The world’s 7 best natural pools

You can picture it in your mind: the perfect swim spot. It’s got blue water, it’s surrounded by lush vegetation, there’s a light current to wash over you and maybe even some heat to make the water feel like a warm bath. Yes, you could swim in a concrete and cobalt box, or you could seek out one of these pristine natural pools. These are some of the most sought after natural pools in the world.

Best Natural Pools: Nanda Blue Hole,  Luganville, Vanuatu

BEST NATURAL POOLS nanda-blue-hole-jackies-1

It’s one of the most remote pools in the world, but if you can get to it, it’s absolutely magical. Nanda Blue Hole is located on the island of Espiritu Santo in the Pacific Island nation of  Vanuatu. Not far from the coast, natural springs emerge to form stunning blue holes that by all accounts need to be seen to be believed. The blue holes can be quite deep but the Nanda Blue Hole is one of the most spectacular.

Best Natural Pools: Gunlom Plunge Pool, Jabiru, Australia 

Located in the World Heritage site Kakadu National Park, Gunlom Plunge Pool is a crazy combination of waterfall and relaxing natural pool. Surrounded by shady trees, you’ll need to make a steep climb to the top of the waterfall to enjoy panoramic sweeping views. It’s here you can dive into the breathtaking crystal clear pools.

Best Natural Pools: Great Blue Hole, Belize

best natural pools belize-blue-holeThe Great Blue Hole is a large underwater sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the mainland of Belize City. Seen from above, it’s an otherworldly sight, plunging deep into the earth under water, creating a deep black pool.

The hole is circular in shape, over 300 metres (984 ft.) across and 125 metres (410 ft.) deep. The world’s largest natural formation of its kind, the Great Blue Hole is part of the larger Barrier Reef Reserve System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Great Blue Hole is a world-class spot for recreational scuba divers not surprisingly thanks to the  crystal-clear waters and numerous tropical fish and spectacular coral formations.

Best Natural Pools: Las Grietas, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

las-grietas-galapagos-swimming-hole“Grieta” means crevasse or crack, and true to it’s name,  Las Grietas is a place to swim, set between two giant slabs of rock.  Here cool ocean water seeps between two tall cliffs, creating a gorgeous natural swimming hole.

Best Natural Pools: Grotta della Poesia, Roca Vecchia, Italy

Deep in  Puglia, Italy the rocky coastline gives way to incredibly clear water and plenty of sea caves. One of the most majestic and compelling is the Grotte della Poesia, or  Caves of Poetry,  in the small town of Roca.

This 100 foot wide sinkhole sits at the edge of the sea, and has been a favourite swimming hole for centuries. The story is that Grotte della Poesia is said to have been a favorite swimming spot for an ancient princess, and the sight of her swimming there inspired poets, earning it the name Caves of Poetry. But visitors nowadays come mainly to take leaps from its 15′ cliffs into the clear waters, to snorkel or dive, and then to swim from the sinkhole through an underground sea cave and back out to the sea.  Read more about this amazing spot on the cool blog, Grand Voyage Italy who also loaned the beautiful photo.

Best Natural Pools: Boy Scout Pool, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming USA

It’s a good half day hike to get to it but you won’t be disappointed. This natural pool fed by a hot spring that rushes into the pool via a small waterfall, lies in the mountains of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. After the gruelling hike you’ll love soaking in this warm natural pool’s clear waters.

Best Natural Pools: Blue Lagoon,  Iceland

For travellers to Iceland, a trip to the steamy milky waters of the Blue Lagoon is a highlight. This natural pool  is located in a lava field in Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula. It was formed in 1976 during operations at a nearby geothermal power plant.

As explained by the blog,:

“Superheated water is vented from the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines that generate electricity. After going through the turbines, the steam and hot water passes through a heat exchanger to provide heat for a municipal hot water heating system. What happens next to the water though has become a multimillion industry in its own right.

After the water is used to provide heat for the water system, it is fed into what we know today as the Blue Lagoon. The water from the Blue Lagoon is a direct result of the geothermal plant found right next door.

Visitors to the massive spa complex may not even see the nearby power plant, much less realize that it is the source of the Blue Lagoon magic. It’s cleverly hidden just out of sight and unless you look, you probably won’t notice it and if you do, it probably won’t make an impact.”

Over the years, Blue Lagoon has been innovative in harnessing this gift of nature to develop different spa services and products. Today, Blue Lagoon is recognized as one of the wonders of the world.

Have you seen an amazing natural pool that’s captivated your dreams? Tell us about it in comments below. Trip Advisor has also put together an amazing list that has other natural pools too. Check it out here.



  1. Ryan Biddulph on August 19, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    The Great Blue Hole is brilliant. I have seen it from afar many times. So fabulous. One of those special places where it’d be pretty darn cool to take a dip.