This Caribbean Natural Wonder Has The Brightest Glowing Luminous Water In The World

When a fun island getaway is what you're after with plenty of sunshine included, you'll find it waiting for you in Jamaica year-round. This scenic and inviting vacation destination is a popular place among travelers looking to climb waterfalls, explore the roots of Reggae, and spend ample time on the sand. Home to an array of gorgeous beaches just waiting to be discovered, it's fair to say that Jamaica is a dream come true in the daytime. However, if you're looking for something breathtaking to enjoy once the sun goes down, you'll find that here as well in the form of the Luminous Lagoon.

This stunning tourist attraction is a must-visit when the island waters have gone dark and you're hoping to experience a moment that feels undeniably otherworldly. The Luminous Lagoon is situated along the marshlands of Falmouth at a place where the Caribbean Sea and the Martha Brae River come together. Each evening, the Luminous Lagoon stands out among the surrounding scenery as it begins to glow bright blue under the night sky. It's an incredible phenomenon to witness that's also quite rare. Beyond Jamaica, this type of illuminated lagoon is believed to only exist in Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and Indonesia. Many agree that the Luminous Lagoon glows the brightest of them all. The exclusivity of the colorful event makes experiencing it that much more meaningful when you're visiting Jamaica.

The science behind the blue hue

Time spent immersed in the blue glowing waters of Jamaica's Luminous Lagoon can certainly feel magical for travelers. The scientific explanation for this eye-catching neon effect only adds to the wonder of the destination. When visitors view the bright blue ripples at the surface of the water, they witness a function that's innate to some organisms and referred to as bioluminescence. It's what causes fireflies to glow and some jellyfish to illuminate underwater at night as well.

According to the National Ocean Service, bioluminescence occurs when a chemical reaction within an organism causes it to emit light. Some experts believe it may be a strategy to warn or evade predators. Others point to bioluminescence as a potential form of communication between members of a similar species. Whatever its root purpose may be, visitors to the Luminous Lagoon reap the aesthetic benefits every time they're here. 

Within these waters, millions of bioluminescent microorganisms known as dinoflagellates exist. When the waters are disturbed, they glow in tandem with gorgeous results. Dinoflagellates require warm, shallow waters to thrive, and because Jamaica has such consistent weather year-round, many point to this as the primary reason for the lagoon's extraordinarily vibrant hue.

Tour options for enjoying the view

If you have an evening to spare during your vacation to the Caribbean and you want to be sure to experience Jamaica's Luminous Lagoon for yourself, consider booking a tour of the glowing waters with the professionals over at Island Routes. The excursions offered through this local company start at around $50 a person and include transfers to and from the waters. Once you arrive, you'll explore the lagoon by boat alongside a knowledgeable local guide with options to swim if you choose. Participants can even enjoy a refreshing fruit punch during a visit, making the experience as flavorful as it is intriguing.

Another great option in the area for enjoying a guided outing to the Luminous Lagoon is to explore with a tour group leaving from Glistening Waters Marina. These tours begin at around $25 per adult, are offered daily at sunset, and last around an hour. The company has a fleet of four boats that can accommodate up to 30 passengers each, ensuring plenty of spots for visitors excited to set out and explore the lagoon each evening. While these tour groups will likely be larger, an excursion with Glistening Waters still includes options for swimming, nighttime photography, or simply savoring the blue view from your place onboard.