During the two weeks I spent diving on Bahamas liveaboards, I got to dive quite a few amazing dive sites. From walls to reefs to wrecks, these are my absolute favorites Bahamas dive sites!
#1 The Washing Machine
If you’ve been diving in the Bahamas, you’ve surely heard of the famed Washing Machine. Drift diving at its best, the Washing Machine sends you through the spin cycle at depth! You’ll come out the other side stain-free and lavender-scented (figuratively, of course).
This was only my fourth dive after becoming certified, so this particular Bahamas dive site briefing (which was so intense I felt like I was going out on a mission with Navy Seals) definitely had me a bit rattled. They told us to curl up into a ball to get the most spin, or to stretch out like a star to slow it down – I fully planned on stretching.
But as soon as we descended and the current sucked us in, I knew what I had to do. I curled up tight and let the spin cycle do its thing, and it was one of the coolest experiences of my life. Spinning and flipping and watching all the other divers was a blast.
Once you’ve made it through the intense part, it’s a calm and relaxing drift over colorful scattered coral heads. You’ll be able to let the adrenaline fade away while keeping an eye out for sharks and rays, drifting happily to the pick-up spot.
This was absolutely my favorite Bahamas dive site!
#2 Cobia Cage
As far as man-made underwater structures go, the Cobia Cage is a doozy. You really don’t quite get just how massive it is in the dive briefing. As soon as I was in the water, I remember looking down and being completely blown away at the size.
It’s a colossal diamond-shaped netting, somewhat reminiscent of a two-sided circus tent, abandoned for so long that it’s covered in coral and algae and tons of tiny crabs and slugs. Looking down on this Bahamas dive site from the surface is almost overwhelming!
I’ve heard rumors of a local hammerhead that enjoys hanging out in the sand around the cage itself, but I didn’t see him on my dive (bummer). I was, however, fortunate enough to be graced by the presence of a huge, ancient-looking loggerhead turtle who swam up right past me for a breath!
This dive was amazing to me, not only because I thought the cage was incredible, but because the macro life on the netting was so unique. Shrimp and neck crabs were everywhere, lettuce sea slugs in abundance, and some things I didn’t even recognize called this unbelievable Bahamas dive site their home.
#3 Barracuda Shoals
My first dive at Barracuda Shoals was when I realized that I love diving. The shallow scattered reef is gorgeous, and it has a huge concentration of life on every dive.
I was never bored for a second at this spot. Rays are always swimming around, huge grouper and sharks like to hang out near the boat, turtles putter around the coral heads – I could go on all day about the ocean dwellers that spend their time on this reef!
I have seen everything but a barracuda at this site (isn’t that strange?), and it’s such a shallow and easy dive that you’ll find yourself wanting to keep coming back to this Bahamas dive site as much as possible.
#4 Crab Wall
My first wall dive! I descended with an instructor and a fellow guest on Blackbeard’s who was working on completing her Advanced Diver certification. Crab Wall was her deep dive, and we made it all the way down to 106 feet! I was mesmerized by the changes in color and the intensity of looking down from that depth and seeing that it just…keeps…going…down…seemingly forever.
Looking away from the wall into blue nothingness was so exciting to me. Who knows what might appear from the abyss at any moment?
The coral formations at this site were incredible, too. Massive structures and ravines were continuous, sheltering mysterious creatures who remained just barely out of sight. This was, by far, my favorite reef. The sheer beauty and scale of the whole area at this Bahamas dive site will stay with me forever!
#5 Lobster No Lobster
Supposedly named by Jacques Cousteau himself, Lobster No Lobster is a beautiful scattered coral head reef in shallow water. It is the epitome of easy diving. I enjoyed each dive here immensely, and I spent a lot of the time working on buoyancy and trying to blow bubble rings when I wasn’t watching for sharks and schools of jacks.
It’s a lot of fun to watch for long-spined sea urchins that have been released at this site by conservation projects (they’re beneficial for reefs as algae cleaners).
I really can’t overstate how nice it is to jump into this Bahamas dive site! It’s a great evening dive to relax on after a day of deep descents.
#6 Hammerhead Gulch
Aqua Cat was moored at Hammerhead Gulch for the most part of the pandemic shutdown, so the crew was more than familiar with the site – and excited to share it with us! I knew we were going to have fun when the dive instructors were all fighting over getting to lead the dive, and how happy they were when Capt. Manny said we’d be able to dive it twice.
The Bahamas dive site certainly didn’t disappoint. I followed the dive instructor, Karl, on the first descent, and he is a big fan of macro life. We went out in search of nudibranchs and slugs, and we had a great time doing it! He pointed out lettuce sea slugs and a beautiful red tipped sea goddess.
I followed another dive instructor, Jen, on the next dive. She showed us around the reef and I even got to point out a beautiful green sea turtle to the group (yes, I felt really cool).
#7 Austin Smith Wreck
The Austin Smith Wreck is just plain awesome. It was the location of our shark dive on Blackbeard’s, and I can’t imagine a better spot. We were surrounding the deck, hanging onto the rail, and staring wide-eyed at a shark feeding frenzy.
The wreck itself is huge. After the sharks had devoured every last bit of chum, we explored the area. Huge shredded pieces of metal guarded by lionfish are ominous and intriguing.
#8 Monolith Wall
As a Space Odyssey fan, I was really excited to dive Monolith Wall, and I was so happy that it ended up being one of my favorite Bahamas dive sites!
First of all, this wall is enormous! It’s really steep, and the visibility is nice, so you’re able to see it curving away as you look up along it. As we enjoyed our leisurely swim along the wall, we came across these massive slopes of sand between coral groups. They look like ski slopes down a huge mountain. I never would’ve imagined anything like that being ninety feet below the surface.
And coming across the Monolith is unmistakable – it’s giant and quite strange. It is just a huge column of coral coming up from the sand, completely separated from the rest of the reef!
This dive site is a very cool change from the normal reef scenery. It feels like you’ve just transported yourself to an ocean that’s somehow different and unfamiliar to you from the ocean you’ve come to know.
#9 Cut N Run
Cut N Run is a cool spot because it is basically two different types of diving wrapped up into one descent! You can spend your time checking nooks and crannies of a smuggler’s airplane wreck, or you can go explore a very cool wall.
There is also an abundance of neat sea critters here. I came across a tiny decorator crab, who was hanging out with some brittle stars on a piece of coral, some sea cucumbers who were lazing around the wreck, and I found myself accidentally right below a hefty black grouper (whose teeth were much scarier at close-range) hiding under a ledge on the wall.
It is really cool to be able to choose how to spend your time at this Bahamas dive site. How often are you able to see a wall and a wreck at the same time?
#10 Hole in the Wall
As a new diver, swim-throughs are still a little freaky to me. But at Hole in the Wall, I couldn’t resist acting tough and going anyway!
It’s a deep wall, with the swim-through entrance at around sixty feet and the exit around ninety. The hole in the wall is very large and a lot of fun to swim through, with lots of cool coral formations and sea life inside.
The best part is that once you’ve gone through the hole, you get to enjoy a really nice wall on the way back to the boat! Walls are so nice and easy to navigate (that’s why there are so many on this list), and it’s always exciting to spot strange creatures that aren’t normally around on the shallow dives.
The Best Way to See All These Bahamas Dive Sites?
Easy solution – a liveaboard dive trip! Spending a week on Blackbeard’s or Aqua Cat will certainly give you the chance to see quite a few of them, with a whole lot of fun between the dives.