A picture of Laura in Lucky Bay from a drone's view.

11 Bucket List Destinations With The Bluest Water

Whether we’re exploring hidden-gem mountain destinations or beach paradises, Mike and I are always on the lookout for the bluest water on Earth.

After living and traveling abroad since 2018, we’ve uncovered our fair share of blue waters around the world. Although we still have many places to discover, these were our favorite places that showcased some of the bluest waters in the world (in order):

11. Lake Tahoe, California

Having met in a ski town, Mike and I are drawn to mountain destinations all over the world. We’ve made several trips to Truckee, California, to soak in their skier vibes, but what we didn’t expect to find was the blue water of Lake Tahoe.

A picture of Lake Tahoe in the summer with blue water.
A picture of Mike standing on a rock with the landscape of Lake Tahoe behind him.

We had heard that Lake Tahoe was beautiful, but we didn’t know it was THIS beautiful.

Traveler’s Tip: Visit Lake Tahoe in late fall. Not only will you get to see the incredible fall colors, but you’ll also avoid the crowds of tourists that flock here in summer and winter.

10. Maldives

On a whim, we booked flights to the Maldives from Bangkok, Thailand, in 2018. We used our credit card points to book an overwater bungalow at one of their more affordable resorts, and the trip was something we still talk about today.

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    Luckily, we experienced perfect weather during our trip, which made the blue water even bluer as it reflected against the clear skies.

    Laura walking up the steps to our overwater bungalow in the Maldives
    A picture of the front of our overwater bungalow, as seen from the water.

    You can find hordes of jaw-dropping pictures of the Maldives on Instagram, but they never quite do this island destination justice.

    Traveler’s Tip: Did you know that traveling to the Maldives and staying in an overwater bungalow can be cheaper than visiting a ski resort destination in the US? We’ll have a full guide for you soon!

    9. Tamolitch Blue Pool, Oregon

    While living in Bend in 2017, Mike and I made trips to nearby hiking trails each week. One of the best trails we encountered was an easy hike out to Tamolitch Blue Pool near the quaint and tiny town of McKenzie Bridge.

    A picture of Laura sitting near Tamolitch Blue Pool in McKenzie Bridge, Oregon.

    We didn’t expect much, but upon arrival, we were blown away by the blue color of this small pool along the McKenzie River.

    Traveler’s Tip: This is a VERY popular hike. We did it in late fall in 2017 and didn’t see any other hikers. To avoid crowds, go during the off-season and start early.

    8. Erawan Waterfalls, Thailand

    I moved to Thailand in 2014 and during my time there, I attempted to visit every corner of the country that I could. I’m especially intrigued by national parks, hiking, and waterfalls, so it’s no wonder Erawan Waterfalls was on my list of places to visit.

    A photo of one of seven Erawan Waterfalls in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

    Located about 3 hours from Bangkok, Kanchanaburi is a small Thai town brimming with history and beauty. Erawan Waterfalls, a national park just outside of Kanchanaburi, was a no-brainer for many trips to this destination.

    Although busy with tourists, the tiered waterfalls are incredibly blue and worth the visit. They are framed by bright green trees that make the water stand out even more.

    Traveler’s Tip: Hike up to the top waterfalls; you’ll likely find far fewer tourists, and you can enjoy a quiet dip in the pools.

    7. Kelimutu National Park, Indonesia

    We first discovered Kelimutu National Park on Instagram from other travelers who had explored the Indonesian island of Flores. The blue water pools nestled in this volcano had me hooked from the start. I needed to visit Kelimutu National Park.

    A photo of Laura sitting next to a bright blue volcanic lake in Kelimutu National Park.

    It took quite a bit of planning to reach this park, and while we had to battle a lot of rain and thunderstorms, it was well worth the effort.

    Traveler’s Tip: To get to Kelimutu National Park, you’ll need to make your way from Labuan Bajo to Ende. We took a short flight to reach Ende. From there, we booked a taxi to drive us up to Moni, a tiny town near Kelimutu National Park. We stayed two nights in Moni to give us enough time to explore the area.

    6. Milos, Greece

    By far, one of our favorite destinations in the world is the tiny island of Milos, Greece. Often overlooked compared to the popular Santorini, Milos features some of the bluest waters in the world.

