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Your Guide to Diving in The Bahamas

Nassau, Bimini, Exumas, Grand Bahama and the Sharks of Tiger Beach

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...Highlights: shark action, great macro life/marine diversity, schooling fish & big pelagics...
...Bahamas' diving environment: wrecks, wall diving, beginner and advanced divers...

The Bahamas is the ideal Caribbean liveaboard diving location that merges international elegance with a relaxed tropical vacation vibe. Conveniently positioned 56 miles (90km) off the coast of Florida, the 2,500 cays and 700 islands (of which 30 are uninhabited) form the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Liveaboard diving tours to Grand Bahama and Nassau & The Exumas is the perfect way to explore the many dive sites in comfort and style.

Scuba diving in the Bahamas with Caribbean reef sharks

The main Exumas dive sites are located in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. Their motto ‘Take only photographs, leave only footprints’ highlights efforts to protect their precious natural resources for all to enjoy it. The area is managed by the Bahamas National Trust and falls under its protection, enabling the marine life to flourish and divers to safely explore the pristine reefs. The vast area is only inhabited by 7,400 permanent residents, that have minimal impact on the pristine environment and this creates an impression for scuba divers that they are visiting a lost paradise.

360 small islands and cays form an island-chain across 130 miles (209 km) of the Caribbean. These island jewels in aquamarine and sapphire waters create the topography for many spectacular sites. Reefs, walls and sandy bottoms all teeming with life will be your playground during your Bahamas liveaboard diving cruise.

The blue, jewel-tone Caribbean seas are filled with life. During your liveaboard diving trip you will encounter many species of turtles year round. Other highlights include eagle rays, seahorses, dolphins and a variety of sharks in large numbers, including the legendary Tiger Beach of Grand Bahama. All divers' wishes are met in the Bahamas: spectacular walls, intact wrecks, coral encrusted reefs, pinnacles and even a blue hole!

Dive Site Descriptions for Bahamas

Amberjack Reef

Previously this was a shark feeding site. Thankfully, in accordance with the Land and Sea Park’s request, sharks are no longer fed here (or in principle they should not be), however they still frequent this part of Exuma Keys.

Amberjack's drawcard is the abundance of marine life that frequent the patch reef. Although your descent will merely be to 50 ft (15m), take a moment to control your breathing as you will soon be surrounded by up to 10 Caribbean reef sharks and 10-15 large, yellowmouth and yellowfin grouper. Don’t be so distracted by the big fellows, as this dive spot also has many interesting small critters such as pirate blennies. The sea floor is home to garden eels that pop their heads out of the sand, or can be seen gently swaying in the current. As you ascend, you will be met by a welcoming safety stop party of over 100 horse-eye jacks!
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How to Dive Bahamas

The Bahamas are best experienced from the comfort of your liveaboard charter. Boat diving cruises are the top choice for those who want to maximize their scuba opportunities and take in the enchanting top side scenery. The Bahamas form a chain of inner and outer island and cay sites that you will dive directly from your sturdy liveaboard, enabling a comfortable entry and elegant exit.

Since the Bahamas are a popular spot with a very low number of liveaboard operators, availability can be an issue. We recommend you book 12 months in advance to avoid disappointment.

To find a cruise that's right for you and for more information on all the travel information you might need to visit Bahamas, see our Bahamas liveaboards section.

Bahamas Diving Season

Diving the Bahamas is possible year round. There are some fluctuations in the weather, however for the most part these have a minimal effect. November brings with it colder fronts occasionally, and the water temperature can drop to 77°F (25°C). For 'winter', the temperatures are still at a level to dive comfortably.

The warmest water temperatures (85°F / 30°C) occur during the rainy summer months from June to September. This is also when the seas are the calmest and visibility the best. However with such incredible conditions, the visibility is still spectacular even during the winter months. August is considered to be the month that experiences most storms, although these are also infrequent.

Although a year round destination for divers, there are some seasonal factors that could affect the species you encounter. The Bahamas liveaboards visit Tiger Beach to see tiger sharks around the May to July period, while March to June is the best time for spotting oceanic whitetips. April tends to the be the best critter time of the year and therefore favored by macro enthusiasts. May is an active period for fish and coral spawning.

For more on the climate and weather of the Bahamas, visit the The Islands Of The BahamasOpens in a new window website.

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Where is the Bahamas and How Do I Get There?

Review our map below showing the Bahamas' location in the world. Here, you will find information on how to get to the Bahamas.

Map of the Caribbean Sea, including Bahamas (click to enlarge in a new window) Map of the world (click to enlarge in a new window)

Reef Summary

Depth: 19 - >130ft (6 - >40m)
Visibility: 50 - 98ft (15 - 30m)
Currents: Mild to moderate
Surface conditions: Generally calm with some swell or chop during storms
Water temperature: 78 - 84°F (25 - 29°C) in summer and 72 - 80°F (22 - 27°C) during winter
Experience level: Beginners to advanced
Number of dive sites: ~20
Recommended length of stay: 8-12 days

Useful References

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