Snorkeling Around New Providence Island

Photo credit: © Li Newton

Home to some of the top tourist spots in the Bahamas, New Providence Island is popular for a reason.  One of those reasons is that the waters that surround the island are home to some of the foremost snorkeling reefs in the world.

Pick your pleasure; whatever your snorkeling passion is, you'll find something to satisfy you in these waters.  There are both natural and manmade reefs, reefs accessible from the beach and others that require a boat; plus wreck sites, and more.  If you've been snorkeling before and feel confident in your skills, you can plan to map out the spots you want to see and go it alone, or you can hire one of the many local snorkeling tour guides that are knowledgeable and amiable.

If you do plan to take matters into your own hands, know that there are two different sites that come very highly recommended by the experts: the Goulding Cay Reefs, just off New Providence Island; and the Rose Island Reef which is home to the Alcora freighter wreck site which was purposely sunk by the government in 1983.  These aren't the only options, of course, and you can learn more about what is available to you below.

Snorkeling Sites

If you're ready to experience what's below the surface you might enjoy visiting Rose Island West End Beach. Considered one of the top Nassau snorkeling sites, this reef is shallow, overrun by reef fish, and it is even home to not one, but two different shipwrecks. These wrecks are the Mahoney and the Alcora, and both can be visited by snorkelers as well as scuba divers. This snorkeling site is found in eastern New Providence Island.

Love Beach is another snorkeling spot you might enjoy. Set in 40 acres of protected underwater reserve, this is technically a spot reserved for locals; however, respectful visitors should have no problem accessing the reef as well. The reef abounds with local sea life, including spiny sea urchins bigger than any you've every seen before, angelfish, damselfish, snapper, butterfly fish, parrotfish, and brain coral. Do be warned that lion fish also frequent this area, and should be avoided as they are venomous.

A third location to consider is Lyford Cay Beach. Often visited by groups participating in a tour, Little Elvis is best known for its fire coral and abundance of eels snaking their way in an out of the reef structure.

A fourth location where you can go snorkeling is Flipper Beach. Home to a wreck site that was purposely sunk for the movie Jaws IV, this site is popular among snorkelers for its shallow reef and abundant amount of stingrays as well. If you're interested, this site is found in the western part of New Providence Island.

Atlantis Lagoons is a fifth option to consider. 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.

Some basic information concerning 8 of the most popular locations to enjoy snorkeling in this area are listed in the table below.

Snorkeling Sites Near New Providence Island
Site Location Island
Rose Island West End Beach 6.7 mi. East of Central downtown Nassau
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
Atlantis Lagoons 1.4 mi. East-Northeast of Downtown Nassau New Providence
Fish Hotel 6.9 mi. Northeast of Central Nassau New Providence
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

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Flying Cloud

Some people believe the best snorkeling is experienced away from the shore.

If you're hoping to snorkel during a boat trip, you might want to contact Island Time. Experience the true Bahamas boating experience aboard a yacht operated by an enthusiastic team that believes in creating your ultimate personalized high seas adventure.

Another option to investigate is Flying Cloud. For something different, why not have dinner on board a sail boat? Or perhaps you would rather take a lunch picnic at a deserted beach? They're located on Paradise Island, New Providence Island.

A third good option is Barefoot Sailing Cruises. Snorkeling and sailing are Barefoot Sailing Cruises' specialty, and their crew assures you will have an unforgettable experience unlike any other in the Bahamas.

Some information about boat trip providers that offer snorkeling opportunities can be found directly below.

Day Sails and Boat Trips On New Providence Island
Name Phone Location Island
Barefoot Sailing Cruises (242) 393-0820 0.8 mi. East of Downtown Nassau New Providence
Flying Cloud (242) 394-5067 1.3 mi. East of Downtown Nassau New Providence
Island Time (888) 733-3607 Downtown Nassau New Providence
Party Cat Cruises (954) 727-5339 1.9 mi. East of Downtown Nassau New Providence
Powerboat Adventures (242) 323-8888 1.4 mi. East of Downtown Nassau New Providence
Sandy Toes (242) 363-8637 8.6 mi. East-Northeast of Central Nassau Rose Island

Snorkeling Services

Stuart Cove's Snorkel Bahamas

If you're looking for a place that offers snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you might want to check with Stuart Cove's Snorkel Bahamas. For those who want to take to the water, Stuart Cove has their own boutique which is stocked with ocean activity necessities. Top quality snorkeling, scuba, and other watersports equipment can be found right here. They are located in the western part of New Providence Island.

Another place catering to snorkelers is Stuart Cove's Snorkel Bahamas. There are two types of snorkeling adventures available: the morning or afternoon Snorkel Adventure Trip, or the Bubble Watcher. The Snorkel Adventure Trip exposes guests to live coral and exotic marine life. Several Hollywood movie sets and shipwrecks can be found in the area, which Stuart Cove will take you to.

Some details about two firms that provide services related to snorkeling are displayed in the chart below.

Snorkeling Services On New Providence Island
Name Type Location
Stuart Cove's Snorkel Bahamas Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service 1.9 mi. West of Central Adelaide Village
Stuart Cove's Snorkel Bahamas Snorkeling Tour Operator 1.9 mi. West of Central Adelaide Village

To learn more concerning snorkeling, including helpful suggestions and tips for beginners and "pros" check out this detailed Caribbean snorkeling article.

Snorkeling is fun, educational, and awe-inspiring all at once.  What more could you ask for in an activity?  Consider this as you plan your time on New Providence Island. 


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