Best Snorkeling in the Bahamas
A beautiful place to start learning how to snorkel or for the seasoned veteran. Where to start... The Bahamas has so many beautiful places to snorkel and explore. It is also quite bit and can be expensive so make sure you do your research first. I will talk about:
Grand Bahama Island In the North Island
Abacos in the North, just west of Grand Bahama
Andros the biggest island situated in the middle. (North of Cuba)
Bimini north west of Grand Bahama. East of Miami
If you are not sure where the other islands are I have linked them to google map so just click on them and you will know exactly where you are at. Most of the Bahamas is comprised of smaller islands that have snorkel or dive shops but can be different hours due to the time of year so your best bet is to call your hotel first to confirm but you can go off almost all beaches and see some pretty amazing marine life just outside your hotel room!
Starting with the most famous, Nassau which is the capital of the Bahamas and is situated on the island of New Providence. The mountainous landscape has spectacular views and is known for its beautiful coral reefs. In South West Bay you are in Stuarts Cove which you can see beautiful fish, shipwrecks used from certain movies... I will tell later on in the article or even sharks (if you are up for it)! With so many reefs and islands it's tough to choose just a few and can be pricey if you are island hoping but I will talk about a few of my favorites and touch on some of the smaller reefs.
Nassau... Oh my Goodness is it every beautiful. Flying in or ferrying into this magical place you won't be disappointed from the first time you step foot onto the island. New Providence has spectacular 360 degree views anywhere above or below sea! Let start with Stuarts Cove! Most snorkel or dive companies will pick you up and return you for an "included" fee with the snorkeling trip.
Our recommendation is for Stuart Cove's
Stuart Cove's US Reservation Office
3700 Hacienda Blvd Suite G
Davie, FL 33314
1-800-879-5755 (US and Canada)
Tours leave daily from 9:30 am and 1:30 pm departures and prices are as follows:
$39 Children 11 and under
Note: Children under the age of 4 are not permitted on the boats.
Included is a complimentary transfer and use of mask, fins, snorkel and snorkel vest but if you are an avid diver I would recommend buying a set first!
Once you get going on the Zambezi which is a twin engine vessel to get you to and from safely with all your amenities on board. Once you are there it some of the most beautiful waters I have ever been in but it is home to the James Bond Films "For Your Eyes Only and Never Say Never Again. Maybe because I am a huge James Bond enthusiast I found this to be fantastic. You first stop off at a shallow reef about 15-20 feet, so make sure you are wearing a snorkel vest and are comfortable in the water in which you will go to either Nari Nari, Little Elvis, Goulding Cay, or School house it just depends on how calm the water is.
From there if weather permits, it will be time to go check out some Caribbean Reef Sharks! Trust me it is way more fun than scary. I must say the sharks are 40 FEET below the surface and rarely come off the ocean floor. Mostly for scuba divers at a deeper depth a bait box is lowered to the bottom of the shore and there they are for the most beautiful, magnificent creatures you will see! This is optional but highly recommended.
The Lost Blue Hole
So maybe it's not as unbelievably big as the Belize blue hole measuring over 300 m (984 ft) across and 108 m (354 ft) deep but it is pretty spectacular once you get close to it! It measures roughly with its diameter of 25 to 35 meters (82–115 ft) and a depth of 20 meters (66 ft), the hole widens considerably into a cavern with a diameter of 100 meters (330 ft).
With the protection from the open ocean it has spectacular sights and views from on top and below. You can see Nurse Sharks, Snappers, Yellowtails, Manta Rays Sea turtles and much more. The water is clear and calm so your viewing is spectacular. It is a definite must if you are travelling there. Check out Stuart Cove Dive shop for more information in regards to snorkeling the Lost Blue Hole.
Grand Bahama Island
In the North of the Bahamas is Grand Bahama Island which as spectacular snorkeling. The water is clear and has an excellent array of marine life. A few good places to check out are:
Silver Point Reef
You can call 242-373-5880 which I found is the best deals. Your best bet is to call for rates and dates.
Another great place to check out is Abacos. In the Northern Island area and just west of the Grand Bahama Island. Accessible but boat or plane. Most likely will have to charter a flight here but ferries do run regularly. You will find great shallow wrecks and are no more than 40 feet deep. Great visibility and if you check out Walkers Cay you can check out Reef Sharks! Either from the surface of if you are up for it, go dive down and experience those magical fish.
The biggest Island situated mostly central to the rest of the Bahamas and just North of Cuba. Combined with all of the other islands in the Bahamas it has a greater area. You will find lots of shallow reefs that are suitable for the whole family. With a wide array of marine life you may even find dolphins swimming beside you!
We recommend Small Hope Bay Lodge which is an all inclusive resort that offers every amenity that you will need to enjoy your vacation.
Telephone - 1-855-841-6966
Website - www.smallhope.com
There are 6 different places to snorkel right off the resort and lots to see including: grunts, snapper, sea cucumbers, cushion stars and maybe even some lobster and octopus.
Depending on where you are located Bimini is just 50 minutes from Miami and is one of the Northern Islands of the Bahamas. Whether you are taking a ferry or a flight, there are lots of reasonable options to get to and from. Check out Resort World Bimini for most of your options.
Website - http://rwbimini.com/
Telephone - 1-888-930-8668
The best time to snorkel and dive are between April to October for clarity but throughout the winter months you won't be disappointed especially if you are coming from a chilly spot in the world. You will see amazing wrecks, reefs and underwater wall faces that are spectacular! You can see Stingrays, manta rays, phenomenal coral reefs and a large variety of fish. There are around 45 species of sharks and depending on the time of year and get lucky to see the hammerhead migration.