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Bound to Paradise: Ale & Clay's Bahamas Wedding

Weddings
September 22nd 2023
Bound to Paradise: Ale & Clay's Bahamas Wedding

Ale and Clay initially met at the start of pandemic the way most modern couples do: on a dating app. The two hit it off marvelously from the start. “Everything was easy with him,” said Ale. “We always balance each other out.”

Ale and Clay’s love grew despite the long distance. “We say if it wasn't for the fact that it was COVID, we probably wouldn’t have dated,” she shared. She felt the pandemic made the distance a tad more bearable since they lived so far from each other. In 2021, just a year later, the couple was engaged. In the summer of 2021, Ale and Clay visited Sandals Royal Bahamian for a romantic getaway. During their stay, they arranged a beautiful beach picnic with the ocean just a few paces away and chose to explore Nassau’s downtown area afterwards. Eventually, they ended up at the Queen’s Staircase, and when they reached the bottom, Clay got down on one knee.

wedding proposal at the queens staircase in the bahamas



The arrival

One year after Clay proposed in The Bahamas, the couple and their family arrived to the calm, Bahamian archipelago greeted by the Sandals wedding team. After an effervescent welcome, guests were presented with gifts from the bride and groom. The welcome bags were filled with goodies like Bahamian spices, a jam sampler, and a flamingo-shaped lollipop.

Ale and Clay also equipped their guests with a destination wedding toolkit that included the event itinerary, a handheld rechargeable fan and a hangover kit. In their free time, guests were able to explore the resort where it all happened for Ale and Clay. Family members wandered the Coconut Grove, sampled delicious plates from the new food trucks and enjoyed high-tempo music.

The following day was planned for relaxing family time. The party of seven sat down at the elegant French restaurant, La Plume. There was an exchange of airy conversations and delicious French fare in the restaurant’s private room – a sophisticated primer to begin a weekend of nuptial festivities.

couple photo near the national public library in nassau bahamas



Bahamian welcome party

The welcome party was held in the resort’s Royal Wedding Garden. Palm trees offered generous shade and the hedges fenced the secluded garden beautifully for an intimate family gathering. Birds of paradise, mokara orchids, bougainvillea and dried pampas grass emerged from the greenery and decorative vases. The flowers surrounded the bar and featured a decorative flamingo, a nod to the island’s national bird. “With the décor, we wanted to embrace the island and the tropical essence,” said Ale. Ale and Clay greeted their guests with a Junkanoo rush. The brass horns blared and the drums were booming while the band, decked in Bahamian Junkanoo garb, brought energy and color to the welcome reception.

Hors d’oeuvres and meals were made with a modern Bahamian twist as scrumptious conch fritters, coconut shrimp and conch salad made their way around the party. Drinks were served at a charming Bahamian coconut hut and the bartender passed around coconuts brimming with water and accented by pink and white swirl straws with sticker tags.

conch salad station at sandals royal bahamian

junkanoo group members at sandals royal bahamian



The before…

All the girls gathered in Ale’s Swim-Up Butler Suite to prepare for the main event. The women were dressed in silk pink robes while Ale wore a robe in bridal white. Champagne bottles were uncorked, and confetti was thrown in celebration at this girls’ get-together. Ale’s beauty team arrived at her suite to help her and her family get ready for her big day.

As for the men, the groom and his family got ready in his younger brother’s room. Clay wore a dapper gray suit and black marble-patterned bowtie. Meanwhile, the rest of his family members wore suits in dark shades of blue.

Once the family was ready, they waited for the couple to sail to the private offshore island, where the ceremony was taking place. Before the couple boarded the sailboat, they stole a bit of time together. In a garden pathway, Clay eagerly awaited his bride’s arrival for a first look. Dressed in white, Ale walked along the path and tapped him on shoulder as Clay turned for the reveal.

“I was amazed. She was so beautiful,” Clay said warmly.

After the first look, Ale and Clay took advantage of the beautiful surroundings for a quick photoshoot. The tropical gardens and powdery sand beach were the perfect backdrop for some pre-wedding photos.

couple wearing wedding attire in a garden

Just a boat ride away to being bound forever…

The couple and their family boarded the vessel and sailed to the private offshore island known as Barefoot Cay to begin what would be forever after. Ale and Clay walked down the pier together before they separated to start the ceremony.

Guests were seated on white-cushioned benches right on the sand with a view of the ocean. White phalaenopsis orchids, blush pink ranunculus, budding snapdragons and white anthuriums filled Ale’s tropical-inspired bouquet. The aisle was lined with matching flowers, as well as the pillars, which were accented with cream-colored ribbons and green foliage. Ale walked down the winding garden path of the private island with her father. When she reached the aisle, an adagio of piano notes started from Ruelle’s “I Get To Love You” began to play in the background. Tears flowed, heartfelt vows and rings were exchanged, and the couple became one. A more upbeat, classic piano tune of “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole played, while Ale and Clay made their grand exit as husband and wife.

beach wedding in the bahamas



Reception dinner

The couple and their guests went to the Zen Garden pathway on the private island with a full bar and live steel drum band awaiting their arrival. Guests first stopped at the bar for a refreshing cocktail hour before the evening dinner. Tasty hors d’oeuvres made their way around including grilled bruschetta and veggies, delectable mini crab cakes and Moroccan-spiced lamb lollipops.

Once everyone enjoyed their drinks, guests gathered around the table for dinner. The dinner table was set to perfection with an ivory linen tablecloth and a sheer runner, complete with floral centerpieces in blush glass stemmed bowls and candles at each end. Each rattan placemat had the menu, which was as decadent as the table setting.

Nothing tops off a wonderful dinner like dessert. The three-tiered cake was all white and decorated with blooms of white orchids cascading along the side. Despite the all-white look, each tier had a distinct flavor of cake and icing. The bottom was a rich red velvet with vanilla icing, the middle had vanilla cake with coconut icing and the very top was carrot cake with Irish cream icing. Ale and Clay shared sips of champagne and slices of cake.

“It was exactly what I was looking for – elegant, simple, and tropical,” said Ale.

wedding reception on the beach



After party

With full bellies and happy hearts, it was time to move to the dancefloor. The after party started with the parents’ dances as Ale and her father swayed to Frank Sinatra’s classic song “The Way You Look Tonight.” Clay and his mother shared their special moment to the country song “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts. Afterwards, it was the newlyweds’ turn for a first dance. Ale and Clay held each other close as they slow danced to “You” by Dan + Shay.

With the slow dances out of the way, the whole wedding became electric with the DJ playing everyone’s favorite songs. Things got a bit hotter with fire breathers coming in to offer an elaborate performance.

Celebrating their love story with family on a private island was more than the couple could have asked for. Ale shared one of her favorite moments with her family.

The moment was magical – my husband, the intimacy of just our immediate family, the laughter, the setting, the florals, the lighting, the steel pan band – it was everything I dreamt of, and the food and drinks were simply spectacular.”

fire dancer in the bahamas




Paradise On Your Plate: Where and How To Try Bahamas Conch

Food & Drink
July 28th 2023
Paradise On Your Plate: Where and How To Try Bahamas Conch
Cover image credit: Debbie Ann Powell/Shutterstock.com

Conch, a culinary delicacy, is an acquired taste for some, while for others, it’s an absolute delight for the palate. If you haven’t had the chance to try this dish or are uncertain about it, The Bahamas is the perfect destination to try conch for the first time. Renowned for its breathtaking beaches and a plethora of stunning islands, this tropical paradise provides the perfect setting to settle the ongoing conch debate and discover your personal stance.

Prep Conch Bahamas Food

Image credit: Lost Mountain Studio/Shutterstock.com

If you’ve already tried conch and love it, a vacation in The Bahamas presents an excellent opportunity to try a variety of conch-inspired dishes. This includes conch salad, conch fritters, conch chowder, cracked conch, and more. Among the best islands to try conch in The Bahamas are New Providence (Nassau) and Great Exuma where you’ll be able to find many local restaurants serving this dish. If you’re looking to enjoy some conch during your vacation, read on for a complete guide on ways to eat conch, and the best places to enjoy it in The Bahamas!

Good to know: Just in case you need some help when ordering this dish, keep in mind that conch is pronounced simply as “konk”.


Getting to know conch

People who love conch really, really love it! That most certainly has to do with how tender the meat can be, and how versatile and tasty the dish itself is when cooked right. Before diving in any further, let's talk about what conch is and its cultural significance.

Fresh Conch Bahamas Food

Image credit: The Stock Photographer/Shutterstock.com


What is conch?

Conch is a marine mollusk that is indigenous to the warm waters of the Caribbean. Also considered a sea snail, this marine creature has cultural significance to the islands of The Bahamas in terms of cuisine. Conch has been harvested and cooked on these islands for generations, particularly the Queen Conch. While the conch meat is prepared and used in various dishes, conch shells are most commonly used to make jewelry. You’ll find beautiful conch-inspired jewelry at souvenir and gift shops around The Bahamas.

Is Bahamian conch sustainable?

When it comes to conch fishing in The Bahamas, overfishing has become a significant concern. The conch population has been impacted greatly as a result of excessive demand and unsustainable fishing practices. In fact, the species is said to be in danger of extinction. This is important to know when heading to The Bahamas particularly if you plan on consuming conch while there.

Extracting Conch Bahamas Food

Image credit: Paulharding00/Shutterstock.com

As conch remains in high demand, certain measures have been put in place relating to the harvesting of conch in The Bahamas. These safeguards focus on helping to ensure that conch is a sustainable resource. A seasonal period has been implemented for conch fishing and strict guidelines have been put in place to ensure only mature conchs are caught.

Most popular conch preparations

Conch meat certainly does have a unique taste and texture. Its texture can probably be most accurately described as firm and slightly chewy, with some saying that the white conch meat is comparable to calamari. While in The Bahamas, you’ll find conch being used in a variety of dishes. We’ve listed the most popular below:

  • Conch Salad: This dish is made with diced raw conch that is mixed with lime juice, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and salt. The lime juice slightly ‘cooks’ the conch and adds to the flavor. The ‘tropical’ version of this dish adds a touch of sweetness with diced pineapples and mangoes being added.

  • Grilled Conch: A great option if you’ll be trying conch for the first time, this is a simple dish where the conch meat is grilled with herbs and seasonings. Grilled conch can be quite delicious!

  • Conch Fritters: You might not be able to get enough of this deep-fried conch dish. They make excellent appetizers or snacks! Conch fritters look similar to hush puppies, but can vary in size. To make them, diced conch pieces are added to a batter, which is then dropped into hot oil and fried until golden brown. Fritters can be eaten alone or dunked into a tasty local dipping sauce.

  • Cracked Conch: Tenderized conch meat is breaded and fried for this dish. Cracked conch is typically served with french fries for lunch, but it may also be served with classic Bahamian side dishes like peas and rice, macaroni, and plantains.

  • Conch Chowder: Hearty and flavorful, this soup is made with conch, vegetables, and spices. Some of the ingredients of this seafood chowder include potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and other seasonings.

Bahamas Food Collage

Image credit: Jade Prevost Manuel/Shutterstock.com



The 4 best places to try conch in The Bahamas

There are many great places to try conch in The Bahamas. Whether you decide to go to one of the local beachside food shacks or a full-service restaurant that includes conch dishes on its menu, you’re sure to find something that appeals to you. Here are some of the best places to try conch in The Bahamas:

1. Arawak Cay

Arawak Cay is located near downtown Nassau. Of all the places to try conch in The Bahamas, this spot offers the most entertainment. At this location, you'll find several different restaurants in one place, food court style. The way that these restaurants are set up and the crowds they pull on certain days really also add to this experience, giving it a lively street party vibe.

Arawak Cay Bahamas Nassau

Image credit: Dee Browning/Shutterstock.com

Consider this more of an experience than just a food run. The Arawak Cay fish fry will allow you to be immersed in Bahamian culture, food, and entertainment. As you enjoy the music and socialize, you can try various conch dishes including savory conch fritters, conch salad, and cracked conch. Other items like grilled shrimp, crab, and lobster tails are popular here too.

Live bands sometimes make an appearance at Arawak Cay. On other days, the DJs are more than enough to keep the crowds entertained with hopping international tunes. Arawak Cay is affordable and the service is good, which is a big part of the reason it is such a popular place to eat or grab some drinks in The Bahamas.

Best restaurants at Arawak Cay to try conch:

  • Twin Brothers — This popular seafood establishment has some tasty dishes and is famous for its appetizers which include conch fritters, conch salad, and cracked conch.

  • Goldie’s Conch House — This spot focuses on serving up the most delicious conch dishes and delivers some really enticing options.

  • Frankie Gone Bananas — This is a lively bar and grill located near the beach. You can find popular conch items like conch fritters and conch salad here, as well as some delicious island-inspired cocktails.

Good to know: There’s lots to do around Arawak Cay including visiting some of the best beaches in Nassau. Before heading there, be sure to check out the operating hours of the various restaurants.

2. Scorpio’s Bar & Grill:

Scorpio’s Bar & Grill is popular with locals and tourists in The Bahamas. This restaurant has a casual atmosphere, good service, and breezy outdoor dining (optional). If you’re looking to try conch for the first time in The Bahamas or you just want to enjoy some well-made favorites, this is a great place to go. Located on Great Exuma, you can visit this restaurant on your quest to enjoy amazing seafood in The Bahamas.

If you’ll be staying in Great Exuma, you can visit this restaurant quite easily. Even if you’re not, you’ll still be able to dine here with a day trip or an overnight trip to the island. The menu here includes some of the popular conch dishes of The Bahamas, like conch fritters and conch salad. There are other conch-inspired options available as well and you can pair your meal with a chilled Kalik beer for the ultimate local experience.

3. Mckenzie’s Fresh Fish & Conch

Fresh catches are the order of the day at Mckenzie’s Fresh Fish & Conch in Nassau, Bahamas. This eatery is owned and operated by a local family who has caught and prepared their own conch and seafood for years. As such, this is the perfect place to go if you want an authentic Bahamian dining experience, especially one that includes well-made conch dishes.

The menu at Mckenzie’s Fresh Fish & Conch includes a range of conch-based items like conch fritters, cracked conch, conch salad, and conch chowder. A specialty item here is the tropical conch salad which includes mangoes and pineapples, as well as classic conch salad ingredients for a slightly sweeter flavor. All the conch dishes here are made fresh, and they're usually quite flavorful. If you’re not sure what to order, you can always ask the staff for help.

Mckenzie’s Fresh Fish & Conch is located on Potter’s Cay Dock under the Sidney Poitier Bridge. With outdoor seating available (beneath a covered patio), this establishment is ideal for guests looking for a casual and laid-back ambiance. Aside from the conch dishes, there are other casual bites available like fish and fries. Overall, the service here is pretty good and the atmosphere is relaxed and upbeat enough to encourage a repeat visit.

4. The Poop Deck

The Poop Deck is one of the best restaurants in Nassau. This is one of those Bahamian eateries where you’ll be able to find a range of conch-inspired dishes, including conch burgers. Everything on the menu is freshly prepared and seasoned to perfection. In addition to the tasty conch specialties, you'll find simple sides such as fries and coleslaw that you can include in your meal. A wide range of seafood classics are also available including grouper fingers, island shrimp, and grilled mahi mahi. Burgers and sandwiches, salads, pasta, and a meat lovers menu are also available here.

The Poop Deck is on East Bay Street, Nassau. Located next to the waterfront, this restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating with a low-key and relaxed ambiance. The service is attentive and accommodating to the point that staff will take the extra time to help you find the right dish. The drinks menu has much to offer as well. If you choose to dine at the Poop Deck, it is possible to have a table set up on the beach for dinner, but you may need to ask about this in advance.

Expert tip: There are lots of things to do in The Bahamas including visiting nearby islands like Paradise Island where there are more restaurants to explore and excursions and tours to head out on!


Other authentic Bahamian food to try

Want to expand your horizons and try some more Bahamian dishes during your vacation? Here are a couple of favorites that you can enjoy:

  • Macaroni: Traditional, island-inspired baked macaroni and cheese is a dish that most commonly includes shell or macaroni pasta and a cheese sauce made with cheddar cheese, evaporated milk, eggs, herbs, and other seasonings. Everything is then topped with grated cheddar cheese and baked until golden brown. This is one of the most popular side dishes in The Bahamas.

  • Guava Duff: For dessert in The Bahamas, it doesn’t get much more traditional than Guava Duff. This dish is made with grated guavas, flour, sugar, butter, and spices. All the ingredients are rolled into a log shape and then boiled in cheesecloth until well cooked. Guava Duff is typically served with a sweet rum sauce.

  • Johnny Cake: Johnny cake, also commonly referred to as “Johnny bread” in The Bahamas, is made with flour, baking powder, salt, milk, sugar, and shortening. This pastry is most often served at breakfast time or as a side dish. Try it with cheddar cheese!

Bahamas Collage Food

Image credit: Paul_Brighton/Shutterstock.com



A timeless delicacy: Embrace the flavors of Bahamas conch

Bahamas conch can certainly be worth trying during your getaway. From conch fritters to conch burgers, there are many ways to enjoy this ingredient. What makes it even better is that in the places where you can purchase conch dishes, you’ll also get to experience the friendly and welcoming nature of the Bahamian locals, which can really add something special to your vacation.

Conch fritters conch salad punch Bahamas

Image credit: MevZup/Shutterstock.com

The warmth and friendliness of Bahamian islanders also filter down to the staff at some of the all-inclusive resorts in The Bahamas. That alone is a huge part of the reason all-inclusive vacations are so popular in this region! At the all-inclusive Royal Bahamian resort, you can enjoy loads of quality inclusions, such as multiple world-class restaurants, day and night entertainment for couples, land and water sports, bars including swim-up bars, and so much more.

Furthermore, resort staff love to help, and they’ll be glad to point you in the direction of the best conch spots in The Bahamas!

Expert tip: Want to get your Bahamas exploration going? Start with this Nassau Bahamas guide. Our lists of things to do in Nassau and things to do in Exuma are sure to keep you busy throughout your vacation!


Cancun vs The Bahamas: Which Island is Best for You?

The Islands
February 27th 2023
Cancun vs The Bahamas: Which Island is Best for You?
Photo credit: icemanphotos/Shutterstock.com

Cancun and The Bahamas are incredible destinations, both with vibrant cultures, friendly people, unique landscapes, and so much to discover. Both of these are Caribbean destinations. Cancun is most known for its rainforests, mountains, and white sand beaches, and The Bahamas is a crowd favorite thanks to its pink and white sand beaches, endless islands to explore, great diving opportunities, and awesome all-inclusive resorts like Sandals Emerald Bay in The Exumas and Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau.

Sandals-Emerald-Bay

If you’re caught between these two worlds and you’re trying to decide which destination will be best for your next getaway, have no fear. By the end of this article, you’ll know more than enough to help you make the best destination decision for the ultimate vacation!

In this article on the Sandals blog, we compare The Bahamas vs Cancun on:

Activities
Beaches
Snorkeling/ scuba diving
Fishing
Tours & excursions
Shopping
Nightlife
Casinos

Historical points of interest
Landscape & climate
Peak season
Local people
Culture
Language
Food
Music
Where to stay
Transportation
Currency & economy
Safety


Activities: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

Relaxing on the beach

Beaches in The Bahamas

The Bahamas makes for the ideal beach escape with more than 2,000 beaches to choose from. These beaches are spread across the chain of 700 islands and over 2000 cays that make up this coral archipelago. There is a beach to suit just about every mood- relaxation time, adventure, and exploration.

Cable-Beach

The soft white sand of Cable Beach in Nassau is popular with people who want to relax or spend the day trying out new water sports (martini sipping is optional). The Bahamas is home to some of the few pink sand beaches in the world, and one such beach, aptly named Pink Sand Beach, stretches three miles along Harbour Island. Other incredible beaches include Rose Island Beach, Gold Rock Beach on Grand Bahama Island, and Tropic of Cancer Beach in Little Exuma.


Expert tip: We’ve got the scoop on the best beaches in The Bahamas! Find out which of these many shorelines are total must-sees.



Beaches in Cancun

Puerto-Morelos-beach

Photo credit: lunamarina/Shutterstock.com

The beaches in Cancun each offer a unique atmosphere that will suit the experience and adventures that you seek. If you’re looking for some downtime and a sun tan, Playa Defines is the place to be! The strong currents will encourage you to stay on shore and get some Vitamin D while relaxing and sampling local food and drinks. If you’re up for an adventure, then the Puerto Morelos beach in the South of Cancun gives you access to the Mesoamerican Coral Reef - the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere.



Snorkeling/Scuba diving: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

Snorkeling and scuba diving in The Bahamas

When it comes to diving in The Bahamas, you may be wondering what you might encounter beneath the waves. There is just so much to see in the waters around The Bahamas, and there are so many locations to dive! This is definitely one of those diving destinations where you’re going to need a solid plan to stay on track. Make up your mind about which of the incredible dive sites you want to explore first, and you’ll be well on your way.

diving-in-The-Bahamas

Photo credit: nicolasvoisin44/Shutterstock.com


Some divers prefer to start in Nassau (the capital), with dive sites like Runway Wall, the James Bond Wrecks, and Bahama Mama. From Nassau, it’s easy to make your way to the other islands like Eleuthera where you can dive at Current Cut, Grand Bahama with the popular Tiger Beach, Bimini’s Victory Reef, or the Andros Barrier Reef in Andros. Snorkelers and scuba divers will both be happy in The Bahamas for the wide range of spectacular dive excursions to choose from, suitable for all dive levels.

Insider tip: Snorkeling and scuba diving are among the inclusions of Sandals and Beaches Resorts in the Caribbean. Check out these great scuba diving sites in The Bahamas and snorkeling spots in The Bahamas before you travel!



