West Coast Marine Park
This national park protects some of the most dramatic and breathtaking coral wall formations in The Bahamas, that attract repeat divers annually, pristine beaches and rocky southern shorelines provide nesting habitat for seabirds. This national park also protects the anchorage location of Christopher Columbus.
This park has little infrastructure and trail systems, there is no one on guard.
Here, in Paradise.
West Coast Marine Park is the anchorage location for Christopher Columbus’ first landfall to The Bahamas, and as such, a commemorative plaque sits on the seafloor in the park to recognize this historical site. Considering this significance, West Coast Marine Park is eligible for a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation, which would be the first in The Bahamas.
Another monument, a white cross is positioned onshore to mark where Christopher Columbus stepped foot on the island of San Salvador.
San Salvador offers a wealth of attractions to the visiting diver. The island has shallow reefs and breathtaking wall dives which were first discovered by scuba divers in the 1970s. West Coast Marine Park is unique for its stunning water clarity, with typical visibility of 100-150 ft, and more than 20 miles of dramatic vertical walls, beginning at depth as low as 40 feet. The rocky southern shoreline at French Bay provides vital nesting habitat for White-tailed Tropicbirds and Audubon’s Shearwaters.
The critically endangered hawksbill turtle is the predominant sea turtle observed at West Coast Marine Park, with nesting activity on the southwest point of Sandy Point. Recent observations confirm the deep channels in the park, is a migratory route for species of whales, especially the humpback whale.