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Having fun, enjoying nature

Places to go, things to do

Having fun, enjoying nature
Places to go, things to do

If you’ve never vacationed in Grand Bahama before, you’re in for a treat. As repeat visitors will tell you, there are more things to do than you’ll have time for–especially if you’re a nature lover.

To find your way around Grand Bahama, check the maps at the back of this booklet or pick up a copy of Bahamas Trailblazer Maps. They’re easy to find, make great souvenirs and, best of all, they’re free.

To begin with, there are three national parks to explore, each different from the other but all offering pleasant and exciting outings for singles, couples and families.

The Rand Nature Centre, northeast of the downtown area, is a paradise for birdwatchers. You’ll see plenty of indigenous avifauna and their migratory cousins. Lucayan National Park, further east, has trails and walks through intriguing Bahamian ecosystems. You can visit fascinating caves inhabited by migratory bats.

Peterson Cay is the country’s smallest national park, an easy kayak paddle half-mile offshore, where you can snorkel over colourful reefs and loll on a great beach.

Don’t miss the Garden of the Groves, an oasis of natural and man-made beauty just west of the downtown area. You can arrange free pickup and return transportation at the activity desk of your hotel or by calling 374-7778.

Within the Garden are ponds, walkways and all sorts of wildlife to see and photograph. You can go on your own or take a guided tour. There’s a secluded Garden Cafe and Bar for an alfresco lunch or snack, and shops where you can pick up local arts and crafts. Don’t miss the walkable spiritual labyrinth, designed to produce calmness and serenity. Kids, meanwhile, will love the playground.

In fact, children will find plenty of things to do on holiday on Grand Bahama. The Grand Lucayan resort complex offers golf, tennis, fitness facilities and a spa. If gambling is on your mind, try your luck at the Treasure Bay Casino, also at
Grand Lucayan.

At Paradise Cove, youngsters of all ages will love a day at the Junkanoo Beach Club on beautiful Taino Beach. Here, you can take an inexpensive snorkelling tour of a nearby reef, go kayaking and paddle-boating for free and enjoy a meal at the facility’s full-service restaurant.

A premier attraction is Grand Bahama Nature Tours, where you can choose from among six different tours, involving kayaks, bicycles, and jeeps. Among the options are shopping and heritage tours. In the signature Jeep Adventure, you can drive your own open-top Jeep in a convoy through pine forests and along isolated beaches, led by an experienced island guide.

If you’re a diver, you are really in luck. There is no water in the world clearer than the blue ocean around Grand Bahama. Visibility is excellent, even on deep dives. Near all the major hotels downtown is the Underwater Explorers Society, or UNEXSO, a dive company that is known around the world.

UNEXSO offers wreck, reef and shark dives as well as daily two-tank dives and Discover Scuba, a teaching and mentoring programme that will get you underwater with easy-to-use scuba gear.

There are several dolphin programmes, including an encounter programme in the UNEXSO pool and even a chance to swim with the friendly mammals in the open ocean. This excursion is something you will remember for a lifetime.



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