A Brief Dive into Scuba Diving in the Bahamas

The Bahamas is well known for breathtaking snorkeling and diving sites

Photo credit: © Dirk-jan Mattaar | Dreamstime.com
 

The Bahamas lives up to the Caribbean's reputation for renowned world-class diving. This amazingly gorgeous vacation spot features some of the most spectacular and unique underwater scenery, guaranteed to take your breath away.

The beauty of the Bahamas' ocean habitat is truly remarkable, and only a few places around the world have as many diving and snorkeling opportunities as the Bahamas. Beneath the perfect azure waves, divers can explore underwater sites such as caves, shipwrecks, and much more.

Diving in the Bahamas

Maps

Many islands in the Bahamas have dive shops, so you can experience all of the wonders of the sea while on your Caribbean vacation. Divers can even charter a boat to reach dive sites. But keep in mind that some of the more remote islands in the Bahamas may not have all of the equipment you need for your diving or scuba diving excursion, and you may not be able to get your air tanks filled. You can hire a dive guide to take you exploring on the ocean floor. If you visit during the season, you can dive for shell fish and lobsters, which is done without tanks.

Before You Go

Divers venture far into the depths of the sea by breathing with air tanks. Before braving the deeper parts of the ocean, divers must have a diving certification. You can get certified to dive before your vacation or when you arrive in the Bahamas by a certified dive instructor.

The Bahamas is also known for its scuba instruction at one of the most famous dive schools in the world, as well as the National Association of Underwater Instruction (NAUI) and the Underwater Explorers Society (UNEXSO). Most larger resorts in the Bahamas offer dive instruction in their pool. After a few hours of class instruction you will be ready to dive with the assistance of a pro diver. If diving solo is on your bucket list, you must complete a 5-day training course and obtain your "C"-card. This certification is legally required if you wish to dive alone.

Best Bahamas Islands for Scuba Diving

The Bahamas is comprised of hundreds of islands, so vacationers can find thousands of dive sites offshore. You're sure to find the perfect dive spot while on your Bahamas vacation. You will also find numerous dive shops in the Bahamas, and many hotels and resorts offer special dive packages.

the Bimini Islands

Bimini consists of multiple islands and islets, which might make it more appropriate to refer to it as "The Biminis." This beautiful section of the Bahamas consists of North and South Bimini, which are two distinct islands that are separated by an ocean strait. Bimini is especially known for its great fishing, but also features a wonderful underwater environment that is perfect for scuba diving and watching the amazing marine life. In 2013 the Big Game Club Resort and Marina in the Biminis opened a new underwater attraction in the same vein as diving called the Bimini Bull Run Shark Cage. The cage offers a safe way for tourists to get up close and personal with sharks while attached to a "hooka" air system which is allows those that are not certified scuba divers to enjoy the experience as well.

Underneath the ocean surface surrounding Bimini divers can find black coral gardens and reefs to explore, as well as shipwrecks, sea gardens, shallow shoals, and blue holes. Some people say that a part of the lost continent of Atlantis lies beneath the waves about 500 yards off of the coast at Bimini Bay. Other aquatic sites that may attract divers are an underwater cliff that extends about 2,000 feet down into the ocean, an actual underwater mountain. The waters around Bimini have an awesome drop-off at the rim of the continental shelf.

New Providence Island

The waters surrounding New Providence and the nearby Paradise Island make for some fairly easy aquatic exploration. Many divers visit the Rose Island Reefs, Gambier Deep Reef, Lost Ocean Hole, the Booby Rock Channel, the Goulding Reef Cays, or underwater shipwrecks located in shallow parts of the sea near the coast. 

Andros

Andros is especially popular among divers because of its marine life, which is abundant in the barrier reef that runs parallel to the island's eastern coast. At depths of 104 feet, which drops off into the Tongue of the Ocean, Andros' barrier reef is one of the largest in the world, behind Belize and Australia, making it a great haunt for divers. Divers can explore the mysterious blue holes on Andros' waters. Blue holes are formed when underground caves fill with seawater, causing their ceilings to collapse and revealing their clear, deep pools. They give off an inky-blue aura when seen from above.

