Kayak tours offer close look at bioluminescent lake


A phenomenon is occurring in a shallow coastal lake in St Johns County.

A natural light show created by multiple species of  bioluminescent sea creatures was discovered in 2019 by Benjamin Brandao, an eco adventure guide with North Guana Outpost. Since then, NGO has escorted hundreds of people out on Guana Lake after hours. Everyone is welcome at the GTM National Estuarine Research Reserve to see something locals didn’t know existed here until now.

To see it for yourself, you’ll need a guide, a kayak and a sense of adventure. Contact NGO to see the phenomena at their location on Guana River Road.

Limited reservations are available for paddlers to have a close encounter. Certified kayak instructors and ecologists accompany small groups around the lake all year. Kayaks, safety gear and equipment to observe specimens up close are provided. Experience is not required. Tickets are $50 per person for a 90-minute experience. 

After discovering and confirming the persistent bioluminescence in St. Augustine’s backyard, Benjamin Brandao said, “Bioluminescent Guana Lake is added to a very short list of places in the world to observe microscopic as well as large glowing organisms near the surface of the water practically every night of the year.”

North Guana Outpost is located at 4415 Mickler Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, and is an outfitter store with access on both the north and south ends of the Guana Aquatic Preserve. For more information or to make reservations, go to northguanaoutpost.com or call 904-373-0306.