Summer was practically made for swimming and what better place to take a dip than in Mother Nature’s very own pools? No chlorine, concrete, or crowded change rooms… what more could you ask for? If this sounds like something you could get used to, you’re in the right place. Read on for a list of some of the best swimming holes, guaranteed to help you beat the summer heat in the best way possible.
Kutralam Falls (Tamil Nadu, India)
Think of this as nature’s grandest spa. Thanks to the journey the water must take before reaching its final destination, it is said that it possesses healing properties that are beneficial to swimmers. If that isn’t enough to persuade you to make Kutralam Falls a must-see destination, you should probably know that it’s absolutely, breathtakingly gorgeous. Keep in mind that during periods of heavy rainfall, the falls may be closed to the public.
Queen’s Bath (Princeville, Hawaii)
For those who appreciate the finer things in life, head to Queen’s Bath for an experience fit for a king…literally. This swimming hole was at one point intended to be used solely by royalty as a place to de-stress. Now, it’s accessible to the general public, provided they’re willing to walk a short trail. This sinkhole is surrounded by igneous rock and is a calm, refreshing spot to take a dip in the summer months. Come winter, it’s a bit treacherous and best avoided. Keep your eyes peeled for marine life who favour this blissful spot.
Sliding Rock (Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina)
Mama Earth was really on her game when she created this natural water slide and plunge pool in North Carolina. Sliding Rock features a smooth, gently sloping waterfall that deposits riders into a refreshing (read: chilly) pool below. Guard rails facilitate climbing back to the top which is great because one ride definitely isn’t enough. Check ahead to find out if there are lifeguards on duty during the time you intend to visit and be forewarned: this spot is extremely popular, especially during scorching North Carolina summers.
Ik Kil Cenote (Yucatan, Mexico)
This place is so gorgeous that if you didn’t know better, you’d swear that it had been professional designed. Soothing waterfalls, perfectly placed vines and greenery, and absolutely clear water all come together to make for a swim that you will never forget. Conveniently located stairs make accessing the cenote a cinch and there’s a pretty magnificent echo that you’re welcome to test out, if you want to be that guy.
Sooke Potholes (Vancouver Island, British Columbia)
Sooke Potholes: because sometimes, one just isn’t enough. This series of swimming holes is pretty as a picture and refreshing as can be. Get ready to be awed by the scenery that surrounds the swimming spots and plan on staying the day as there are plenty of areas to check out. The pools tend to get crowded in the summer months but if you’re willing to journey a little further than most, you’ll be handsomely rewarded with even more swimming holes.
Devil’s Pool (Victoria Falls, Zambia)
Were you that kid who always stood on top of the playground equipment, laughing in danger’s face? Then have we got the swimming hole for you! Devil’s Pool is a small swimming hole that, during the dry season, becomes perfect for splashing around. The scary part? It’s on the edge of a decidedly unfriendly waterfall that, if fallen into, will likely be the last place you ever see. Not for individuals with vertigo or those who prefer not to contemplate their own mortality while on holidays.
Who is Kate Walker? She’s a freelance writer, yoga addict, and citizen of the concrete jungle. When not on the mat, Kate can be found at the dog park or on the dock in Muskoka. She is also pretty fond of running, skiing, and Settlers of Catan.