Snorkeling and scuba diving in Cancun

Diving introduces you to a whole new way to see the world. In Cancun, you can snorkel or scuba dive in places like Isla Mujeres, which is a perfect day trip. This is best reserved for the months of June through to September and is ideal for divers who won’t be intimidated by big sightings – like whale sharks. There are many types of reef fish to see, and dolphins can often be found swimming a little further off. Lobsters and eagle rays are also common sightings, and you may spot various species of sea turtles, sailfish, lobsters, and maybe even nurse sharks.

scuba-diving-in-Cancun

Photo credit: Michael Bogner/Shutterstock.com

Some of the best diving spots in Cancun include the MUSA Underwater Museum which features some interesting sculptures you won’t have to dive too deep to see: Minesweeper Wreck, Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park, The National Reef Park of Puerto Morelos, The Cave of Sleeping Sharks, and Xel-ha eco-park.



Fishing: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

Fishing in The Bahamas

Fishing-in-The-Bahamas

Big game fishing is popular in The Bahamas where fishermen can catch huge fish lurking in the waters such as blue marlin or yellowfin tuna. A visit to The Bahamas during spring or early summer can get you a catch of either of these fish and sometimes even the popular sailfish. Flat fishing is a possibility too, and you can try to catch the elusive bonefish that are known to swim as fast as 40 miles per hour at the first sign of trouble!

Expert tip: While Andros, Bahamas is known as the Bonefishing Capital of the World, there are lots of awesome places to go bonefishing in The Bahamas, including Exuma and Nassau. Fishing in Nassau, especially, could be the highlight of your stay in The Bahamas!



Fishing in Cancun

Fishing-in-Cancun

Photo credit: Okyela/Shutterstock.com

Fishing in Cancun is an adventure just about everyone can enjoy, whether you are an experienced fisherman or not. Fishing takes place throughout the year! From winter up until July, you can catch sailfish that have migrated to Cancun during the cold season. Marlin is also a popular catch, and you can engage in deep-sea, sport, or big game fishing. Consider shared charters with companies such as Aquaworld, where everyone on board gets a try. Private charters are available too, where you can rent a boat for the day and enjoy a cold beer as the boat traverses the waters in search of barracuda, tarpon, snapper, and more amazing catches!



Tours & excursions: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

Popular tours in The Bahamas

Island-hopping

Island-hopping in The Bahamas is a must if you want to experience all this territory has to offer. Even if you choose to stick to one island, you’re sure to find a ton of fun things to do in The Bahamas. Here are a few of the best experiences available:


Swimming with pigs (Big Major Cay, Exuma)

Swim-with-pig

A boat tour through the Exuma Cays can lead to a full day of adventure in The Bahamas. You might have the chance to feed the iguanas, swim with the stingrays, and hunt for starfish. Other notable animal experiences in these cays include the Swimming Pigs. These “Beach Babes” of Big Major Cay are adorable, photogenic, and love attention from humans.

Insider tip: Guests of Sandals Royal Bahamas and Sandals Emerald Bay can book tours and excursions right from their resort - transportation is included!



Snorkeling the offshore reefs

Snorkeling

On the southwestern coast of New Providence in The Bahamas lies Adelaide Beach, one of the best snorkeling sites in The Bahamas. It’s quite easy to get to as well, whether you are walking, driving, or catching the bus. If you visit during the week, you’ll probably have it all to yourself to explore the waters and marine life. Love Beach also has a lovely reef just off the coast of western New Providence. For guided snorkeling tours, Island Routes is a great option!


Primeval Forest National Park

All lovers of nature ought to visit the Primeval Forest National Park in New Providence, Bahamas. Seven and a half acres of land lie peaceful and untouched with a range of flora and fauna as far as the eye can see. This park is well known as a hardwood forest where hemlocks, pines, and mosses can be found. The park is usually open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., but call to find out if you’re unsure whether the park will be open on a particular day.


Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (Eleuthera)

Native-Plant-Preserve

This national park is the first of its kind in Eleuthera and can be found in the Governor’s Harbour in the center of the island. Its 25 acres are protected by The Bahamas National Trust which safeguards its rich vegetation and historical, medicinal plants. A tour of the Mangrove Boardwalk takes you through this unique area while the Coppice Trail lets you see all the butterflies and birds that live there. You’ll need to book in advance if you want a guided tour of this plant preserve.


The Glass Window Bridge (Eleuthera)

Glass-Window-Bridge

Photo credit: BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock.com

This spectacular body of water is truly a magnificent wonder of nature that leaves many in awe of the contrasting colors of the waters. This Glass Window Bridge is often called “the narrowest place on Earth” where a long strip of rock with a width of only 30 feet, separates two bodies of water. On one side are the turquoise waters of the Bight of Eleuthera and, on the other the dark blues of the Atlantic Ocean.



Popular tours in Cancun

The Mayans were some of the early settlers in Cancun and their developments and artifacts have created a rich history on this island. Here are a few places you can visit and some activities worth trying out in Cancun:


ATV Tours

Riding an ATV around this Mexican city will grant you an opportunity to explore the mangroves, grasslands, and white sandy beaches along the way. Some tours offer to pick you up and drop you off at your hotel and provide refreshments to keep you going.


Chichen Itza, Ik Kil Cenote & Valladolid

Ik-Kil-Cenote

Photo credit: ecstk22/Shutterstock.com

This tour will take you to Chichen Itza, the famous Mayan site where the Kukulcan pyramid can be found. The Valladolid is an old Mayan city, and Chichen Itza is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ik Kil Cenote, a lovely natural sinkhole, can also be found near Chichen Itza.

Reef and shipwreck snorkeling tours

cancun-underwater-statues

Photo credit: Rob Atherton/Shutterstock.com

A reef and shipwreck snorkel tour can be a fun way of exploring the wonders of the ocean whilst vacationing in Cancun. A trained guide will take you and your friends to some of the best sites and underwater statues, and expose you to the most vibrant coral reef. These tours are usually suitable for all ages.

El Rey Ruins

El-Rey-Ruins

Photo credit: Dmitry Eagle Orlov/Shutterstock.com

The El Rey ruins once served as the hotspot for maritime trade in Cancun, back in 1200 AD. In the present day, these ruins are popular among visitors looking for a quick tour that is easily accessible.

Swim with whale sharks

Whale sharks are gentle creatures that roam the waters of the ocean, feeding on small marine animals and mollusks. A knowledgeable trainer can tell you all about these harmless animals before you dip into the water to snorkel and swim alongside them in their natural habitat.




Shopping: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

Shopping in The Bahamas

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A visit to the Nassau Straw Market is a must when visiting The Bahamas. The local vendors take pride in the variety of crafts, pottery, and jewelry on sale - some of which is made with the native botanical plant, agave sisalana (sisal). The vibrant colors and authenticity of this market make for an exciting experience in and of itself, and the vendors are often willing to negotiate as well. The Bahamas Craft Center offers some more goodies, while Marina Village on Paradise Island has souvenirs, designer boutiques, restaurants, and live entertainment.


Shopping in Cancun

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The Hotel Zone in Cancun is home to La Isla Shopping Village and Kukulcan Plaza - two of the most popular malls on the island. There are lots of boutiques and stores as well as handmade Mexican crafts in malls such as Plaza Caracol. The flea market downtown also has lots of great deals on items and souvenirs, and you can find high-end designer stores on Luxury Avenue.



The nightlife: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

The Bahamas nightlife

Though its beaches are quite popular, The Bahamas also has several nightclubs and bars in Freeport and Nassau that make for a fun night out on the town. One of the more popular options is Bond Nightclub, a classy but lively club where you’ll fit right in if you’re dressed to the nines. Aura Nightclub is also a great clubbing option if you desire a little more luxury - a glass dance floor, two bars, and a VIP section. The Skybar at Cable Beach offers a unique rooftop lounge experience where you’ll have an awesome view of the big lights in this little city.

Cancun nightlife

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Coco Bongo and the City and Mandala are among the popular nightlife entertainment options in Cancun where both locals and visitors like to party the night away. If you’d like VIP service, you can always reserve a table but the open bar option is cost-effective and more liberating. Carlos N Charlie is pretty exciting too with the best DJs, live bands, and a salsa special on Tuesdays and Fridays.



Casinos: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

Casinos in The Bahamas

Though locals are prohibited from gambling, you are welcome to try your hand at any of the tables and machines. Atlantis Casino on Paradise Island has over 119 tables with games such as Roulette and Poker. It’s open 24/7 and is one of the largest casinos in the Caribbean. Meanwhile, the Baha Mar Casino in Cable prides itself on being the “largest upscale casino in The Bahamas,” and has 18 types of table games and more than one thousand slot machines.

Casinos in Cancun

Games such as Baccarat, Roulette, Holdem, and Craps are popular games played at many casinos in Cancun. Red Casino at Grand Oasis Cancun is the only one of its kind to be located within a resort and horse racing and sports book betting is popular here. Casino Palace Cancun has a games room and televised sporting shows whilst the Dubai Palace Casino has more than 450 slot machines.



Historical points of interest: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

Landmarks/historical sites in The Bahamas

Three historical forts

Fort-Montagu

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Evidence of The Bahamas’ history as a British colony can be found in the colonial-style forts in New Providence: Fort Montagu, Fort Charlotte, and Fort Fincastle. These were built in the 1700s and tours of these sites capture the island’s history. Fort Charlotte dates back to 1788 and includes moats and dungeons. Fort Fincastle is a 1793 stone fort and lighthouse, while Fort Montagu dates back to 1741 – guided tours are available at these historic locations.

Parliament Square (Downtown Nassau)

In 1815, Parliament Square was built to resemble some of the most impressive infrastructure found in North Carolina at the time. These pink-colored buildings now house official government venues, such as the House of Assembly where officials meet. Since 1921, the Supreme Court has also been housed here.

The Queen’s Staircase in Nassau

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The Queen’s Staircase refers to the 66 steps that lead up to the historical 1793 Fort Fincastle. These limestone steps serve as a grand entrance to the fort and are named in honor of the late Queen Victoria of England. Construction took place in the late 18th century and was a tedious process, taking more than a year to complete.

Cloisters and Versailles Gardens on Paradise Island

Versailles-Gardens

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The Cloisters and Versailles Gardens can be found on Paradise Island in Nassau. This large garden extends about 75 feet and it is located near Nassau Harbor. Stone steps, marble statues, and the sweet smells of bougainvillea, hibiscus, and other fragrant flowers can be found in this beautiful garden. This definitely can be a romantic experience, with lots of photo ops!

Government House in Nassau

In 1737, the Government House was built in Nassau on a 10-acre estate on Mount Fitzwilliam Hill. Today, it serves as the official residence of the Governor General of The Bahamas. Tours of this historic building are available at pre-scheduled times – while there, take some time to scope the Nassau Harbor from this vantage point.

Christ Church Cathedral in Nassau

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The 17th-century Christ Church Cathedral is known as the oldest church in The Bahamas. It is regarded as the “mother” of all Anglican churches. Throughout the years it has gone through many changes having been destroyed, rebuilt, and extended. In fact, the 1900s was the era when several restorations took place and this church can now be found on George Street in Nassau.



Landmarks/historical sites in Cancun

The Maya Museum

Maya-Museum

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Any visitor who yearns to learn more about Cancun should stop by The Maya Museum to take a look at the hundreds of Mayan artifacts kept as a way of preserving this crucial historical time. These include jewelry, ceramics, and sculptures of the Mayan people as well as skeletal remains from 14,000 years ago. There are architectural and art exhibits, and you can stop by the San Miguelito archeological site located nearby.

El Meco

El-Meco

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To the north of Cancun lies the El Meco archeological site in the Bay of Isla Mujeres, which is just about seven kilometers from the hotel area. At a height of 40 feet (12 meters), the El Castillo pyramids in El Meco have the highest structure of its kind in the northern peninsula and it is believed to have been used for maritime navigation since it was first occupied in 200 AD. A climb to the top of the El Castillo site offers an aerial view of the Caribbean Sea.

San Miguelito and El Rey

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Kukulkan Boulevard separates San Miguelito and El Rey, two sites that were once connected a long time ago. San Miguelito was an agricultural and fishing area with four specific areas, known as the North Complex, Dragon Complex, the Chaak Palace, and South Complex, with the last two being the most well-preserved.

Ek’ Balam

The word Ek’ Balam means “black jaguar” in Mayan and refers to the city which existed from 600 BC to 1600 AD and measures 15 square kilometers. Since 1997, these ruins have been preserved so well that there are 40 or so buildings ready for you to explore.

Uxmal

Uxmal

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The Pyramid of the Magician, which serves as the tallest building of the Uxmal ruins, was built on other pyramids which already existed. Due to this, the site has been named Uxmal which means “thrice built”. This ancient city is believed to have been inhabited by about 20,000 Mayans.



Landscape & climate: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

The landscape & climate of The Bahamas

The Bahamas is a tropical archipelago that includes 700 islands and more than 2,000 cays. Most of these islands are not as developed as the capital, Nassau, but many are still major tourist attractions and are preserved by the Bahamian government. Though The Bahamas is very well preserved and green in general, on the more developed islands the infrastructure is quite advanced in comparison to some Caribbean islands.

The topography of The Bahamas is rather flat, so you won’t find much in terms of waterfalls and rolling hills. The territory does however have a number of interesting limestone cave systems, some of the deepest blue holes in the world, and beautiful woodlands.

Expert tip: The Bahamas is warm and beautiful year-round. Check out our articles on the best time to visit The Bahamas for more on the temperature, weather, and activities available at different times of the year.



The landscape & climate of Cancun

Cancun is located on the northeast point of the Yucatan Peninsula, 350 miles southeast of Miami, Florida. Cancun is a tropical region with predominantly flat terrain, and many limestone caves.



Peak season: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

The Bahamas

In The Bahamas, the peak season occurs during the months of December to April. During this time, temperatures range from 63°F- 82°F, making it the perfect time to escape from colder climates. Even if you can’t make it to the islands during this time, The Bahamas is amazing to visit year-round.

Cancun

The peak season in Cancun begins in November and, like many Caribbean islands, ends in April, which is about the end of winter in the United States. There’s also another peak during spring break around Easter.



Local people: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

The people of The Bahamas

People from The Bahamas are known as Bahamians. Bahamians are generally friendly, and laid-back. The Bahamas has a colorful colonial history. About 91 percent of the population is Afro-Caribbean, and English is the main language spoken in the country.

The people of Cancun

People who hail from Cancun are known as Cancunenses. They are known as lively, amicable people. Around 90 percent of the population speaks Spanish, with a small percentage being fluent in regional dialects. English is also widely spoken.



Culture: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

Culture of The Bahamas

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The majority of Bahamian residents are of African descent and they continue to practice the cultural traditions of their ancestors, which can be seen particularly in celebrations like Junkanoo - the national carnival. Junkanoo is a festival where people adorn themselves with costumes and dance and sing to music as they parade the streets. This festival is the perfect depiction of the laid-back nature of the island’s people, and just how much they appreciate and are willing to share their own culture.

Culture of Cancun

Cancun-Culture

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Mexico is well regarded for its rich culture, and its cities such as Cancun are no different. Centuries ago, the Mayans occupied this island and left their landmarks, which still remain proof of their brilliance, advancements, and interesting culture.



The language: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

The language of The Bahamas

English is the official language of The Bahamas. Many people in The Bahamas also speak Haitian Creole or a Bahamian dialect that includes African elements.

The language of Cancun

Spanish is the language most widely spoken in Cancun, much like Mexico in general. Many tourism workers also speak English. Mayan is another common language, particularly with the indigenous population. Many people will converse with visitors in English and then converse between themselves in their native tongues of Spanish and Mayan.



The food: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

The options are endless for unique dishes in both Cancun and The Bahamas. What you’ll really have to decide on before heading to either of these destinations is whether you prefer Spanish food or the heartwarming flavors of the Caribbean.

Popular food in The Bahamas

The Bahamas is great if you want to try classic Caribbean food, but even with the similarity of cooking styles in the islands, the food scene in The Bahamas has an identity of its own. Some of the commonly used ingredients in Bahamian cuisine include guava, rock lobster, and conch. There are hints of cooking flair from the American South in the seasonings and some of the side dishes, such as grits. Other dishes like fresh seafood, fried fish and chicken, and peas n’ rice are common to the Caribbean and complement some of the more original Bahamian dishes.

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Popular menu items in The Bahamas include minced lobster, conch dishes (conch salad, conch fritters, cracked conch, conch chowder), baked macaroni and cheese, steamed/baked chicken, and beverages like Switcha (Bahamian lemonade), Sky Juice (a cocktail with coconut water, gin, and condensed milk), or a local Caribbean beer like Kalik or Sands.



Popular food in Cancun

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Popular dishes in Cancun include Marquesitas (crispy crepe rolled up and filled with melted shredded cheese and a sweet filling), castacan (fried pork belly), panuchos (tortilla shell stuffed with refried beans with added toppings), salbutes (similar but less crispy than panuchos and also with no refried beans), sikil pak (Mayan pumpkin seed dip), tacos de Cochinita Pibil (slow-roasted pork dish), sopa de lima (lime soup), drinks like pozol (highly energizing), the Banana Monkey (coffee liquor, chocolate, banana, and coconut), Michelada beer, and so much more. There’s definitely no short supply of things to try in Cancun, which is great for adventurous travelers.



The music: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

The music of The Bahamas

Bahamas-Music

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Soca and calypso are popular in The Bahamas, especially around the time of carnival which is observed annually in May. Other popular threads include the traditional ‘rake and scrape’ music originating from Cat Island. Concertinas, Goombay drums, and a handsaw are typical features of this genre, which usually features instrumental tunes. While on vacation in The Bahamas, you’ll find that American culture has also influenced the music there in recent times. Famous musicians from The Bahamas include The Baha Men, Ronnie Butler, and Kirkland Bodie (KB).

The music of Cancun

Cancun is an entertainment center in Mexico where lots of famous artists perform and live. Celebrities such as Marc Anthony, Lusi Miguel, and Usher have performed in Cancun over the years. Locally, the music here has Mexican flair, but international hits are also popular on the entertainment scene.


Where to stay: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

Where to stay in The Bahamas

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Islands in The Bahamas including New Providence Island (Nassau), Paradise Island, Abaco, the Exumas, Eleuthera, and Harbour Island are popular choices for you to The Bahamas. Sandals Emerald Bay in the Exumas is a great all-inclusive option, which includes an award-winning Greg Norman's Championship golf course. This resort is set on the beachfront with water sports and land sports galore - all included in your stay. In Nassau, Sandals Royal Bahamian is a dream for couples who want the royal treatment, and a chance to explore a private island as part of their all-inclusive vacation!

Where to stay in Cancun

It’s a good idea to stay in Zona Hotelera if you’re interested in being near the beach in Cancun. This area is also a good place to find luxury and all-inclusive hotels. Budget travelers will prefer the Cancun Downtown / El Centro area. Punta Cancun is a good nightlife option and Isla Mujeres is great for families.



Transportation: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

Transportation in The Bahamas

In The Bahamas, it’ll be easy to get around on a “jitney”, which is the Bahamian term for the local bus. Jitneys cost $1.25-2 (Bahamian or U.S.). You can choose to take either a jitney or a cab from the main airports, which includes the Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) in Nassau and Freeport’s Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO), to your place of accommodation. Guests staying at Sandals resorts in The Bahamas don’t have to worry about this, of course, as roundtrip airport transfers are included in their all-inclusive package. Fare-wise, you’ll pay around $32 USD from the airport to downtown Nassau, $22 USD to Cable Beach, and $38 USD to Paradise Island.

Transportation in Cancun

You’ll be able to get around Cancun fairly easily by bus. You’ll pay around 12 Mexican pesos (about 60 cents) for a one-way trip. The bus is a lot cheaper than getting a taxi. When hiring a taxi, the general rule in Cancun is to choose your taxi and don’t let this work the other way around. You can identify a government-certified taxi as these will have a license with a picture of the driver and the taxi number on display inside. Usually, taxis of this type have meters, which unfortunately don’t always work. Make sure the price of your ride is determined before getting in.



Currency & economy: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

Currency & economy in The Bahamas

The Bahamian dollar (BSD) maintains a steady 1:1 exchange rate with the USD, but the latter is still a widely accepted currency in the islands. The Bahamian economy runs mostly on tourism and offshore banking, and it is the richest country in the West Indies. Though this is a high-end destination, you may still encounter street peddlers. You don’t need to feel intimidated - if you’re not interested in what they’re selling, a firm “no, thank you” will suffice.

Currency & economy in Cancun

The currency exchange rate between Mexican Pesos and USD is about 21.5:1, but the exchange rates can go up and down over time. USD is widely accepted in Cancun, though it is advisable to convert some of your money into the local currency before going out shopping, exploring, or on excursions as this can cause your funds to stretch a bit more. This is because the rule of thumb exchange rates used at various vendors and stores may vary.



Safety: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

Safety in The Bahamas

The Bahamas is a tourist-oriented destination, and many people have shared positive experiences of their vacations on the islands. Travelers can feel safe leaving their resorts in The Bahamas, as the islands’ government pays special attention to the safety of both its visitors and its residents. When Downtown (Nassau) and in more populated areas, you’ll notice a visible police presence while you go about your explorations. Like in any other destination, avoid going out into secluded areas alone.

Safety in Cancun

Cancun is one of the most sought-after destinations in Mexico. Of course, you should always exercise caution within the confines of your accommodations, as well as out in the city. There have also been reports of people becoming sick after consuming contaminated alcohol in Cancun’s Hotel Zone. As this is a popular destination, it’s certainly something visitors should be aware of.



The Bahamas vs. Cancun: Now you can decide for yourself!

