Founded as the world’s first land-and-sea reserve in 1958, this stunning 176-mile expanse of reef, cay and sea is world-famous among divers. One of the jewels of the Bahamas, the reserve protects the second largest barrier reef in the Western hemisphere, after the Mesoamerican Reef in Central America, ensuring prolific marine fauna below the water and plentiful land-based life on shore. Unfortunately (or fortunately, in conservation terms) it’s only accessible by private boat or charter, but most visitors agree it’s worth the expense for the spectacular natural environment.
The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is a protected area in the Exuma Cays of the Bahamas. The protected area extends from Shroud Cay in the north to Bell Cay in the south. The vegetation consists of mangrove communities and has played a major role in conservation of fish native to the Bahamas.