Snorkeling Around the Bahamas

Photo Credit: © r0sss CC BY
 

There is just something about snorkeling in the Bahamas that immediately puts you at ease.  All the noises of the day come to a halt; the calming blue waters filter all that you see, promoting a feeling of peace and serenity; and there is a seemingly whole new world of sea life to explore. 

No matter your age or swimming skill level, you will find the perfect snorkeling site within this island chain. The Bahamas stretch through the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, offering the opportunity to view wonderfully diverse marine life and gorgeous reefs. You should absolutely do yourself a favor and include snorkeling in your vacation plans.

Maps

Most islands in the Bahamas offer organized snorkeling tours for those who prefer to stay a bit closer to the surface. In order to reach many of the most unique sites, you'll have to take a boat out to the protective reefs. There, you will encounter vivid local marine life. Despite this fact, snorkeling right offshore is possible in many cases as well.  

Because of the large amount of space this island chain covers, you'll want to be sure to look into the exact location you're visiting to learn more about the conditions that exist there. For example, in the Abacos you'll rarely experience a reef system that is deeper than 40 feet, while Harbour Island's primary attractions are shipwrecks.  

New Providence Island

If you're looking for some great snorkeling, check out New Providence's Love Beach Snorkeling. New Providence Island has so many great dive sites that you may not be able to see them all in one trip. Snorkelers can find plenty of dive operators in Nassau. Most accommodations on the island have gear available and can arrange for snorkeling cruises to take you further out into the ocean. 

Eleuthera

Eleuthera has some great secluded beaches where travelers can snorkel offshore in maximum privacy. Another unique feature of Eleuthera is the Current Cut. This fast moving gully can carry you on a flowing underwater current for 10 minutes. The waters around Eleuthera also hold various shipwreck sites and a submerged locomotive, which was being transported by a barge that sank in 1865.

Grand Bahama

Cruise ship passengers headed towards the Bahamas can't wait to get off the ship and head to the nearest beach to get in some snorkeling.  There are numerous tour operators in Grand Bahama that specialize in snorkeling tours specifically for cruisers that typically hit up such sites as Paradise Cove and Dolphin Cove which is a unique site that allows you to snorkel and interact with dolphins.  If you're staying on the island for an extended period of time, you may be more interested in the more secluded Peterson Cay.

Snorkeling Sites

If you'd like to experience what's below the surface you might want to check out Dean's Blue Hole. Considered to be one of the deepest blue holes in the world, this wonder was created when an ancient cave system collapsed into the ocean. Today, it ranges from five to 500 feet deep, making it fun for both snorkelers and divers to experience along with the protective reef near the mouth of the small bay that it lies within. This snorkeling site is situated in the Bahamas.

Atlantis Lagoons is another option. The lagoons at this popular resort are the man-made site with purposely sunken artifacts and colorful fish brought in to create a snorkeling opportunity for guests. It is ideal for those new to the sport as well as young children, but in truth there is not much for an experienced snorkeler to see.

A third location to consider is Angelfish Reef. Aptly named for its abundance of angelfish, this destination focuses on a reef system that only stretches about 20 feet deep.

A fourth place to go snorkeling is Walker's Cay National Park. Ranging from five to 40 feet deep, this site is named for the barracuda which can be seen in overwhelming numbers here. Of course, there is more to the sire than barracudas, and angelfish, grouper, and jacks can be see darting about the sea tubes, sea fans, and hard corals. If you want to experience it for yourself, this site is situated in northwestern the Bahamas.

Coral Caverns is a fifth site to consider. A rainbow of color will enchant you at this site. This destination is known for its incredible biodiversity which includes sea fans, sea tubes, and coral as well as angelfish, barracuda, and jacks.

Some details concerning 69 of the best locations to go snorkeling in this area are listed in the following table.

