Where the Wild Dives Are. Our Top 10 Dives Just Miles Off the Coast of Nassau, Bahamas

It can be hard to tear yourself away from the swaying palms and powder-soft sand of Nassau’s beaches, but trust us, you won’t have to venture far to get your adrenaline fix. Just off the shores of this bustling colonial capital lies an underwater playground home to some of the world’s most incredible dive sites.

From reef sharks to wrecks, walls of vibrant corals, caves, and blue holes that bottom out at 200 feet deep, it’s no wonder some of these sites were the backdrop for James Bond films. These 10 stunning gems will have your heart pumping whether you’re just dipping your toes in for the first time or you’re a seasoned dive master.

Shark Buoy

About 15 miles offshore from Nassau, the U.S. Navy has a sonar testing buoy. The buoy has created a unique underwater environment where plankton and algae are found on its rope tether. As a result, small fish and silky sharks gravitate toward the area.

If you want to see silky sharks in their natural habitat, this is one of the best spots in the world to do so. You can also expect to see grouper, snapper, reef sharks and stingrays congregated around the big yellow buoy out at sea.

Lost Blue Hole

The Lost Blue Hole is one of the most unusual and memorable diving spots on the planet. This natural submerged crater has a diameter of over 100 feet and a depth of over 200 feet.

The walls of the crater have become the home of underwater marine life such as sea turtles, manta rays, morays, snapper, amberjacks, and nurse sharks. Because you’ll actually be diving within the crater, there are very few currents to worry about, and the water itself is amazingly clear.

Schoolhouse Reef

Although there are plenty of opportunities for deep-water diving in Nassau and throughout The Bahamas, shallow reef diving can be just as exciting. It can also be better for beginners who want to explore a vibrant underwater ecosystem just a few feet below the surface.

At Schoolhouse Reef, the water’s depth is just 20 feet, making it suitable for beginners. Although it is shallow, this dive spot is packed with bright colors, beautiful coral and an array of reef fish.

Goulding Cay Wall The diving destination known as Goulding Cay is a remarkable spot where you can see a variety of open-water fish known as pelagic, as well as beautiful black coral trees and plenty of barrel sponges. It is also home to a wall, hence the name, which creates an artificial reef alongside the natural one.

At Goulding Caye Wall, you can expect to see everything from turtles to sharks to stingrays, making it an exciting spot with varying depths for all kinds of divers.

Shark Arena

If you’re craving adrenaline, then Nassau is the ideal place to get up close and personal with sharks. At Shark Arena, the diving depth is just 40 feet, so this is an adventure suited to both beginners and more experienced divers.

You can swim through the reef and spot lots of Caribbean reef sharks in their natural habitat for an experience you’ll never forget. If you want to kick it up an extra notch, there is the opportunity to feed the reef sharks and get even closer to the action.

Sea Viking Wreck

The Sea Viking was a commercial fishing boat that sank just south of New Providence in 1997. It is considered an upright wreck because it hasn’t tilted over to one side.

Since the Sea Viking is found about 60 feet below the surface of the ocean, it is relatively well preserved. This depth also means it is best suited to moderate or advanced divers. Today, the ship is covered in sponges, and swimming down to it is an incredible approach.

James Bond Wrecks

With breathtaking beauty and clear blue waters, it is probably not surprising to learn that multiple James Bond movies were filmed in and around Nassau in the Bahamas. In fact, two of the in the area were even featured in James Bond films starring Sean Connery.

Dive to explore the Vulcan Bomber, an underwater wreck that was a filming location for the Bond flick Thunderball in 1965. Or, swim up to the Tears of Allah Shipwreck, a diving site you might recognize from the 1985 movie Never Say Never Again

Cessna Wreck

The diving spot known as the Cessna Wreck is popular in large part because of the great visibility in the water. The wreck is one of several located just off of Clifton Pier, making it easily accessible and ideal for shorter day or night dives.

The deepest spot here is about 35 feet, and you can get up close to the small Cessna plane at the bottom of the ocean. However, don’t forget to look around and soak in views of the fish as well as the nearby wall packed with marine life located just a brief swim from the wrecked plane.

The Willaurie Wreck

If you want to take underwater photographs, shipwrecks make for an exceptional subject. The Willaurie Wreck is a top pick for photographers in large part because of the ship’s dramatic propeller.

In 1907, the Willaurie was built and set sail for the first time in Denmark. It sank in Potter’s Caye but was moved and then sunk again at near Clifton Pier during a storm.

Trinity Caves

Trinity Caves is a series of caverns located next to an underwater wall. This creates an amazing environment for scuba diving, with each of the caverns boasting a new ecosystem worth exploring.

Most of the caverns have relatively small openings, with the largest opening just eight feet by four feet, so it is not for beginners. However, the caverns create a spectacular home for a colorful array of fish, and it’s worth bringing a light so that you can peer into some of the smaller caverns and take a peek.

Nassau Delivers on Diving and so Much More

The amazing variety of marine life and incredible visibility makes exploring the waters off Nassau an endless adventure. Take advantage of the world-class guides at Nassau Dive Center or grab your charts and head off on your own. And when you’re done with the day’s treasure hunt, hop back to Margaritaville Beach Resort, Nassau, Bahamas deep-water marina and settle into to that beach chair just in time for happy hour.

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