The Clearest Waters in the World

Scuba Diving Indonesia's Clear Waters
I’ll never forget the experience of scuba diving off the island of Pulau Weh in Indonesia. I had signed up with a group to do an open water dive, meaning a boat took us out of sight of land, and after we slowly dove down about 20 metres (65 feet) I then remember looking up and being able to see scratches along the underside of the boat. The water was so clear, our dive master estimated our visibility to be about 60m that day (200 feet). Compare that to your last swim in a pond or lake when, if you were lucky, you saw your hand in front of your face.

It’s a special thing to immerse yourself in perfectly clear water and there are few places in the world where you can. Most people would assume that they’re all located in the Caribbean but that’s not necessarily the case – in fact, many of the clearest waters in the world are found in more northern climes. Of course, adventure guides who specialize in such water sports as scuba diving, snorkelling, surfing, stand up paddleboarding and windsurfing, are well-versed on exactly where crystal clear waters can be found. (And if you’re ever in California, kayaking guides can take you to these 6 Best Kayak Spots including Mono Lake, one of the oldest living lakes in North America.)

Whether you’re snorkelling in Tulum, Mexico, scuba diving in Tobermory Park, Canada, or you’ve just hiked to the shores of Lake MacKenzie in Australia, no doubt you’ll like what you see. The waters in these particular spots are super clear for a number of different reasons. In the case of the Silfra Rift, Iceland, for example, it’s located between the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia and is extremely cold so there’s little there to cause turbidity. Despite the temperatures, though, divers don warm dry suits and flock to the location (it’s one of the world’s top 50 diving destinations) because the visibility is so incredible: it’s estimated to be up to 300 metres (almost 1,000 feet)! And Blue Lake in New Zealand‘s Southern Alps is sacred to the local Maori who revere its natural fresh water – the clearest in the world!

If you’re a fan of the wet stuff, we recommend you hire adventure guides and go visit these top ten clearest water destinations around the world.

Tulum, Mexico

Lake Baikal, Russia

Lake MacKenzie, Australia

Tortguga Island, Costa Rica

Red Sea, Egypt

Agiofili Beach, Greece

Tobermory, Ontario, Canada

Dove Lake, Tasmania, Australia

Blue Lake, Nelson Lakes National Park, New Zealand

Lampedusa, Italy

Dead Sea, Egypt

What’s the clearest water you’ve ever swam in?

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