There’s no two ways about it: Cliff jumping is dangerous. However, it has an undeniable appeal, and (if done with due caution) the sport can provide unrivaled thrills and be a wildly wondrous way to explore the the world.
And, as such, there are spots all over the planet to leap from which most normal people (i.e. not professional cliff divers) can actually do.
No expertise is needed for these spots listed below, except an awareness that you can always get seriously hurt doing any activity like this. Before undertaking a cliff jump, be extremely aware of the dangers involved and take all necessary precautions: Don’t jump alone or headfirst, be certain of the depth of the water (and other the weather conditions), and also be sure to talk with locals about the leap.
With all that said, here are five of our favorite spots around the globe to take the plunge.
Take a trip to a town at the bottom tip of Europe, the Portuguese paradise of Lagos. An earthquake in 1755 that decimated a third of Lisbon's population, created a whopping tsunami, which in turn reshaped the entire coastline for this town.
Think sea stacks, hidden hollowed-out grottos and jagged cliffs that jut out to create the coast. There’s a plethora of places to plunge here for all abilities, but be sure to talk with locals to check tides and potential hazards. Try taking a tour for expert guidance and local knowledge.
Bountiful Bali has it all, including this balmy blue lagoon to plop into the ocean below. Choose your ideal jumping height from the cliffs, ranging from between 10 to 40 feet into the very deep sea below. Be sure to check the ocean conditions as you’ll need to scramble up the cliffs, which is fairly easy on a small swell day, but not to be risked on a day when the ocean is feeling energetic.
Skedaddle down south to leap into a Mexican cenote. Mayans believed that these underwater sinkholes, formed by collapsing porous limestone bedrock, were portals to the underworld. There are over 6,000 in the Yucatan region alone so there’s a wealth of choice when it comes to choosing a cenote to splash into.
Try a trip to Tortuga Cenote, near Tulum, for three separate cenotes with doable leaps and all with amazingly clear water. Many cenotes won’t allow you to wear sunscreen/bug spray that will contaminate the water so now would be a great chance to invest in some reef-safe sunscreen.
Crater Lake, Oregon
Head to Oregon's only national park, Crater Lake, and home to the deepest lake in America. Measuring 33 miles around the circumference, the lake was formed 7,700 years ago after a violent eruption and is flanked by mountainous peaks reaching up to 7,000 feet for spectacular scenery.
Fed by snow and rain, the water is icy cold but there’s a manageable jump. Take the Cleetwood Cove Trail to hike around a mile down to the lake. Here you’ll find a 35-foot leap into crystal clear water. If you’re itching to leap in peace, aim to go in the early morning to avoid the crowds.
This sublime sinkhole, filled with turquoise water and surrounded by black lava rock can be found on Kauai’s North Shore. After a short hike down to Queen's Bath, take a 10 to 20-foot jump into the pool below. Check before you dunk as the depth of the pool can be changeable. Be forewarned, rogue waves can easily sweep swimmers off the rocks and with even the hint of a swell, the pool can be very dangerous.
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