What better way to escape the heatwave of this summer than to dive into some refreshing wild waters! We feel the best way to cool down is to take a splash in the wild in the midst of nature, rather than heading to the same old, boring indoor swimming pool. So here’s our roundup of 7 best “wild swimming” spots across the world where you can go and reconnect with the sheer joy of swimming! Go ahead, take that plunge!
Cenotes X’keken and Samula, Mexico
Cenotes are almost-magical waterholes formed by collapsing limestone bedrocks, resulting in underground pools of crystal-clear waters. Head to the Yucatán peninsula in Mexico and go wild swimming in the turquoise blue, mineral-rich waters of Cenote X’keken and Cenote Samula. What makes them famous? These Cenotes are a lovely sight as streams of sun rays tumble in from the roof of the cavern highlighting the blue waters. As you float in the cool waters of Cenote Samula, look up and be prepared to get transfixed by the long roots of a tree that dangle from a massive hole in the roof, reaching towards the water.
Crystal River, USA
True to its name, the Crystal River in Florida, USA that is fed by 40 freshwater springs has crystal-clear waters, that allow you to spot the manatees, cute, slow-moving and gentle aquatic mammals, also known as ‘sea cows’. They belong to the Gulf of Mexico but move to this zone in winters for warmer waters. The Crystal River is the only place in Florida that lets you swim with these huge, lumbering creatures that are so friendly, that they might just approach you and hug you, and then roll over, asking for belly rubs! So go ahead and add “swimming with the manatees” to your bucket list!
Bimmah Sinkhole, Oman
The 40-meter wide and 20-meter deep Bimmah Sinkhole is perhaps the perfect way to beat the intense Omani heat! The natives believe that it was formed when a massive meteorite hit our planet. Nothing could be more delightful than cooling off in the emerald-tinted waters of this picturesque sinkhole. Authorities have even opened a well-maintained public park around it, the Hawiyat Najm Park.
Gippsland Lakes, Australia
Spread across an area of 354 square kilometres, the Gippsland Lakes is a collection of lakes, marshes and lagoons. The lakes contain nearly 50 species of bottlenose dolphins. Fascinating facts about this hotspot doesn’t end here! The wetlands of this expanse play habitat to roughly 20000 aquatic birds. Swimming is permitted only in the flagged, patrolled zone. Do not go beyond it! Boating, paddling and fishing is allowed in certain areas.
Crater Lake, USA
Recognised for its outstanding purity and considered as the deepest lake in the USA, the Crater Lake is a stunning caldera water body unconnected to any flowing river. Interestingly, every 250 years, the waters of the Crater Lake get replaced because of continual rainfall and snowfall. Pls Note: Swimming in all parts of Crater Lake is not permitted. Walk down the Cleetwood Cove Trail for some wild swimming.
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Love wild swimming? Then, swim with the whale sharks in the waters of Philippines’ Donsol! You will be guaranteed an encounter with them if you go in the peak season (January to May). If you’re lucky, you might end up spotting as many as 5 whale sharks! Feeding these gigantic creatures is strictly prohibited for their preservation. When you’re there, opt for the whale shark watching tour packages that are easy on the pocket.
Kuang Si Falls, Laos
Laos’ Kuang Si Falls is a marvellous three-levelled waterfall, turning more voluminous from June to October. There is a series of three small pools that are suitable for wild swimming while the bridge at the base of the waterfall may inspire you to take some good shots! Opened to the public from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM every day, the Kuang Si Falls is accessible by car, bike, tuk-tuk, mini-van and boat.