Vacation Recommendation: Paradise Snorkeling in La Parguera, Puerto Rico

Vacation RecommendationPretty much the best thing we did on our trip to Puerto Rico earlier this year was book a snorkeling expedition through Paradise Snorkeling and Scuba in La Parguera, Puerto Rico. I really wanted to snorkel in Puerto Rico’s famous bioluminescent waters, and this company had exceptional customer reviews.

The reviews were dead on. I would recommend these guys without hesitation.

The package we bought included an afternoon snorkel, dinner on the boat, and then an evening dip in the bioluminescent waters. It was $60 per person, which we paid via credit card when we showed up.

The shop--this is where your journey begins and ends. They sell all kinds of equipment here, too.
The shop–this is where your journey begins and ends. They sell all kinds of equipment here, too.

During the afternoon dive, our two guides (brothers) came in the water with us and would retrieve various sea creatures for us to touch and look at. They noticed things I never would have, like squishy sea cucumbers and prickly sea urchins. Their presence added a lot to what would have already been a great snorkel with lots to look at. They were very knowledgeable about the sea life in the area and knew all sorts of great snorkel spots for us to try.

Dinner was delicious. The guides’ grandmother made us chicken empanadas, two each, which were brought to the boat at the dock by the brothers. Their abuela does not make these empanadas for anyone except the people on the snorkel tours and was not willing to share the recipe, alas. The boat was also equipped with a cooler full of Medalla Lights, Puerto Rico’s answer to Miller Lites, for our enjoyment.

Unedited photo of the gorgeous water on our afternoon dive. The pictures don't do it justice.
Unedited photo of the gorgeous water on our afternoon dive. The pictures don’t do it justice.

After dinner we went out to the bioluminescent bay. This was a disappointment to me, no fault of Paradise Scuba. I was thinking the bay would be glowing like it was full of radioactive Gatorade, but the effect was so much more subtle. The guides again spent time showing us how the glowing water works and giving us tips to see the sparks better underwater.

La Parguera is about a 2.5 hour drive out of San Juan. Next time, I’d consider spending the night following the snorkeling there. It was a cute little town with some divey looking bars and could be fun to hang out in for an evening.

If you book a tour with Paradise Scuba and Snorkel, here are some tips:

  • Bring a towel
  • You can bring your own cooler of beer if you want, or give your beer to the staff to put in a cooler
  • Bring an underwater camera, and the guides will use it to take photos of you
  • Bring a change of clothes for after (unless you’ve got a hotel in La Parguera)
  • Invite me to go with you!