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Swimming holes are naturally made swimming pools. They can be found in rivers, streams, creeks, waterfalls, and places where there is lava activity. They are a great way to cool off on a hot summer day or after a long day of hiking. Robo made a list of some of the best swimming holes around the world.
Havasu Falls- Havasupai Indian Reservation, Arizona, USA
Havasu Falls is in a remote area of the Grand Canyon. The turquoise blue waters are set against the red rocks of the Grand Canyon. The Havasupai Falls are so blue because of the rich calcium carbonate and magnesium minerals in the water.
“Havasupai” means the people of the blue-green waters. The tribe has lived in the Grand Canyon for more than 800 years. Today there are still 600 members of the tribe who live in the reservation and they sustain their life by farming and tourism-related jobs. This place is considered sacred by the natives.
The falls are in a remote area that requires a 10-mile hike. On the hike, you will be required to waddle through knee-deep water through the crossings so be sure to wear water shoes. You can also get there by horse or mule. The nice part about this is that it doesn’t get as crowded.
Cenote Ik Kil, Yucatan, Mexico
The area was discovered as a result of the collapse of the dome of a cave, now there is a natural sky window that lets you see the sun and sky. There are many cenotes in the area but this one is special because it is open to the sky. At night you can swim in the warm waters as you look at the stars although it isn’t open after 5 pm.
This Canote was once upon a time reserved for Mayan royalty. They believed the place was sacred and frequently had religious services here. The swimming hole is a 30-minute drive from Valladolid City and a couple of hours’ drive from Cancun.
The swimming hole is located 82 ft beneath the surface. You will have to go down a stairway carved into limestone to access the water. We highly recommend bringing an underwater camera for the adventure!
Queens Bath, Kauai, Hawaii
This swimming hole is not called Queens Bath for no reason. This area was once reserved exclusively for British royalty. It’s an extraordinary secret paradise where you can find the most refreshing and unique swimming holes.
The Queen’s bath is accessed via a 25-minute trail. The swimming hole was formed by lava. There are 3 baths, the first 2 are for really good swimmers as tides have more of an effect on those pools. The 3rd pool is the most family-friendly as it is enclosed and in calmer water. The tidal pool is a great place for turtle sightings. From where you float you can enjoy the views of the Pacific or the island.
These swimming holes are tidal pools which also make them one of the most dangerous swimming holes on the list. While you are there it is important to be careful and take the wave signs seriously. Morning is a better time to go since the water is much calmer. Summer is the only month when the water is calm and it’s also arguably the only month you should use this hole. In colder months it can get dangerous with the currents and waves. The state actually decided to close the hole to visitors in the winter months after tourists got hurt.
To Sua Ocean Trench, Lotofaga, Samoa
To Sua is in a lava field in Lotofago village located on the South Coast of Upolu Island. The area is surrounded by rock formations, arches.
To Sua translates to “giant swimming hole”. This is one of the biggest swimming holes on the list, nearly 100 feet deep. It is almost perfectly symmetric. It is set in the middle of a lava field. The large pool is salt water, it is connected to the ocean by underwater caves.
Swimmers need to use a steep ladder on a secured wooden dock to climb up and down, to and from the swimming hole. Or if you are brave enough you can jump in the water instead. The waters are crystal clear and filled with tropical fish. Even though it’s an enclosed swimming hole tides still play a role in it and they can be really strong. Therefore there is a rope across the pool you can hold onto so you don’t get pulled underwater.
Pamukkale translates to “cotton castle”, you’ll understand why immediately when you see a photo of it. The area has been drawing people to it for thousands of years. The area became a UNESCO World Heritage site to protect it from destruction.
The cotton castle is a set of naturally formed cascading pools. The pools are crisp white from the calcium deposits from the natural springs. The spring water remains a constant 96 degrees. It can get really busy so try to go as early as possible. Another thing to note, you are not allowed to walk in the thermal pools with shoes so bring a bag to put your shoes in. The area also has an ancient city attached to it which you can visit after the baths. While you are there be sure to check Cleopatra’s Pool. Allegedly it was a gift from Marc Anthony to Cleopatra. It was surrounded by a Roman Temple to Apollo with ornate roofs held by Doric columns. The ancient columns collapsed onto the pool after an earthquake, where they rest to this day.
Madison Blue Spring State Park, Florida
Madison Blue Spring State Park is a popular spot for swimming and cave diving!
Located in Orange City, Florida, Madison Blue Spring State Park was actually voted #1 swimming hole in the USA! It’s about 82 feet wide and 25 feet deep. Explore the turquoise waters of the spring that meets the Withlacoochee River. The area is surrounded by woods and pines. It is also great for picnicking, scuba diving, hiking, paddling, and wildlife viewing.
Cave divers from all around the world come here to explore the underwater caves. About 30 feet below the pool surface there is an aquatic cave that is the entrance to an extensive cave system. The cave passages are even home to unique species such as the pallid cave crayfish.
Purcaraccia Canyon, Corsica, France
Swim in the series of pools fed by mountain water. Mountain water is almost always very cold so we recommend going on a hot summer day unless you love cold water. There are two waterfalls on either side of the rock slides that feed the natural pool. Enjoy the natural pools that create an infinity pool along the edge of the waterfalls. There are natural rock slides formations that are fun to slide down into pools.
Getting to this spot is not easy. The climb to the creek takes about an hour. The path to the pool is difficult, narrow, and often steep. It is necessary to have proper hiking shoes, if not you will most likely not be able to reach the pools. Once you are on your path, don’t stop at the first pool because there is more to see.
Porto Moniz, Madeira, Portugal
Porto Moniz is a charming little town surrounded by mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. The town historically specialized in whaling. The Madeira Islands never get too hot or too cold, therefore you can always enjoy their beaches.
Porto Moniz has some of the most famous natural pools the area has to offer. The pools are created as a result of the tide, high tide pushes the water to fill in the holes naturally created by volcanic lava. There are two sets of lava pools, the natural pools that overlook the Ilheu Mole islands and the western pools that have been converted into a Lido pool complex. The Lido pools are safer to swim in since it’s a controlled environment and there is a lifeguard on duty. The pools that look over the Ilheu Mole islands are not altered, therefore beware of sharp rocks and slippery surfaces. You can swim or paddle in the natural pools. If you want to swim, make sure to visit during high tide.