Compass Cay Bahamas is one of the most impressive places to visit in Bahamas. Imagine yourself face-to-face with sharks in their own habitat. Imagine the thrill of getting brushed up against a fully-grown beast of a shark. Imagine the feeling of swimming side-by-side a mammal that could literally tear you in two at any second. . . Would you dare?
Now is your chance to forge memories of a lifetime by doing something that makes the hairs on your neck rise. Jump out of your comfort zone and into the shark-infested waters around Compass Cay Marina. Do so with confidence and comfort knowing thousands of visitors before you have done it and survived to tell a great story from a great Bahamas vacation.
Here’s what you need to know before your trip to Compass Cay Bahamas
Flights to Bahamas happen every day and, therefore, you have every chance to see what it is that makes this little island in the Bahamas special. But there are some things you should know before your visit:
Where is Compass Cay Exuma
Compass Cay Exuma is located aptly in the Exuma Cays of the Bahamas southern region only 10 miles north of Staniel Cay. That’s approximately 100 miles from Nassau or 350 miles from Miami, just to put it in perspective. The Exumas are known as being the wilder side of the Bahamas, secluded from the more easily accessible north.
How to get to Compass Cay Marina
You can reach Compass Cay Marina by taking a water taxi from Staniel Cay. If you are not on a tour that provides a private water taxi, you can usually find a local fisherman at Staniel Cay Yacht Club (which acts as a sort of Exuma transport hub) who you can negotiate a fair price with. Don’t be afraid to bargain. The standard price will depend on the season you travel in.
What to do at Compass Cay Bahamas
There are a few things to do at Compass Cay Bahamas – it can occupy more of your time than you would think a small island could. Let’s take a look:
Compass Cay Bahamas is known for the Nurse sharks Bahamas tours. The Compass Cay sharks attract millions of visitors each year – second to only the Bahamas pigs in terms of popularity.
The Bahamas sharks are at Compass Cay Marina where they hang out in the shallow turquoise water where visibility is high enough to see them plain as day from outside the water.
However, that’s not where this tour starts. You can actually jump into the water with the sharks and let them swim around you if you dare (more on this later)!
Where did the nurse sharks Bahamas come from?
The owner of the marina at Compass Cay Bahamas originally brought the sharks to the shallow waters surrounding the island as pets. Following an overwhelming tourist rush to the island to witness the sharks in the Bahamas, the owners decided to re-brand the marina to a more favorable term, a “sanctuary” for the nurse and reef sharks.
As the years have gone on, the population of the sharks around Compass Cay has grown. Now, there are no official estimates to the number of sharks around the Cay, but it seems like several dozen.
About swimming with sharks Bahamas experiences
It must be noted that the nurse sharks in the Bahamas are still wild animals. Their behavior will always be unpredictable and the risk you wage jumping into the sea with live sharks is all on your own intuition. Compass Cay is the top place to go Swimming with Sharks in Bahamas on a day trip to Exuma.
The Compass Cay sharks can grow to be 10-13 feet in length at full-growth. Their tail fins alone can grow to be nearly 4-feet in length which is how the propel themselves so smoothly through the water.
They are brownish in color and usually hang out in the shallow waters since they make their existence on the bottom of the seafloor. Why? Because they feed off the shellfish and coral on the reefs near Compass Cay Bahamas.
Just imagine that – a creature with such a powerful jaw that it can crunch through shells and rock-hard coral. That should make you a little more cautious when making the decision to swim with them.
Don’t get us wrong – the experience can and will be 100% safe if you act with precautions and follow all the etiquette posted at the marina, there won’t be any safety concerns. This is just a warning to not take their capabilities lightly.
Occasionally, their slimy outer core may brush up against you. Don’t overreact as it may startle them. Act with calmness and casual motions. Everything will be fine and fun in the end. You will be able to snap all the photos your heart and Instagram gallery desires.
What else to do besides the Bahamas swim with sharks
Believe it or not, Compass Cay Bahamas used to be known for another thing before the Bahamas sharks arrived; its beautiful beaches!
There are several white sand beaches around the small cay and you can do light treks to each of them for a nice secluded experience.
Other attractions around swimming with sharks Bahamas day trip
There are plenty of other things to do around Compass Cay Bahamas but the most popular is by far-and-away swimming pigs tours to Pig Beach. Take your chance to see the Exuma pigs in the Bahamas up close and personal at Pig Island. Other than the pigs, here are a few of tourist’s favorite attractions around Compass Cay Bahamas:
– Bitter Guana Cay: Check out endangered iguanas only found in two other places in the world! This species is gradually becoming instinct so you must see them before it is too late!
– Staniel Cay & Staniel Cay Yacht Club: Have a drink and enjoy the air-con in the most historic place in the immediate Exumas. It is said Sean Connery would frequent here during the filming of Thunderball (see below).
– Thunderball Grotto: Filming location of the 1963 Hollywood 007 hit starring Sean Connery, ‘Thunderball’. Go on an adventure worthy of James Bond himself. This is an adventure-lover’s paradise with its underwater tunnels and teeming with marine life and vibrant corals.
– Staniel Cay Plane Wreck: Said to have crashed while transporting a plane full of marijuana from Colombia. One of the most accessible underwater plane wrecks in the world. The mystery was never completely solved as the plane was left abandoned.
– Farmer’s Cay: Swim with sea turtles and enjoy nice white sand beaches. One of the few places to swim with turtles in the Bahamas.
– Pipe Creek Sand Bar: Go during low tide in order to guarantee you will find this oasis. Be careful of shallow waters if you are navigating a boat yourself. This hidden oasis is so rewarding if seen at the right time.
Book a day trip to Bahamas Vacation
Compass Cay Bahamas is the place to experience Swimming with Sharks on a Bahamas day trips by plane have made a one day cruise to Bahamas much more marketable and attractive to vacationers in Florida. Now, you can travel from Florida to Bahamas with Bahamas Air Tours in a little under one hour – including the time it takes to pass through customs. Talk about an opportunity not to miss! Book your Staniel Cay day trips today and see what it is like aboard a luxury Bahamas air charter on your Miami to Bahamas day trip.
Why are all those sharks laid out on a dock? For photo ops? 🙁
Hi Vanessa, the platform that you see the sharks on, is where they feed the sharks from. The sharks freely swim onto it and off it. The platform is used for visitors to enter/exit the water. The water level will adjust with the tide, so sometimes the platform is a few feet above the water at low tide – and so none of the sharks can swim onto it, and sometimes at high tide the platform is a few feet underwater.
Generally visitors like to get photos with sharks whilst swimming in the water. Also, these are not wild sharks, they are pet sharks that have lived in the waters at compass years for more than 30 years, although they are not in captivity, it is open water.