There’s nothing like a vacation in the tropics to help you relax, unwind, and live your best life. With so many islands to visit in the Caribbean alone, it can be difficult to decide where exactly you want to go. The Bahamas and Cancun are close enough to the U.S. that you can avoid a long flight, but the differences between these destinations may have you wondering which is better for your vacation plans.

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Cancun is a nice vacation gateway that stands out due to its culture and landmarks. However, there are few beach destinations that can compare to The Bahamas. The territory’s simply out-of-this-world beaches are waiting to be savored, and there are far more adventurous experiences to enjoy thanks to its multitude of islands. Both areas have a lot to offer to foodies, whether you’re in the mood for Spanish food or Caribbean cuisine.

The Bahamas eases ahead of Cancun when it comes to phenomenal accommodation options. All-inclusive resorts like Sandals offer a luxurious experience where you will have everything you need all in one place. The unlimited food, drinks, and entertainment in your all-inclusive vacation package will certainly take your Caribbean getaway to the next level!




Escape to Love Beach: Where Serenity Meets Adventure in Nassau, Bahamas

Island Life
March 7th 2023
Escape to Love Beach: Where Serenity Meets Adventure in Nassau, Bahamas
Cover image credit: murkalor/Shutterstock.com

With amazing opportunities to dive in the clearest waters and lounge on powdery white sands, The Bahamas certainly is a beach lover’s dream. Made up of 700 islands and hundreds more cays, you really can have it all in The Bahamas when it comes to a beach vacation with island hopping included!

Among the amazing beaches of The Bahamas, Love Beach stands out for more reasons than one. This beach is located in Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas on the island of New Providence. Love Beach tends to be less crowded than some of the other popular beaches in this territory which can be great news for beachgoers. It is rare to find a beach this beautiful that isn’t overcrowded, so we definitely say make the most of it while in The Bahamas. If you’re planning on visiting this beach during your vacation, here are some travel tips and what to expect!


About Love Beach

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Secluded relaxation is definitely something to look forward to at Love Beach in Nassau. This beach is about a mile long, and it is on the northwestern coast of The Bahamas. Since it is typically less crowded than some of the other popular beaches on New Providence Island, you can truly find an oasis here that will likely be everything you envisioned an island beach to be.

There are no public facilities on Love Beach, but there are some nearby hotels and resorts like the Compass Point Beach Resort. Some beachgoers, including cruise ship passengers, choose to take a day pass at resorts in this area to have access to sun loungers, swimming pools, restaurants, and bars during a visit here. It is free to visit Love Beach, but if you opt for a day pass, there is a price attached to that which will depend on the hotel or resort.

Sometimes you can rent a beach chair and umbrella on this beach for around $10 USD. Otherwise, you may have to just find a shady spot beneath the trees to relax. In terms of the swimming conditions, some areas on Love Beach are a bit rocky when you get into the water, while others have sandy bottoms that are conducive for swimming. If you find the right spot on this beach, you can have a wonderful beach day.

Good to know: There is no public parking lot at Love Beach either which is something to keep in mind if you will be renting a car.



Where is Love Beach in The Bahamas and how to get there



Love Beach in The Bahamas is located on the northwestern coast of New Providence. This gorgeous white sand beach is just off West Bay Street and it is not difficult to find. It can take 20-30 minutes to get to Love Beach from the Nassau Cruise Port depending on the traffic. If you are staying in Nassau or just getting to the beach from this area, you can either take a taxi or rent a car to get to Love Beach. There is a taxi service available from downtown Nassau, or you can arrange a taxi through your resort. The best option is to make taxi plans through your resort.

When headed to Love Beach, you’ll need to factor in the time it will take to park and walk to the beach as there isn’t public parking on the beach. If you'll be staying near the beach, the best option will be to either walk or take a shuttle. From downtown Nassau, you will be able to take a jitney (local bus) to the Love Beach area — this is the least costly option. A jitney ride costs around $1.50 USD in The Bahamas. Jitneys operate approximately every half an hour until 5 p.m. Weekend service on the public buses in The Bahamas is more unpredictable, but still possible.

Expert tip: If you will be traveling to Love Beach via public transportation, be sure to let the driver know where you're going, so he can drop you off at the closest possible point to the beach. You can ask the driver to point you in the right direction when you get to your stop.



Things to do at Love Beach

The Bahamas is filled with amazing beaches and Love Beach is included on that list. There’s plenty to do at Love Beach including these exciting activities:

Snorkeling at Love Beach

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Image credit: Denis Moskvinov/Shutterstock.com

Snorkeling in The Bahamas is bound to be an incredible experience as this territory is one of the best places to dive in the world. Just about a mile offshore from Love Beach, there are roughly 39 acres of coral reefs that divers and snorkelers can explore. The reef runs parallel to the shore and divers can expect to see a variety of sea life including striped parrotfish, queen and gray angelfish, bi-color damselfish, gray and yellowtail snapper, reef butterflyfish, and more.

As Love Beach has crystal clear waters and great visibility, this is a great place to go snorkeling in The Bahamas. While diving here, you're likely to see a variety of tropical fish and other unique sea life. If you’ll be visiting Love Beach as part of a tour that includes snorkeling, you likely won’t have to worry about bringing any gear. If you go to this beach on your own, you may want to bring your own snorkeling equipment.

Insider tip: Don’t have snorkeling gear? Not a problem! Land and water sports are included for Sandals guests and this extends to snorkeling and scuba diving (up to 2 tanks per day). There’s a wide range of other water sports available at Sandals Resorts in The Bahamas that travelers might want to look into as well.



Enjoy a Bahamian lunch

Seafood

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The Caribbean is renowned for its delicious cuisine, with each island offering its own unique specialties. The Bahamas is no exception, and food lovers can look forward to indulging in local delights during their vacation. For the best places to sample authentic Bahamian cuisine, local spots like Nirvana Beach Bar are a great place to start. Nirvana Beach Bar offers a delectable selection of Caribbean seafood, cocktails, and refreshing drinks. Some of the must-try dishes include cracked conch and red snapper. Prices for lunch range from $15-20 USD, and cash is the only accepted form of payment. To add to the tropical atmosphere, visitors can enjoy lively island music while dining at Nirvana Beach Bar.



Plane spotting

Bahamas-Planes

Image credit: EAKARAT BUANOI/Shutterstock.com

Love Beach offers a unique activity for plane enthusiasts, as Lynden Pindling International Airport is located just a short distance away. While lounging on the beach, you can observe planes flying quite low over the area, which can be quite exciting. Settle in on a hammock, beach lounger, or towel, and see how many planes you can spot during your visit. For those seeking a quieter experience at Love Beach, the western section of the beach offers a more peaceful atmosphere to relax and unwind.




Other excursions in Nassau, Bahamas

In addition to the enjoyable activities at Love Beach, there are many other exciting excursions to try in The Bahamas. Here are some of the activities that we enjoy most on the islands:



Go beach hopping

Go-beach-hopping

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As The Bahamas has a seemingly never-ending stream of beautiful beaches, beach hopping is a definite possibility here. Aside from Love Beach, some of the most popular beaches in this territory include Junkanoo Beach, Cabbage Beach, Cable Beach, Jaws Beach, and others. Junkanoo Beach is about a 15-minute walk from Nassau Harbour and it is loved by locals and visitors alike. The tranquil Jaws Beach is to the west of Nassau and offers a chance to see old shipwrecks, bathe in crystal blue waters, and even see some of the locations where movie scenes were filmed in The Bahamas, such as JAWS: The Revenge.

Both of these options can be included on a beach-hopping adventure in The Bahamas. You can also pencil in a visit to Cable Beach if you’re looking for a more social beach experience. Cable Beach is quite popular, so it tends to be a bit crowded in places. This beach is about an 11-minute drive from West Bay Street, Nassau. Other than these options, you’ll find lots of amazing beaches all over The Bahamas, including on the nearby Paradise Island which is connected to New Providence by a bridge.

Good to know: Cable Beach is located in an area with lots of luxury all-inclusive Bahamas resorts, golf courses, water sports, and nightlife. Going to this beach is sure to be a fun and convenient experience for couples.



Taste the high-roller lifestyle at a casino

Casino

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Want to live like a high-roller, at least for a moment? If so, you’ll definitely want to visit at least one of the casinos in The Bahamas. One of the best options for a casino night in The Bahamas is the Baha Mar Casino in Nassau, which is one of the largest casinos in the Caribbean. This casino is open 24/7 and it has over 119 table games and more than 1000 slot machines.

Another casino option you might enjoy is the Atlantis Casino which has upwards of 700 slot machines and about 85 game tables. Atlantis Casino is located on Paradise Island and is part of the Atlantis Resort. A casino night on either New Providence or Paradise Island can be fun whether you choose to gamble or not. One thing’s for certain, you sure will feel like a million bucks walking into any of these glitzy island casinos!



Reserve an upscale dinner slot

The Bahamas is home to a plethora of upscale dining options that offer a truly elevated culinary experience. On New Providence in particular, you'll find a variety of lavish restaurants that serve up delectable dishes in opulent settings. For a taste of gourmet Caribbean fare, the Pink Octopus Restaurant in the southeastern Nassau neighborhood of Palm Cay is a must-visit. Their menu features locally sourced ingredients, many of which have a Mediterranean influence.

Along with its fine dining selections, the restaurant also offers a variety of quality wines and unique cocktails. As it is near the water, the Pink Octopus is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner with a stunning ocean view. Keep in mind that prices at this restaurant can range from $100-200 USD per dinner.




When is the best time to visit The Bahamas?

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The best time to visit The Bahamas is between the months of mid-December to mid-April. This is the peak season for this territory, much like many other Caribbean islands. The Bahamas is known for having warm temperatures year-round, so this means that despite the popularity of the high season, it is possible to have a great vacation in The Bahamas year-round.

Aside from the high season, the second best time to travel to The Bahamas is during the shoulder season which is from mid-April to June. You can expect slightly less visitor traffic on the island around this time, and might even be able to get more moderately priced flights. The low season in The Bahamas lasts from June to November.




Where to stay in Nassau

Nassau is the capital of The Bahamas and is the hub of pretty much everything in this territory. Staying in Nassau means that you’ll have quick and easy access to the best restaurants, bars, resorts, beaches, and entertainment. If you’ll be vacationing in Nassau, you won’t have a hard time finding accommodations as there are quite a few resorts in this area including the all-inclusive Sandals Royal Bahamian.

Sandals Royal Bahamian is perfect for couples looking to enjoy a resort vacation near a beach that includes thrilling water sports as well as great food. This resort is always a good time with day and night entertainment that includes themed parties. The staff at Sandals Royal Bahamian can be a great help when it comes to pointing out the best things to do in Nassau during your vacation!

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Good to know: Sandals Resorts has one resort in Nassau, Sandals Royal Bahamian, and one resort in the Exumas, Sandals Emerald Bay. If you want to learn more about these two great all-inclusive resorts in The Bahamas, check out our article on Sandals Royal Bahamian vs Sandals Emerald Bay.




Love Beach FAQs:

Is Love Beach worth visiting?

Love Beach is most certainly worth visiting while in The Bahamas. This is one of the best beaches in the country and it is ideal for vacationers who want a beach day that’s more on the quiet side. Though Love Beach has few amenities, it is possible to get access to some by booking a day pass at one of the resorts in the area. For a beach with a local vibe and fewer crowds in The Bahamas, definitely go for Love Beach.



Does Love Beach have wi-fi?

It is possible to access wi-fi from Love Beach but most of the signals that you see will come from nearby resorts. Often, these signals aren't strong at all, or you'll need a password in order to use them. If you do not have access to these wi-fi options, then the best thing to do is make sure that your phone is fully charged and that you have international data available.



Is Love Beach safe?

Love Beach is a safe beach option in The Bahamas. This beach tends to be less crowded which means you'll have fewer things to keep an eye on. Still, you should maintain a healthy level of vigilance. Stay safe on public beaches wherever you choose to vacation and make sure you keep your valuables either out of sight or in the safe at your hotel room.



Fall in love with Love Beach on your Bahamian vacation

Love-Beach-1

Image credit: Sharan Singh/Shutterstock.com

Love Beach is just the start of the incredible experiences that await you in The Bahamas. With its stunning scenery and peaceful atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to set the tone for a romantic getaway. If you’re traveling as a couple, consider staying at an all-inclusive resort like Sandals Resorts, which offers everything you need to create the ultimate romantic escape.

Expert tip: For the best things to do in The Bahamas, you might want to take a look at our Nassau Bahamas Guide. This can help you figure out what to include in your Bahamas vacation travel itinerary.




The 62 Best Things To Do In The Bahamas For An Unforgettable Vacation!

Island Life
October 13th 2022
The 62 Best Things To Do In The Bahamas For An Unforgettable Vacation!
Cover image credit: nelzajamal/ Shutterstock.com

With over 700 islands and cays, hundreds of gorgeous beaches with white or pink sand, and plenty of things to do, The Bahamas is one of the best vacation destinations in the world. Northeast of Cuba and southeast of Florida, a vacation in The Bahamas can bring your beach vacation aspirations to life in the best way possible!

If you're wondering about when to go, the best time to visit The Bahamas is from mid-December to mid-April. This is the peak season for these islands and during this time there are usually more activities available. Even with that said, there's hardly a bad time to travel to The Bahamas as this destination has great weather pretty much all year round.

Whether you’ve already booked your trip or you’re just about to, here are some of the best things to do during a vacation in The Bahamas!


62. Shop at the Nassau Straw Market

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Free to enter

Street market Bahamas

Image credit: Kamira/Shutterstock.com

An exploration of Nassau can begin at the Nassau Straw Market. At this local market, you can interact with locals, learn about Bahamian history and watch as vendors turn pieces of straw into the most artful and useful creations. The Straw Market is the perfect place to pick up souvenirs for friends, family, or even yourself. Popular items you might want to keep an eye out for include hand-woven hats, bags, and baskets. Bargaining is expected.

Good to know: The Nassau Straw Market is open daily from 8 am to around 8 pm. Most vendors accept USD, though it is more convenient to walk with smaller bills in local currency.


61. See Fort Fincastle

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: $1-2 USD

Fort Fincastle Cannons New Providence Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: NAPA/Shutterstock.com

There are a handful of historic forts that you can visit while in Nassau. That list includes Fort Fincastle on Bennet’s Hill, which was constructed in 1793 by Lord Dunmore. Back then, the fort was erected to protect Nassau from pirates. Today, tours of this inactive fort are available for a few dollars. This fort is quite small and doesn't require a lot of time to explore. It is best to do a tour of both the Queen’s Staircase (more details later) and Fort Fincastle in one day.


60. Take some pictures at Parliament Square

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Free

Parliament Square Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Kushal Bose/Shutterstock.com

Strolling around Nassau is always a fun experience. There are so many things to do and see including visiting Parliament Square - this location is where you can find the House of Assembly, the Senate Building, and the Supreme Court of The Bahamas. Parliament Square is a great place to take photos due to the charming pink and white buildings with a style dating back to colonial times. The structures at Parliament Square have been around since the 1700s and 1800s.


59. Enjoy the view from Fort Charlotte

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: $6 USD for adults, $2 USD for children under 12

Fort Charlotte Aerial Nassau Bahamas Aerial

Image credit: Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock.com

Fort Charlotte is another cool fort you can explore in Nassau. Some people prefer exploring this fort as opposed to other forts on the island because there's more to see. Built in 1789, Fort Charlotte is the largest fort on the island of New Providence (100 acres). This fort has a moat, dungeons, underground passageways, and cannons (42 in all). Fort Charlotte was named after Queen Saharia Charlotte, wife of King George III.

Good to know: The best days to visit Fort Charlotte are Wednesdays and Fridays. From 11:30 am on these days, you can see actors in 18th-century costumes who really allow you to step back in time as part of the experience.


58. Have a day party at Junkanoo Beach

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Free to visit

Friendas Cheering Beach Bahamas

Image credit: DisobeyArt/Shutterstock.com

It won't cost anything to stroll the sands of Junkanoo Beach while vacationing in Nassau. This beach is loved by locals, and it is a convenient spot for visitors as well, particularly cruise ship passengers. Junkanoo Beach is about a 15-minute walk from Nassau Harbor. On the way to this beach from the harbor, you'll pass through a busy shopping area and right past the Nassau Straw Market as well. Once you get to Junkanoo Beach, you can simply relax on the beach, enjoy a horse ride, or visit one of the bars like Tiki Bikini Hut for an icy cocktail.


57. Shop at Port Lucaya Marketplace

Located: Freeport, Grand Bahama

Cost: Free to enter

Port Lucaya Marketplace Freeport Bahamas

Image credit: Yevgen Belich/Shutterstock.com

The lively Port Lucaya Marketplace is filled with shops, restaurants, and bars. Most islanders go there just for the bars. Port Lucaya Marketplace is right at the waterside and duty-free shopping is available. Activities are hosted daily at this location, from local music events and bingo nights to karaoke, dance, and talent competitions. Beer runs are hosted here every last Friday of the month.

Good to know: Taxi service is available near the Port Lucaya Marketplace. There’s also a casino nearby.


56. Visit Fort Montagu and have a drink at the outdoor bar

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: $2 USD

Montagu Fort Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock.com

Fort Montagu is the oldest fort in The Bahamas still standing. This limestone fort was built around 1741, and today, it is one of the most visited national monuments on this island. Fort Montagu, like the other forts on this island, was built for defense purposes - in this instance, to help the British defend themselves against Spanish invaders. Fort Montagu overlooks the Nassau Harbour. During a tour here, definitely make some time for drinks at the outdoor bar nearby.


55. Visit the Pirates of Nassau Museum

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: $13 USD (Entrance fee)

Pirates Nassau Museum Bahamas

Image credit: Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock.com

The Bahamas has the most surprising pirate history and the Pirates of Nassau Museum is one of the best places to learn about it. Both entertaining and educational, the exhibits and displays here zero in on the pirate era. One of the most interesting presentations inside this museum is the replica of the pirate ship Revenge. This recreation has its own customized weapons and areas where guests can see what the living arrangements of pirates might have been like. Information on the battles fought by Caribbean pirates is also available at the museum, which is open Monday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays.


54. Visit the Bahamas Historical Society Museum

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: $3 USD (Entrance fee)

Historical Society Museum Bahamas Nassau

Image credit: Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock.com

The Bahamas Historical Society Museum is a non-profit organization that collects data about the history of The Bahamas and works actively to preserve that information. At this museum founded in 1959 by Lady Arthur, the history and culture of the Bahamian islands is at the forefront. Lady Arthur was the wife of the former Governor General of The Bahamas, Sir Raynold Arthur. The Bahamas Historical Society Museum opens from Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


53. See the flamingos at Ardastra Gardens

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Adults $18.75 USD, children are half price. Toddlers and babies are free.

Hero Ardastra garden zoo flamingos Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Alisa_Ch/Shutterstock.com

Ever so graceful, pink flamingos inspire joy, happiness, and lightness. Fittingly, this is the national bird of The Bahamas. If you want to see flamingos up close while in The Bahamas, head to the Flamingo Encounter at Ardastra Gardens where a flamingo parade regularly takes place. You’ll be able to watch the birds strutting along or join in and take photos.

Good to know: More than 60,000 flamingos live in the southern district of Great Inagua, Bahamas. These birds live in the Inagua National Park, which was established in 1965.


52. Get a meal and some drinks at Arawak Cay

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Free to visit

Arawak-Cay-Bahamas-Nassau

Image credit: Dee Browning/Shutterstock.com

For a more laid-back dining experience in The Bahamas, visit Arawak Cay where you can find a number of vibrant restaurants and charming huts that serve up local cuisine. There's almost always fresh seafood on the menu here including items like fried lobster and conch and grilled shrimp. Since conch is the national dish of The Bahamas, you're likely to find a variety of conch-inspired menu items on most days. Enjoy your meal here with a Kalik beer or a Bahama Mama. There are often live performances at this location. Arawak Cay is a short walk from the Western Esplanade of Nassau.


51. Have some rum cake at the Rum Cake Factory

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Free to visit

Rum Cake Factory Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Dee Browning/Shutterstock.com

Not only will you be able to taste local rum cakes at the Rum Cake Factory in Nassau, but you can also learn about the process of these cakes during a tour. The “original” rum cake recipes loved by locals and visitors alike in The Bahamas are said to have been inspired by George Bates from the U.K. These cakes have now become part of island tradition. Before this tour is over, you'd have likely already purchased some rum cakes to take home with you.


50. Have a drink at Cabbage Beach

Located: New Providence Island

Cost: Free

Cabbage Beach Paradise Island Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Fedor Selivanov/Shutterstock.com

Cabbage Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in The Bahamas. This for sure explains its popularity, and why you probably won't be able to get enough of it while in The Bahamas. Cabbage Beach is easily accessible and great for relaxing and sunbathing. An experience here can include water sports like parasailing and jet skiing. There are bars near the beach where you can grab a drink and a quick bite as well. On windier days, the water on this beach can be a little choppy.


49. Climb the Queen's Staircase

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Free

Queens Staircase Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: dnaveh/Shutterstock.com

The Queen’s Staircase is also known as the “66 Steps”. This historic attraction built out of limestone was named after Queen Victoria. Going to see the Queen's Staircase can be worth it if you’re on a historical adventure in Nassau. The 66 Steps are located within the Fort Fincastle Historic Complex, and it is believed that hundreds of slaves back in the 18th century carved these steps out to create an escape route from the fort.


48. See the waterfalls at the Garden of the Groves

Located: Freeport (Grand Bahama)

Cost: Adults $15 USD, children $10 USD

Garden Groves Bahamas Freeport

Image credit: Mags951/Shutterstock.com

Winding nature trails, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant greenery - what more could you want from an outdoor excursion in The Bahamas? All of this and more can be found at Garden of the Groves, which makes for quite the action-packed experience. Although there is a lot to do here, including visiting a quiet chapel or the garden shops, the experience here still manages to be peaceful and wholesome. End your visit with lunch at the Garden Café & Bar for a day well spent.

