If you spend much time reading travel blogs, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Plitvice Lakes. A Croatian National Park, the 16 tiered lakes are known for their clear turquoise water and cascading waterfalls. When we decided to come to inland Croatia, we made a visit to the lakes a priority, and we are certainly glad we did.

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We spent a few hours exploring the boardwalks and forest trails that surround the lake system. It’s really a beautiful park, unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. The water is an intensely bright turquoise, clear all the way down to the bottom in most places. You can see hundreds of good sized fish with gold-flecked scales drifting lazily near the shore (fishing, and really any contact with the lakes, is banned in the park, so it seems they have gotten used to the good life). The boardwalk system is very cool, taking you across small ponds and over waterfalls, with rushing water just a few inches below your feet. It feels like a bit of a liability, but the experience is infinitely more exciting for it.

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The lakes are fed by mountain and subterranean streams and are home to a tufa ecosystem. The lakes and falls in Plitvice were created when large deposits of tufa dammed areas of the streams.

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