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The Best Diving in the Bahamas


The Best Diving in the Bahamas
Photo Credit Steven Surina

A Guide to the Best Diving in the Bahamas

Picking a “best dive site” in a destination that has a huge variety of dive sites is tricky. It’s a bit like being a parent in that (truthfully), it depends on the day. It can depend on the conditions, which marine life decides to show, and what you might personally want from a dive.

The Bahamas has everything you could wish for. There are shark encounters that will get your heart pumping (or possibly your wetsuit requiring a good cleaning depending on your point of view). There are breathtaking dives into blue holes. But there are also steep walls, underwater caves, coral reefs teeming with life, and spectacular wrecks. So how can you choose the best dive sites in The Bahamas from all of that?

We’ve broken them down into the best sites depending on what you’re there for…

Best For Pure Shark Action

Tiger Beach is not a dive site as such, but it still counts. It’s actually a 20 square mile area of ocean located off the West End of Grand Bahama. It is best known for VERY close encounters with tiger sharks, of course but you will also see Caribbean reef, and lemon sharks. Go at the right time and you’ll even get great hammerheads. What makes the diving special is that all the action happens at a shallow depth on a white sand bottom. Tiger Beach is the ultimate site for photographers and videographers to get stunning images of these apex predators.

Pregnant Tiger Sharks at Tiger Beach

Once underwater, the tiger sharks you generally meet are pregnant females. Individuals remain in these shallow waters for several months on end, meaning your dive crew can get really familiar with these ladies. During a trip to Tiger Beach, you are likely to get to know, and discern, specific individuals like Emma and Princess.

The theory goes that female tiger sharks, after mating in the deep waters, seek the protection of the shallows to fulfill their pregnancy.

The Best Diving in the Bahamas
Photo Credit Marc Stickler

But it’s not all about the sharks. For variety, Tiger Beach is also home to a multitude of reef networks, mini walls, and of course the continental shelf. The drop off here dips down to more than 600 metres (2,000ft). You’ll be pleased to know though, that our dives in this area are no deeper than 30 metres/100ft.

Best Blue Hole

There is no shortage of blue holes in The Bahamas. In fact Andros Island alone has more than 200, both inland and offshore.

Bahamas Blue Hole

On Master Liveaboards ‘Wrecks, Blue Holes and Shark’ itineraries, you will visit “King Kong’s Blue Hole”. Situated off Andros Island, the hole is also known as the “Great Blue Hole” in Andros. King Kong’s Blue Hole is the second deepest ocean blue hole in the Bahamas.

The Best Diving in the Bahamas
Photo Credit Xavier Safont Moix

The entrance for divers is at 12 metres and, because it’s connected to a network of inland holes, it is affected by tides. As you can imagine, this can be a rather weird feeling, so make sure you dive it at the right time. Dive at the wrong time and the blue holes act like a massive siphon. This means the hole is “blowing” and “sucking” with the tides. Believe us, this is not as much fun as it might sound.

The Best For Going Deep

Mount Olympus is a large underwater coral pinnacle located offshore of Grand Bahama Island. It’s on the outer reaches of the Tiger Beach area and, as the name suggests, this site really is the “home of the gods”.

The peak of the pinnacle starts at about 18 metres (60ft)  and drops off to over 450 metres (1,500ft).  Although Mount Olympus is best explored as a deep or technical dive, there is plenty to see at recreational depth. Awe-inspiring canyons of coral dwarf divers. As a reef dive, this site is definitely one of the best dive sites in the Bahamas.

The Best Diving in the Bahamas
Photo Credit Walt Sterns

As an extra cherry on the stunning cake, you can see some really special things on Mount Olympus. Occasionally there are hammerheads, manta rays, dolphins, turtles, and even tiger sharks cruising along the wall.

Best For Picture Postcard Diving

Bimini lays claim to one of the best dive sites in the Bahamas. Surprisingly though, it’s not only famed for great hammerhead experiences.

The Best Diving in the Bahamas
Photo Credit Mike SÅnder

Hawksbill Reef is a stunning and shallow reef, running roughly from north to south, parallel to North Bimini’s shoreline. The reef is made up of vibrant coral heads scattered upon an impeccably white sandy bottom. The main stars here are usually the reef’s namesake – the Hawksbill Turtles resting on the bottom. But also expect to see angelfish, Bermuda chubs, French grunts, Creole wrasses, and moray eels.

The Best For Wrecks

Theo’s wreck is a 70m-long cargo ship that was purposely sunk off Freeport in 1982. Forty years later, she’s still resting peacefully at 30m on her port side.

The Best Diving in the Bahamas
Photo Credit Ashley Sutherland

The wreck is now covered in yellow and orange cup corals, large gorgonians, and red sponges. As you would expect, over the past three decades a vast array of marine life has moved in! Visibility is excellent most of the time and you can normally spot larger animals passing in the blue. Even if you are not lucky, the wreck is absolutely stunning and combines the best of Bahamas wreck and reef diving.

Find out for yourself which are the best dive sites in the Bahamas. Book a trip aboard Bahamas Master and try them all.

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Picture of Adrian Stacey
Adrian Stacey
Scuba Diver ANZ Editor, Adrian Stacey, first learned to dive on the Great Barrier Reef over 24 years ago. Since then he has worked as a dive instructor and underwater photographer in various locations around the world including, Egypt, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and Saba. He has now settled in Australia, back to where his love of diving first began.
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