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7 Super Cool Places to Swim in the World (and Why You Should Dive in!)

It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy…”

And when temps rise, we like to cool off at our local sandy beaches and lakes.

We’re fortunate we have wonderful natural swimming spots in Victoria, Canada, where we live.

Thankfully, though, the world is chock-full of beautiful beaches and great places to swim!

There are lots of cool places to swim in the world!
There are so many wonderful and cool places to swim in this world!

Cool places to swim in the world

Some of the most unique places to swim in the world are Mexico’s underground cenotes in the Riviera Maya.

In Mexico's Riviera Maya, the cenotes are magical places to swim
In Mexico’s Riviera Maya, the cenotes are magical places to swim

And we’ve enjoyed swimming in the pools at the base of some of Maui’s waterfalls.

Guest contributors Agness Walewinder and Cez Krol have also wondered about what amazing places to swim our beautiful planet is hiding.

They’ve found some truly unusual swimming holes and spots to cool off and admire the scenery. Ready to check them out?

Let’s dive right into their post on the coolest places where you can swim!

1) Gippsland Lakes, Australia

The bioluminescence occurs in summer at Gippsland Lakes, when the water is warm.
The bioluminescence occurs in summer at Gippsland Lakes, when the water is warm

The star trails ensure that the Gippsland Lakes will be one of the most magical places you’ll ever get the chance to swim.

Dreamy starry nights aside, there’s something else that makes this place worthwhile to visit.

The waters in the area are filled with a special kind of dinoflagellate.

When the water is disturbed, they create a fantastic bioluminescent effect. They look link thousands of tiny twinkling stars in the water.

So now you can swim amongst the stars, quite literally.

No doubt about it. These Australian lakes are one of the best places to go swimming.

Of course, don’t miss the chance to spot the Aurora Australis if you’re in the area. No Vegas light show will ever match what nature has on display.

2) Havasu Falls, Arizona, United States

One of the most deliciously cool places to swim after a hot hike in Arizona's Grand Canyon is the pool at the base of Havasu Falls.
One of the most deliciously cool places to swim after a hot hike in Arizona’s Grand Canyon is the pool at the base of Havasu Falls

Among the vast redness of the Grand Canyon lies one of the most beautiful places to swim in Arizona – maybe even one of the best swimming holes in the U.S.

This hidden gem – Havasu Falls – lies on Havasupai territory, which is native land. If you want to swim at the base of these 100-foot falls, you’ll need a permit.

Oh, and since the area is so inaccessible, you’ll have to hike all the way there. Hikers reading this will gleefully tap their feet in anticipation of the challenge.

Even if you’re not particularly fond of hiking, all those thoughts will disappear once the falls caress your skin – perfect after a hot Arizonian day!

3) The Blue Grotto, Croatia

The Blue Grotto is a waterlogged sea cave that you can visit on a boat tour

The Adriatic island of Vis in Croatia hides some truly mystical places to swim.

On a day tour from Split or Dubrovnik, you can hop on a small boat to go inside the Blue Grotto cave.

Travelers are usually taken here just before noon because that’s when the cave is most spectacular. The sea takes the sun’s rays and splashes them throughout the limestone cave to create a mesmerizing blue effect.

Now, you can’t actually swim in Croatia’s Blue Cave, as it’s so busy! Boats sometimes wait hours to enter the cave.

Visitors on a boat inside the Blue Cave in Croatia
Visitors on a boat inside the Blue Cave

But there are lots of other wonderful places to swim in Dubrovnik, Vis and elsewhere. (We just had to mention Croatia’s Blue Grotto though, because it’s so beautiful!)

Vis also houses another similar cavern, called the Green Grotto. As you might expect, instead of the sapphire blue, you’re met with an emerald green hue.

4) Bimmah Sinkhole, Oman

The 65-foot-deep Bimmah Sinkhole is one of the most interesting places to swim in the world.
The 65-foot-deep Bimmah Sinkhole is one of the most interesting places to swim

One of the world’s most interesting natural swimming holes is found a short drive away from Oman’s capital of Muscat.

The Bimmah Sinkhole can be found within Hawiyat Najm Park. The area has picnic sites to make your visit more pleasant.

As for the water in this beautiful sinkhole? It’s the very definition of “crystal clear,” with limestone reflections giving it its emerald green color.

We wouldn’t call it a place to cool off, so to speak, as the water is actually quite warm.

Still, it’s probably better than the hot Oman sun. Swim with the little fishes that hang out there, or observe the sea turtles coming up for air just a few hundred feet away.

