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Rachel's Bubble Bath

Compass Cay,Bahamas

Rachelís Bubble Bath is the name given to one of the best swimming holes in the Caribbean, this deep, crystal clear, blue lagoon is the perfect destination for a spectacular hike, but first you have to find your way to the private island of Compass Cay where the trail is located. Compass Cay is a small island in the Exuma Chain of the Bahamas, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Staniel Cay. The island is private, but the owner will let day trippers dock their boat at the marina for a $5.00 fee, or you can stay at the islandís lodge.

The hike begins at the marina, where you will get your first glimpse of the resident nurse sharks. The sharks are ďtameĒ and will tolerate people petting them and getting into the water to swim with them, you can also buy some frozen fish at the marina and hand feed the sharks. Swimming with the nurse sharks is an excellent activity in and of itself, so treat yourself to this adrenaline rush before and/or after your hike.

Before you start your hike, stop in the marina shop and purchase a laminated trail map. The map points out all of the islandís features, and gives a rough break-down of the trail system.

Follow the boardwalk away from the marinaís dock toward the dirt path that leads up the side of the hill. A glance at your map shows you that you are heading past the rental house, toward the crescent beach. Once you reach the top of the hill you are greeted with an amazing view of the island and the beach. Take a left at the beach and hike towards the ruin known as Hesterís House. The old house sits perched on a high cliff overlooking the crashing waves below. A brief exploration of the cliffs results in astounding views of the Exuma Sound and of the treacherous coastline of Compass Cay.

The remainder of the hike follows the rugged cliff-lined coast along a semi-marked trail. The footing along this path is rough, so make sure you have sturdy footwear. You have your choice of high road or low road along this last portion of trail. Ocean Walk, the lower path, meanders over the rock strewn beach providing excellent beachcombing but the rocks only allow for a slow paced hike. North Cliff Walk, the higher path, takes you up on the top of the cliffs for great views and a faster pace. We hiked the lower trail in and the higher trail out, but if you are in a hurry, or if you just donít like hiking over rocky terrain, stick to the higher trail.

Once the cliffs are behind you it wonít be long until you arrive at Rachelís Bubble Bath. You will most likely have this pristine destination all to yourself, so enjoy the exotic location and the solitude. The pool, known as Rachelís Bubble Bath, gets its name from the action of the waves. The serene pool is separated from the ocean by a rocky outcrop, but at mid to high tide the waves get high enough to crash over the rocks and into the lagoon, creating bubbles of white foam much like a natural Jacuzzi. Swimming and diving into the pool from the rocks above is a total blast! Remember, if you dive off the rocks you have to time your leap perfectly or you just might get slammed by a rogue wave, so be careful.

Compass Cay and Rachelís Bubble Bath are two little known, but incredible destinations. Hopefully, now that you know where they are, you can experience their beauty for yourself. So grab a map and start planning your getaway!


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