30 lakes with the clearest water in the world
Something is bewitching about the clear, limpid water of a lake: it captivates with its serenity and pristine beauty. If you’ve ever been able to admire one in real life, you will know how pleasant it is to swim in it. If you weren’t so lucky, let yourself be carried away by these breathtaking photos! Here are the some lakes with the clearest water in the world.
The Earth is 71% covered with water, from oceans to mountain lakes, passing through jungle lagoons. Over time, the names and boundaries of these bodies of water have constantly changed, reflecting political, geographic, and historical events and facts. No matter what their current name is or what territory they are in today, hundreds of bodies of water attract visitors year after year because of their vibrant crystal blue natural appearance. And as long as they are well maintained, they will continue to do so for years to come as long as you take care of it as soon as possible.
Check out these 23 places where you can find some of the clearest, bluest water in the world.
Why are some lakes so clear?
The lake’s location will affect the clarity of its water: in mountain heights, runoff, which brings impurities and dead algae into the water, is less. Glacial lakes, produced by melting glaciers, contain “glacial flour” or “rock flour.” It is a powdery mixture of silt and clay that looks turquoise when light reflects. A sparkling lake can also contain certain types of algae that will make it look like a paradise.
Did you know that clear water lakes do not contain as many fish as brown, swampy lakes? Because cloudy water tends to have more organic matter and algae, fish are very fond of it. Thus, they are home to more aquatic creatures. Several aquatic creatures are among the world’s largest animals and living species.
1. Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canada
Canada is renowned for its beautiful lakes, as its alpine regions lend themselves to creating crystal-clear mountain waters. Lake Louise in Banff National Park in Alberta is one of the most popular, and it is “clearly” beautiful.
Nearby Moraine Lake is a glacial body of water nestled in the Valley of the Ten Peaks. The colour of the water, slightly bluish, varies depending on where you are, the time of day, and even the year. It is no surprise that the summer is the most spectacular.
The lake is so remarkable that it appeared on the Canadian $ 20 bill in the 1970s. There are three million lakes in Canada! You will be surprised about these things you didn’t know about Canada!
2. Lake of Five Flowers, China
This lake in Jiuzhaigou National Park, in southwest China, is an actual mirror! It reflects the surrounding landscape, which is particularly impressive in the fall. The lake also has a mythical history: a goddess would have escaped her mirror, breaking into several pieces, forming the park’s lakes, including this one. Another legend says that “where the water of the lake is poured, flowers will grow in abundance.” The Lake of Five Flowers is none other than a sacred lake for the locals.
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3. Lake Baikal, Russia
This Siberian lake is the oldest, largest, and deepest freshwater lake globally. It is 1.6 kilometres deep and contains 20% of the earth’s fresh water – which comes from the melting of the Siberian mountains.
In addition to its massive size, Lake Baikal is also one of the clearest, able to see up to almost 40 meters deep. “The water of Lake Baikal is turquoise in colour, even more, transparent than the Black Sea,” wrote the writer Anton Chekhov in a correspondence in the 19th century. One of the scariest abandoned places in the world is Russia!
4. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
The water in these lakes is not only crystal clear but flows over a series of waterfalls, lending an even more incredible beauty to the national park. The lakes were formed by deposits of tuff – a type of stone similar to travertine – which accumulated along the river, creating natural dams that led to the formation of the lakes over time.
Sixteen of the lakes are named, but many other small basins are there. Add underground caves, moss-covered boulders, and endless forests. Plitvice Lakes National Park feels like something out of a fairy tale. Here are also the most beautiful beaches in the world.
5. Crater Lake, Oregon, United States
The deep blue waters of this lake reflect well the mountains that surround the rim of the crater. It is the deepest lake in the United States, formed over seven thousand years ago due to a volcanic eruption, creating a caldera – a significant depression formed by the collapse of the cone of a volcano. As a result of intense and rapid eruptions.
Considered by the US National Park Service to be one of the clearest lakes in the world, Crater Lake is powered only by rain, snow, and glacial springs! The water here is so pure that the visual depth is estimated at around 40 meters!
This body of water is also home to Wizard Island, which has a crater called “Witches’ Cauldron” and a small rocky island called the Phantom Ship. There is something mythical about this lake!
