Tours and Tickets

Light or Bioluminscent Plankton Tour (FULLDAY) provided by Afronautica

Light or Bioluminscent Plankton Tour (FULLDAY)

Light or Bioluminscent Plankton Tour (FULLDAY)
4
Book in advance
from £43.87 per adult
Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
About
The luminous or bioluminscent plankton is a natural phenomenon that occurs in few beaches in the world. One of the special conditions of the Plankton Tour in Barú is that it takes place throughout the year, its warm waters allow tourists to enjoy the experience without special costumes and we are the only agency that provides the photographic service (Monday to Friday)
Know before you go
  • Duration: 5h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
English
Know before you go
  • Duration: 5h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Available languages
English
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
What to expect
The luminous plankton tour is a natural phenomenon that occurs thanks to the presence of millions of microscopic beings that live in suspension in the sea. The noctilucas are a particular species that, when they feel agitated, generate a light reaction, also known as "the Spark of the Sea". When moving in these waters, people generate with each of their movements lights that make the experience unique, magical and unforgettable.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 179268P1
Call +44 12 2492 8241
Important information
Inclusions
Lifevest • Snacks • Air-conditioned vehicle • Use of Facilities (chairs, sun beds, bathrooms, etc.)
Duration
5h
Departure details
Traveller pickup is offered.
We pick up at all hotels and hostels, etc. within the historic center of Cartagena de Indias, El
Centro de Convenciones Cartagena de Indias, Cl. 24 #8A-344, Provincia de Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Hotel pickup is offered. View the hotel list on our checkout page to see if yours is included among the pickup points.
Inclusions
Lifevest • Snacks • Air-conditioned vehicle • Use of Facilities (chairs, sun beds, bathrooms, etc.)
Departure details
Traveller pickup is offered.
We pick up at all hotels and hostels, etc. within the historic center of Cartagena de Indias, El
Centro de Convenciones Cartagena de Indias, Cl. 24 #8A-344, Provincia de Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Hotel pickup is offered. View the hotel list on our checkout page to see if yours is included among the pickup points.
Duration
5h
Return details
Returns to original departure point
Additional information
Confirmation will be received at time of booking
Not wheelchair accessible
Service animals allowed
Infants must sit on laps
Not recommended for pregnant travellers
There are children's life jackets
People can reach Barú easily but at the end of the activity public transport is no longer working, so we offer private transport
Not recommended for people with reduced mobility
Most travellers can participate
This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travellers
Popular mentions

4.0
29 reviews
Excellent
18
Very good
1
Average
2
Poor
4
Terrible
4

Nish
London, UK4 contributions
Disorganised and unsafe in parts
Unfortunately the organisation let's down what could have been a great trip. Being in the warm water with a great view of the stars and the bioluminescence of the plankton was lovely.

1) the bus to pick us up arrive an hour late with no explanation,and then again there was some chaos on the way back with lots of people waiting around or squeezed in tightly.
2) the beach/water at playa blanca is really nice - generally in good condition apart from the how they maintain the facilities at afronautica which had lots of flies and felt dirty
3) the boats felt pretty unsafe - lifejackets were fine but some of the buckles didn't work, but the main issue is no ladder to get on/off the boat - could be difficult for some people to pull themselves out of the water.
Written 1 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

kambouroff
Edmonton, Canada153 contributions
Disorganized
Me and my fiancé were recommended by the “life is good” hostel tour booking area to do this excursion so we were quite excited. We are pretty low key and we’re told that tour would be in both Spanish and English but it wasn’t, totally in Spanish which would have stopped us from booking in the beginning. The bus picked us up at 7:00 am and we drive about 45 minutes to playa Blanca to do the first bit of our excursion which was with the same company. For most of the day we waited around confused, hot and irritated. The beaches were extremely crowded and always people trying to sell you things so it was hard to relax. Most of the day we just waited around in the sun hungry and bored. We got to snorkel for an hour in the earlier part of the day but was disappointed to see how dead the coral reef was (do better Colombia). We arrived back to do the plankton tour around 3pm but we had to wait until sun down, in the mean time we just waited in the sun on a crowded beach. Finally when they started we were told we were not aloud to take our own photos because “it does not work” so they had a professional there to take them for us. One picture was 50 thousand pesos which to us was not worth it. The plankton itself was fun to swim in and pretty cool to see but when we tried to get back onto the boat we were not helped until we got a picture which I find extremely rude.
Written 11 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Artur R
1 contribution
Beautiful experience marred by terrible organization
This is the most disorganized tour experience I've ever had. The plankton is awesome, but only book with this company if you have no other options. We are not picky travelers but can only put up with so much discomfort, confusion, and delays.

