Of the four national parks located on Grand Bahama Island, the Lucayan National Park is considered the crown jewel being the only one where visitors can view all six of the ecosystems in a small 40-acre expanse of land.

The six Bahamian ecosystems are pine forest, Blackland coppice, Rocky coppice, mangrove swamps and whiteland coppice. It also holds dozens of rare species of flowers, including orchids.

Despite its small size, the park is also home to the longest underwater cave system in the world and a guided tour of this intricate network of tunnels resulting from the island’s unique geology is an extremely sought after attraction. Diving in the grotto is allowed only in specific areas with prior permission from the park authorities.

The park got its name from the resident Arawak Indians, also referred to as Lucayans, who came here long before the place was discovered by Christopher Columbus, way back in 1492.

For a short vacation, you can sail from Tampa on a 3 day cruise which can whisk you away to this paradise to enjoy dreamy moments on white-sand beaches, explore local history and sample exquisite island cuisine.

Unlike other areas around the island, the Lucayan National Park features plenty of birdwatching opportunities for nature lovers to document, plus a unique ecosystem that supports large colonies of buffy flower bats that have found refuge in the underwater caves.

Mangrove trails lead to the beautiful Gold Rock Beach, where all you will find are a few people but more racoons and seabirds. The beach is definitely worth a stop, even if it is not on your itinerary.

This spectacular beach displays its true colors at low tide, when its signature “welcome mat” comes into view—a series of ripples on the sand perfect for a leisurely walk.

The park also contains the impressive Burial Mound Cave, where the bones and other artefacts of the resident Lucayans were discovered in 1986. It is a historic landmark that has unusual rock formations and underwater canals. You can walk on the bridge suspended just above the water level.

Kayaking through the mangroves is another popular way to explore the natural beauty of the park. Paddling through the groves is quite easy, and one can easily spot the fish and the oyster beds at the bottom.

For the hardy souls, UNEXSO, an underwater explorers society, offers a range of dolphin experiences and diving excursions, including shipwreck dives.

Their scuba program turns beginners into divers in no time. As soon as a diving lesson at the pool is over, you will find yourself in 30 m deep water admiring the reef in only a few hours.

Despite minor drawbacks like desolate paths on the way to the beach, the Lucayan National Park still remains the second most visited park in The Bahamas because of its tranquillity, beauty and unique attractions.

Established in 1982 and expanded in 2015,the Lucayan National Park has become an integral part of the economy of Grand Bahama and is a source of livelihood for many Bahmaians.

Some Fun Fun Facts About Lucayan National Park You Might Not Know

  1. It is a major habitat for several birds like thick-billed vireo, Bahama swallow, and olive-capped warbler.
  2. A coral nursery offshore southeast of Gold Rock has been created in collaboration with the Freeport Harbour Company. It has the potential to grow 250 elkhorn and staghorn corals at one time.
  3. They have several facilities and amenities like wheelchair access, restrooms, boardwalks, and beach access.
  4. The park closed in 1982 for recovery from human impact and reopened in 1985 after conservation efforts.