You'll find 26 dive services, a variety of dive shops, and at least 115 good dive sites to choose from.

Dive Operators and Shops

The dive shops worth looking into are listed below.

Dive Shops Near the Bahamas
Name Phone Location Island
Clearwater Dive Shop (242) 332-2146 Governors Harbour, Western part of the Bahamas Eleuthera
Froggies Out Island Adventures (242) 366-0431 0.2 mi. West-Northwest of Central Hopetown Elbow Cay
Riding Rock Diving (800) 272-1492 0.6 mi. Northwest of Central Cockburn Town San Salvador Island
Scuba Bimini (954) 524-6090 1.2 mi. South West of Central Pigeon Cay South Bimini
Underwater Explorers Society At Port Lucaya (800) 992-3483 2.2 mi. East of Central Freeport Grand Bahama Island
Valentines Dive Center (242) 333-2080 1.8 mi. East of Central Mano Creek Harbour Island

If you're ready to go diving, you can check with Dive Abaco. Operating out of Conch Inn Resort and Marina, Dive Abaco is your full-service scuba diving facility. Not only can you sign up for certification courses and participate in dives, but this company will also set you up with a place to stay and include diving as part of a package deal. They are located in Marsh Harbour, in northwestern the Bahamas.

A second option is Stuart Cove's Diving. Stuart Cove's has many options and opportunities that you are sure to find a program that fits your wants. In addition to having basic dives and nighttime dives, they also have a special shark program where you can swim with sharks! They can be reached at (242) 362-4171.

A third option is Ocean Fox Diving. Ocean Fox Dive Shop, based out of Davis Harbour Marina on Eleuthera, is a small, locally owned scuba diving shop able to handle all of your scuba needs. Not only do they specialize in creating dive packages that focus on what you want to see, but they also offer PADI certification courses for those who have not yet had the opportunity to learn everything they need for an open water dive. They're located within Waterford, in central the Bahamas.

The table below enables you to learn a few details regarding the area's dive operators.

Dive Operators Near the Bahamas
Name Phone Location Island
Andros Diving (954) 681-4818 9.2 mi. South-Southeast of Central Congo Town South Andros Island
Bahama Divers (242) 393-5644 1.5 mi. East of Central downtown Nassau New Providence
Bimini Undersea (242) 347-2941 0.4 mi. South-Southwest of Central North Bimini North Bimini
Brendals Dive Center (242) 365-4411 Green Turtle Cay Green Turtle Cay
Caribbean Divers (242) 373-9111 2.2 mi. East of Central Freeport Grand Bahama Island
Custom Aquatics (242) 362-1492 3.6 mi. Northwest of Central Nassau New Providence
Dive Abaco (800) 247-5338 5.9 mi. West of Central Hopetown Great Abaco
Dive Exuma (242) 336-2893 George Town, Central the Bahamas Great Exuma
Dive Guana (242) 365-5178 0.7 mi. Southeast of Central Great Guana Cay Great Guana Cay
Froggies Out Island Adventures (242) 366-0431 0.0 mi. South West of Central Hopetown Elbow Cay
Grand Bahama Scuba Ltd (242) 373-6775 Grand Bahama Island Grand Bahama Island
Kamalame Diving (305) 677-6525 25.2 mi. West-Southwest of Central Clifton Bay North Andros Island
Neal Watson's Bimini Scuba Center (242) 448-6606 1.9 mi. West of Central South Bimini South Bimini
Ocean Fox Diving (242) 334-6300 Waterford, Central the Bahamas Eleuthera
Sandals Emerald Bay Divers (242) 336-6800 Central the Bahamas Great Exuma
Sandals Royal Bahamian Divers (242) 327-6400 0.0 mi. South-Southeast of Central Cable Beach New Providence
Seafari Bahamas -- The Bahamas
Small Hope Bay Lodge Diving (800) 223-6961 2.2 mi. Northwest of Central Andros Town North Andros Island
Staniel Cay Divers (242) 225-9668 Central the Bahamas Staniel Cay
Stuart Cove Seafaries (242) 350-6500 0.5 mi. North-Northwest of Central West End Grand Bahama Island
Stuart Cove's Diving (242) 362-4171 Downtown Nassau New Providence
Sunn Odyssey Divers (242) 373-4014 Grand Bahama Island Grand Bahama Island
Tiamo Resorts Diving (242) 225-6871 2.7 mi. West-Northwest of Central Congo Town Central Andros
Treasure Divers (242) 365-8571 0.3 mi. South-Southeast of Central Treasure Cay Great Abaco
Valentines Diving (242) 333-2080 0.3 mi. South-Southwest of Central Dunmore Town Harbour Island
Viva Diving Bahamas (242) 373-4000 1.7 mi. South West of Central Garden of the Groves Grand Bahama Island