6. The Blue Lake, New Zealand
This lake on the South Island of New Zealand is scientifically the clearest water in the world! In 2011, scientists from the country’s National Water and Atmosphere Research Institute found that the lake’s clarity is only surpassed by clear seawater.
Also called Rotomairewhenua, Blue Lake locates in Nelson Lakes National Park. This body of water is fed by another glacial lake, Lake Constance – both free of runoff debris, which keeps the water clean and extremely cold. Its purity also makes the lake sacred to the surrounding indigenous people. Waitomo in New Zealand is one of the caves worldwide that will take your breath away!
7. Lake Blausee, Switzerland
Mountainous Switzerland is another country known for its abundance of crystal-clear lakes, including Lucerne, Brienz, and Oeschinen. Fed by underground springs, Lake Blausee is entirely transparent, with beautiful blue and green reflections.
Le Blausee, a German toponym meaning “blue lake” in French, is a mountain lake in the Bernese Oberland. It locates in the Kander Valley, 887 meters above sea level. With the clarity of the water, tree trunks and rocks at the lake’s bottom are visible at a depth of 12 meters.
According to legend, a young girl with blue eyes was heartbroken when she drowned in the lake. Her tears would have stained the water an azure colour.
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8. The Dead Sea, Israel / Jordan
Although it bears this name, the Dead Sea is a salt lake surrounded by desert. With a salt content, five to nine times that of the ocean, the clear water of the Dead Sea is said to have medicinal properties. It also bears its name from its salinity since no fish can survive there.
The Dead Sea has only one primary source, the Jordan River, and the only way water can escape it is through evaporation. Although the lake is rich in minerals, it retains its apparent properties.
9. Lake Mashû, Japan
Lake Mashû is another lake created from the caldera thousands of years ago. This dazzling body of water on the Japanese island of Hokkaido is part of Akan-Mashu National Park. According to legend, seeing the water’s surface would bring bad luck to the spirit that dwells in its depths. It bears the nickname “Lake of the Gods” since it is often covered with fog and mist.
For the less superstitious among you, Lake Mashû is crystal clear, with a visibility of around 30 meters. Again, no river flows into it, leaving behind sediment and debris. Nearby, the Kaminoko-ike Pond is fed by the underground springs of Lake Mashu, which is why the pond is called the “child of the gods.”
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10. Bacalar Lake, Mexico
Mexico has beautiful waters on its east coast, and Lake Bacalar is one. It is a freshwater lagoon located on the Yucatan Peninsula near the border with Belize. Fed by a series of underground rivers, its white sandy bottom allows the clear water to change colour throughout the day, from turquoise to indigo, earning the nickname “Lake of Seven Colors.”
11. Lake Attabad, Pakistan
This newly formed lake is a real beacon of hope for the region. In 2010, a landslide in northern Pakistan razed the village of Attabad, killing 26 people. This disaster created a natural dam on the Hunza River, which led to a whole new body of water, Lake Attabad.
Lake Attabad (or Lake Gojal), which has become a tourist attraction, is now one of the most beautiful places in the region. Like other glacier-fed lakes, the crystal-clear water of Attabad acquires a vivid blue colour in the spring and summer when the glaciers melt. View photos of the world’s most beautiful seashell beaches.
12. Lake Tahoe, California / Nevada
A true playground for the rich and famous, Lake Tahoe offers exquisite natural landscapes, thanks to its sparkling waters with cobalt blue reflections. It is the second deepest lake in the United States, after Crater Lake, and its convenient location in the Sierra Nevada Mountains provides it with clear, crystal-clear waters.
However, some research has shown that the striking colour of the lake does not correlate with the clarity of the water but rather with the level of algae present there. Indeed, it would seem that the higher the algae content, the less blue the lake is. This discovery could have repercussions for the conservation of the lake’s ecosystem, as well as its current beauty.
13. Lake Malawi, Mozambique / Tanzania
Skirting a large part of Malawi and touching Mozambique and Tanzania, this large, deep lake is “meromictic.” It means that surface water and deep water do not mix. Therefore, all the sediments remain at the bottom, and the water is entirely transparent there.
Unlike some other crystal clear lakes, this one is home to a vast population of endemic fish, many species not found anywhere else on earth. For this reason, the lake is of crucial importance for the conservation of biodiversity, which is abundant there. You will be speechless in front of these aerial drone photos!
