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SNORKELING IN THE SHALLOW WATERS OF THE BAHAMAS

Not only is Exuma one of the top diving destinations in the world, but it is also a go-to destination for snorkelers. Boasting pristine waters and incredible shallow reefs with exotic underwater life, this set of 365 islands in the Bahamas welcomes novice and expert snorkelers alike.

Whether you bring your own snorkeling gear with you or you are renting from a local outfitter, snorkeling enables you to get up-close-and-personal with the underwater world.

Exuma boasts clear, blue waters that are calm almost every day of year, and this is what makes the shallow waters really sparkle. Put on your goggles and flippers and dive right into the warm waters for what is surely to be a mesmerizing couple of hours. From watching the light bounce off the bottom of the ocean to navigating along the lush coral reefs, the snorkeling options are endless.

You will undoubtedly catch a glimpse of some of the more impressive, exotic sea life along the shallow coral reefs, so we’ve compiled a list of the best spots in Exuma.

TOP SHALLOW REEFS FOR SNORKELING IN THE BAHAMAS

There are many options for snorkeling in the Bahamas, but Exuma has perhaps the greatest concentration of shallow reefs and blue holes. Here are a few snorkeling suggestions, as well as information on what you will see in the shallow Exuma waters:

  • Make your way to Thunderball, a hollowed-out island in the cays, where you will be greeted with thousands of colorful fish that will eat directly from your hand.
  • Corals and sea fans are sprinkled across the white sand bottom of shallow waters.
  • Turtles, groupers and lobsters can be found hiding under coral rocks.
  • Keep an eye out for the brightly colored tropical fish hanging out around the coral heads.

DOG AND PUP REEF

Situated in 35 feet of water, Dog and Pup reef lies just off Dog Cay and Puppy Cay. The site consists of ridges of shoals and sand banks. Large schools of French grunts and snapper are seen here, along with porcupine puffer fish, queen angelfish and large grouper. Invertebrates that are seen include the Caribbean spiny lobster, and occasional sea turtles.

STINGRAY REEF

Reaching a maximum depth of 45 feet, the tops of the soft corals at this site start at around 20 feet. A rich variety of soft and hard corals provide protection for spotted moray eels, a resident green moray eel, an octopus or two, and a number of Caribbean spiny lobster. Fish species seen include peacock flounders, sand tilefish, butterfly fish, blue tangs, wrasse, grunts and snapper.

ELIZABETH REEF

Elizabeth reef lies adjacent to Elizabeth Island, the next cay along from Stocking Island. A site that is perfect for snorkelers, Elizabeth reef is at its shallowest at 15 feet and reaches a maximum depth of around 30 feet. It is a healthy fish nursery. The topography of the coral, and regular sightings of a school of Eagle Rays at this site makes it a favorite.

There is certainly no shortage of snorkeling sites in the Bahamas, all of which have something unique to offer. The shallow waters and low-lying coral reefs found throughout many of the top locations offer a great place to catch a glimpse of some of the most colorful fish and exotic sea life. Regardless of which destination you choose, you won’t be disappointed.

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