Frugal Traveler

Explore outdoors in Bahamas

October 13, 2012 

With all of the king-sized cruise ships, casino action and waterfront resorts on Grand Bahama Island, travelers might reasonably expect that a more ecologically oriented getaway to this destination would be out of reach. Fortunately, this is not the case. With three national parks, an enormous underwater cave system and massive amounts of marine life, there’s plenty to explore.

Birding: Grand Bahama Island has multiple species that lifelong birders are eager to add to their observational bucket list.

Check out Lucayan National Park’s hiking trails and elevated walkways to catch a close peek at whatever winged creature captures your attention. From there, head to the Garden of the Groves where you can receive guided birding tours and fun photo opportunities at the venue’s labyrinth, wedding chapel, scenic seating areas and more.

Kayaking: If you prefer to stay closer to shore than a large speedboat adventure typically allows, then a kayaking experience may be for you. Grand Bahama Nature Tours offers several multihour excursions for less than $90 each, including all equipment and a meal.

Try your hand at paddling through mangrove forests or head out for a half-hour paddle from the island to reach Peterson Cay National Park, where great snorkeling is to be found.

Diving: Many vacationers consider underwater the only way to go. Grand Bahama Island’s undersea exploration organization known as UNEXSO provides a variety of scuba-diving options. From refresher courses to wreck diving and up-close shark experiences to night scuba and cavern excursions, there’s something for divers at all levels of expertise. Tank rental options start at $30 and per-person package rates are available for less than $100.

Myscha TheriaultMcClatchy-Tribune News Service

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