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The Best Diving Spots In The Bahamas And How To Prepare

The Bahamas is home to some of the world’s most spectacular diving spots. Rare and beautiful corals and fish species live just beneath the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean that connect these stunning islands together.

Depending on the time of year you travel, you may also spot tiger sharks, hammerheads, and oceanic whitetips. 

The Best Diving Spots In The Bahamas And How To Prepare

If you’ve been thinking about planning a diving trip to The Bahamas and you’re finally ready to tick it off your bucket list, it’s essential that you prepare before you go. To help you do this, we’ve compiled a list of the best diving spots in The Bahamas. 

We’ve also put together some useful information on how to get from island to island, the best time to visit, and some of the risks you’ll need to think about before you head out.

The Best Diving Spots In The Bahamas

Let’s start by taking a look at some of the best diving spots The Bahamas has to offer. Each of these is ideal for different experience levels as well. So, whether you’re new to diving or you’ve been heading out into the water for years, you’ll find a beautiful spot that you’ll be able to explore safely.

Lost Blue Hole, Nassau, New Providence

This is a fantastic diving spot for both beginners and experienced divers. Located off the coast of Nassau, The Lost Blue Hole has sections that stay at just 14 meters deep as well as areas where you can descend up to 31 meters, and it is 100ft across. 

This diving spot got its name from the fact that it is literally a massive underwater hole lying at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea. 

You can get here quite easily by boat, making it one of the most accessible diving spots in The Bahamas. You’ll also find a wide variety of marine life, including near-threatened Blacknose Sharks. 

What You’ll See:

  • Sponges & Corals
  • Reef Fish
  • Pelagic Fish
  • Stingrays
  • Sea Turtles
  • Blacknose Sharks
  • Tobacco Fish
  • Gobies
  • Jawfish

Runway Wall, Nassau, New Providence

Also known as Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas Shark Arena, Runway Wall is another diving spot located off the coast of Nassau. It’s also only 12 meters deep, which means that it’s suitable for all certification levels to enjoy.

As you might have guessed from its longer pseudonym, this is the spot to visit if you want to dive with sharks. Some tours also offer shark feeding dives, where you’ll be able to witness these majestic creatures take part in a feeding frenzy!

There are also other things to see on this dive including shipwrecks, reef walls, and living corals. 

What You’ll See:

  • Caribbean Reef Sharks
  • Corals

The Towers, Nassau, New Providence

You’ll encounter some of the world’s most incredible corals when you dive at The Towers in Nassau. Some of these corals tower through the water, reaching as far as 18-meters towards the surface. They are also covered in growths that draw in hundreds of species, offering both food and shelter. 

The Towers is more suited for the experienced diver as, to really make the most of it, you’ll need to be confident maneuvering through tunnels and caverns as you explore. It’s also an excellent place for anybody interested in macro photography to visit and you’ll be presented with multiple photo opportunities.

What You’ll See:

  • Towering Corals
  • Turtles
  • Sharks
  • Rays
  • Blue Tangs
  • Batfish
  • Yellow Stingrays
  • Groupers
  • Angelfish
  • Moray Eels

Shark Rodeo, New Providence

Shark Rodeo is probably the most famous diving spot in The Bahamas. Located off Walker’s Cay, sharks gather here alongside other pelagic predators and they can be seen in all of their beauty swimming in their natural habitat. 

There are shark feeding dives on offer which often draw in over 100 sharks at once, which is undeniably thrilling for any shark lover. It’s also an easy, free-diving spot that is suitable for all experience levels. 

What You’ll See:

  • Caribbean Reef Sharks
  • Stingrays
  • Large Pelagic Fish
  • Catfish

James Bond Wrecks, New Providence

What could be better than combining diving with a trip to a place that was featured in multiple James Bond movies?! These reefs actually played a cameo in two Bond movies as well.

In 1965’s “Thunderball”, a Vulcan Bomber that makes up a part of the wrecks made its way onto the silver screen. 1983’s “Never Say Never Again”, featured the Tears of Allah shipwreck.

Both of these now cinematically iconic wrecks can be easily seen through the clear, currentless conditions of James Bond Wrecks. Ideal for any Bond fan and keen photographer. This isn’t the most diverse diving spot in terms of marine life, but it’s still worth visiting. 

What You’ll See:

  • Corals 
  • Sponges
  • Reef Fish
  • Iconic Movie Scenery

Victory Reef, Bimini Island

Victory Reef in Bimini Island is located on the edge of the Gulf Stream, which runs between The Bahamas and the east coast of Florida. It stretches for a huge 7km and there are multiple depths throughout from 9-meters to 24-meters. This makes it ideal for both novice and experienced divers. 

