Jamaica’s Luminous Lagoon – A Natural Wonder

A visit to Jamaica’s Montego Bay area would not be complete without enjoying a trip to the Martha Brae River and its spectacular Luminous Lagoon. The river is in Falmouth, Trelawney, and according to local legend, it is associated with Spanish Conquistadores. The Spaniards captured and tortured a local woman to discover information about a gold mine. When the woman finally agreed to take them to the mine’s cave, she disappeared and used her supernatural powers to change the course of the river, sending its waters crashing into the cave, drowning the Conquistadores.

For tourists, the river offers excellent and affordable bamboo rafting adventures. Rafting in the daytime costs about US$30 (per couple and one small child up to ten years of age) per raft. The trip takes about 4.5 hours, and refreshments are included. Along the way, rafters enjoy the beautiful natural environment and view of Jamaica’s unique animal life.

Rafting trips at night are even more exciting because that is when the “glistening waters” of the Luminous Lagoon really shine. A nighttime trip may begin with a delicious seafood meal at the Glistening Waters Restaurant and Marina. Then at sunset, at a cost of about US$15/person, the cruise begins to the world-famous lagoon.

The lagoon is the home of a rare phosphorescent microbe – a dinoflagellate – that lives where the warm fresh waters of the Martha Brae River meet the salt waters of the Caribbean. The constant movement and flowing of the river causes the microbes to move and glow with a neon-green color. The phosphorescence is so marked that the fish swimming in the lagoon have been likened to moving stars. The activity stirred up by tourist boats and swimmers only enhances the effect. This unique microbial phenomenon can be found in just four places in the world, and Jamaica’s Luminous Lagoon is considered the best place on the planet to experience it.

During the cruise, the boat stops to allow travelers to swim in the shallower portions of the lagoon, with the waters glowing around them as they enjoy the tropical ambience surrounded by mangroves. This is a real can’t-miss adventure for Jamaica visitors!

Luminous Lagoon is reachable from Montego Bay & Ocho Rios.

Available Tuesdays & Thursdays from Ocho Rios: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Available Thursdays & Saturdays from Montego Bay: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Book your tour or private car through your Jamaica Tours Hotel Tour Desk

Book a tour with any of the following operators: