There is no denying that a vacation spent on the beaches of the Bahamas is a successful one, but further inland there is much beauty to behold. More than a dozen national parks and a handful of dazzling gardens dot the landscape, just waiting to be explored. Make your vacation that much more special by taking some time to explore the natural side of the Bahamas
The Bahamas National Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and replenishment of the environment, as well as outdoors education. The trust makes contributions in caring for nearly all of the natural attractions listed below.
Do you enjoy being outdoors? You might be happy to learn the area has quite a number of nature preserves available.
Walker's Cay National Park is a great nature preserve Walkers Cay, in northwestern the Bahamas. The remote Walker's Cay National Park features a natural habitat for countless species that call this island home.
Adventurers hoping to find a another great natural attraction should consider visiting choices like Pelican Cays National Park. Established in 1972, this land and sea park is comprised of Channel Rock, Gaulding Cay, the southern portion of Sandy Cay as well as their surrounding waters. It is a popular destination among snorkelers because of the great underwater biodiversity, coral reefs, and underwater caves.
Fowl Cays National Park: Established in 2009, this is one of the newer national parks in the region. The reserve measures in at 1,920 acres and features a colorful barrier reef.
Review the following chart for more information about nature preserves.
|Andros Barrier Reef National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||19.0 mi. South of Central Andros Town||North Andros Island|
|BNT Rand Nature Centre||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||1.3 mi. North of Central Freeport||Grand Bahama Island|
|Black Sound Cay||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||1.1 mi. South of Central Crab Cay||Great Abaco|
|Blue Holes National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||20.1 mi. East of Central North Andros Island||North Andros Island|
|Crab Replenishment National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||28.2 mi. South West of Central Clifton Bay||North Andros Island|
|Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||Central the Bahamas||Shroud Cay|
|Fowl Cays National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||0.5 mi. North-Northwest of Central Fowl Cay||Fowl Cay|
|Inagua National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||3.8 mi. South of Central Great Inagua||Inagua|
|Lacayan National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||2.2 mi. East of Central Freetown||Grand Bahama Island|
|Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||3.4 mi. Northwest of Central South Palmetto Point||Eleuthera|
|Little Inagua National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||0.3 mi. North-Northwest of Central Little Inagua||Little Inagua|
|Moriah Harbour Cay||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||Central the Bahamas||Great Exuma|
|Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||3.1 mi. East of Central Garden of the Groves||Grand Bahama Island|
|Pelican Cays National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||1.3 mi. South of Central Channel Cay||Great Abaco|
|Peterson Cay National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||3.1 mi. East of Central Garden of the Groves||Grand Bahama Island|
|Primeval Forest||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||2.7 mi. Southeast of Central Old Fort Bay||New Providence|
|Union Creek National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||15.9 mi. Northeast of Central Matthew Town||Inagua|
|Walker's Cay National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||0.0 mi. South West of Central Walkers Cay||Walkers Cay|
Although most vacationers are drawn by the beaches, that isn't the only way to enjoy the natural wonders available. the Bahamas offers some great choices, including 6 caves.
You should consider visiting Preacher's Cave, which is found within the Bahamas. Explorers beware, lest you suffer the same fate as William Sayles; a captain who shipwrecked on Eleuthera in the 1600's and was forced to find refuge in what is known now as Preachers Cave. Today however, people seek out this cave for its natural beauty and wonderful photo opportunities.
The following chart lists some details concerning caves.
|Cave||2.9 mi. Southeast of Central Gregory Town||Eleuthera|
|Cave||4.1 mi. Northwest of Central Hopetown||Great Abaco|
|Preacher's Cave||Cave||5.0 mi. North-Northwest of Central Mano Creek||Eleuthera|
|Cave||Central the Bahamas||Eleuthera|
|Cave||2.1 mi. Southeast of Central Goat Cay||Great Harbour Cay|
|Cave||Central the Bahamas||Staniel Cay|
Guests can enjoy one of the many parks, as well as 5 botanical gardens in the Bahamas.
West Side National Park is located in the Bahamas. West Side National Park, established in 2002, is a 1.3 million acre park that protects an expansive array of coastal lands and wildlife, from birds to Iguana. Many tourists make the trek for the primo bonefishing.
A second popular choice in this category is Garden of the Groves. Several times a day beginning at 10:00 a.m., tours of the Gardens are available. Tours last for one hour and take guests through the property and discuss on the local flora and fauna.
