An infinity pool gets its name from the visual effect it creates, if extending all the way up to the horizon or ‘infinity’, owing to its invisible edge or perimeter. The concept is believed to have been used for the first time in France, where, in the early 1600s, and is now used in many luxury resorts or hotels. But, as it is true in case of everything, Nature has done the best job in creating some exotic infinity pools. Some of them have very distinct elevations. Many of them merge with larger water bodies, to give the visual effect of merging with the sky. These are not just a visual paradise, but very few in number, too. So, let us take a look at 10 natural infinity pools in the world.
1. Tidal Pools of Sydney
The coastal areas of Sydney in Australia have some excellent tidal pools. The best ones are at North Narrabeen, and at Coogee Beach including Wylie’s Baths and McIvors Pool. Formed as natural infinity pools, some of them now have reinforced concrete walls, railings and ladders, but are still fed by sea water. The high tides wash over the walls, blending in the end of the pools and the beginning of the ocean.
2. Gunlom Plunge Pool
The Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land in Australia have some picturesque water-holes and waterfalls that make this region amazingly breath-taking. While some of them are off-limits, the natural infinity-edge pool, the Gunlom Plunge Pool at the top of the Gunlom Falls, with its rocky walls, offers an excellent view of the spectacular Kakadu plains and the Arnhem Land escarpment.
3. Kuang Si Waterfall
Luang Prabang in the landlocked region of Laos attracts tourists with its three-tier waterfall, the Kuang Si Falls. The cascading travertine waterfalls fall steeply from shallow pools, and collect in natural infinity pools of an exquisite turquoise blue colour, at various points downstream. Most of these pools are open for swimming for the visitors. The trails offer an excellent view of the falls.
4. Tai O Lantau
Hong Kong’s Lantau Island is well-known for Tian Tan Buddha, Disneyland Resort and even the airport. But one of its hidden treasures is the infinity pool in Tai O. The Tai O Lantau is a swimming pool created by the nature, and while the accessibility to this pool is poor and a traveller need to walk for a long time, this has left the pool in its pure, pristine state within beautiful surroundings.
5. Piscina Naturale di Ferreira
The heavenly land of Portugal is home to a number of natural tidal pools that sit pretty in the autonomous archipelago of Azores. One of these tidal pools is the Piscina Naturale di Ferreira, which is on the island of São Miguel. Visitors can take a plunge in the warm water and enjoy the wild way of swimming, while they devour the beauty of the ocean that lies in front, or the black lava rocks.
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6. Caldeira Velha
The geothermal springs of Caldeira Velha, too, lies in of São Miguel of Azores in Portugal. But Caldeira Velha offers a different kind of visual experience, being ensconced in the rainforest, away from the rocky shores and tidal pools. It sits pretty at the foot of a waterfall, amidst lush vegetation. Secured within the rust-coloured rocky walls is the welcoming pool with mineral-rich warm water.
7. Natural Lava Pools of Porto Moniz
Porto Moniz is a village in the well-known resort of Madeira, nestled in the Atlantic Ocean in the Portuguese archipelago. One of the most attractive features of this popular tourist sport is the host of natural infinity pools in the bizarre, dark and aggressive lava rocks which are filled with tides of crystal clear water. It offers excellent bathing conditions, with the raging sea surrounding them.
8. Top Ponds
Among the hot springs, ponds and water bodies in Valley View Hot Springs of Villa Grove in Colorado are the Top Ponds, a series of three tiered pools feeding each other. They create a unique infinity pool. They are protected by Orient Land Trust. Visitors can soak in the ponds of natural rocks, and enjoy warm, comfortable baths, as the water, being fed by hot springs, can be reach 93-107°F.
9. Devil’s Pool
Devil’s Pool is a perilously placed infinity pool, on the edge of the Victoria Falls, in Zambia. While the stone wall at the bed of the pool protects swimmers from getting having a drop into the roaring Victoria Falls, the best – safest – time to take a plunge in this pool is the dry season between August and January, when the water levels drop. Swimming in this dangerous pool can be quite exhilarating.
10. Pamukkale Travertine Terraces
Water from 17 hot water springs in ‘cotton castle’ Pamukkale of Turkey form the Travertine Terraces. Icy blue waters trapped in the snow-white steps from infinity pools that look extremely cold, but in reality, the temperature can go as high as 100°C, thus providing a visual experience that is completely opposite to the tactile sensation, which sets this UNESCO World Heritage site apart.
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The charm and beauty of these spectacular natural infinity pools are indeed unparalleled. They are rustic and almost moody, as they show a new side of their character in every season. While there are some excellent man-made infinity pools all over the world now, the natural infinity pools, with all their rarity and purity, and their unique locations, starting from the top of fountains to the heart of beaches, are gems that beckon the true patrons of natural beauty.