The Bahamas are a diving enthusiast’s dream come true. With crystal clear waters, diverse marine life, and stunningly thriving coral reefs, the Bahamas offer some of the best scuba diving in the world.
It offers a diverse range of scuba diving options to choose from, including pristine coral reefs, wall dives, blue holes, many wrecks, and some of the best shark dives in the world.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver, there is a dive site in the Bahamas that is perfect for you.
Where to go scuba diving in the Bahamas?
The Bahamas island chain is made up of hundreds of small islands and cays, each with its own diving options and attractions. Below are some of the best islands to visit if you want to get the best scuba diving in the Bahamas.
Nassau (New Providence)
This is the most popular scuba diving destination in the Bahamas and for good reason. With over 50 dive sites to choose from, there is something for everyone.
Grand Bahama Island (Freeport)
This scuba diving destination is perfect for those who want to get away from the crowds. With over 30 dive sites, Grand Bahamas offers a more intimate diving experience.
Andros Island is home to the world's third-largest barrier reef. This diving mecca is known for its wall diving, drift diving, and shark encounters.
Bimini is a small island located just 50 miles from the Florida coast. This diving destination is known for its wrecks, reefs, and abundant marine life.
Eleuthera is a long, thin island located in the central Bahamas. This diving destination is known for its dramatic drop-offs, caves, and swim-throughs.
The Exuma Islands are a chain of over 350 islands and cays located in the central Bahamas. This diving destination is known for its clear waters, reefs, and wrecks.
San Salvador Island
San Salvador is an island located in the southeastern Bahamas. This diving destination is known for its dramatic walls, blue holes, and coral gardens.
The 10 Best Dive Sites in the Bahamas
The best dive sites in the Bahamas offer a variety of experiences for diving enthusiasts. While there are many different dive sites to choose from, some sites certainly stand out more than others.
Here are our top picks for the best dive sites in the Bahamas:
Runway Wall, Nassau (New Providence)
This is one of the most popular dive sites in the Bahamas. Runway Wall is a sheer drop-off that starts at about 60 ft (18m) and goes down to around 130 ft (40m). The wall is covered with gorgonians, sea fans, and black coral trees. It is also home to many Nassau Grouper, Queen Angelfish, Southern Stingrays, and Reef Sharks. This dive site is the first dive of the two-dive shark adventure offered at Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas. The site is called Runway Wall because the reef wall is like a runway for inbound sharks.
Things to see: Divers can expect to see many Caribbean Reef Sharks on this dive, as well as other pelagic species such as Nassau Grouper, Queen Angelfish, Southern Stingrays, and Reef Sharks. Runway Wall is a great dive for photographers and videographers, as abundant marine life can be found here.
Experience level: This dive is suitable for divers of all levels, as the wall starts at 60 feet (18 meters). There are often currents present at Runway Wall, so divers should be aware of this before entering the water.
When to go: The best time to dive at Runway Wall is between December and April, when the water conditions are typically calm and the visibility is good.
James Bond Wrecks, Nassau (New Providence)
Located just offshore from Nassau, on the southwest side of New Providence. The James Bond Wrecks consist of three wrecks: the British HMS Exchequer (a 16th-century galleon), the American Stirling (a 19th-century cargo steamer), and the Dutch Zeelandia (a 17th-century frigate). All three wrecks are popular dive sites.
These wrecks were made famous by the film Thunderball, in which they were used as the filming location for the fictional sunken city of Atlantis. The wrecks have been a popular dive site since the early 1970s.
Things to see: These wrecks are a popular dive site because of the variety of marine life that can be found there. The wrecks are home to many different species of fish, including barracuda, grouper, and snapper. Its also home to many stingrays, sea turtles, and eels.
Experience level: divers of all levels can experience these dives. The wrecks are located in shallow water and are easy to navigate.
When to dive: Divers can explore the James Bond Wrecks at any time of year, but the best time to visit is from May to October. The water temperature is warmest during this time and visibility is excellent.
Tiger Beach, Grand Bahama
The Tiger Beach dive site is world-renowned for its Tiger Shark encounters. The clear, calm water and abundance of Tiger Sharks make it one of the premier shark diving destinations in the world. Amateur and professional photographers, videographers, and shark lovers alike all enjoy the dives.
