Previous Next

Everyone loves lakes. / Photo: magical-world

You’ve heard of beach bums and river runners…but lake lovers?

Lakes have a lot to offer: You get all the benefits of a refreshing body of water without having to worry about tides, currents, rapids, great whites, or that scummy coating of salt.

That must have been what the folks at the Brilliant Tips blog were thinking, anyway, when they published a snapshot of 10 Unique and Fascinating Lakes Around the World.

And Trips agrees. It’s time to bigup the world’s lakes, and here are some picks from the Brilliant Tips piece to get us started:

Photo: gramz

Volcanic views

Two from the list fall into this category.

First we have Guatemala’s Lago de Atitlán, with a trio of volcanoes flanking its southern shore. A series of Mayan villages also ring the water.

And then there’s Taal Lake, on the Philippine’s main island of Luzon. An active volcano rises up from an island in the middle of the lake, and within the volcano’s crater is yet another lake, which Wikipedia describes as “the world’s largest lake on an island in a lake on an island.”
Ya follow?

Most flamingos

Tourists aren’t the only ones who can appreciate lakes. There may be as many as one million flamingos in Kenya’s Lake Nakuru at any given time, attracted by the water’s abundant algae.

The otherworldly

Spotted Lake, in Klikuk, British Columbia, gets its double-take texture from the soup of minerals found in its water and the peculiarities of local evaporation processes.

It’s visible from a pull-off on Highway 3, just a 10-minute drive north of the Washington border — truly an alien landscape.

World’s deepest

That would be Baikal, reaching depths of 1,642 meters (5,400 feet). It’s also the world’s oldest.

The crescent blade of a lake is located in southeastern Russia and is a good choice for breaking up your Trans-Siberian rail journey.

Most floaty

The Dead Sea, on the borders of Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank, is actually a giant salt lake. It also marks the point of lowest elevation on Earth’s surface (422 meters/1,385 feet below sea level).

And people like to float in it.

Photo: auntjojo


Lake Titicaca would be an obvious addition to the list.

It’s giant, super high (one of the highest navigable in the world), and home to a collection of artificial islands made from reeds that people live on.

Oregon’s Crater Lake is another standout, with its great depth and remarkably clear waters.

Or how about North America’s largest alpine lake, Lake Tahoe? Try out Lake Tahoe Vacation Rentals if you’re planning a visit.

Any more? What’s the most memorable lake you’ve visited, and what makes it unique? Let us know in the comments.



About The Author

Hal Amen

Hal Amen is a managing editor at Matador. His personal travel blog is WayWorded.

  • Eva

    I always have trouble convincing friends on either coast that the Great Lakes are a truly remarkable phenomenon. I was on a tall ship on Lake Ontario for a week when I was young, and we sailed for a couple of days completely out of sight of land – they are huuuuge.

  • Heather

    As someone who lives near the banks of Lake Ponchartrain in south Louisiana, (where the shallow brackish water makes it possible to find everything from catfish & flounder to dolphins and jellyfish), I was amazed by the clear water of Lake Tahoe the first time I saw it. I was even more impressed with Convict Lake near Mammoth, CA as it’s so beautiful sitting in a bowl of glacier-carved mountains.

  • aelle

    I spent a few days hiking around the Fuji five lakes area (fujigoko) in Japan. I was lucky enough to be there during cherry blossom season. The blue waters, sakura flowers, scattered orange temple gates and view on Mount Fuji looked just fantastic.

    Speaking of volcanoes, Iceland’s thermal lakes (the most famous one being the Blue Lagoon) deserve a mention too! I loved swimming in a water at a perfect temperature while snow falls around… Don’t pay attention to the nasty sulfur smell, though.

  • Katie, Tripbase

    Lake Pukaki in New Zealand is spectacular. More stunning lakes here:

  • Candice

    Gorgeous. “the world’s largest lake on an island in a lake on an island.”
    —> Hahahaha, I laughed at that.

  • Paul Sullivan

    Lakes rule. Nice work Hal.

    • Hal Amen

      Hats off to you for sending the link, Paul!

  • Hal Amen

    Thanks to everyone for submitting your favorites. Perhaps I wasn’t that far off with the caption “Everyone loves lakes.” :)

  • Julie

    Crater Lake is a definite yes- beautiful.

  • Carlo Alcos

    I’ve skinny-dipped in Baikal in October…brrrr…”dipped” being the operative word. I saw a local in there just treading water like he was in the Caribbean.

  • Susan C.

    The Great Lakes, because… well… they’re great! In addition to what Eva already said about them being huge and impressive, they offer some of the most beautiful beaches, are home to unique islands, and have six U.S. national parks, a handful of Canadian national park, as well as hundreds of state/provincial, county and municipal parks along their coastlines.

  • Daniel Dmello

    Pangong Tso in Ladakh is the most beautiful I’ve seen –

    It’s long, you can’t see the end of it – 134 km (83 mi)
    Two thirds lie in China and one third in India.
    It’s really high up – 4,350 m (14,300 ft)

    And the nearest town is 40 kms away!

  • chris

    love the lakes… :-)

  • Nancy

    Great list. I love Lake Geneva in Switzerland, especially viewed from Montreux. Lake Bled in Slovenia is like a fairy-tale too.

  • Sara K

    As a Michigander, I loved this article because lakes need respect and I have to say – Great Lakes for sure! Where else can you walk right up to an old wooden shipwreck but on the shores of Lake Superior? I always say that Lake Superior is the Pacific Ocean of the lakes: Dark, mysterious, rocky, bold, and cold.

    West Coast: Mono Lake isn’t too shabby either.

  • Jen

    I’ve been a lake lover for many years!!! of course living in Oregon its hard not to be when your surrounded with the gorgeous string of cascade lakes. Though, as usual, there are an unfortunate number of people who are ignorant of these lakes around them. We have had a lot of people move up from south cali in the past years and of course what happens is the newbies pick the grossest (man-made) lake around and act like it is all we have!! If I here another person talk about “the lake” as though its the only one, I just may be forced to slap them.

In the Navotas Cemetery babies are born and the dead are buried in the same place.
What I tried to capture in my photos were the in-between, ordinary moments.
Terracing has been utilized to produce crops in different parts of the world for...
All this dancing and eating and kissing is making you sleepy. Wait, no it’s not.
The photographer does not go unnoticed.
One man creates a sustainable, cheap light source from water bottles
Mention Chinatown to Manileños, and their eyes grow hungry and dreamy.
I ask Jingle what happens to the cocks after their fight. “Dinner Colins!” he says.
From Indonesian bats to Taiwanese rooster balls, these foods aren't for everyone.