Most people are unfamiliar with the term ‘bioluminescence’. Blandly, it refers to animals that use chemicals in their bodies to give off light.
Put into context, bioluminescence can produce some of the most amazing sights in the world. Sea creatures are some of the most bedazzling bioluminescent animals on the planet.
Every year thousands of tourists travel to bioluminescent bays to witness this amazing phenomenon. These destinations are often described as some of the most extraordinary places in the world.
There is much that can be said about seeing an array of radiant and glowing sea creatures beneath the surface of the water. But there is much more to be experienced. The bioluminescent experience is one for your bucket list.
So, where do you go to experience the best bioluminescent bays in the world?
Here the best bioluminescent locations in the world;
Luminous Lagoon, Jamaica
The glistening luminous lagoon in Jamaica is said to be an unforgettable experience. Located in the marchlands of Trelawny, the lagoon stretches past the small town of Falmouth.
Falmouth is an area rich with history dating back to the 1800’s when large ships from the United Kingdom would dock their vessels by the coast.
Over time, the lagoon has become famed for its wealth of microorganisms and sea life. Today the lagoon is home to some the most stunning bioluminescent creatures in the world.
At night,** the lagoon comes to life as smaller organisms glisten and shed light on fish and other sea life**. Visitors on tour boats tour the glistening waters for 45-minutes that are literally enlightening.
The tour also** allows guests to swim in the water surrounded by the glow of the bioluminescent sea life**. After the tour, visitors can share their tales at the restaurants on land that serve traditional Jamaican cuisine.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Often underrated, Halong Bay is one of the most reputable destinations for bioluminescent experiences. Located in the Quảng Ninh province of Vietnam, Halong bay is an assortment of nature.
In fact, Halong Bay has 1969 islands… so many that only 989 actually have official names. Popularized not only for scenic beauty, Halong Bay is also historic.
It is the site of archaeological remains that date back to 3000 BC. Its islands are also home to several different tribes. When the night is dark, areas of Halong Bay set alight with bioluminescent sea life. Tourists crowd tour boats and journey to marvel at the phenomenon.
However, Halong Bay tends to be crowded with boats and other tourist vessels. One often must wait until the boats turn their lights off to experience the best of the bioluminescent sea life.
Surfing on bioluminescent waves
For some reason, the gods blessed Puerto Rico with some of the most remarkable sea life in the world. The Bio Bay Tour in Fajardo, in the Laguna Grande, is tabbed as an extraordinary bioluminescent experience.
Some tours even allow tourists to kayak amidst the sights of the lagoons finest sea creatures. Bringing them as close to the water as possible.
The best part about Puerto Rico’s Laguna Grande is that its bioluminescent phenomena can be seen year-round. The great weather allows for tourist to go out on the waters during any time of year.
The beautiful scenery and the rich culture of the people are also perks of visiting Puerto Rico.
Unfortunately, like many of the other bioluminescent locations in the world, the Laguna Grande can also become crowded.
Mosquito Bay, Puerto Rico
Bioluminescent Bay, Puerto Rico
Also, located in Puerto Rico, Mosquito Bay is a much-acclaimed bioluminescent bay. Mosquito Bay is often tabbed as a ‘must-see’ for visitors of Puerto Rico.
At night, the bay lights up with more than 700,000 bioluminescent dinoflagellates in each gallon of water.
Travelers are usually astounded by the amount radiant light emitted through the water.
However, tourists are not advised to visit the lagoon on a full moon; the bioluminescent life may not be as visible then. Instead, one is advised go on a quiet and peaceful night when the microorganisms are less disturbed and can be seen more vividly.
Bioluminescent river in Australia
In Cairns, Algae and other microorganisms light up the ocean’s coastline at night.
Tourists can then walk amongst the bioluminescent sea life marveling and taking everything in.
Unlike many other bioluminescent locations, the Cairns shoreline brings the bioluminescent sea life to your feet. Allowing tourist to literally bask in the extraordinary experience.
Not to mention the beautiful beaches of North Australia offer a wealth of other attractions, offering a more holistic tourist experience.
Florida and California, United States
For residents of North America may feel like the bioluminescent experience requires them to travel abroad. In fact, bioluminescent life can be found on several shores in the United States.
Mission Bay in San Diego California, and Navarre Beach in Florida both offer bioluminescent experiences without the need for tedious international travel.
California specifically is home to the red tides; a phenomenon caused by the richness of Lingulodinium Polyedrum —a species of bioluminescent dinoflagellates.
What else do you need to know about the bioluminescent experience?
Before you book your tickets and pack your bags to travel to the best bioluminescent bays of the world, consider a few things; Bioluminescence is best seen in the very dark of night. Knowing this, one must plan their trip accordingly. If you have young kids who are likely to be frightened by a dark environment, you may want to ensure that the tour you choose has a provision for their safety.
Like many experienced tourists will tell you, it is best to tour the bioluminescent bays when the moon is at its darkest. This will make the bioluminescent creatures more vividly visible.
Also, note that some bays may be crowded during certain seasons of the year. the timing of your trip will influence your experience. Choose wisely.
So, Where Are You Going Next?
Witnessing Bioluminescent life is an experience many tourists travel across the world for. Though many travelers are still unaware of the term ‘bioluminescence’ and remain oblivious to the beauty of the experience. In this blog, we hope that you have learned about the miraculous nature of bioluminescent life and no know where to find the best bioluminescent bays in the world.
Written By Kate Mark
Kate is a mid-lifer who quit a growing corporate career to reawaken her passions and her lifelong dream of traveling the world.