Good to know: Garden of the Groves is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 7 days a week. This location includes a playground for kids.


47. Visit the Pompey Museum of Slavery & Emancipation

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: $3 USD

The Pompey Museum of Slavery & Emancipation is a 4-minute drive and a 6-minute walk from the port in Nassau. This museum is located on the original site of the enslaved person auction house in downtown Nassau, making for a very educational experience. The museum is named after a former slave, Pompey, who led a slave revolt. You'll learn quite a bit about the Caribbean slave trade during this experience.


46. Visit the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Adults $10 USD, children under 12 are free

National Art Gallery Bahamas Nassau

Image credit: Robert Szymanski/Shutterstock.com

The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas is a non-profit establishment created with a mission to preserve and showcase artwork ranging from traditional to contemporary. This museum is located in the Villa Doyle mansion on West Hill Street, Nassau, Bahamas. The maximum amount of people per tour group is 25. Tours are available from Tuesday to Friday, though arrangements can be made to visit on days not listed.


45. Taste some rum at John Watling's Distillery

Located: Downtown Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Free

John Watlings Distillery Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Lost Mountain Studio/Shutterstock.com

The John Watling's Distillery prides itself on connecting with customers, which might explain why it offers complimentary tours. During these tours, you can learn about the rum-making process and explore the property. John Watling’s Distillery is located at the Buena Vista Estate, and it is named after a pirate who had the nickname, “Spirit of The Bahamas”. There’s a variety of products available here including “Buena Vista,” vodka, and gin, which are produced on-site. Samples are available during the guided tour.

Good to know: The John Watling’s Distillery is a short walk from the Queen’s Staircase and the cruise terminal. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily except on holidays.


44. Enjoy the view from Elbow Reef Lighthouse

Located: Hope Town, Abaco Islands

Cost: Free to visit

Elbow Reef Lighthouse Hope Town Bahamas

Image credit: Sinn P. Photography/Shutterstock.com

Lighthouses are historic sites and visiting them is a great way to learn some of that history. One of the lighthouses worth visiting in The Bahamas is the Elbow Reef Lighthouse in Hope Town, Abaco. This is the only hand-turned kerosene-burning beacon left in the world, making it even more of a memorable sight to see. There are 101 steps here that lead to a 360° view of Hope Town and Elbow Cay.


43. Make your own chocolate at Graycliff Restaurant

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Starts at $49.95 per person, $34.95 per child

Graycliff Hotel Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: photravel_ru/Shutterstock.com

Chocolate-making can be part of an exciting vacation in The Bahamas. To get right into an activity like this, consider visiting the family owned Graycliff restaurant. During chocolate-making tours here, you can learn to make your own chocolate and go home with some once you’re done as well. Before heading back to your resort, you can also try your hand at cigar making.


42. Have lunch with a view at Pink Octopus Restaurant

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: $50-100 USD

The views and the diverse menu offerings are what guests love most about the Pink Octopus Restaurant. You can have an outdoor meal on the patio at this restaurant soothed by the cool breeze from the beach. Try the Crispy Octopus, Conch Fritters, or Roasted Cauliflower for an appetizer, and work your way to entrees that include Lamb and Potatoes, Whole Roasted Snapper, and more.


41. Enjoy the live music at Island House

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Varies

Island House is a versatile space that includes a cinema that showcases both blockbuster and art house films, restaurants, a café, a wine market, a lap pool, squash courts, and more. This spot sometimes hosts live music events, particularly on Thursday evenings. Island House is a good place to meet and mingle with locals and other visitors as you get to know more about The Bahamas.


40. Try your luck at Atlantis Casino

Located: Paradise Island

Cost: Free to enter

Woman Casino Bahamas

Image credit: Maridav/Shutterstock.com

The Atlantis Paradise Island Casino is one of the largest casinos in the Caribbean measuring around 60,000 square feet. Here you can enjoy poolside gaming with 700 slot machines and 80 game tables. Whether or not you plan on getting into the gaming action, this is a cool place to go for some entertainment while in The Bahamas.


39. Enjoy a beach day at Jaws Beach

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Free

Jaws Beach Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Paulharding00/Shutterstock.com

When heading to a Caribbean island, more likely than not you’re expecting to find phenomenal beaches. Jaws Beach is one of these, for more reasons than one. For starters, this beach is relatively shallow with crystal clear water and virtually no waves. It is just as beautiful in person as it is in photos. For another thing, Jaws Beach is quite famous. It was featured in the film ‘Jaws: The Revenge’. On Jaws Beach, not only can you enjoy a peaceful beach experience, but you’ll also gain some pretty epic bragging rights!


38. Have a lunchtime party at Señor Frogs

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Varies

Bahamas Senor Frogs Nassau

Image credit: Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock.com

Señor Frogs in The Bahamas is all about entertainment. The atmosphere here is always fun and exciting, so this is a cool spot if you want to grab a bite and some drinks and relax with good entertainment. The shows at Señor Frogs are among the best you can find in The Bahamas and the bartenders will be sure to keep your glasses filled!


37. Take a picture at Versaille Gardens & Cloisters

Located: Paradise Island

Cost: Free to enter

Versailles Gardens Paradise Island Bahamas

Image credit: Erkki & Hanna/Shutterstock.com

If ever there was a photo that would forever remind you of the bliss of The Bahamas, it would be against the backdrop of Versaille Gardens & Cloisters. The gardens at this location are beautiful and the space is truly historic. Versaille Gardens & Cloisters overlooks the Nassau Harbour and there are multiple platforms/terraces and monuments of historical figures like Napoleon, Hercules, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.


36. Visit the Nassau Heritage Museum

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: $38 USD

Heritage Museum Bahamas Downtown Nassau

Image credit: photravel_ru/Shutterstock.com

The Nassau Heritage Museum is an engaging space that allows you to walk through Bahamian history. As you explore the various exhibits, you’ll see how the islands of The Bahamas have progressed through the years. The Nassau Heritage Museum includes displays and information about the pirate history of The Bahamas as well as the slavery era. As you delve into the information presented here with a guide, you'll see how the past has shaped the present-day Bahamas.


35. Explore Lucayan National Park

Located: Grand Bahama

Cost: Entrance fee of $5 USD, diving rates vary depending on the tour operator

Lucayan National Park Bahamas

Image credit: Karuna Eberl/Shutterstock.com

Established in 1982, the Lucayan National Park spans 40 acres. This is one of the major national parks in The Bahamas. Within this space, you can find thick forests, mangroves, beaches, and underwater caves. The underwater caves here are among the largest subaquatic cave systems in the world. If you get a dive permit, you can dive within this park.


34. Relax on Cable Beach

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Free

Sandals Royal Bahamian Cable Beach Bahamas

Absolutely stunning, Cable Beach is one of the most popular beaches in The Bahamas. On this gorgeous beach, you can grab a sun lounger and get settled in for a few hours of pure bliss. You can choose to bring your own drinks and snacks along, or you can go to one of the neighboring eateries. Not only is Cable Beach a great place to enjoy some beach time, but there is also lots to do in the area with plenty resorts, restaurants, bars, and casinos nearby.


33. Have a night out at the Bahamar Casino

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Varies

Bahamar Casino Bahamas Nassau

Image credit: Theodore P. Webb/Shutterstock.com

Scoring a vacation in The Bahamas could well be evidence that your winning streak has arrived. Test this out at the Bahamar Casino, which is the largest casino in the Caribbean. There are over 1000 slot machines in this casino and more than 100 tables to get your game on. Whether it's your first time getting some casino action in or you’re a regular high-stakes roller, this Bahamian casino has something to offer.


32. Shop at Bahama Hand Prints

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Free to enter

The fabrics at Bahama Hand Prints are undoubtedly island inspired, making them perfect for a feel-good gift for yourself or a souvenir to take back home. This location is a small factory/boutique combination where screen printing is done by hand. You can watch some of the fabrics being created at this location and shop around for Bahamas inspired items.


31. Have fun at Aquaventure waterpark

Located: Paradise Island

Cost: Varies depending on whether you book in the low or high reason

aquaventure water park

Image credit: Vlad G/Shutterstock.com

The Aquaventure waterpark is a 141-acre water park with waterslides, a Rapids River, multiple pools, and more. This waterpark is ideal for families with kids or groups of friends and all you’ll need is a day pass for each person you'll be going with to get into the waterpark. Guests of Atlantis can enter the water park for free.


30. Go on a day trip to Blue Lagoon Island

Located: Blue Lagoon Island (day trip from Nassau)

Cost: $69 USD for adults, $45 USD for children

Blue Lagoon Island Bahamas

Image credit: Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock.com

Blue Lagoon is the island where you can dive with sharks, swim with dolphins, meet stingrays and sea lions, and snorkel all in the same day. This island is also known as Salt Cay and offers a range of programs that include these marine animals as well as sip and paint programs, Segway adventures, and shopping (gift shop). Blue Lagoon Island is just three miles from Nassau.


29. Taste Nassau's craft beer at the Pirate Republic Brewery

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Free to enter

pirate republic nassau

There's a beer for everyone at the Pirate Republic Brewery! This craft brewery is one of the best in the Caribbean and it is the only one of its kind in The Bahamas as well. Located in Nassau, the Pirate Republic Bar’s offerings include drafts like the Gold & Haze of Piracy, Island Pirate Ale, and a chocolate malt called the Black Beer’d Stout. At this pirate-inspired location, be prepared to learn a bit about the pirate history of this island while sipping on some crisp, cold brews. Delicious Caribbean cuisine is also available. This spot is open from 11 am to 11 pm.


28. Enjoy dinner at Café Matisse

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: $25-100 USD per person

Located in the heart of Nassau, Café Matisse is an Italian restaurant that opens for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday of every week. The menu here is extensive and includes a selection of soups, pasta, fish and seafood, meat dishes, pizza, and more. This restaurant has good reviews for service and consistency in their offerings. Throw in the elegant ambiance, breezy patio seating and reasonable prices, and what you’ve got is a really enjoyable place to dine!


27. Snorkel at Clifton Heritage Park

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: $10 USD

Clifton National Heritage Park

Image credit: Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock.com

Clifton Heritage Park is a wonderful place to snorkel and learn a bit of history while you're at it. This national park was established in 2009 and has helped to preserve Bahamian history. There are a few beaches inside the park where you can snorkel, and there's also a range of water sports, great fishing, hiking trails, and so much more available!


26. Hike through the Primeval Forest National Park

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: $12 USD per adult, kids under 12 are free

Primeval Forest National Park Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Martin Pelanek/Shutterstock.com

Nature enthusiasts will undoubtedly appreciate a visit to Primeval Forest National Park in Nassau. This national park is on the south western side of New Providence, and it really gives explorers the chance to see what The Bahamas might have looked like before becoming inhabited. This park comprises 7.5 acres of lush vegetation with diverse flora and fauna, as well as 50-foot caverns that will definitely leave you with lasting memories of The Bahamas. The park is open on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm.


25. Go on a buggy tour through Nassau

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: From $289 USD per person

buggy tour bahamas

A buggy tour will take you on an off-road adventure that is a thrilling way to explore. The Bahamas. A great option for this is the Best-of-Nassau Buggy Sightseeing Tour. This tour takes you through downtown Nassau, to the first stop - The Caves. Then, it'll be time to go to Clifton Heritage Park and Johnstone Beach. The last stop on this tour is Compass Point where you’ll sample some tasty Bahamian dishes.


24. Have a cocktail at Bon Vivants

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Cocktails start at about $14 USD

Bon Vivants is a cocktail bar that focuses on the art and history of the craft cocktail. The interpretation of the term “Bon Vivant - ‘a person who devotes themselves to a luxurious lifestyle and lives it well’, tells a lot about the type of experience you can have here. The goal of conceptualizers is to take patrons on a journey, and indeed that is exactly what will play out during an experience here. Expect great service, mixologists who pay attention to detail, and a fun and extensive cocktail menu.


23. Play a round at Sandals Emerald Bay’s impressive golf course

Located: Exuma

Cost: $50 to $60 USD for a 30 to 45-minute private lesson

Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Aerial

Try to keep your eye on the ball while golfing on this breathtaking course in Exuma, Bahamas. Ocean views are all part of the fun as is the fact that guests of Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma can play this exciting course as much as they’d like! Green fees are included in the price guests pay for all-inclusive vacations at that resort. The Sandals Emerald Bay golf course is a Greg Norman championship golf course, and, as part of an experience here, you can work your way through 18 challenging holes.


22. Swim with dolphins

Located: Grand Bahama, New Providence, Bimini Islands

Cost: Starts at $130 USD

IR Dolphin Shot

Swimming with dolphins is a real possibility in The Bahamas. There are many islands you can go to for this experience including Blue Lagoon Island, Dolphin Cay, Sanctuary Bay, and Wildquest on Bimini Islands. Many of these programs offer a chance to get up close to friendly bottlenose dolphins who love to play, show off, dance, race, and share their affection with kisses. Though there are quite a few places offering this experience, Blue Lagoon is probably the most popular. A quick ferry ride can get you to Blue Lagoon Island from Nassau.


21. Pet the stingrays at Stingray City

Located: Cat Island, Blue Lagoon

Cost: About $40 USD

Stingray City

Image credit: Michelle de Villiers/Shutterstock.com

At Stingray City Park, the stingrays are the center of attention. This is a cool place to visit if you want to get up close with these marine animals and snorkel as well. There are certified trainers at Stingray City who’ll help you navigate the experience and stay safe. You’ll also learn more about the Southern Stingray and get to take lots of photos along the way!


20. Snorkel at Dean's Blue Hole

Located: Long Island

Cost: Free to visit

Deans Blue Hole Exuma

Image credit: Michelle de Villiers/Shutterstock.com

Dean’s Blue Hole is a massive sinkhole found near Clarence Town in Long Island, Bahamas. It is 663 feet deep (202 meters) and is the second deepest sinkhole in the world, with the first being the Dragon Hole, South of the China Sea (more than 900 feet deep). The yearly Vertical Blue Free Diving Competition that is held here encourages free divers to compete with others to determine who can dive the furthest into the hole.


19. Explore the marine life and go on a scuba diving adventure

Located: Everywhere

Cost: Around $150 USD per person

Sandals Royal Bahamian Scuba Boat Bahamas

See what underwater life is like in The Bahamas by signing up for a scuba diving tour. This unique experience will allow you to dive a lot deeper than you would with a snorkeling excursion. You can see all sorts of marine life up close as well as vibrant coral reefs. Afterward, you can return to shore to shop and experience the other exciting tours in The Bahamas!


18. Have a good time at Love Beach

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: $5 USD to access

Love Beach Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: FilatovaAnna/Shutterstock.com

Love Beach is pretty as a picture, and it is the ideal beach stop if you're looking to get away from the crowds. Though there isn't much infrastructure in the surrounding area, you can still enjoy a few amenities. The cost to enter this beach includes the use of the amenities (bathrooms, showers, and WiFi). You can catch a cab to Love Beach from your resort or you can take a jitney (bus) for about $2 USD from Downtown Nassau and arrive in about 30 minutes. The 12B jitney should take you to Love Beach but confirm with the driver before riding. You can also drive your car rental here as there's plenty of free parking available.

Good to know: Bring cash as some of the food spots near this beach do not accept cards.


17. Have a cocktail at Treasure Cay Beach

Located: Great Abaco

Cost: Free to access

Treasure Cay Abaco Bahamas

Image credit: FilatovaAnna/Shutterstock.com

Who can say no to icy cocktails on a beautiful, sunny beach? Certainly not us, and probably not you either once you set foot on Bahamian shores. A picture-perfect beach where you can enjoy sun lounging and some delicious cocktails with friends or with your significant other is Treasure Cay Beach. There are plenty of water sports available on this beach as well, and beach umbrella and chair rentals are available. A popular restaurant near this beach is Coco’s where you can get food and some delicious cocktails.


16. Charter a boat and go deep-sea fishing

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: $200-300 USD per person depending on the charter

Boat Deep Sea Fishing

When in The Bahamas, do as the Bahamians do! This means you should be getting on a boat at least once during your vacation. If you like fishing, a deep-sea fishing charter could be a great opportunity to do just that. The Bahamas is world famous for deep-sea fishing and there are quite a few annual tournaments held on the various islands. For a deep-sea fishing adventure, a good option is a half-day tour. This can include hopping aboard a 48-foot boat that will serve as the perfect vantage for taking in the amazing coastal views, and of course, reeling in some big ones!

Good to know: Fishing permits and licenses are usually handled by tour companies, but you can always ask if you’re not sure whether this is already included with your boat charter.


15. See the beaches of Stocking Island

Located: Stocking Island, Exuma

Cost: Tours start from about $140 USD

Stocking Island Bahamas

Image credit: Thomas Kloc/Shutterstock.com

Feel like spending the day on an island that you can only get to by boat? Well, there are many options for that in The Bahamas, but Stocking Island is one of the most beautiful. On this island, you can find lots of private beaches, plenty of opportunities for snorkeling, and lots of space to roam and explore. One of the things that leaves a lasting impression on visitors to this island is the breathtaking cliffside ocean views that are best enjoyed with the perfect company.


14. Take some pictures at the Pink Sands Beach

Located: Harbour Island (near Eleuthera)

Cost: Free

Pink Sand Beach Bahamas Harbour island

Image credit: BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock.com

Pink Sands Beach definitely belongs on the list of best beaches in The Bahamas. Not only is this beach great for sunbathing and ideal for swimming in crystal clear waters, but it also is one of the only beaches in the Caribbean where you can find pink sand. Don’t expect striking pink though, the sand here is more of a light rose hue, and this is due to the presence of foraminifera – a marine animal that has a red shell. When the shell is crushed and mixed in with the white sand, it creates this charming pink sand effect which is wonderful to see in pictures, and even better in person.

Expert tip: While on Harbour Island, take some time to explore Dunmore Town!


13. Relax at Tropic of Cancer Beach

Located: Exuma

Cost: Free

Tropic Cancer Beach Exuma Bahamas

Image credit: Alexander Chaikin/Shutterstock.com

Tropic of Cancer Beach is one of those beaches you'll see set to music on a popular travel reel on Instagram. This beach, also known as Pelican Beach, is the longest beach in The Bahamas. Of all the beaches along the Exuma island chain, Tropic of Cancer Beach is said to be the most beautiful, and on most days, you’ll have this slice of paradise nearly all to yourself. Keep in mind that there isn't any infrastructure or amenities on this beach, so pack food and drinks for the day. Water shoes can also be useful.

Good to know: The Tropic of Cancer is a latitude where the sun passes directly overhead at certain times of the year. At approximately 23.5 degrees north of the equator, the latitude passes right through the Tropic of Cancer Beach and inspired its name.


12. Go on a thrilling shark dive

Located: New Providence (Nassau), Grand Bahama (Freeport)

Cost: $200-250 USD per person

Shark Dive Bahamas

Image credit: Michael Bogner/Shutterstock.com

Shark diving in The Bahamas is a sure possibility, but only if you’re brave enough. Shark diving excursions are available in New Providence and also in Grand Bahama. As part of this dive, you’ll get up close to sharks as they swim freely in their ocean territory. Sometimes you might see groups of Caribbean reef sharks, and on some tours, you can watch the dive master feed sharks via a long pole spear.


11. Take some pictures at Coco Plum Beach

Located: Exuma

Cost: Free

Coco Plum Beach Bahamas Great Exuma Window Oceanview

Image credit: Giongi63/Shutterstock.com

Beaches like Coco Plum Beach in Exuma prove that this region has some of the best shorelines in the world! With soft, white sand, perfectly clear water, and picture-perfect views as far as the eye can see, this beach definitely belongs on your list of must-visit places in The Bahamas. Coco Plum Beach is fairly secluded, and on some days, you might have the beach all to yourself.


10. Go on a hike at Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve

Located: Eleuthera

Cost: Adults $10, Seniors $8, Children $6 (in USD)

Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve

Take a break from the beach and head to the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve for a hike while in The Bahamas. This attraction was created when the Leon Levy Foundation and The Bahamas National Trust joined hands in recognition of the need to protect indigenous plant species and highlight their importance. Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve is in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera. While at this location, you can explore beautiful nature trails including a medicinal plant trail. Information about the remedial benefits of various herbs is available here.

9. See the rock formations at Lighthouse Beach

Located: Eleuthera

Cost: Free

Lighthouse beach South Eleuthera island Bahamas

Image credit: Gaston Piccinetti/Shutterstock.com

The journey to Lighthouse Beach can be challenging, but most who go there agree that the trek is absolutely worth it to experience this beautiful, two-sided beach. The waves are mostly calm, the water reflects incredible shades of blue, and the area is never crowded. On Lighthouse Beach, there are lots of places to explore, rock climb, and admire the stunning rock formations and amazing views.


8. Take a picture of the Glass Window Bridge

Located: Eleuthera

Cost: Free to visit

Glass window bridge Eleuthera Bahamas

Image credit: BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock.com

Eleuthera is a striking island with lots of amazing sights. The Glass Window Bridge is one of those. This is a natural bridge where the darker blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean meet the turquoise waters in the Bight of Eleuthera. As you can imagine, this results in quite the notable contrast, which is why so many people love to go here while on the island. When visiting the Glass Window Bridge be aware that there are sometimes rough waves that splash onto the bridge, and the area should be avoided in bad weather.


