Top Bioluminescent beaches and bays that glow at night

Blow up your insta with these awesome glowing beaches. Some of the glowing beaches located near mangrove forests are bioluminscent on a more or less permanent basis. Others, such as Gippsland in Australia and Sam Mun Tsai in Hong Kong have tidal and weather-related luminescent algal blooms.

Check out these top tourist destinations to seek out the exotic blue light which emits from the waves:

Mosquito Bay, Vieque, Puerto Rico

Kayaks in the bahía bioluminescente

Mosquito Bay is the most famous bioluminscent beach and is a designated UNESCO world heritage site.

Known locally as Bahía bioluminiscente, the bay is located on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, famous for its bioluminescence produced by the dinoflagellate Pyrodinium bahamense algae, which glows blue when agitated. This species of phytoplankton is found in bays in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and The Bahamas.

The bay and its surrounding mangrove forest are protected by the Vieques Bioluminescent Bay Natural Reserve and no swimming is allowed. Guided tours allow visitors to kayak in the bay and observe the bioluminescence.

Mosquito Bay Videos


Luminous Lagoon, Jamaica

Luminous lagoon, jamaica – expedia. Com
Swim ladder on luminous lagoon boat tour

The Luminous Lagoon stretches along the marshlands of Trelawny from the small community of Rock to the town of Falmouth in Jamaica.


Toyama Bay, Japan

Firefly squid being brought ashore in nets at the namerikawa port
Boat tour watches as fishermen bring in the firefly squid

Toyama Bay is a bay located on the northern shores of the Hokuriku region of Honshu, Japan on the Sea of Japan The bay borders Toyama and Ishikawa prefectures. The bay is known for the mirages on the horizon during the winter months and for being a spawning ground for the firefly squid.

Boat tours can be booked via the Hotaruika Museum, or else a live light show of the firefly squid in action can be viewed at the museum itself at 410, Nakagawara, Namerikawa-city, Toyama, 936-0021, Japan

Families watch the firefly squid lighting up at Hotaruika Museum
Firefly squid


Mission Bay, San Diego, US

The spring and summer months are the times when it is most likely that you will be able to see bioluminescent waves in San Diego, though some years there are no bioluminescent red tides.

“As I touched the water, light streamed from my fingertips and it felt like magic. During the paddle back to shore, I kept thinking how fortunate I am to have seen so many amazing places around the world during my time at USD, yet the most magical experience was right in our backyard, during a time when we needed to feel amazed.”

Katie Brown, Senior Environmental and Ocean Sciences Major, University of San Diego


Indian River Lagoon, Florida, US

Bioluminescence in titusville
Florida bioluminescence kayak tours

The Indian River Lagoon is a grouping of three lagoons: the Mosquito Lagoon, the Banana River, and the Indian River, on the Atlantic Coast of Florida; one of the most biodiverse estuaries in the Northern Hemisphere and is home to more than 4,300 species of plants and animals.

Indian River Lagoon is abundant with bioluminescent dinoflagellates in the summer and ctenophore (comb jellies) in the winter. Up to 800 bottlenose dolphins also call this water system home.


Reethi Beach, Maldives

Bioluminescence in the maldives

Fonimagoodhoo, often called Reethi Beach is an island in the Baa Atoll in the Maldives. On the island is the Reethi Beach resort. Baa Atoll was designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in June 2011. Beaches throughout the Maldives experience bioluminescent algal blooms depending on the weather and tides.


Tusan Beach, Miri, Malaysia

Tusan beach – from expedia. Com

Miri is the main tourist gateway to the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gunung Mulu National Park; Loagan Bunut National Park; Lambir Hills National Park; Niah National Park and Miri-Sibuti Coral Reef National Park. The Gunung Mulu National Park with its Sarawak Chamber, which is the largest known cave chamber in the world by area, remains one of the favourite ecotourism destinations in Miri.

Tusan Beach near Miri has waterfalls, fossils and occasional blooms of bioluminescent phytoplankton.

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Gippsland Lake, Australia

Gippsland lake, australia

Due to flooding in 2011, Gippsland Lakes experienced blooms of bioluminescent Noctiluca scintillans. Australia’s largest inland waterways, the Gippsland Lakes are a network of lakes, marshes and lagoons separated from the ocean by coastal dunes known as Ninety Mile Beach. Wildlife includes lake dolphins and pelicans.

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Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Golfo Dulce is a gulf in Costa Rica, located at the south of the Province of Puntarenas. In May 2018, the government of Costa Rica assigned the wetlands in northern Golfo Dulce as a sanctuary for the scalloped hammerhead shark. The Golfo Dulce is considered a tropical fjord with an average annual temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit, an extremely rare biome. The area has seventeen total protected reserves which amount to three percent of Costa Rica’s land area. The area contains 50% of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica, and receives five to six meters of rain per year.

Bioluminescence is a frequent occurrence in the Golfo Dulce.


Koh Phi Phi Island, Thailand

Bioluminescence in the waves off krabi, thailand

The Phi Phi Islands are an island group in Thailand between the large island of Phuket and the Straits of Malacca coast of Thailand. The bioluminescent waters can be seen in this photo taken off Krabi.


Sam Mun Tsai Beach, Hong Kong, China

An algal bloom in Hong Kong causes “red tides” which then glow blue in the night.


Manasquan, New Jersey, US

Manasquan is a great family town, located on the Jersey Shore. Manasquan has a one mile beach on the Atlantic Ocean, the Manasquan River for boaters and plenty of attractions for tourists.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

The Ha Long Bay in Vietnam’s northern province of Quang Ninh is home to bioluminescent waters.

Have your say

Know about another glowing beach? Leave a comment below.


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The archipelagic state consists of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, and is located north of Cuba and Hispaniola Island (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, southeast of the US state of Florida, and east of the Florida Keys.

The capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force describes The Bahamas’ territory as encompassing 470,000 km2 (180,000 sq mi) of ocean space. The country gained governmental independence in 1973 led by Sir Lynden O. Pindling, with Elizabeth II as its queen.

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Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. The whole territory was transferred to China in 1997. As a special administrative region, Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China under the principle of “one country, two systems”.

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