There’s nothing like the sight of crystal-blue water to make us want to board an airplane. With summer vacations upon us, we thought we’d instill the feeling of wanderlust in you, so we rounded up some of the most incredible natural swimming pools that you can actually take a dip around the world.
Ik Kil Cenote, Mexico
Though below ground level, the Ik Kil Cenote in Mexico appears to be celestial in nature. It is what divine swimming spots are made of. At Ik Kil, you do not feel like you are on Earth, but on some mysterious planet with thriving beauty. The little waterfalls that flow from the limestone roof, the abounding greenery and lucid blue waters, all make your sojourn worthwhile.
Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Located in the Grand Canyon, Arizona, within Native American (Havasupai) tribal lands, Havasu Falls is an oasis in the hot and dry Grand Canyon National Park. It consists of one waterfall chute that drops over a 90- to 100-foot cliff into a large pool. Due to high calcium carbonate content, the water has a vivid blue-green color that contrasts gorgeously with the surrounding red rocks.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Head here for a spa-like experience, only bigger, better and out of the world. As someone pointed out, it is “like bathing on the moon.” A treasure trove of Iceland, the Blue Lagoon is a naturally heated geothermal pool with blue-green algae, mineral salts and fine silica mud that nourish and exfoliate the skin, making it supple and soft. Beauty reasons apart, this place is truly spectacular. On the island of Capri in Southern Italy, the Blue Grotto is a sea cave that is illuminated by a magical blue (and sometimes emerald green) light from an above-water opening. It can be accessed by tiny rowboats.
Devil’s Pool, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Swimming in Zimbabwe’s Devil’s Pool, a small 328-feet-high lagoon abutting one of the biggest waterfalls in the world, Victoria Falls, is the epitome of “living on the edge.” One can only imagine the surrealism of looking down into Victoria Falls and thankfully there are guides there to ensure you don’t slip.
Dudu Blue Lagoon, Cabrera, Dominican Republic
Just like other natural swimming pools, this one too is nothing short of paradise, here, this freshwaters pool glistens a beautiful cobalt blue at Cabrera, Dominican Republic. It is set in charming environs, Dudu Blue Lagoon comes with mysterious underwater caves and is a famous scuba diving spot. There is also a rope swing that the daring can use to take a plunge into the waters.
Fingal’s Cave, Staffa, Scotland
A sea cave on the island in the Inner Hebrides (western archipelago) of Scotland is formed by hexagonally jointed basalt columns within an ancient lava flow (similar to Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland). The cave is known for its natural acoustics; thanks to its size and cathedral-like arched roof, the waves echo inside, producing eerie sounds. To access the cave, you can take a local sightseeing cruise to the entrance.
The Dead Sea, Israel and Jordan
Technically, you can’t swim in the Dead Sea, one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth, which is bordered by Israel and Jordan; swimming in it is more like floating. The salt lake has attracted visitors for thousands of years, and the salt and minerals offer many health and beauty benefits, as well as cause its milky blue-green color.
Sliding Rock, United States
Think of it as nature’s own water park where you slide down a luscious chute into a divine pool. A rather sought-after destination, the Sliding Rock is a key highlight of the state park due to its little waterfall that drops from a natural mountain into clear waters of around 8 feet below. They are especially a delight during scorching summers (though terribly crowded) where the cool waters offer respite.
Pamakkale, Denizli, Turkey
A natural site in Denizli, Turkey, the city of Pamukkale is marked by terraces of carbonate minerals left by flowing water from hot springs and travertines. The “cotton castle,” as it’s called, has welcomed tourists for thousands of years, and they bath on its calcareous rocks in the hot, mineral-rich water.
Hidden Beach, Marieta Islands, Mexico
Located in Vieques, Puerto Rico, Bioluminescent Bay is a national natural landmark that lights up at night thanks to a microorganism (dinoflagellate) that glows neon blue when movement occurs in the water. It is a mind-blowing sight, so much so that early Spanish settlers thought the bioluminescence was the work of the devil.
Lake Hillier, Western Australia
A saline lake off the south coast of Western Australia, Lake Hillier is notable for its Pepto-Bismol–pink color, which is suspected to be caused by a type of microalgae found in sea salt fields. Like the Dead Sea, it is safe to swim in, but it can be difficult to reach other than via helicopter or cruise.
Crater Lake, Oregon
Famous for its remarkably clear, deep blue water, Crater Lake in South Central Oregon was formed by the collapse of volcano Mount Mazama more than 7700 years ago. The lake is filled by snow and rainfall—there are no rivers flowing in or out of it. There are also two islands in the lake.
Öschinensee Lake, Lötschberg, Switzerland
A pristine mountain lake fed by glacial brooks, Öschinensee Lake in the Lötschberg region of Switzerland is a sight for sore eyes, surrounded by green cliffs and snow-capped peaks. Part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn UNESCO World Heritage Site, it can be accessed via gondola lift. It’s a great attraction for hikers, kayakers, swimmers, and all-around nature-lovers.
Hamilton Pool Preserve, Austin, Texas
Thousands of years old, Hamilton Pool Preserve in Austin, Texas, is a natural pool that developed when the dome of an underground river collapsed due to erosion. It features a 50-foot waterfall that flows into a beautiful jade-green pool.
To Sua Ocean Trench, Lotofaga, Samoa
This natural swimming pool is located in Samoa’s Lotofaga Village on the island of Upola, which was formed by a massive basaltic shield volcano, To Sua Ocean Trench is an all-natural swimming hole with a visitor-friendly ladder and small dock. It is surrounded by lush gardens and filled with fish, crabs, and lots of other marine life.
So Folks, to get over summertime sadness, there is this strong urge to retreat and cool off. How about taking a dip into natural swimming pools?