5) Kuang Si Falls, Laos

Also known as Tat Kuan Si, the three-tiered Kuang Si Waterfalls in Laos are one of the most beautiful places to swim in the world.
Also known as Tat Kuan Si, the three-tiered Kuang Si Waterfalls in Laos are one of the most beautiful places to swim in the world

The area around Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and with good reason.

Not only do the villages have their usual East-Asian architectural merit, but the unspoiled natural splendor of the place will have your jaw on the floor in no time.

You can also find one of the most serene places to swim here.

After haggling your way through the myriad of tuk-tuk drivers offering to take you to Kuang Si, you’re in for a treat. The tropical trees leave only threads of light touching the warm crystalline waters.

The best part about Kuang Si are the vines that hang from the trees. Experience the feeling of being Tarzan for a day, and swing from tree to tree.

Or dive right into the water for a big splash. These are some of the best waterfalls to swim in! Just be careful of the swimmers below.

You might find some less visited, secret pools if the crowds are too much, though we won’t spoil the surprise.

6) Llyn Cau, Wales

You can swim in Llyn Cau - but it's a long walk to get there!
You can swim in Llyn Cau – but it’s a long walk to get there!

Situated in the impressive Welsh mountain range of Cadair Idris, Llyn Cau is a deep blue lake surrounded by steep walls that remind us of a natural citadel.

It’s one of those places to swim if you’re a writer looking for inspiration.

Not surprisingly, local legends say that anyone who sleeps on the summit of Cadair Idris will wake up a poet. Of course, the same myths imply that you might wake up a madman.

Nonetheless, you’ll definitely enjoy the quiet surroundings. Those looking to get away from the usual racket of tourist traps will especially appreciate the place.

7) Deception Island, Antarctica

One of the most cool places to swim in the world is Antarctica!
Cool places to swim in the world? Antarctica!

We don’t think anyone packs a swimsuit for their Antarctica cruise.

Who would be crazy enough to take a dip in the freezing waters of the south? A lot of people, apparently – near the comically-named Deception Island, one of the best places to visit in Antarctica.

If you want a place to swim that gives you the ultimate in bragging rights, this is it. It’s probably the coolest place to swim in the world! (Oh, bad pun.)

Of course, don’t expect to splash around like at your local swimming pool. Most often, people take a short plunge and then scurry back to the ship’s crew, waiting for you with fresh towels.

So your Antarctica swim will be short.

But you can console yourself the rest of your trip by peeking at playful penguins sliding down snow-covered slopes and wondrous icebergs more humongous than most buildings.

Do you know some crazy or cool swimming spots in the world?

Let us know in the Comments section below!

Check out more of the best places to swim in the world!

Zihuatanejo, Mexico: Discover the best beaches in Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa!

Kauai, Hawaii: What are the best swimming beaches in Kauai? We especially love Poipu Beach in winter; Hanalei is idyllic in summer.

Lombok, Indonesia: Lombok’s beautiful beaches and boutique hotels lure travelers to this lovely Indonesian island.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: There are many great beaches in Los Cabos where you can swim. (Lover’s Beach is a fave).

Our top travel tips and resources

Hotels: Booking.com is great for scoring a “wow” hotel – or at least a decent one. (We especially like their flexible cancellation policy!)

Vacation homes, condos and rentals: We prefer and use Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner).

Tours: For the best local food, walking and other guided tours, plus skip-the-line tickets to attractions, check out Viator (a TripAdvisor company) and GetYourGuide.

Car rental: Renting a car is often one of the best ways to explore off the beaten path. Discover Cars searches car rental companies so you get the best rates.

Travel insurance: SafetyWing is designed for frequent travelers, long-term adventurers and digital nomads. It covers medical expenses, lost checked luggage, trip interruption and more. We also have and recommend Medjet for global air medical transportation and travel security.

Travel gear: See our travel shop to find the best luggage, accessories and other travel gear. (We suggest these comfy travel sandals for city walking, the beach and kicking about.)

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Unusual places to swim in the world

Photo credits: 2 Alltournative Ecological Adventures | 10 Oceanwide Expeditions


About the authors:

Best friends and travel buddies from Poland, Agness Walewinder and Cez Krol are founders of the adventure travel blog, eTramping. They visited Antarctica with Oceanwide Expeditions – and had an awesome time!

galanda23

Thursday 27th of July 2017

We were lucky to swim in some of these wonderful places, but never had a chance to swim with a pig. Lovely photo!

Janice and George

Friday 28th of July 2017

Wouldn't that be fun to swim with a pig! You can do that in the Bahamas...