The parks and gardens worth looking into are summarized right below.
|Park||6.3 mi. West-Northwest of Central Marsh Harbour||Great Abaco|
|Park||6.2 mi. North of Central Caves||Great Abaco|
|Park||1.4 mi. East-Northeast of Central downtown Nassau||New Providence|
|Park||5.0 mi. South West of Central Nassau||New Providence|
|Byrle Patterson Memorial Garden||Botanical Garden||0.1 mi. South-Southwest of Central Hopetown||Elbow Cay|
|Clifton Heritage Park||Park||0.8 mi. South West of Central Clifton Bay||New Providence|
|Park||Central the Bahamas||Conception Island|
|Park||3.3 mi. East of Central Nassau||New Providence|
|Garden of Remembrance||Botanical Garden||Downtown Nassau||New Providence|
|Garden of the Groves||Botanical Garden||0.1 mi. South of Central Garden of the Groves||Grand Bahama Island|
|Harrold & Wilson Ponds National Park||Park||1.5 mi. West of Central Nassau||New Providence|
|Park||0.0 mi. North-Northwest of Central Hopetown||Elbow Cay|
|Park||1.1 mi. East of Central downtown Nassau||New Providence|
|Park||Downtown Nassau||New Providence|
|Park||3.4 mi. West of Central Freeport||Grand Bahama Island|
|Park||1.3 mi. Northeast of Central Nassau||New Providence|
|Park||0.3 mi. North-Northwest of Central Hopetown||Elbow Cay|
|The Retreat National Park||Botanical Garden||2.9 mi. Northeast of Central Nassau||New Providence|
|Park||5.9 mi. South-Southwest of Central Hopetown||Tilloo Cay|
|Versailles Garden||Botanical Garden||3.9 mi. Northeast of Central Nassau||New Providence|
|West Side National Park||Park||19.3 mi. South-Southwest of Central Central Andros||Central Andros|
If the idea of spending part of a day at the zoo tickles your fancy, consider visiting Ardastra Gardens. Despite its name, Ardastra Gardens is actually a full-fledged zoo and conservation area. Guests can explore the jungle habitats of many wild animals, and are even encouraged to bring quarters for the feed stations.
Another related option is Punkie Cates Petting Zoo. This small zoo is a perfect attraction kids, who will be able to explore and pet some farm animals. There is not much else to do here, so plan on just spending a little time before moving on.
You can look through the chart below for more information about what's available.
|Ardastra Gardens||Zoo||1.2 mi. West of Central downtown Nassau|
|Punkie Cates Petting Zoo||Zoo||Nassau|
|The Dig Aquarium||Aquarium||1.3 mi. East-Northeast of Central downtown Nassau|
Another idea is to visit some of the more popular area land formations. Fully natural attractions like these in the Bahamas are provided here:
|Atlantis Lagoons||Lagoon||1.4 mi. East-Northeast of Central downtown Nassau||New Providence|
|Bonefish Pond||Pond||4.0 mi. South West of Central Nassau||New Providence|
|Rock Formation||2.4 mi. East-Southeast of Central Freeport||Grand Bahama Island|
|Point||10.5 mi. Northwest of Central Andros Town||North Andros Island|
|Rock Formation||3.9 mi. Northwest of Central Gregory Town||Eleuthera|
|Bay||0.5 mi. Northwest of Central Dunmore Town||Harbour Island|
|Fresh Creek||Stream||27.3 mi. East-Southeast of Central North Andros Island||North Andros Island|
|Rock Formation||2.4 mi. East of Central Freetown||Grand Bahama Island|
|Lake||Central the Bahamas||Cat Island|
|Healing Hole||River||1.9 mi. Southeast of Central North Bimini||North Bimini|
|Point||8.0 mi. Northwest of Central Andros Town||North Andros Island|
|Bay||0.2 mi. South-Southwest of Central Gregory Town||Eleuthera|
|Lake||1.4 mi. East-Northeast of Central downtown Nassau||New Providence|
|Rock Formation||3.5 mi. North-Northwest of Central Gun Cay||None|
|Hot Spring||3.8 mi. Northwest of Central Gregory Town||Eleuthera|
|Rock Formation||0.5 mi. North-Northwest of Central North Bimini||North Bimini|
|Rock Formation||Central the Bahamas||Staniel Cay|
|Rock Formation||3.3 mi. South West of Central South Bimini||None|
|Bay||1.0 mi. North-Northwest of Central West End||Grand Bahama Island|
|Lagoon||1.9 mi. South West of Central Hopetown||Elbow Cay|
Of course, The Bahamas is home to other attractions. To learn more about other attractions for the Bahamas, click this link.
Don't spend your vacation cooped up in your hotel room with the AC cranking; natural attractions in the Bahamas provide a breath of fresh air. So, get out and explore all that Mother Nature has to offer at one of the many gardens and national parks on the islands.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.