Top 5 Bluest Waters To Visit

It may only be about a month into the school year, but it’s never too early to start thinking about summer vacation – or at least dreaming about the bluest beaches in the world as the fall winds begin to rustle leaves. But where might they be?

ThinkFives’ very own Cruise Director extensively researched this question and with the help of Travel and Leisure magazine and TravelZoo, created this list of the most picturesque blue waters that should tempt your bucket list.

Happy daydreaming!

Crater Lake, Oregon

Restart with blue waters closest to home, right here in the United States. There are plenty of beautiful beaches in the Caribbean and crystal Blue Lake waters throughout the states to choose from including Lake Tahoe, Lake George, and Deer Lake, but our top choice in the US is Crater Lake.

Crater Lake is a deep, clear, intensely blue lake located within a huge volcano in the Cascade Range of southwestern Oregon. Part of Crater Lake National Park since 1902, the lake has a small cinder cone island that rises named Wizard Island.

The lake has a maximum depth of 1,943 feet, making it the deepest lake in the U.S. and the seventh deepest lake in the world. Crater Lake is very famous for its deep, brilliant blue water magnified by its contrast with the ochre and rust hues of the surrounding rock walls. All of the water in the lake comes from rain and snow, as there are no other inlets from other water sources.

Fun Facts

  • With an annual average of 43 feet of snow, Crater Lake is one of the snowiest places in the United States.
  • Crater Lake is home to plenty of wildlife, such as elk and bobcats.
  • Crater Lake is the only place in the world to find the Mazama newt, a subspecies of rough-skinned newt.
  • The summer fire season at Crater Lake can scorch thousands of acres of land but many plants have adapted to survive fires and thrive in their aftermath from restored nutrients in the soil.
  • There is another small but tall island in the lake: the Phantom Ship Island.

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Coming in at #4 on our list are some beautiful blue waters south of the US. Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize and is protected by the 190 miles Barrier Reef, which is also the second-largest living coral reef in the world.

Ambergris Caye, Belize

The Barrier Reef is the island’s biggest attraction, where tourists dive to explore, snorkel, scuba dive, or even snuba dive – a combination of scuba diving and snorkeling. The famous site, Great Blue Hole, is also only 10-minutes away from the coast and one of the most beautiful sites in the Americas.

Because of its geographical features and blue waters, Ambergris Caye is also famous for its seafood. So when you’re not enjoying the water, you can dine on succulent lobster, conch, and a delicious array of fish, squid, mussels, scallops, and even shark.

Fun Facts

  • The most common transportation on the island is golf carts.
  • An island west of Ambergris Caye called Blackadore Caye was bought by Leonardo Di Caprio.
  • The first settlers on the island were Mayans.
  • Inhabitants of the island usually wear t-shirts, shorts, and are barefooted.
  • The name “Ambergris” came from pirates.

Exuma, Bahamas

No bluest water list would be complete without a stop in the Caribbean. The problem is that there are so many wonderful islands to choose from. While you can’t go wrong with most choices, one island appears on many lists as a definite blue water choice.

Exuma is a chain of 365 islands in the Bahamas and according to American astronaut Scott Kelly, the most beautiful place on earth from space because of its blue waters.

Notable for its sapphire-blue waters, there are many activities available in Exuma to enjoy the serene waters including snorkeling in underwater caves, watching swimming pigs, and petting friendly nurse sharks – not to mention fishing, diving, yachting, sailing, and boating.

The islands have many footprint-free beaches, deserted cays, and ultra-exclusive resorts. Island hopping by boat is one of the ways tourists best enjoy Exuma and there’s even a bar that is only reachable by cruise – the Chat’n’Chill.

Fun Facts

  • The Exuma islands are home to many boating competitions, including The Family Island Regatta, noted as one of The Bahamas’ most admired traditional events.
  • The total population on these islands is only approximately 7,000.
  • You can dive and explore a shipwreck calledThe Austin Smith Wreck in Exuma.
  • You can find Allen’s Cay Iguanas in Allen’s Cay. These iguanas cannot be found anywhere except in three cays in Exuma.
  • There are swimming pigs on the island of Big Major Cay.

Palawan, Philippines

To find #2 on our list of the bluest waters, we head to the Philippines, a country with hundreds of idyllic islands. Palawan is often called the Philippines’ Last Frontier or the Philippines’ Best Island because of its beautiful islands and beaches.

In Palawan, you can enjoy multiple exciting water activities, such as diving, kayaking, rafting, swimming, and snorkeling among the limestone cliffs and the extensive coral reefs. Palawan consists of 1,780 islands of pristine white beaches, dramatic rock formations, secret coves, and underground mysteries.

Among the islands, El Nido, Honda Bay, Meara Marina, Starfish Island, and Snake Island are the most popular and beautiful places in Palawan, along with the world-famous crystal clear lake, the Kanyagan Lake.

Fun Facts

  • Palawan has 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • The Underground River is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
  • The region has high biodiversity.
  • On the slope of Cleopatra’s Needle Mountain settled one of Palawan’s indigenous people, the Batak.
  • In Palawan’s culture, there are festivals year-round that include dancing, parades, religious ceremonies, and more.

The Maldives

Topping our list of the bluest waters in the world are the pristine waves of the Maldives. For those unfamiliar with these islands, you’ll need to travel halfway around the world from the United States to this archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean. This chain of about 1,200 small coral islands and sandbanks (only 200 of which are inhabited), lies directly on the equator and you travel by seaplane from island to island traversing both the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere.

The islands themselves usually host only one resort and many high-end hotel brands reachable only by water taxi or seaplane. With a perfect water temperature in the low 80s air temperature that hovers 85 degrees 365 days a year, it’s the perfect place for water activities such as diving and water sports.

The Maldives also has unique overwater and underwater accommodations, spas, and restaurants, where tourists are able to enjoy the blue ocean and discover the marine animals around them.

However, the Maldives is very low-lying. All islands rise below 1.8 meters above sea level. There is a great risk that rising sea levels may cause the islands to submerge underwater.

Fun Facts

  • The Maldives is a leading advocate of raising awareness for the problems of rising sea levels and freshwater resources due to its precarious situation.
  • Because the Maldives is an Islamic country, alcohol is prohibited everywhere else besides resorts and hotels.
  • Fridays and Saturdays are Maldives’ weekends.
  • The Maldives is great for dolphins and whale-watching.
  • US travelers hoping to go to the Maldives usually need to fly through China, South Korea, or Singapore to arrive there.

What waters are among the bluest you have ever seen?



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