The Commonwealth of the Bahamas, or simply the Bahamas, is an archipelago that includes 700 islands of which only 5% are populated and about two thousand coral reefs. They are found in the Atlantic Ocean, north of Cuba and warmed by the Gulf Stream current. Almost every one of these islands has something unique and attractive for divers. Enjoy a walk through caves on Grand Bahama or pretend to be agent 007 on New Providence where the underwater scenes from the James Bond films were shot. If you want even more action, you can feed the sharks. The archipelago is famous for a great number of wrecks from all over the world and for its varied and colourful sea life: there are marine angelfish, muraena and hammerhead sharks.
The Bahamas are a treasure trove for divers. The best dive sites can be found around Grand Bahama, New Providence, Long Island, Abacos, Andros, Eleuthera, Bimini and Exuma Islands. New Providence Island is famous for its blue holes, caves, shipwrecks and diving with sharks. You can see deep caves and shipwrecks around Grand Bahama. Long Island has the second deepest blue hole in the world, Dean’s Blue Hole. Andros is the largest island in the Bahamas with the world's third biggest coral reef.
All the dive shops in the Bahamas stock all the necessary diving equipment. You will need your C-card to get equipment. Experienced divers take warm wetsuits in winter, they also can be rented locally. Diving shops and international diving schools can organise dives if you have a diver's certificate.
Spring is one of the best seasons for diving in the Bahamas. The temperature in March and April reaches +27 °C and the water temperature +24 °C. May is not a good time because it is the wet season.
It's better not to go to the Bahamas in summer. Because it is the start of the rainy and hurricane season. Air temperature is about +33 °C but 100% humidity makes the heat unbearable.
Autumn brings calm and sunny weather. It is one of the best seasons for diving. Air temperature is about +30 °C and water temperature reaches +29 °C. The tourist season starts in November.
Winter is the best time to visit the Bahamas. There is no heavy rains and not thunderstorms, the temperature is about +26 °C, the water temperature is above 20 °C and the humidity level is low. The weather is windy and refreshing.
There are a lot of dive sites on the Bahamas. On New Providence island there are: Shark Arena, the James Bond Wreck and The Lost Blue Hole. Grand Bahama Island is famous for the Shark Alley, The Sugar Wreck and Theo's Wreck dive sites. The best known sites in Long Island are: Comberbach, Conception Island Wall and Dean’s Blue Hole.
Healthcare facilities in the Bahamas are not equipped for serious operations. Private medical care is very expensive. Doctors and hospitals demand payment in cash before treatment. In case of serious illness or a serious accident you will need medical evacuation (usually to Miami) which sometimes costs over $20 000.
Standard safety measures are necessary in the Bahamas. There is a minimal threat of terrorism but the crime rate is high. Most crimes are robbery and mugging. The city Nassau is a dangerous place.
The Bahamas are relatively safe, however, standard safety measures are necessary. Being attacked by a shark or another dangerous sea animal on the coastline is very rare. Tiger sharks and Caribbean reef sharks can be dangerous for divers.
The national cuisine on the Bahamas is a mix of Caribbean, European, African and American cuisines. You need to try the most famous dish: it's a seashell locally called "conch". If you visit the Bahamas from the end of spring to the end of summer, you can try spiny lobster. Guava pudding is offered for dessert. This dish is rather difficult to cook, so it is only served on special occasions. Diving in the Bahamas is definitely one of those. Tap water can be dangerous, so it is better to buy bottled water.