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Scuba Diving in the Bahamas

Bahamas Coral Bahamas Image supplied by Stephen Frink/Waterhouse, 2008PADI Scuba Diving in the Bahamas

The Bahamas are an archipelago of 700 islands covering 259,000 square kilometres/100,000 square miles throughout the Western Atlantic ocean that offer a complete range of dive adventures including pristine and healthy coral reefs, vertical walls, wrecks, tunnels, caverns and blue holes. The waters are amazingly clear and boast 30-metre/100-foot visibility, lush coral reefs and abundant marine life. Plus, the subtropical climate provides approximately 340 sunny days each year. And, probably more important to divers, the dive conditions are impressive year-round.

PADI Dive Shops and Resorts

Find contact information for all the PADI Dive Shops and Resorts in the Bahamas.

Dive Summary

Depth: 6 - 46 metres/20 - 150 feet
Visibility: Average of  24 - 30 metres/80 100 feet
Water Temp: Water temperatures average 24° C/75° F during the winter (December to March) , 27° C/80° F in spring and 31° C/88° F in the summer (June to August).
Dive Season: Year-round
Weather: The subtropical climate sees
about 340 sunny days per year. Average air temperatures:

  • Winter and Spring (December to May): 18 - 25° C/65 - 77° F. 
  • Summer (June-August): 24 - 33° C/75 - 91° F.

Recommended CoursesDeep DiverEnriched Air DiverDigital Underwater PhotographerUnderwater NaturalistWreck Diver; Cavern Diver
Scuba Gear: All dive centers offer a full line of equipment rental.Bahamas Dolphins Bahamas Image supplied by Stephen Frink/Waterhouse, 2008

Scuba Diving in Nassau/Paradise Island
If you are looking for paradise, look no further than the waters of Nassau/Paradise Island.  Here, you will find crystal-clear, warm waters and drop-offs that are close to shore. You will find all types of diving - blue holes and caves, historical wrecks and amazing reefs, soaring wall dives and thrilling shark diving, great for both the new or experienced diver.

To experience the wonder and excitement of the diving in Nassau Bahamas check out this video:
Video courtesy of Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas.

 

Featured Creatures
With a diverse array of marine life, nearly all divers will find what they are looking for - especially Nassau Grouper - the national fish of the Bahamas.
When these groupers spawn, they gather in the hundreds of thousands. Spiny lobster are also common and the “March of the Spiny Lobsters” takes place a couple times a year in shallow water. Divers will also likely see conch, dolphins, hammerhead sharks, reef sharks and sea turtles.

Best Dive Sites – Nassau/Paradise Island

Shark Diving

Shark Buoy
Out in the middle of some of the deepest, bluest water in the Bahamas and about an hour out from New Providence - and in some of the area's deepest, bluest water - is the large yellow Shark Buoy. The buoy attracts a lot of marine life, but the main attraction is Silky Sharks, which are a bit smaller than Caribbean Reef Sharks.

Runway and Shark Arena, New Providence
There are always plenty of sharks cruising the reef in anticipation of the upcoming feed and you'll get up close and personal with twenty or more Caribbean Reef Sharks. Don’t forget to bring your camera. If you want to get an even closer look, many dive centers offer a PADI Shark Awareness Specialty course.

Wreck Diving
James Bond Wreck
Relive Sean Connery’s adventure as 007 during the movies Thunderball and Never Say Never Again by diving the famous James Bond Wreck.

Scuba Diving in Grand Bahama Island
Grand Bahama Island is located about 90 kilometres/56 miles east of Palm Beach, Florida. It is 155 kilometres/96 miles long and 27 kilometres/17 miles wide, with little humidity and rainfall. You will find the diving in Grand Bahama Island is pristine year-round.

To experience the wonder and excitement of the diving in Grand Bahamas check out this video:
Video courtesy of UNEXSO.


 

Best Dive Sites – Grand Bahama Island

Shark Diving

Shark Junction or Shark Alley

Shark feedings here are in 12 metres/40 feet of water and you'll get to watch them cruise by at arm's length. You can expect to see Caribbean reef sharks and hammerheads.

Wreck Diving
The Sugar Wreck
This old sailing ship lies off the West End of Grand Bahama at about 6 metres/20 feet. The site gets a lot of sunlight, which means an abundance of fish life and coral. Congregations of snappers, grunts, wrasse, gobies, angelfish and parrotfish can be spotted all over the wreck.

Theo's WreckWreck Diving Bahamas Image supplied by Stephen Frink/Waterhouse, 2008
Located off the Grand Bahama Island, this 74-metre/238-foot freighter was sunk in 1982 and lies intact at 31 metres/100 feet. On most days, the water is so clear that you can see the hull from the surface. The ship is covered with sponges and black corals, and is home to a variety of fish, sharks, rays and turtles.

Scuba Diving in Long Island
On Long Island, you can dive Dean’s Blue Hole, said to be the world’s deepest blue hole and the second largest underwater chamber, which dips 203 metres/663 feet into the ocean floor. You will find great reef dives and sites like the upright wreck of The Comberbach in 27 metres/90 feet of water and walls that drop to 1830 metres/6,000 feet.

Best Dive Sites – Long Island

Shark Diving

Shark Reef
Here, divers line up against a coral wall at about 9 metres/30 feet of water, while the divemaster baits the water. You'll see a dozen or two reef sharks approach to scoop up the bait.

