1. Plitvice Lakes
One of the top tourist attractions in Croatia, the Plitvice Lakes are sixteen lakes that are located near the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The beautiful lakes are famous for their unique colors, including azure, green, blue, and gray. The lakes’ colorations changes consistently, depending on the quantity of minerals, deposits, or organism in each body, or how the sun is hitting the water.
The Jiuzhaigou Valley of China is home to dozens of blue, green and turquoise-colored lakes. The local people call these bodies of water “Haizi,” which in Chinese means “son of the sea.” The numerous colorful lakes were created by glacier activity, and today, many waterfalls empty into these pristine waters. The beautifully colored water is also known to be extremely clear, in many cases visitors are able to see to the bottom of the lakes.
3. Lake Nakuru
One of the top attractions in Kenya, Lake Nakuru is a very shallow lake in the rift valley. The lake’s abundance of algae attracts vast quantities of lesser flamingos, sometimes more than one million at once. Often called the greatest bird spectacle on earth, the flamingos literally turn the shores pink. Sadly, in recent years the number of flamingos has been decreasing, due to environmental degradation and pollution.
4. Moraine Lake
Fed by glaciers, Moraine Lake, locate in Banff National Park, is known for its stunning blue waters. The coloration is thanks to light refracting off the glacier flour. Located in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, Moraine Lake is surrounded by the beauty of the impressive Canadian Rocky Mountains. There are a number of hiking trails around Moraine Lake. Just be sure to check the trail conditions before you set out to go as they are sometimes restricted because of grizzly bear activity.
5. Havasu Falls
The Havasu Canyon is part of the Grand Canyon and is inhabited by the Havasupai tribe, who live in the small town of Supai. It is one of the most remote villages in America and normal access is via a helicopter ride or a 13 km (8 mile) dusty horse trail from a car park at Hualapai Hilltop.
The main reason to visit the Havasupai (which means “people of the blue-green water”) is because of the colorful waters and falls. The most spectacular of these is Havasu Falls. The beautiful color of the water is caused by carbonate minerals settling to the bottom, turning it white, and acting as a reflector of the surrounding green and brown mossy cliffs plus the blue sky.
The Kelimutu Volcano contains three summit crater lakes of different colors. Tiwu Ata Mbupu is usually blue; Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai is normally green; and Tiwu Ata Polo is usually a reddish hue. The source of the unique color combination is thought to be openings in the earth’s crust, known as fumaroles. The beautiful lakes are a popular tourist attraction, and also attract many geologists on a yearly basis. The fact that the three lakes are all different colors, yet are located on the same volcano crest, is a source of much debate and interest.
7. Laguna Colorada
The Laguna Colorada is located in Bolivia close to the border of Chili. The reddish color of the waters is thanks to red sediments and the pigmentation of algae. Other than the red waters, the Laguna Colorada is also home to many varieties of flamingos and a number of white borax islands. Borax islands are formed by the repeated evaporation of seasonal lakes, like the Laguna Colorada.
8. Lake Pukaki
Lake Pukaki in New Zealand gives the color “glacier blue” a whole new meaning. The colorful lake was created by receding glaciers decades ago. Today, that glacier feed produces finely ground rock particles, known as glacier flour, that give the lake a distinct icy blue color. Lake Pukaki is the second largest alpine lake in the Mackenzie Basin, located in New Zealand’s South Island.
9. Band-e Amir
Band-e Amir is a chain of 6 deep blue lakes located high in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Central Afghanistan. They became Afghanistan’s first national park in 2008. The beautiful lakes were formed from mineral rich water that seeped out of faults and cracks in the rocky landscape. The high mineral content of the lakes are also the cause for the intense and varying colors of the lake waters.
10. Laguna Verde
The Laguna Verde, a salt water lake, is located in the southwest of the high plains of Bolivia. For those of you who speak Spanish, it will be no surprise to you that the waters of the Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon) are an amazing shade of green. Situated at the foot of the Licancabur Volcano, the beautiful green hue is caused by debris that includes copper deposits. The colored lake is also known for its beautiful surroundings and hot springs.