1) We booked the half day plankton trip through our hostel (Selina Cartagena). We were told we'd leave at 1:50pm and be back at 8. We were picked up in a small car (not a bus as advertised) and went all the way to Baru (1h trip) in a tiny car packed with four people other than the driver. The driver was nice and stopped for food and water on the way.
2) Everyone got dropped off at a parking lot about 10 minutes away from the rest area. This is a walk on sand and rocks through a crowded beach, so watch out if you have mobility issues.
3) We arrived at a beach shack in Playa Blanca at around 3pm. The facilities were limited (keep in mind this is an island with no running water, so if you're not comfortable with these conditions, this beach might not be for you) but we could buy decent drinks and food and enjoy the beach. The beach itself was very crowded. The water is warm and pretty but has a fair amount of debris, nearby motorboats, and some trash. We were told to hang out until 5:30pm, when there would be an explanation and a snack.
4) The explanation was just some quick facts about plankton and prices for photos. The snack ends up just being crackers and juice, so don't rely on it for dinner. They tell us to be ready to head out at 6:20.
5) At 6:10, they start giving us life vests and packing us into boats. None of this is announced in English, but luckily we saw a commotion and joined the others. As other reviewers have said, the boats are way overcrowded and the life jacket situation is questionable. We ride the boats to the plankton area and are told to just jump in and swim among the several boats anchored there in the dark. No one takes count of the number of people on the boat, or asks you to confirm which boat you're a part of. There were probably 5 boats in total.
6) The plankton itself is really, really cool, and is the only reason this review has more than one star. It was a ton of fun to play in the water and see it glow and was definitely worth the experience.
7) Plankton don't show up in phone photos, so they have a photographer there. However, there's only one for the entire tour group and if you're not on his boat, then you have to swim in the dark to his boat to get your photo taken, and then somehow find your boat again and swim back.
8) The return ruined the whole experience for us. Once we got back to the beach area, it took about half an hour for everyone to individually walk up to the photographer, identify their photos and have them WhatsApped to them. Then, we walked through the sandy and rocky beach to the parking lot together, which was confusing since there were several groups walking at the same time, and ours was much larger than the group of 4 we originally came with. At the parking lot, there were several reshuffles for the guides to split us up, and for the buses to arrive and take us home. All of this explanation was in Spanish. And all of this was done in the pitch darkness since the area is very poorly lit. In total, just getting onto the bus took an hour. We didn't get home until 10pm when we finished with the plankton at 7:5pm.
Written 31 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Afronautica C
Muchas gracias por su crítica, está no está siendo de mucha utilidad para mejorar algunos procesos y servicios. Hay días en el que las cosas no ocurren como se planifican. Nos disculpamos por los inconvenientes. Prometemos a su regreso darles unas piñas coladas por la casa. 🙋‍♂️
Written 1 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sandra M
1 contribution
First BAD Experience on an “Organized Excursion” EVER.
Dec 2019 • Friends
I’m a very low key and low maintenance person.
BUT
I have my limits.
#1 - This company, unlike must didn’t pick us up at or even near ourhotel. In fact they couldn’t even provide street address or proper directions to the pick up location.
#2. - To say they have an Wnglish speaking guide is a gross exaggeration. She was very nice and polite but couldn’t clearly communicate in English simple directions or insights regarding the islands or ecology.
#3 - no TP in the bathrooms. No toilet seat in the stall designated for “ladies”, and no running water.
#4 - the boat captains are exceptional. Experienced, and friendly. The boats, however are ill-equipped. I’m a fairly spry 50 year old, but the idea of someone with pho’s iCal limitations or obesity trying to get on and off these boats is semi-horrific. If you are heavy, or the least hit reconditioned, I pray you don’t attempt to make this voyage.
#5 - Plankton tour was ok. Just ok. They wouldn’t allow us to take anything with us including cameras. We relied on the “Tour Photographer” to get pictures of the experience for us. He left in another boat, leaving us bobbing around with approximately 20 or so disappointed men, women, and children. No explanation was provided as to WHY he left without providing promised photos. No one spoke English to do so even if an explanation was provided in Spanish.
#6 - time to go? Great! Get me out of here!
We hiked up the steps to the parking lot to get on bus.
No Bus.
Other groups from OTHER tours hiked same steps to immediately get on their bus and leave. At least 4 other groups did just that.
Not us. We waited in the dark for 45-50 minutes with no explanation until a bus finally showed up to get us. It really sucked.
Shop around.
Beautiful islands. Plankton are cool too. Tour company is pretty much the worst I’ve ever encountered. Go elsewhere.
Written 24 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Afronautica C
Lamentamos que su experiencia no fuera placentera, pero existen quejas que notamos desproporcionadas. No todos los servicios de tours buscan en el Hotel, en la explicación del paquete esta claro que solo buscamos en los hoteles de la zona de boca grande, para el resto tenemos tres puntos de encuentro. . Que ud hable tan mal del ingles de nuestra guia es para nosotros una muestra de su poca cultura y tolerancia (nuestra guía es una chica graduada en idiomas de una universidad respetada en Cartagena) en todo caso si ud quisiera ser tratada por angloparlantes nativos, no hubiera salido de su zona de confort y venir a un país caribeño donde se habla español. En la explicacion del tour tambien decimos que es una lancha , bote donde se realizará el viaje y esta resaltado que el tour no esta recomendado para las personas con movilidad reducida ... Muchos de de sus comentarios serán tomados en cuenta para nuestro servicio de mejoras, nos disculpamos francamente por los retrasos del bus.
Written 26 December 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

