Diving New
Guests

Scuba Diving on Andros Island

Whether you’re a beginner who wants to try snorkeling for the first time or an experienced diver seeking a new thrill, our certified instructors and divemasters are ready to show you around an exciting underwater world. Small Hope’s Dive Center has been introducing guests to the Andros Barrier Reef since 1960.

Paradise has babysitting included.

Babysitting can be arranged during the day. The fee is $7 per hour for those children 2 years and older. If you have a child less than 2 years old, there is an additional $7 for an extra babysitter to give your little one the extra attention they require.

Our babysitting hours are very flexible, let us know in advance so that we can arrange accordingly. 

Diving

We know Andros diving like nobody else.

With more than 60 nearby dive sites, including shipwrecks, shallow reefs, and breathtaking blue holes, guests can experience everything from stunning wall dives at the edge of the continental shelf to a dazzling variety of coral formations along the 124-mile Andros Barrier Reef, the third-largest barrier reef in the world.

Diving

Discover Scuba for Free

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This free resort course (exclusive to guests of Small Hope Bay Lodge) is designed for beginners who want to try scuba diving for the first time. Our experienced instructors will teach you to dive right off our dock, in water you can stand up in. Children under 10 can try SASY or Bubblemaker, a gentle introduction to surface and underwater swimming with an air supply.

A Variety of Dives

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With dozens of dive sites within a 15-minute boat ride from our dock, it's rare to dive the same site more than once during your stay. Our weekly scuba diving schedule includes colorful coral gardens, wrecks, reefs, walls, caverns, and open ocean blue holes, as well as a shark observation dive.

Get PADI Certified

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Our Dive Center offers PADI certification courses, including Open Water Diver, Adventure Diver, and Advanced Open Water Diver. Specialty classes include certifications for Enriched Air Diver, Underwater Naturalist, Night Diver, Wreck Diver, and more. We happily accept referrals from diver certification agencies too.

Know Before You Go

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Remember to bring along a valid C-card if you plan on scuba diving while you’re here. We may also ask you to demonstrate your mask and regulator clearing skills, allowing you to get comfortable and adjust your buoyancy in the water.

Scuba Diving Rate Card

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  • One Tank Scuba Dive: $100
  • Two Tank Scuba Dive: $122
  • Night/Shark Dive: $100 (Minimum of 6 divers)
  • Boat Snorkel: $40 per person
  • Specialty Dives: contact us
  • Nitrox Fills: $15 per tank
  • Mask, Fins & Snorkel: $12 (for your whole stay)
  • BCD, Regulator & Wetsuit: $35 per day

*Fees do not include equipment rentals. Please contact us for a full list of equipment availability and rental fees.

Popular Scuba Courses

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  • PADI Open Water Scuba Diver: $300
  • Open Water Referral: $150
  • PADI Advanced Diver: $200
  • Other Certifications: contact us

*Save 10% off your course fee with our PADI e-learning discount!
**Prices do not include equipment rental or required dives
***You do not need to prebook dives but please inquire for specialty dive eligibility.
****The Bahamas has a 10% VAT on all goods and services. It is not included in these rates and will be reflected on your bill at check out.

Diving Highlights

  • Experienced instructors and divemasters
  • Instruction for all levels of divers and snorkelers
  • Relaxed schedule and concierge dive service
  • Free “Discover Scuba” diving class for beginners 

DIVE Sites

The best variety of dive sites in the world.

At Small Hope Bay Lodge, we’re thrilled to be able to offer recreation divers such a diverse range of dives, all within a short boat ride. We’re world renowned for our diving – shallow reefs, coral gardens, wrecks, false walls, walls, caverns and blue holes – as well as a fabulous shark observation dive.

Dive Sites

Shark Observation Experience

SHARK FEEDING

Our shark encounters provide a small amount of supplemental food to the sharks on an irregular basis so that they are not dependent on us for food. As our boat approaches the site, Caribbean reef sharks begin to gather around. We then lower a chum ball composed of frozen fish parts 30 feet below the surface.

DIVERS PROTOCOL

Divers kneel off to the side on the sandy bottom at a depth of 50 feet. Other than providing them with a free meal, we do not interact with the sharks in any other way. After the sharks swim away, divers have an opportunity to look through the sand for fallen shark teeth.

WHAT SHARKS WILL WE SEE?

Although the Shark Observation Experience primarily attracts Caribbean reef sharks, divers may also encounter nurse sharks, blacktip reef sharks, lemon sharks, silky sharks, and the occasional hammerhead. Shark feedings also attract a number of scavengers like barracuda, grouper, and snapper, who come to eat the leftovers. *There is an extra fee for the Shark Observation Experience and a minimum number of divers is required.