Snorkeling Sites Near the Bahamas
Site Location Island
Dean's Blue Hole 2.9 mi. West of Central Clarence Town Long Island
Atlantis Lagoons 0.5 mi. North of Central Potters Cay New Providence
Angelfish Reef 7.0 mi. South West of Central Fox Town Grand Bahama Island
Walker's Cay National Park 0.0 mi. South West of Central Walkers Cay
Coral Caverns 1.8 mi. East-Southeast of Central Fiddle Cay Green Turtle Cay
White Sound 1.7 mi. South West of Central Hopetown Elbow Cay
Fowl Cays National Park 6.5 mi. North of Central Marsh Harbour Fowl Cay
Guana Cay Beach 1.7 mi. Northeast of Central Spoil Bank Cay Great Abaco
Hope Town Reef 0.6 mi. Northwest of Central Hopetown Elbow Cay
Maxi Caves 4.1 mi. Northwest of Central Hopetown Great Abaco
Mermaid’s Reef 0.7 mi. North-Northeast of Central Marsh Harbour Great Abaco
Pelican Cay 3.4 mi. South West of Central Hopetown Elbow Cay
Pirates Cathedral 0.7 mi. West of Central Grand Cay Grand Cay
Sandy Cay 4.4 mi. Northwest of Central Hopetown Sandy Cay
Walker's Cay National Park 0.0 mi. South West of Central Walkers Cay
Andros Barrier Reef 14.8 mi. North-Northwest of Central Andros Town North Andros Island
China Point 9.5 mi. Northwest of Central Andros Town North Andros Island
Goat Cay Beach 1.8 mi. North of Central Andros Town North Andros Island
Love Hill Beach 2.3 mi. Northwest of Central Andros Town North Andros Island
North Beach 3.6 mi. Northwest of Central Andros Town North Andros Island
Red Shoal 11.2 mi. Northwest of Central Andros Town North Andros Island
Sapona Wreck 3.6 mi. South-Southwest of Central South Bimini
Atlantis Road 0.8 mi. North of Central North Bimini North Bimini
Turtle Rocks 3.3 mi. South West of Central South Bimini
Picquet Rocks 3.5 mi. North-Northwest of Central Gun Cay
Paradise Point 0.3 mi. North of Central North Bimini North Bimini
Eagle Ray Run 2.8 mi. South-Southwest of Central South Bimini
The Strip 1.1 mi. West-Southwest of Central Pigeon Cay South Bimini
Gaulding Cay Beach 1.8 mi. West of Central Clifton Bay
Rose Island West End Beach 6.7 mi. East of Central downtown Nassau
Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park Central the Bahamas Shroud Cay
Gambier Deep Reef 6.9 mi. Northwest of Central Nassau New Providence
Love Beach 0.9 mi. Northeast of Central Gambier New Providence
Lyford Cay Beach 3.4 mi. South West of Central Gambier New Providence
Flipper Beach 1.1 mi. South West of Central Clifton Bay New Providence
Ship's Channel Cay Central the Bahamas Ship Channel Cay
Walker's Cay National Park 0.0 mi. South West of Central Walkers Cay Walkers Cay
Libens Point 8.1 mi. North-Northwest of Central Andros Town North Andros Island
Trumpet Reef 2.2 mi. North of Central Andros Town North Andros Island
Bull Run 6.0 mi. South-Southeast of Central North Cat Cay
Victory Reef 6.3 mi. South-Southeast of Central Gun Cay
Rainbow Reef 1.1 mi. South West of Central South Bimini South Bimini
Thunderball Cave Central the Bahamas Staniel Cay
Southern Bight Split 3.6 mi. Northwest of Central Congo Town Central Andros
Three Sisters Rocks 0.5 mi. North-Northwest of Central North Bimini North Bimini
Blister Beach 1.7 mi. Northeast of Central North Bimini North Bimini
Rainbow Reef 0.7 mi. South of Central South Bimini South Bimini
Devil's Backbone 1.4 mi. Northeast of Central Spanish Wells Eleuthera
Gaulding's Cay Beach 5.8 mi. South-Southeast of Central Dunmore Town Eleuthera
Man Island 3.1 mi. North of Central Dunmore Town Eleuthera
Harbour Island 1.8 mi. North of Central Dunmore Town Eleuthera
Dunmore Town Bay 0.5 mi. Northwest of Central Dunmore Town Harbour Island
Lighthouse Beach Central the Bahamas Eleuthera
Oleander Bay 0.2 mi. South-Southwest of Central Gregory Town Eleuthera
Paradise Beach 0.2 mi. West-Southwest of Central Gregory Town Eleuthera
Pink House Reef 0.3 mi. South West of Central James Cistern Eleuthera
Buddha Heads 2.4 mi. East-Southeast of Central Freeport Grand Bahama Island
Deadman's Reef 9.8 mi. Northwest of Central Grant Town Grand Bahama Island
Gold Rock 2.4 mi. East of Central Freetown Grand Bahama Island
Seahunt Reef 5.2 mi. East of Central Freeport Grand Bahama Island
Silver Point Reef 2.6 mi. East of Central Freeport Grand Bahama Island
Treasure Reef 5.0 mi. East-Southeast of Central Freeport Grand Bahama Island
West End Bay 1.1 mi. North-Northwest of Central West End Grand Bahama Island
Barracuda Shoals 1.7 mi. West of Central Olde Town Sandyport New Providence
Caribe Breeze Wreck 5.8 mi. South-Southwest of Central Gambier New Providence
Fish Hotel 6.9 mi. Northeast of Central Nassau New Providence
Thunderball Reef Central the Bahamas
Ocean Beach 0.6 mi. North-Northeast of Central Green Turtle Cay Green Turtle Cay
Cutlass Bay Beach Central the Bahamas Cat Island

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Flying Cloud

Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is located off shore.

If you'd like to snorkel during a boat trip, you might want to check with Exotic Adventures. They don't like to adhere to strict rules about when their trips start and finish, or what they include. They'd rather work with you to create your ideal day of cruising on their powerboat.

Another option worth investigating is Valentines. While they call themselves a dive center, in truth, they offer every watersport you can image. Diving, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, or a simple day of sailing can all be arranged and you can sometimes even do more than one a day. They're found in Dunmore Town, the Bahamas.

