The world is full of inviting water-based wonders – as a beautiful new book makes abundantly clear.
The Joy Of Water by Lonely Planet is a celebration of the world’s most breathtaking water attractions, with spots such as tropical beaches, lakes, geothermal spas, waterfalls and hidden coves.
Here MailOnline Travel reveals some of the locations in the awesome bookwhich is handy as most of the planet is locked up, it also serves as a visual cornucopia for travelers in armchairs.
Anse Source D’Argent – Seychelles
Seyse Anse Source D’Argent is often considered one of the most idyllic beaches in the world. With its crystal clear water and striking rock formations, it is an attraction to consider
Think of the world’s most idyllic beaches, and this boulder-strewn stretch on the shores of the shimmering Indian Ocean would be near the top of any list, the book says.
The beach is 2.7 miles away from the nearby marina on La Digue, one of the 115 islands that make up the Seychelles archipelago.
Lonely Planet says this beach – a constant in the best beach rounds in the world – is perfect ‘for a day of beachside lounging’.
Devil’s Pool – Zambia
This pool is almost on the edge of the dizzying Victoria Falls – so it’s there for thrill seekers
This is one for adventurous souls who like to take a dip on the wild side.
Considered the largest in the world (it’s 108 m / 354 ft) and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this small pool on the outskirts of Victoria Falls offers swimmers an exciting experience, the book says.
It explains, “There are many vantage points to enjoy the spectacular view of this majestic beauty, but none are comparable to Devil’s Pool.”
Semuc Champey – Guatemala
On the Cahabón River in Guatemala, these pools are carved by the current to form a unique, layered system. It is perfect for an alien swimming experience
These unique pools in the heart of the Mayan land may be tricky to get to, but it’s worth it, says Lonely Planet.
The book describes this place in Central America as a narrow gorge carved by currents into a limestone bridge above the Cahabón River.
It says that the pools are an ‘idyllic, otherworldly place for swimming, lounging, enjoying the scenery and admiring the wildlife’.
Blue Lagoon – Jamaica
The Blue Lagoon in Jamaica is made famous by the movie of the same name, starring Brooke Shields
This breathtaking aquamarine lagoon near Port Antonio is made famous by the 1980 movie starring Brooke Shields.
The book says it is “surrounded by lush green jungle.”
The beautiful colors are thanks to natural freshwater springs that mix with water from the Caribbean Sea.
Dos Ojos Cenote – Mexico
Once used by the ancient Mayan civilization, this ancient sinkhole is now a wonderful place for swimming
This beautiful natural pool has a serious history – the book explains that the ancient Maya used such cenotes for practical and spiritual reasons.
Today it is used for swimming and diving, and the book says, “Dos Ojos, named after the eye-like appearance of two neighboring cenotes from above, is widely regarded as the most beautiful cenote in the Tulum area.”
Crater Lake National Park – United States
The crater of a volcano sets the scene for this beautiful lake, the deepest in the US.
The book says that the waters in this Oregon lake are so clear and deep that it “resembles a blue mirror.”
What is in a name? The lake – the deepest in the US – is located in a volcanic crater and is surrounded by green forests.
A hot spot for hikers, snowshoes, or cross-country skiers, the book recommends a boat ride to truly experience the majesty of the lake firsthand.
Lake Powell – United States
This huge artificial reservoir stretches across both Arizona and Utah and offers all kinds of attractions for water enthusiasts
Beneath the deserts of Utah and Arizona lies Lake Powell, a “labyrinthine water wonder world.”
The lake, the second largest man-made reservoir in the U.S., stretches 300 km (186 miles) across both states and offers an abundance of attractions, the book said.
“There are natural bridges to visit, ruins of ancestral Pueblo civilizations, side walks, swimming, and water skiing, and enough adventures to fill an entire week with family or friends,” it says.
Sac Actun – Mexico
This Mexican wonder is the longest underwater cave system – stretching over 215 miles
The book calls Sac Actun the “longest underwater cave system” in the world.
Northeast of Tulum, the network of caves stretches for 215 miles and has stalagmite and stalactite-decorated cavities.
“Most are softly lit for added effect,” the book says, “but the feeling of stepping into another world cannot be suppressed, just as the Mayans thought they had.”
Raja Ampat – Indonesia
The island of Raj Ampat is located in the middle of spectacular coral reefs
Part of Indonesia’s paradise islands, Raja Ampat stands out. And that says something.
Surrounding these jungle-covered islands are “pristine” coral reefs, the book says.
It also says that “it is not surprising that many experienced divers consider Raja Ampat to be the best diving destination on the planet.”
Bimmah Sinkhole – Oman
This natural swimming hole in Oman is filled with inviting, mineral-rich water
There is a lot of love for this natural swimming hole in the Arabian Peninsula.
This pristine place was created, the book says, by “eating groundwater away from sandstone and carbonate” and is now filled with inviting, mineral-rich deep blue-green water.
The pool can be reached by descending a concrete staircase.