KarinaDelette
Charlotte, North Carolina33 contributions
Research for better options
Dec 2019 • Friends
Let me start with I have never thought of asking for a refund after 10 years of touring but I feel that we deserve one this time. Our "guide" was very sweet but to say she was English speaking was a gross exaggeration. My Spanish was better than her English and I know what I learned in 7th grade decades ago. We were given no guidance as to what to do other than don't buy anything unless we found her. She would ask us if we understood what was said by the Spanish speaking guide and when we replied no, she would walk away. The organization from the beginning was boarding on comical. The photographer never showed for the Plankton portion with no explanation and we were told we couldn't bring anything on the boat so that once in a lifetime experience we had, never happened and we were deprived of promised picture. When we finally headed back at 8:50pm, we, meaning myself and 20 plus others including children, waited until 9:45 until our bus arrived without any explanation by staff that kept "hiding" while watching other tours walk up and onto their waiting buses. We enjoyed ourselves because that is who we are but I have never been on a less professional tour. From what we saw around us, there are better options.
Written 24 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Afronautica C
Lamentamos su mala experiencia. estamos trabajando para solucionar los percances. Ud fue a la playa, hizo el recorrido de la islas, tomo el almuerzo y vivió la experiencia del plancton (las fotos son un servicio adicional y opcional) uds hicieron todo el recorrido. Lamentamos los inconvenientes. Estamos trabajando en mejorar. Con gusto a su regreso le ofrecemos unas piñas coladas
Written 26 December 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

David M
2 contributions
Disappointing
Dec 2019 • Solo
I am going to try as objective as possible. I had read that some peoppe had had bad experiences with this tour. Probably because Trip advisor doesn't advertise the package clearly enough.