    A picture of the blue ocean in Milos, Greece with boathouses on the shore.
    Laura sitting on a rock at Sarakiniko Beach in Milos, Greece

    If you plan to visit Milos, pack your swimsuit, hiking shoes, and sunscreen; there’s something for everyone on this island.

    Traveler’s Tip: Our favorite adventure on Milos was hiking to Kleftiko Beach. You can choose to take a boat to this location, but either way, you should spend a day soaking in the blue waters against the whitewashed landscape.

    5. Mountain Lakes in the Alay Mountains, Kyrgyzstan

    When we set out to visit Kyrgyzstan, I knew we would encounter epic mountains, friendly people, and a culture we had never experienced before. But what I didn’t expect to find in Kyrgyzstan was some of the bluest water we’ve ever seen.

    A photo of a bright blue mountain lake in the Alay Mountains in southern Kyrgyzstan.

    We took a multi-day trek through the Alay Mountain Range in southern Kyrgyzstan and along our route, we came across so many lakes that looked just like the one you see in the picture above.

    The milky blue water was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, and the best part? No tourists in sight.

    Traveler’s Tip: If you plan to visit Kyrgyzstan, hire a guide to take you on a multi-day backpacking trip. Both the north and south borders of Kyrgyzstan feature some of the most incredible mountain ranges, and your guide can show you the best parts. We highly recommend the company, Visit Alay.

    4. Blue Lake, Colorado

    Having lived in Colorado for years, I had heard about the Blue Lakes trail for years. But of course, the mass amount of people hiking this trail turned me off. It couldn’t be THAT amazing if it was being bombarded by tourists.

    Laura looking at the camera with Blue Lake, Colorado, below her.

    In 2021, Mike and I took our annual road trip through Colorado to destinations we hadn’t been before, and somehow Blue Lakes trail ended up on our list.

    And while I’ve never seen more people on a hiking trail in my entire life, the blueness of the lake didn’t disappoint. My favorite part of the entire experience was that most hikers stopped their journey at the lake. Very few continued on, which gave us the space and time to enjoy this beautiful sight for ourselves.

    Traveler’s Tip: If you’re up for the challenge, visit the Blue Lake, and then continue up to the summit of Mount Sneffels. This is a 14,000-foot peak with extraordinary views.

    3. Interlaken, Switzerland

    I’ve visited Interlaken, a small town nestled in the Swiss Alps, twice. The first time I visited, I was 23. My best friend and I curated a European itinerary, and while she was leaning towards the chic vibes of Paris, I was craving some mountain air and hiking trails. Adding Interlaken to our itinerary was our solution.

    An aerial view of Interlaken Switzerland with the Aare River brightly glowing.

    I was ready for some stunning mountain scenery, but what really caught me off guard was how much I ended up loving the blue color of the lakes and rivers.

    Traveler’s Tip: Check out Interlaken’s lakes and rivers from above. Whether you’re hiking up to the top of Harder Kulm, gliding through the Swiss skies strapped to a paraglide, or taking the ultimate skydiving leap, the views are unbelievable. And luckily, Interlaken is the adventure capital of Europe!

    2. French Polynesia

    Over the past four years, we’ve spent 3+ months exploring French Polynesia. From islands like Mo’orea to Bora Bora to Tahiti and more, we are so captivated by the intense beauty of this destination.

    Mike standing in the ocean on the island of Mo'orea, French Polynesia.

    In our opinion, French Polynesia comes in second for the bluest water in the world. And once you reach these islands, you’ll know why.

    Traveler’s Tip: Instead of booking an extensive (and likely expensive) trip to Bora Bora, set your sights on Mo’orea. It’s much easier to get to, easier to get around, and the ocean and beaches are just as incredible as Bora Bora.

    1. Lucky Bay, Australia

    As I created this list, I asked Mike, “where have we found the bluest water on earth?” It took him two seconds to respond: Lucky Bay, Australia.

    A picture of Laura in Lucky Bay from a drone's view.

    We’ve traveled extensively throughout the world over the past 6+ years from South America to Asia and everywhere in between. We’ve been amazed by some of the bluest water around the world, but none of the destinations have ever lived up to the blue water of Lucky Bay, Australia.

    The photo above is completely unedited and once again, we just can’t do this beach destination justice.

    Traveler’s Tip: Did you know you can see and interact with wild kangaroos on Lucky Bay, too? Don’t worry, they are friendly and oh so cute! Read our full guide to Lucky Bay here.

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