Perhaps there is no greater magic than watching glowing plankton from your kayak at night in Florida. Full disclosure – we may be biased. Bioluminescence is a sublime phenomenon that occurs in different spots around the world. Very few people know that research into bioluminescent molecules has also contributed to scientists’ efforts in curing malaria, HIV, and cancer. And even though we know that a light-emitting molecule – luciferin – causes bioluminescence, scientists still haven’t completely figured out why or how it happens. Fortunately, you don’t have to understand it in order to enjoy it. When glow-in-the-dark loving tourists think of bioluminescence around the world, they naturally think of Puerto Rico or Maldives. But you don’t have to go that far to experience this nature’s spectacle.
Bioluminescence Kayaking Tours in Florida
The Space Coast in Florida is one of the handfuls of places in the world where you can watch the water as it comes alive at night in bright glowing hues. Summer is the best time to experience this phenomenon as that’s when the lagoons and rivers here turn into a glowing paradise. Travelers from around the world come here to enjoy paddle boarding and kayaking during the summers. As you may already know, bioluminescence is a chemical reaction. It causes Dinoflagellates (bioluminescent plankton) and Comb Jellyfish (jelly-like marine creatures that glow in the water) to light up whenever there’s a disturbance in the water. Touching the water with your hand or a stroke of your paddle reveals countless waves of illuminating lights. The bioluminescence phenomenon in Florida is spread across several locations that come together to form the Indian River Lagoon. Scientists say that this area has more glowing plankton than anywhere else on the planet. The Mosquito Lagoon, Indian River, and Banana River are the prime spots where you can go to enjoy the bioluminescence. If you also want to see manatees, dolphins, and close views of the Kennedy Space Center, you should book one of our wildly popular bioluminescence tours.
What to expect from bioluminescence kayaking in Florida?
Stingrays and manatee move at super slow speeds beneath the water, creating stunning views of the bioluminescence in slow motions. Meanwhile, speeding schools of mullet fish form quick flashes, giving the appearance of thousands of glowing green bottle rockets going off in the water. May through November is the best time to catch the phenomenon. If you want to see the brightest displays, make sure to go after 9 p.m. You should also check the lunar calendar while planning your bioluminescence kayaking tour in Florida. The best views can be seen when the nights are darkest (usually 5 days after a full moon). We offer a range of bioluminescence tours, with the option to choose from sunset kayaking tours (in case you want to watch the dolphins) and family rafting tours. Regardless of which tour you choose, be prepared to get your mind blown with the spectacular views. Just make sure you pack an insect repellent to protect against mosquitos (it’s called the Mosquito Lagoon for a reason!). You should also pack a change of clothes if you want to explore the local venues and restaurants after enjoying the bioluminescence kayaking in Florida.