Facts:

1. When you book this trip there is only 1 option and not 2. It is called Full day plankton.
2. The price is almost 60 dollars (about 200 000 Colombian pesos through this app)
3. The tour only includes picking you up very early (by 7 am) in a decent van and a tour guide. As an avid world traveler the guide was good but not too efficient or experienced in the sense that he did not give precise meeting points and times which made things confusing. For example "let's meet in 1 your but then called us 30 minutes later to board the boat in a hurry" 
4. The life vests are old and most of them are broken. I had to tell them that I would not board the boat without a proper vest. They tried to give me a child vest and wanted me to hop on the boat just like that. I like adventure but without jeopardizing safety.
5. Unfortunately when we got to the beach the guide told us that the plan only included the plankton at night and that we had to stay in this tiny space at the beach until 5 or 6 pm. We had to pay 65000 more pesos per person to do the full tour.
6. The stop was mostly at Cholon brach where you are forced to buy things. Forced because if you dont buy anything you can't stay there. So be prepared and bring money plus an almost obligated tip and 20% charge if paying with card. They will ask you to tip them which I find extremely annoying.
7. The other 2 stops were ok. Snorkeling for 30 minutes and a small brach for 15 minutes. The boat does not have any steps or stools so it is hard to get in and out even for younger people. The guides did do their best to help us though.
8. The person was reaponsive through whatsapp all the time and educated.
9. I would recommend you don't book through trip advisor but when you make it to Cartagena so that you discuss all the options clearly. I don't think this was a malintentioned situation but it was uncomfy.
10. The breakfast is a tiny packed juice and a small arepa. Lunch is rice or fish.
11. After Lunch you do nothing until plankton time. The place is nasty. No water. No sanitizer. Full of flies and cats.

Subjectively, I don't think the price is worth the trip and the quality of places and guidance were not at the same quality of other places I've been around the world for the same price. Even in Europe. Safety is a big issue for me and the boat was ok but the lifevest situation really bothered me.

I struggled with all the nasty cats, flies, lack of hygiene, and all that to wait for the plankton. It is an OK experience. Unfortunately the cameraman had issues with the camera so we couldn't get any pics.

The return to Cartagena was disorganized some people had to return in different vans provided by the company but still confusing.

Final rec: do not book neither through trip advisor or in this company. I'd recommend you get a comfortable CLEAN nice boat (see boa catamaran) for an adventure to the island without spending money unnecessarily or being forced to buy stuff and just do a night tour to see the plankton with another company.
Written 14 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Niels Jakob Vindvad Gade Holm
Santa Marta, Colombia1 contribution
Too expensive
Me and my friend wanted to see the plankton, but saw the price and immediately thought it was too expensive. We asked our Hostel (Music Hostel) if it couldn't be any cheaper with another company? We got a 24 hour tour, one meal for free at a hotel we stayed at overnight and we got a boatride to see the plankton. Everything for 53 $USD. Last i checked this tour costed 57 $USD... Simply can't be worth it.
Written 23 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Katie B
2 contributions
Most amazing experience!
Nov 2019 • Friends
My friend and I can highly recommend this tour. We enjoyed playa Blanca and were taken to a nice area to relax in before we saw the plankton. The plankton was the highlight - the guides were so friendly and helpful and the pictures came out amazing! This is a must do in Cartagena :)
Written 11 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

