The best pools in the Caribbean don’t come with swim-up bars. Chlorine, vacuums, and nets aren’t needed to keep them clean either.
These pools are hardly ever crowded, generally found off the beaten path, and worth every second of enjoyment you’re sure to have splashing around in ’em.
I’m talking about natural saltwater pools like the Owia Salt Pond.
Located on the northwest coast of St. Vincent near the sleepy fishing village of Owia, about two hours driving time from the capital city of Kingstown, the Owia Salt Pond was formed when lava flows from a long-ago eruption of the island’s Soufriere Volcano reached the sea, cooling and congealing here in such a way as to create a natural pool.
Waves crash along the rocks that form the outer edge of the pond offshore, continually refreshing the water supply. Sea life sneaks in among the rocks as well, creating the sensation of swimming around in an over-sized aquarium. All around you, the wildly-shaped volcanic rocks lend an artistically surreal feel to the place, while also offering multiple launching points for jumping into the pond.
Fun isn’t the only draw here, though, as local residents have long touted the therapeutic powers of these uncommon waters. Considering Owia is home to a community of indigenous Black Carib or Garifuna people, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some truth to the claim.
The Owia Salt Pond is administered by St. Vincent’s National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority. Operating hours are from 9am to 6pm daily.