The Bahama Bank is an amazing place to scuba dive. The country is composed of thousands of islands poking up from a huge submerged coral platform made up of ancient limestone composed of ancient reef that has accumulated over millions of years.
During the relatively recent Pleistocene Epoch (2.5 million year to 11,700 years ago), the Bahama Bank has been repeatedly exposed to cycles of water and air during the recent period of repeated glaciation. During the glacial maximums of the Pleistocene, the sea level dropped about 300 feet exposing the Bahama banks high and dry and exposed to be carved by the forces of air, rain and erosion. This eventually evolved the extensive karst (limestone) caves and sinkholes that once flooded became the flooded caves and blue holes that can be explored today.
The climate of the Bahamas is ideal for scuba diving. The Gulf Stream keeps the Bahamas mild and warm even during the winter months. There has never been a freeze reported in the Bahamas, but when the cold fronts move down into Florida temperatures can drop significantly in the Bahamas during the winter months. The temperate climate rarely allows air temperatures to go below 70 degrees F and rarely rises above 90 degrees F.
Water temperatures off the Bahamas peak in July through September, reaching as warm as 87 degrees F. May through October the waters are warm enough to comfortably scuba dive without a wetsuit. In the months from November up until May it is best to dive with a full wetsuit when the waters reach down as low as 72 degrees F. The crystal clear blue waters of the Bahamas consistently give scuba divers 100 feet plus visibility.
The Bahama Bank is exposed to the summer and autumn hurricane seasons. The Bahamas regularly take a blunt hit from these hurricanes because they act as a break from storms brewing from across the Atlantic. Late summer storms are frequent so plan your scuba trip to the Bahamas in spring or early summer to experience the best weather and warmest water temperatures.
The Bahamas are made up of many islands and cays that offer endless established dive sites including countless blue holes, caves and reef. The Bahamas can arbitrarily be separated into the northwestern main islands towards the United States, and the southeastern islands towards the Caribbean.
The northeastern Bahamas includes the capital of Nassau on the small island of New Providence and the larger islands of Andros and Abaco. In this northern realm there is the popular dive site Stuart's Cove near Nassau. There are many dive sites around Nassau mostly along the islands western coast. Dive Abilin Wreck and dive among pretty coral and abundant marine life at Elkhorn Gardens.
The famous Bimini islands, not far from the United States, offer popular scuba diving sites for beginner up through expert level divers. Off the shore of Bimini is the famous, or infamous, Bimini road dive site that is in shallow waters and features a road made of limestone blocks that indicates a possible archeological origin. The road is also referred to as Bimini Wall and extends off the western shore of North Bimini Island. There is much controversy about whether the road is natural or manmade, and mainstream science, of course, has no imagination or denies even the possibility that the road was active when the sea level was lower many, many years in the past. There are myths of Atlantic- the air of the Bahamas, and dreamers and sailors are common in the warm breezes of the shallow Atlantic.
Some of the most famous dive sites in the southeastern part of the Bahamas include Dean's Blue Hole. It is the deepest seawater blue hole in the world at 663 feet deep. Dean's Blue Hole is also unique because its edge is just offshore an island. Located on Long Island in a bay west of Clarence Town, Dean's Blue Hole is a perfect place for scuba exploration near its surface for beginners and for advanced divers who venture into its depths. Dean's Blue Hole is also famous as the site of free diving world records.
There are countless known and yet undiscovered dive sites and blue holes in the vast Bahama Bank and off the shores of it thousands of cays and islands. The marine life in the Bahamas is most notable for the abundant coral, sponges, and fans that gently sway in the current. Scuba divers commonly see stingray, barracuda, bonefish, clownfish, and much more big and small. The Nassau grouper is a favorite among divers who have come to love the Bahamas and its underwater world.
Most who visit the Bahamas fly into Nassau's Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS). NAS was previously called Nassau International Airport and is still referred to as such for the most part. Nassau International is the largest airport and the main hub for tourism coming in and out of the country. When flying into the Bahamas there is also Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) on the northern island of Grand Bahama. Otherwise known as Freeport International Airport, Grand Bahama International is the second most common airport in the Bahamas to Nassau.
There are several other international airports in the Bahamas that offer direct flights to and from the United States and Canada primarily. To fly into the island of Eleuthera, book a flight to Rock Sound International Airport (RSD). When arriving into the islands of Exuma, book with Exuma International Airport (GGT). There are several dozen domestic airports throughout the Bahamas and many more private airstrips even on the smallest islands. There is no lack of air traffic throughout the Bahamas.
If air travel is not in your cards, there is the option of boat. From the United States there are many big and small cruise ship and liveaboards that depart from Florida's Miami area and arrive primarily into the Bahamas’ main tourism ports of Nassau and Freeport. A boat trip time from the Miami docks to Nassau is an easy day trip, and many cruise ships cross to the Bahamas on a slow drift overnight. Many private boats power over or sail from the US and arrive in the Bahamas within a day. Since there are thousands of islands and endless banks to explore as a scuba diver in the Bahamas, boarding a private boat or liveaboard will get you to endless dive sites, explored and unexplored.
Scuba diving is very popular in the Bahamas and there is no lack of dive shops that will accommodate beginners or advanced divers for day trips or extended instruction and liveaboard excursions. Some of the most prominent dive shops are in Nassua including the shop Bahama Divers and the dive shop Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas.
When venturing to the western Bimini Islands, check out the established dive shop called Neal Watson's Bimini Scuba Center. In the Exuma chain of islands, check out what Dive Exuma has to offer as far as dive trips along the amazing Exuma cays. When visiting the pretty island of Eleuthera, the resort Ocean Fox Cotton Bay resort is a great place to stay; relax and arrange a scuba trip with their dive shop and local captains. You will not find it hard to track down a willing captain or dive instructor to guide you to the best local dive locations on almost any island in the Bahamas.
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Exuma Bahamas is a perfect scuba get-a-way! We loved it! Rented a wonderful beach house on bone fish flats. Huge deep blue hole just around the corner, got lobsters & shrimp and saw rays, tons of various fish,(great fishing) reefs all over snorkeled more than we scuba dove. The water is so clear, we stayed in from dawn till dusk, Gotta try the local coconut bread! Best vaca. EVER!