Cruise & Cruise Line
Quark Expeditions Joins Cruise Lines International Association
Why World Tourism Day Matters
Is Travel Cash a Thing of the Past?
Save up to 25% + $150 Resort Credit at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
Blue Sky Tours
Greater Miami & Miami Beach Specialist
Travel Suppliers With the Best Commissions for Travel Advisors
Partner With Palladium and Sell as a Specialist
PHOTO: Llamas stand on the shores of the blood-red Laguna Colorado in Bolivia. (Courtesy of Thinkstock)
It's said that water finds its own level. We've all come across a waterfall or ocean that captures our eyes by their beauty, but some waterscapes are a bit more eccentric, drawing tourists from near and far. Not just because of their charm, but because of the way they gently erode our expectations. Whether you're diving hundreds of feet underground or floating on large amounts of salt, the following eight bodies of water are as captivating as they are mysterious.
Belize: Great Blue Hole
Diving into a huge sinkhole may seem like an adventure for the bravest daredevil with a death wish, but what lies about 410 feet deep off the coast of Belize is the ultimate underwater experience. The Great Blue Hole is a geographical marvel, which appears more like a bottomless pit by the way this dark circular pool is etched into the heart of Light Reef System's blue-green waters. And what lies beneath are not only schools of tropical fish and coral, but stalactites clinging onto the walls of its channel of caves punctuating the blue depths of this underwater phenomenon.
As the diver swims further away from its opening, the adventure becomes more extreme as sightings of hammerheads and peculiar rock formations add mystery to its dim spaces. So if you're looking to take your diving expertise into unfamiliar territory, the Great Blue Hole should be next on your list.
Australia: Hillier Lake
Ever wanted to jump in a pink lake? Well, believe it or not there are a few out there that boast this vibrant color, but not all of them welcome curious guests. However, Lake Hiller is one of the few that don't mind visitors taking a dip in its candy-coated water. Just make sure you keep your mouth shut - it may look like bubblegeum, but it drinks like salt water.
As interesting as Lake Hillier appears to be, it remains a mystery to scientists because they can't quite reach a definitive explanation for the lake's peculiar color. Some believe it is caused by its salts, while others think its pink shade is due to bacteria. Whatever the cause may be, there is no doubt that Lake Hillier is a freak of nature that stands on its own as an abnormal waterscape. Although the Southern Ocean sits nearby, it's no competition for a salty pink lake.
Canada: Spotted Lake (Kliluk)
Apparently lakes get liver spots too.
That's the thought that comes to mind when you're in the midst of Canada's Spotted Lake. Its cocktail of different naturally occuring ingredients like sulfate, sodium, titanium and silver interact in a unique way to create a sea of blue, yellow and green spots. Its huge rings are also believed to be a result from water evaporation because of the rise of the temperature in the summer. And while the waters of Canada's spotted lake are reported to have thereputic properties, a giant fence around the lake keeps us from finding out first hand. Nevertheless, you can still capture a good look at this polka-dotted marvel from a nearby road.
Jordan: Dead Sea
Don't let the name fool you; there's nothing mundane about the Dead Sea. The extreme salt levels mean when you lay back in the waves, you'll actually be laying back on the waves, since you barely sank. And when you're hanging out on its shores, you'll officially be on the lowest spot on earth.
But that's not all the Dead Sea has in store. Taking a dip in its shallow waters rivals the most exclusive world-class spas because its minerals provide total body rejuvenation. Also, the Dead Sea's legendary location, which is enclosed by Jordan and Israel, takes its visitors through the pages of the bible. At 1,300 feet below sea level, even fish and plants are unable to survive the briny flavor of its water, giving the Dea Sea its unusual name.
Bolivia: Laguna Colorada
There's a reason why the rare James's Flamingo all love to surround the Laguna Colorada. Just like the many tourists that flock to this area, they are mesmerized by the deep red color of the lake. It is painted in such an eye-popping hue that it appears as though the earth itself has opened a vein. That doesn't paint the rosiest picture for a swim, but we're sure the flamingos would prefer you stay out anyway.
The lake receives its hue by the organisms and salts living below the surface. So if you're tired of looking at the same old salt lakes, here's your chance to see a bloody great one.
New Zealand: Frying Pan Lake
You'd be better off just looking at this hot spring than soaking in its water unless you want to become a hard-boiled traveler. That's because the temperature of the world's largest hot spring averages around 120 degrees. Perfect for boiling cabbage; not so great for a swim.
The eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886 was a memorable event for many reasons. For one, it was the largest eruption to shake the core of the country and it produced the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley, justifiably nicknamed Frying Pan Lake because of the seething water comprising the volcanic crater on which it lays. Although you wouldn't dare touch the water here, it is an amazing sight since it appears to be cooking something special below its surface.
Indonesia: Linow Lake
The Linow Lake might be small but it definitely is memorable, especially if you're into watching water change colors before your eyes. The Linow Lake wears a colorful armor of blues and greens that give the illusion that a rainbow has plunged straight to the bottom. Its Crayola vibe comes from the large amounts of sulfur boiling beneath the surface as well as direct hits of sunlight.
Like most lakes with peculiarities, Linow Lakes warns onlookers to stay away by placing boiling mud holes along its borders. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy its beauty by taking advantage of small field located adjacent to the lake, which is perfect for relaxing or a romantic picnic.
Philippines: Vulcan Point (Taal Lake)
Where else will you be able to find an island in a lake, on an island in a lake, in an island in the ocean? Try saying that five times, and maybe you'll be able to figure out the complexities of these odd bodies of water located in the Philippines.
Not many lakes have their own island, but leave it up to Taal Lake impress its visitors witha destination surfaced in its center, called Volcano Island. Strangely, the confusion continues because Volcano Island also has a lake in its crater which houses an island as well that is known as Vulcan Point.
If this explanation still has you a bit confused, you may have to pay Taal Lake a visit to see firsthand why it's such a tongue-twisting peculiarity.
the latest travel news, advice, updates, upcoming exclusive deals and more.
CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC
What to Make of JetBlue Trying Its Hand in Court
Best Energy Vortex Destinations Around the World
Let Windstar take your groups 180 degrees from ordinary