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Illumination of plankton at Maldives. Many particles at black background.
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photo of the ocean where there is a Glow plankton's in the water, making blue light
photo of the ocean where there is a Glow plankton's in the water, making blue light

Marvel at the bioluminescence of Golfo Dulce

NatureCosta Rica

Even Costa Rica's smallest creatures will surprise you. One of them is responsible for a rare and dazzling moment, which you can observe in Golfo Dulce. To do so, visit one of the bay's beaches (like San Josefino beach, for example) after nightfall. Along the way, listen carefully to the sounds of nature—you may hear the nocturnal red-eyed frog hiding in the vegetation.

Once you reach the beach, climb aboard a boat, and get ready for the real show. As the boat moves, it triggers a light show in the water, as though by magic. In reality, it's caused by plankton whose unique properties respond to movement in the water, transforming into luminous energy by synthesizing chemical molecules.

This process is called bioluminescence. Gleaming swaths of light will form on the surface of the water in your boat's wake. As soon your vessel comes to a stop, the ocean gradually grows dark, unless you jump in the water! The plankton will react again as you swim, and you'll feel like you're floating in a starry night sky.

Kayaking is also a great way to witness this phenomenon. If you set off in the evening, you can enjoy an unparalleled view of the sunset over Golfo Dulce. Don't worry; you don't need sea legs to observe this natural wonder. You can witness it from certain beaches like Punta Preciosa. The rhythm of the waves also stimulates the bioluminescence plankton for an ethereal performance.

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