Grand Bahama Island Off The Beaten Path

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by grasshopper_6
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by grasshopper_6
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by grasshopper_6

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Grand Bahama Island

  • grasshopper_6's Profile Photo

    Diving Bens Cave with Calabash Eco-Adventures

    by grasshopper_6 Updated Dec 4, 2015

    Bad weather kept us out of the ocean, so we headed inland to the Lucaya National Park to dive Bens Cave with Calabash tours.
    Our guide Shamie was a true professional, and shared information about the history of the cave, which was named after a 1960s bahamian cave diving pioneer named Ben Rose. He gave us a thorough pre-dive briefing, and included much information about the various ecosystems found in the park. He was very knowledgeable, and we weren't surprised to learn he had been on the Grand Bahama cave diving scene since early on, having been taught by Ben Rose himself.
    After a short walk and intrepid climb (down a tight spiral staircase with tanks on our backs) we arrived at the cave entrance. It didn't look like much from the surface, a small unassuming grotto with reasonably clear water and the occasional bat flapping around. Once underneath, however, it opened into an expansive cavern the size of an airplane hanger!
    Columns and massive boulders were everywhere, rising out of this enormous dark space. During our swim around the perimeter, our guide took the time to point out some of the less obvious features such as fossils, stalagtites, and small bivalve animals that live in the rock walls. At one point he took us down through the halocline layer, where salt and fresh water layers meet creating a blurry visual effect. At another, he sat us down on a giant boulder and had us switch off our lights. There, in relative darkness, he pointed out the distant blue-green triangle of light that was the cave entrance. A beautiful photo opportunity. We stayed in the cavern for just under an hour before our time was up.
    We have made many cavern dives in Florida but this one was really a treat. A great alternative to ocean diving in cases of bad weather. I have only good things to say about Shamie and Calabash tours. It was an excellent dive!

    Phone: 12427271974

    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • grasshopper_6's Profile Photo

    Spooky Abandoned Hotel

    by grasshopper_6 Updated Dec 4, 2015

    The Arawak Hotel, located on Topgallant drive a few miles East of Freeport, has been abandoned since the 1980's. At one time the Arawak was a luxurious high rise located along the Grand Lucayan waterway. Today it is an empty shell of a building, overgrown by jungle and inhabited by wild animals.

    The place is a bit creepy, even during the day - the building creaks and moans constantly, and wind howls through the empty breezeways. We always had the feeling of being watched even though there was no one.

    The lobby, courtyard and pool area around the building are very overgrown. Inside one can see most of the interior walls are gone. Exposed wires and structural components make the inside of the Arawak nearly impassable.

    This modern ruin is best appreciated from a distance. I would recommend NOT going inside. It is a very large high rise in an advanced state of decay. It is already showing signs of impending collapse in some areas and I would not want to send anyone into harms way. Floors and stairs appear unstable. Beware of falling debris around the perimeter. Enter at your own risk.

    When exploring any abandoned buildings get owner permission first. For safety, avoid interior areas and stay on ground level. Wear appropriate clothing (no flip flops!) Be careful!

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • Marilu33's Profile Photo

    Lucaya National Park

    by Marilu33 Written Feb 21, 2012

    I described our time there on my travel page and under things to do, but it also qualifies as an off the beaten path gem. Well worth the time and effort to get out there! They also do kayaking. Be sure to be well supplied with camera, batteries, and memory sticks. We were a little challenged in that regard and regretted the photos we missed, but I did have my waterproof camera, and that saved things a lot. There was local there selling trinkets and snacks and beverages by the side of the road. We got a great tip from her for a local restaurant in Freeport near the International Market.

    We're having fun! Mom's having a good time too...
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • Winch's Profile Photo

    A Beachin' Getaway/Deadman's Reef

    by Winch Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fifteen miles west of Freeport, on the West End Road, there is a little hotel called Paradise Cove at Deadman's Reef. Situated on the beach, the hotel offers day visitors free beach access (all Bahamian beaches are public, remember), plus a dive shop and snack bar with conch fritters, burgers and dogs. You can also purchase your favorite brew. Kayaks, beach chairs and umbrellas can be rented, all at a modest cost.

    Though a lot of people seem to have discovered Deadman's Reef, it never seems crowded. Snorkling is excellent with shallow water for hundreds of yards and a reef accessible to swimmers. It's a pleasant drive out past Eight Mile Rock and one of our favorite places in the Bahamas.

    Phone: 349-2677

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Beaches
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • Winch's Profile Photo

    Lucayan National Park

    by Winch Written Nov 7, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Follow East Sunrise Highway to a traffic circle where you will pick up the Grand Bahama Highway and cross over the Grand Lucayan Waterway. Continue another 20 miles, as the road deteriorates and you realize you haven't seen a soul.

    Lucayan National Park is the Bahamas largest. From the parking area, a plank walkway winds over dunes and marshes and delivers you to a narrow, completely isolated stretch of beach. You'll see an abundance of wildlife (birds, mostly) , but few people. There are beaches to comb and even caves to explore (check with the rangers first). Pack a picnic (no concessions) and enjoy a day of peace and quiet.

    One note: The only facilities I encountered were porta-potties in the parking lot, a good hike back from the beach.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • Winch's Profile Photo

    Be a Beach Bum

    by Winch Updated Nov 7, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Sand Bar is nearly impossible to find, but worth the effort. Set on a strip of Fortune Beach, it is reached by traversing sandy, nameless roads. But if you have a trusted cabbie, he'll know where it is. Besides, you won't want to drive home (on the left!) afterwards anyway.

    Run by Jenks, Margaritta's Villa and Sand Bar is an unimposing cinderblock structure plopped on the beach. Inside you'll find air-conditioning, a floor made of white sand, sports on the TV, great conch fritters and cold, cold drinks. Plus, you're invited to write your name on the walls.

    Outside, there are sand dunes, a deck and grill, volleyball net, and one of the prettiest strecthes of beach on Grand Bahama. If you go on a Sunday afternoon when the Miami Dolphins are playing, you'll find a party. (Jenks flies off to Miami whenever the Dolphins are playing at home.)

    Open for lunch only, closed Mondays.

    Phone: 373-4525

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Cruise
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • jonkaren3's Profile Photo

    Conch Graveyard

    by jonkaren3 Written Jun 6, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On our drive to the West of the Island, we found an area where all of the conch shells are tossed after harvesting the animals.
    The smell, as you can imagine was unbearable! But, if you are brave and have a strong stomach, it is a good place to grab a couple of these beautiful shells.
    I recommend boiling and bleach!

    Conch Pile

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • slabeaume's Profile Photo

    The basketplace is a little...

    by slabeaume Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The basketplace is a little area next to the International Marketplace that people (some of them appeared to live in their little shop) try to sell items so that they can make a living. We found the people there very nice.

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • fmaven's Profile Photo

    The Castle

    by fmaven Updated Sep 15, 2005

    While in Lucaya, up on a hill you can see the "Castle"--a Bahamian fast food franchise owner's huge mansion.

    There's a "smaller" one right beside it.

    That one belongs to his son.

    Fast Food Mogul's
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner

Instant Answers: Grand Bahama Island

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

30 travelers online now

Comments

Grand Bahama Island Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Grand Bahama Island off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Grand Bahama Island sightseeing.

View all Grand Bahama Island hotels