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.
Beyond the Grotto is a stunning chamber with skylights and thick tree roots dangling from above -- very Indiana Jones! Beyond this are two enormous chambers with stalactites and stalagmites.
The Grotto in Salt Pond Cave
The First Chamber
The Second Chamber is 160 ft. wide and over 200 ft. long and nearly 400,000 cu.ft.
The Third Chamber is a striking tunnel over 20 ft. high and 15 ft. wide, extending 160 ft.
According to Dr. John Mylroie (Mississippi State University), Salt Pond Cave exceeds 14,000 cubic meters 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."
Beautiful Colors In The Salt Pond Cave
Many Bats Inhabit the Cave!
Thousands of these harmless little critters inhabit the cave, and visitors can watch them emerge every evening, 10 minutes after sunset.
Salt Pond Cave is home to 4 Families of bats and at least 6 Species. The Species: American Leaf-nosed, Waterhouse's Big-Eared, Buffy Flower, Funnel-eared, Mexican Free-tailed, and Big Brown Bat.
NOTE TO VISITORS:
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.