The crystal clear waters offer fantastic visibility, even at the lowest depths. There are also caverns, swim-throughs, and reef structures that are just begging to be explored. The colors of the corals, sponges and marine life are vivid and exciting too, and make the perfect subjects for macro photography. 

Visit Victory Reef between December and March, and you may even get the chance to dive amongst hammerhead sharks. 

What You’ll See:

  • Green Turtles
  • Hammerhead Sharks
  • Rays
  • Reef Fish
  • Sponges
  • Corals

Cathedral, Bimini Island

This is another excellent diving spot for people of all experience levels. Staring at a depth of 11-meters and descending to 15-meters, beginner divers can see the beautiful corals and reef fish, as well as the occasional Caribbean Reef Shark.

More experienced divers can descend further into the Exuma Sound and explore swim-throughs, caverns, tunnels, and other exciting underwater areas. When you dive this far down, you may also see a shark or ray swimming past. 

What You’ll See:

  • Corals
  • Sponges
  • Reef Fish
  • Groupers
  • Jacks
  • Silverdarts
  • Sharks
  • Rays

The Crater, Andros

Andros is the largest island in The Bahamas and it offers some incredible sea dives and inland blue holes. One of its most famous inland dives is The Crater, which is located just off Small Hope Island. 

The outer rim of The Crater is considered one of the easiest diving spots in The Bahamas, so it’s ideal for beginners. However, you’ll need to hold at least an Advanced certification if you want to descend deeper and start exploring its depths. 

Dive deep enough and you’ll find an entire cave system that is home to some beautiful marine species who rely on the safety The Crater provides for shelter. It does get pretty dark the deeper you go though, so you’re advised to bring a dive torch if you want to explore every inch of this amazing diving spot. 

What You’ll See

  • Sea Turtles
  • Eels
  • Rays
  • Corals
  • Sponges
  • Reef Fish
  • Groupers

AM Ocean Wall Dive, Andros

This diving spot allows you to explore the ocean wall that cuts between the shallow reef and the edge of the Tongue of the Ocean (also known as “TOTO”). This is a u-shaped, flat-bottom trench that measures 32 km wide and a massive 240km long, separating the east of Andros Island from New Providence. 

The northern end is exposed to the open ocean and surrounded by reefs from every angle. This natural formation has made it a biodiversity hotspot and you’ll find many marine species that have chosen to make this place home, isolating themselves in safety from the open ocean. 

If you really want to explore everything the AM Ocean Wall Dive has to offer, it might be best to visit a dive center and take part in a 2-tank dive. 

What You’ll See:

  • Reefs
  • Sponges
  • Reef Fish
  • Groupers
  • Lobsters
  • Grunts
  • Snappers
  • Rays
  • Eels
  • Trevallies
  • Sharks

Columbus Point, Cat Island

If you want to dive with oceanic whitetip sharks, you need to take a trip to Columbus Point, which is located on the souther-eastern tip of Cat Island.

It’s not a spot for beginner divers as the dive site is pretty deep, featuring underwater pinnacles that attract marine life from far away. The currents can get pretty strong here too, so you’ll need to check with a dive operator before heading into the water. 

What You’ll See:

  • Oceanic Whitetip Sharks
  • Other Pelagic Sharks
  • Rays
  • Reef Fish
  • Groupers
  • Incredible Underwater Pinnacles 

Tiger Beach, Grand Bahama

Tiger Beach is one of the world’s best-known diving sites for tiger sharks. Located 34km north of the west end of Grand Bahama, Tiger Beach is a shallow diving spot with a sandy bottom. It’s only 9m deep, making it perfect for beginners and experienced divers alike.

People flock from all over the world to see the tiger sharks that congregate here in all their beauty. The crystal clear waters also make it easy to take photographs and videos to document your experience. 

There isn’t much point in us providing a list of what you’ll see here, as you’ll only really see tiger sharks when you visit Tiger Beach. So, instead, we thought it would be a better idea to provide some more information on these magnificent creatures:

  • Tiger sharks can grow up to 5-meters long
  • They have a distinct tiger pattern that fades as they age
  • They are solitary, nocturnal hunters
  • They feed on crustaceans, fish, seals, birds, dolphins, and just about anything else they can get hold of

Jeep Reef, Exumas

When you think of the word “Jeep”, your mind undoubtedly goes straight to the famous automobile. And, in the case of Jeep Reef, you’d be right! This is an artificial reef that features an old-school jeep that has since been completely taken over by the marine world. 

