Q&A: What island in the Bahamas has the best off-shore snorkeling?

Question by Lulu: What island in the Bahamas has the best off-shore snorkeling?
I want to be able to have good snorkeling directly off the shore, so I don’t have to take a tour. What Bahamas island would be best for this?

Best answer:

Answer by Zachary
You can snorkel just about anywhere
but here ya go

The Best Snorkeling

New Providence and Paradise islands — The waters that ring densely populated New Providence Island and nearby Paradise Island are easy to explore. Most people head for the Rose Island Reefs, the Gambier Deep Reef, the Booby Rock Channel, the Goulding Reef Cays, and some easily seen, well-known underwater wrecks that lie in shallow water. Virtually every hotel on the island offers equipment and can book you onto a snorkel cruise to sites farther offshore.
Grand Bahama Island — Resort hotels can hook you up with snorkeling excursions, such as the ones offered by Ocean Motion Water Sports Ltd. (tel. 242/374-2425 ; www.oceanmotionbahamas.com), the best snorkeling outfitter, which can also connect you with a number of other watersports, from banana-boating to water-skiing. The clear water around Grand Bahama is wonderful for snorkeling because it has a rich marine life. Snorkelers are fond of exploring Ben’s Cave, a stunning cavern that’s part of Lucayan Caves, as well as the coral beds at places like Silver Point Reef and Gold Rock.
Bimini — Snorkelers are enthralled with the black coral gardens that are easily accessible from shore and the colorful marine life around the island. Sometimes when conditions are right, snorkelers can frolic with a pod of spotted dolphins. Off North Bimini, snorkelers are attracted to a cluster of huge flat rocks that jut from 6 to 9m (20-30 ft.) out of the water at Paradise Point. The most imaginative snorkelers claim that these rocks, which seem hand-hewn, were part of a road system that once traversed the lost continent of Atlantis.
Long Island (The Southern Bahamas) — Shallow bays and sandy beaches offer many possibilities for snorkeling, and the staffs at both major resorts will direct you to the finest conditions near their stretches of beach. The island’s southern end is especially dramatic because of its unique sea cliffs. Many east-coast beach coves also offer fantastic snorkeling opportunities.
Elbow Cay — With its 209km (130-mile) string of beautiful cays and some of The Bahamas’ best beaches, the Abacos are ideal for snorkeling, especially in the waters off Elbow Cay. Visibility is often excellent because the cay lies close to the Gulf Stream’s cleansing waters. Mermaid Beach, a particularly colorful reef, is another favorite. Froggies Out Island Adventures (tel. 242/…; www.froggiesabaco.com) provides equipment and the best snorkeling advice.
Stocking Island — George Town is the capital of the Exumas, which is celebrated for its crystal-clear waters so beloved by yachties. From George Town, Stocking Island lies across Elizabeth Harbour, which is only 1.6km (1 mile) away. Stocking Island is a long, thin barrier island that attracts snorkelers who explore its blue holes (ocean pools of fresh water floating on heavier saltwater). The island is also ringed with undersea caves and coral gardens in stunning colors. You’ll find that Stocking Island has some of the Southern Bahamas’s most gorgeous beaches.
San Salvador — Following in the wake of Columbus, snorkelers find a rich paradise on this relatively undiscovered island, with its unspoiled, unpopulated kilometers of beaches ideal for swimming, shelling, and close-in snorkeling (snorkeling close to shore). A week’s stay is enough time to become acquainted with only some of the possibilities, including Bamboo Point, Fernandez Bay, and Long Bay, all within a few kilometers of Cockburn (the main village) on the island’s west side. At San Salvador’s southern tip are some of our favorite places for snorkeling, Sandy Point and nearby Grotto Bay.


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