7. Go on a day trip to Rose Island

Located: Rose Island (day trip from Nassau)

Cost: About $130 USD

Rose Island The Bahamas

Image credit: Brookgardener/Shutterstock.com

Escape to scenic Rose Island for a day trip while in The Bahamas. There are some exceptional tours that will take you to this island via boat, and you can spend the day snorkeling, enjoying the beach, and indulging in the most delicious buffets beneath clear, blue skies. In addition to day trips, you can also spend the night as part of some of these tours in cozy treetop bedrooms or bungalows. This is a great option for couples, families, groups, or private events.


6. Have fun at Baha Bay Waterpark

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: From $65 - $130 USD per person

Baha Mar Baha Bay Waterpark bahamas

Image credit: Eric Glenn/Shutterstock.com

The Baha Bay Waterpark is a beachside waterpark with some pretty impressive waterslides. This waterpark appeals to visitors of all ages and includes raft rides, drop slides, free fall slides, a wave pool, and more. There’s also an action river and a water coaster, which can be quite the thrill. This waterpark opens daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


5. Meet the iguanas at Bitter Guana Cay

Located: Exuma

Cost: $197.95 USD

Sandals Emerald Bay Bahamas Iguanas

Scores of native iguanas can be found on Bitter Guana Cay in the Exumas. These reptiles are probably as close to dinosaurs as you can find in the present day, but they are pretty harmless. When you run into them on this small island, they're likely to be enjoying the sunshine or the attention of visitors. You can do a visit to Bitter Iguana Cay in combination with a swimming pigs tour while in The Bahamas.

Fun fact: Part of the movie “Jurassic Park III: The Lost World” was filmed on Bitter Guana Cay in The Bahamas.


4. Swim with nurse sharks at Compass Cay

Located: Exuma

Cost: $150 USD

Bahamas Nurse Sharks

Image credit: LoganGoodfellow1/ Shutterstock.com

Swimming with sharks certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted, but it is one of those things that’s hard to talk yourself out of once you've decided. If you're gung-ho about swimming with sharks, then an experience at Compass Cay (Exuma island chain) in The Bahamas might be ideal. Compass Cay is quite popular with divers who want to swim with nurse sharks. Nurse sharks are slow-moving bottom feeders and are mostly harmless to humans. Even still, it is important to exercise caution when swimming with them!


3. Snorkel at the Thunderball Grotto

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: Prices vary, normally included in day tours or charter packages

The Bahamas Thunderball Grotto

Image credit: Danita Delimont/ Shutterstock.com

Thunderball Grotto is an underwater cave system that has been featured in two James Bond movies, ‘Thunderball’ and ‘Never Say Never Again’. This popular dive location is west of Staniel Cay in the Exumas, and it is most famous for the underwater fight scene in Thunderball. Both scuba diving and snorkeling can be fun here with lots of interesting marine life to see including yellow-tail snapper, angel fish, sergeant majors, and more.


2. Nassau food tasting & cultural tour

Located: Nassau (New Providence)

Cost: $69-$100 USD per person for a food tour

Conch Salad Beer Bahamas

Image credit: BlueOrange Studio/ Shutterstock.com

This tour is in our top five for a reason - it is quite simply one of the best ways to explore Nassau. Food and fun come together for this experience! You’ll stroll through Nassau in a small group with your tour guide. Some food and culture tours in Nassau include stops at popular attractions like the Pirate Republic Brewing Company where you can sample beer, rum, cocktails and alcohol-infused treats. Others focus on family-owned restaurants and specialty shops including local chocolatiers. Cultural and historical perspectives are shared during this experience as well.


1. See the swimming pigs at Pig Beach

Located: Big Major Cay/ Pig Island (Exuma)

Cost: Rounds up to about $200 per person for full tour

Pig Beach Bahamas

Image credit: Iren Key/ Shutterstock.com

It's always fun getting to interact with wildlife in a safe way while visiting a new destination. In The Bahamas, one of the ways you can do this is by signing up with a tour to see the swimming pigs of Exuma. Though there are other islands in The Bahamas where you can see the swimming pigs, Exuma is where you can find the ‘original swimming pigs’ on Big Major Cay (Pig Island). Some tours to see the swimming pigs include other stops along the way, like Big Guana Cay. Early morning tours to Pig Island are best.


Experience The Bahamas in the most authentic way possible!

This list is quite extensive, and for good reason! There are just so many incredible things to do in the islands of The Bahamas. Whether you swim with dolphins or sharks, do cultural tours, visit museums, or dine at some of the island's best restaurants, just doing a few things on this list would have given you a chance to have a true taste of The Bahamas.

Sandals Royal Bahamaian Aerial

Before deciding which activities, you want to do, you might want to start thinking about where to stay. The Bahamas has some really excellent all-inclusive resorts that can be ideal for couples who desire quality inclusions, luxury accommodations, and so much more!

The 43 Most Exciting Activities & Excursions In Nassau, Bahamas

Island Life
September 12th 2022
The 43 Most Exciting Activities & Excursions In Nassau, Bahamas
Cover photo credit: Bogdan Dyiakonovych/ Shutterstock.com

Hello, vacation!

If you’re reading this, you’re either thinking about escaping to a tropical Caribbean vacation, or you’re already on one.

Nassau, located on the island of New Providence in The Bahamas, is a perfect choice for a romantic Caribbean getaway. The Bahamas itself features so many different islands that it’ll almost feel like traveling to several vacation destinations in one.

Nassau Bahamas Goombay festival junkanoo costume

Image credit: Trae Rollins/ Shutterstock.com

Nassau (the capital) has the most opportunities for fun in one place. From gorgeous beaches and national parks to historic museums and art galleries, you won’t soon run out of things to do in Nassau. Additionally, you can easily take a boat from Nassau to most of the other islands of The Bahamas, making island-hopping in The Bahamas a completely achievable dream. Nassau is located especially close to Paradise Island, which can be accessed via the Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge. For this reason, this article primarily discusses excursions near Nassau and Paradise Island.

Whether you’re looking for delicious food, nightlife, rich culture, or other adventures, it is safe to say you’ll want to tick as many of these 44 activities off your to-do list as possible.



Major events in The Bahamas

There are lots of things happening in The Bahamas throughout the year. Some of the major events include Junkanoo (New Year’s Day and Boxing Day), Bahamas Carnival (May), the Bacardi Billfish Tournament (March), the One Bahamas Music & Heritage Festival in Nassau and Paradise Island (November), Independence Week (July), and the Great Bahamas Seafood and Heritage Festival (October). The latter of these events features traditional Bahamian seafood and a full dose of the heritage of the islands. Across The Bahamas, all the islands have separate event schedules, but themed activities mean that a lot of the events happen simultaneously.

For more detailed information on events in The Bahamas, check out our best time to visit The Bahamas post.



Top activities for foodies in The Bahamas

Along with a rich culture, The Bahamas is full of unique food experiences throughout Nassau and the other nearby islands. You don’t want to skip out on the rich cultural food experiences in Nassau. Between delicious fine dining restaurants, cultural food tours, cooking classes, and more, there is so much to experience in Nassau.

Some of our top activities for foodies include:


1. Embark on a culinary adventure through Nassau

Location: Downtown Nassau, east of Nassau, or west of Nassau

Cost: Between $69 USD and $79 USD

Conch Salad Beer Bahamas Nassau

Image credit: BlueOrange Studio/ Shutterstock.com

Food lovers, this is your fix – a culinary tour in The Bahamas with just the right dose of entertainment! Food excursions like Tru Bahamian Food Tours can include stops at renowned bars and restaurants, as well as specialty food stores. You’ll get the best of history, culture, and Bahamian food as part of this exciting three-hour tour!


2. Have dinner in the gardens of Café Matisse

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: About $100-$150 USD

Café Matisse is in the center of Nassau and is open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday from 12 pm - 3 pm and 6 pm - 10 pm. There’s a range of appetizing dishes you can try here from soups and pasta to meat dishes, as well as fish and seafood. Pizza is also available. This is one of the more popular restaurants in Nassau and proof of vaccination is required if you want to dine indoors.

Expert tip: Looking for a fine dining experience throughout your stay? Stay at any Sandals all-inclusive resort in The Bahamas and enjoy unlimited gourmet food, featuring varying cuisines. Sandals Royal Bahamian gives you access to 10 restaurants and Sandals Emerald Bay features 11 restaurants. A real treat!



3. Have a lunch with a view at Pink Octopus Restaurant

Location: Palm Cay, Nassau

Cost: $150-200 USD

Pink Octopus Restaurant in Nassau is highly rated and has a vibrant atmosphere that'll be loved by anyone looking for a good time in Nassau. At this restaurant, you can enjoy casual dining and Caribbean cuisine. The food here has a Mediterranean twist to it, and you can enjoy your meal with expertly made cocktails, wines, spirits, or just some refreshing juice. The Pink Octopus works closely with local farmers to source local ingredients and supports Bahamian farms.


4. Make chocolates in the tropics at Graycliff

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: $100-$200 USD per person

Graycliff Hotel Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: photravel_ru/ Shutterstock.com

Graycliff Chocolatier offers a unique, educational and fun chocolate making experience for guests who can’t get enough of the delectable treat. You can sign up for a tour of the factory, and you’ll learn how cocoa beans are transformed into amazing chocolate treats. There’s also a restaurant and giftshop at this location. Graycliff Chocolatier is open daily from 9am to 5pm daily.


5. Have some rum cake at the Rum Cake Factory

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: Cakes start at around $7.50 USD

Rum Cake Factory Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Lost Mountain Studio/ Shutterstock.com

You might just feel the need to splurge on desserts to take back home with a visit to the Rum Cake Factory in downtown Nassau. The successes of the factory are attributed to George Bates from the UK who opened a cake shop in the Bahamas in 2000. Today, the rum cakes are so popular that they were recognized by the State in 2014 as the official Rum Cake of the Bahamas. Don’t miss out! Try some of the Cake Factory’s options which include Amaretto Cake, Banana Rum Cake, Chocolate Rum Cake, Cinnamon Rum Cake, Coconut Rum Cake, and more.


6. Get authentic Bahamian food and drinks at Arawak Cay

Location: West Bay Street, Downtown Nassau

Cost: Meals start at around $15 USD per person

Arawak Cay Bahamas Nassau

Image credit: Dee Browning/ Shutterstock.com

Fish Fry events are popular in the Caribbean and come with an opportunity to indulge in fresh off-the-grill catches seasoned with local flair. Add conch fritters and a cold Bahamian Sands or Kalik beer into the mix, accentuated by music and dancing, and you’ve got yourself quite the visitor-friendly event. Locals enjoy this event too, and it's available every night of the week on West Bay Street.



Best nightlife activities in Nassau, Bahamas

If you are a big partygoer or are a big fan of nightlife, Nassau has no shortage of fun activities for you. The Bahamas is one of the rum capitals of the world, after all. Whether you are looking to try delicious cocktails, go on a rum distillery tour, or spend the night dancing in a nightclub, Nassau has the perfect mix of nightlife for you.

Here are some of our top activities for those that want to experience Nassau’s nightlife.

1. Sip a cocktail at Bon Vivants

Location: West of Nassau

Cost: $75-$100 USD

Bon Vivants is an artsy spot that happens to be the first cocktail bar in The Bahamas that is dedicated to the art and history of the craft cocktail. The term ‘bon vivant’ revolves around dedicating oneself to luxurious living. That is precisely what you’ll experience at this cocktail bar. The menu here is extensive and includes cocktails, mocktails, nibbles, and so much more.


2. Have a craft beer at the Pirate Republic Brewery

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: $13.50 USD (adults), and $6.75 USD (children)

pirate republic nassau

Sipping rum or cocktails in a pirate inspired place is always a good time, and the Pirate Republic Brewery does not disappoint. The team at Pirate Republic is proud to speak about their humble beginnings with a homemade 5-gallon brewing system. Miles from where they first started, they now run a business that has received two consecutive certificates of excellence from Trip Advisor (2017 and 2018). Pirate Republic was the first producer of craft beer in the Bahamas, so if you appreciate the work that goes into making craft beer, you’ll do well with a tour of this facility. Food, rum and cocktails are also available from the Brewery.


3. Visit a casino and be a high-roller for the night

Location: West of Nassau & Paradise Island

Cost: Varies

Bahamar Casino Bahamas Nassau

Image credit: Theodore P. Webb/ Shutterstock.com

Even if you’re not an avid gambler, you’re bound to appreciate the fast-paced ambiance and the happy winning feeling that will surround you once you step into any one of the casinos in The Bahamas. Once inside, you might as well try your luck.

At the Bahamar Casino, one of the Caribbean’s largest, there are 119 table games, over 1000 slot machines, and various other things to do, all available 24/7.

Atlantis Casino is also world-class, with over 700 slot machines and 85 game tables. There’s a hot seat daily from 10:30 am-4:00 pm with a winner every 30 minutes.


4. Party at Señor Frogs

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: Varies

Bahamas Senor Frogs Nassau

Image credit: Darryl Brooks/ Shutterstock.com

Señor Frogs is always a good time! This entertainment locale is near the cruise port and it is a cool place to have a drink and a delicious meal. “High energy and good vibes in a fun environment” are what you’ll find here. The entrance to this upbeat spot is so colorful that you simply can’t miss it. It's just past the Straw Market; thank us later!


5. Enjoy the live music at Island House

Location: Nassau

Cost: Varies

Island House is a fun and casual location you can check out while in The Bahamas. This spot is a boutique hotel, and it is also a popular place to relax and socialize. There's a beach here, two restaurants, a café, a wine market, an art house cinema, a lap pool, a movement studio, squash courts, an art gallery, and a spa. This is one of those places you can spend the entire day and not run out of things to do.


6. Sample rum at John Watling’s Distillery

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: Free

John Watlings Distillery Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Lost Mountain Studio/ Shutterstock.com

If sampling barrel-aged rum and touring an estate is your idea of a good time, you’ll be completely content with a tour of the John Watling's Distillery. This distillery is located near the Government House in Nassau on Buena Vista Estate. The property was constructed in 1789 and, today still maintains a timeless elegance that sets the right tone for a rum tasting tour. Tours are available daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.



Best ways to experience Bahamian culture & heritage in Nassau

Not only is Nassau known for it’s natural beauty — it also has tons of rich cultural history. There is so much to learn, see, and do. Fully immerse yourself in the island culture with Junkanoo Festival celebrations, famous landmarks, and historical museums.

Some of our top ways to experience the authentic Bahamian culture & heritage include:

1. Participate in the annual Junkanoo Festival

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: Varies

Taking part in the annual Junkanoo Festival is one of the most exciting things to do in The Bahamas. If you’re in Nassau, you’ll get to experience the best of the Junkanoo and all the cultural events that happen in the islands around the time of the festival. Junkanoo happens every year on New Year's Day and Boxing Day, and includes music, costumes, and cultural instruments.

This event takes place in the wee hours of the morning, and can also involve private parties at various locations. While it's free to stand up and watch the parade, you can pay about $16 USD to get a seat to watch from the starting line, or pay a little more if you want a seat closer to the judges, near the end point at Parliament Square.


2. Explore the Primeval Forest

Location: West of Nassau

Cost: $10 USD (entrance fee)

Primeval Forest National Park Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Martin Pelanek/ Shutterstock.com

Nature lovers will find their hearts at ease here – it is away from the busy Nassau streets, and if you let it, the lush, green Primeval Forest will completely consume you in a world of serenity. This is the prime place to enjoy the Bahama’s natural beauty.

You’ll find about 7.5 hectares of forest here, complete with tropical plants of all varieties, caverns, sinkholes, and other limestone formations. You can book a guided tour or walk around on your own as you explore the area that was officially named a national park in 2002.


3. Explore Clifton Heritage National Park

Location: West of Nassau

Cost: $10 for adults, $3 for children 3-11 (in USD)

Clifton National Heritage Park

Image credit: photravel_ru/ Shutterstock.com

You’ll find everything you’re looking for and more at the Clifton Heritage Park. Here, history and culture meet amazing views and stunning physical features. Once you arrive at this park, start by taking in the landscape, which includes wetlands, rocks, and white sand beaches, then progress to exploring the architecture of the Lucayan people who were the first inhabitants of The Bahamas.


4. Find authentic souvenirs at Bahama Hand Prints

Location: East of Nassau

Cost: Varies

You’ll be miles ahead in tropical fashion after a trip to Bahama Hand Prints. Here you’ll find authentic and handmade interior design fabric, readymade napkins and placemats, clothes, accessories, and more. The items here are perfect souvenirs for any member of your family, and trendy enough to be used in real life! Ask about taking a personalized tour of the factory.


5. Visit the Heritage Museum of The Bahamas

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: Adults $18.50, children $12.25 (in USD)

Heritage Museum Bahamas Downtown Nassau

Image credit: photravel_ru/ Shutterstock.com

The Heritage Museum of The Bahamas opened its doors in July 2014. This museum celebrates the history of The Bahamas in a remarkable way. You’ll leave this location with a better understanding of The Bahamas after exploring exhibitions and viewing fossils, relics, and some of the other treasures housed here. The Heritage Museum is open from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.


6. Take photos at the Versaille Gardens & Cloisters

Location: Paradise Island

Cost: Free

Versailles Garden Bahamas

Image credit: Erkki Hanna/ Shutterstock.com

There’s no short supply of beauty in Nassau and one spot that’ll leave you mesmerized is the Versailles Gardens. You’ll find flora and fauna of all colors under the sun here and an opportunity to explore the ruins of a 13th-century monastery that was imported into Paradise Island directly from France. Walk with a camera and be prepared for a blissful experience!


7. Explore the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: Ranges from $5 to $10 USD

Sculpture National Art Gallery Bahamas Nassau

Image credit: Robert Szymanski/ Shutterstock.com

In The Bahamas, there are just so many beautiful islands to be inspired by. Given that reality, it isn't at all surprising the amazing creations local artists are able to conceptualize. One of the best places to view their work is the National Art Gallery in Nassau. This popular gallery can be found in an 18th-century great house known as Villa Doyle.


8. Visit the Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: $1-$5 USD (entrance fee)

Pompey Square Bahamas

Image credit: Barbara Kalbfleisch/ Shutterstock.com

Though small, you’ll find no short supply of historical facts at the Pompey Museum. Set within Pompey Square, this museum’s surroundings are always lively with various cultural events taking place regularly. Inside the museum, there is a wide range of ancient artifacts and various media exhibits. The staff here is well informed and will be able to answer any questions you have on the history of The Bahamas.


9. Climb the Queen's Staircase

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: Free

Queens Staircase Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: photravel_ru/ Shutterstock.com

Queen Victoria walked here, and that fact is more than enough reason for the hundreds of people who flock to this location in downtown Nassau to take pictures and to see the staircase in real life. The 66 steps of the Queen’s Staircase connect Fort Fincastle to downtown Nassau, and they’re made of solid limestone. The Queen’s Staircase is said to have been built by slaves between 1793 and 1794 and was named in honor of Queen Victoria of Britain.


10. Learn about The Bahamas' history at the Historical Society Museum

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: Adults $1, children $0.50 (in USD)

Historical Society Museum Bahamas Nassau

Image credit: Wangkun Jia/ Shutterstock.com

You’ll find a wealth of information on the history of The Bahamas at the Historical Society Museum. As part of this experience, guides share information about the impact of European colonization on The Bahamas, the pirate age, the Lucayans, useful medicinal herbs that can be found in The Bahamas, and more. One thing’s for sure, you’ll definitely leave more enlightened than you came!


11. Be a pirate for a day at the Pirates of Nassau Museum

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: $13.50 for adults, $6.75 for children 4-17 (in USD)

Pirates Nassau Museum Bahamas

Image credit: Darryl Brooks/ Shutterstock.com

The Bahamas has a rich pirate history that dates back to 1690. This was known as the Golden Age of Piracy. At the Pirates of Nassau Museum, you can learn all about this intriguing time in history for The Bahamas. The museum is interactive, and exhibits include Women Pirates, Marooned, The Infamous Blackbeard, The Quay Side, Woodes Rogers, The Flag Room, and more. There’s a gift shop at the museum where you can pick up some pirate-themed souvenirs.


12. Step into a time portal at Fort Montagu

Location: East of Nassau

Cost: $2 USD

Montagu Fort Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Ramunas Bruzas/ Shutterstock.com

There are a few forts to explore while in Nassau and Fort Montagu is the oldest fort still standing on the island. Like several other ancient buildings and structures in The Bahamas, this fort is made of limestone. It was built in 1741 and served an important function — helping the British keep Spanish invaders at bay. Tours of the fort are available from Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


13. Enjoy the view from Fort Charlotte

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: Adults $5, children $2 (under 12) and seniors $3 (in USD)

Fort Charlotte Aerial-Nassau-Bahamas-Aerial

Image credit: Kushal Bose/ Shutterstock.com

Another historic attraction in Nassau is Fort Charlotte. This fort was built in 1788. On-site, there are 100 acres to explore, inclusive of dungeons, canons, tunnels, and more. The amazing views of Paradise Island from the fort are part of its appeal. While there, you can enjoy a bit of theatre too as actors dressed in 17th-century attire take guests back in time with first-hand portrayals of the fort’s history.


14. Stroll around Parliament Square

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: Free

Parliament Square Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Kushal Bose/ Shutterstock.com

Much like Government House, the brightly colored buildings on Parliament Square are a popular attraction because of their stand-out appearance. The square features three pink and white buildings in Georgian colonial architectural style that were constructed in 1815. Today, the buildings primarily serve governmental functions: the House of Assembly, the Senate, the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, and The Bahamas Supreme Court. The historic Queen Victoria Statue is also located here.


