There are amazing swimming pools in the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, but what about the all-natural swim spots that Mother Nature has provided? Take a dip in an underwater river, swim in a desert oasis or float along in streams that have carved some of Earth’s greatest wonders over aeons. There are some great all-natural places that you can go for a wild dip, and these are some of our favorites.
The Devil’s Pool, Victoria Falls
One of the most famous features in Africa is Victoria Falls. While this destination is on many an adventurer’s bucket list, the spectacular sight offers something a little extra for swimmers. Atop one of the largest waterfalls on the globe is the Devil’s Pool. This pool located right on the edge of the falls seems scary, but is relatively safe, and there are guides on site to make sure you don’t accidentally go tumbling off the edge.
Jellyfish Lake, Micronesia
Ever dream of swimming alongside countless little jellyfish, or is this your idea of nightmare? In Micronesia, you can make your dream come true, or put your jellyfish phobia to rest! Located on a small and remote island, Jellyfish Lake is home to tons of tiny jellyfish who go from one side of the lake to the other, following the light of the sun each day. Thankfully, the jellyfish are harmless bathing companions just going about their business.
Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon
Imagine swimming in beautiful turquoise waters, surrounded by red rocks as far as the eye can see. Within the Grand Canyon, you’ll find Havasu Falls. While it may take a little bit of a hike to get there, most visitors say that this site is most definitely worth the walk. The huge waterfall only adds to the scenery, as you drift along the vibrant blue water that has carved out this natural wonder over millenia. Where does it get its fantastic color? The blue-green hue found hardly anywhere else in the world comes from a high concentration of calcium carbonate.
Hamilton Pool, Austin
You wouldn’t imagine that this otherworldly swim spot would be so close to civilization! Located right outside of Austin, Texas, the Hamilton Pool is an ancient structure that was created when an underground river’s ceiling collapsed in on itself. Now, huge walls surround a beautiful pool, with waterfalls lining the spots where locals and tourists alike converge to experience this convenient geological getaway.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Iceland is known for its extremely varied landscapes, and there’s no doubting that alongside pristine glaciers and fantastic valleys, there are also a fair amount of swimming spots that you won’t want to miss. The Blue Lagoon is one such spot, and probably one of the most famous attractions on the island nation. The naturally heated lagoon is rich in minerals, making the watering hole a popular destination for those looking for its healing properties. Nearby is a spa, where you can experience even further relaxation after a dip in this enviable natural pool.
Sliding Rock, North Carolina
In North Carolina, visitors are treated to an entirely new kind of natural swimming experience. Sliding Rock has all the things you’d love at a waterpark, without the man-made features. That’s right — this all-natural spot is perfect for adrenaline seekers, or just those who prefer to float about. Line up and wait for your turn to take a slide and tumble down a rock incline, into a wading pool below. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
Johnson’s Shut-Ins, Missouri
In Missouri, located just a few hours outside of St. Louis, the Shut-Ins are where the Black River has been partially blocked by volcanic stone. This forms a series of small pools where you can swim, relax and just soak in the water, whether you prefer a roughly cascading waterfall, the shallow end or a deep dip. It’s all available and you’ll find many a swimmer headed here during the summer. The spot has been called the unofficial state waterpark of Missouri, and they’ve even built some walkways to help you find the pool of your choice.
Dudu Blue Lagoons, Dominican Republic
Want to enjoy 100 feet of deep fresh water? Want it to be so crystal clear and super blue that you’d swear there was nowhere else on Earth like it? Go to the Dominican Republic and check out the Dudu Blue Lagoons. Not only can you swim to your heart’s content, but you’ll also find that many scuba divers love this spot for its many underwater caves, making it a great place to both relax and explore what lies below the surface of the beautifully calm exterior.
Hawiyat National Park, Oman
In one of Oman’s most striking locations, a nearly perfect circular indention in the ground gives you a stone staircase leading down to a sinkhole filled with crystal clear water. Soak in the views of the desert surrounding, as well as the mountains, and enjoy splashing around in what is truly considered an oasis. You are guaranteed to get some great snaps, as this spot is one of the most photogenic you’ll find within the region.
Giola, Thassos, Greece
Take in views of the Aegean Sea without braving the waves. Giola offers up a remote watering hole with views of the ocean. The natural pool is fed by ocean waters, but actually gets warmer than the sea itself. This is one of the most popular swimming spots in Greece and tourists love it. The steep climb down to the pool interior can be a little tricky, but the trip is certainly worth the effort.
The world is full of unforgettable swimming experiences, from suave rooftop pools with wifi to untamed natural experiences. The world is a river of pools both man-made and as Mother Nature intended. Swim them all with Shwimmer.
Shwimmer: The Pools of the World in the Palm of Your Hand