When many people think of the Bahamas, all-inclusives, water slides and tropical drinks spring to mind, but there are a number of national parks worth exploring on these islands. Among the highlights, underwater cave systems, vast coral reefs and exotic palms aplenty. Take a look at four national parks worth a visit on your next family getaway to the Bahamas.
1. Lucayan National Park. Located on Grand Bahama Island, Lucayan National Park boasts one of the largest underwater cave systems in the world. While you cannot swim in the caves, there are two that are open to the public for exploration: Ben’s Cave and Burial Mound Cave. You may also want to check out Gold Rock Beach, which served as a filming location for the second two movies in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.
2. Blue Holes National Park. You’ll need to take a 12-minute flight from Nassau to the island of Andros (you can also fly from Ft. Lauderdale) if you want to experience the mysterious blue holes at Blue Holes National Park, but what a family adventure. You may also want to take a walking tour to traverse the Bush Medicine Trail and Maiden Hair Coppice Trail before snorkeling Cousteau’s Blue Hole.
3. The Retreat Garden National Park. Located in Nassau, you’ll find more than 175 species of palm trees at The Retreat Garden National Park. A pleasant escape from the busy tourist areas of Nassau, you’ll find relaxing walking trails and lush tropical greenery. One of four national parks on the island of New Providence, the gardens are a delightful break in the middle of the tourism center of the Bahamas.
4. Peterson Cay National Park. A quick 30-minute boat ride from Port Lucaya Marina on Grand Bahama Island will get you to Peterson Cay National Park, home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs and tropical fish on the island. Or, consider an excursion that combines both kayaking and snorkeling (bring an underwater camera). Stay awhile for a picnic or even a relaxing nap.
Photo Credit: Connie Ma