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Water is everywhere. It’s in the pool, it’s in the sky and it’s in us. 70% of the human body is water. 70 is also the percentage of the earth’s surface that’s covered by water.
Despite the abundance of H20, we’re weird when it comes to swimming. We’ll balk at splashing in a stream – “Who knows that’s in there?” – yet we’ll plunge into a pool with a bunch of strangers.
“A sun-dappled pool of awesomeness”
The public baths? Who knows what’s in there?
There are many reasons why you might want to swim wild: it’s free, it’s invigorating and it doesn’t involve stinging chlorine and floating sticking plasters. There’s also the spectacular scenery to soak up, from horseshoe lagoons to cascading waterfalls.
We’ve rounded up ten beautiful spots for swimming, diving and frolicking. Why immerse yourself in nature when you can submerge yourself in it?
1. Cummins Falls, Tennessee, USA
You can swim wild at Cummins Falls but you can’t swim alone – this sunken waterhole is for the people. The young people mostly, who’ve hiked, waded and climbed to reach this sun-dappled pool of awesomeness. In days gone by, buffalo would cool down here, but today Cummins Falls attracts a livelier clientele.View holiday rentals close to Cummins Falls
Wild flowers shimmer gently, stirred by invisible Alpine currents
2. Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy
Wild flowers shimmer gently, stirred by invisible Alpine currents. Boats bob languidly on the Y-shaped lake. Tourists linger in cafes flanked by cobbled stairways. But you don’t notice any of this, cos you’re too busy splashing in the cool waters of Bellagio’s old harbour. Climb out, dive in, repeat. Culture and sightseeing can wait when Lake Como is calling your name.View holiday rentals in Bellagio
3. Kouang Si Falls, Laos
Why swim in one waterfall when you can swim in all the waterfalls? Cascading for 60 metres, this otherworldly series of falls woos butterflies and bathers alike.
4. Crystal River, Florida, USA
Whoa, what’s that waddling in the water? Oh, that’s just a manatee – why, did you think humans were the only species who bathed here? Don’t worry about the lumbering sea cows; like the rest of us, they just want to kick back in a river that’s as clear as its name.View Crystal River holiday rentals
Swim beneath the mother of all backdrops
5. Pont du Gard, France
Sometimes it’s the warm, turquoise water that lures you in. At other times, it’s the prospect of swimming beneath the mother of all backdrops. The Gardon River feels pretty good, but it can’t compete with the majestic spectacle that looms overhead. That’ll be the Pont du Gard, a 1st-century Roman aqueduct that once carried more water than the river it spans.View Pont du Gard holiday rentals
6. Cueva del Gato, Andalucia, Spain
You don’t have to dive into this cool cave pool – you can plunge, jump or tiptoe. The main thing is that you make it to this cave complex, whose entrance supposedly resembles a cat’s face. Situated close to the town of Ronda, Cueva del Gato extends for 8km into the limestone rock. How deep can you go?View holiday rentals close to Cueva del Gato
Echoes of wonder and shrieks of excitement
7. Ik Kil, Yucatán, Mexico
Woah, get a load of this. A carved stairway leads to a 40-metre-deep pool, fringed by hanging vines. Black catfish dart about, while on the surface, swimmers frolic. Located in the north of Yucatán Peninsula, this wild swimming spot echoes with wonder and shrieks of excitement.View holiday rentals in Yucatan
8. Bimmah Sinkhole, Oman
Depending on where you are in the world, an invitation to “swim with the fishes” can invoke delight or dread. In the case of Oman’s Bimmah Sinkhole, it’s certainly the former – its aquamarine waters are utterly inviting. Google “sinkhole” and you’ll find all sorts of scare stories on the internet. This one’s a gentle giant however, replete with a handrail that guides you to the bottom of the former sea cave.View holiday rentals in Oman
9. Devil’s Pool, Victoria Falls, Zambia
What’s going on here then? All kinds of stuff. This is the Devil’s Pool, a swirling maelstrom that gives way to Victoria Falls, 360 feet below. You’ll want to tread carefully and swim cautiously then. Despite the impending peril, Devil’s Pool is safe when water levels dip – or at least as safe as any whirlpool on the precipice of a waterfall can be.
Once you’ve gone wild, swimming tame just feels lame
10. Kakadu, Northern Territory, Australia
To the south of Kakadu National Park lies a natural plunge pool that is prized for its infinity edge. It’s also prized for its spectacular view and deliciously clear water. After taking a trip to Gunlom Falls, your municipal baths will never feel the same again. Once you’ve gone wild, swimming tame just feels lame. Still, it’s a small price to pay for the dip of a lifetime.View holiday rentals in Darwin
Got a favourite swimming spot to share? Pop your suggestions in the comment box below.
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