Located in the central section of Exumas Land and Sea Park, the jeep that sits at the heart of this reef is covered with vivid corals that attract a variety of sea creatures. 

This dive site is better suited to experienced divers as the currents can be pretty strong, but when the waters are calm a beginner should be able to dive safely. It's these strong currents, however, that have led to the coral thriving and created such a biodiverse environment. 

What You’ll See:

  • Red Lionfish
  • Blue Tang
  • Needlefish
  • Barracuda
  • Pufferfish

The Washing Machine, Exumas

Unlike Jeep Reef, The Washing Machine isn’t named after a piece of man-made machinery that’s located at its heart. Instead, it takes its name from the unique current movements that have been described as feeling as though you’re in a washing machine. 

Located slightly north of The Bahamas National Trust’s Land Sea Park, The Washing Machine starts at a depth of just 4.5-meters. The further in you go, however, the deeper it gets and you’ll reach an ultimate depth of 15-meters. 

What You’ll See:

  • Corals
  • Sponges
  • Reef Fish
  • Invertebrates
  • Red Lionfish 
  • Nudibranchs
  • Leaf Fish
  • Crabs and Other Crustaceans

HMS Conqueror, Conception Island

If you’re a bit of a history buff, a dive trip to HMS Conqueror is an essential part of your trip to The Bahamas. This shipwreck tells the story of the first-ever steam-powered warship commissioned by the Royal Navy. 

It hit the corals at the south end of Conception Island in 1848 and, since then, it has laid lifeless on the ocean floor. Well, perhaps not entirely lifeless. Over the past 170 years, the ship has grown coral which has attracted fish from all over The Bahamas. 

It’s also an easy dive site, making it suitable for all experience levels. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that since it has been on the ocean floor for almost two centuries, it’s not really recognizable as a ship anymore. You find cannons, cannonballs, and parts of the ship dotted around, though.

What You’ll See:

  • Corals
  • Reef Fish
  • Cannons
  • Cannon Balls
  • A Propeller Shaft
  • An Engine
  • Other Shipwreck Remnants

The Risks Of Diving In The Bahamas

The main risk you’ll face when diving in The Bahamas is coming across Tiger Sharks, or any other potentially deadly shark. You are able to enjoy diving with them at many locations, but it’s essential that you head out into the water with an experienced dive crew.

When you do this, you’ll be given the correct instructions on how to enjoy this thrilling experience without disturbing the sharks. 

There’s also an increased risk of developing compression sickness when you go diving in The Bahamas. The islands are spread out so far apart that the only real way to travel between them is by airplane.

With this in mind, and to reduce the risk of compression sickness, you’ll need to plan your trip so that you’re firmly on land for 24-hours before each flight. 

When To Dive In The Bahamas

The subtropical climate of The Bahamas provides sunshine and warm temperatures for around 340 days each year. And, with this, comes the perfect diving conditions.

The waters don’t ever get too cool either, with summer temperatures reaching 88ºF (31ºC) and winter water temperatures averaging around 75ºF-80ºF (24ºC-27ºC). 

With this in mind, there isn’t ever really a bad time to go diving in The Bahamas, at least as far as the weather and diving conditions are concerned. However, there are a couple of other things you’ll want to think about. 

First of all, if you want to avoid diving in a crowded spot, it would be best to book your trip between June and October. This is the low season for diving in the Bahamas and you may find the waters are less occupied by other divers. 

If you want to go shark diving, you should book your trip between November and May. Although, it is worth noting that certain species of shark are more common at certain times. 

Here’s a useful guide to what sharks you can see, and where, between November and May:

Type of Shark

Active Months

Location

Tiger Sharks

October - January

Tiger Beach

Hammerhead Sharks

December - March

Bimini Island

Oceanic Whitetips

April - June

Columbus Point

How To Get To The Bahamas

The Bahamas has three international airports; Freeport Grand Bahama International Airport, George Town International Airport, and Lynden Pindling International Airport. Flights arrive and depart from each airport regularly, making The Bahamas a fairly easy destination to get to. 

However, once you reach The Bahamas, you’ll need to book tickets for commuter planes, ferries, and speedboat transfers to travel between the islands. And, as we’ve mentioned above, it’s best to leave 24 hours between diving and flying to reduce the risk of compression sickness. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are loads of beautiful places to dive in The Bahamas. From fish-filled waters to eerie underwater shipwrecks, there is something for everyone of all experience levels. 

The main thing to remember when it comes to planning your trip is to visit at a time of year that best suits your desires. This is especially true when it comes to diving with sharks, as they are most active between November and May.

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