayaking Puerto Rico at 9:30 am at the Ceiba Ferry Terminal. They will check you in and give you your ferry ticket, you’ll then jump in the boarding line and wait to board the ferry (which usually takes centuries). Once on board take a seat and you’ll be ferried across the sea for about 1 hour - 1 hour 30 minutes. Once you arrive on Culebra another host will be there waiting for you with a sign, you’ll board a van and they will take you to their shop where you can change, eat a snack, put sunscreen on, and use the restroom.
(Tamarindo Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico)
Your first stop on the Aquafari in Culebra will be Tamarindo Beach located on the west coast of the island. You’ll receive some basic kayaking instructions then you’ll hop into your ocean kayak with a partner begin paddling your way through the turquoise waters of the Luis Peña Channel. The Luis Peña Marine reserve happens to be the highest coral cover in Puerto Rico. When your guide signals you’ll be able to jump into the water and explore this vibrant underwater paradise. You’ll have the chance to snorkel through coral reefs and amongst schools of fish. Right when you think the trip can’t get better your guide will take you to the feeding ground of sea turtles. You’ll have the chance to spot a handful of green sea turtles and hawksbill turtles it is truly a majestic experience to watch these gentle creatures soar through the sea.
After spending some time in the Luis Peña marine reserve you’ll dock your kayak on the beach, grab some chips and a beverage and then load onto a bus to head to your last stop of the Aquafari which is the famous Flamenco Beach. You’ll have about 1 hour 30 min to explore and relax on this pristine white sandy beach. Layout and listen to the sound of the palm trees rustling and soft gentle waves breaking, or get some warm white sand between your toes as you walk up and down the beach and don’t forget to take a dip in the warm turquoise Caribbean water. Really take your time to enjoy this wonderful island, Culebra is the place I dream of when I close my eyes on dreary cold days.
Culebra Island Aquafari: We did the full day excursion from the mainland and for two people including taxes it was $185. With everything included and planned for you its a great deal.
What to Bring:
Make sure you have swimwear, towel, BRING SUNSCREEN (eco-friendly), and a GoPro to capture an amazing experience.
Arrive at the ferry terminal a little early so you can jump in the boarding line before most people. If you get sea sick don’t sit inside, instead sit on the top deck the views are incredible. The snacks provided are just that snacks. Pack a small lunch if you need more food to keep you going. There were kiosks to eat from at Flamenco and at the departure ferry terminal, they are a little pricey so beware.
Would we do it again?
YES! My biggest motivator for going back would be swimming with the sea turtles again. It was an experience that I can’t quite put into words.
Puerto Rico has so much to offer and in our opinion Kayaking Puerto Rico went above and beyond to deliver an incredible experience. I thought that visiting post hurricane Maria would limit our ability of what we would be able to do but to my surprise Puerto Rico was ready for us and welcomed us with wide open arms. The service was excellent and the guides really made the trip special. Most of the time we like creating our own adventures and going off on our own but I am glad for this trip we went with Kayaking Puerto Rico all the stress was taken away from planning and we were able to just show up and focus on making memories and having a good time. A great thing about choosing to go with a company like Kayaking Puerto Rico is that money circulates into the economy in Puerto Rico and is essential in helping Puerto Rico rebound after Hurricane Maria.
* This experience was made possible with the kind support of Kayaking Puerto Rico. As usual, all thought and opinions are our own.