PEOPLE AND PLACES

PEOPLE AND PLACES

Saturday, July 18, 2015

This natural swimming pool

 

 

 

 

    At nearly five miles in length, Puerto Princesa is the longest underground river in Asia and the second longest in the world Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, a Unesco World Heritage Site, has been named one of the world’s best natural wonders  
   

Is this the most magical swimming pool in the world? The 'big hole' hidden in a grotto on a volcanic island

 

  • The mesmerising pool, almost 100ft down, is on the volcanic island of Upolu in Samoa
  • Visitors can enjoy crystal-clear waters populated with tropical fish and a sandy bed
  • A steep ladder leads down to the water, with tourists using it to dive into the pool

This natural swimming pool on a volcanic Samoan island offers visitors the ultimate experience in relaxation.

To Sua Ocean Trench, which literally translates as 'big hole,' is located in Lotofaga village, on the south coast of Upolu island in Samoa. When the volcanoes erupted on the island, much of the ground fell away, and this 98-foot deep hole was the result.

Steps lead down to a ladder, which tourists can use to descend into the grotto, or use as an impromptu diving board (providing the water levels are high enough).

For those less brave, a tumble in from a board a matter of inches above the water may be the safer option.

The To Sua Ocean Trench on the Samoan island of Upolu offers swimmers a truly unique and unforgettable experience

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The To Sua Ocean Trench on the Samoan island of Upolu offers swimmers a truly unique and unforgettable experience

The green landscape is matched by crystal clear waters, an abundance of tropical fish and a sandy bed. A series of canals leading from the pool to the South Pacific Ocean ensure the hole is never dried out.

In order to protect the serene spot, as well as maintain the safety of the visitor routes into the water, there is a charge to swim. It will cost adults £10 ($15), children £3.85 ($6.00), but is free to those under the age of seven.

The beauty of Samoan spot has not been lost on most who have visited it.

Writing on TripAdvisor, Georgie P from Brisbane, Australia says: 'To Sua is one of the most unique, relaxing places I have been to. When I went there was only one other couple there so it was very peaceful.

Craig02128 adds: 'A magical experience, swimming at the bottom of the grotto. If you are a strong swimmer, you can even swim underneath the rock tunnel and out to the ocean.

'We visited the trench in May and absolutely loved it, the place is so beautiful and the water is warm and clear. Recommend visiting this paradise on earth,' writes Andrea R.

Spectacular footage of the beautiful To Sua Ocean Trench

 

The pool is maintained by water flowing in from the South Pacific Ocean through a number of channels and tunnels

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The pool is maintained by water flowing in from the South Pacific Ocean through a number of channels and tunnels

Visitors to the trench are warned to take care when walking down the ladder, as expectedly, it can become slippery. 

CJB1985 adds on TripAdvisor: 'The climb down looks bad but if you take your time and wear sandals it's ok.'

The review website has scored To Sua Ocean Trench a four-and-a-half rating out of five based on visitors' reviews. Of the 401 people to have commented on the tourist attraction, 319 have rated it as 'excellent.' 

Other stunning natural swimming pools around the world include Iceland's famed Blue Lagoon geothermal spa and the travertine pools and terraces in Pamukkale, Turkey. 

The beautiful swimming pool is found on the volcanic island of Upolu, belonging to Samoa and located in the South Pacific Ocean

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The beautiful swimming pool is found on the volcanic island of Upolu, belonging to Samoa and located in the South Pacific Ocean

In Pammukkale, Turkey, the travertine terraces have become hot springs, where people have bathed for thousands of years

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In Pammukkale, Turkey, the travertine terraces have become hot springs, where people have bathed for thousands of years

In Luang Prabang in Laos, tourists flock to the gorgeous pools and flowing water in the Tat Kuang Si waterfall system

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In Luang Prabang in Laos, tourists flock to the gorgeous pools and flowing water in the Tat Kuang Si waterfall system

