21 of the World’s Most Amazing Natural Swimming Pools
Swimming is fun, but it can be a lot better if you can splash around in something as amazing as this natural swimming pools. If you still haven’t planned your summer gateway this might spur you into action!
1. Devil’s Pool – Victoria Falls, Zambia
Devil’s Pool might just be the world’s most dangerous pool. This aptly named natural rock pool sits perched at the top of Victoria Falls, and during the dry season (late August to early January), when the water level is low, it’s safe enough to swim right up to the edge and gaze down at the 340-foot (103m) drop. Jumping into this pool definitely requires a leap of faith!
2. Hinatuan River – Philippines
Tucked deep within the canopies of the Philippine jungle lies the Hinatuan River, a small stretch of crystal clear water that flows through the island of Mindanao and out to sea. It is nicknamed the Enchanted River because its perfectly clear, brilliantly blue salt waters seem to spring miraculously out of nowhere. No one’s quite sure where the water originates from, but visitors come from around the world to swim in it. With numerous fishes and other creatures living in its 80 feet (24m) deep waters, the area is popular with snorkelers as well as divers and explorers.
3. To Sua Ocean Trench – Lalomanu, Samoa
To Sua literally means “big hole” and while that’s true, To Sua Ocean Trench in Samoa is much too pretty to be called a mere hole. A truly captivating site the pool originates from a time when volcanoes erupted and covered the nearby shores with lava. A ladder takes visitors down to the surface of the perfectly clear, aquamarine water surrounding by lush greenery – the ultimate jungle swimming pool! Fed by the ocean the 100 feet (30m) pool indeed provides a unique swimming experience.
The best time to visit Samoa and the ocean trench is during the dry season, from May to November.
4. Ik Kil Cenote – Chichen Itza, Mexico
Located near the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, the Ik Kil Cenote is a deep natural pit formed by the collapsing of a cave. Bathed in sunlight and complemented by cascading vines and trickling water with lush vegetation adorning the limestone cave walls, a swim in the crystal-clear waters of this fantasy spot is nothing short of magical. The water is about 25 metres deep, and black catfish join swimmers in the pool.
5. Kuang Si Falls – Luang Prabang, Laos
Kuang Si Falls is one of the highlights of Luang Prabang. A single large cascade tumbles from the jungle feeding a series of falls and pools that make perfect swimming holes. You can climb up to the top of the waterfalls and have a nice swim in its natural jade pools plus a breathtaking view as you look down from the top. Due to the number of trees around the falls, the water is cold but that’s very welcome on a sweltering hot Southeast Asian day!
6. Dudu Blue Lagoon – Cabrera, Dominican Republic
There are no shortage of beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic, but one of the Caribbean country’s most scenic swimming spots isn’t a beach; it’s the Dudu Blue Lagoon. Not far east of Cabrera you will find these freshwater lagoon phenomenons, offering the visitor a unique experiences. You can swim in the shimmering blue waters of Dudu Blue Lagoon or you can dive in to explore the three tunnels connected to the depths of the lagoon. These tunnels have surreal surprises in store for divers such as fossil-incrusted limestones, stalactites, and stalagmites. The surroundings are also truely beautiful.
7. Nanda Blue Hole – Luganville, Vanuatu
The Nanda Blue Hole (also known as Jackie’s Blue Hole or Jacquie’s Blue Hole) is a beautiful blue hole on the island of Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu. The coolness of this unique blue water pool must only be experienced to remember in life. This is for people who want to have an unforgettable experience swimming and cooling down from the tropical temperature in a crystal Blue Water pool with natural green forest surroundings. For thrill seekers a wooden water slide, rope and swing platform have been incorporated around the blue hole.
8. Erawan Falls – Erawan National Park, Thailand
Considered by many to be the most beautiful falls in Thailand, Erawan Waterfall is the star attraction of Erawan National Park. The falls really are astonishingly lovely: the clear glacial-blue waters gush through the forest, dropping in a series of seven tiers along a route of around 1.2 miles (2 km). At each tier, cascades feed a pool shaded by bamboo, rattan and liana. You can swim at each of the pool and it will take around 4 hours to tour this place. The best pools for swimming are level two (which gets the most crowded) and level seven, which is a hard slog but rarely busy, and also boasts stunning views over the jungle.
9. Grotta della Poesia – Roca Vecchia, Italy
Situated on the Adriatic coast of Italy, the Grotta della Poesia or “Cave of Poetry” was once the bathing hole of choice for many a muse, or so legend has it. This beautiful lagoon is situated at Roca Vecchia, around 15 miles from the city of Lecce, is very popular with Italians but it’s well worth seeking out if you’re on your holidays in Italy and want to swim in a stunning setting. The water is temperate and pleasant for bathing. Summer months are the best for spending long, lazy days around the grotto and swimming for hours.
10. Giola Lagoon – Thassos, Greece
On the beautiful island of Thassos, Greece lies a secluded lagoon near the village of Astris called Giola. This seaside gem is apparently quite a trek, but for those willing to make the journey, they are rewarded with an incredible natural pool to soak in the gorgeous views of the sea. Made by Mother Nature this pool will make you feel like you are in paradise. With crystal clear water and hidden in the rocks it is one of the most stunning pools in the world.
