Travelers are looking to experience something a little different on their next getaway, hoping to visit somewhere that none of their friends have been to. Swap the swimming pools and tourist-saturated beaches for a more unique swimming spot. Booking.com has unearths the best swimming holes around the world.
Cenote, Chichén Itzá, Mexico
For travelers who find themselves in Mexico, a swim in a cenote, meaning sacred well, is a must. These fairyland-like grottos unearth an illuminated turquoise natural pool, nestled in the Mexican jungle. A quick dip in the freshwater of the Sacred Cenote is the perfect ending to a day spent exploring the nearby complex of Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá. Float on the crystal-clear waters as you gaze up at the jungle-framed sky. Descend 85 feet to this freshwater natural pool and make the most of the “bottomless” cenote by jumping off the diving platform carved into a rock into the very deep waters below. The ancient Mayan civilization believed that the cenotes were portals to speak to the Gods, so they would construct villages around them.
Where to stay: The Hacienda Chichen Resort and Yaxkin Spa is an eco-friendly resort located within the Mayan city of Chichen Itza. After spending the day visiting the symbolic Chichén Itzá and cooling off in the cenote, enhance your Mayan knowledge by trying authentic cuisine at Hacienda Chichen restaurant and relax at the Yaxkin Spa, offering holistic Mayan healing therapies, or take another dip in the refreshing outdoor swimming pool.
Dead Sea, Israel
The Dead Sea is located in the lowest point on earth and the legendary waters have such a high salt concentration, travelers can easily float on the water. The Dead Sea is also known for its health and healing properties with its mineral rich black mud. It borders Israel and Jordan and is surrounding by majestic mountains, such as UNESCO World Heritage Site Masada and the Judean and Negev desert. Unwind in its cobalt blue waters, surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty and allow the minerals to soothe away any aches and pains.
Where to stay: Set in the moshav of Neot HaKikar, Dead Sea Tamar’s Cabin is an ideal home away from home, conveniently situated with just a short drive to the iconic Dead Sea. After relaxing in the salty waters, head home to your own swimming pool and hot tub, surrounding by mesmerizing mountainous vistas.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Experience the wonder of the geothermal Blue Lagoon in Iceland while going for a dip in the famed warm milky-blue waters enclosed by the striking black lava field. The average temperature of the waters is 39°C (101°F) all year round, so is perfect to bathe in no matter how cold the outside temperature is, and the seawater is rich with minerals such as silica, which will leave your skin feeling smooth and rejuvenated. It’s an experience like no other, which more than half of Canadian travelers (52%) value, creating and experience moments that bring joy and comfort long after the fact.
Where to stay: The Northern Light Inn will leave guests feeling completely rested and restored, with an onsite wellness spa, fitness center and free shuttle buses to the Blue Lagoon. Feel at one with nature with stunning panoramic views of the mountainous vistas and the Reykjanes Peninsula’s moss covered, lava field. Sample authentic Icelandic dishes at the Northern Light’s restaurant and breathe in the fresh, icy air while taking a horseback riding tour of the area
Havasu Falls, USA
The stunning Havasu Falls in the state of Arizona is a remarkable waterfall nestled deep in the Havasupai Indian Reservation within the Grand Canyon National Park and is the perfect spot to cool off after a long hike in the Arizona desert. The flowing aquamarine waters are beautifully contrasted by the striking red rocks of the canyon and the unspoilt natural beauty will leave travelers questioning whether they are having a mirage.
Where to stay: Wake up to a hearty buffet breakfast at the Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon, the perfect way to start a day’s hike. The hotel also provides a hot tub for guests if your swim at Havasu Falls wasn’t enough of a splash.
The Blue Cave, Croatia
The Blue Grotto, located in the small bay of Balun, will leave travelers hypnotized by the illuminating sapphire waters. Found in a small cove on the east side of the island of Biševo and about 4.5 nautical miles from Komiža, the water has a silvery-blue color, created by light refraction of sunlight entering through a crack in the stone – great Instagram-worthy content. Don’t worry, 39% of travellers want to look their best for vacation photos that will be posted on social media so don’t be shy and take photos to your heart’s content!
Where to stay: The charming Hotel San Giorgio is a short walk from the beach and is located in the historical island of Vis. It’s the perfect location for those wanting to explore the scenery of vineyards, picturesque villages, sandy beaches and azure waters that this beautiful part of the world has to offer.