Undoubtedly, Mexico includes the most amazing cenotes in the world, but these naturally-occurring swimming holes are found in other countries too! Though Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula houses the largest number of cenotes in the world, they are also found in places like Canada, the USA, Belize, Dominican Republic, Australia, and Zimbabwe. To the pleasure of adventure-seeking travelers and nature enthusiasts, they can venture to these countries to find gorgeous swimming holes, some more popular than others.
9 Thunderball Grotto (Exuma Caves, Staniel Cay, Bahamas)
Located in the west of Staniel Cay, tourists can venture into the mystique of Thunderball Grotto using snorkeling equipment during its low tide. However, when at high tide, adventurous—and experienced—divers must venture to the grotto using reliable diving equipment. Regardless, Thunderball Grotto is home to a mélange of tropical wildlife, from yellow-tail snappers to vibrant coral reefs. Though Thunderball Grotto is far from Nassau, it’s a must-visit when tripping to The Bahamas, especially due to its modest fame, thanks to its feature in the James Bond Thunderball film!
8 Lea Lake (Bottomless Lakes State Park, New Mexico, USA)
In New Mexico, curious travelers can venture to Lea Lake, home to nine cenotes in the area. Besides swimming and diving in the cave, the park is blessed with sandy beaches, making for a great picnic spot on a beautiful sunny day. What’s more, visitors will fall in love with the deep green-blue hue made possible by the nearby aquatic plants. Enjoy various activities when venturing around Lea Lake, like diving, hiking, kayaking, or fishing!
7 Little Blue Lake (Mount Schank, South Australia)
Nicknamed ‘Baby Blue,’ this Australian cenote is open for swimming and diving. Plus, due to its location between Mounts Schank and Gambier in Southern Australia, this popular attraction shines brightly blue, attracting tourists to swim in its watery depths. The area also has a flight of stairs and a pontoon to allow for easier accessibility. So cool off from the hot Australian sun and plunge into the chilly (yet comfortable) waters of Little Blue Lake.
6 Devil’s Bath (Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada)
Though its name sounds intimidating, Devil’s Bath is a sight to behold. Being the largest cenote in Canada, Devil’s Bath ranges 1 179 ft (or 359 m) wide and 144 ft (or 44 m) deep and connects with the nearby Benson River. This stunning cenote lies close to Vancouver Island’s village of Port Alice and is a ferry ride away from the bustling city of Vancouver. When visiting this massive sinkhole, use the viewing platform for an aerial view of the deep blue waters. Besides remarking on the incredible water system, don’t forget to appreciate the complex rock and cave formations.
5 Chinhoyi Caves (Chinhoyi District, Zimbabwe)
Zimbabwe’s Chinhoyi Caves show travelers that nature never fails to amaze everyone. Also known as the Sinoia Caves, the Chinhoyi Caves go by several nicknames, including the “Pool of the Fallen” or “Wonder Hole.” Regardless, this natural beauty is stunningly blue, surrounded by an intricate cave system made of dolomite and limestone. As a once sacred site for rain ceremonies, the dazzling Chinhoyi Caves attract visitors from all parts of the world to awe its navy blue depths.
4 Blue Hole (Ocho Rios, Jamaica)
Jamaica is the destination for sandy beaches, relaxation, and friendly island vibes. However, this Caribbean country has its fair share of natural wonders, like its Green Grotto Caves and the Blue Hole in Ocho Rios. A naturally-occurring limestone swimming sinkhole, ‘Cool Blue Hole’ is a popular attraction for swimming, cliff diving, caving, and hiking. Plus, other fun activities like rapid river tubing, rope swinging, and cliff jumping can be enjoyed here too!
|NOTE: Thinking of visiting the Blue Hole? Some tour operators offer packages that include admission to Blue Hole and other activities like tubing, a catamaran cruise, river rafting, or horseback riding.|
3 Hoyo Azul (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)
Regarded as a ‘hidden cenote,’ there’s a reason this beautiful attraction has Azul in its name. Its depths gleam in various shades of blue, with its darkest hue found at its deepest point of 121 ft (or 32 m). Enjoy a day at Hoyo Azul, splashing and cooling off in its turquoise waters before heading out for other adventures like sailing, offroading, or hiking. To get to this beautiful sinkhole, visitors must head to Scape Park in Cap Cana.
2 Montezuma Well (Verde Valley, Arizona, USA)
Nearby Arizona’s Montezuma Castle, the Montezuma Well is a natural wonder. Surrounded by prehistoric lands that date back centuries, Montezuma Well contains high amounts of dissolved carbon dioxide, arsenic, and other chemicals. This means that the water is devoid of aquatic wildlife like fish but is still home to endemic species like the Montezuma Well spring snail and a kind of leech known as the Motobdella Montezuma.
1 Kilsby Sinkhole (Mount Gambier, South Australia)
At first glance, the entrance to the Kilsby Sinkhole is unassuming due to its location on a quiet sheep farm in the countryside nearby Mount Gambier! This naturally occurring sinkhole not only holds water but a history to locals who aim to preserve it. The sinkhole was a training site for local police and a dedicated space for secret weapons research! However, today it’s a popular tourist attraction for curious travelers, with snorkeling tours and scuba diving excursions available through advanced bookings.
|NOTE: Visitors cannot drop by the area without a tour booking or prior written approval due to its location on private property. Be sure to book an activity at the Kilsby Sinkhole on their website before showing up unannounced to avoid disappointment!|