Shallow Dive and Snorkel Sites

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Red Shoal

Large schools of French and blue-striped grunts embellish the rich Elkhorn coral formations. Barracuda’s can be found here, plus peacock flounders and stingrays can be found on the sandy bottom that channel through the coral formations.

Love Hill

Branching from the main strip of reef, the coral formations create sand channels that provide a maze-like environment, perfect for those who like to meander around a rich and colorful reef at a very shallow depth.

Central Park

The site got its name because of a comment made by some guests from New York City. When they surfaced after the dive, they said the site had so many fish; it reminded them of a long weekend at Central Park.

End of the Reef

It has large Elkhorn coral formations creating swim-through that opens up into small pockets throughout the reef. One pocket is so beautiful; we named it Ariel’s Garden, after the little mermaid.

Trumpet Reef

Named because of its nice variety of trumpet fish, this site on the fore reef is a great spot to snorkel and dive. Snorkelers enjoy the close proximity to the large coral heads, growing only a few feet from the surface. Divers can explore beyond this site, by heading east into deeper water to Peter's Mystery Special.

Leiben's Point

There are incredible opportunities to observe the topography of the Andros Barrier Reef here, as you can swim from the shallow snorkeling areas containing juvenile reef fish, right along the barrier reef out into the deeper waters, where the coral becomes thicker.

Jean's Dream

Jean's Dream is a great fore reef site for observing cleaning stations and smaller sea life, such as banded coral shrimps and Christmas tree worms. This is a classic shallow reef/coral garden dive, perfect for taking it easy and relaxing, especially after a deep dive.

South Peters Place

The site features a circular sand patch and a dense coral garden. Residents include schools of surgeonfish and blue tangs, stoplight parrotfish, tiger and Nassau grouper, barracuda and the occasional southern stingray.

The Aquarium

This beautiful site is suitable for shallow diving as well as snorkeling. Predictably, it got its name because diving this site is just like swimming in a large open aquarium, filled with marine tropical in every color of the rainbow.

Peters Mystery Special

This dive site is a beautiful coral garden, perfect for novice divers. A wide variety of fish life can be found here, like parrotfish, French grunts and fire worms. This is also an ideal spot to observe the reef's cleaning stations.

Brad's Mountain

Located south of Small Hope Bay,  you may see bar jacks darting in and out of the summer swarms of silversides, crowding the many small swim-through and caverns that honeycomb Brad's Mountain. We often see schools of fish like horse-eye jacks, Atlantic spade fish and Bermuda chubs.

Margo's Place

The coral in this area rises up substantially from the mainly sandy bottom. There are many dark corners between the coral overhangs, and the sandy bottom provides a great habitat for Squirrel Fish, and juvenile and spotted drums.  

The Blue Hole

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As you are guided along the rim of the blue hole you will first descend down an ancient waterfall chute and then begin to make your way along the rim of the of the blue hole you will pass under an enormous swim through call the “sky light” room where giant boulders have wedged themselves between the rim of the blue hole, be sure to look up and appreciate the geological forces that have created this natural treasure.

Wrecks

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The Marion

Once an AUTEC. crane barge, the Marion now serves as an excellent dive site It's located on a large sandy area dotted with coral heads. Sea life is plentiful here, from the southern stingray that glides over the sandy bottom, to the spiny lobster and the green moray eel that hide among the wreck's crevices, to the curious silky shark that seems to disappear no sooner than it appeared.

Caverns

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Dianna's Dungeons

Spectacular swim-through coral passageways are a main feature at Dianna's Dungeons. These wide and well-lit formations are easily observed as you wind your way in and out of the false wall. This site is home to a variety of soft corals that wave elegantly on the top, as well as amazing red encrusting algae found on the inside of all of the swim- through.

Alec's Caverns

On this dive, you'll see rare cryptic sponges, schools of sleeping Glassy Sweepers, along with a proliferation of Squirrel Fish, and the occasional sleeping Nurse Shark. The inside of the caverns is out of this world, as light trickles down through natural windows filling the tunnels with a magical glow.

Cara's Caverns

This lovely site has a honeycomb of numerous caverns clustered along a false wall, with two plateaus stepping down like terraces. There are many winding passages and tunnels to swim through and explore. Look for Glassy Sweepers in the tunnels and caverns.

Coral Caverns

This wonderful site is made up of spur and groove coral formations that are so ancient they have grown together, creating swim-throughs and numerous small caverns. Life is teeming here, as the spaces in the caverns provide shelter to thousands of tropical reef fishes, as well as ample hunting ground for predators like barracuda and nurse sharks.

