David’s Hole, a natural swimming pool, is a geological marvel carved out of the seabed. It is an ancient collapsed cave that has been eroded into two arches by the force of the swell. When the sea is rough, the site resembles a cauldron of boiling water. Also known as Devil’s Hole, this geological curiosity resulted from the collapse of a huge underwater chamber that formed fifty million years ago. Under the volcanic thrust of the Miocene period, the seabed was raised closer to the water’s surface and submerged rock was uncovered.
To the north of this natural marvel that seems to have been sculpted by the sea, snorkelers can observe a huge diversity of tropical fish and corals. It’s not unusual to see turtles here. Masks and snorkels are recommended for anyone keen to enjoy the wealth of marine life. To enter this fairly shallow hole is little more than a routine exercise that you might perform at a diving pool.
There are some superb plant specimens to be admired around the chasm. This part of the coastal heath features the “melon cactus” which is recognizable by its completely red tip, some thorny tree-like species such as the twisted acacia, and various scrubland plants including balsam.
Iguanas are constantly sniffing around in the undergrowth, on the heath and in crevices among the rocks that make up their natural habitat. Those that are not used to humans are very shy and the slightest sound of footsteps sends them fleeing at great speed.
A site to be protected
In such an intimate atmosphere, it’s a magical feeling to float along on the current, enjoying the warmth of the sun. But the swell is sometimes very strong, so beware of the currents. This protected, unspoiled site offers an outstanding panorama over the Caribbean Sea. David’s Hole is one of nature’s miracles and has to be earned. This environment must be preserved and shared respectfully, because these kinds of secret spots are shared in a spirit of mindfulness and humility.
David’s Hole can be reached on a short walk between Red Bay and Pointe du Bluff. More specifically, by taking the path at the crossroads between Terres-Basses and Red Bay. It can be seen as you turn left along the cliff side, at the end of the path leading to Petites Cayes Bay.
Rules to observe for the site’s conservation:
This outstanding site is open to the public but everyone is expected to behave responsibly. It is a fragile habitat that needs protecting, both on land and at sea.
Main rules of good conduct:
- no camping or bivouacking,
- no motorized vehicles on the coastal heath,
- no garbage – please use the trashcans provided, to avoid harming the natural habitats and landscapes,
- no noise or other disturbances, to preserve the character of the site,
- no dogs, to avoid disturbing wildlife and keep the coastline clean,
- no picking or gathering, to maintain the biological diversity,
- no smoking or lighting fires, to prevent wildfire and littering the coastline.