Nassau or the Out Islands? Take the blue hole challenge
Feb 06, 2017
Bottom line: The Out Islands will satisfy you more if you love blue holes
Where to go? Which island to choose? Naturally, these are big questions when planning a Bahamas vacation, given there are 16 primary islands to choose between. Believe it or not, one way to decide between Nassau, the capital, and the other Out Islands, which we like to call “the unspoiled Bahamas”, is to establish your level of intrigue when it comes to Bahamian blue holes.
If you have no idea what a blue hole is, don’t worry, we’re about to tell you. If your curiosity is aroused; if your sense of adventure is tickled, then the Out Islands are the best match for you, and you should research vacations in Abaco, Andros and Long Island. If your love for blue holes is already well established, then waste no time and just head to the Out Islands, because exploring blue holes is an activity best done in the Out Island, hands down.
What is a blue hole?
We’re not scientists, so we won’t give you the scientific definition. A blue hole is a naturally formed swimming pool of gigantic proportion. It’s not a lake. It’s not a pond. It’s a seemingly bottomless abyss with underwater caves and fish that swim upside down. It’s a giant sinkhole filled with layers of fresh and salt water. It’s a fresh water reservoir with mythical associations and a mystical aura. Some blue holes are found in the middle of the ocean (ocean holes) while others are found on land, in the middle of the forest or around town (inland blue holes).
Exploring the blue holes of The Bahamas is one of many things to do on a Bahamas vacation: laying eyes on them, hiking to them, and swimming inside them. These are just a few of the activities you can do at a blue hole. If the thought of Bahamian blue holes excites you, here’s why it matters.
Why does it matter?
The abundance of blue holes is a unique characteristic of the Bahamian outdoors, especially the Out Islands. Nassau’s blue hole attraction is the Lost Blue Hole, an ocean hole about 10 miles from the mainland. You can enjoy this blue hole on a scuba diving excursion with other certified divers from a depth of about 80 feet.
In other words, Nassau's blue hole is a specialized activity for dive enthusiasts. However, in the Out Islands, blue holes are primarily activities for leisure travelers, and there is great diversity for travelers with or without an adventure streak.
Caption: The shallows at Dean's Blue Hole, Long Island
Take Andros Island, for example: It's an island I like to call the porous island because it is literally chalk full of holes. Andros has more blue holes per square mile than anywhere in the world. It even has a Blue Holes National Park. Long Island has the deepest ocean hole in the world. It hosts the free diving world championships and offers cliff jumping for adrenalin junkies; however, it also a blue hole that you can enjoy as a day on the beach. It sits in a protected cove that is surrounded by a shallow beach. Abaco has the most researched blue holes in The Bahamas. Acklin’s even has a “disappearing blue hole”, according to locals.
So here's the blue hole tip if you are wrestling with where to go on a Bahamas vacation. It's Simple: Just figure out if blue holes turn you on. If the answer is yes, head to the Out Islands. If the answer is no, then Nassau it is.