Near Chichen Itza in Mexico, the breathtaking Ik Kil cenote attracts many visitors, as it's located in an archeological park

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Near Chichen Itza in Mexico, the breathtaking Ik Kil cenote attracts many visitors, as it's located in an archeological park

One of the most visited attractions in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, located on a lava field in the Reykjanes peninsula

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One of the most visited attractions in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, located on a lava field in the Reykjanes peninsula

 

Mystical cave lake has waters so crystal clear that in sunlight it seems to disappear

  • Photographer Marcio Duranc, 40, captured the sheer magnificence of this vast, 16-metre deep underground cave
  • Its transparent crystalline blue water and submerged trees make it difficult to tell where water ends and rocks begin
  • And tourists who visit the Poco Azul cavern in Chapada Diamantina National Park are encouraged to take a dip

These azure images of what appears to a mystical cave pool almost certainly require viewers to do a double take.

In the depths of the Poco Azul cavern, in Chapada Diamantina National Park in Brazil, it's difficult to tell where the water ends and the rocks begin.

But one thing's for sure: its transparent crystalline blue water and submerged trees offer a truly breathtaking sight.

Scroll down for video

Marcio Duranc, a 40-year-old photographer, captured the beautiful Poco Azul cavern: a 16-metre underground cave in Brazil

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Marcio Duranc, a 40-year-old photographer, captured the beautiful Poco Azul cavern: a 16-metre underground cave in Brazil

Photographer Marcio Duranc, 40, captured the sheer magnificence of the vast, 16-metre deep underground cave, which was first discovered by a prospector who was looking for diamonds in the region in the 1920s.

The pool's 'invisibility' is caused by natural light seeping through a hole in the cavern wall.

Sun rays then radiate the blue waters, which remain 75 degrees Fahrenheit all year round, forming a spectacle of rare beauty.

And best of all, visitors to the electric blue pool, which is located on the outskirts of Igatu, are able to take a once-in-a-lifetime dip - giving the impression that they are all but floating in space. 

Located in Chapada Diamantina National Park, it appears as though the cave is 'invisible' as its difficult to tell where the water begins

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Located in Chapada Diamantina National Park, it appears as though the cave is 'invisible' as its difficult to tell where the water begins

Such 'invisibility' is caused by natural light sweeping through a hole in the cave wall, which then lights up the blue water

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Such 'invisibility' is caused by natural light sweeping through a hole in the cave wall, which then lights up the blue water

Marcio said: 'A kind of place like this is not easily found, there are other lookalikes, but Poco Azul, with it crystal clear water and the deep blue colour, is something to enjoy and contemplate.

'The fact you can get into the water to snorkel and float make it even more special.

'Only small groups are allowed to get in so it never gets crowded or ruined by tourism.

'It's a very controlled place, mostly because of preservation.'

The electric blue pool, which remains a temperate 75 degrees Fahrenheit, is also available for tourists to take a quick dip in

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The electric blue pool, which remains a temperate 75 degrees Fahrenheit, is also available for tourists to take a quick dip in

The otherworldly cave is situated at the bottom of a sinkhole near the Paraguaçu River in Nova Redenção, on the eastern front of Chapada Diamantina.

In the 1990s, it was explored by cave diver and film maker Tulio Shargel, who found a large bone hidden in the sediment at the bottom of the pool.

The bone was later identified as part of the skeleton of a giant five tonne sloth, which became extinct during the Pleistocene period, more than 11,000 years ago.

Remarkably, a team of 30 aerologists then returned to the site to discover the remains of about forty different species of animals, most of them extinct.

 

Photographer Marcio Duranc, 40, captured the sheer magnificence of this 16-metre deep underground cave. Known as the Poco Azul cavern, its located in the Chapada Diamantina National Park in, Brazil.

