Why is the Water at Tropical Destinations so Clear?


Have you ever traveled to your local beach, only to be disappointed when the water there is murky and green? Why doesn’t your beach have clear blue waters as you see in all those travel photos?

The color of your ocean water depends on your location

Most beaches appear murky and muddy because of a process known as upwelling. Upwelling causes warmer surface waters to move out to sea, which causes colder water to move in. This colder water is often rich in sediments and nutrients, which makes the water appear murky. These murky waters are home to living organisms and fine particles of sand. Just because waters appear murky doesn’t mean they aren’t clean

The majority of the photos that show an ideal beach with crystal clear turquoise water and white sand were taken in the Caribbean or in other locations that have coral reefs. Coral reefs act as a barrier to break up moving water. This results in calmer water near the shore that is free from sediments and nutrients, giving the water a clear appearance. Another reason the water appears clear is that it is free from algae. Warm temperatures prevent algae from growing. Clear waters are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, diving, boating, and spotting underwater creatures.

Here are 4 popular Caribbean locations where you can spot clear water.

Northern Malta

It is hard to choose just one location in Malta because it has some of the clearest and cleanest waters in the Mediterranean. Staying in Northern Malta will allow you to access several beaches with clear water, including Mellieha Bay and Golden Bay. Staying in Northern Malta also allows you to easily get to the islands of Gozo and the island of Comino (where you’ll find a Blue Lagoon)

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Depending on where you go in Malta, the waters are either shallow enough for swimming and snorkeling or deep enough for scuba diving. Caves, reefs, and wrecks around Malta make this an ideal scuba diving location for both beginners and those who are more experienced.

If you’re looking to travel to Northern Malta, consider staying in Sliema. Not only will you have access to the beaches, but you’ll also have access to a busy social and commercial hub that will help make your trip even more memorable. This link explains everything you need to know about Sliema

Crane Beach, Barbados

Crane Beach is the most famous beach in Barbados. This sand at this beach is pinkish, there are jagged cliffs nearby, and there are plenty of palm trees. There are several other beaches located nearby, including the secluded Ginger Bay and the large Foul Bay Beach.

Unfortunately, despite having gorgeous waters, the water at Crane Beach and surrounding beaches is not ideal for swimming. The water here tends to have a strong undercurrent. It is, however, still ideal for a number of water sports. You can surf, boogie board, and fish. Sometimes you might be able to swim close to the shore, but it is all dependent upon weather conditions.

Palomino Island, Puerto Rico

Palomino Island is a small, private island that is located off the coast of the main island of Puerto Rico. Only guests that are staying at the nearby resort of El Conquistador have access to the island.

This little island is only 100 acres long, but it is surrounded by clear waters where you can swim, snorkel, and participate in a variety of water sports. Currently, this island is closed to the public as there is maintenance being performed at El Conquistador.

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Montego Bay, Jamaica

There are numerous beach resorts located throughout Montego Bay for guests to relax on white sandy shores while enjoying the clear waters. This is a major tourist destination, so it might be crowded at times, but there is so much to do here.

There are a number of water sports that are popular here, including reef snorkeling. Snorkeling locations here are great for beginners. Families can explore Doctor’s Cove Beach, where you can snorkel right beside the coral reefs and spot brightly colored tropical fish. Another popular snorkeling location is Bogue Lagoon, which has a great ecosystem composed of coral, tropical fish, lobsters, and green eels

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for clear waters, head to Malta or the Caribbean! The locations above are just a few of the many that you can choose from. But if you’re sitting close to home, don’t feel too disheartened by your murky ocean waters. Remember that murky water is often a sign that your water is rich in sediments and nutrients, making it an ideal habitat for a variety of living organisms.

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