Eleuthera, a quiet and isolated community just 260 miles from Miami, features a peaceful location where tourists can escape the city’s crowd and hustle. This community boasts friendly locals and enriched culture where you can immerse yourself and discover more about the island.
Life is slow and steady on this island, and you can find several untouched remote beaches and pristine reefs. It’s also an ideal location for farming and fishing and staying in well-developed resorts to chill and relax.
Snorkeling is one of the most famous water sports activities to try in Eleuthera. Experience swimming with the Bahamas’ incredible underwater species and appreciate the beauty of the island’s majestic coral reefs. This guide explores Eleuthera’s top snorkeling spots you should not miss on your next trip to the island.
Read more: Best Gopro for snorkeling
The Devil’s Backbone Reef
The Devil’s Backbone is a shallow snorkeling site with a dive depth between 5 to 35 feet. It features jagged-edge reefs that extend across Eleuthera’s northern end. And it’s found 1.4 miles from the Spanish Wells’ northeastern portion.
One interesting yet thrilling fact about the Devil’s Backbone is that it has ripped out the bottom part of most vessels. This led to boats and ships settling among sharp corals. Today, the Devil’s Backbone is a tranquil snorkeler’s paradise, waiting to be discovered and explored.
Snorkelers and divers can experience seeing grunts, snapper, angelfish, parrotfish, brain coral formations, moray eels, stingrays, and more. There are also historical remnants you can encounter, including the following:
- The William – a vessel headed by William Sayles and wrecked in October 1648
- USS Boston – an American 18-gun sloop warship that was destroyed in November 1846
- The Farmer – an American ship that bumped into a reef last September 1842, causing its total destruction
- The Train Wreck – a barge with rail cars and a steam train that struck the reef in 1865 during a violent storm
- The Cienfuegos – an American passenger ship powered by steam that wrecked in February 1895
Snorkelers can also witness The Carnarvon, a steel-hulled Welsh freighter wrecked on the reef’s southern edge. You can locate its remnants just 15 to 25 feet deep.
Gaulding’s Cay Beach is a popular destination among tourists. It makes you feel like you’re on a private beach because of the peace and tranquility you’ll experience when staying here. Aside from snorkeling, guests enjoy swimming and having a picnic while enjoying beautiful beach views.
Gaulding’s Cay Beach also features smooth, soft, and powdery sand with shallow water, especially during low tide. Snorkeling allows you to discover rockier yet unique areas, mainly because a large rock is submerged in the water.
Restaurants are nearby the beach, especially Daddy’s Joe when you want homey lunch and dinner plates. The restaurant also has a bar when you want to have a drink or two. We also highly suggest using a wheelchair for seniors or people with disability to prevent accidents on the sandy terrain.
Snorkeling at Gaulding’s Cay allows you to experience swimming with sea anemones, bonefish, and soft corals. You can locate the snorkeling site at approximately 5.7 miles on Dunmore’s southern end.
The Harbour Island is located on Eleuthera’s northeast shoulder. Even with its small size of one and a half square miles, tourists love visiting this place because of the variety of activities they can experience. If you want to visit Harbour Island, you can only reach it by private boat or water taxi.
Harbour Island is home to one of the quietest and quaintest little communities, Dunmore Town. Explore brightly painted houses in subtle pastel hues. Fascinating snorkeling sites on Harbour Island include the following:
- Man Island filled with sea cucumbers and octopus
- Sea Gardens – filled with soft corals and a horse-shoe-shaped reef system with unique creatures
- Pink House – an elkhorn forest filled with silversides
- Potato and Onion Wreck – natural shipwreck that sunk in 1895
- Tunnel Reef – coral head the shape of a Swiss-cheese
- Three Fingers – ideal for beginners because of shallow corals
Lighthouse Point Beach
Lighthouse Point Beach rarely gets crowded because of its secluded destination. If you are not fond of exploring new places on off-the-beaten paths, you will likely be unable to locate this site.
What sets snorkeling at Lighthouse Point Beach apart is the variety of marine species you get to experience swimming with. Aside from the usual coral reef systems, you’ll witness brightly colored schools of fish, yellowtail, angelfish, grunts, parrotfish, starfish, elkhorns, and more.
