Many travelers to the Bahamas are on the hunt for a snorkel with sharks Bahamas experience. Some have seen pictures of people floating in crystal-clear water as giant sharks circle them. Others have it on their bucket lists and are looking to check it off. Regardless of why you might be looking for a Bahamas swim with sharks experience, there’s one place in the country where you’re going to want to do it: Compass Cay!
Located in the Exumas, Compass Cay is a bit off the beaten track that tourists nearly travel. However, getting there is something you’re going to want to do, as the region houses tons of incredible attractions, including the Compass Cay sharks.
If you’re looking to learn more about the Bahamas sharks and how you can swim with them in a safe experience, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn all about swimming with sharks Bahamas!
Snorkel With Sharks Bahamas: Where to Find the Experience
Destination: Compass Cay
While you can find tours that claim to offer snorkel with sharks Bahamas experiences, one place stands out among the rest. As mentioned, Compass Cay is the place to go to see massive sharks up close and personal but in a safe and controlled environment.
Compass Cay is one of 365 islands in the Exumas, a region that stretches along the south of Nassau. The island chain lacks an international airport, and the shallow seas prevent massive cruise ships from navigating them. The isolation of the Exumas makes it a quieter, less hectic place.
Compass Cay is only a few square miles in size, but it’s the best place to see the Bahamas sharks and go swimming with nurse sharks. All of that is thanks to the owner of the local marina.
Compass Cay Sharks: How They Became “Pets”
Many people are amazed at the number of sharks that stick around the piers of the Compass Cay Marina. They’re also amazed to see that many of the sharks have names! However, when you understand the history of the island and the marina, it starts to make sense.
The owner of the marina is a passionate shark-lover, and years ago, he managed to “tame” a group of nurse sharks. Since he fed them and took care of them, they’ve stuck around ever since, and the number of sharks grew. Today, travelers to the island can see a couple of dozen sharks swimming around the pier of the snorkel with sharks Bahamas experience.
The site has gained popularity in recent years, so much so that documentaries from Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, and other networks have all featured the Compass Cay Marina in their programs.
Getting to Compass Cay
Given their relatively remote location, the Exumas are more of a challenge to reach than other parts of the country. Because of that, many travelers pass up on visiting them, preferring to stick to areas in and around Nassau.
If visitors do manage to make it to the Exumas, they usually do so by taking a powerboat. This takes travelers from Nassau on a three-plus hour journey in the morning, then returns them back to Nassau that evening. While a day trip is one of the best ways to see Compass Cay, embark on a snorkel with sharks Bahamas experience, and see other sites in the region, the powerboat is not the best way to go about it.
While it might seem convenient, the ferry wastes a lot of time. Besides the time you’ll spend on the boat, you also have to factor in other time-wasters, like check-in and queuing in line.
In contrast, traveling by plane from Nassau to Exuma will have you in the region in 30 minutes, giving you much more time to see the sites and swim with nurse sharks. Flying on a private-class plane is also a much more comfortable experience. You get to enjoy sweeping views of the water and islands beneath you while beating the crowds that plague the ferry!
Swim With Nurse Sharks Bahamas: Is it Safe?
Many people looking for a snorkel with sharks Bahamas experience want to cross the activity off their bucket list. However, some people might also have safety concerns. Even though they’re going to swim with nurse sharks Bahamas, movies like Jaws often haunt them.
Luckily, most of the fears that people have are unwarranted. For one thing, Hollywood films often sensationalize sharks, painting them as bloodthirsty monsters that want nothing more than to sink their teeth into flesh. The reality is that sharks, like other so-called dangerous creatures, are just animals. They’re not always on the hunt, nor are they always looking for their next kill. While they might be curious about humans, unprovoked attacks are extraordinarily rare. This goes for all shark types, including ones like tiger sharks and great whites.
However, the best swimming with sharks Bahamas experience has you swimming with nurse sharks, a species that prefers to eat crustaceans and other bottom-dwelling organisms. On top of that, the sharks at Compass Cay have interacted with tourists for years. They’re used to people standing near and swimming around them, further ensuring that the experience is a safe one.
Bahamas Swim With Sharks: The Importance of Listening to the Guides
While accidents are rare and nurse sharks are usually harmless, they’re still animals. Because of that, to minimize the risk of anything going wrong, listening to the staff and guides that work at the Compass Cay Marina is essential.
They’ll advise you on exactly what you should and should not do when you’re in the water with the sharks. Floating next to them and watching them as they swim beside you? That’s not a problem. Waving your hands in front of their mouths or trying to grab their gills? Not recommended, and might even lead to an accident.
The workers there will advise you on how to ensure the snorkel with sharks Bahamas experience stays safe. Make sure to follow the directions and recommendations!
Other Sites in the Region
The Bahamas swim with shark experience at Compass Cay is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many people. However, many other sites in the Exumas are worth visiting, many of which you get to see on a Nassau to Staniel Cay day tour.
For example, the Exuma Pigs at Pig Beach are another favorite attraction, as not many people have seen swimming pigs that inhabit an island devoid of people. Likewise, Bitter Guana Cay is another site in the region that houses the endangered Northern Bahamian rock iguana. Seeing these giant, colorful lizards slither out of the undergrowth of their tropical island home is an experience that’s difficult to forget.
The best part of traveling on Bahamas day trips by plane from Nassau or Miami is that you get to see these amazing sites in the day and then return back to the place you’re staying that evening. You get to enjoy the top attractions in the day and then your comfortable, centrally-located amenities in the evening!
The Experience of a Lifetime
The snorkel with sharks Bahamas experience is an unforgettable experience for all travelers, no matter their interests. Seeing the massive nurse sharks swim around you as you float in the crystal-clear water is something that you won’t soon forget.
If you’re interested in seeing the Bahamas sharks, the Exuma pigs, and other highlights in the region, Bahamas Air Tours can help you make it happen. Sign up for a day trip from Miami to Exuma today to make your dream Bahamas vacation a reality!
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