20 bluest waters in the world
The most popular colour in the world is blue, so it’s no surprise that people flock to the turquoise beaches of the Caribbean or the sapphire hot baths of Iceland. Many factors affect the exact shade of water — sediment and nutrients can make it appear murky, while nearby coral reefs can keep water clear — but the tint comes from blue wavelengths of light absorbed from the sun.
If you’re looking to take in some cool shades while lounging in the surf, here are some destinations worth a trip.
1. The Maldives
The Maldives, located in the Indian Ocean, is made up of around 1,190 islands and sandbanks. A lagoon with crystal clear water encircles all the islands, which are protected by a reef structure that is home to an array of underwater life.
2. Palawan, Philippines
Palawan is an archipelago with 1,780 islands. Clear waters and white beaches characterise the northern section. Top spots to hit are the Big Lagoon on El Nido and Palawan Island.
3. Crater Lake, Oregon
Crater Lake, located in Oregon National Park, is one of the deepest lakes in the United States. This gives the lake a navy hue. Its maximum depth has been measured at almost 2,000 feet and it sits atop the Cascade Mountain Range.
4. Ambergris Caye, Belize
Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize. It is home to the town of San Pedro and the second largest coral reef system in the world.
5. Exuma, Bahamas
The Exumas archipelago in the Bahamas is home to 365 cays and islands. They’re divided into Great Exuma, Little Exuma and The Exuma Cays. Visitors can snorkel, lounge or swim with the islands' pigs!
6. Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii
Hanauma Bay State Park has been voted one of the best beaches in the United States and is a top spot for snorkelling. Easy to see why, isn't it?
7. Egremnoi, Greece
Egremnoi is a remote beach located on the southwestern coast of the Ionian island of Lefkada in Greece.
8. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Located in central Croatia, Plitvice Lakes National Park is known for a chain of 16 terraced lakes, joined by waterfalls that extend into a limestone canyon. Visitors can use walkways and hiking trails to get views of the water.
9. Five Flower Lake, China
Five Flower Lake is located in China’s Jiuzhaigou National Park. Due to its varying array of colors when reflecting the sun, it’s often compared to the feathers of a peacock.
10. Peyto Lake, Alberta, Canada
Peyto Lake is located in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies. The blue-green color is due to large amounts of glacier rock flour that flow into it during the summer months. The best viewing spot is from the Bow Summit.
11. Manini’owali Beach, Big Island, Hawaii
Manini’owali Beach is a secluded and small white-sand beach at Kua Bay on Hawaii’s Big Island. The water in the bay is crystal clear, and even though the beach may be more difficult to reach than other nearby white-sand beaches, it’s worth the effort.
12. Aitutaki Lagoon, Cook Islands
Aitutaki Lagoon is located in the Cook Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. This area features the island’s only overwater bungalows.
13. Knip Beach, Curaçao
This beach is free, offers spots for cliff diving and is the located on the western tip of Curaçao in the southern Caribbean Sea. If you’re a good swimmer, it’s a great place to explore coral reefs.
14. Cala Macarelleta, Menorca, Spain
Cala Macarella is one of Menorca’s most famous bays and includes the more secluded Cala Macarelleta. The beaches are connected by a trail for those who want an extended look at the views.
15. Isla Perro (Dog Island), San Blas Islands, Panama
Visitors can reach Dog Island from the mainland on sailboat or by water taxi. The island is famed for its shipwreck (visible in the pic below) and top-notch snorkelling.
16. Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach), Zakynthos, Greece
You know this place. You've seen it in a thousand pictures, even if you never knew its exact location. Navagio Beach offers up a tiny cove, crystal clear waters and, of course, that famous shipwreck.
17. Blue Lagoon, Iceland
The intense, milky blue colour of the Blue Lagoon comes from silica in the water and the way it reflects sunlight. In the summer, there can also be a hint of green when the algae multiply after being exposed to direct sunlight. Tickets start at $70 for a dip in this geothermal spa.
18. Huascaran National Park, Peru
This national park is located in the Cordillera Blanca, the world’s highest tropical mountain range, in the central Peruvian Andes. It is home to numerous tropical glaciers and glacial lakes.
19. Trunk Bay, St John, Virgin Islands
Trunk Bay is St. John’s most famous beach. Visitors should check out the self-guided underwater snorkeling trail, which offers underwater information about coral formations and sea life.
20. Nassau, Bahamas
Nassau is the capital city of the Bahamas and offers miles of beaches and coral reefs for the snorkelling enthusiast.
Guest blogger Keri Wiginton is a multimedia journalist whose speciaity lies in documentary photography and writing that focuses on health, travel and any topic that will help someone. Her travels have taken her from hikes on the Great Wall of China to Swedish skiing in the Arctic Circle. She is based in the mountains of Colorado.