Lighthouse Point Beach is found on the northeastern portion of Nassau and Eleuthera’s southernmost point. The beach also features crystal blue water with soft and powdery sand. It’s also possible to bring along food and beach chairs when you want to enjoy a picnic with a view.
The Oleander Reef is famous for its abundant limestones gliding over soft and fine sand. Sea urchins are the most dominant species in this area, which you’d likely see when snorkeling. On rare occasions, you might also find bright red starfishes attaching to the coral reefs.
The Oleander Reef is also ideal for beginners because of its shallow depth. Plus, it’s part of the protected cove in the Oleander Gardens, so it should be safe to explore this snorkeling site.
Snorkeling and swimming near the Oleander Reef also allow you to witness schools of glassy sweepers. They resemble a giant magnetic field with radiant energy that exudes the entire marine ecosystem.
The Oleander Reef is also a famous diving site with diverse marine ecosystems, including species like parrotfish, yellowtail, angelfish, grunts, brain coral formations, elkhorns, and more. It’s also a beach-accessed reef, so beachgoers who are not fond of snorkeling can simply enjoy the views by the shore.
The Ocean Hole
The Ocean Hole, commonly known as The Rock, is a boat-accessible diving site right in the heart of Eleuthera, Bahamas. Its maximum depth reaches 31 to 34 meters, with a freshwater cave you can access to head straight into the corals.
Aside from being Eleuthera’s popular tourist destination, the Ocean Hole is also home to a wide array of gray snappers and groupers stocked by local fishermen. If you’re a brave soul, head to the landmark’s southwest corner to check out the Ocean Hole’s bottomless part. After dye verifications, it was concluded that the said area serves as a deep tunnel.
Other Snorkeling Sites for The Rest of the Bahamas
Yes, we know you’ve completely explored Eleuthera’s famous snorkeling spots. Now, what?
Don’t worry. You can still find some pretty exciting snorkeling sites in the rest of the Bahamas Island. They’re unique, beautiful, and worth spending your time on. Be sure to check them out after spending a day or two on Eleuthera Island.
Stuart’s Cove Dive
Stuart’s Cove Dive is a famous snorkeling destination for all types of divers and snorkelers. Even beginners find it easy to snorkel in this location because of the shallow and clear water. Plus, you get to witness stunning reef and shell collections, as well as fascinating marine life.
If you want to feel safer, snorkeling and diving with trained professionals is possible. This makes it easier to encounter experiences like running into Caribbean Reef Sharks. The professionals shedding some light on snorkeling and marine life are definitely a bonus.
Sapona is another unique snorkeling site named after Henry Ford’s ship that was wrecked after a hurricane dragged it into the water. You can swim around the submerged shipwreck when you visit this place.
After the controversial hurricane, the shipwreck not only became a tourist attraction site but also home to diverse marine life. Some of the most common sea life you can witness are grunts, triggerfish, and lobsters.
Atlantis, or Bimini Road, is a remote yet incredible snorkeling spot. It was named Atlantis because of the limestone blocks that make the site appear like a road. Locals and tourists believed the snorkeling site seemed like a road to Atlantis, an underwater lost city.
You can witness the limestone blocks just 15 to 20 feet underwater. Plus, there’s also a wide array of turtles, sharks, rays, seahorses, whales, and dolphins you can swim with.
Exumas Cays Land And Sea Park
Exumas Cays Land and Sea Park is between Norman’s and Compass Cay in Nassau. Because the area is relatively deeper, you can only access it by boat or seaplane. What’s great about this location is that since it’s secluded, you don’t need to worry about crowds taking over.
Exumas Cays Land and Sea Park is a reliable snorkeling destination with local guides to accommodate your guided tour requests. Plus, you can guarantee it’s safe because trained snorkelers and divers will always be on the lookout for emergencies or accidents.
Experience Snorkeling As You’ve Never Before
The Bahamas is more than a beautiful island. It consists of various activities for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Plus, you can meet friendly and accommodating locals to tour you.
Snorkeling should be on your list if you stay in the tranquil Eleuthera. The community features beautiful snorkeling spots for all types of swimmers – beginners and professionals. Snorkeling is also a great way to experience swimming with underwater species and witnessing the beauty of the coral reef systems.