Water found in rivers, lakes and oceans is colorless, unless it is dirty. However, it can look blue or turquoise because the sunlight is scattered by sand and other particles suspended in the water. While deep ocean waters are often dark blue, shallow waters near beaches show lighter turquoise colors because the sunlight is reflecting off the sand and reefs near the surface. Beaches with turquoise looking waters can be found in several places around the world and often attract high numbers of tourists.
Fernando de Noronha
Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of 21 isles in Northeast Brazil. The main island, with that same name, is the largest and the only inhabited one. Fernando de Noronha National Marine Park was created in 1988 to protect the species that live in the turquoise waters surrounding the isles.
Tourism is developed in a sustainable manner on Fernando de Noronha's beaches. Among the most famous are Leao Beach, which has rocks resembling sea lions; Atalaia Beach, rich in coral reefs and sea life, with access limited to a small number of people each day; Padre Beach, over 1/2-mile long and popular with surfers, it offers waves up to 16 feet high.
Part of the Cyclades Archipelago, the Greek island of Mykonos is famous for its sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Ornos and Aghios Loannis are two of the busiest beaches on the island. Mykonos has a total of 23 beaches.
Other beaches include Paradise and Super Paradise, the favorite of young crowds; Agrari and Elia, located in the south coast and is popular among nudists; Houlakia, one of the few pebble beaches on Mykonos, is a remote cove on the north coast and ideal for total isolation; Aghios Sostis, one of the quietest beaches in Mykonos; Paranga is a southern beach with a lively bar and music scene; and Platis Gialos, which gets very crowded during the summer months.
The Mayan Riviera
The Mayan Riviera is an area of more than 75 miles of coast on the Mexican Caribbean between Puerto Morelos and Carillo Puerto. Turquoise blue water is a characteristic of the beaches in this area, including Tulum, Puerto Aventuras, Akumal, Quintana Roo and Playa del Carmen.
The area also offers miles of solitary and virgin beaches, where visitors can enjoy bird watching, cavern scuba diving, horseback riding and snorkeling. Only a 35-minute ferry trip from the coast is Cozumel Island, surrounded by coral reefs and crystal-clear sandy beaches. It is the biggest island in Mexico and one of the world's top destinations for scuba diving.
Located in western Australia, Turquoise Bay is near Cape Range National Park and Ningaloo Coral Reef. As the name suggest, beaches at Turquoise Bay have bluish-turquoise waters and are among the best in Australia for snorkeling and swimming.
Visitors can admire the 500 fish species that live in and around the colorful coral reef. Turquoise Bay is 37 miles from Exmouth. Flights connecting Exmouth to Perth take about 2-1/2 hours.