Big Lagoon – Philippines
Use a kayak to explore this huge lagoon in the Philippines, but make sure to stop and relax on one of the small beaches
Surrounded by imposing limestone cliffs, the Big Lagoon of Palawan Province is just what it says on the tin.
The huge lagoon has a channel that runs to the ocean, and the book recommends visitors kayak around the inland lake.
It also says that this beautiful lagoon has a handful of small beaches, which are perfect for launching yourself into the water for a swim.
Wadi Sahab – Oman
Oman is a pretty dusty nation – but it’s not without its strange miraculous water feature
This desert oasis on the Arabian Peninsula – nearly a two-hour drive from Oman’s capital, Muscat – is well worth finding, the book says.
After another 40 minutes of walking, you’ll find this wadi (or valley) dotted with inviting freshwater pools and lined with palm trees.
The book calls it ‘idyllic’.
Pamukkale – Turkey
The layers of snow-white rock filled with deep blue water give Pamukkale a unique look and feel
This breathtaking, almost otherworldly landscape looks like it’s straight out of a sci-fi movie.
Layers of nearly snow-white, calcite travertines are filled with stark blue water and are a huge hit with tourists, Lonely Planet says.
The book also says that a visit to Pamukkale offers ‘fantasy baths at its best’.
Bad Gastein – Austria
For the ultimate spa day – complete with geothermal hot springs and baths – this stunner has it all
For some restorative thermal healing, Austrian Bad Gastein is an Alpine retreat with sweeping views of the peaks and radon-rich waters, the book says.
“Arriving in Bad Gastein is like drifting back in time to the Belle Epoque and the dawn of European spas,” it adds.
The hot springs are used here for outdoor thermal pools, private pools and medical centers, giving visitors anything but a bad experience.
Lantic Bay – England
Cornwall is one of the UK’s favorite tourist destinations and hidden in the county is this beautiful bay
Lantic Bay is one of Cornwall’s favorite hidden bays.
Located between Polruan and Polperro, the bay is a ‘sheltered sandbag’ that is as quintessentially English as it is stunning.
Aside from the rolling green hills and sheer cliffs, this spot has “ a patch of sand and gravel and green-turquoise waters, ” says the book.
Llyn Cau – Wales
This Welsh lake has a lot of mythical history and overlooks some of the most stunning scenery in Britain
In the heart of Snowdonia, this fantastically icy glacial lake offers great views, the book says.
In the shadow of Mount Cader Idris, it was believed to have been a volcanic crater for centuries, the book says.
“Icy this teal tarn is,” he says, “but after the climb to get here, you might be hot enough – and wow enough – to dive in.”
Saturnia – Italy
Hot stuff: For a restorative experience in the middle of the Tuscan countryside, Saturnia is the place to visit
These world-famous sulphurous waterfalls are carved into the green landscapes of Tuscany.
Between the wheat fields and cypress trees, Saturnia creates a shock – think of ‘phosphorescent turquoise water’ and hot springs.
With temperatures of 37.5C, the book says that ‘anyone who makes it here is excited about their beauty and how their healing water can soothe aching joints and make the skin baby-soft’.
Lake Bled Island – Slovenia
The Baroque church on Lake Bled gives this Slovenian lake a truly fairytale feel
Unbelievably, the island of Lake Bled is Slovenia’s only island. But what an island.
Like something out of a Gothic fairytale, the island is home to an ancient Baroque church and, with forests and the Julian Alps surrounding it, it is quite a sight.
The book states that you can reach the island by ferry or your own rowing boat.
Jellyfish Lake – Palau
In the middle of an islet, this Palauan Lake is home to a colony of colorful jellyfish, making diving and swimming in it a unique experience
The Palau Island in the Pacific has many fantastic paradisiacal locations, but none are more stunning than Jellyfish Lake.
The ‘unique’ lake – hidden in the middle of an island – houses a colorful colony of jellyfish that have no sting – thanks to centuries of life there without predators.
The book says that going to the lake “feels like you’re bathing in blancmange.”
Drift River – Australia
The Mossman River in North Queensland is on its way to the Great Barrier Reef
Lonely Planet says that when you visit Drift River in North Queensland, you will come face to face with platypus, turtles and tropical fish as they make their way to the Great Barrier Reef.
With the backwaters starting to catch on, Mossman River – or Drift River – has ‘gin-clear water’ and fantastic rainforests flanking it.
Not only is it beautiful, but it also provides nutrients to the reef, the book says.
To Sua Ocean Trench – Somoa
Popular with tourists, this Samoa sinkhole is perfect for a dip under the Polynesian sun
The book calls it Samoa’s ‘most instagrammable natural swimming hole’.
And that’s no wonder.
This natural salt water pool is surrounded by lush vegetation and accessed via a long bamboo ladder, while a beach awaits after swimming through a ‘half submerged lava tunnel’.
Lonely Planet’s book features 68 beautiful and awe-inspiring locations for the ultimate water experiences