Literally glowing in the dark under the moonlit sky, the Luminous Lagoon in Trelawny is one of the most spectacular wonders to be found in the world, let alone Jamaica! Enveloped by mangroves the lagoon is home to microscopic organisms that emit a phosphorescent light when the water is agitated. As the water is disturbed, you’ll see an iridescent light illuminating the waters below. The phosphorescence is so thick that moving fish in the water are said to resemble shooting stars.
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Departing every night at about 7pm from the Glistening Waters Marina, crowded tour boats take visitors on a ride around the lagoon with the highlight of the 45-minute tour being the chance to actually swim in the glowing waters! The lagoon is about 4-5 feet deep at the center so guests can swim around the boat and watch the glow of the microscopic dinoflagellates light up their arms. It’s quite a romantic and thrilling experience, swimming in the water beneath the moonlit skies.
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Located at the pivotal point where the Martha Brae River meets the Caribbean Sea, the Luminous Lagoon stretches along the marshlands of Trelawny from the small community of Rock to the town of Falmouth. In the 18th century the lagoon housed a wharf where large vessels from England unloaded goods onto smaller ships to be delivered inland up the river. Once inland, these boats would reload with sugar, rum and other Jamaican exports and carry them back to the harbour. It was years after the decline of the sugar trade that scientists discovered the lagoon’s geographical location was the single best place to observe and study the dinoflagellates, which thrive in the layers where salt and fresh water combine and glow the brightest in shallow, warm water.
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After the tour visitors can enjoy dinner at the Glistening Waters restaurant while watching the bioluminescent show on the water. Their menu includes lobster, shrimp, fish, conch, chicken, steaks, and pork. The whole experience is nothing short of amazing! The Luminous Lagoon is said to be the largest and most brilliant of four in the world, a fact that continually attracts and awes visitors and scientists from around the world. The effect is absolutely ethereal and Jamaica is considered the best place to witness it, there’s no better time than the present to see this natural wonder.
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