bahamas lemon shark

globe th CopyDeceptively peaceful & lovely on the topside, the waters of the Bahamas house a plethora of the Ocean's fiercest predators.   This coral-based archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, includes 700 islands, cays & islets encompassing 470,000 square kilometers (180,000 square miles) of ocean space.   This island nation lies north of Cuba, Haiti & the Dominican Republic - southeast of the U.S. state of Florida.  Scuba diving and snorkeling sites include the massive Andros Barrier Reef, Thunderball Grotto (of James Bond fame) and the black-coral gardens off Bimini.

Beguiling Bahamas

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Bahamas diving ... in brief

The Bahamas offers verything from vibrant tropical colors to super-charged shark encounters.  Jump in and enjoy:

  • shimmering, turquoise crystal-clear water carpeted with miles of white sand & countless dolphins
  • up close & personal shark encounters with tiger sharks, lemon sharks & reef sharks
  • massive great hammerheads, bull sharks and nurse sharks ... and the fearsome Oceanic white tips
  • colorful & charismatic reef fish, healthy corals in every color of the rainbow & large, exotic sponges
  • the exotic Lost Blue Hole in the Exumas National Park

Peaceful paradise ...

Diving in the Bahamas has always presented lovely & traditional diving filled with a delightful variety of the most colorful & charismatic reef fish, healthy corals, large sponges, rays, sharks, groupers and even a bit of shark action .... plus the attraction of a rather exotic visit to the Lost Blue Hole (included on most Exuma Cays itineraries). 

The rim of this curious blue hole lies in 40 feet of water and is surrounded by coral formations. You'll get fish, sting rays, lobters ... and plenty of the petite creatures such as jawfish & gobies.   Plus, there's almost always a shark or two lurking ...

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... or powerful predators ?

On the flip side of the coin, for the truly adventurous amongst you, there are extraordinary diving opportunites for up close and personal shark encounters - tiger sharks, lemon sharks & reef sharks at Tiger Beach ....  massive great hammerheads, bull sharks and nurse sharks at Bimini  ....  oceanic whitetips at Cat Island.

With the shimmering, turquoise crystal-clear water carpeted with miles of white sand, the photo ops are beyond belief.

See our Shark Encounters section for some of the extraordinary shark trips in this region.

Shark Encounters

Choose your diving adventure

Bahamas Emma the Tiger Shark dreamstime m 13546798 CopyTiger Beach  ...  tigers, lemons & aquamarine water atop white sand
Simply one of the world's finest venues for tiger shark encounters.  Crystal clear turquoise waters, white sand .... tiger sharks & lemon sharks.  Shallow waters.  Dive as often as you like.  Pure magic  .....  read more ...

On the slightly "extreme" side of the Caribbean, there's Tiger Beach in the Bahamas, Tiger Beach is amongst the world's top venues for Tiger Shark encounters and you may even run into renowned shark expert, Wolfgang Leander, who free dives with them.

To whet your appetite for this experience, you can check out the fabulous video shot by David Ulloa on our 2008 trip.

Tiger Beach is the ultimate tiger shark encounter! 6–7 foot lemon sharks mingling with 10-14 foot tiger sharks. Occasionally even a great hammerhead joins the fun!  With the stunning underwater white-sand beach & the clear turquoise water, this is a site-to-die-for for photographers & videographers!

While no one can ever guarantee shark encounters, the diving trips to Tiger Beach have so far had 100% success.

Dive Advice has chartered a couple of trips per year aboard the 86 foot Dolphin Dream since 2008 and can also offer spaces on most of the Dolphin Dream's trips. The boat departs from West Palm Beach Florida and spends either 5 or 6 days with the Tigers.  We are also now offering diving programs aboard MV Kate with maximum 6 divers.   See our availability page for dates.

A spectacular lifetime experience!

Caribbean Blue HoleExuma Cays  ...  reefs, wrecks, prolific fish life
A National Underwater Park.  Miles of undersea coral gardens in gin clear waters with lots of fish, plenty of critters, a blue hole & a bit of pelagic action  .....  read more ...

