Illumination at the Glistening Waters in Jamaica’s Luminous Lagoon

The Glistening Waters at Luminous Lagoon is truly one of the most fascinating sights I have ever experienced. And it is right here in Jamaica. Waters that glisten, a lagoon the illuminates, it’s something to see I tell you what!

The Glistening Waters isn’t only a spectacle but an ecological marvel. So what is it? Basically one of the coolest things ever. So cool, my Mom visited twice!

Glistening Waters Falmouth jamaica 1 unique attractions in jamaica phosphorescent lagoon in jamaica travel blog
Photo Credit: Glistening Waters Tours

What Makes the Glistening Waters Glow?

The Luminous Lagoon is a mixture of fresh water outpouring from the Martha Brae River meeting the salt waters of the Caribbean. This biological cocktail creates a perfect breeding ground for microscopic organisms (bioluminescence) that, when disturbed, glow a brilliant blue light, an aqua fireworks display of sorts.

Visiting Falmouth Jamaica

I visited the Luminous Lagoon in Falmouth, Jamaica with my Mom back in December. She had been 2 weeks previously with my Dad and she knew I would love it. Which I did. We stayed in Falmouth for a night, since this unique attraction in Jamaica is the island’s only night-time activity (besides casinos and nightclubs I guess).

Plus the Fisherman’s Inn is a cute place to stay right on the water which is where we slept for the night. Dad enjoyed the cable television and Mom and I enjoyed being walking distance to the boat launch. 

After sundown, Mom and I walked to the meeting point for Glistening Waters on the edge of the Luminous Lagoon, paid our $20 each, and boarded a shallow bottomed boat and set off for the middle of the lagoon.

Our boat captain explained to us where we were and why it was such a marvel. As he did, we entered the area of the lagoon where the glow was the strongest. Suddenly, the wake of the boat was not the black of the night water but a vivid blue radiance as the water churned behind us. As soon as the water stilled, the light disappeared. I was itching to get into that water!

coolest things to see in Jamaica at night falmouth luminous lagoon
Photo Credit: Jaital

Swimming in the Glistening Waters in Jamaica

Once out in the middle of the Lagoon, we dropped anchor and were told we could jump in, but to be careful to not put our feet on the shallow (3-6 feet) bottom as it was very mucky and would both feel gross and if churned up would make the bioluminescence less clear. Mom and I jumped in to float, surrounded by light when we moved, only to be enveloped in darkness when still.

Amazingly, each individual water droplet can be seen as they roll off your arms and legs, even in between your fingers and toes. My favourite play was to move my tatas around and have the sparkly shimmer light ‘em up. I felt like Beyonce!   Mixing my time between staying still and then thrashing around, I loved seeing the glowing rivulets suddenly appear and light up my whole body only to vanish into darkness just as quickly. Apparently on a stormy night, the entire lagoon lights up with the rhythm of the rain!

Not only is the Luminous Lagoon super cool, but it is one of only four places in the world where you can see such a phenomenon. Furthermore, the Jamaica site is actually the ONLY one in the world where you can visit every single day of the year and see the effects; at every other location the visibility is dependent on the season. Unfortunately it never really photographs that well, hence the lack of photos in this post 🙂

So should you check it out? Obviously!!!

Falmouth is a 40-minute drive from Montego Bay and a 70-minute drive from Ocho Rios.

Or better yet, you can stay right on the lagoon! 

Find the latest deals for the visiting the Glistening Waters

and staying at the Fisherman’s Inn or the Glistening Waters Hotel in Falmouth! 

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The Glistening Waters in Falmouth Jamaica is an absolute natural phenomenon, one of only 4 such sites in the world where you can float in the night water and literally find your glow!

12 thoughts on “Illumination at the Glistening Waters in Jamaica’s Luminous Lagoon

  1. How fascinating !! I have never heard of such a phenomenon…what an experience that must have been to swim in those waters !

  2. oh wow I love biolumicense. were these planktons or jellyfish? I only ever swam with bioluminiscent planktons once on koh rong and it was the most magical experience of my life.

    1. Hey Jo!
      These were the plankton kind, the micro organisms! I remember seeing some like this in Cambodia too, especially fun after sharing buckets on the beach. I have heard of the glowing jellyfish in Palau, HUGE bucket list item!

  3. Looks amazing – can’t believe I’ve been to Jamaica six times and never heard of this 🙁 Oh well, a good reason to go back again, LOL! Hope you’ll come by my travel blog and leave me a comment when you have time 🙂 Great to meet you!

    1. Hi Deb, Definitely make sure it is on your list for your next trip pon di rock! Even a lot of Jamaicans have never been to the Glistening Waters. Being a night time attraction makes it slightly less visited, but staying in Falmouth was a great one night of the trip and the Lagoon is such a huge pull why not?!

    1. Hi Aubrey,

      Seriously such a cool place, as I said Mama Sue went twice haha! And no need for true swimming abilities, just need to float and they even have life jackets if you can’t be bothered. Not going to lie, I was tempted!


  4. Just don’t buy shots of Crown from the bar!!! My wife and I took two nephews and a niece to Jamaica when they graduated from High School. They didn’t want the free shots at the All-inclusive, so after the tour we stopped in at the bar – well one didn’t want to do tequila, another didn’t want to do rum, so we wound up doing Crown. Those 5 shots cost me $50, think I bought the bottle!!!

    1. Hi Mike, Definitely sounds like an overprices bar! My mom and I spotted cake before we got on the boat and whispered to the ladies to save us two slices! Delicious! Booze can definitely be overpriced in tourist heavy places in Jamaica, If you’re not at an all-inclusive resort, a stop at the grocery store or gas station can definitely save you a ton of cash!


  5. Sounds amazing. Can you just drive to Falmouth and somehow get to the waters, or does one need to go with an organised tour. Will be in Jamaica in August – can’t wait.

    1. Hi Denisa,
      You can definitely just go to Falmouth ad go to the docks on your own, thats what we did. We actually stayed in Falmouth right on the lagoon and walked over.

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