When you think of a beach vacay, the things that first come to your mind are warm sunshine, alluring golden sands, and azure cool waters. But some beaches in the world are known for bioluminescence which is a phenomenon that makes the waves glow in a surreal neon blue color in the dark. Bioluminescence is a natural phenomenon mainly caused by phytoplankton, a type of microalgae that floats at the surface of ocean water. This stunning emission of light by sea creatures is best seen when there is no moon or if it is a cloudy night. Wondering where to catch sight of these magical glowing waves? Here is the list of some best sparkling beaches in the world that one should witness at least once in a lifetime.
Mosquito Bay, Puerto Rico
Located on the southern shore of the Puerto Rico Island of Vieques, Mosquito Bay, also known as Puerto Mosquito is one of the most popular bioluminescent beaches in the world where you can experience the brightest glowing neon blue light in the world. Famous for its extreme bioluminescence created from dinoflagellate plankton, this bay was recognized as the brightest bioluminescent beach by The Guinness Book of World Records in 2008. Unfortunately, visitors can’t just go out swimming in this ocean. However, visitors can enjoy Kayaking and boating in the blue-green glow, and experience the splash of a paddle, or swirl of a hand that produces a magical glowing trail in the dark waters of the bay. Besides Mosquito Bay, Puerto Rico is home to two other bioluminescent bays – Laguna Grande and La Parguera.
Torrey Pines Beach, San Diego, CA
Surrounded by a scenic landscape, Torrey Pines Beach is a popular beach located north of La Jolla and south of Del Mar near San Diego, California. Known for its occasional bioluminescence, the waves of the beach glow red during day while at night they are blue due to the presence of the bioluminescent plankton. Also, the beach encompasses numerous natural wonders such as the maritime chaparral, the rare Torrey pine, miles of sparking sand, and a lagoon. Besides, tourists can also indulge in sunbathe on the sandy beach all day or head out on an adventure by hang gliding over the beach from cliff tops.
Toyama Bay, Japan
Located on the northern coast of Honshu Island, Toyama Bay is the third largest bay in Japan and one of the most beautiful places to see bioluminescence in the world. Unlike other sparkling beaches, Toyama Bay does not glow because of algae but it glows because of firefly squid. Millions of firefly squids are brought to the surface by large waves during the months of March to May and create a big light show that attracts tourists from all over the world to experience this magical phenomenon. There are tour boats from the Namerikawa Fishing Port that take tourists to observe this stunning phenomenon. Also, one can visit the world’s only museum dedicated to the firefly squid in the town of Namerikawa.
Luminous Lagoon, Jamaica
When you are traveling through the Caribbean Sea, you will find this amazing sparkling Luminous Lagoon in Jamaica. The lagoon has formed where the waters of the Martha Brae River meet the Caribbean Sea near the town of Falmouth. This lagoon is vibrant with the most amazing bioluminescent sea creatures called dinoflagellates in the world. During the night, millions of these little organisms light everything they touch, from fish to plants and the occasional swimmer. At Luminous Lagoon, you will be able to get into the water yourself and swim with the luminous glow and fish swimming all around you. One can also book a tour from the hotel as many hotels in the area offer tours around the lagoon.
Reethi Beach, Maldives
Reethi Beach is a beautiful bioluminescent beach located on the tiny Fonimagoodhoo Island in Baa Atoll, about 124 km from the Male International Airport. It is one of the most stunning bioluminescent beaches in the world, and among the best places to visit in the Maldives. Famed for its majestic surroundings, this tiny idyllic island beach is the perfect escape and the resort itself is unspoilt and built from natural materials. One can relax on the white sandy beach and take a dip in the tropical blue ocean during the day and can stroll along the beach at night and see the stunning glow. Besides, there are several resorts on the beach where one can indulge in many activities that include kayaks, snorkels, windsurfing gear, and much more. July to December is the best time here to spot this bioluminescent plankton.
Ton Sai, Krabi, Thailand
Ton Sai is a popular and stunning beach located near Krabi, among the top places to visit in Thailand. The beach is a great place for backpackers because of its beauty, inexpensive accommodation as well as excellent rock-climbing opportunities. During night, the beach comes alive due to the presence of bioluminescence, a dense accumulation of phytoplankton glows in the dark which creates an opportunity for tourists to go on a boat tour. November and May are the best months to catch a glimpse of this amazing phenomenon of bioluminescence as part of Thailand Tour Packages.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Known for its emerald water and stunning natural beauty, Halong Bay is a beautiful bay located in the Quang Ninh province of Vietnam. It is one of the glowing beaches in the world and among the top places to visit in Vietnam. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the place is often cited for its nearly 2,000 towering limestone pillars and is usually filled with tourists on boats, taking in the views. But at night, it glows like starstudded sky. However, you won’t see the magnificent bioluminescent phenomenon everywhere in this bay. The best place to see it is in Lan Ha Bay. One can take an overnight boat tour here that allows you to jump out of the boat into the water in the dark. As you enter the water, it lights up as the plankton are disturbed and they glow! which is truly a magical sight to behold.
Tusan Beach, Malaysia
Surrounded by a steep mountain, Tusan Beach is a secluded beach located in Malaysia. The beach is locally known as ‘Blue Tears’, due to the bioluminescent phenomenon that occurs here at certain times of the year. The beach glistens in the sun with white soft sands and calm shores during the daytime while at night it sparkles like the sky full of twinkling stars. Interestingly, this incredible phenomenon here was only discovered for the first time in 2015. Since this discovery, the beach has become a lot more popular with tourists coming from all around to see the ‘blue tears’. The best time to catch a glimpse of this bioluminescent is from September to December.
Tasmania is an enchanting island state of Australia known for its captivating beauty, diverse culture, and white sandy beaches. It is the 26th largest island in the world and among the must include in places in Australia Tour Packages. Tourists can get a true taste of Tasmania in its fresh apple cider, cheeses, wine and oysters, and experience a dose of its serenity with its powder-white beaches and laid-back luxury. One can also find the bright blue glow around Tasmania’s beaches that comes from billions of single-celled algae called Noctiluca scintillans, more commonly known as “sea sparkle”. Besides, one can also get a clear, breathtaking views of the starlit skies above due to the low light pollution in the area.