27 Dreamy Swimming Holes
Collected by AFAR Traveler , AFAR Contributor
Swimming holes are, by nature, off the beaten path. Often accessible only on foot, these natural pools afford beautiful views and refreshing swims well worth the hike (and far from the tourists). We have curated our favorite places to take a dip, from Croatia to Nevada City, shown to us by locals. Jump in!
Poon Hill Marga, Histan Mandali 33711, Nepal
On the second day of our trek to Poon Hill in the Annapurna Sanctuary, my friend Brill and I stumbled upon this absolutely gorgeous waterfall pulsing through a deep, green canyon. It was the early morning—about 7:30 when we first got to the river...
Purdon Rd, Nevada City, CA 95959, USA
I just spent the weekend following the 4th of July up near Nevada City. It got over 90 degrees during the day, so we headed to the river. Although lots of people had similar ideas, I was with a local who directed us to this spot and we had it to...
Nordnesparken, 5005 Bergen, Norway
It was August, so it seemed a perfectly sensible idea. I'm in Norway, land of the fjords—let's go for a splash in one! Bergen has a lovely little lido that offers you just that opportunity. Sure, you can swim in its heated outdoor pool, but the...
Quintana Roo 109, Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
We decided to visit the Gran Cenote outside of Tulum and were expecting to swim with turtles and fish. While there were a few pet turtles and goldfish, the only real wildlife were bats that hang up in the cave openings. The Gran Cenote is more...
5222 Kobarid, Slovenia
Kobarid is also known as Caporetto, because the town—on the border with Italy—was annexed by the Italians for part of World War I. The brutality of that war has been erased—and scenery like this has survived (you can revisit the war at the museum...
Waimoku Falls, Hawaii 96713, USA
I used to live in Maui, right at the start of the Hana Highway, and driving the famous road was a weekly ritual. I recently went back to visit and found it still as breathtaking as ever. To avoid the tourist traffic (Mustangs seem to be the...
3901 Packer Lake Rd, Sierra City, CA 96125, USA
My wife, Robin, and I have been camping, fishing, and hiking in the Lakes Basin area, near Sierra City, since we met. These days, our usual home base is a tiny log cabin at the edge of Packer Lake, pictured here. From trailheads around Packer you...
4050 Red Rock Loop Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336, USA
The red rocks around Sedona are a trekker's dream, and if you know where to go, you can jump in a creek as well. Just to the southwest of Sedona, check out Red Rocks State Park. Take a short hike then cool off with a swim below Cathedral Rock. (By...
Finlayvale Road, Mossman QLD 4873, Australia
Imagine your hotel room looking out into the middle of the rainforest. At Silky Oaks, it's your reality. Some balconies have hammocks (my favourite feature in the room); other room balconies even have a bed! The restaurant also looks over the...
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