Comprising more than 700 islands, cays, and islets scattered across the Atlantic Ocean, The Bahamas is an undisputed diving heaven. It boasts stunning wall dives, pristine coral reefs and fascinating wrecks to explore, not to mention an incredible underwater cave system and some of the most intimate shark diving in the world. Originally inhabited by the indigenous Lucayans, the islands were sighted by Columbus in the 15th century and later occupied by the Spanish before being colonized by the British in the 17th century.
When diving in The Bahamas, you can base yourself at luxurious dive resorts on Paradise Island and Grand Bahama or explore the uninhabited cays on a liveaboard adventure. Away from the water, the country boasts stunning natural scenery that’s made appearances in James Bond films and the “Pirate’s of the Caribbean”, as well as picture-perfect beaches where you can end the day with a cocktail in hand.
Interesting Facts About The Bahamas
- The Bahamas features a spectacular underwater cave system that was carved during the glacial period when the sea level was around 250 feet lower than its current level. Over time, acid rain eroded the limestone, creating hundreds of vertical and horizontal caves that are now submerged below the water’s surface. Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahama Island is home to the longest known underwater cave system in the world, with Ben’s Cave Dive offering up-close encounters with stalactites, stalagmites and fossilized conch shells.
- The Bahamas lies on the edge of the Bermuda Triangle where numerous aircraft and ships have mysteriously disappeared over the years. It’s one of the most heavily traveled shipping lanes in the world, with both freighters and cruise liners regularly sailing through the region between the Americas, Europe, and the Caribbean islands. While some have attributed the disappearances to paranormal activity, others believe that inaccurate reporting and embellishing by authors has led to its infamous reputation.
- Located in a bay just west of Clarence Town on Long Island, Dean’s Blue Hole is one of the world’s deepest blue holes at 663 feet (202 meters). It boasts crystal clear waters and visibility up to 115 feet (35 meters). This sinkhole is between 82 and 115 feet (25 and 35 meters) in diameter at its surface before opening up to around 330 feet (100 meters) as you descend. In 2010, a professional freediver, William Trubridge, broke the world record by reaching a depth of 302 feet (92 meters) here without the use of fins.
- Separating the islands of Andros and New Providence, the Tongue of the Ocean is a flat-bottomed deep water trench that extends for around 150 miles (240 km) in length. It’s surrounded by islands, shoals, and reefs, including the Andros Barrier Reef, which is the third-largest living organism on the planet. More than 160 species of fish and coral have been recorded here, making it a go-to destination for divers in The Bahamas.
- In 2011, The Bahamas created a shark sanctuary to prohibit shark fishing in its waters and has since gained a reputation for its incredible shark encounters. Head to Shark Buoy off the coast of New Providence to get up close to silky sharks or come face-to-face with oceanic white-tip sharks as they follow the tuna migration to Cat Island. Aptly-named Tiger Beach is another must-see destination for shark enthusiasts, with dozens circle above divers as they kneel in the sand.