Take a day to relax and explore some of the best sights around, many of which are found within the three National Parks of Grand Bahama Island: Lucayan National Park, The Rand Nature Center and Peterson Cay National Park.
Lucayan National Park
Lucayan National Park is the crown jewel of the three parks on Grand Bahama Island. The 40-acre park, established in 1982, is located 25 miles east of Freeport, and is the only place where visitors can see all of the island’s 6 ecosystems in one location. When visiting the park you’ll see thousands of pine trees, mangroves, ferns, and dozens of rare flower species, including orchids.
The spectacular Gold Rock Beach is also part of the park. It’s often secluded and a must-see at low-tide when it displays its signature “Welcome Mat”, a series of ripples in the sand, perfect for leisurely strolls. Also within the park is one of the world’s longest underwater cave systems, a sprawling network of tunnels resulting from the island’s unique limestone geology. Tours of the caves are available, but diving is allowed in specified areas only and by special permission from UNEXSO.
The Rand Nature Center
The Rand Nature Center features 100 acres of natural beauty in the heart of downtown Freeport, Grand Bahama. A 2,000-foot trail winds through the park. Along the trail, you’ll find at least 130 endogenous plants, which are just as fascinating as the birds. A birder’s paradise, the center houses a variety of bird species that can be seen year-round. Peak bird watching season is from October to May when winter residents and migratory birds arrive.
Peterson Cay National Park
Located one mile off the southern shore of Grand Bahama Island. At 1-1/2 acres, it’s one of the smallest National Parks in the Bahamas. The park features shallow bars and coral reefs, especially west of the cay, which make for excellent snorkeling and diving. Amongst coral beds and sunken rocks, swimmers are able to observe schools of tropical fish, elkhorn, soft corals, sea fans and an occasional manta ray or barracuda. A sandy white beach on the north side provides boat access and is excellent for swimming and sunbathing. Peterson Cay is a perfect getaway spot for picnics and relaxation. Please, remember to take nothing but pictures and leave only footprints.