Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park Dinghy and Snorkeling Guide

Exuma Park, a no take zone by land and sea, was established in 1958 to preserve and maintain the delicate ecological balance of marine life in the Bahamas. Snorkeling offers every visitor the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of our underwater environment. This guide is designed to help you safely locate and enjoy prime snorkeling areas by dinghy.

Before you start you snorkeling adventure we ask that you read the following guidelines that are designed to protect this unique and beautiful environment and to protect you.

Respect Our Environment - Please Don’t Damage the Coral

  • Look but don’t disturb. Coral reefs are hundreds of years old built by very slow growing micro organisms and many of our reefs were in the Bahamas to welcome Columbus to the new world. The damage you see today is caused by careless human contact.
  • Many of he reefs in this guide are very shallow, especially at low tide. These locations are included so their beauty may be enjoyed by every age group but it is critical that you do not touch the coral damage the reef with your outboard motor, kick it with you fins wile swimming or stand on the coral to clear your mask.
  • We have placed dinghy moorings at many of the locations indicated in our guide. Please use these moorings to avoid damaging the reefs with your anchor. It OK for several dinghies to share the same mooring. If a dinghy mooring is not available please anchor in sand a safe distance from the reef.
  • You will also notice bleaching and green algae on much of the coral that is not constantly cleaned by tidal currents. Bleaching and algae growth are directly related to the warmer waters caused by global warming.

Snorkel Safely - Respect the Tide and Current

  • Our most colorful Reefs are cleaned twice a day by strong tidal currents and snorkeling these reefs is safest with minimal current at either slack low or slack high tide. Displaying a dive flag is recommended and you should always keep one person in your dinghy to watch your snorkelers and be ready to rescue anyone who gets caught in the current.
  • Inexperienced snorkelers may wish to swim with some type of flotation or use a glass-bottomed bucket from your dinghy to view underwater marine life.
  • Use charts (available at the Ranger Station) to help locate the reefs and please take a working portable marine VHF radio with you. Please notify “Exuma Park” on VHF Ch 16 if you encounter any problems.

You will see a wide variety of marine life on the reefs: coral, tropical fish, lobster, sting rays, barracuda, and the the occasional shark. Take photos (we have underwater cameras at the Park Office) and use our waterproof guides to help identify the marine life you see. Remember - no fishing, shelling, conching, or lobstering is permitted in the park. Please don’t feed the fish!

Take Only Photographs - Leave Only Bubbles

Thank you for helping us preserve the natural beauty of The Bahamas.

Warderick Wells Cay Snorkeling Sites

  1. The Rangers Garden
  2. Mooring Ball #9
  3. Judy’s Reef
  4. Brad’s Reef (Long Cay)
  5. Kelley’s Reef
  6. Emerald Rock
  7. Malabar Cays
  8. “Pieces of Eight” Reef
  9. Warderick Wells Sound

Shroud Cay Snorkeling Sites
  1. Sanctuary Creek
  2. Driftwood Beach
  3. Camp Driftwood
  4. Angelfish Hideaways
  5. Neptune’s Oasis
  6. Shelter Shores
  7. Southern Estuaries
  8. South Shroud Sandbars

Hawksbill Cay Snorkeling Sites
  1. North Hawksbill Sand Bar
  2. Smugglers Cove
  3. Russell Ruins Beach
  4. Ruins Rock
  5. Yacht Harbor Heads
  6. Russell Rocks Reef
  7. “Rocker” Point Coral Heads
  8. South Hawksbill Cove
  9. Pirates Cut (slack tide only)
  10. Little Hawksbill Cut (slack tide only)
  11. Eastern Shoreline

Cambridge Cay Snorkeling Sites
  1. The Sea Aquarium (O’Briens Cay)
  2. Airplane Reef
  3. Molly’s Chunky Monkey
  4. Cairn Gardens
  5. Coral Garden
  6. Tom’s Elkhorn Reef
  7. Larry’s Reef
  8. Rocky Dundas
  9. Drift Sites

Caution: All of the snorkeling sites in the Cambridge Cay area are subject to strong tidal currents and are best explored at slack tide. Caution is always advised

Updated: 19 Jan 12