Snorkeling Around Eleuthera

Photo credit: © Eleuthera Tours

Eleuthera is often thought of as a great destination for anglers, but snorkelers won't want to pass over a chance to visit this destination.  Just off shore – accessible even without a boat – there are multiple sites of gorgeous coral reef systems that are often uncrowded by people, but teeming with bright and active reef fish.

The underwater landscape of Eleuthera is comprised of blue holes and caves in addition to extensive coral reefs just moments from the island's pink sand beaches.  Elkhorn coral makes a home for many species of fish along with star and brain corals, sea fans, and more, all working together to create a vision that many have compared to an underwater kingdom.  There is even a nearby wreck site to explore, filled with boats that met their match at Devil's Backbone and were laid to rest within the strong coral heads.  Within these spots are plenty of marine animals to be seen, from lobsters to reef sharks.  

These sites combined with the quiet and sense of peace that easily overtakes you without the worries of your life back on shore to distract you make it easy to see why snorkeling is such a popular pastime – but the fact that the waters are warm, the currents are weak, and the visibility is superb amplify the draw to this sport. 

Snorkeling Sites

If you're ready to explore what's down below you should consider a visit to Ship's Channel Cay. This site is a popular stop on speedboat tours offered by local operators, and is rarely accessible otherwise. As part of your stop here, you can don snorkeling gear just off shore and encounter stingrays and nurse sharks. This snorkeling site is found on Ship Channel Cay, in the southwestern part of Eleuthera.

Devil's Backbone is another place you might enjoy. The most famous of the area's snorkeling sites, this destination consists of a shallow and jagged reef system that has torn out the bottom of more than a few boats and ships. Snorkelers can see the remains of many of these wrecks including three layers on top of one another.

A third place to consider is Man Island. This well secluded site is best known for its abundance of octopus which snorkelers have a great deal of fun interacting with.

A few key details for 10 of the most popular places where you can experience snorkeling in this area are listed in the following table.

Snorkeling Sites Near Eleuthera
Site Location Island
Ship's Channel Cay 0.4 mi. East of Central Ship Channel Cay Ship Channel Cay
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 3.1 mi. South-Southeast of Central Bannerman Town 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

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is experienced away from the shore.

If you're hoping to go snorkeling during a boating adventure, you might want to check with 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.

Another option to consider is Ocean Fox. A small watersports operation that is keen on offering the most personalized service available, you'll find it easy to customize your adventure whether you're interested in a simple sailing trip, snorkeling, diving, or fishing. They're located in Waterford, in southern Eleuthera.

Take a look at the chart below for a list of boat trips and day sails that provide snorkeling.

Day Sails and Boat Trips On Eleuthera
Name Phone Location Island
Ocean Fox -- 2.5 mi. South-Southwest of Central Green Castle Eleuthera
Valentines (242) 333-2080 0.3 mi. South-Southwest of Central Dunmore Town Harbour Island

Snorkeling Services

If you're looking for someone that offers snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you should check out Eleuthera Tours Snorkeling. Whether you're staying long term or visiting the Bahamas as part of a cruise, this tour guide operator has a boat tour that will exceed your wildest expectations. They are located in the southern part of Eleuthera.

A second place that offers snorkeling related services 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.

The table just below shows some details concerning 3 places that provide services related to snorkeling.

Snorkeling Services On Eleuthera
Name Type Phone Location
Clearwater Center Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (242) 332-2146 0.1 mi. South-Southeast of Central Governors Harbour
Eleuthera Tours Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (242) 225-4408 9.1 mi. West-Northwest of Central Green Castle
Fishbone Tours Snorkeling Tour Operator (242) 332-6524 6.2 mi. South-Southeast of Central North Palmentton Point

To learn more concerning snorkeling, including tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, read our comprehensive Caribbean snorkeling page.

Whether you stick close to the beach or you choose to explore the outer reef, there are wondrous things to be seen underneath the surface in the waters surrounding Eleuthera.  All you need is a snorkel, a mask, and the know-how, and this underwater world is yours to see.  


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