A National Underwater Park - no fishing, spearfishing or collecting allowed - resulting in miles of undersea coral gardens in gin clear waters with lots of fish, plenty of critters and a bit of pelagic action

Your cruise will explore the waters surrounding several hundred largely uninhabited islands, graced with beautiful beaches. For over 30 years, much of this area, known as the northern Exumas, has been a National Underwater Park - no fishing, spearfishing or collecting allowed - resulting in miles of undersea coral gardens in gin clear waters with lots of fish.

Your itinerary will almost certainly include a visit to visit Lost Blue Hole, the rim of which lies in 40′ of water surrounded by coral heads, sting rays and schools of fish.

Beyond that you'll find the dives to be varied, incorporating a couple of wrecks, lovely & healthy reefs with prolific fish life (including everything from small critters such as pirate blennies and garden eels to large parrotfish, sergeant majors, butterflyfish and angelfish.)

On one dive you'll find black coral and orange elephant ear and tube sponges plus plenty of pelagic action, featuring eagle rays and sharks. Indeed, many of the dives offer encounters with friendly groupers, Caribbean reef sharks, nurse sharks, the powerful lemon sharks and even hammerheads from time to time.

In addition, you can expect some strong currents, fantastic wall dives, lovely caves and crevices and swim-thrus.

Aqua Cat and the Bahamas Aggressor both dive these waters.

Bahamas Cat Island oceanic whitetip pilot shutterstock 417662305 optCat Island  ...  Oceanic Whitetips
Cat Island in the Bahamas is a splendid place to experience being in the water with the awe-inspiring Oceanic Whitetips, as there are probably more of these sharks around this island than in any other single spot around the world ... read more ...

Oceanic Whitetip sharks are massive and powerful animals ranging in size up to 4 meters (over 12 feet) in length.

Although the Oceanic Whitetip is a fierce predator - dining on turtles, tuna, sea birds, even sting rays - you'll find these magnificent creatures, in general, quite calm and curious with divers.

Of course, while in the water with them, you'll always be accompanied by a highly trained and experienced dive team to ensure your safety.

As a plus, in these waters, you're likely to encounter silky and dusky sharks and if you're lucky, you may have the occasional blue marlin passing by.

You'll be able to participate in scuba or free diving – or both. The important thing to note is that you'll be in blue water with no cage so advanced certification is required and free diving experience is recommended.

The best period for Oceanic Whitetip encounters is March through June, as that's when you'll find the Oceanic Whitetips in the greatest numbers (although the animals are around Cat Island all year).

Remember, the Oceanics are in deep water locations, so this isn't the white sand photo-op of Tiger Beach and Bimini .... but still, Cat Island offers terrific conditions with calm, crystal clear water which does provide the great photo ops you're longing for with these sharks!

Bahamas Binini Hammer Divers Bimini Islands  ...  great hammerheads, bull sharks, white sand & great viz
Is there a creature on Earth with a more astonishing appearance than the hammerhead shark?  Diving with them, photographing them  …. this is the stuff dreams are made of ... read more ...

And, at Bimini, you get all of this with great viz in aquamarine waters with white sand bottom to accentuate your photos!

January through March each year is the period when the great hammerheads are found in large numbers around the Bimini Islands in the Bahamas.  After that, they generally begin to migrate in search of cooler waters. 

The great hammerhead is the largest of nine identified hammerhead species and individuals can reach 20 feet (6 meters) in length and weigh up to 1,000 pounds (450 kg).  Now, that’s a serious shark!

As with other scuba diving locations in the Bahamas, you’re likely to be treated to more than one species of shark while you’re in the water.  It’s common to see nurse sharks, Caribbean reef sharks and particularly bull sharks in this area … plus plenty of other marine life.  Some trips may offer optional dolphin encounters.

INFO symbol CopyFrequently Asked Questions  ... the practical info you need to know before you go

how to get there   ...   best time to go
weather   ...   water temperatures   ...   diving conditions
immigration & visas   ...   what to bring   ...   insurance   ...   more

Bahamas Know Before You Go