nmariaposada
Manchester, UK3 contributions
Great experience
Had a great time doing the tour, very professional and lots of fun, pictures turned and great would recommend- shay & Nadia
Written 11 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Eliana C
1 contribution
So ambiguous!!
Sep 2019 • Family
I would review this tour but I never got to actually go on it due to the incorrect information on my ticket!! I was staying in central Cartegena and didn’t select the hotel pick-up option. Since the ticket said we would meet the tour in central cartegena I booked the tour, but I wouldn’t have booked this tour if I knew I’d have to meet it all the way at their facilities in playa Blanca. I was left waiting for an hour simultaneously getting messages from management of the tour saying they were on their way to pick us up, and the tour company themselves saying that they were waiting for us an hour away. If you book this tour, beware this misinformation!!
Written 5 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Afronautica C
Hay dos opciones y son claras como el agua. Puedes reservar la actividad del plancton, Eliana: a) con "transporte" o b) "sin transporte" (la segunda opción es para los que desean ir a Barú por sus propios medios o están ya hospedados allí) y por supuesto el costo es menor y fue la opción que ud escogió. Luego nos SORPRENDE pidiendo ser recogida en su hotel. La opción con transporte es mas costosa, el viaje dura aprox una 50 minutos o una hora. Tratar de ahorrar por la diferencia de precios fue la causa de su inconveniente.
Written 6 September 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 16
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Afronautica
MichaelDive825
MichaelDive825
00
cockroaches in wetsuits
OMG... The good thing first. The transportation to the Playa Blanca was on time and good. The office in Cartagena i
XeniasTrips
XeniasTrips
00
Pretty location but...safety issues, not for bad backs
The sites are lovely, but this company has some work to do. I agree with everything in the previous review. We did
211israelm
211israelm
00
Average tour
Did the Rosario tour + plankton tour. The tour started with a van ride from Cartagena to playa blanca. Upon arrival
ingov874
ingov874
00
Plankton tour
We did the plankton tour. It was a really great experience. The hosts were very friendly too + good English.
Sean2503
Sean2503
00
Amazing time with a very disappointing outcome courtesy of Afronautica
The beach front, though not as impressive as it was 10 years ago is still a great, relaxing place, well worth visit
Victor Hugo d
Victor Hugo d
00
Beautiful place
Amazing experience. We were not sure what to expect but it was a once in a lifetime experience! The luminescent pla
yarincohen254
yarincohen254
00
Very good experience!
The staff were really nice and the view of the planktons was just amazing! If you stay in Cartagena, you must do th
Jeroen6000
Jeroen6000
00
Tour only for those people who have no regard for their safety, the safety of (and though for) others or the environment
Let me start by saying the islands around Isla Rosario are beautiful. Just you will be better going with a better
Sivan9297
Sivan9297
00
Amazing experience!
We did one day tour and we had great experience! We first arrived to the beach and enjoyed wonderful time while the
briancZ7522SZ
briancZ7522SZ
00
Unsafe, and a threat to the environment
Booked trip through Backpackers travel agency in San Diego barrio (Cartagena). When we booked and paid our money,
emich2016
emich2016
00
Insulting to both people and the environment
We were sold this trip through Backpackers travel agency. They told us the trip came with a shrimp cocktail and dri
GUILHERME R
GUILHERME R
00
Bioluminescent Plankton In Cartagena
We loved the trip. We choose the bus to Playa Blanca by 14:30 pm, enjoy the beach for 2 hours (the best time in my
bigj37
bigj37
00
Not a highlight of Colombia
First the van had a flat tire on the way to the Barú, instead of calling a regular taxi or something for the remain
HB20132013
HB20132013
00
sneaky - still won't return my money
This is by far the worst company I have dealt with on 6 months of travels . they lie and refuse to return stolen fu
Zac P
Zac P
00
not to be trusted!
BEWARE! I wouldn't go near this company again, the owner, rodrigo over charged me and my partner and promised to re
Frequently Asked Questions about Light or Bioluminscent Plankton Tour (FULLDAY)

Light or Bioluminscent Plankton Tour (FULLDAY) price starts from £42.22. Discover and book Light or Bioluminscent Plankton Tour (FULLDAY) on Tripadvisor

Light or Bioluminscent Plankton Tour (FULLDAY) cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Light or Bioluminscent Plankton Tour (FULLDAY) on Tripadvisor

Light or Bioluminscent Plankton Tour (FULLDAY) is hosted by Afronautica. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Afronautica on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Light or Bioluminscent Plankton Tour (FULLDAY) on Tripadvisor

On average, this experience will take approximately 5h. Discover and book Light or Bioluminscent Plankton Tour (FULLDAY) on Tripadvisor