The water park at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas -- know as Aquaventure -- is the biggest and most elaborate of its kind in the Caribbean; indeed, it's a destination unto itself and probably the one feature most associated with the Atlantis, overshadowing even its massive casino.
Accessible primarily to hotel guests (although a limited number of day passes are available to outside visitors), the park includes water slides, a lazy river, and aquariums full of exotic sea life, all enhanced by a mixed theme of Mayan culture and the lost world of Atlantis. Top attractions include:
Mayan Temple: Leap of Faith
The imposing Mayan Temple at the heart of the Atlantis pool area offers the water park's most exhilarating slide, aptly named the Leap of Faith. This 60-foot slide feels twice as high when looking down from the top, and while "flying" down a practically vertical drop it's hard to scream because you can hardly catch your breath. The added enjoyment of this slide is that family members and fellow guests can stand watch on a bridge and listen to sliders attempt to gasp while hurdling downward at high speeds. It is a thrillseeker's delight.
Mayan Temple: Serpent Slide
The Serpent Slide, also part of the Mayan Temple, sends guests coasting through dark tunnels on a double tube. The spiraling ride drops you into a tunnel that runs directly through the shark tank inside of an aquarium, giving riders the feeling of perching on an inner tube as sharks swim within a few feet of you. The tube is fairly small and provides a great vantage point for viewing your toothy neighbors -- it's a very unique experience.
Mayan Temple: Challenger Slide
Challenger Slide features twin dueling slides sending riders at high speeds to a pool below the Mayan Temple; a time clock measures the speed of the each slider. This is a great ride for establishing bragging rights among families and friends.
Power Tower: The Falls
Atlantis is home to some of the best waterslides on Paradise island. The Power Tower area of the park, for example, uses a water technology known as “master blaster” to propel people through the slides, providing an extreme adrenaline rush as a gush of water literally shoots riders on tubes through a slide at high speed. The Falls drops riders down almost 60 feet before the water currents pull you back through spiraling slides, then dropping you into a current of water. Dark tunnels reduce riders' ability to see what's coming next, adding to the thrill.
The most agonizing part of this slide is watching people in front you shoot down the dark, circular tube. After disappearing out of sight, the rider in front of you usually screams the entire way down until you hear a muffled splash. This is arguably the most exciting ride in Atlantis -- the equivalent of a true vertical drop that packs a lot of punch for 14 seconds. A true waterslide park aficionado will ride it multiple times before leaving the water area for the beach or lunch.
Atlantis offers some relaxing river rides as well. There are an abundance of fresh water pools and The Current, a mile-long river that wraps around the resort, curving through caves and beautiful landscapes. The ride uses a series of current systems to gently guide tubes through waterfalls, lagoons and gushes of small waves. Inner-tubes float at a slow-to-medium pace, so the one drawback to this attraction is that you may never get off of it.