Glistening Waters

Montego Bay & Northwest Coast

Glistening Waters, also known as ‘Luminous Lagoon,’ actually lives up to the hype. Located in an estuary near Rock, 1.6km east of Falmouth, the water here boasts a singular charm – it glows an eerie green when disturbed. The green glow is due to the presence of microorganisms that produce photochemical reactions when stirred; the concentrations are so thick that fish swimming by look like green torpedoes and when you swim, sparks run down your body.

Swimming through the luminous lagoon is semihallucinogenic, especially on starry nights, when it's hard to tell where the water ends and the sky begins. The experience is made all the more surreal thanks to the mixing of salt- and freshwater from the sea and the Martha Brae River; the freshwater ‘floats’ on the saltwater, so you not only swim through green clouds of phosphorescence, but alternating bands of cold and warm.

You have to take a boat out to reach the bioluminescent spots. Half-hour boat trips are offered from Glistening Waters Marina and two other locations next to it; the three boat companies are comparable. Any hotel from Ocho Rios to Montego Bay should be able to organize a trip out here.

There's a decent restaurant by the marina.