When temperatures soar and everyone is making a beeline for the best beach destinations, head in the direction of the more off-beat swimming holes to cool off amidst nature and adventure. Here’s our list of the planet’s best swimming holes.
1. Havasu Falls, Arizona, US
A favorite cliff jumping spot, Havasu features stunning clear azure waters going deep into the Grand Canyon, which can be accessed post a treacherous 10 mile hike. Don’t forget to make prior reservations or with its growing fame, you’ll barely have any luck reaching the spot. The blue-emerald waterfalls hidden in Grand Canyon offer the perfect opportunity to swim in the midst of untamed nature.
2. Hamilton Pool Preserve, Texas, USA
Hamilton Pool is one of America’s best known swimming holes, and with good reason. Located about 24 kilometers from Austin, it’s a gorgeous summer tripping spot for its picturesque appeal and fascinating topography. The pool actually rests under a cave-like roof, which form tiny waterfalls creating a fairy tale like scenery. Perfect way to spend the day hiking and picnicking.
3. Devil’s Pool, Livingstone, Zambia
This naturally stunning infinity pool is nestled on the periphery of Victoria Falls, the planet’s most ionic waterfalls. The water level is safest and lowest from August to January, which is the only time swimming is permissible here. After a challenging hike up the pool, adventure seekers can jump and swim towards the crashing falls, where rock formations dating back several years have been formed.
4. Giola Pool, Astris, Greece
Located a stone’s throw away from the spectacular Aegean Sea, divided by a single stone wall, Giola’s balmy, clear water offers warm respite from the biting cold sea water. It is also much clearer than the ocean water. Visitors love diving into the pool from the short, cliffs hanging over the pool. Enjoy breathtaking vistas of the sea, while taking in the pleasant temperature of the pool.
5. Gunlam Waterfall Creek, Kakadu National Park, Australia
This gorgeous natural infinity swimming hole is located in Gunlom Waterfall Creek, accessible after a brief, steep hike. Take in breathtaking vistas of the rugged Australian landscape from the pool edge or enjoy a rejuvenating dip to firefight the uncomfortable and dry heat. Murrill Billabong, nestled a short distance away, is good for bird watching. There are camping facilities in the park, including solar powered showers.
6. To Sua Ocean Trench, Lotofaga, Samoa
Nestled bang in the middle of a dramatic looking lava field and created out of an old volcanic eruption, this is one of the world’s most fascinating natural pools. Acrophobic folks may want to stay away as there’s only a ladder leading to the pool, with an alternative of jumping straight in. Frolicking in the middle of a thrilling geological wonder.
7. Nanda Blue Hole, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
Nanda’s cerulean blue waters combined with its abundant snorkeling opportunities make this a happening Vanata attraction. Hold on, there’s more than swimming and snorkeling here – the gorgeous natural pool also has an in-house café, a thrilling slide and a bar. Fret not if it’s packed during peak summers; look out for several other swimming holes.
8. Turner Falls, Oklahoma, US
There’s a huge natural swimming hole under Okhlahoma’s largest waterfall – Turner Falls (77 feet), which is a spectacular place to go hiking, swimming and camping throughout the year. Though crowds flock here to douse the excruciatingly scorching summer heat, unlike a majority of swimming holes, it’s accessible throughout the year (though the water is comfortably balmy and warm during summers).
9. Kuang Si Falls, Luang Prabang, Laos
The humongous cascading wonder Kuang Si Falls creates multiple idyllic swimming holes that offer a refreshing respite to tired trekkers. The waterfall runs through a lush limestone-laden jungle and overflows into the pools. Avoid going during monsoons or winters since the water flow is brisker. It’s best to frolic here during summers. Don’t leave without sampling the scrumptious BBQ chicken, spicy raw papaya salad and sticky rice available at a nearby food stall.
10. Ik Kil Cenote, Chichen Itza, Mexico
One of the several fascinating Mayan ruins underground pools, Chichen Itza is located about 92 feet below ground level, and is perfect for a natural swimming hole. Since it’s the most picturesque cenote in the region, Chichen is brimming with the touristy crowd, especially during later afternoons. Head here early in the day to enjoy some quiet, isolated moments with nature.
11. Bimmah Sinkhole, Muscat, Oman
Nestled secretly under a sinkhole within a hollow gap of limestone in the Hawjyat Najim Park, Bimmah Sinkhole features astonishingly clear waters, which owing to its accessibility to the sea even houses a few fascinating marine creatures. Enjoy a dip in the cool waters or hang out in the park, while having a nice barbecue. Makes for a cool day trip from Wadi Shab and Wadi Al Arbaeen.
12. Lower Falls, New York, US
This much sought after natural swimming hole is the playground of thousands of visitors, especially campers and hikers looking to get up, close and personal with nature. Be forewarned though that the trek here can be slightly treacherous owing to the rocky trails and slippery steep steps. Go click happy at these picturesque Genesee River falls or hop across to the picnic area for a luncheon in the midst of nature.
13. Seven Sacred Pools, Hawaii, US
These pristine freshwater pools bang in the center of the Haleakala National Park in Maui are a huge draw for visitors, and with good reason! They’re encircled by verdant bamboo jungles, milky white waterfalls and stunning tropical scenery. There’s a strict no jumping rule, and Seven Sacred tends to get crowded during the touristy season.