According to movie stars, tourists, and Bond enthusiasts the world over, The Thunderball Grotto is one of the most breathtaking spots in the world.
So much so, that Oprah, Johnny Depp, and Faith Hill all supposedly have their own islands nearby. Who can blame them? The waters are straight out of a fantasy land, and the whole area of the Bahamas its super glam and famous for all the right reasons.
The people are kind and generous. It’s the site of many exotic movies. And the snorkelling is among the best in the entire world.
Visiting James Bond’s Bahamas
If this breathtaking cave is on your list, then perhaps it’s time that you looked at booking at trip to The Bahamas. It’s not the easiest place to get to from Canada, but once you’re there, there are so many options to go to different beaches, and caves, and amazing stops that will literally take your breath away.
If you’re looking to make a trip to Thunderball Grotto, chances are one of a few things:
- You’re super into your scuba diving
- Instead of going house-gazing in Hollywood, you like to go island-gazing in the Bahamas
- You’re a major James Bond fan
And if all of the above apply to you, then congratulations friend. it sounds like you not only have a well-rounded sense of interests, but also the money (hopefully?) to pursue the tracks of your favourite movie star ever: Bond. James Bond.
Where Was Thunderball Filmed?
If you’ve seen the fourth Bond film, Thunderball, then you can maybe even recall the exquisite background of the film. The Bahamas are James Bond’s second favourite travel destination, after Jamaica.
The romantic allure of the Bahamas is a running theme throughout the whole film. Casino Royale also features some juicy shots from this sacred space.
The green waters, the white sands, and the incredible caves are among so many gorgeous parts of the Thunderball Grotto.
The Bahamas are formed from about 700 islands, of which only 40 are inhabited. They all stretch over about 650 miles of ocean from the east coast of Florida right up to the Caribbean.
One of the smallest islands, New Providence (with the capital of Nassau), is the political, tourist, and economic centre of the entire country. Off the coast of this central island is Staniel Cay, and that’s where you’ll find the famous Thunderball Grotto.
The incredible sub-tropical climate and the stunning beaches have made the Bahamas an extremely popular full-time destination for sun seekers. Incredibly, tourism produces more than 50% of their national income!
And quick fact: The Bahamas also enjoy a high standard of living because of their banking economy. Investors from all over the world are drawn to this tax haven… a perfect setting for an international agent of Bond’s status!
Useful Information About Thunderball Grotto, Exuma
Thunderball was filmed five decades ago, but you will still find plenty of people in the Bahamas today who can point out where particular scenes were shot.
Hotel clerks, self-appointed tourist guides, and taxi drivers will show you the house where the production office was located. Some of them will even tell you that they met Sean Connery in person. Apparently he’s both a fine and likeable fellow!
In 1965, Bond first met Domino on a beach on the north coast of Paradise Island. In the movie, he chatted her up by pretending to have issues with his boat engine. Domino helped him out with her boat, and they land ashore at Paradise Beach, just in front of what is now Club Med.
I can only imagine the stories that are told by the employees at this resort! And how much the tourists brag to their friends when they tell them where they’re staying…
”Bro, we’re staying at the beach where James Bond first met Domino.” I mean the story itself would be worth the trip.
From the outside, Thunderball Grotto may not seem like much, but visitors are often in for a huge surprise when they get past the initial entry points and into the glorious caves that are all lit by the sun.
Nothing creepy about these caves (although I’d still be petrified to get stuck in there and drown a horrible death because that’s my biggest nightmare). Apparently it’s spacious and the snorkelling is just incredible.
Thunderball grotto snorkeling
Snorkelling at Thunderball Grotto is among the best in the world. There is a giant chamber in the middle of the island, and when you look back from there, you can catch the sunbeams lighting up hundreds of tropical fish.
It feels, according to some visitors, like your own life-sized aquarium. Rays of light catch your body in the ridiculously clear waters of the caves, and you can’t help but feel like you’re in a bit of a movie yourself.
Thunderball grotto (no) fishing & conservation
Conservation is a very high priority for the country, and Thunderball Grotto is no exception. These fantastic underwater caves that were used for filming of two James Bond films are, after all, a precious treasure of the country.
Because they also bring in so much money to the country, it serves them to keep everything pristine for years to come. It’s been a bit of a journey over the years, because naturally tourism brings its own pollution with the revenue.
There tends to be a lot of traffic with all of the snorkelling, and sometimes it gets so crowded that people end up bumping into each other when they are admiring all the corals and pristine waters.
Apparently the best way to see Thunderball Grotto is to stay at Staniel Cay Yacht Club, and then visit when the boat tours are not present.
How To Find Thunderball Grotto
There is no missing this tourist attraction! The whole island knows about it, so you won’t have a problem. There are signs that lead you right to the entrance, and there will be lots of other people who are looking to join in on the fun.
It’s best to get to Thunderball Grotto early and at low tide if possible. There’s a sweet spot to find when it’s as beautiful as all the other times, but not so packed with people. Your tour guide will help you figure all of that out!