Things to see: This shark dive is known for the numerous shark species that frequent the area, including Tiger Sharks, Lemon Sharks, Caribbean Reef Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Great Hammerhead Sharks, Oceanic Whitetip Sharks, and Bull Sharks. However, for many years now, Tiger Shark diving has been taking the front stage at Tiger Beach.
Experience level: This site is suitable for divers of all levels, from beginner to experienced. The Tiger Sharks are used to divers and are not aggressive unless provoked.
When to Go: Tiger Beach is open all year round. While you can have a great encounter with Tiger Shark throughout the year, between the month of October to January is when you can have better encounters with other sharks.
Current Cut, Eleuthera
This dive site is definitely a place any thrill-seeking diver should add to their bucket list. Not only is it an exhilarating experience, but you’ll also get to see some of the most beautiful underwater creatures and plant life.
The Current Cut is a very fast and strong current in a narrow 100-yard wide cut, reaching depths up to 60 feet (18 Meters). This “drift dive” is popular with divers and considered by some to be one of the top dive sites in the world. The water moves at speeds up to 10 knots. Divers drift and tumble through the Current Cut in about a few minutes on average.
Things to see: Divers can expect to see an array of colorful fish and coral, as well as other marine life. Some of the fish that can be seen at Current Cut include trumpet fish, barracuda, and groupers. The coral is also very beautiful and diverse, with a wide range of colors and shapes.
Experience Level: This dive is recommended for experienced or more advanced divers only, as the current can be very strong.
When to dive: The best time to dive Current Cut is during the winter months, when the water is cooler and the current is stronger.
Lost Blue Hole, Nassau (New Providence)
This is one of the most popular dive sites in New Providence and for good reason. The Lost Blue Hole is a huge oceanic crater that is 300ft/91m deep and around 80ft/24m in diameter.
Things to see: On this dive can expect to see a wide variety of marine life. The hole is surrounded by a thriving reef wall that is home to an abundance of fish, coral, and other marine life. Apart from the corals and colorful reef fish you can also expect to find turtles, stingrays, and sharks.
Experience Level: This dive site is perfect for both beginner and advanced divers. Beginner divers can stay at depths of 15ft/14m, while advanced divers can descend to 100ft/31m.
When to dive: The best time to visit Lost Blue Hole is from December to April. This is when the water is at its clearest and there is less chance of strong currents.
Dean’s Blue Hole, Long Island
Located near Clarence town on Long Island, Bahamas. It is considered the deepest saltwater Blue Hole, with the deepest point reaching 663ft (202 meters) and 50-100ft (15-30 meters) wide. The water is crystal-clear with visibility often surpassing 100ft (30 meters).
Things to see: When diving at Dean’s blue hole, you can expect to see a vast variety of marine life. The hole is home to grouper, barracuda, and nurse sharks, as well as a wide array of colorful fish. Dean’s Blue Hole is also popular for its dramatic cave formations, which offer scuba divers the opportunity to explore an underwater labyrinth.
Experience level: If you’re an experienced diver, you can take advantage of the hole’s depth and explore the caves. If you’re a beginner, you can enjoy the shallow areas around the hole, where you can still get a glimpse of the vibrant marine life.
When to Dive: You can dive Dean’s Blue Hole year-round with good visibility. The water temperature is a comfortable 26-28°C (79-82°F).
Victory Reef, Bimini Island
Victory Reef is one of the most famous dive sites in the Bahamas, and for good reason. The sloping coral reef runs along the line of the Gulf stream for about 5 miles, making it a great place to see a variety of marine life. The visibility is usually good and the depth ranges from shallow to deep, making it perfect for beginner and experienced divers alike.
Things to see: This coral reef is home to a wide variety of reef fish. The coral reefs here are best known for their grouper, snapper, and barracuda, but is also a great place to see sharks, including the nurse shark and the Caribbean reef shark.
Experience Level: Victory Reef is a great place for beginner and advanced divers alike. The depth sometimes only reaches around 60ft/18m, making it perfect for those new to diving. The sloping reef and lack of strong currents make it a great place for beginner divers to explore. More experienced divers can explore the cave system located on the outer walls of Victory Reef.
