Lucayan National Park is the most popular of the three national parks on Grand Bahama Island. Walk or ride a horse along well-marked routes that wind through the park’s hardwood forest, mangrove swamp and rocky coppice landscapes. Visit the park’s pristine beach, explore bat-filled caves and marvel at the rich variety of Bahamian vegetation.
Indigenous Lucayan tribes are known to have depended on the 40-acre (16-hectare) park’s fresh water and abundant fish for centuries, long before Christopher Columbus arrived in the Bahamas. Explore the eerie Burial Mound Cave, where a number of ancient Lucayan bones and artifacts have been discovered.
Descend into the mouths of each of the park’s two main caves and admire the bright blue waters and natural rock formations visible from their viewing platforms. Get a special permit to scuba dive in these intriguing caves, providing a rare opportunity to explore a portion of what is considered to be one the largest underwater cave systems on the planet. You can also kayak through the park’s mangrove swamps, looking for water birds and saltwater fish.
Across the road from the caves, you’ll find two well-marked trails that form a loop through the park. Follow interconnecting trails and boardwalks winding through the various ecosystems of this diverse park. Look for towering palms, wild tamarind, Caribbean pines and rare flowers. Interpretative signage along the way will help you learn about native Bahamian vegetation.
The trails culminate at lovely Gold Rock Beach, a secluded strip of sand with a colorful off-shore reef system. This beach is home to inquisitive raccoons and interesting seabirds and is a pleasant place to relax away from the crowds. Snorkel in the beautiful blue-green waters or bring a picnic to enjoy on the sands.
Lucayan National Park is located on Grand Bahama Island, 20 miles (30 kilometers) east of Freeport. The park is open daily and has an admission fee. Reach the area by car or as part of an organized tour.