Ik Kil in Cenote, Mexico. Source: Supplied
INFINITY, horizon, lagoon, lap and plunge – there’s plenty of different types of hotel pools.
But some of the best spots for travellers are home to the world’s most amazing natural wonders. Here’s Expedia’s Listopedia Bucket List for the most stunning natural swimming pools.
IK KIL, CENOTE, MEXICO
Known as the “Sacred Blue Cenote,” this enchanting sinkhole will lure you into her perfect waters. The walk down to the deep cavern promises to be an experience. As you meander through mysterious vines and tropical vegetation, small birds flicker above the trees, and you can’t help but get a sense that something special awaits. This clear blue sink hole needs to be seen to be felt.
A castle of cotton, the Turks say. Source: Supplied
Pamukkale translates to “cotton castle”, a reference to the white terraces of travertine rock formed in the flow of water from the hot springs of south-western Turkey. A national treasure, this site has tight security but they’ll still let you go for a dip in the shallow pools.
DEAN’S BLUE HOLE, BAHAMAS
Imagine the day’s drifting away on one of those chairs. Bring along the SPF 30+. Source: Supplied
Feel the freedom as you swim around the 1,000-foot-wide, almost perfectly round ‘blue hole’ in the Caribbean. Dean’s Blue Hole is 650 feet deep, making it a favoured spot for adventurous free divers, who lunge to great depths with no equipment except for their enduring lungs. The turquoise water around the perimeter is known to be home to many colourful species of fish, making it a great snorkel destination. The water in the centre of the blue hole is deep and vast, the perfect place to duck dive down and explore the mysteries lurking beneath.
TAKAMA-GA-HARA ONSEN, NORTHERN JAPAN ALPS, CENTRAL HONSHU
No shortage of solace here. Source: Supplied
If you want to go somewhere that very few do, then take the one day hike to this “secret hot spring” high up in the Japanese alps. Surrounded by mountains, this natural sanctuary is translated to “High Plain of Heaven” in Japanese mythology. If you’re seeking a little healing and solace, then a soak in the soothing, mineral-rich hot springs will do you the world of good. This is one destination that’s far off the beaten tourist path, but it’s the perfect place to just get lost for a while.
BULEY ROCKHOLES, LITCHFIELD NATIONAL PARK, NORTHERN TERRITORY
Close to home, but a million miles away. Source: Supplied
Take time out and head to Litchfield National Park where you can cool off in the crystal clear rock holes, all of varying sizes. It’s the perfect place to wind down after exploring the park, where you’ll never be short of things to do. Chill out under a waterfall, absorb the scenic bush surrounds or sit and relax, as the chorus of the native birds soothe your soul.
GIOLA, THASOS, GREECE
Taking infinity pool to another level, this lagoon opens up to the Aegean Sea. Source: Supplied
On the beautiful island of Thasos lies a secluded lagoon called Giola. This seaside gem is carved into the rocks and offers breathtaking views over the Aegean Sea. The natural seaside lagoon is filled with pristine water and is located far away from any source of distraction. It’s a place to soak, relax and find a little tranquillity.
TAT KUANG SI WATERFALL, LUANG PRABANG, LAOS
Is this the backyard pool of your dreams? Source: Supplied
There’s no better way to cool off in the Laotian heat than submerging yourself in the enticing blue-green waters of the Tat Kuang Si Waterfall. Spend the day swimming at the base of the falls, swinging from the tree rope and exploring the walking tracks that wind through the tropical green jungle. The Tat Kuant Si Waterfall is located in a national park along the Mekong River and is a must see when in Laos.
HAVASU FALLS, SUPAI, ARIZONA
You might think a place like this would be crawling with tourists. Not so. Source: Supplied
If you’re seeking an oasis in the desert, look no further than Arizona’s Havasu Falls. A place where two worlds collide, you get to experience the traditional culture of the American Indians and witness Mother Nature in all her glory. The beauty is you’ll need a permit from the Havasupai Tribe and there are limited tourists allowed to visit at any one time, allowing you the space to breathe in the beauty and appreciate the miracle of nature.
THE DEVIL’S POOL, VICTORIA FALLS
Only for the brave. This waterfall claims thrillseekers’ lives each year. Source: Supplied
One for the real experience seekers, if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to peep over the top of the world’s largest waterfall, then you need to take the leap of faith into the Devils Pool. Just don’t jump too far – the 355ft drop takes a few lives a year.