Bioluminescence Kayak Tour

Special Notice: 2017 Dates are almost sold out.

We keep our group sizes limited to a small number, but will accommodate as best we can. If a date is listed as sold out, please call for details.

The Bioluminescence Kayak Tours offer guests the opportunity to experience one of nature’s amazing light shows.

The San Juan Islands of Washington State have good tidal exchanges that yield highly nutrient rich bodies of water, creating an environment with a wide diversity of microorganisms. Some of which are bioluminescent, create their own light.

Bioluminescence is the emission of light by a living organism. In the San 417262_436104519765422_2117595000_nJuan Islands the organism most commonly emit a nice green burst of light. When many bioluminescent organisms collect in bays the collective effect can be very dramatic.

We launch just before sunset to take advantage of the last bit of daylight and enjoy the rich colors as the sun drops below the horizon. As twilight fades to darkness green sparkles become noticeable throughout the water. Traveling close together we will pass through areas where the disturbance of paddles and kayak create long streaks of bright green on the surface of the water. Floating in shallow flats darting fish create a light show beneath the kayaks.

The main sources of bioluminescence in the San Juan’s is a dinoflagellate (a flagellated protist), Noctiluca. Noctiluca is a marine dinoflagellate common to our waters.

Important Information

  • Book in advance, we operate only one tour an evening during certain times of the year and only around new and small moon phases.
  • Bring a headlamp.
  • Please find lodging as you will be staying the night on the island due to our late return time.
  • Eat dinner prior to the tour. Please do not consume alcohol before the kayak tour.

The above images are of images of Noctiluca through a microscope.

We are NOT located in San Juan Puerto Rico. We are in Washington State USA

Dates 2017

June 20 – 30

July 18 – 29

August 17 – 26

September dates to be announced.


When you make your reservation we will email you the time to meet at our shop in downtown Friday Harbor. You can also Contact Us for times of departure. Each departure time will be slightly different as it will be based on sunset and moon rise. You should eat dinner before the tour as the tour will not be over before in town establishments close.

Kids on Bioluminescence Kayak Tours

We have set the age limit at 12 years of age and up for this tour for various reasons. With our experience kids younger than 12 years age usually fall asleep well before we begin to see the bioluminescence and often become unhappy about being in the boats. If you would like to reserve a Bioluminescence Kayak Tour with kids less than 12 years of age, please contact us for information on a custom kayak tour.

Book Now!

Price: $125/person (+tax and fees)

Duration: 3.5 - 4 hours

Cancellation Policy

Click the Book Now button below to see availability.

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