Wreck Diving
The Comberbach
The Comberbach is a 34 metres/110 foot British freighter that sits upright on a 30 metres/100 foot deep coral reef with lots of sponge and fish life. A 1975 Ford van rests inside its open cargo hold.

Wall Diving
Conception Island Wall
Conception Island Wall begins in 14 metres/45 feet of water and drops off to infinite depths. Visibility typically ranges from 46 metres - 61 metres/150 - 200 feet and the entire wall is decorated with stunning sponge and coral formations.

Scuba Diving in Abacos
Directly exposed to the Atlantic, the reefs of the Abaco take a different form from much of the Bahamas. Many sites are relatively shallow, 18 metres/60 feet or less. The waters are also subjected to slightly cooler temperatures during the wintertime.

Best Dive Sites – Abacos

Shark Diving
Shark Rodeo at Walker's CayBahamas Shark Bahamas Image supplied by Stephen Frink/Waterhouse, 2008
This famous shark dive is known for the large number of sharks that come to the feeding. The chumsicle (a frozen block of chum) is dropped while divers wait off of a large sandy bottom in about 11 metres/35 feet of water surrounded by coral reefs. Normally, more than 100 reef and blacktip sharks arrive shortly thereafter and the rodeo truly begins.

Scuba Diving in Andros
The dive experiences in Andros range from shallow water, wreck and blue hole dives to spectacular wall dives off the 829 metres/6,000 feet deep Tongue of the Ocean. The Andros Barrier Reef, the world’s third largest barrier reef, is located approximately 1 mile off the east, the world’s third largest barrier reef.

Best Dive Sites – Andros

Wall Diving and Blue Holes

The Andros WallBahamas Wall Diving Bahamas Image supplied by Stephen Frink/Waterhouse, 2008

Called one of greatest of all Bahamas walls, the Andros Wall begins at 21 - 27 metres/70 - 90 feet and offers many sites with interesting canyons and boasts unusual life due to the depth.

The Great Blue Hole (30+ metres/100+ feet)
The Great Blue Hole is the second deepest blue hole in the Bahamas. You'll be guided to the entrance at a depth of 12 metres/40 feet and then descend down an ancient waterfall chute and passing under a swim-through called the sky light room. The big room is next on the tour and here you can look down into the infinite depths of the hole.

Scuba Diving in Bimini
The warm waters of Bimini are filled with an incredible diversity of sea life. There are wrecks as shallow as 6 metres/20 feet and as deep as 30 metres/100 feet. Drift dives range from 15 metres/50 feet to 40 metres/130 feet. Snorkelers can also explore the wreck of the Sapona resting just below the surface.

Best Dive Sites – BiminiImage supplied by Stephen Frink/Waterhouse, 2008

Wall Diving

The Bimini Wall

South of the Bimini is a short underwater limestone rock formation. The north section (called North Bimini Wall) begins in 38 metres/120 feet of water and is typically a drift dive for experienced divers. To the south are many other walls such as the South Cat Cay Wall, Victory Cays Drop-off and Riding Rock Wall that begin in about 9 - 28 metres/30 - 90 feet of water.

PADI Dive Shops and Resorts
Find contact information for all the PADI Dive Shops and Resorts in the Bahamas.


Topside Adventures – Must Dos

The Abaco Wild Horse Preserve
This island refuge near Treasure Cay is home to descendants of horses Christopher Columbus’ team brought to the Bahamas and are  thought to be the purest strain of Spanish Barbs found today. Call to make a reservation for a private tour of the island.

Bahamas Topside Bahamas Image supplied by Stephen Frink/Waterhouse, 2008Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Center
Just minutes from downtown Nassau, the park stretches 2.2 hectares/5.5 acres and is part jungle and part gardens. It houses hundreds of mammals, birds and reptiles from around the world. Here, you'll be able to interact with Bahamian wildlife as well as some endangered species.

Fort Charlotte History Tour
Perfect for history buffs, Fort Charlotte dates back to the 1780s and boasts hidden passageways, cannons, a large moat and dungeons. This is a walk back into Bahamian military history.

Lucayan National Park
This 16.2 hectare/40.0 acre national park is home to the world’s largest underwater limestone cave system. It is mainly accessible to experienced divers, but some areas can be accessed on shore. You can also hike through the pine forests and over the tidal creek to Gold Rock Beach - a serene place to enjoy the sun and sea.

Port Lucaya Marketplace
Port Lucaya Marketplace is a 4.9-hectare/12-acre shopping area in Freeport. With more than 60 shops, a dozen restaurants, many artists, handcrafted jewelry vendors and hair braiders, you're sure to find great bargains.


Bahamas diver Bahamas Image supplied by Stephen Frink/Waterhouse, 2008Fast Facts

Language: English
Currency: Bahamas Dollar
Tipping: 10-15 percent. Tipping is expected in most locations.
Transportation: Public transportation - including busses, taxis and ferries - is common in the Bahamas.


Related Resources for the Bahamas

• Recompression Chamber:
 The Lyford Cay Hospital - +1 242 362 4400

Images courtesy of: Tourism Board of the Bahamas

Want to know more? Visit www.scubaearth.com for further information on thousands of dive sites, marine species, destination essentials and more.  

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