Where is the best place to snorkel in Nassau? That’s a question that many visitors to the capital of the Bahamas ask themselves.
The Bahamas is famous for its marine life, and many tourists are aware of that fact. They know that the 700 islands that make up the country offer some of the best swimming, snorkeling, and diving spots in the world. They also might have heard that the country is a great place to interact with unique wildlife, both above and below the surface of the clear blue water.
In this guide, we’re going to list some of the best places to snorkel in Nassau Bahamas. Some of these sites are right near the capital, while others will require you to sign up for Nassau Bahamas excursions to enjoy them.
Keep reading to learn more!
Best Place to Snorkel in Nassau: Where Is It?
Clifton Heritage National Park
If you’re looking for Nassau snorkeling opportunities that don’t require you to travel too far away from the capital, Clifton Heritage National Park should be one of your first stops. Located on the western end of New Providence, the park is one of the most accessible snorkeling Nassau Bahamas sites.
However, besides being easy to reach, you might find the site to be the best place to snorkel in Nassau. Located right offshore are several coral reefs teeming with fish and other marine creatures. But natural beauty isn’t all that the site offers.
Sunken beneath the surface of the water are several sculptures. These range in size, with some of the larger ones being around 20 feet. Having the chance to swim around these while also getting to enjoy all the usual natural sites creates an experience that offers some of the best snorkeling in Nassau.
Once you’re back on the beach, don’t forget to spend some time exploring the above-water attractions of the park. From the ruins of the cotton plantation to the stunning beach itself, there’s a lot to see and do at Clifton Heritage National Park.
As mentioned, many of the best places to snorkel in Nassau Bahamas require you to sign up for Nassau Bahamas excursions. These take you out of the capital and around different parts of the country. One such destination that’s another contender for the best place to snorkel in Nassau is Thunderball Grotto.
Located around 80 miles south of Nassau, Thunderball Grotto is a system of underwater caves. It’s full of coral reefs and fish, as well as other marine animals that you might get lucky enough to see. But aside from offering some of the best Nassau snorkeling, Thunderball Grotto also has a unique history.
Its name comes from the James Bond film Thunderball, which features scenes at the famous grotto. Since the film’s release in the 60s, other Hollywood movies have also used the site as a filming location, including Never Say Never and Splash.
As is the case with some of the other sites mentioned on this list, the snorkeling opportunities at Thunderball Grotto are amazing. However, the site’s history adds an additional layer that puts it in the league of offering the best snorkeling in Nassau.
The Exuma Plane Wreck
Another stop on some Nassau Bahamas excursions is the Exuma plane wreck. This wreck, located in the shallow waters of Staniel Cay, is now home to coral, fish, and other types of marine life. But how did the plane end up in the water?
When the Colombian drug cartels were at the height of their power in the 70s and 80s, they often flew their planes through the airspace of the Bahamas. Unlike other nearby countries, the Bahamas airspace was relatively unmonitored, making it easy to transport goods without drawing attention.
However, one pair of smugglers didn’t end up making it to their final destination. Their aircraft, full of marijuana, crashed down in the waters of Exuma in the 70s. It has remained there, submerged under the surface, ever since.
As mentioned, nature has transformed the plane into a home for all sorts of aquatic creatures today. Since the water is only around ten feet deep, it’s also easy to explore the area without the use of diving equipment. That fact, combined with the site’s history, makes it another contender for the best place to snorkel in Nassau.
If you’re looking for Nassau and Paradise Island snorkeling opportunities after your day trip to Exuma, you have plenty of other options that are close by to the capital. One site you won’t want to miss out on visiting is Rose Island.
An uninhabited island found right off the coasts of New Providence and Paradise Island, Rose Island offers travelers the Bahamas experience that they’re expecting. From its gorgeous beaches to its turquoise water, there’s a lot to see on the island, making it well worth a visit.
Scattered along the island’s shore, you can find several coral reefs, as well as fish and other animals that call them home. However, Rose Island is also famous for the sea turtles that swim around its waters. When you visit the island, keep an eye out for them, or go with a tour group that takes travelers to see them. You won’t want to miss out on swimming alongside these beautiful creatures!
On account of its beaches, coral reefs, and sea turtle population, Rose Island is another site that may just be the best place to snorkel in Nassau.
When you hear the name “Jaws Beach,” it might not sound like a place you want to check out, no less swim at. However, it’s another fantastic beach on New Providence and also one that might be the best place to snorkel in Nassau.
Located right next to Clifton Heritage National Park, Jaws Beach gets its name from the infamous movie. According to local legend, some of the scenes from the movie were filmed at the beach.
However, you won’t find any great white sharks waiting to make a snack out of you at the beach. What you will find is another fantastic sandy beach with ample opportunities for snorkeling. In fact, if you’re looking for Nassau or Paradise Island snorkeling, Jaws Beach is one of the best places to find it.
Another allure of Jaws Beach is the fact that you can also find the remains of a vulcan bomber beneath the surface of the water. The film crew used this prop in Thunderball, the same film that had several scenes at Thunderball Grotto. Make sure to visit Jaws Beach while on your Bahamas vacation to make the most of the country’s snorkeling opportunities and Hollywood history!
Snorkeling Nassau Bahamas: Don’t Miss Out!
Classifying a single site as “the best place to snorkel in Nassau” is no easy task. However, rest assured that a visit to any of the locations mentioned above is sure to meet your snorkeling standards.
Regardless of which snorkeling spots you’re hoping to visit in the Bahamas, Bahamas Air Tours can help you get there. Whether you sign up for a Staniel Cay day tour or decide to charter your own plane, we’ll make sure you have what you need to make the most of your Bahamas vacation.
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