Snorkeling Around Elbow Cay

Sheltered by the Sea of Abaco, Elbow Cay is home to some of the most prolific shore snorkeling spots in the Bahamas.  Most visitors find that they want for nothing when they pull on their gear, wade into the water and begin their adventures.

Elbow Cay is great for both beginners and expert snorkelers, not to be overlooked by anyone.  Calm waters and excellent visibility only serve to aid in creating a peaceful escape for visitors who look forward to tuning out the rest of the world and focusing only on the mysteries of the sea.  You can bring your own gear and snorkel between stretches of lying in the sand, or you can rent gear from local watersports shops.  There are also several guides that can take you out to sites only accessible by boat. 

Some of the best snorkeling in the entire chain of Bahamas Islands is accessible through the 2100 acre land and sea park that Elbow Cay protects, but no matter where you go, you'll have access to shallow reefs, colorful and friendly reef fish, and even the occasional nurse shark.

Snorkeling Sites

If you'd like to explore what's below the surface you might enjoy visiting Pelican Cay. Located within the national park of the same name, this reef spreads out over 2,000 acres and depths range up to 30 feet. Within the shallow reefs there are angelfish, grouper, spotted eagle rays, and jacks. This snorkeling site is found in the southern part of Elbow Cay.

White Sound is another option. Almost the entire west side of the island is home to sandy beaches that lead to impressive snorkeling. Offshore sites include brain coral and elkhorn coral in addition to shipwrecks that are alive with parrotfish, wrasse, yellowtail snapper, and much more.

A third location to consider is Hope Town Reef. Enormous numbers of fish make their homes in this reef, which is grown over with brain and elkhorn coral formations.

A fourth place to go snorkeling is Maxi Caves. Depths of this site range from 10 to 35 feet and will provide snorkelers with glimpses of coral pillars, brain coral, southern sting rays, sea whips, and sea fans. If you're interested, you'll find this site located on Great Abaco, Northwest of Elbow Cay.

Sandy Cay is a fifth location to consider. Both snorkelers and divers love this site, which ranges from five to 30 feet deep and features a nice array of local marine life. This area is known for being home to the largest collection of elkhorn coral in one single area, and you'll also catch glimpses of eagle rays, loggerhead turtles, damselfish, butterfly fish, angelfish, and peacock fish among others. The coral reef is on the seaward side of Sandy Cay, making it a part of the Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park.

Some details concerning 5 of the best locations to go snorkeling in this area are listed in the chart below.

Snorkeling Sites Near Elbow Cay
Site Location Island
Pelican Cay 3.4 mi. South West of Central Hopetown Elbow Cay
White Sound 1.7 mi. South West of Central Hopetown Elbow Cay
Hope Town Reef 0.6 mi. Northwest of Central Hopetown Elbow Cay
Maxi Caves 4.1 mi. Northwest of Central Hopetown Great Abaco
Sandy Cay 4.4 mi. Northwest of Central Hopetown Sandy Cay

Snorkeling Services

If you're looking for someone that offers snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you should check out Froggies Out Island Adventures. They offer two snorkeling tours. The first is a full day option which takes guests to the Sandy Cay National Park for snorkeling, then continues on to a beach bar for lunch, a visit to a local art gallery, then to Tiloo Bank for a little more snorkeling. They are found within Hopetown, Elbow Cay.

Be sure to look at this table to see a firm that offers snorkeling related services.

Snorkeling Services On Elbow Cay
Name Type Phone Location Island
Froggies Out Island Adventures Snorkeling Tour Operator (242) 366-0431 0.2 mi. West-Northwest of Central Hopetown Elbow Cay

To learn more about snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, check out this exhaustive Caribbean snorkeling page.

Elbow Cay is on the list of top snorkeling destinations in the Bahamas, so if you find marine life as magical and mystical as many others who visit the Caribbean, a visit to this island is a must.


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