The Bahamas offers everything from remote fishing to world-class diving. They also offer beautiful sailing and fresh seafood.
Not every island offers crystal clear waters, vibrant beach bars and amazing snorkeling. After sailing a large part of the Bahamas archipelago, I have compiled all the information you will need for planning a vacation to some of the most beautiful islands.
What you need to know before your trip:
- No need to buy Bahamian money. The exchange rate is 1:1. They accept US Dollars everywhere. On many islands, it’s better to pay in cash than with a credit card.
- English is the official language in the Bahamas.
- On the left-hand side, cars drive.
- On some islands, you can rent a car or golf cart and use public transportation. On the remote islands, you can hitchhike with locals. Make sure to tip them for both their gas and time.
- The tourism industry is an important part of the Bahamas’ economy. Negotiate with the vendors.
Visit the city
Spring The nor’easters are over but the hurricane season is still a few months away. The weather is great, rates are lower, there are fewer people, and crowds have decreased. The Bahamas is at its best all year round.
Summer :While hurricanes can occur, the sea and wind are usually calm. Prices are low and there are fewer people. This is a riskier time to travel, but it’s also the calmest, with clear days, fewer tourists, and the lowest prices.
Fall Hurricanes will continue to rage until November. However, the temperature is expected to drop. Nor’easters are expected to start blowing through and the crowds to increase. The rates will remain moderate. This is a good time to travel.
WinterOne the most popular times to visit. The rates will be very high. Nor’easters are in full force, bringing cooler temperatures and more windy days. Winter is a very popular season, but it can be one of the most difficult seasons to weather-wise.
What to Bring
Bring the following items with you to any destination, no matter when you go:
- Reef-friendly sunblock
- Water Shoes
- Light Clothing
- Sweaters for cooler evenings
- Underwater camera
It all comes down to the type of vacation that you are looking for when it comes to choosing the bestisland. You can find an island to suit your needs, whether you want to party, fish, explore natural wonders, or go off the grid.
1. The Abacos
The Abacos were not on my list of places to visit because I was tired from being in Florida for so long and didn’t wish to see more mangroves. There are many bars, hotels, and restaurants in the Abacos, just like there are in the Florida Keys. They also have world-class golf, quaint, colonial-style towns, as well as excellent fishing. The Abacos are a great place to go for romantic experiences in the Bahamas.
Get there by: flying directly from Miami or Fort Lauderdale or take the Balearia Caribbean Fast Ferry from Fort Lauderdale up to Grand Bahama, and then another small ferry down to Little Abaco.
Find a hotel: Learn more here
Rent a golf cart or car to travel around.
What to do? I’d go exploring one of these charming towns like Marsh Harbour or Hope Town. Then, I would snorkel, fish, and unwind on a beautiful beach.
2. The Berries
I loved the Berry Islands because they had everything that made me love an island chain: the people, hiking, beaches, caves, food and much more. The Bahamas offers many ways to enjoy the beauty and culture of this archipelago without being surrounded by tourists.
How to get there?Fly directly from Fort Lauderdale, Miami or by seaplane.
Find a hotel: here
Get around the island:Rent golf carts, cars or bikes at Great Harbour Cay Marina.
What to do?My favorite activities included exploring the Rat Pack Club House at Sugar Beach and climbing the caves. I also enjoyed walking on the flats during low tide, eating conch salad, and hiking in Cistern Cay’s ghost town.
Nassau has a lot to offer, including a large cruise ship terminal, a busy straw market and lots of restaurants. There are also snorkeling, jet-ski excursions, and the Atlantis Resort, which is located on Paradise Island. It’s the Bahamas’ capital, and you can experience the vibrant nightlife (check out the culinary tour and the rum tasting) as well. You’ll be better off staying in the downtown area at night if you aren’t familiar with it and you are traveling alone.
Get there by cruise ship or direct flight from Miami, Fort Lauderdale or the Balearia fast ferry.