15. Stand at Nassau's highest point at Fort Fincastle

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: $1-$3 USD (entrance fee)

Fort Fincastle Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: dnaveh/ Shutterstock.com

At the top of the Queen’s Staircase in Nassau, you’ll find the old Fort Fincastle. This fort was built by Lord Dunmore in 1793. Visitors to Fort Fincastle can expect captivating views from Nassau’s highest point, Bennett’s Hill. Notably, the fort, much like the Queen’s Staircase, was built with limestone. The walls are 126 feet tall and there are a few replica canons on site.


16. Shop at the Nassau Straw Market

Location: Bay Street, Downtown Nassau

Cost: Free (entrance fee)

Straw Market Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: dnaveh/ Shutterstock.com

In heart of Bay Street, you’ll find the much-talked-about Nassau Straw Market. This is a great place to pick up local handicrafts to take back home. The Straw Market has existed for decades, and, today, you’ll find a lot more than straw-inspired products. In addition to straw hats, baskets, and the like, you can find wooden sculptures, beaded jewelry, branded clothing, and other souvenirs.



Water sports & other outdoor activities in Nassau

Looking for more adventure during your Caribbean getaway? Luckily, Nassau is known for its beautiful outdoor activities and water sports. Adventurous visitors can embark on excursions like scuba diving, snorkeling, buggy tours, jet skis, and more.

Check out the beautiful marine life and natural beauty of the island with these fun activities:

1. Have fun at Baha Bay Waterpark

Location: West of Nassau

Cost: Adults $160 USD, children over 3 years old and under 48" tall $60 USD

With water slides, tipping buckets, and splash zones, the Baha Bay Waterpark offers a thrilling day of adventure for people of all ages. This water park includes body slides, rafting slides, and even free-fall slides. There’s a special area within this waterpark for smaller kids that includes pools that are a bit shallower. The Baha Bay Water Park is part of a resort and day passes can be purchased to enjoy this facility.


2. Go on a thrilling shark dive

Location: Southwest of Nassau

Cost: $130-$440 USD per person

Caribbean Reef Shark underwater

Image credit: Tomas Kotouc/ Shutterstock.com

There probably isn't a better way to have a memorable vacation in The Bahamas than to go shark diving. There are a few companies you can sign up to do this tour with while in the country. A variety of shark species can be spotted while diving in The Bahamas including hammerheads, tiger sharks, bull sharks, lemon sharks, Caribbean reef sharks, nurse sharks, and more. Nassau is an exciting place to go shark diving as is Grand Bahama.

Expert tip: Try two-tank professional shark diving in Nassau. This tour spans around 3 hours and includes the cost of a dive tank, weights, and shuttle for diving.



3. Catch some incredible fish on a deep-sea fishing tour

Located: East of Nassau

Cost: Starts at about $600 USD (price varies depending on trip duration, size of the boat, etc.)

Deep Sea Fishing Bahamas

Deep-sea fishing is incredibly popular in The Bahamas. There are several annual competitions that make an event out of the sporting side of deep-sea fishing. While in Nassau, you can embark on a full or half-day fishing adventure where you can enjoy the popular pastime while taking in amazing coastline scenery. All you need to do is sign up for a deep-sea fishing tour, and once you’re ready, you’ll have an experienced crew on hand and bait and tackle ready to go!

Expert tip: Check out the ultimate guide for fishing in Nassau right here. You'll be reeling in big ones in no time.



4. Watch the planes fly over Love Beach

Location: West of Nassau

Cost: Free

Love Beach Nassau Bahamas

Who knew plane scoping could be romantic? It is in The Bahamas, particularly at the beach made for love. Love Beach is about 20 minutes from downtown Nassau, and it is away from the more crowded beaches in the city center. You can spend the day here taking in the natural ambiance, everything from natural jacuzzis to hammocks and cabanas. With a beer or cocktail in hand, you’ll have up-close views of some magnificent aircraft.


5. Explore the marine life on a scuba (or SNUBA!) diving adventure

Location: West of Nassau

Cost: Depends on whether you have your own equipment or need to rent some out

Sandals Royal Bahamian Scuba Boat Bahamas

Overall, Nassau is great for scuba diving, whether you’re a pro or it’s your first time. There are lots of locations to choose from on the various islands, some even offering opportunities to swim with sharks in The Bahamas … if you’re brave (you may also need to be open water certified) that is! There are several companies offering open water scuba activities, while others offer SNUBA. You can also try wall diving, which can be done using underwater scooters.

Expert tip: If you aren’t already, you can get certified to scuba dive on vacation at Sandals, and dive for the rest of your vacation (up to 2 tanks per day) for free!



6. Go on a buggy tour through Nassau

Location: West of Nassau

Cost: $129 USD per person

buggy tour bahamas

A Nassau buggy sightseeing tour is a great way to explore the city. The Island Routes version of this tour makes it possible to learn about the caves in The Bahamas, explore Clifton Heritage Park, and visit Johnstone Beach where you can take a refreshing dip, explore, and even race around in your buggy. This tour ends with a stop at Sapodilla Restaurant where you can indulge in some scrumptious Bahamian dishes.


7. Have some fun at Aquaventure Waterpark

Location: Paradise Island

Cost: Prices vary in the low and high seasons from $129 - $169 for adults, and $94 and $118 for children (in USD)

Aquaventure Water Park Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: xabi_kls/ Shutterstock.com

The Aquaventure Waterpark is a 141-acre waterpark that features a range of waterslides, a mile-long river ride inclusive of rolling rapids and wave surges, a kids’ water-play fort, and 11 swimming pools. This waterpark has something to do for guests of all ages and it is also near the beach. While in Nassau, this is a cool place to spend the day with friends or family.


8. Jet ski at Cable Beach

Location: West of Nassau

Cost: Free to access

Sandals Royal Bahamian Cable Beach Bahamas
Pictured: This pristine stretch of Cable Beach is just outside of one of Nassau's most popular all-inclusive resorts, Sandals Royal Bahamian.



A Caribbean vacation is incomplete without visiting at least one beach. Cable Beach is one of the best you'll find in Nassau! This beach has everything -- gorgeous white sand, crystal clear water, tons of water sports, and lots of shops, bars and restaurants nearby. While at Cable Beach, you’ll definitely want to try some water sports. Jet skiing is a great idea on this amazing beach, and you're bound to have the time of your life.

Want to find some more amazing beaches in Nassau? Beach hop at the 12 best beaches in Nassau, Bahamas!



9. Watch the sunset at Jaws Beach

Location: West of Nassau

Cost: Free

Jaws Beach Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Paulharding00/ Shutterstock.com

Jaws Beach is where the celebrities go, or at least it was when the movie by the same name was being filmed in The Bahamas. Still today, thousands of people flock to these shores to see the scene of one of the most terrifying movies ever made. Things are a lot more mellow on Jaws Beach in real life and the sunsets are amazing as well!

Good to know: Apart from Jaws, there are many other films that were shot in The Bahamas, including some of the James Bond films!



10. Spend an afternoon on Cabbage Beach

Location: Paradise Island

Cost: Free

Cabbage Beach Paradise Island Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Fedor Selivanov/ Shutterstock.com

You can find pretty much any waterside activity you can think of at Cabbage Beach, including waterskiing, parasailing, jet skiing, and opportunities for snorkeling. There are plenty of places near this beach to sit down for some ice-cold drinks too. As far as public beaches go in The Bahamas, you can’t go wrong with this location near the Nassau Harbour. There are lots of restaurants and shops near the beach as well.


11. See the flamingos at Ardastra Gardens

Location: West of Nassau

Cost: Adults $20, children 4-12 years $12 (in USD)

Ardastra garden zoo flamingos Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Alisa_Ch/ Shutterstock.com

There are a number of places in The Bahamas where you can go to see wildlife, but there are not many where you can see more than 150 different species in the same place. The Ardastra Gardens & Zoo is the only zoo in The Bahamas and it is set in an area with over four acres of lush vegetation. You can find everything from Caribbean flamingos and parrots to lemurs and pigs here. At this location, you’ll learn about wildlife conservation and get to watch the famous marching flamingoes in the Flamingo Arena.


12. Have a beach party at Junkanoo Beach

Location: Downtown Nassau

Cost: $15-$40 USD per person (depending on what you order/drink/eat)

Junkanoo Beach

Image credit: Joni Hanebutt/ Shutterstock.com

You’re guaranteed a good time at Junkanoo Beach, which is popular with both visitors and locals. There’s always entertainment to be experienced on the beachfront and delicious food on offer nearby at a relatively low cost. There are restrooms, changing facilities, and pretty much everything you’ll need for an amazing beach day. From this beach just a short walk from Arawak Cay, you will be able to see the cruise ships come and go!



Easy day trips to take from Nassau

Though Nassau is full of culture, delicious food, and fun nightlife, there are so many more places in the Bahamas that you can explore. Luckily, you can easily travel from Nassau to other top destinations on the islands in a short day trip.

Some of our top day trips that you can plan from Nassau include:

1. See the famous swimming pigs in Exuma

Location: East of Nassau

Cost: Around $219 USD per person

Pig Island Bahamas Overview

Image credit: BlueOrange Studio/ Shutterstock.com

Whether you’ve been to The Bahamas or not, you’ve likely heard about the swimming pigs that have managed to charm many an audience, in and out of the region. You’ll need to take a boat from Nassau to the Exumas to meet them in person, which is quite the adventure in itself. Once you get there, you’ll find a family of pigs that swim out to meet you. Read more about the swimming pigs here!


2. Go snorkeling at Rose Island

Location: East of Nassau

Cost: Ranges from $75 USD (kids) to $119 USD (adults)

Rose Island The Bahamas

Image credit: Brookgardener/ Shutterstock.com

Experiencing the ‘Out Islands’ (islands other than New Providence) is a must while in The Bahamas. Nassau serves as the central point for the islands, which means you can take a boat or flight from there to get to most of the other islands in The Bahamas. Rose Island is a top choice for a day trip and can be accessed via speedboat. It is more or less a sandbar, but you’ll fall in love with its perfect tropical isolation. Plus, there is a thriving reef nearby that you can explore. Some tours here include lunch, a welcome drink, and snorkeling. There’s also a beach bar here that can supply all your needs throughout the day.


3. Swim with dolphins on Blue Lagoon Island

Location: East of Nassau

Cost: Ranges from $45 USD (kids) to $69 USD (adults)

Blue Lagoon Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Victor Maschek/ Shutterstock.com

Heading to Blue Lagoon is another interesting trip you can embark on while in Nassau. This is a private island known for its eco-friendly appeal and gorgeous white sand beaches.

Island Routes offers a swimming with dolphins tour that includes a roundtrip ferry ride to and from Blue Lagoon Island. There, you’ll be able to interact with dolphins, enjoy the beach, and dive into a tasty buffet lunch. This tour is about 4 hours and 45 minutes long. Don't forget to get a photo with the adorable dolphins before you leave!



Start planning your Caribbean getaway to Nassau, Bahamas today!

When planning your ultimate Caribbean vacation, there are tons of excursions and exciting activities for you to choose from. No matter if you are looking for delicious food, culture, exciting water sports, or just a relaxing beach front getaway, Nassau has it all.

Sandals Royal Bahamian Aerial Reopening Logo
Pictured: At Sandals Royal Bahamian, guests are granted unlimited access to restaurants, (swim up) bars, pools, snorkeling, scuba diving and even a private offshore island. Eat and drink to your heart’s content, and enjoy the best of entertainment that only Sandals can offer.


If you’re looking to check off a few more things from your Bahamian bucket list, Sandals resorts have incredibly helpful staff that can provide you with local insight and assist with booking. They can also arrange transportation for you and answer any questions you may have. You’ll find that the Sandals Royal Bahamian and the Sandals Emerald Bay resorts are conveniently located with beautiful views of the ocean and plenty of fun activities.




Getting Married In The Bahamas: Insights From Local Wedding Planners

Love
August 25th 2022
Getting Married In The Bahamas: Insights From Local Wedding Planners

The Bahamas has quite a reputation for being a hot spot for weddings, honeymoons, and pretty much any kind of romantic getaway. Aside from its postcard-worthy beaches, The Bahamas is known for its cultural diversity, pristine weather, and the almost 700 islands that make up its tropical archipelago, in addition to over 2,000 surrounding cays.

Sandals Bahamas Wedding Couple Beach Run

Couples dreaming of exchanging vows in The Bahamas will be pleased to know it takes around 30 minutes to get there from the southernmost region of Florida. As for the wedding itself, brides and grooms will have plenty of venue options and expert wedding planners at their disposal, especially at the all-inclusive Sandals Resorts.

To put those dream wedding plans into action, this article will fill you in on everything you need to know about getting married in The Bahamas.

Insider tip: When costs are factored in, some people choose the Caribbean over the U.S. for their dream wedding. The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. can range from $20,000- $40,000 USD or more, while the average cost for a Caribbean wedding is around $2,000 USD.


Key takeaways:

● You don’t need to be a citizen of The Bahamas to get married there. Blood tests are not required to get married in The Bahamas either. You will, however, need to provide all the required documentation to get your marriage license.

● Your marriage in The Bahamas will also be legal in the United States as a legal marriage, as per Bahamian law.

● The main attraction for couples wanting to get married in The Bahamas is the beauty of the islands, the amazing culture and weather, and the diverse wedding locations.

In this article on the Sandals Blog:

Why get married in The Bahamas?
How to complete the paperwork for your marriage license?
How to plan a wedding in The Bahamas in 12 steps
Getting married with a wedding planner
Amazing wedding venues in The Bahamas
Getting married at Sandals
Getting married in The Bahamas FAQs

Let’s get to it!


Why you should say your “I dos” in The Bahamas

The Bahamas is one of the few places that live up to the amazing promotions associated with it. Once you’re there, you’ll truly feel like you’re in paradise! Need more convincing? Here’s why The Bahamas could be perfect for your destination wedding:

Beach Wedding Detail Just Married Sign Couple

The islands that make up The Bahamas are developed and accommodating, while also being serene and secluded. You can choose the type of experience you want to have and expect that you’ll be able to find a resort to suit you in The Bahamas.

The islands truly are an amazing wedding escape where you can find an experienced wedding planner to guide your way, particularly at Sandals resorts in The Bahamas. You can have your dream wedding, customized just the way you’d like it.

You can even have a honeymoon and wedding in one! This will save time and money and allow you to skip across to a different island if you want different scenery for your honeymoon!

Expert tip: To help ensure that your wedding experience in The Bahamas is as smooth as can be, get all the legal documents you need together in advance.


How to complete the necessary paperwork for your marriage license

From the engagement, all the way up to your honeymoon, getting married is exciting! Before walking down, the aisle though, you’ll need to get a few things out of the way.

Insider tip: Getting married at a Sandals all-inclusive resort? Your personal wedding planner will provide all the assistance you need to get your documents together.


Here’s how to get a marriage license in The Bahamas, step by step:

1. Complete the declaration form

You will need to have a declaration form completed by a person (declarant) who has knowledge of the impending marriage. The form will need to be signed in the presence of a justice of the peace (JP), who is essentially a court officer who performs civil marriages. A friend, family member, or another representative can serve as a declarant.

2. Get a marriage license form

Before you can legally get married in The Bahamas, you will need to obtain a marriage license. You will receive your marriage license the day after you apply, or sometimes the same day. Both parties must be present at the Office of the Registrar in The Bahamas when applying for a marriage license.

Sandals Bahamas Wedding Underwater Pool

You can download a marriage license application here:
The Bahamas Marriage License Application

3. Pay for your marriage license

A marriage license in The Bahamas costs $120 USD, and this price includes a certified copy of your marriage certificate.

For more information, you can contact the Registrar General’s Department listed below:

Marriages Section
Registrar General’s Department
Cor. of Shirley and Charlotte Street
P.O. Box N-532
Nassau, New Providence
The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 397-9179/9113
Fax: (242) 322-5553
Email: [email protected]
Opening Hours: 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except on Public Holidays

4. Submit forms and supporting documents to the Registrar

The next step is submitting both your marriage license and your declaration forms to the Marriage Registration Section of the Registrar General’s Department along with other supporting documents.

Here are some of the other things you’ll need:

Birth certificate
Passport or driver’s license
If divorced: The original final decree or a certified copy of your divorce certificate
If widowed: The original death certificate or certified copy
Certified documents supporting any change of name (where applicable)

Good to know: If you are under the age of 18, you will need parental consent to get married in The Bahamas. Consent forms are available from the Registrar General’s Office.


5. Collect your marriage license

Once all your documents are approved, your marriage license will be issued. You may be able to get your marriage license processed on the same day, or the next day. With this process, it is possible to get married within 24-48 hours of your arrival in The Bahamas.


How do I plan a wedding in The Bahamas?

Getting married is an adventure like none other. Even though it can take a bit of planning, the end result will be worthwhile as you get ready to walk into your happily-ever-after. Here’s how to start planning your wedding in The Bahamas.

Start planning as early as possible

To say that you’ll need time to plan your dream wedding is an understatement - but the amount of time needed can vary depending on the size and intricacy of your ceremony, and also the location. It is important to factor in enough planning time, so you won’t feel rushed or overwhelmed. Time is also important for accommodating your guests who may need to travel to get there. Couples planning a destination wedding usually give their guests at least 12 months' notice, particularly if more than 10 guests are expected to attend. The sooner you get started, the better. Factor in at least 13-18 months to plan your wedding!

First things first…

Find a way to keep your thoughts and plans organized. Get a wedding folder or binder (some even refer to it as their personal "wedding bible”)! This comes in handy even if you have a wedding planner to do the planning for you because it will help you keep track of the planning easily (and stay out of panic mode!).

Some elements you can add to your wedding folder include:

● Your budget
● A guest list
● Wedding venue ideas
● Potential wedding dates
● Accommodations and flights
● Honeymoon arrangements
● Plans for the ceremony
● Plans for the reception
● Decor and color scheme ideas
● Wedding flower options
● A wedding playlist
● Options for the perfect wedding dress

Now to the nitty-gritty…

Step 1: Consider your budget

When planning a wedding, the very first thing you’ll want to do is set your budget. There are so many amazing things you can add to your wedding, so it can be easy for spending to get out of control. Once you set your budget, you’ll know how much is allotted for each area so you can plan things out without overspending. Remember that the goal is to build a life together, not to go into debt!

Save, save, save

We can’t emphasize how important it is to save in the months, and even years leading up to your wedding. In fact, in addition to your regular savings account, you should have a wedding day savings account that you can use solely for things related to your big day. Both of you can contribute to this and plan your wedding according to your budget. A good amount to put into a wedding fund is about 10 percent of your monthly earnings.

Keep track of what you spend

In addition to creating a wedding budget, you’ll also want to keep track of your spending as you go along. Use a spreadsheet that will detail the specific items that you have spent money on or will be spending on. Services, venue(s), rentals, flights, accommodations, and other wedding day fees and essentials should be included. Don’t forget to include post-wedding events and costs, like your honeymoon!

Expert tip: Check whether taxes and gratuities are included in the vendor cost estimates as you’re putting your wedding day spreadsheet together.


Be prepared for surprise costs

No one likes surprises, especially when you’ve set out a budget and want to stick to it. Sometimes though, this really can’t be avoided. Knowing this, it’s a good idea to leave room in your budget for unexpected costs. Be careful to avoid getting charged for services you don’t need or want. Pay attention to the details of what you’re getting, and also pay attention to transportation costs for various things or costs for providers to get to your venue so that you can plan with a money-saving mindset.

Cut costs where you can

If you’ve always dreamed about a grand wedding with a long guest list, it’s perfectly alright to go full steam ahead in that direction. With that said, there are still lots of ways to save no matter the size of your wedding. Here are a few money-saving tips that may come in handy:

Change the venue

Are you thinking of booking a large, open venue to fit all the people you want to invite? Keep in mind that doing so is likely to come with added costs for things like decor and seating. If on the other hand, you find a venue with suitable decor, where you’ll only need to add personal touches, here and there, you may be left with more funds to spend elsewhere.

Say no to upgrades at your wedding venue

Upgrades are great, but the truth is, they aren’t always necessary. Know when to go with it, and when to say no. This will help you save money.

Insider tip: If you plan an all-inclusive wedding at any Sandals resort, your wedding package will include everything you need for your dream wedding, with the possibility of adding on some neat upgrades too. Check out a full list of Sandals wedding inclusions here!


Edit the guest list

As large as you might want your wedding to be, it might be worth looking over your guest list to verify that everyone on there really needs to be included. Consider your costs when thinking about inviting people you’re not even sure you’re still friends with!

Have an off-peak wedding

Another area where you can save has to do with the timing of your wedding. Particularly if you’re planning a destination wedding, traveling during the ‘off-peak’ season can help you and your guests save money on flights and accommodations. Even if you’re getting married locally, there may be times of the year, or even certain days of the week, when it’ll cost less to book a wedding venue.

Step 2: Location, location, location

By now, you probably have an idea for your dream wedding venue or even a couple of possibilities. An important factor that will help you select the best one is your guest list. Who are you inviting, and how will they get there? Are you having a large wedding, or are you looking to elope? The answers to these questions will help you select the wedding location that works best for everyone.

Wedding garden Bahamas
Pictured: The regal gardens and reflective pool at Sandals Emerald Bay are a popular choice for destination weddings and receptions in The Bahamas.


The Bahamas is an amazing wedding destination for more reasons than one. These islands have a special charm that appeals to couples wanting to celebrate their love on sunny shores. In The Bahamas, you can choose from amazing tropical garden venues, quaint and traditional chapels, gazebos with jaw-dropping ocean views, and so much more. Just as long as you can think it up, chances are high that you’ll find the perfect wedding venue in The Bahamas. Ask questions to make sure your preferred venue will be available on your selected dates!

Insider tip: Sandals’ resorts in The Bahamas are incredibly wedding-centric with lots of great wedding locations guests can choose from. Plus, if you stay for 3 nights or longer at any Sandals all-inclusive resort in The Bahamas (or elsewhere), you can enjoy a free wedding! It's the perfect choice for an intimate and memorable occasion.


