5 Bioluminescent Beaches You Need to Visit

Anyone who doesn’t like the beach is surely missing out. (Who actually doesn’t like going to beaches?) But the new talk-of-the-town are these beaches in several parts of the world that apparently glow in the dark. Is this fact or fiction? Definitely fact.

Bioluminescence is the phenomenon that causes the waves and shores to glow in the dark. This rare sensation happens in several places in the world, which is caused by light-emitting microorganisms that live in the sea. Examples of these glowing sea creatures include jellyfish, squids, and more commonly, planktons. It is in these aquatic animals where chemical energy is released, causing it to be emitted in the form of light. These organisms glow and can be seen in complete darkness, and has attracted tourists from all over the world.

If you’d like to experience this one of a kind affair, here are some of our favourite bioluminescent beaches in the world.

Toyama Bay, Japan

Firefly squids along Toyama Bay, Japan

Known as one of the most popular bioluminescent beaches, Toyama Bay is abundant in firefly squids, which we have to thank for lighting up the entire bay. The coastline shines along the entire stretch of the Seto Inlet Sea, from Kyushu all the way to Awajishima. The best time to see this luminous wonder is in during the summer months.

Mosquito Island, Puerto Rico

Bioluminescent Bay in Mosquito Island, Puerto Rico

Photo by James Garlick

Mosquito Island, or Puerto Mosquito in Vieques in Puerto Rico is said to be the “brightest and best-known bioluminescent bay in the world”. It houses not one, but three bioluminescent bays in all of Vieques. This island is ideal for these bioluminescent organisms to thrive and live in as the waters are shallow, causing the bay to shine beautifully, especially in the dark. Did you know that you can kayak through the waters of Mosquito Island? Definitely, the best way to experience these glowing bays.

Indian River Lagoon, Florida, USA

Bioluminescent Beach on Indian River Lagoon, Floridadian

Photo by Derek Demeter

Similar to Mosquito Island in Puerto Rico, the best way to experience the Indian River Lagoon is to hop on a kayak cruise. But the kayak experience here in Florida is a little more extravagant – why’s that? The kayaks are absolutely clear and transparent, allowing you to see the glowing water beneath you right at your seat. How cool is that?

Padang Bai, Bali, Indonesia

If you’re looking for somewhere that isn’t too far away and within the Southeast-Asian region, look no further – Bali is where it’s at. Most people would know Bali for its stunning beaches, surf culture, stunning beaches and ravishing nature all around. But what you did not know is that you’ll find a glowing beach right at Padang Bai.

As one of the busiest bays in Bali, Padang Bai has public ferries crossing back and forth from Bali to Lombok every day. But as the night settles in, this bay comes to life and displays a spectacular underwater light show. Underwater night diving adventures are also available at Padang Bai – don’t forget to ask your local guide for more details!

Mudhdhoo Island, Maldives

Mudhdhoo Island, Maldives

Photo by Wei Hung He

Yes, you can find bioluminescent beaches in the Indian Ocean! Time and time again, these microorganisms that reside in these waters have been mistaken for phytoplankton. But in fact, they are actually “ostracod crustaceans”. What’s special about these creatures is that they emit light way longer than phytoplanktons do, allowing the experience to linger just a little more.

One way to truly immerse yourself in this luminous experience is to dive straight into these beaming, blue waters. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island offers night dives to its visitors – truly captivating and other-worldly.

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