Bioluminescence San Juan Kayaking Tours

Bioluminescent Kayaking San Juan Island

Explore the Night with Discovery

I had the pleasure of embarking on a Bioluminescence kayaking tour over the weekend and it exceeded my expectations! Wonderful guides and incredibly informative and up-to-date on the history and science of the bioluminescence! (Review 2023)

Over 15 years ago we started leading guests during the nighttime to witness the beauty of bioluminecence. In the  heart of the San Juan Islands, our home-base, we created the first dedicated Bioluminescence Kayak Tour in the islands. Over the course of these 15 years, we have perfected the process and developed safety protocols to ensure everyone feels comfortable exploring on this unique nocturnal adventure. 

All of our guides have undergone rigorous kayak training, conducted by our in-house American Canoe Association kayak instructor. Further, guides have a Washington State Kayak Guide License. We are professionally prepared, meticulously organized, and extremely enthusiastic to have you along on our Bioluminescence Kayak Tour. 

Dates are limited each month of the summer to ensure we paddle at times when the moon phase is either small or absent. This creates the darkest nights where the bioluminescence will sparkle with its anticipated intensity. The dates are selected to provide you with the best experience possible. 

Sold Out? Join the Waitlist!

Preview the experience of Discovery’s Bioluminescence Kayak Tour:

Important Information

  • Book in advance, we operate a limited amount of Bioluminescence Kayak Tours and in small groups.
  • Bring a headlamp, this will be used at the end of the tour along the beach back to the van.
  • Find lodging, as you will be staying the night. The tour gets back after all the ferries have departed.
  • Eat dinner prior to the tour and please do not consume alcohol before the kayak tour.

Discovery is a full-service kayak outfitter. If you cannot find dates for the Bioluminescence Kayak Tour, See our San Juan Kayak Tour Index Page for other options.

We Provide

  • All Kayak Equipment
  • Waterproof Pants, Jacket, and Dry Bag
  • Wa State Certiftified Kayak Guide
  • Transportation from our office and back

You Provide

  • Water bottle
  • Hat or Beanie
  • Headlamp
  • Extra Layers
  • Sandals or Water Shoes that can get wet
  • Gratuity for Guides (greatly appreciated)
Location:San Juan Island
Duration:3.5 - 4 Hours (2 Hours Water Time)
Our Shop
Activity:No Experience Required
Restriction:12 Years Min / 250 Pounds Max

Tour Dates

Booking Now for September 2023
Reserve 4 or more guests save 10%. Contact for promo code.
2024 Dates Available

Bioluminescence San Juan Kayaking Tours Testimonial

My partner and I had an amazing time from start to finish. It was her first time seeing bioluminescence and was such a great experience. Our tour guides were professional, knowledgeable, and very personable.

Marinna R. - Review 2023

Route & Itinerary

Each departure time will be slightly different as it will be based on sunset and moon rise. You should eat dinner prior to check-in as our arrival back to town will be past open hours for in-town establishments. Please reference our online reservation calendar for departure times and real-time availability.

Kids on Bioluminescence Kayak Tours

Children must be at least 12 years of age to join this tour. With our experience kids younger than 12 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 about setting up a custom kayak tour.

Wildlife & Weather


The focus of the Bioluminescence Kayak Tour is one of the area’s tiniest visible organisms, noctiluca. Before these sparkling creatures are visible we may also encounter a variety of other wildlife:

  • Porpoise: Harbor and Dalls porpoise are encountered year round.
  • Harbor Seals, California Sea Lions, and Stellar Sea Lions: Fairly Common in these areas.
  • River Otters: More elusive but seen any time of year. Most sightings are early morning or late afternoon.
  • Bald Eagles: San Juan host a healthy population of Bald Eagles with many nesting sites.
  • Great Blue Herons: Commonly encountered along the shorelines.

Every evening is unique and we can encounter other species of birds and marine life not listed above.


Evening and Night Time: Summer weather on San Juan Island can shift drastically from daytime to nighttime. While early evening temperatures may stay in the 60’s F, once the sun sets temperatures can drop quickly into the low 50’s F. While evenings are typically calm, we do occasionally experience breezy conditions.

More Tour Related Info

Tour Preparation
San Juan Island
Whale Guidelines

Sea Kayaking Tours of the San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands are a small chain of islands in the Salish Sea. The area is a world renowned kayak tour destination in Washington State.