Dive Services

Look through this table to learn more about the typical cost of dive services in this area.

Dive Services
Offering Type Low Rate High Rate
Discover Scuba $ 100.0 $ 200.0
Double Tank Dive $ 90.0 $ 240.0
Night Dive $ 75.0 $ 140.0
Open Water Certification $ 375.0 $ 850.0
Single Tank Dive $ 45.0 $ 130.0

Dive Sites

Glance through the table just below to see details concerning some of the area's better-known dive sites.

Dive Sites Near the Bahamas
Name Quality Experience Max Depth Latitude Longitude
Airplane Wreck Fair -- 16.4 25.8209166667 -77.9311666667
Amberjack Reef Excellent -- 44.9 24.40795 -76.64945
Andros Barrier Reef -- -- -- 24.912324643 -77.8967571259
Andros Island - Amphitheatre Very Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 82.0 24.8650666667 -77.8711
Angel Grand Good Open Water / CMAS * 52.5 26.4681166667 -78.41355
Athol Island Dive -- -- -- 25.0780778297 -77.2869515419
Atlantis Beach Diving -- -- -- 25.0899203866 -77.3220589757
Atlantis Road Good All Divers 26.2 25.7666666667 -79.2785833333
Back Side of the Blue Hole Good Open Water / CMAS * 89.9 24.8133833333 -77.84865
Barracuda Aquarium Fair -- 29.5 24.59455 -75.9750833333
Ben's Blue Hole Very Good -- 49.9 26.5272666667 -78.5853833333
Ben's Cavern Good Open Water / CMAS * 49.9 26.548 -78.6374
Big Whale East Reef Good -- 42.7 25.4172666667 -77.7556166667
Big Whale North Reef Excellent -- 39.4 25.4438166667 -77.7570166667
Bimini Barge Very Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 100.0 25.6993341486 -79.3163776392
Bimini Trader Excellent Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 85.0 25.7214901423 -79.3157339116
Bird Cay South reef Excellent -- 49.2 25.39335 -77.8162833333
Black Forest Good Open Water / CMAS * 160.1 23.93915 -74.5699666667
Blue Hole 2nd Level Good Open Water / CMAS * 140.1 24.8134666667 -77.8493
Blue Hole 3rd Level Good -- 190.0 24.81285 -77.8490333333
Cabbage Beach Dive -- -- -- 25.0879989337 -77.3085486889
Canto Chiquiton Fair -- 49.9 21.1017166667 -75.9379333333
Caribe Breeze Wreck Good Open Water / CMAS * 68.9 24.9798 -77.535
Cessna Wreck Good -- 35.1 25.0073 -77.5502166667
Clifton Wall Good -- 65.0 25.0049166667 -77.55065
Connected dott Good Open Water / CMAS * 55.1 23.5846 -75.8545
Continental Shelf Very Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 300.0 25.6936881587 -79.3187809011
Crab Kay Wrecks -- -- -- 26.8059205687 -77.3548316932
Current Cut -- -- -- 25.4033314969 -76.792585373
Current Cut Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 65.6 25.4035666667 -76.79225
DC3 Wall Good -- 65.0 25.00605 -77.5519333333
David Tucker Wreck Good -- 49.9 25.0086166667 -77.5567333333
De La Salle Wreck Good Open Water / CMAS * 69.9 25.09725 -77.358
Deans Blue Hole Good -- 663.1 23.1063666667 -75.0087
Devil's Backbone -- -- -- 25.5606181338 -76.6973562241
Devil's Backbone Good -- 36.1 25.5770333333 -76.6869
Fisher's Bay -- -- -- 26.6664097536 -77.1220588661
Fowl Cay Preserve Excellent -- 98.4 26.63465 -77.04695