Step 3: Choose a date for your BIG day

Next stop? The date. If you’re traveling to the tropics for your wedding, you’ll be happy to know there’s hardly a bad time to go to The Bahamas. The best time to get married in The Bahamas is November to mid-December when the daytime temperatures are likely to be a bit cooler (this will be great if you’re having an outdoor wedding). Since the temperatures are more or less consistent in this part of the world, the dates for your wedding will largely depend on personal preference. If you want to skip the crowds though, avoid peak season (mid-December to April).

Expert tip: The best time to visit The Bahamas can depend on the reason for the trip. Read up on when you should travel for the best weather, the most sunshine, and to attend cultural events like Junkanoo and Bahamas Carnival.


Step 4: The invites

Prioritize putting together and finalizing your wedding guest list if you want your nearest and dearest to attend the ceremony. They too will need to budget for their trip to The Bahamas and schedule time off work.

Consider that your invites will need to be sourced or created, and then possibly printed out if you’re going with hard copy invites. After all of that, you’ll need to send them out. While you’re finalizing invites, you can send out “Save the Date” cards or emails. This will alert your guests about your wedding and give them a chance to start planning. Your “Save the Dates” can help you gauge what size wedding you will be having.

Keep in mind that a few of your guests may be unable to make it. Other obligations, or maybe even another wedding during a busy wedding season, might mean that they’re booked. In this case, a wedding registry will serve the added purpose of accommodating gifts of love from those who’d love to celebrate with you but just aren’t able to. For those attending and even those who will not be around, definitely put together a registry and include items you really would appreciate.

Consider whether you will have a bridal party

This is another element of the guest list that will have to be planned in advance. Your bridal party will need to be informed extra early, around the time that you have set the date and booked the location. This is especially so for anyone who might have to travel a long way or navigate their work or family schedule to attend. After you have shared your news and invites, ask that your bridal party let you know as soon as possible whether they’ll be able to make it.

Step 5: Accommodation and flights

If you’re planning on getting married in The Bahamas, plan to arrive at least 48 hours before your big day. Doing this will help you settle down a bit beforehand. Book flights and accommodations early and leave room for possible flight delays. If traveling with a group, ask about group rates.

Insider tip: There are special perks at Sandals resorts for large wedding groups. You can expect to score special discounts based on the number of guests from your wedding party who’ll be staying at the resort. In fact, if you book 5 rooms with any Sandals resort, you’ll get the 6th room free. This also counts for booking 11 rooms, where you’ll get the 12th room free and a complimentary upgrade to a butler-level suite for the bride and groom!


Getting from A to B

It’s one thing to make flight arrangements, and quite another to make plans for how you and your wedding party will get around once you arrive in The Bahamas. It is possible that not everyone attending your wedding will stay at the wedding venue. For those who don’t, it’s a good idea to arrange transportation in advance. This is one area where a local wedding planner can be of assistance. Some resorts provide this service as well. A wedding planner can refer you to a transfer company with reasonable prices that will be able to accommodate you and your guests. You can also provide a list of transportation options to guests so they can find their own way around.

As for you and your spouse, hire a luxury car or limousine to take you from your resort to the ceremony and back if you’re getting married off the property!

Insider tip: Thinking about booking your wedding at a Sandals resort? Those traveling in large groups or wedding parties can book their own private luxury Island Routes coach bus, accommodating a maximum of 44 guests with three flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi, fully reclining seats, ample leg room, footrests, food trays, and cup holders.


Step 6: Pick your honeymoon destination

A honeymoon is something most people have envisioned for their entire life. Don’t miss out on what could be a spectacular moment by planning something mediocre. Islands like The Bahamas stands out as incredible honeymoon destinations where you can find the sort of luxury, seclusion, and breezy beauty most expect out of a tropical getaway. In fact, The Bahamas is a perfect weddingmoon destination where you and your other half can save money while falling even more in love against the backdrop of this true Caribbean paradise.

Sandals Royal Bahamian Aerial Reopening

Expert tip: Book a minimum 3-night vacation at the Sandals Resort of your choice, arriving within 30 days of your wedding date, and get a FREE honeymoon package!


Step 7: Your wedding ceremony - The moment of a lifetime

There are so many ways to put together the perfect wedding that not only reflects your personality but also brings to life those romantic wedding dreams you’ve had forever. Customize to your heart’s content, and don’t settle until you’re absolutely satisfied.

Beach Wedding Detail Happily Ever After Sign Couple

A few other things you’ll need to decide on, aside from location, are whether you’ll be having a wedding rehearsal, who will be part of the wedding processional, how the officiant will greet the guests (formal or informal?), whether there will be prayers, personal readings or a marriage invocation, if you’ll have traditional or personal vows, and whether you want the exchange of rings to be done in a traditional way. Seating arrangements also need to be considered.

Your wedding planner can help you figure out best practices, or you and your spouse can decide on your own with the help of friends and family.

Step 8: The reception - It’s party time!

Whew!

There’s definitely a lot that goes into the planning of a wedding, but the best part of all is the reception. At this point, the formalities are behind you, and it’s time to have some fun with your spouse and your wedding party. Some things to consider when planning a wedding reception are the proximity to the wedding ceremony, whether it will be indoor or outdoor, or even sit-down or cocktail style. When it comes to proximity, it’s a good idea to keep the reception as close to the actual ceremony as possible.

Sandals Garden Wedding Reception

Whichever option you choose, be sure to consider the dietary requirements of your guests when selecting your menu. For example, have vegetarian options, vegan dishes, and even halal meals if someone requests them. Finally, decide whether you’ll be having an open bar or cash bar. Keep in mind that open bars may not be feasible if you’re having a large wedding.

Insider tip: You’ll get unlimited gourmet meals and premium spirits should you decide to tie the knot at an all-inclusive Sandals resort!


Step 9: Decor - Create the mood with color

If you’re on your own with decor, you’ll want to make sure that whatever you choose blends well with the other elements of your wedding (like the outfits your bridal party will wear, and even your cake). To start, you can create a mood board that will give you some visuals of your potential wedding look. The colors you select will set the tone for your special ceremony - from the invites, right on through to the bouquets. The location of your ceremony is also relevant when selecting decor because some locations allow for blending in natural elements that can also reduce your costs. Explore your options, and if you have a wedding planner, explain the look you’re going to guide the options they suggest for your ceremony.

Step 10: Picking and organizing the flowers

Flowers can literally bring your ceremony to life! A few things to consider when selecting flowers are your budget (flowers can be pricey!), desired color scheme, and hiring the right florist. Whether this part of things is being left to your wedding planner or you’re doing it on your own, try to get as much information as you can to make the right choices. A good place to start is with the bridal bouquet, which will set the tone for everything else. Work your way up to the groom’s boutonniere, hair flowers, the maid of honor’s bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets, and groomsmen boutonnieres. After that, focus on the overall decor. Remember that with flowers, less is sometimes more. Overall, this depends on your theme and positioning, the latter of which can make a difference in the overall appearance of your flowers, and how they amplify your decor.

Beach Wedding Detail Aisle Flowers


Tip: You may want to consider getting boutonnieres for the minister, fathers, grandfathers, and ushers. Corsages can also be included for mothers and grandmothers and special women in attendance who you would like to honor.


Step 11: Picking the ultimate wedding playlist

If you’re having a small wedding, you’ll definitely want to put together a swoon-worthy playlist. Reminisce on the good times you and your love have had leading up to your amazing big day. For bigger weddings, you can line someone up to do this for you, hire a DJ, or commission a live band. Like most other elements of your wedding, this will largely depend on your budget.

Wedding Bahamas First Dance Playlist

Image credit: Phase4Studios/ Shutterstock.com

What you’re looking for in your ceremony music are smooth and romantic tunes that will set the perfect ambiance. DJs can give you a bit more variety than a band can, but bands tend to be more engaging for everyone. If you have the budget for it, you can even do a live band and a DJ, though that likely won’t be necessary. Whichever route you take, make sure you get a good sense of the music style (DJ or band) before the big day. Also keep in mind that you can make suggestions on the order of the music, especially for big moments like the first dance!

Step 12: Say yes to the dress!

Saying “yes to the dress” might be a little more difficult than it sounds, as many brides have discovered. The key to finding the right dress is giving yourself enough time and knowing what you want. Use these simple tips which can help make your wedding dress shopping experience stress free.

1. The perfect fit:

To get the perfect fit you may need to think about how much you want to spend. The options are purchasing a dynamic dress that may only need a few alternations or making one yourself. Very rarely does a bride find a wedding gown that’s a perfect fit straight from the bridal store, but if you’re lucky and you love it, take it and run! Otherwise, a good tailor can help you get that perfect fit.

2. Pick one feature:

There are so many different styles of wedding dresses, and as you’re shopping around you may start to feel overwhelmed with the ones you absolutely love. It’ll be near impossible to find a dress with every single one of your favorite features incorporated, so try to figure out that one feature you like most and go with that.

3. It’s about how it makes you feel:

The goal is to find that wedding gown that’ll make you feel like you’re walking on a cloud as you glide down the aisle. The perfect dress will indeed make you feel like a million bucks, and not only should you feel confident in it, but you should also be comfortable!

4. Don’t be easily swayed:

Going wedding dress shopping with your bridesmaids or other close friends and family is exciting, but it can make things a little more complicated. For example, the preferences of others might not be your own, and you might find yourself selecting a wedding gown you don’t totally love. Take in the feedback from others and allow it to guide your decision, but at the end of it all, trust your gut when you think you’ve found the perfect gown.

5. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize:

Some brides choose a dress, then accessorize, while others know precisely the accessories they’ll be wearing on their big day and look for a dress to suit that. The most important thing is that your accessories and gown should blend effortlessly. If your dress is simple, you will definitely be able to glam it up with some choice of accessories.

6. Traditional vs non-traditional:

Before heading out to shop for a wedding dress, try to figure out whether you want a traditional or non-traditional gown. Whichever you choose, make sure it’s one that’ll make you feel sparkly inside and out as you make your way down the aisle. If you want a traditional gown that still shows hints of your personality and style, making alterations is always an option.

Is there such a thing as a perfect wedding dress?

There is such a thing as a perfect wedding dress, but the perfect dress varies from bride to bride. The perfect dress will feel as good as it looks, and it will be right in line with your budgetary expectations. Well, scratch that last one… sometimes perfection costs more, but if you’re able to find a dress you love and work your budget around it, then that is perfection in itself.

Step 13: The marriage certificate

Once your ceremony is over, you’ll be given a copy of the Marriage Register, which serves as legal proof of your marriage. You and your spouse, your witnesses, and the marriage officer will all sign the certificate, and you can later get a certified copy. If you get married at a Sandals Resort, you’ll be able to get some help and guidance in this department to help things go smoothly.


Getting married in The Bahamas with the help of a wedding planner

It’s no secret that hiring a wedding planner can help you sleep a lot better in the days ahead of your ceremony. This is even more so if you’re having a destination wedding. Planning a wedding in a foreign country can leave you feeling like a fish out of water. Your local wedding planner in The Bahamas can help you plan your wedding from start to end and will even assist with getting your documentation in order.

Sandals Bahamas Wedding Couple Beach Run2

With their help, you can breathe life into your wedding ideas, and meet all the deadlines leading up to your big moment. All in all, your wedding planner in The Bahamas will help you keep organized, stick to your budget, and can even offer some ideas of how you can incorporate a bit of Bahamian culture into your ceremony, perhaps with a dish or a local wedding custom. Once you have a general idea of what you’d like for your ceremony, your wedding planner can help.


Getting married at a Sandals resort

Sandals weddings are truly inspired by love, and, at this incredible all-inclusive Caribbean resort, you’ll have an entire team of professionals responsible for planning and coordinating your wedding. A Sandals wedding planner will be able to reserve your accommodations, wedding date, and wedding time. They can also provide assistance with getting your documents together and submitting them. Your personal pre-travel wedding planner can schedule a local non-denominational marriage officer to officiate your wedding, and even provide toll-free phone consultation.

Sandals Emerald Bay Gazeebo Wedding

Your Sandals wedding planner will organize all your wedding and reception plans and communicate your wishes to the resort wedding planner in preparation for your arrival. They’ll also schedule onsite wedding consultations with your resort wedding planning team, which includes a Wedding Manager, your personal Resort Wedding Planner, an on-resort wedding photographer, and the Red Lane® Spa boutique hair and makeup stylists.

Tip: Heading to a Sandals resort in The Bahamas for your wedding? Don’t forget resort essentials like sunblock, first-aid amenities, hair clips, welcome bag goodies, etc. If you do happen to forget something, you should be able to find what you need at the resort shop!


Bonus: Sandals Resorts wedding venues in The Bahamas

Not set on a wedding venue yet? Pick the perfect Sandals Resort in The Bahamas to celebrate your big day at an awesome Caribbean wedding venue:

Sandals Royal Bahamian

Sandals Royal Bahamian: Nassau, New Providence
● Over-The-Water Gazebo
● Oceanfront Gazebo
● Beachfront Wedding
● Garden Gazebo (Most Sandals Resorts)

Sandals Emerald Bay Wedding

Sandals Emerald Bay: Exuma
● Oceanfront Gazebo
● Beachfront Wedding
● Garden Gazebo (Most Sandals Resorts)
● European Wedding Garden


Getting married in The Bahamas FAQs

Is there a residency period when getting married in The Bahamas?

There is a residency period of 24-hours for non-Bahamians who want to get married in The Bahamas. You will be required to show proof of arrival date such as your Bahamas Immigration Card or the entry stamp in your passport. Cruise ship visitors will need to get a letter from their ship’s guest services department to confirm they’ve been in The Bahamas (Bahamian waters) for the 24-hour residency period.

What if we decide to get married only after we arrive?

Feeling spontaneous? You might just decide it’s time to secure that happily-ever-after once you set foot in The Bahamas. If you’re both smitten and convinced, the good news is you can apply for your marriage license as soon as one day after your arrival. You’ll be able to get married as soon as you receive your approved license which usually only takes one day.

How long is a Bahamian marriage license valid for?

Your Bahamas Marriage License will be valid for 90-days. You can choose to get married at any time during that period.

Do I need to obtain a marriage license if I wish to renew my vows?

No. You won’t need to apply for a marriage license in order to renew your vows.

Where should I go to obtain an approved marriage license or marriage certificate?

You can collect your approved marriage license or marriage certificate from the Office of the Registrar General in The Bahamas.

How much does it cost for additional copies of the marriage certificate?

For a fee of $20 USD each, you can acquire additional copies of your marriage certificate.

Do I need a witness to get married in The Bahamas legally?

Yes. You will need two witnesses who are at least 18 years old to sign your marriage license in The Bahamas. Witnesses can be provided for you if you don’t have any.

What types of weddings can I have in The Bahamas?

In The Bahamas, you can have a traditional wedding ceremony, one that is religious, or a strictly legal union. You can also choose to have a non-denominational or non-religious wedding ceremony. A local marriage officer will be able to walk you through the various options.

Can my pastor perform my wedding ceremony?

Your pastor won’t be able to perform your wedding ceremony in The Bahamas, but they can assist a local pastor with officiating your destination wedding.

Can I have my wedding ceremony on the weekend?

Yes. You will be able to have your wedding ceremony in The Bahamas on the weekend as long as you apply for your marriage license on a ‘working day’ ahead of that weekend.

What if I am a non-Bahamian marrying a Bahamian?

If you’re a non-Bahamian marrying a Bahamian, you will likely have to undergo an interview process that confirms that your marriage is not a marriage of convenience. Each person will be interviewed separately.


What if I want to get married on an island other than New Providence or Grand Bahama?

If you plan on getting married in one of the 'Out Islands’ of The Bahamas, you will need to contact the Administrator’s Office on that island to get your marriage license in order.

Beach Wedding Detail Bouquet Flowers


Getting married in The Bahamas - the start of an amazing union!

It’s safe to say you can now start packing! There really are some incredible all-inclusive resorts in The Bahamas that will be perfect if you plan on getting married on those beautiful islands. With expert wedding planners, quality inclusions, gourmet dining, and incredible accommodation options (some even including butler service!) available at resorts like Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau and Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma, you’ll definitely be on your way to an idyllic and unforgettable wedding in The Bahamas.



Snorkeling In The Bahamas? Here Are The 18 Best Snorkeling Spots In Nassau, The Exumas, Andros, And More!

Island Life
June 28th 2022
Snorkeling In The Bahamas? Here Are The 18 Best Snorkeling Spots In Nassau, The Exumas, Andros, And More!

Dreamy Bahamas – there’s not much these islands need to do to appeal even to the most discerning traveler. The islands and cays (over 700!) of this tropical archipelago need only to exist and be as beautiful as they are, and the crowd comes rushing in. Luckily, these crowds expand and thin throughout the year, making it easy to do something special in The Bahamas, like enjoy the best snorkeling adventure!

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Image credit: Denis Moskvinov/Shutterstock.com

There are many places to snorkel in The Bahamas, from Nassau, the capital, on the island of New Providence, all the way to the Abaco Islands in the extreme north. The appeal of these snorkeling destinations includes pink sand beaches, vibrant coral reefs, mesmerizing blue holes, mangroves, and safe shallows, all of which make The Bahamas stand out in the diving world.

In this article, we’ll highlight the best snorkeling destinations in The Bahamas so you’re more than prepared when you get there!

Expert tip: The kind of experience you want in The Bahamas, whether more mellow or action-packed, can help you decide the best time to visit these islands. If you want to snorkel, the best time to visit The Bahamas would be between mid-December and mid-April, although you’re free to snorkel at this great destination year-round!


The best snorkeling in Nassau

Clifton Heritage Park

Clifton Heritage Park is located off the western coast of New Providence. This national park consists of both forest and marine areas and is a popular stop for travelers wanting to hike, dive, and explore. Warm, crystal clear waters are part of the appeal of diving in this area as are the amazing marine animals you’re likely to encounter.

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Image credit: photravel_ru/Shutterstock.com

Off the shores of Clifton Heritage Park, divers will find both natural and man-made coral reefs that are home to many varieties of tropical fish including blue tangs. Stingrays and sea turtles are also common sightings here. There’s even a huge, 18ft underwater sculpture off the coast - the largest of its kind in the world. Apart from this large carving, there are other underwater art pieces in the area, but you’ll need to have scuba gear to see those.

Rose Island Reef

Rose Island is the perfect snorkeling destination if you’re looking for a unique and fun experience. This island is three miles east of Paradise Island and it can be explored via a day trip while in The Bahamas. If you’ll be staying in Nassau on New Providence, you can take a boat to Rose Island from Paradise Island, which is connected to New Providence by a bridge.

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Image credit: Brookgardener/Shutterstock.com

The Rose Island Reef is in relatively shallow water and close to shore, so it is quite easy to access. This is a great spot for beginners, but more experienced snorkelers will also enjoy this particularly active reef. Sightings can include stingrays, sea turtles, baby reef sharks, and lots and lots of colorful tropical fish. You can easily snorkel here for two hours or more and not get tired of the experience.

When diving around Rose Island, keep an eye out for shipwrecks. There are at least two wrecks in this area that divers can explore – the Mahoney and the Alcora. In and around these ships, you can expect to see large schools of fish and a thriving underwater world.

From Paradise Island, it will take around 40 minutes to get to Rose Island by boat. Once you arrive, you can settle into a shady beachside spot, go swimming, relax, or even spend some time with the swimming pigs of Rose Island!

Good to know: There are bathrooms, a restaurant, and a bar on Rose Island as well.


Love Beach

Who wouldn’t love to snorkel in a place called Love Beach? We know we would! Just as fabulous as the name of this location, the snorkeling here is amazing and just might be the highlight of your Bahamian vacation. Love Beach is on the island of New Providence, and it is one of the best snorkeling sites in The Bahamas.

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Image credit: FilatovaAnna/Shutterstock.com

There is a lot to see during a dive at Love Beach! Snorkelers frequently run into barracuda, spiny lobster, and diverse species of fish along the reef. You may see some conch shells as well and lots of colorful coral further out. You can usually see fish just by venturing into the knee-deep waters of this area, making the experience perfect for snorkelers of all skill levels.

Before or after snorkeling at Love Beach, you might consider renting beach chairs and umbrellas (about $5 USD each) to relax on the beach. The beach is rarely crowded and bound to leave you feeling refreshed and totally in love with laid-back island living!

Goulding Cay Reef

Goulding Cay Reef is off the west coast of New Providence. This reef is located just off of a private island, so it is not possible to access it without first booking a snorkeling boat trip. Visiting this shallow water reef (about 9 feet underwater) made of elkhorn corals can be worth the day trip to get there as you’re likely to have a fun snorkeling adventure. Goulding Cay Reef is only about 30 minutes from downtown Nassau by boat.

Expert tip: Staying at a Sandals all-inclusive resort can mean easy access to the best snorkeling in Nassau. You’ll also be in just the right place to enjoy the most exciting things to do in Nassau.


The best snorkeling in the Exumas

The Exumas are made up of over 365 islands and cays. This part of The Bahamas is great for full stays or day trips as there are so many things to do in Exuma, particularly on the island of Great Exuma. If you’re planning on visiting the Exumas, here are some of the best places to snorkel:

Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park

A diving expedition in the Exumas should definitely include the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. This park is a protected area to the north of the Exuma Cays and it includes both land and marine sections spanning 112,640 acres. The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is loved for its beautiful and secluded beaches, diverse hiking trails, wildlife explorations, and diving!

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Image credit: Matt A. Claiborne/Shutterstock.com

If you choose to go diving here, you can snorkel around brilliant coral reefs teeming with sea life. Sightings can include grouper, sea turtles, lobster, eagle rays, and more. There are also a variety of marine environments to explore here including mangroves. The shallows at this marine park can be great for snorkeling as well.

