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What to Expect
Some things sound as unreal as a unicorn or fairies or dragons. So same for swimming in glistening water, doesn't it? Well, you can really do that here in Jamaica! Thanks to teeny-tiny organisms in the water. Where the fresh water from the Martha Brae River meets the ocean's salt water and is filled with phosphorus, this natural phenomenon called bioluminescence can occur. As soon as you move in the water, the microorganisms feel “disturbed,” and so they shimmer, glisten and glow in the water in the most beautiful bright blue.
It's hard to describe how beautiful it is. The water feels quite soft and delicate, almost magical. When you run the water down your hand, it sparkles like millions of tiny blue, glowing stars. This phenomenon is extremely rare in the world, and in Jamaica, it is one of the very few you can swim in.
The water is alternately warmer and colder. It is also not deep, but the bottom is a bit spongy, so it is better to pack Water Shoes. After swimming, the body still glows a little and also feels a little velvety.
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The tour is absolutely fascinating. The colors of the water and the glitter are unique. It is hard to describe and hard to photograph; you definitely have to experience it yourself. When planning for the tour, be sure to check the weather. Because after rain, a very cloudy day, or full moon, you see very little to nothing. Therefore, plan with a few days “weather buffer” and look up the moon phases before planning the route. Since the tour is offered from several locations, you have a buffer that way too.
The trip is by bus and boat; you do not have to go into the water, but can see the play of colors from the boat. Also, there is always some water in a bucket in the boat for those who can't or don't want to get in.
For all Fitness Levels
Duration & Cost
The boat has to go out on the lake for a while because that is where the natural wonder takes place. The tour takes at least 1.5 hours on the water plus travel time by bus.
The tours start at around 70 US-Dollar per person, definitely still depending on the distance to the accommodation.
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The duration of the self-organized tour directly from the port is around 45-60 minutes.
You can't do the tour completely independently, as you need a boat. However, you could go directly to Falmouth and ask the local captains for their prices. Currently, expect to pay a minimum of 25 USD directly at the port.
Where to Stay Near Glistening Waters? - Book Your Accommodation in Montego Bay
How to Get There
You will be picked up from your accommodation at the appropriate time and taken directly to the boat. The boat will take you out on the lake, where the wonder of nature can be seen best. The driver, captain, and crew will take care of you and your well-being. On the way back, you can even take a nap.
If you are staying in Falmouth or arriving by rental car, ask in advance where the meeting point at the port with the tour is.