Nassau, the capital of Bahamas, is a stone throw’s away from some of the greatest snorkeling in the world. The waters surrounding New Providence Island are teeming with astonishing marine life; natural and man-made reefs allow for magnificent spectrum of tropical fish and plants to thrive. The array of ship and aircraft wrecks should dazzle even the most avid snorkeler. Here are the best snorkeling destinations near Nassau to keep your day in port bursting with excitement.
Love Beach Reef – About 10 miles west of downtown Nassau is where the relatively secluded Love Beach sits – offering visitors calm and clear waters perfect for shore snorkeling. The coral reefs located 150 yards offshore and the rocks adjacent to it – the reasons for the calm surf in the first place – are also treasure troves of underwater life. Swim with the colorful queen, princess and striped parrotfish, the bi-color damselfish, and snappers that congregate at the fields of fan and brain corals.
Goulding Cay Reef – Located 30 minutes from downtown Nassau, Goulding Cay is a shallow coral reef perfect for family snorkeling excursions. It offers enough room for exploration as the reef extends 30 feet to the sea bottom. And during low tide, the tip of the reef can be accessed at only nine feet from the surface. Explore the underwater forest of elkhorn corals, where thousands of rainbow-colored tropical fishes live as well as several pelagic frequent to look for their next chow.
Nari Nari – Situated on the western tip of New Providence Island, Nari Nari is a considerably shallow snorkeling spot. Spot sting rays as they hunt for their next meal or explore the Cessna airplane wreck sitting at only 25 feet beneath the surface. The aircraft was sunken specifically for the movie, Jaws IV.
Ship’s Channel Cay – Ship’s Channel Cay is a little island off the coast of Nassau. Measuring only two miles long and half a mile wide, the cay offers spectacular views in every direction. An amazing drift snorkel is available just a short distance from the shoreline. You can snorkel with or without a guide — it’s up to you. What’s important is that you’ll have a blast swimming over the myriad of lovely and abundant corals. The island also features golden beaches ideal for lounging if you want to kick it back after snorkeling.
Little Elvis Reef – A little to the northwest of Nassau is Little Elvis Reef. Another one of Nassau’s shallow reefs, it is famous for the enormous elkhorn and fire corals.
Rose Island Reef – Sitting three miles east of Nassau, Rose Island, offers a series of surrounding shallow reefs with a range in depth, which means a wide range of fun and excitement. Even the deepest of the reefs can still be accessed through skin dive. Ship wreck divers should find the Alcora wreck interesting. Alcora is a drug-smuggling ship purposely sunk in 1983 – it sits deep at 80 feet but it stands upright and is very visible.
The reef systems surrounding New Providence Island feature teeming marine biodiversity, which is another term for snorkeling havens. Visit these top snorkeling destinations near Nassau and explore the rich marine life and spectacular underwater sceneries on your next day stop at port.