In the 1990s, cave diver and film maker Tulio Shargel found a large bone hidden in the sediment at the bottom of the pool

Hundreds of visitors come each year to the cave, which is also known as the Blue Pit, though locals think autumn is best for viewing

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Hundreds of visitors come each year to the cave, which is also known as the Blue Pit, though locals think autumn is best for viewing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travellers vote the little-known Philippines outcrop of Palawan as the most exotic on Earth

  • Palawan claimed top spot based on over 76,000 votes in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2014
  • It was largely thanks to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, one of the top natural wonders of the world
  • At nearly five miles in length, Puerto Princesa is the second longest subterranean river in the world

An island that boasts crystal clear waters, incredible beaches and one of the newest natural wonders of the world has been named the best in the world by readers of a leading travel magazine.

The idyllic island of Palawan in the Philippines claimed top spot based on over 76,000 votes in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2014.

And it’s largely thanks to its latest claim to fame: Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, a Unesco World Heritage Site, has been named one of the world’s best natural wonders.

Stunning: Palawan Island in the Philippines has been named the top island in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards

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Stunning: Palawan Island in the Philippines has been named the top island in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, a Unesco World Heritage Site, has been named one of the world’s best natural wonders

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Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, a Unesco World Heritage Site, has been named one of the world’s best natural wonders

Best in the world: The idyllic island of Palawan claimed top spot based on over 76,000 votes

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Best in the world: The idyllic island of Palawan claimed top spot based on over 76,000 votes

Undersea adventures: Palawan is home to some of the best locations for snorkelling and diving

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Undersea adventures: Palawan is home to some of the best locations for snorkelling and diving

TOP 10 ISLANDS IN THE WORLD
  1. Palawan Island, Philippines
  2. Kiawah Island, South Carolina
  3. Maui, Hawaii
  4. Kauai, Hawaii
  5. Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique
  6. Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands, Australia
  7. Santorini and Cyclades, Greece
  8. St. John, US Virgin Islands
  9. Kangaroo Island, Australia
  10. Big Island, Hawaii

At nearly five miles in length, Puerto Princesa is the longest underground river in Asia and the second longest in the world.

Visitors on guided boat tours travel through a subterranean cave system featuring large chambers, stalactites and stalagmites.

Home to amazing locations for snorkelling and diving, Palawan province has a second Unesco World Heritage Site that is popular spot for undersea adventurers – Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park.

Palawan's beauty and thrilling outdoor or undersea adventures are no secret to the world.

It was once named of the best islands in the world by National Geographic Traveler.

Getting there isn't too difficult by air - the average flight lasts around 75 minutes - but a ride on a ferry boat takes around 24 hours.

The island is known as the Philippines' 'last frontier' because it is part of the far western Palawan province, with its southern tip just north of Malaysia.

Palawan Island edged some of the most popular destinations in the world in this year's Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards.

Breath-taking: Tourists walk on a beach as a rainbow forms in the background

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Breath-taking: Tourists walk on a beach as a rainbow forms in the background

At nearly five miles in length, Puerto Princesa is the longest underground river in Asia and the second longest in the world

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At nearly five miles in length, Puerto Princesa is the longest underground river in Asia and the second longest in the world

Palawan edged some of the most popular destinations in the world to claim top spot on the list of the world's 30 best islands

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Palawan edged some of the most popular destinations in the world to claim top spot on the list of the world's 30 best islands

Rugged beauty: Palawan is a popular base for island-hopping tourists

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Rugged beauty: Palawan is a popular base for island-hopping tourists

Tourists can reach Palawan by plane or ferry with flights from Manila lasting just 75 minutes

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Tourists can reach Palawan by plane or ferry with flights from Manila lasting just 75 minutes

Kiawah Island, South Carolina, came in second, followed by the islands of Maui and Kauai in Hawaii. Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique rounded out the top five.

Sixth through tenth were Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands in Australia, Santorini and Cyclades in Greece, St. John in the US Virgin Islands, Kangaroo Island in Australia, and Big Island in Hawaii.

 

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