Clifton encompasses walking trails, a reef teeming with fish and coral for awesome snorkeling, a grilling and picnic area, beautiful secluded beaches, the ruins of a slave village and a gift shop. Clifton Heritage National Park is off the beaten track and offers a peaceful and serene atmosphere away from all the noise and traffic of the rest of Nassau. It is filled with natural wonders and gives everyone who visits a place to rest, relax, reflect and learn history of the Lucayans, Loyalist, African slaves and various plantation owners.
The ruins and landscape have been preserved beautifully, and you can observe birds and other wildlife in their natural habitat. The park still offers a few modern amenities without ruining the natural beauty of it all. They are currently working on adding a couple of new activities and attractions and continue to work on preserving, protecting and improving the surrounding area.
I decided to take a day to explore the park and Snorkel the Ocean Atlas underwater sculpture garden.
The Walking Tour:
The walking tour starts off in the gift shop where there are a few displays about the Lucayans, Plantation owners and what life was like during that time. Then you head over to the Sacred space that includes carvings by artist Antonius Roberts, this area was created to represent the landing site of some of the first african slaves.
After a short stop you the then head over to the stone steps and if you’re brave enough you can climb down to a beautiful sea level view of Clifton. You then head back over the gift shop to tour the former settlement which housed slaves and then back up to the Banana Hole which is a lime stone cave that I would love to explore and hope they decide to include it in the tour eventually. We had Vernita as our tour guide and she did a great job of explaining everything and making the tour fun and engaging.
The Ocean Atlas is an underwater sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor, recently installed in the BREEF Sir Nicholas Nutall Coral Reef Sculpture Garden, there are many man-made reef balls and statues to see along the way and also a natural reef located nearby.
From the beach you can see a flag and the surface bouys surrounding the large sculpture, once you get in the water there are reef balls and a big face mask to guide you on your swim out.
Even before the you get to the main attraction the snorkeling is great, there are lots of fish to see and some coral on the way. Once you get out to the Ocean Atlas and swim around to the front of it you will be utterly impressed by the sheer size of it.
We also explored the neighboring reef and a plane crash site. I loved every minute of this part of the day. I like to think I’m a mermaid and I just enjoy being in the water.
When we went, tide was high and it was a bit rough so visibility swimming out was not that great, but overall if you’re a strong swimmer the swim is not bad at all even in wavy conditions.
After swimming you can relax on the beach where they have benches and small huts for you to enjoy. It was an awesome experience and I enjoyed being able to sit down and take it all in afterwards.
Overall a day trip to Clifton Heritage National Park is well worth it in my opinion and everything is reasonably priced. They also have ample parking and well kept facilities. I would recommend anyone to do this tour and if you are an average swimmer also do the Ocean Atlas.
Check out my video showing a few snippets of my day at Clifton: