If you’re out in the wilderness enjoying a camping/hiking adventure it’s unlikely that you’re going to come across any swimming pools when you want to cool down. However, depending upon where you are, you might stumble upon a cenote, which is basically a deep sinkhole or natural pit. These are often filled with water and make ideal swimming holes.
These are some of the best swimming holes around the world for nature lovers.
1. Lake Dudu, Dominican Republic
(photo by elementality)
This lake is actually a sinkhole that contains water and is located on the island’s north coast, just to the west of the town of Nagua. The swimming hole is down a steep staircase that’s situated inside stone walls. There’s a stone ledge above the water where you can swing from and drop into the cool, clear water. You can also jump into the water from a 50-foot wall if you’re the adventurous type. It’s also an ideal spot for scuba diving since the water’s pretty deep and there are some excellent caves worth exploring beneath it.
2. Cenote, Dzibilchaltun, Mexico
(photo by jlcrook)
If you head north from the Mexican town of Merida you’ll come to an old Mayan archaeological site up the road called Dzibilchaltun. There are some 16th century church ruins here as well as the Temple of the Seven Dolls and an excellent swimming hole that can be used all year long.
The location is also the first destination on the La Ruta de los Cenotes driving tour, which means route of the Cenotes. This is a series of cultural and natural sites that reaches from Merida down past Cancun. It’s believed there are over 25,000 cenotes along the trail, but only about 100 are open to visitors.
3. Crystal Pools, Namibia
(photo by coda)
This quiet swimming spot is about 90-minutes from Palmwag Lodge and the Desert Rhino Camp. You have to walk the last 15 minutes to the water. The hole leads into as second pool of water which is shallower. The water’s always warm because of the hot African sun and it’s crystal clear as well. If you head upstream you’ll come to another exposed swimming hole. There aren’t any crocodiles in this region, but you could run into some other interesting types of local wildlife.
4. Reich Falls, Port Antonio, Jamaica
(photo by 7443878@N04)
This swimming hole is so beautiful that it’s often featured in Jamaican tourism ads. The water is emerald green in color and it comes down tumbling down from the majestic Blue Mountains. It’s an ideal location for swimming or to stand there and let the warm water massage you. It’s a fantastic spot to tour the mountains from too.
5. Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside, Maui, Hawaii, USA
(photo by tyrian123)
This amazing swimming hole lets you swim in a rainforest below a waterfall. Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside sits on the north coast of Maui. It’s about 40 miles to the east of the town of Kahului, just off of Hana Highway. It’s inside of a five-acre park and there are signs pointing you toward the trail that leads to the swimming hole.
6. Andros Island, the Bahamas
(photo by nashworld)
This is the Bahamas’ biggest island and it’s home to numerous cave systems that are filled with warm, clear water. They’re so intriguing that even Jacques Cousteau visited and explored them. There are hiking and diving trips available if you’d like to retrace Cousteau’s steps and enjoy this fantastic area.
7. Blue Spring State Park, Orange City, Florida, USA
(photo by sundazed)
The water is just over 70 degrees here all year long and the park is used as a refuge area for West Indian Manatees. The manatees are protected between November to the start of March 1, but the rest of the time you’ll be able to swim and play in the beautiful spring waters. You’ll also find that canoeing, tubing, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving are popular here.