Find a hotel:Find accommodation here
Get around by walking, taking public transport, or renting a golf car.
What to do in Nassau: Climb into the Nassau Caves, walk up the Queen’s Staircase of Fort Fincastle and relax on the giant chair at Atlantis Resort Paradise Island.
Biminiis a tourist destination on the rise. North Island, which is currently being developed as a resort, has a brand new cruise terminal. South Island, where locals reside and where you’ll find the Fountain of Youth is the place to be. These islands, which are located just 60 miles away from Miami and right on the Gulf Stream, make it a great destination for fishing weekends.
Get there by Take the Balearia fast ferry, fly directly from Fort Lauderdale, Miami, or Fort Lauderdale
Find a hotel: Find a Hotel Here
Rent a Golf Cart to Get Around.
What to do? My favorite places in Bimini are the Dolphin House, the Road to Atlantis, and the Sapona Wreck. (Book these excursions here.)snorkeling at the arch of the Three Sisters and the Sapona Wreck, as well as getting a South Island tour by a native, including drinking from the Fountain of Youth, a small, natural spring filled with fresh water.
Eleuthera, a northern Bahamas island is one I missed out on because of its distance. It’s a great island to visit because it has beautiful pink beaches and incredible views. There are also many shopping options, resorts that offer relaxation, and fun tours.
How to get there? Fly from Nassau, then take a flight connecting or take the ferry.
Find a hotel: Find a Hotel Here
Rent a car to travel around.
What to see and do? I’d visit the Queen’s Bath. Sapphire Blue Holes, Preacher’s Cave, Glass Window Bridge. This tour allows you to do this, and much more.
6. Cat Island
Cat Island is another destination I wish I had visited. Off the beaten track, it still has beautiful hiking trails, clear waters and reefs that are perfect for snorkeling. Mount Alvernia, the Bahamas’ tallest point is located on Cat Island.
How to get there? Fly in Nassau, then take the connecting flight.
Hire a taxi, or rent a vehicle to travel around.
What to do? I’d go on a hike up Mount Alvernia, visit the Hermitage Monastery at the summit, discover uninhabited islands nearby, snorkel, enjoy the beach, or relax at a restaurant.
Exumas is a 100-mile island chain that many sailors will visit, stopping at popular places along the way, such as the Exumas Land and Sea Park, Staniel Cay, Blackpoint, or Georgetown. Many sailors island hop along this 100-mile chain, visiting popular spots like Exumas Land & Sea Park, Staniel Cay and Blackpoint. This is the perfect winter island.
How to get there? Fly directly from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or Nassau. Or take a flight connecting from Nassau.
You can get from one island to another by renting a car or golf cart, taking a taxi or walking. Take a small boat.
What to do? Must-sees include the Norman’s Cay plane wreck, Boo Boo Hill, the Rocky Dundas Caves and Rachel’s Bubble Bath at Compass Cay. Thunderball Grotto is at Staniel Cay. Lorraine’s Cafe in Blackpoint. Chat n Chill, Georgetown. Also: Swimming with the OG pigs on Big Majors Cay
8. Long Island
Long Island, in the Bahamas is one of those islands that gets overlooked when it comes time to visit. But it has a wealth of things to do. First up, Dean’s Blue Hole , which is over 600 feet deep and one of the largest blue holes on the planet. There’s the Shrimp Pool and Christopher Columbus Monument. The locals will be the most friendly people you have ever met, and spearfishing on Ragged Island and Jumentos Islands is among the best in the world.
How to get there?Fly in Nassau or Exumas, then take a connection flight.
Walking or Hiking: Getting around.
What to do? I would return just to swim at Dean’s Blue Hole. Check out Shrimp Hole. Hike around Columbus Monument. Relax at Calabash Beach. Enjoy happy hour at Sou’Side Bar & Grill. Snorkel the islands of Thompson Bay. And hitchhike to the island to talk to the locals.