There are 700 Islands of Bahamas sprinkled over 100,000 square miles of Ocean, starting just 50 miles off the coast of Florida. The archipelago is an ecological oasis featuring 2,000 breathtaking islands and cays and boasts the clearest water on the Planet, with a visibility of over 200 feet. The main islands are Grand Bahama, Bimini, Abaco, Andros, New Providence (Nassau), Exumas, Eleuthera, Long Island and Great Inagua. Despite the massive presence of the tourist industry, there are still authentic places and a huge variety of underwater activities for every taste: sharks, dolphins, wrecks, reefs, caves, deep dives, drift dives and blue holes. Plus, the white sandy beaches are perfect for relaxation and romantic moments.
Climate: The wet season is May/October. The northern islands (Grand Bahama, Great Abaco, Andros e Eleuthera) are fresher, while the southern are very hot, especially in summer, from June to August.
Best time of year: Year round, but the best time is from December to April, during the dry season.
Where to stay: In Grand Bahama, the Pelican Bay at Lucaya Hotel (www.pelicanbayhotel.com) has simple yet confortable rooms and it’s perfectly located at a walking distance from the “Lucaya Marketplace” and from UNEXSO, the main diving center of the island.
In Andros, the Small Hope Bay Lodge (www.smallhope.com) has very simple rooms and it’s reserved to people who just want to dive.
In Nassau, on New Providence island, there’s a lot of big hotels, but I will look for some different place like the nice Marley Resort & SPA (www.marleyresort.com)
Diving centers: In Grand Bahama, UNEXSO (www.unexso.com ) is a serious and professional operator and arranges dives for every taste, from shark feeding to dolphin encounters.
Best dive sites: In Grand Bahama, Shark Junction, Picasso’s Gallery, Angels Camp and, for wreck lovers, Theo’s Wreck. In Andros, Shark Emporium, Over the Wall. In Nassau, Shark Arena.
Must see: Carribean gray reef sharks with Unexso and Stuart Cove.
Diver’s tip: Check frequently your computer, especially during the deep dives: the water is so clear that you can loose the perception of your depth.