Luminous Lagoon Jamaica (Glistening Waters)

Luminous lagoon Jamaica is amazing and magical. I think the luminous lagoon, known by some as Glistening Waters Jamaica is one of the coolest tours in Jamaica.


The luminous lagoon runs along the marshland area of Trelawny. Back in the 18th century when sugar was the main earner for Jamaica this area was one of Jamaica’s main ports.

The goods from larger boats would be unloaded to smaller boats and taken up the Martha Brae River.

Why is Glistening Waters Luminous Lagoon Special

Many years later scientist would discover that Luminous Lagoon was the best place to study micro-organisms called dinoflagellates, which thrive in areas where salt and fresh water combine.

These small micro-organisms emit a glow when disturbed. There are millions of these micro-organisms living in the lagoon. This is the only bioluminescent bay in Jamaica.


These organisms glow the brightest in shallow water. Fortunately, the lagoon is only 3-8 feet deep. It is said that the Luminous Lagoon in Jamaica is one of the brightest in the world.

It is the only place where you can see glowing water in Jamaica.

Jamaica is one of four countries in the world where the glistening water phenomenon occurs. The other three countries are Indonesia, Bahamas, and Puerto Rico.

Luminous Lagoon Jamaica Tours

You can get a 10% discount when you book a tour with JCVTT tours if you have a Jamaica Travel Saver Card.

Description of the Luminous Lagoon Tour

There are three operators that run Luminous Lagoon Jamaica Tours on the lagoon. The one by the Glistening Water Restaurant is the original tour operator.

This is a night time attraction, the start time of the tour depends on what time it gets dark in Jamaica.

In the summer, the days are longer so the first tour would be around 7:00 pm – 7:30 pm. In the winter months, the first tour should be around 6:30 pm. The tour is also best done when there is not a full moon.

Upon arrival at the tour, there will be various forms of entertainment. On the night we visited there were some local dancers.

Other entertainment options include a fire eater and limbo dancer. You can phone ahead to find out what the entertainment will be for the night.

It takes around 5 minutes to get out to the middle of the lagoon. You have the option to swim in the lagoon. Keep in mind it is very shallow and the bottom of the lagoon is very muddy.

It is best to tread the water. If you stand up in the lagoon you will feel like you are standing in jello.

What makes this tour fascinating is the swimmers literally glow when they splash around in the water. You will also see glowing streaks as fish swim by.

If you dip your hand in the water it will come out looking like glittered diamonds. Also, if it rains while you are taking your tour the drops of water will light up the lake.

The best seat in the house is by the engine motor and the ladder where people enter the water. This is the best spot to capture pictures of the luminous lagoon. When people jump into the water you get a large glow.


Also on our tour we were really lucky the captain took us around in circles so it disturbed the water and we got some great pictures of the luminous lagoon.

When taking pictures remember not to turn on the flash, you won’t capture anything. The tour of the lagoon takes around 35-40 minutes.

After your tour you can have cocktails at the bar or go for dinner. Glistening Waters recently added a bed and breakfast hotel. If you are staying at the hotel the Luminous Lagoon tour is half price.

Location of Luminous Lagoon

Luminous Lagoon is not located in Montego Bay. This bioluminescent bay is located in Falmouth, Jamaica which is around 45 minutes from Montego Bay.

If you are traveling from Ocho Rios it will take around 1 hour. If you are coming from Runaway Bay or Discovery Bay the travel time will be approximately 35 minutes.

Tips for traveling to Luminous Lagoon Jamaica

  • Bring a swimsuit and towel if you plan to swim
  • Bring mosquito repellent
  • A high quality, high resolution DSLR cameras work best
  • Do not turn on your camera flash when taking pictures
  • Bring water shoes if you are planning to swim in the lagoon
  • Do not go when there is a full moon, you might not be able to see the luminous effect properly.

Location from main resort areas

Distance from Ocho Rios: 60 minutes
Distance from Montego Bay: 45 minutes
Distance from Runaway Bay: 40 minutes
Distance from Discovery Bay: 30 minutes

Luminous Lagoon Jamaica Cost

Adults – $25 US (Get a free rum punch at the bar)
Jamaica $1000 JA (remember to bring your Jamaican ID)

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