secret swimming holes

Across the globe, there are swimming spots much more unique than your local beach or backyard pool. Some are well-kept secrets, others are well-known secrets, but all are visually stunning and worth uncovering. Say goodbye to your average swimming sites and hello to some extraordinary adventures. Here are ten secret swimming holes so gorgeous they don’t even look real.

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1. Fairy Pools

Isle of Skye ‘s Fairy Pools on the River Brittle are crystal clear, very magical, and extremely cold. The walk to the Fairy Pools takes an average of 20 minutes to get to the first waterfall, which is how you’ll know you’re at the start of the pools. Bring your wetsuit and enjoy the magical views surrounding this swimming hole in Scotland.

2. Hamilton Pool Preserve

swimming pools to check out
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The Hamilton Pool Preserve is located outside of Austin, Texas. Due to erosion that happened thousands of years ago, the dome of an underground river collapsed, creating this natural jade green pool. A beautiful 50-foot-waterfall flows through it, attracting tourists from all over the country. Be sure to book a reservation before heading to the preserve.

3. Bassin Bleu

To get to Bassin Bleu, located in Haiti, you first have to drive through dirt roads that are lined with palm trees. It’s worth the bumpy ride because once you arrive at these turquoise-blue pools, all of your worries will melt away. The only concern you’ll have at this relaxing oasis will be watching the local boys jump from the top of the highest waterfall.

4. Emma Gorge

Western Australia’s El Questro Wilderness Park is home to the Emma Gorge. There’s a breathtaking swimming hole, a waterfall, and towering cliffs. Hike up to the gorge, go for a swim, and explore this natural wonder. You’ll have a hard time leaving this spot, making it a great place to camp for a night or two.

5. Devil’s Bathtub

In South Dakota’s Spearfish Canyon, there’s a deep swimming hole made out of rock formations deemed the Devil’s Bathtub by locals. It’s well-hidden in the Northern Black Hills. In fact, you might not be able to find it without asking people in the area or on the trail. The walls of the Devil’s Bathtub are steep and covered in trees, and the canyon has chutes you can slide down.

6. Lea Lake

New Mexico’s Bottomless Lakes State Park features eight sinkholes that are filled with underground water. 90-foot-deep Lea Lake is the deepest and most popular of the eight, the greenish-blue swimming hole looks bottomless. Reserve a campsite and stay in the park in order to see as much of it as you can.

7. Saturnia Thermal Baths

The Saturnia Thermal Baths in Maremma, Italy, are a sight for sore eyes…and a site for sore muscles. The waterfalls, the pools, the travertine rock created over centuries – it’s all gorgeous. The thermal baths are as white as can be due to sulfurous minerals, the temperature is usually around 98 degrees Fahrenheit, and they’ve been known to cure all sorts of minor ailments.

8. Queen’s Bath

Natural tide pool Queen’s Bath in Princeville, Kauai is made from lava rock and is the size of a large swimming pool. Located a ten-minute hike from a waterfall, it’s an incredible excursion with picturesque views along the way. Be sure to check the surf report before visiting this natural wonder, it can get dangerous when the tide is high.

9. Dorset Quarry

One of the most beloved secret swimming spots in the country and America’s oldest marble quarry, the Dorset Quarry in Vermont is about 120 yards long and 30 yards across. You can relax on the smooth stone ledges and jump into the refreshing water, making it a hotspot in the summer months. The swimming hole is 60-feet-deep, a perfect place for thrill-seekers.

10. Rio Celeste

Costa Rica’s Rio Celeste, located in the Tenorio Volcano National Park, boasts an electric-blue river and a waterfall. The color is so intense due to volcanic minerals. Hike around the area and check out the countless natural hot springs along the river’s edge. Don’t venture off the trail to ensure you’re not disrupting the awe-inspiring ecosystem.