Just close your eyes and imagine that you’re floating in warm, tropical waters, all around you, the shimmering water is crystal clear. It’s so clear, you can watch the colorful fish flitting and float for yards around you.
75 percent of our planet’s surface is covered with water. Some are lakes, some are oceans, and all are natural. And if H2o is your thing, then you should definitely check out these 10 amazing places with crystal clear water.
10. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
This is the country’s oldest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site to boot. Founded in 1949, it includes 16 waterfalls and interconnected lakes spanning more than 70,000 acres. It draws more than 1 million tourists annually. The lakes are formed by runoff from the nearby mountains and they’re separated into geographical clusters. The color of the clear water ranges from blue and grey to green and turquoise depending on the resident organisms, amount of minerals, and angle of the sunlight at any given time of the day.
9. Te Waikoropupu Springs, New Zealand
This is New Zealand’s biggest freshwater spring. It’s near Takaka in the Golden Bay. Once named Pupu Springs, its waters come from huge Aquifers. The water is pumped in at almost 3,700 gallons (14,000 liters) per second. The water’s clarity is due to the fact that it is filtered for up to a decade by the surrounding rocks before being pumped into the pools. In 1993 the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA) tested the visibility of the water and determined it to be 63 meters (206+ feet).
8. Five Flower Lake, China
Five Flower Lake is ensconced in Jiuzhaigou National Park, situated in the southwestern province of Jiuzhaigou. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is highlighted by multi-level waterfalls that are visited by millions of travelers yearly. The lake is famous for its crystal clear multicolored water. At least five different colors can be seen herein due to a variety of local algae, the calcium sediments on the lake bottom, and the colorful reflections of the surrounding trees. The best time to visit is in October when the colorful foliage makes it even more beautiful.
7. Melissani Lake, Greece
According to legend, this lake is named for a brokenhearted nymph who committed suicide when the god Pam didn’t return her affections. Found just outside of popular Sami, it’s roughly 20,000 years old. When the sunlight hits the water here visitors witness a beautiful array of blues. The cave there serves as a natural aquifer and filters the water leaving it incredibly clear. In fact, veteran visitors report that the water here is so clear that anyone boating on the lake appears to be levitating.
6. The Green Lake, Austria
The Green Lake or “Gruner See” was named for its clear green water. It’s found in Styria in southeastern Austria. The water originates from the Karst mountains. It was really popular with divers due to its benches, footpaths, underwater meadows, and 50m visibility. In 2016 water sports of any kind were banned there because the experts were concerned that divers would stir up too much sediment and ruin the clarity of the water.
5. Ambergris Caye, Belize
This is the largest and most popular island in Belize. The crystal clear water makes it perfect for all the visiting scuba divers. Approximately 40000 people dive here every year hoping to see some of the sea life that inhabits the famous Hol Chan marine life reserve 1.5 miles off the coast. The beautiful clear blue color of the water is due to the sunlight being broken up by the water molecules. Om the shallows the color is lighter due to the sun’s rays bouncing off the fine sand.
4. Palawan Island, Philippines
Palawan Island is said by some to be the most famous place in all of the Philippines to swim in glassy-clear ocean water. The Palawan archipelago is located in the Sulu Sea and the sub-China Sea. More than 1 million travelers come here each year for the wildlife sanctuaries, the UNESCO world heritage sites, the reefs, and the water. One popular activity here is to go scuba diving at the site where a dozen World War 2 Japanese shipwrecks can be found.
3. Rio Sucuri, Brazil
While Amazon might be famous, this river is Brazil’s most beautiful. Situated in Bonito, four hours away from Brazil’s capital, you will discover what some have called a “natural aquarium” complete with brightly colored fish and aquatic plants. The water here comes from actual Artesian wells. From there it springs from the ground to form multiple pools. The visibility of this water is 60 feet or 18 meters. The Brazilian government was so anxious to protect the river they have deemed the area around it as a national park.
2. Flathead Lake, USA
Located in Montana, this is the western USA’s largest freshwater lake. It is a remnant of a large inland sea once known as Missoula and covered much of the area roughly 13,000 years ago. At its deepest point, it has a depth of 113 meters. This lake is also “the cleanest lake of its size” on the planet. The water comes from the Rocky Mountains. It is so clear that someone floating on the water’s surface seems to be levitating.
1. The Blue Lake, New Zealand
Also known as “ROTOMAIREWHENUA,” the Blue Lake is officially the clearest lake on the planet. The lake is ensconced in the popular Nelson Lakes National Park. it was tested by a group of scientists in 2011 and proven to be the official “clearest freshwater body known.” Visibility here is reportedly 262 feet. Thus it is optically speaking, nearly as clear as distilled water. The water originated from a local spring and its clarity has a local native tribe claiming that it is “sacred.” In the summer the light hits the surface of the lake just right and turns it a striking shade of clear blue.