Snorkel Guidelines

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. These guides are designed to help you safely locate prime snorkeling areas by dinghy.

Click to View a PDF of Dinghy & Snorkel Guideliines

Dinghy & Snorkel Guides are available for the waters around Shroud Cay, Hawksbill Cay, Warderwick Wells and Cambridge Cay. Before you start your 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 microorganisms 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 the 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 your fins while 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. Its OK for several dinghys 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 low or high tide. (See Tide Information) Display a dive flag and 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 bottom bucket from your dinghy to view underwater marine life.
Use charts (available at the Park Office) to help locate the reefs and please take a working portable marine radio with you.

Please notify “Exuma Park” on channel 16 if you encounter any problems.
You will see a wide variety of marine life on the reefs; coral, tropical fish, lobster, stingrays, barracuda and the occasional shark. Take photos (we have underwater cameras at the Ranger Station) and use our waterproof guides to help identify the marine life you see.

Remember – no fishing, shelling, conching, 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.

  • Shroud Cay Snorkel Guide
  • Hawksbill Cay Snorkel Guide
  • Warderwick Wells Snorkel Guide
  • Cambridge Snorkel Guide

The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park was the world’s first protected area of its kind, when created in 1959 by the same legislation that established the Bahamas National Trust.

Contact Us

Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park
P O Box N-4105
Nassau, The Bahamas
(242) 225-6402