My time in the Bahamas was limited, as it was one of many destinations decided for my family by a cruise. We had only half a day there, and was given the option of exploring the island or going to the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort’s famous waterpark. My family is filled with thrill seekers and we chose the waterpark, knowing that it had slides surrounded by sharks and intense rapids.
The resort itself is gorgeous, modeled after the fictional city of Atlantis. Upon entrance, we were ushered into the extensive tunnels of it’s aquarium, which led to the 141-acre waterpark.
The waterpark is called Aquaventure, and is designed to have activities for those of all ages. From lazy rivers, to extreme rapids, from child-sized slides, to the 60 foot Leap of Faith water slide that propels you through tubes in shark infested waters. This waterpark truly has it all.
Some personal favorites were the rapids, where I was actually surprised that they were allowed to have anything that intense and dangerous. The rapids are propelled by wave surges that push you along fake rocks that will actually hurt if you hit them, but really, isn’t that just part of the fun? My advice, make sure you sit high up in the tube so you don’t have your butt hitting any underwater rocks along the way. My sister found that out the hard way.
Another favorite was “The Abyss,” found within the Power Tower. The Power Tower is one of the tallest structures within the waterpark and offers entrance to many of the more thrilling rides, including “The Surge,” which brings you back into the rapids after dropping you from the top of the tower. “The Abyss” was a surprise to us, as we picked it because it was the shortest line. But if you want a thrill, a heart-stopping moment, you must pick this slide. You start sitting and holding the bar ahead of you so the current doesn’t push you down before the lifeguard allows. When he says to push off, you find yourself free falling in complete darkness for 50 feet, then the slide catches you and brings you through waterfalls to a cove. The cove looks like an underground lair filled with fish and waterfalls, reminiscent of a shrunken version of the lair of One-Eyed Willy in The Goonies. Nobody expects the drop, and my eyes remained wide as I waited for the rest of my family, eager to laugh about the shock with them.
The park itself is surrounded by a lush jungle, made to seem like we were caught amongst Atlantean ruins and ancient buildings. It made for gorgeous scenery as we wound around the lazy river or grabbed a bite to eat at one of the many delicious options offered. Along with the 11 pools and plush cabanas, there are also private beaches of white sand that awaited our pleasure. Of course, we didn’t have enough time to fully explore them, but it would be an ideal spot for a family who is staying for more than a day and needed a break from the thrills of the waterpark.
The waterpark is popular for a reason, and therefore can get crowded. My advice? Go right when it opens, it’ll be much less crowded and the heat of the day won’t be quite as effective yet. You’ll be able to hit the slides before the worst of the crowds kick in, and by the time 2pm comes around, you can sit with a cocktail and watch the fools who weren’t as smart as you waiting in line and getting sunburnt. Save the lazy river and the rapids for then, because there aren’t really lines for them and you can go around continually to cool off.
Although I hope to come back to the Bahamas to explore the island and all it has to offer, my time at the Atlantis Resort was well spent. If you are on a cruise schedule or want to spend a day amongst rapids and ruins, look no farther than the Aquaventure Waterpark!