14. Pehoé Lake, Chile
In remote Patagonia, southern Chile, this bright lake often mirrors the surrounding thorny mountains, the Cuernos del Paine (the “Horns of Paine”). Located in Torres del Paine National Park, the lake is fed by glacial waters. In addition to the turquoise and blue of the water, hues of lavender and even orange can sometimes appear.
The area around the lake is also home to some of South America’s most exciting wildlife, including the guanaco, a llama-like camelid.
15. Lake McKenzie, Australia
Located on Fraser Island in Queensland and bordered by white sandy beaches, this lake owes its purity to its location. Fraser Island is the largest sand island globally and has half of the world’s rain-filled dune depressions, including Lake McKenzie.
Lake McKenzie has no rivers that feed it, and it does not flow into the ocean. The purity of the lake is such that no fish can live there. The water, therefore, remains sparkling blue at all times! The state of the Great Barrier Reef is worrying, but what is it?
16. Bora-Bora, French Polynesia
Home to a host of luxury resorts on stilts above the water, Bora Bora attracts tourists from all over the world looking to get a better glimpse of the island’s turquoise waters. The white sand surrounding the island has a lot to do with the clarity and color of the water.
17. Achutupu Island (or Dog Island), Panama
Dog Island (or Dog Island) is one of the San Blas Islands off the northern coast of Panama.
18. Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
The archipelago of the Phi Phi Islands consists of two large islands (Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Leh) and several other smaller islands. The waters are renowned for their clarity and the vertiginous limestone cliffs that spring from the water. The famous travel-inspired film The Beach was filmed on Ko Phi Phi Leh.
19. Cayos Cochinos, Honduras
One of the more low-key destinations on this list, the Cayos Cochinos, is protected by the Honduran government and remains outside commercial fishing limits. Islets are a true example of the word “virgin.” They are also home to some of the best (and for the most part still unknown) scuba diving spots in the world.
20. Linapacan Island, Philippines
Located in the remote province of Palawan, Linapacan is surrounded by tranquil beaches and super clear waters.
21. Lake Pukaki, New Zealand
Getting its solid blue color from rock (or glacial) flour, Lake Pukaki is a glacier-fed mountain lake. It is the largest of three nearly parallel lakes in the Mackenzie Basin.
22. Moorea, French Polynesia
Due to its blue waters and idyllic surrounding landscape (predominantly green), Moorea is a popular honeymoon destination with Westerners looking to relax and take in the sights.
23. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
It is known as the world’s most extensive coral reef system and the most popular diving spot on the planet. The Great Barrier Reef is submerged in clear blue water. With this clarity, the barrier can see from space.
24. Corfu, Greece
The waters off the coast of Corfu, the second largest of the Ionian Islands, provide stunning visibility and clarity. The island is visited by tourists worldwide, mainly Scandinavians, British, and Germans. The Canal d’Amour beach in Sidari is one of the most famous in Corfu.
25. Peyto Lake, Canada
Peyto Lake locates in Banff National Park. Photos of this lake can appear touched up on the computer as the water has such vivid colors. The large quantity of rock flour deposited following the melting of the glaciers gives the lake its blue color.
26. Aragusuku Island (Panari), Japan
Panari, also known as Aragusuku, and the other islands of Okinawa make up the most remote part of Japan, which can find a few hundred kilometers east of Taiwan.
27. Perhentian Islands, Malaysia
Two main islands, Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil make up the Perhentian Islands off the east coast of Malaysia. When paired with crystal clear water, the white sands of these islands provide an epic diving experience. Jellyfish, turtles, blacktip sharks, and multicolored reef fish can see among the other reef residents.
28. Whitehaven Beach, Australia
The sand at Whitehaven Beach, a 7 km stretch in the Whitsunday Islands off the coast of Queensland, is 98% silica, which is why it has a fine texture and brilliant white color. The shallow waters and clear sand create exciting patterns from the sky.
29. Crater Lake, United States
The national park’s main attraction of the same name in Oregon, Crater Lake, has both a rather remarkable dark and light blue color. The lake sits in a caldera, created after the Mount Mazama volcano collapsed over 7,000 years ago.
30. Wineglass Bay, Australia
Famous for its white-sand beaches and sapphire waters, Wineglass Bay locates in Freycinet National Park in Tasmania. Hiking, sailing, and fishing are particularly popular in the region. From the surrounding mountains, you can better appreciate the clarity of its waters.
30 lakes with the clearest water in the world