What Lies Behind the Natural Phenomenon in Puntarenas Sea

  • BLUE LIGHTS IN THE SEA can be observed only in the dark, preferably in nights of a new moon.
  • MOST Paquera’s EX fishers live off local tourism NOW
San Lucas, Negritos and Cedros islands are a few miles away from Jesuita Island

Keep your phone in your pocket or bag because it’s useless in this kind of tours. You should abstain from taking if you want to have a good visibility of this natural spectacle. But what things does the Puntarenas Sea hide in its crystal clear waters? The answer is marine bioluminescence and it can be only seen at night. The tourist site is a few miles from the Nicoya Gulf.


“You will need to turn off your phone to enjoy these great views. It’s the perfect moment to do something like that” – one of the tourists said when he was on a boat watching the blue lights shining from the seabed off the seashore.

Microbes and bacteria shine in nights of new moon. This phenomenon is called marine bioluminescence

“Turn off your phones to see the lights!” – was one of the instructions given by the tourist guide to the visitors when they were hopelessly trying to capture the moment with their cam phones and professional cameras. The tourist guide made it clear that it was impossible to take photos of the bioluminescent effect during the tour.

Wanna know how it works? Click on video below:

The tourists are not allowed to use their phones to take pictures because things like the flash from cellphones interfere with the visibility. In the end, they pocket the devices to let the amazing views become unforgettable in their minds.

What you should know about these mysterious lights

Bioluminescence is the ability of some living things to transform chemical energy into light, just like the lighting bugs do it. In this case, microscopic creatures light the Puntarenas waters when the sun sets.

When thousand bacteria flock together, the sea is filled with glowing blue waves. The natural spectacle becomes more visible when the sky is not starry.

A great destination

Ronald Montero, one of the residents of the island, is in charge of this tourist activity. He takes the travelers to the right spot where the pinpricks of light appear. Nowadays, such night attraction is part of the main tourist activities promoted on the island. The tourist site is near San Lucas Island, also known as the Isla de los Hombres Solos. Guayabo Biological Reserve, Negritos Island, Cedros and other islets are not far from this destination either.

“We looked for a place for people to go camping and spend the night after the tour” – one of the organizers says.

On the other side, fishers also noticed that this brilliant blue glow could attract visitors. Some of them have quit fishing and are now entirely dedicated to this tourist activity. They use their boats to take people to the bioluminescent spot.

It only takes two hours to get to the Puntarenas tourist pier of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute from the capital city. Once you are there, you make a 40- minute boat trip to Jesuita Island. You can put up your tent on the seashore to enjoy the biological lights at night.

Donald Montero stopped working as a fisherman to become a tourist guide

“When you are a fisherman, you get to know a lot of things about the sea. I struck it lucky when I happened to discover bioluminescence one night when I was walking on the beach. I think the information about these tours should be spread nationwide like in other countries” – Donald Montero says.

Below, video of this spectacular natural show sighted bioluminescence surfing in the dark.

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