Glass Window Bridge Good Open Water / CMAS * 62.3 25.4381666667 -76.6036
Goulding Cay Fair -- 29.5 25.0226166667 -77.5707333333
Goulding Cay Wall Good Open Water / CMAS * 82.0 25.0213666667 -77.576
Grandma's Secret Garden Very Good -- 78.1 23.8103 -75.11945
Great Cut Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 180.4 23.9723333333 -74.5608666667
Guardian Inland Blue Hole Good -- 299.9 24.5113666667 -77.7209833333
Halloween Reef Very Good Open Water / CMAS * 80.1 24.0202833333 -74.5447333333
Hawksbill Reef Excellent Open Water / CMAS * 50.0 25.7560112285 -79.3011856073
Hesperus Very Good -- 36.1 25.80445 -79.1122166667
Highborn Key Wall Very Good -- 196.9 24.7250833333 -76.8025833333
Hole in the Wall Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 147.6 24.0064833333 -74.5540833333
Hollywood Bowl Very Good Open Water / CMAS * 82.0 25.0302333333 -77.5569166667
Hydro Lab Very Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 44.9 26.5034666667 -78.61645
Kinks Very Good -- 60.0 25.733552399 -79.3081808111
Lampton Wall Fair -- 65.0 25.0339666667 -77.5617666667
Landing Craft Wreck Good -- 49.2 25.0716 -77.2294166667
Little Caverns Very Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 80.0 25.7528803899 -79.3068933481
Little Frenchman Inland Blue Hole Good -- 169.9 24.5068666667 -77.72225
Lost Blue Hole Good -- 100.1 25.0271 -77.1419333333
MV Comberbach Wreck Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 114.8 23.6600833333 -75.3602
Mamma Rhoda Rock -- -- -- 25.4063358148 -77.920239687
Man-O-War Cay -- -- -- 26.5938272838 -77.0111655956
Manjack Cay -- -- -- 26.8348744226 -77.3928451538
Mermaid’s Reef -- -- -- 26.553251968 -77.0559139252
Miami Rita wreck Very Good -- 40.0 25.6041666667 -79.2972166667
Montagu Bay Diving -- -- -- 25.0744434533 -77.3043966293
Moray Alley Very Good Open Water / CMAS * 78.7 25.7485373736 -79.3076530106
Nippers -- -- -- 26.6716253206 -77.1035194374
Nodules Very Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 200.0 25.5075959997 -79.2679214431
Normans Key Cut Good -- 65.6 24.5729166667 -76.7908333333
North Turtle Rocks Reef Very Good All Divers 37.1 25.66885 -79.3062666667
Off Cape Eleuthera Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 164.0 24.8172333333 -76.3499166667
Off The Wall Excellent Open Water / CMAS * 91.9 24.8446166667 -76.3736833333
Palace Wall Excellent Open Water / CMAS * 65.0 25.0128166667 -77.5663166667
Paradise Rocks -- -- -- 25.0918272348 -77.3189556599
Pelican Cays Dive -- -- -- 26.3929830126 -76.9944591523
Phare Good Open Water / CMAS * 40.0 21.0986666667 -75.9423
Pygmy canyon Excellent Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 80.1 26.50515 -78.6155
Queen Anne's Revenge Wreck Very Good -- 29.5 25.81975 -77.9308333333
Rainbow Reef Very Good -- 25.0 25.7488990809 -79.2964410785
Reef Balls Fair -- 16.4 25.8208333333 -77.9311166667
Runaway 10 Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 131.2 24.0645666667 -74.5442333333
Sand Chute Good Open Water / CMAS * 65.0 25.0101666667 -77.5614666667