When to Dive: The diving at Victory Reef is great all year round. However, the best time of year to dive is during the winter months when the water temperature is a little cooler. The cooler temperatures make for better visibility and the lack of crowds makes for a more enjoyable diving experience.
The Towers, Abaco
The Towers, located in the north of the Abacos Islands, is an interesting dive site with so much more to offer than just a pretty reef wall. With great visibility up to 100ft/30m, temperate waters, and depths from 55ft/17m to 75ft/23m, the Towers is a beautiful site that all divers can enjoy.
Things to see: The Towers have several large pinnacles with numerous boulders, ledges, caverns, tunnels, and swim-throughs. The natural rock formations are 18m/60ft tall, coated with different colorful carpets of corals and kelp.
Experience Level: The Towers are great for all levels of scuba divers, from beginner to advanced. The average depth is around 60ft/18ft.
When to Dive: The best time of year to dive at the towers is during the summer months. The water is warm and the visibility is usually very good.
The Washing Machine, Exumas
The Washing Machine is one of the most popular dive sites in the Exumas. It gets its name from the strong currents that swirl around the reef, making it look like a giant washing machine.
The dive begins shallow, at just 15 feet (4 meters), and then quickly descends to about 50 feet (15 meters). The current is strong at first, but it calms down after the first half of the dive.
Things to see: There is not much to see, the main attraction here is riding the strong current. However, you can still see some coral and fish, with the occasional nurse shark and sea turtles.
Experience Level: The Washing Machine is a great dive for advanced divers. The current is strong, so it’s important to be comfortable with diving in currents.
When to Dive: The best time of year to dive at The Washing Machine is during the winter when the water is colder. The colder water will make the currents weaker, making it a more enjoyable dive.
When to go scuba diving in the Bahamas?
The warm subtropical climate of the Bahamas provides excellent scuba diving year-round. In the Summer water temperatures are approximately 88°F (31°C), dipping to 75-80°F (24-27°C) in winter.
If you enjoy diving at uncrowded dive sites, book your dive vacation for June-October. This is the low season in the Bahamas. Diving in the Bahamas changes little from month to month.
In addition to great topside conditions, November to May is also the best time for shark diving. Tiger sharks are present from October to January at Tiger Beach, and you’ll find hammerhead sharks at Bimini from February to April. When it comes to whale watching, the best time to see humpback whales in the Bahamas is from mid-March to early April and again from late April into early May.
How to get to the Bahamas?
The Bahamas are located in the Atlantic Ocean, east of Florida and north of Cuba. The archipelago consists of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets. The capital city is Nassau on the island of New Providence. Here are a few ways to get to the Bahamas:
- By air: There are three international airports in the Bahamas- Grand Bahama Airport (FPO), Marsh Harbor Airport (MHH), and South Bimini Airport (BIM). You can fly into any of these airports from major US cities.
- By cruise: If you are taking a cruise that stops in the Bahamas, you will most likely be docking at Nassau. There are many cruise lines that offer Bahamas cruises from Florida.
- By boat: You can also take a ferry or private boat to the Bahamas. The main ferry terminal is located in Nassau. You can also take a water taxi from Florida to the Bahamas.
Once you are in the Bahamas, you can island-hop to your heart’s content. There are many beautiful islands to explore, each with its own unique charm. To get to the other island you can take local flights and ferries.
Other Things to do in the Bahamas
Apart from scuba diving, there are many other things to do in the Bahamas. Here are a few ideas:
- Visit the Pig Beach: The Pig Beach is located on Big Major Cay in Exuma. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Bahamas.
- Explore the caves: There are many caves to explore on the islands of Eleuthera and Andros.
Visit the Blue Lagoon: The Blue Lagoon is located on the island of New Providence. It is a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling.
- Dance in the Nassau nightlife: Nassau is known for its lively nightlife. There are many bars and clubs to choose from.
- See the spectacular turquoise beaches: The Bahamas are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
- Take a reggae and rhythms tour: This is a great way to learn about the local music and culture.
- Go fishing: The Bahamas is a popular destination for sport fishing. There are many charter companies that offer fishing trips.
Have you ever been diving in the Bahamas? What was your favorite dive site? Let us know in the comments below!