Still another option is Dive Abaco Snorkeling. Whether you need to rent equipment, earn PADI certification, participate in a guided dive, or get in some snorkeling, this dive center will handle all of your needs.

Some details about boat trip providers that provide snorkeling can be found here:

Day Sails and Boat Trips In the Bahamas
Name Phone Location Island
Barefoot Sailing Cruises (242) 393-0820 0.8 mi. East of Central downtown Nassau New Providence
Dive Abaco Snorkeling (800) 247-5338 0.5 mi. East-Northeast of Central Marsh Harbour Great Abaco
Dive Guana Boating (242) 365-5178 0.8 mi. Southeast of Central Great Guana Cay Great Guana Cay
Exotic Adventures (242) 374-2278 Downtown Freeport Grand Bahama Island
Flying Cloud (242) 394-5067 1.3 mi. East of Central downtown Nassau New Providence
Island Time (888) 733-3607 The Bahamas
Out Island Explorers (265) 365-5686 George Town, Central the Bahamas Great Exuma
Party Cat Cruises (954) 727-5339 1.9 mi. East of Central downtown Nassau New Providence
Powerboat Adventures (242) 323-8888 Paradise Island New Providence
Reef Tours (242) 373-5880 2.1 mi. East of Central Freeport Grand Bahama Island
Sandy Toes (242) 363-8637 8.6 mi. East-Northeast of Central Nassau Rose Island
Sunn Odyssey (242) 373-4014 1.6 mi. Southeast of Central Freeport Grand Bahama Island
Valentines (242) 333-2080 0.3 mi. South-Southwest of Central Dunmore Town Harbour Island

Snorkeling Services

Stuart Cove's Snorkel Bahamas

If you're looking for a place offering snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you might want to check with Ocean Motion Watersports. Any watersport you could think to want to participate in is hosted by this company and available at prices that are competitive with other local operators. These include Kayaking, Paddle boarding, sailing, snorkeling, parasailing, wave runners, banana boats, and even a water trampoline. They are located within Port Lucaya, in the western part of the Bahamas.

Another company that offers snorkeling related services is Stuart Cove's Snorkel Bahamas. Considered to be some of the leading experts in Nassau's coral reef systems, this favored tour company has fun snorkeling excursions for you to join. Additionally, they offer snorkeling equipment rental for those who want to go on a solo adventure.

A third company worth contacting is Fishbone Tours. Specializing in adventures on the water, this tour operator can help you think of many ways to explore the marine world of Eleuthera; snorkeling is just one of their favorites. They're located in Savannah Sound, the Bahamas.

Some key facts about 12 firms that offer snorkeling services can be seen directly below.

Snorkeling Services In the Bahamas
Name Type Phone Location Island
Bahamas Out Island Adventures Rentals Watersports Equipment Shop (242) 551-9635 Gregory Town, Western part of the Bahamas Eleuthera
Bahamas Out Island Adventures Snorkel Snorkeling Tour Operator (242) 551-9635 0.0 mi. West-Southwest of Central Gregory Town Eleuthera
Bimini Undersea Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (786) 280-6861 0.6 mi. South of Central North Bimini North Bimini
Dive Guana Rentals Watersports Equipment Shop (242) 365-5178 0.7 mi. Southeast of Central Great Guana Cay Great Guana Cay
Fishbone Tours Snorkeling Tour Operator (242) 332-6524 6.2 mi. South-Southeast of Central North Palmentton Point Eleuthera
Froggies Out Island Adventures Snorkeling Tour Operator (242) 366-0431 0.2 mi. West-Northwest of Central Hopetown Elbow Cay
Lucaya Watersports Seahorse Road Snorkeling Tour Operator (242) 373-6375 2.1 mi. East of Central Freeport Grand Bahama Island
Lucaya Watersports Taino Beach Resort Snorkeling Tour Operator (242) 727-0968 2.6 mi. East of Central Freeport Grand Bahama Island
Ocean Motion Water Sports Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (242) 373-9603 2.5 mi. East of Central Freeport Grand Bahama Island
Ocean Motion Watersports Watersports Equipment Shop (242) 373-9603 2.5 mi. East of Central Freeport Grand Bahama Island
Stuart Cove's Snorkel Bahamas Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (800) 879-9832 1.9 mi. West of Central Adelaide Village New Providence
Stuart Cove's Snorkel Bahamas Snorkeling Tour Operator (800) 879-9832 1.9 mi. West of Central Adelaide Village New Providence

For more information concerning snorkeling, including helpful suggestions and tips for beginners and "pros" read this comprehensive Caribbean snorkeling article.

Snorkeling can be an educational and cultural experience as well as a whole lot of fun.  Whether you bring your own gear, rent what you need when you arrive in the islands, or are given equipment as part of a tour or hotel stay, there are so many opportunities to get out there and see what lies just below the surface of the sea that there is almost no excuse to allow yourself to miss out.   

 

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