The Devil’s Pool
More than twice the height of Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls in southeastern Africa measures in at 355 feet tall and more than 5,500 feet wide. But for some brave souls, the top of the Falls is just another swimming hole. With water levels at their lowest from September to December, swimmers venture into the Devil’s Pool, an area with minimal current, mere feet from where the water gushes hundreds of feet down into the gorge below. If you’re a thrill-seeker, check out these 10 extreme travel adventures around the world.
Barton Springs Pool
Fed from freshwater underground springs that were once used for purification rituals by the Tonkawa Native American tribe, the Barton Springs Pool in Austin, Texas, covers three acres and maintains a temperature of about 68 degrees year-round. Admission to the 18-feet-deep pool ranges from mid-March until the end of September. For residents, the cost is $3 for adults and $1 for kids (non-residents pay $8 for adults and $3 for kids).
Bondi Iceberg public pool
A 15-minute drive from Sydney, Australia, where the country’s southeastern coast meets the Tasman Sea, sits The Bondi Baths at Bondi Icebergs. The historic 50-meter public saltwater pool has been around for more than century and features a small beach, bar, and kiddie pool—not to mention the occasional wave crashing harmlessly into the pool. The entry fee ($7 for adults; $5 for kids) isn’t much considering the million-dollar view.
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Hot Springs National Park
Located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and designated by President Andrew Jackson as a special reservation in 1832, Hot Springs National Park, and the 47,143-degree springs within the 5,500-acre nature reserve, have been a sanctuary for those seeking healing and solace for more than a century.
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The East Fork Black River in southeastern Missouri cascades over and around billion-year-old lava rock to form dozens of small rivulets and wading pools in the 8,550 acre Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park.
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Dudu Blue Lagoon
Does floating in a secluded 100-feet-deep freshwater pool so pristine that it glimmers with a shade of cobalt blue sound like paradise to you? Then check out the Dudu Blue Lagoons, located near the town of Cabrera on the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic. The lagoon also features underwater caves, making it a popular scuba diving destination.
Cenote Ik Kil
Subbotina Anna/ShutterstockTons of natural swimming holes, known as cenotes, cover the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, but Ik Kil is deemed to be the most beautiful cenote, by far. Not only is the deep blue pool surrounded by hanging vines and serene rainforests, it’s also a mere walking distance from the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza.
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ronnybas/ShutterstockThese breathtaking waterfalls and blue-green waters can be found on the Havasupai Indian Reservation within Havasu Canyon in Arizona. Each year, the spectacular Havasu Falls attracts thousands of visitors.
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HappySari/ShutterstockQueen’s Bath is a favorite summertime attraction in Kauai, Hawaii. Fresh saltwater from the Pacific Ocean spills over the lava rocks to create a beautiful natural tide pool complete with its very own fish.