SALT POND CAVE
Practically lying beneath Grotto Bay is a remarkable natural feature -- the Salt Pond Cave -- one of the largest dry caves in the Bahamas.
From Grotto Bay's observation deck, visitors can peer down into the cave's Grotto, filled with banana palms, papaya and avocado trees. A natural bridge extends all the way across.
Beyond the Grotto is a stunning chamber with skylights and thick tree roots dangling from above – you’ll definitely want your camera! And beyond this are two enormous chambers with beautiful geological formations, including columns of stalactites and stalagmites, soda straws and curtains, all of which are still forming.
Hundreds of bats inhabit these dark regions. Salt Pond Cave is home to four Families of bats and at least six Species. The Species: American Leaf-Nosed, Waterhouse's Big-Eared, Buffy Flower, Funnel-Eared, Mexican Freetailed, and Big Brown Bat. Visitors can watch them emerge from the Grotto every evening, about ten minutes after sunset. They love our papayas!
According to Dr. John Mylroie (Mississippi State University), the Salt Pond Cave exceeds 14,000 cubic meters (about 494,400 cubic feet) and was formed during a sea-level highstand that lasted no more than 15,000 years. It is a classic example of a flank margin cave formed "by dissolution resulting from mixing of fresh and saline waters at the margin of an island ground-water lens".
Neil Sealey (College of the Bahamas) writes about the 3rd Chamber: "This remarkable arched tunnel is unique in The Bahamas and a fascinating example of the many unusual features to be found in our caves." This third chamber is 160 feet long, over 20 feet high and 15 feet wide. Furthermore, he states that the Second Chamber “approaches 400,000 cubic feet, which makes it one of the largest in the Bahamas and it would be considered large in any limestone area anywhere in the world.”
NOTE TO VISITORS:
Many deep holes make exploring tricky, so good flashlights are essential!
Explore at your own risk.
Take more than one light.
Wear sturdy shoes.
Do not take children.
Do not touch the stalactites, stalagmites or soda straws.
The floor of the cave is six to 10 feet above sea level.
The First Chamber: 100 x 125 feet with several skylights
The Second Chamber: 160 x 200 feet and a height of 10 to 12 feet.
The Third Chamber: 160 x 15 feet with a ceiling of 20 feet