Walls, Mini-Walls, Multi-Level Walls

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Over the Wall

This is a Small Hope Bay Lodge signature dive, with something to see at every level. Plummeting down to an ice age shore line at a depth of 185 feet, or you prefer to make your way along the coral grottos along the top of the wall filled with marine life of every description, this site has plenty to offer.

The Coliseum

A fabulous false wall, the Coliseum is just east of The Barge, one of our wreck dives. Typically, we anchor at the Barge and swim out to the Coliseum. A gradually sloping false wall leads to a plateau that plunges down into the Tongue of the Ocean.

Giant Staircase

Experience multi-level wall flying, as we follow ancient streambeds where water falls once cascaded into the sea, and then cruise back up, soaking in the dense proliferation of sponges, invertebrates and tropical fish.

Turnbull's Gut

Right on the edge of the Tongue of the Ocean, there is a large fissure in the coral buttress running along the edge of the wall. This feature provides an excellent swim-through, which you can enter on the top of the wall and swim surrounded on all sides by coral. When you exit at 120 feet, you'll see nothing below you but thousands of feet of water.

Whip Wire Wall

This beautiful multi-level dive is located on a nearly vertical wall covered in whip and wire corals. Only seen at deeper depths, these unique corals coil out away from the wall into the blue in a riot of pastel colors.

Medium Dive Sites

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Three Sisters

This is a lovely false wall site, just east of Jeff's Ladder. The top edge of the wall is a transition from Jeff's Ladder where the sandy bottom leads to a plateau scattered with individual coral heads.

Sea Turtle Ridge

While the name suggests sea turtles, we cannot guarantee their presence, but the numerous sponges that dot the slope show evidence of turtle predation.

Queen Angel Ridge

Queen Angel Ridge (QAR) is made up of a thick coral ridge right on the edge of the wall. This site has particularly nice soft corals that gently wave in the warm clear waters.

Black Forest

The hard coral formations looming from the sandy bottom of this site create a landscape that resembles a forest. Divers can swim to the base of the corals and meander through the sandy channels.

Shark Facts

  • Sharks first appeared in the ocean 455 million years ago
  • There are an estimated 440 living species of sharks today
  • Sharks have a cartilage skeleton instead of bone
  • Some sharks give birth to live young, others lay eggs
  • Sharks can have over 50,000 teeth in their lifetime
  • Sharks can sense electromagnetic fields and temperature changes

Snorkeling

Snorkeling in the Bahamas.

Snorkeling is one of our favorite activities, whether it’s a boat ride to the captivating Andros Barrier Reef or a quick swim from the shore at Small Hope Bay. If you’ve never snorkeled before, don’t worry, we can show you how. If you can float and you like to have fun, you’ll love snorkeling.

In addition to our daily boat excursions to the reef, we have lots to see under the water right from the shore. Grab a mask and snorkel and jump off the dock—there you’ll see schools of grunts and snapper, lobster, octopus, and some of our friendly rays. You can snorkel at 6 different places all along our beach!

Snorkel

Daily Snorkel Trips to the Reef

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In addition to daily excursions, snorkelers are welcome to come along to some of the shallow dive sites, including the Shark Observation Experience, where they can snorkel safely while watching local reef sharks gather to feed about 30 feet below.

Snorkeling From Shore

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Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced snorkeler, there are plenty of great sites right offshore at Small Hope Bay. We'll give you a map of our favorite places to snorkel as well as a list of the marine life you can expect to see.

Learn to Snorkel for Free

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Never snorkeled before? Let us show you how, for free! We love snorkeling and we can teach you at our dive center. There’s a variety of marine life around the dock, on the patch reefs off the beach, and in the nearby creeks through the mangroves.

Snorkeling Highlights

  • Daily trips to Andros Barrier Reef 
  • Snorkel gear available for rental
  • Learn to snorkel for free off-shore
  • Water temperatures between 74° – 85° F
  • Nighttime snorkeling around our dock
  • Marine life reference library in the lodge

Groups

Scuba dive with friends and family.

Depending on group size and diving per day groups can secure their own dive boat along with our dive masters. Our most common group dives are for wedding and dive groups. Big family groups can either dive, snorkel, hang out on the dive boat or catch a ride to Goat Cey which is close to the resort.

Groups

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Groups Rotator 2

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Group Highlights

Dive Master

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Everything You Need

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Child Care Services

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Divers FAQ

General Dive Questions

  • Equipment is not included, but available for rental
  • All equipment can be stored in the dock.
  • We have cubbies per room to hold your equipment.
  • Booking on a package – you can book a la carte. Activities are available for non-divers.
  • DSD is free. Once completed, you will be available to do the shallow dive.
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