Sapona Wreck Very Good All Divers 19.7 25.65125 -79.2935833333
Sea Star II Wreck Very Good -- 92.8 26.5251833333 -78.5842666667
Sea Viking Wreck Fair Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 85.3 24.9661333333 -77.5102666667
Seabass Good Open Water / CMAS * 49.9 23.65805 -75.9427333333
Seagardens -- -- -- 26.7797178612 -77.323760984
Shark Encounter Excellent Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 82.0 24.8880666667 -77.5234
Shark Junction Good Open Water / CMAS * 44.9 26.5031166667 -78.6166666667
Shark Reef Good Open Water / CMAS * 42.0 23.6376833333 -75.3693
Snowfields Good -- 40.0 23.6564 -74.94975
South Turtle Rocks Reef Good -- 35.0 25.6578928528 -79.3083763163
Steel Forest Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 95.1 24.9833 -77.54695
Stewpot Fair Open Water / CMAS * 120.1 24.0453333333 -74.5337333333
Stones of Atlantis -- -- -- 25.7645214192 -79.2761178017
Sugar Wreck Fair -- 19.7 27.0527166667 -79.1605
Ta Hanita Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 69.9 21.10275 -75.94205
Taza Azul Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 89.9 21.1035666667 -75.93905
Telephone Pole Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 131.2 24.04295 -74.5326166667
The Cutt Good Open Water / CMAS * 49.9 26.7456166667 -77.8711
The James Bond Wrecks Good -- 45.9 25.00765 -77.5544666667
The Lighthouse Good -- 59.1 25.0875 -77.3500666667
The Notch Excellent Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 85.0 23.81555 -75.1250166667
The Strip Good All Divers 39.4 25.7372441214 -79.3034802699
The Willaurie Wreck Very Good Open Water / CMAS * 68.9 25.0158 -77.5695833333
Theo's Wreck Very Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 101.7 26.4829333333 -78.6702
Travellers's Rest Wall Fair Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 82.0 25.073 -77.4755833333
Trinity Caves Fair -- 49.9 25.08995 -77.35955
Tuna Alley Good Open Water / CMAS * 98.4 25.5299000641 -79.2905502645
Tunnel Wall Fair Open Water / CMAS * 131.2 25.0386333333 -77.5580666667
Twin Sister Very Good Open Water / CMAS * 69.9 24.9782833333 -77.54185
U-Boat Very Good -- 36.1 25.5761166667 -79.2927833333
Vicky's Reef Good Open Water / CMAS * 65.0 24.0279666667 -74.5343333333
Victory Reef Excellent -- 85.0 25.481255218 -79.2572784377
Water Cay Wrecks -- -- -- 26.6061066271 -77.1752738929
Wedge Rock Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 120.1 23.80695 -75.1180833333

For more information about snorkeling, including helpful suggestions and tips for both "old pros" and beginners, read our exhaustive guide to diving in the Caribbean.

Whether you stay on Grand Bahama, New Providence, or one of the Out Islands you will find numerous locations that are ideal for underwater exploration; in fact some of the best diving in the Caribbean surrounds the Bahamas. Beneath the surface of the ocean you are sure to make some of the most lasting memories of your Bahamas vacation, so be sure to soak them up.

 

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