The Bahamas National Parks system features areas of pure aesthetic beauty and a treasure trove of biodiversity —one of the world’s longest underwater cave systems, a large collection of rare palms, and a 250-acre wetland that is home to more than 100 birds species and a critically important sea turtle research facility,
New Providence National Parks
Bonefish Pond is 1280 acres of the coastal mangrove wetland area that was established in 2002. They offer snorkeling tours to allow teachers and students alike a chance to see, experience and learn about the different life in Bone Fish Pond. Bonefish Pond is located on the center south side of the island and one of the few wilderness areas left on the Island. One of the best features of Bonefish Pond is the 600′ viewing platform and boardwalk. This is quickly growing in popularity and becoming a new snorkeling and kayaking hotspot.
Harrold and Wilson Ponds National Parks
Harrold and Wilson Ponds National Parks were established in 2002 as well as Bonefish Pond. The two ponds together are home to over 100 avian species and 250 Acres. Harrold and Wilson Ponds are located on the central south side of the Island. Just minutes from the nation’s capital this is a great way to get a closer look at Bahamas’ ecotourism side and enjoy the island’s largest concentration of herons, egrets, ibises, and cormorants. There are many platforms and boardwalks so you can view the amazing birds from many different angles here, so be sure to plan a day to spend here on your next Nassau visit.
Primeval Forest National Park
Also established in 2002 was the Primeval Forest National Park, a 3 acre are that makes you feel as though you have stepped back in time. This remarkably untouched area gives you a glimpse at what the older evergreen hardwood forest of the Bahamas used to be like. The national forest is located in the south-west corner of the Island. Primeval Forest National Park also has amazing unique limestone sinkholes or caverns up to 50′ long and 30′ wide. Other locations with similar caverns have been found to have amazing Bahamian Fauna’s within them. As time passes there are hopes that Primeval Forest National Park will contain the same. Be sure to visit this little hidden treasure when you visit New Providence next.
The Retreat is an 11 acre garden of rare and exotic palms and native woodland preservation that was established in 1977. Today it is home to one of the world’s largest private collections of Palm. The retreat is also home to The Bahamas National Trust. The Retreat offers guided or self-guided tours and a small fee to enter. Guided tours are available by appointment only, so be sure to call ahead if you are planning a trip here. The Retreat is located a few miles east of downtown Nassau.
Grand Bahamas National Parks
There are three national parks on Grand Bahama Island. Lucayan National Park, the star of the triad, is the only place in the Bahamas where visitors can see all six of the island’s ecosystems – a collection of plants and wildlife that offers an unparalleled view into the complex interaction of native land and sea. Also within the park is one of the world’s longest underwater cave systems – a sprawling network of tunnels resulting from the island’s unique limestone geology. The Rand Nature Center, with its resident flamingo colony, and reef-enveloped Peterson Cay National Park are equally thrilling in their beauty.
Lucayan National Park
Lucayan National Park was established in 1977 and located just east of Freeport, Grand Bahama. Lucayan National Park is a 40-acre park that is home to one of the longest underwater cave systems in the world. It includes over 6 miles of caves and tunnels that have been already charted. Amazingly the park contains five separate ecological zones stretching from eh south shore to the pineyard. Part of the cave system is only accessible by divers and part has stairs to it. If you are revisiting Grand Bahamas then be sure to add this park to your list!
Peterson Cay National Park
Established in 1968 is Peterson Cay, National Park. This amazing 1.5-acre cay is the only leeward cay of all the Bahama Islands. Its amazing location makes it one of the primer locations for snorkeling just off the coast of Grand Bahama Island. This is one of the smallest national parks in the Bahamas but it one of the most popular ones. Access to this park is by boat only so plan your kayaking or boat trip here on your next vacation.