Is this the most magical swimming pool in the world? The 'big hole' hidden in a grotto on a volcanic island
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
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.
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
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
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
Travellers vote the little-known Philippines outcrop of Palawan as the most exotic on Earth
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
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
Undersea adventures: Palawan is home to some of the best locations for snorkelling and diving
TOP 10 ISLANDS IN THE WORLD
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
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
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
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.