11. Calanque du Sugiton – Marseille, France
Just one of many calanques located between Marseille and Cassis in Southern France, Calanque de Sugiton is the most accessible to hikers. Surrounded by towering white cliffs, those willing to take the hour trek from Luminy will be rewarded with a secluded swim in turquoise waters. Also accessible by boat, a small beach is located at the extreme end of the calanque, ready for anyone to claim it for an afternoon in the sun.
12. Pocas do Gomes – Madeira, Portugal
In a small island in the outermost region of the European territory lies one of the most unique natural pools in the world. Naturally formed from volcanic rock, the pools of Poca do Gomes (or Doca do Cavacas) are among the unique holiday destinations in Madeira, Portugal. The almost entirely natural tidal pool (some steps, bridges, and a few partial walls were all it took to make the pools accessible and protected) feels like an enchanted grotto ready for natatory discovery. There is not much space and if it is too crowded for you, you can always cross through the tunnel and move to the Praia Formosa beach. However, this small cliff enclosed area and the natural beauty of these pools have its own charm!
13. Skradinski Buk – Krka National Park, Croatia
Skradinski Buk is the longest and the most popular waterfall on the Krka River and is one of Croatia’s best known natural wonders. It is a massive, clear, natural pool with high waterfalls at one end and cascades at the other. Due to the wealth and variety of geomorphological forms, vegetation, and the various effects caused by the play of light on the whirlpools, Skradinski Buk is considered to be one of the most beautiful calcium carbonate waterfalls in Europe.
The whole area gets insanely busy in summer.
14. Havasu Falls – Arizona, USA
If you are looking for a truly authentic swimming experience head to Havasu Falls near Supai, Arizona. If you go to Havasu Falls, you will no doubt think you are somewhere in Hawaii. It is an oasis in arid Arizona. Crystal clear waters fall from Havasu Creek into stunning blue-green natural pools, offering the perfect place for swimming on a hot day. It takes a good deal of effort to get there, but the reward is worth it.
15. Hamilton Pool Preserve – Texas, USA
Hamilton Pool Preserve is a natural pool that was created when the dome of a cave and underground river collapsed due to erosion thousands of years ago. It is located just a short distance out of Austin and Hamilton Pool and has been a popular summer swimming destination for Texan residents and visitors alike since the 1960’s.
16. The Crater (The Homestead Crater) – Midway, Utah, USA
Tucked away in the sleepy town of Midway, Utah, Homestead Crater is a 55-foot-high dome filled halfway with 96-degree spring waters rich in minerals. It’s the perfect retreat after a chilly day of schussing at one of the four ski areas in nearby Park City. To access this natural marvel, you must travel through a 100-foot limestone tunnel, the only manmade element at the Crater.
17. Queen’s Bath – Kauai, Hawaii
Queen’s Bath is one of the most unique and refreshing swimming areas on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. The “pool” is carved into a lava shelf and is the size of several large swimming pools. There is an inlet where fresh saltwater comes in from the ocean, together with all kinds of fish. Views of the ocean and the rocky shoreline here are fantastic.
When the surf is up, which is often times the case, the lava pool and surrounding area are extremely dangerous because the waves wash over the lava shelf.
18. Las Grietas – Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Hike through a forest of enormous cacti and over rugged lava rock formations to one of the most unique swimming holes in the Galapagos islands. Las Grietas, which translates literally to mean “the cracks,” is a series of volcanic crevices that were formed during the cooling of molten lava. Once you get there, swim, dive down to see the entrances to underwater tunnels or if really brave, jump off the cliff – a favorite past time of many locals. The water at Las Grietas is crystal clear and emerald green!
19. Pamukkale Thermal Pools – Denizli, Turkey
If you love seeking out surreal sites then do we have a destination for you. Pamukkale, or “cotton castle” in Turkish, is an unreal little village that has some of the most spectacular turquoise water terraces you will ever lay eyes on. Throughout history, Pamukkale has been a famous spa, with baths and open pools set into the snow-white cliffs. Due to conservation efforts, only a section of the Cotton Castle is open to the public.
20. Gunlom Plunge Pool – Jabiru, Northern Territory, Australia
One of the great natural pools on the planet is the Gunlom Plunge Pool in Jabiru, Northern Territory, Australia. This hidden gem is located on Waterfall Creek in the World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. Gunlom is a sight to behold, offering a magical combination of serene plunge pool and seasonal waterfall. It is truly breathtaking, with many visitors describing it as ‘the ultimate infinity pool’. The plunge pool is the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing dip after walking in the heat and it also has the added bonus of being crocodile-free as they cannot climb that high!
21. Mermaid Pools – Matapouri Bay, New Zealand
Located on the Tutukaka Coast of New Zealand is Matapouri Bay, a small coastal village approximately two and a half hours north of Auckland on the east coast. Surrounded by mangrove forests is Matapouri Beach, and beyond that, the Mermaid Pools. Reaching these natural pools is not an easy feat however. To reach them, visitors must reach the north end of Matapouri Beach, and then take the steep path among palm jungle. The Mermaid Pools can also only be accessed at low tide. Once reached however, the Mermaid Pools provide a spectacular sight and the beautiful waters are perfect for diving into, as the pools can be quite deep.
From Zambia to New Zealand, these are the most amazing natural swimming pools in the world. These pools not only provide relaxation, but deliver amazing views and an unforgettable experience.