It’s hard to deny that beach camping is one of the most enjoyable camping experiences you can have. Add to that an amazing visual light show and you’ve got a location that’s pretty tough to beat.
Isla Carmen, off the coast of Baja, is the place to go in the winter months if you’d like to experience the phenomenon for yourself. What you’ll find is that every time the waves break you’ll be treated to an amazing green light that you can only find in nature. You can thank tiny plankton for the experience. When the tiny animals are jarred by wave motion, they light up the water around them. Several factors can affect just how intense the light actually is, such as water temperature, pH levels, and current. With that said, there is a bit of luck involved when it comes to catching the algae bloom and bioluminescent plankton at just the right time.
If you happen to be lucky enough to be camping on Isla Carmen for more than one night, that might just provide the luck you need. Oftentimes, the brightness of the plankton can double or triple in a matter of just a few evenings.
The coolest thing about the phenomenon lies in the fact that it’s not just waves that will light them up. Any type of disruption will get them going, including the kind that accompanies a hand or paddle cutting through the water. That means that if you happen to bring along your kayak and/or snorkeling gear, you can get an up close and personal look at the glowing plankton.
Baja isn’t the only the place to see this amazing phenomenon. The United States has opportunities to see the glowing plankton on either of its coasts if you time your trips just right. However, warmer waters will definitely make it easier to find them. With that said, the coastal waters off Florida is a prime location. Still, camping right on the Sea of Cortez at Isla Carmen is pretty tough to beat. Add to that the bioluminescent night show and you’ve got one unbeatable trip!