Stocking Island

Stocking Island is a few miles off the coast of Great Exuma. You can ride a 10-minute ferry to get from Great Exuma to Stocking Island at a cost of $15 USD per person round trip. Visiting this island can be worth considering if you’re not only looking for both an interesting place to snorkel and amazing beaches.

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Image credit: Brookgardener/Shutterstock.com

On Stocking Island, you can experience the famous pink sand beaches of The Bahamas. Walking on these rare sands will be a phenomenal introduction to the island as you get set for a day of snorkeling. Once you settle in, you can decide whether you want to explore the coral reefs and caves, or snorkel in the shallows. If you’ll be there for the day, you might have a chance to enjoy a little bit of everything. Sightings of sea turtles and stingrays are common around Stocking Island.

Expert tip: When you’re done snorkeling at Stocking Island, you can grab a bite to eat at the restaurant and bar or gear up for a game on the volleyball court!


Thunderball Grotto on Staniel Cay

There are so many reasons to love Thunderball Grotto and that list starts with just how breathtaking it is to look at. Thunderball Grotto is an underwater cave system located to the north of Great Exuma and Guana Cay. This location is best known for its incredible snorkeling and scuba diving, and for the list of movies it has appeared in, such as the famous James Bond movies, ‘Thunderball’ and ‘Never Say Never’.

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Image credit: Danita Delimont/Shutterstock.com

Thunderball Grotto is on Staniel Cay and appeals to anyone looking to have a unique and exciting snorkeling adventure in The Bahamas. This space is truly spectacular, and while snorkeling here, you can expect to see diverse coral reef systems and marine life. If you want to snorkel at Thunderball Grotto, it is best to do so during low tide. At high tide, you may need scuba diving gear to get in and out of the grotto. The currents tend to be stronger at high tide as well.

Expert tip: If you plan on exploring Thunderball Grotto while in The Bahamas, it is a good idea to go with a guide. This way you won’t have a hard time finding underwater entrances, and you’ll be able to get in and out of the cave safely.


Three Sisters

Three Sisters Beach is on the island of Great Exuma, just about 20 minutes from the island’s main settlement, George Town. This quiet beach was named after the three huge rocks that sit in the shallows and serve as a beautiful photo backdrop. The appeal of a dive here is the beauty of the beach itself and the calm, shallow waters. For this reason, it is a great starting point for beginner snorkelers. While diving off Three Sisters Beach, you can expect to be dazzled by the large, colorful schools of fish and vibrant coral.

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Image credit: Jimette/Shutterstock.com


Duck Cay

Duck Cay is located off the western coast of Great Exuma. The northern and southern parts of this cay offer quite different dive experiences. In the north, you can expect to see lots of standout reef structures and a wide variety of marine life, while the south features more shallow reefs, which are ideal for beginners. The highlight of a dive at Duck Cay is the interesting reef structures you’re likely to see while there.


The best snorkeling in Eleuthera

Eleuthera can best be described as that long, thin island south of Great Abaco, and to the east of New Providence. This Bahamian snorkeling destination is known and loved for its gorgeous pink sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. If you want to snorkel in Eleuthera, here are the best places to go:

Gaulding's Cay

Gaulding’s Cay is just off the north coast of Great Exuma. This dive site is relatively easy to access because it is only about 50 yards from Gaulding’s Cay Beach on Great Exuma. You can swim to the cay and back from the beach, and, at low tide, you can even walk out to the cay while the water is knee-deep.

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Image credit: pics721/Shutterstock.com

Since Gaulding’s Cay is so easy to access, it is a great option for newbie snorkelers. At this snorkeling site, you can enjoy a relatively shallow water dive with lots of colorful and curious fish, as well as occasional sightings of stingrays, starfish, and more. You’re also likely to see bonefish, sea anemones, and sea cucumbers around the cay. Gaulding’s Cay Beach is on the quiet side so you’ll have lots of room to explore and enjoy your beach day once you’re done snorkeling.

Devil's Backbone Reef

Devil’s Backbone Reef gets its name from the sharpness of the coral along this reef, which is said to have been responsible for a number of shipwrecks. This reef is along the northern coast of Eleuthera. It can be worth snorkeling here if you’re looking for an experience that not only includes lots of marine life but sightings of history-filled remnants of wrecked ships as well.

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Image credit: freisein/Shutterstock.com

This reef is more on the shallow side, and you can expect to see lots of different types of fish including parrotfish while diving here. You might also come across moray eels and stingrays. There’s a wide variety of coral in this underwater zone including star coral, elkhorn, and brain coral. While diving here, you may also spot the odd anchor, random metal beams, rudders, and other evidence of the reef’s ship-wrecking repertoire.


The best snorkeling in the Abacos

The Abacos are an island grouping to the extreme north of The Bahamas. These islands are just about 180 miles off the southwestern coast of Florida with the main islands being Great Abaco and Little Abaco. There are both islands and cays in the Abacos where you can have incredible snorkeling excursions like those listed below:

Pelican Cays National Park / Sandy Cay Reef

Pelican Cays National Park is located in central Abaco between Elbow Cay and Tilloo Cay. This park spans 2,100 acres of both land and sea. Pelican Cays National Park is loved for the fact that it offers hiking opportunities, has lots of different beaches to explore, allows you to spend some time in nature, and of course, provides great snorkeling experiences!

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Image credit: GizemG/Shutterstock.com

The coral reef inside this park is extensive, and there’s an underwater cave system as well. This makes Pelican Cays the ideal snorkeling destination, especially if you choose to dive around Sandy Cay Reef. There, you can expect to see lots of species of coral including elkhorn coral, sea fan coral, finger sponges, and more. You’re also likely to see angelfish, Nassau grouper, sea turtles, spiny lobster, jacks, queen conch, stingrays, and even dolphins!

Fowl Cay National Park

The Fowl Cay National Park can be found between Scotland Cay and Man-O-War Cay in Central Abaco. This area consists of lots of seagrass beds and coral reefs with lots of rocky shores and sandy bottom habitats. Fowl Cay National Park is a great spot to snorkel because there’s always lots to see in the bright turquoise waters of this area.

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Image credit: Matt A. Claiborne/Shutterstock.com

During a dive at Fowl Cay National Park, snorkelers can expect to see grouper, yellowtail snapper, sea turtles, barracuda, stingrays, and the list goes on! There are multiple reefs to explore in Fowl Cay so you can check out a few of these during your visit. You can get to the Fowl Cay National Park via a snorkeling or adventure tour or by taking your own boat to get there. There are mooring buoys available if you will be heading out on your own.

Great Guana Cay

Great Guana Cay is located between Whale Cay and Elbow Cay. This island is around 4 miles long and it is a cool place for a day trip that includes hiking, interacting with iguanas, kayaking, and snorkeling. As the coral around Great Guana Cay is so beautiful and the marine life so alluring, it is one of the best places to snorkel while in The Bahamas.

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Image credit: Daniela Filomeno/Shutterstock.com

In the waters surrounding Great Guana Cay, you’re likely to see lots of colorful coral heads, purple sea fans, sea whips, and more. The marine life is impressive as well - you'll see this for yourself while exploring the coral reef that is home to so many different species. The reef is just a few yards from the beach, so it won’t be hard to access.

Good to know: There’s a beachfront restaurant and bar on Great Guana Cay – Nippers. This spot is known for its friendly staff, great music, dancing, and mesmerizing ocean views!


Marsh Harbour’s Mermaid Reef

We won’t blame you for hoping that you might spot a mermaid or two at this location. While we can’t exactly make any promises where that’s concerned, we can say that you’re likely to have a wonderful time snorkeling at Mermaid Reef in The Bahamas.

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Image credit: Sinn P. Photography/Shutterstock.com

Mermaid Reef is ideal if you’ll be visiting Great Guana Cay and you’re looking for other interesting things to do. As it is a protected reef, the marine life here is thriving and you can expect to see a wide array of fish that will swim right up to you. You might spot some eels as well along the reef itself. Mermaid Reef is located just 10 minutes from Marsh Harbour and is easy to access. In this area, the water is usually calm and clear, which makes for a great experience for snorkelers of all skill levels.


The best snorkeling around Andros

Andros is the largest island in The Bahamas. Its landmass is said to be greater than all the other islands of The Bahamas put together. The island of Andros is split into three parts – North Andros, Mangrove Cay, and South Andros, all of which are known for great snorkeling sites, which we’ll detail below:

The Andros Barrier Reef

The Andros Barrier Reef is on the east coast of Andros in The Bahamas. This reef is extremely popular because, at 190 miles long, it is the third-largest barrier reef in the world. The Andros Barrier Reef is only accessible by boat, but even with a boat, you’ll need some really good directions or a guide on board. This is because there are many shallows and shipwrecks in this area that can be devastating for your boat if you don’t navigate carefully.

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Image credit: alina_danilova/Shutterstock.com

Once you finally make it to a good spot safely, you can really get into this dive experience. While diving around the Andros Barrier Reef, expect to see a vast array of sea life as over 164 marine species have been spotted in this area including red snapper, blue tang, Spanish hogfish, sea turtles, lobster, and lots of juvenile fish. You’re also likely to see brain coral, staghorn coral, water sponges, and lots more.

The Andros Barrier Reef borders the Tongue of the Ocean, which is a deep trench dividing the island of Andros and New Providence. The water around the trench has a much deeper blue tone compared to the shallower waters in the area. From above, the deeper blues take on a tongue-like shape, which is how the area got its name.

China Point

China Point is a lesser-known dive location in The Bahamas. You might only find out about it if you find it by chance or if you go with experienced divers for your snorkeling excursion. This dive site is located near Andros, and it is loved for its clear waters, the abundance of fish, and the beautiful coral formations.

In the shallower waters of China Point, you can expect to see elkhorn corals, staghorn corals, sea snails, parrotfish, and more. If you venture a bit further out, you’re likely to see brain corals, sea fans, and lots of tropical fishes.

South Andros Blue Holes

There are lots of blue holes found around Andros, but the South Andros Blue Holes are definitely worthwhile for a snorkeling expedition. These tidal freshwater blue holes were formed long ago when the ocean level was much lower, even as far back as the last Ice Age. Water eroded the limestone that the islands of The Bahamas are primarily made of and created these immensely deep underwater caves.

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Image credit: alina_danilova/Shutterstock.com

In South Andros, there are blue holes that you can dive in without scuba equipment – these can make for an exciting snorkeling session. If you want to scuba dive in Andros, there are lots of other blue holes to choose from around the island.


Enjoy the best snorkeling The Bahamas has to offer

Snorkeling tours in The Bahamas can be exciting, to say the least. There are so many amazing dive locations to choose from on these islands and, hopefully, you’ll have enough time during your vacation to check out the best ones. If by the end of your vacation there are still a few more you’d have loved to explore, a repeat trip is always a possibility!

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Image credit: Denis Moskvinov/Shutterstock.com

If you’re taking a trip down to The Bahamas, you’ll need to decide where to stay. If you haven't yet chosen accommodations for your snorkeling trip, it is worth looking in the direction of an all-inclusive resort in Nassau or an all-inclusive resort in the Exumas. At Sandals Emerald Bay in the Exumas, you can snorkel in uber-blue waters as you indulge in easy access to beaches, unlimited cocktails, and all-inclusive snorkeling excursions. Sandals Royal Bahamian on New Providence also has a beautiful beachfront setting with lots of quality inclusions like ten gourmet on-property restaurants and its own offshore private island. Both resorts offer snorkeling with professional equipment and instruction (all included), so you can dive whenever the mood strikes you on your Bahamian vacation!

The Ultimate Nassau City Guide: Historic Sights, Restaurants & Places to Stay

The Islands
April 20th 2022
The Ultimate Nassau City Guide: Historic Sights, Restaurants & Places to Stay
Cover image credit: Hendrickson Photography/Shutterstock.com

Nassau, the capital city of The Bahamas, is well-loved for many reasons. Chief among these is its charm and beauty. This city on the island of New Providence is home to some of the best all-inclusive resorts in The Bahamas, making it a great place to stay if you’re looking to be near the best cultural and historical sites, shopping centers, nightclubs, and restaurants.

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Image credit: alarico/Shutterstock.com

If you’re traveling to Nassau for a vacation, it’s a good idea to learn as much as you can about the city and about The Bahamas as a whole beforehand. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular attractions, restaurants, and other great things to do in Nassau.

Good to know: Many of the most popular sites and attractions in Nassau, as well as the cruise port, are found in the Downtown area.


In this article on the Sandals Blog:

About Nassau

Best beaches around Nassau
Points of interest in Nassau
Shopping for souvenirs in Nassau

Great lunch spots in Nassau
Great dinner spots in Nassau

Places to have a drink (or two)

Where to stay in Nassau

Bonus: Day trips from Nassau


About Nassau, Bahamas

You would never guess by looking around that the city of Nassau was once teeming with pirates! In fact, Nassau was one of the most popular pirate havens in the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy. Henry Every, arguably one of the most successful pirates of all time, is credited with bringing the pirate business (and a shipful of stolen loot!) to Bahamian shores. Over time, other famous names like Charles Vane and Edward Teach (a.k.a Blackbeard) joined the throng of pirates and smugglers that flocked to Nassau’s harbors. The age of pirates was brought to an end when British captain Woodes Rogers declared war on all pirates and pursued the pillaging rogues under the slogan “Expulsis Piratis Restituta Commercia”, which translates to “pirates expelled, commerce restored”.

Nassau The Bahamas

Image credit: Bogdan Dyiakonovych/Shutterstock.com

Nassau, the capital city, is one of the most popular places to stay in The Bahamas. It is also the most populated city in this tropical archipelago. The population of Nassau stands at around 274,400 (2016), which is just over 70% of the overall population of the Bahamas (391,000). Nassau is the hub for commerce, education, law, administration, and media in The Bahamas, and it's also a central point that provides access to most of the country’s other islands.

If you are traveling from the U.S., you will likely be arriving in Nassau via the Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS), which is the main airport of The Bahamas. It is just about 9.9 miles (16 km) west of downtown Nassau. There are daily flights from this airport to many major U.S. cities, so you’re likely to have lots of flight options as you plan your trip to The Bahamas.

Like the rest of The Bahamas, Nassau (named in honor of William III of England, Prince of Orange-Nassau) is beautiful to behold. There are many historical attractions, like the Queen’s Staircase and Parliament Square, that you can check out while you’re there - we’ll touch on that a little more later.

Insider tip: Nassau is an amazing area to stay in if you’re looking for romantic vacations for couples because there’s just so much to do and see in this capital city!


Five great beaches in and around Nassau

1. Cable Beach

Cable Beach is one of the first recommendations that come up when searching for an amazing beach in Nassau. With clean shores, pristine sand, crystal clear waters, there’s no doubt that this beach lives up to the hype. In addition to being so beautifully convenient, this beach is also located near some of the most upscale resorts in The Bahamas, including Sandals Royal Bahamian.

Sandals Royal Bahamian Cable Beach Bahamas


2. Love Beach

The Bahamas is one of the most romantic places in the world, and a visit to Love Beach while there is a must! Couples will love the ambiance here, as well as the convenience (it’s just 20 minutes from downtown Nassau). Love Beach is also more private because it is away from the other popular beaches near downtown. Once you get there and secure a spot, you’ll feel like you’ve got a stretch of paradise all to yourself!

Love-Beach-Nassau-Bahamas


3. Jaws Beach

The name of this beach can sound a bit intimidating, but there’s no reason to fear. Jaws Beach was famously featured in the Hollywood blockbuster Jaws! In fact, this beach is so famous that people make a point of going there just to see what it’s like in real life. Fortunately, all the scary bits were reserved for the cameras. Off-screen, Jaws is just another sensational beach in The Bahamas.

Jaws Beach Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Paulharding00/Shutterstock.com


4. Cabbage Beach

Cabbage Beach is one of the most popular beaches in The Bahamas. Here you can enjoy just about any water activity that comes to mind including jet-skiing, water-skiing, parasailing, snorkeling, and more. There are also many bars, restaurants, and shops in this area that you can check out before or after finding a sunny spot to relax in for a few hours. The convenience of this location (near the Nassau Harbour) is a sure win.

Cabbage Beach Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Fedor Selivanov/Shutterstock.com


5. Junkanoo Beach

If you missed out on Junkanoo in The Bahamas, the next best thing is spending some time on Junkanoo Beach! There’s always something going on at this beach, which means it’s probably not the best destination if peace and quiet are what you seek. If a lively beach experience with entertainment and food nearby appeals to you, then look no further than this.

Junkanoo-Beach-bahamas

Image credit: Patrick Horton/Shutterstock.com


For the full list of beaches in and around Nassau, check out this article!


10 points of interest that you don’t want to miss out on in Nassau

1. The Queen’s Staircase & Fort Fincastle

The Queen’s Staircase has quite a story to tell - one that has been told for many years in The Bahamas. These stairs (commonly referred to as the 66 Steps) were carved out of solid limestone by slaves between 1793 and 1794 as a direct route to the city of Nassau from Fort Fincastle. It is said that Queen Victoria of Britain once walked here, so this historic staircase was named in her honor. You can come here to see the staircase in real life, and to take photos. The 66 Steps and its surrounding foliage provide quite a unique backdrop!

Queens Staircase Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: photravel_ru/Shutterstock.com

Fort Fincastle is probably the most striking of all of Nassau’s old forts! This fort was built in 1793 by a former governor of The Bahamas, Lord Dunmore, and can be found at the top of the Queen’s Staircase. The amazing view from Fort Fincastle (located on Bennett’s Hill, the highest point in Nassau) is one of the things that makes it a must-visit spot. The intricacy of its limestone design (it’s shaped like a paddle-wheel steamer!), the replica canons, and the magnitude of its walls standing at 126 feet high will be a sight to behold as well!

2. Fort Charlotte

There are three popular historic forts in The Bahamas that often make the list of things you must see while there. That list includes Fort Charlotte, which was built in 1788. Set on 100 acres, the allure of this fort has everything to do with the dungeons, cannons, and tunnels you’ll get to see firsthand.

Fort Charlotte Aerial Nassau Bahamas Aerial

Image credit: Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock.com

There’s also an impressive view of Paradise Island from the fort and lots of theatrical elements like actors dressed in 17th-century attire portraying moments in the fort’s history. Tours can be done here on select days of the week, but you may want to call The Ministry of Tourism to find out the schedule in advance (or find out through your resort).

Good to know: Paradise Island is connected to New Providence by a toll bridge. The cost of the toll is about $2 USD, and it takes less than 10 minutes to get there from Downtown Nassau by car or taxi.


3. Parliament Square

You’ll hear a lot about Parliament Square while in The Bahamas. This is a popular location where you can find many of the island’s pink and white government buildings. Most of the buildings in this area have a rich history, and the Georgian Colonial architectural design that dates back to 1815 is certainly something to behold. Buildings in this area include the House of Assembly, the Senate, the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, and The Bahamas Supreme Court. There’s also a historic (and large!) statue of Queen Victoria erected in the square.

Parliament Square Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Kushal Bose/Shutterstock.com


4. The ‘Versailles Gardens’ of Paradise Island

Visiting the Versailles Gardens is on the list of the most interesting things to do while in The Bahamas. Also known as the Paradise Island Cloisters, this attraction is frequently compared to the Versailles Gardens in Paris, which has a similar design. In addition to the vibrant flora and fauna, there’s a 13th-century monastery you can explore while here. Allow yourself to be fully present for this experience and take photos and mental notes for later!

Versailles Garden Bahamas

Image credit: Erkki & Hanna/Shutterstock.com


5. Aquaventure Waterpark

Waterpark adventure calling? Look no further than the Aquaventure Water Park on Paradise Island. You’ll be able to make the most of the incredible Bahamian weather at this location which includes waterslides, a lazy river, and lots of pool time.

6. Clifton Heritage Park

History, culture, and beauty collide at the Clifton Heritage Park in The Bahamas. This location is a good choice if you want to learn more about The Bahamas while experiencing some of the attributes that make it what it is firsthand. The landscape here is a mixture of wetlands, rocks, and white sand beaches. While at this national park, you can also see firsthand some of the ancient architecture of the Lucayan people, the first inhabitants of the islands of The Bahamas.

Clifton National Heritage Park

Image credit: photravel_ru/Shutterstock.com


7. The Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation

The Pompey Museum is located at Pompey Square in Downtown Nassau. This museum is on the small side, but it’s still loaded with information and lots of useful exhibits. Aside from what’s inside, there are usually cultural events happening in the vicinity of the museum, which promote a lively atmosphere.

Pompey Square Bahamas

Image credit: Barbara Kalbfleisch/Shutterstock.com


8. The Primeval Forest

The Primeval Forest will easily help you transition into a place of serenity from the moment you arrive. Away from the Nassau hustle and bustle, you can truly immerse yourself in nature at this site. With 7.5 hectares to explore, there are tropical plants of all kinds here, sinkholes, caverns, and lots of interesting limestone formations, which you’ll be able to explore during a guided tour (optional). By the time you leave here, you’ll be completely back to zen.

9. Baha Bay Waterpark

Nassau offers a myriad of opportunities for fun in the sun. Baha Bay is yet another waterpark you can enjoy while you’re staying on the island. This expansive beachfront facility offers fun amenities like a lazy river, surf simulator, wave pool, waterslides, kid and toddler pool areas, and an elite beach club.

10. Pirates of Nassau Museum

If you’re speaking of the pirate history of The Bahamas (and boy is there a lot to talk about where that is concerned!), you simply must mention the Pirates of Nassau Museum. Did you know that there was once a time when The Bahamas had the largest crop of pirates in the entire Caribbean? Well, that was definitely the case, and it had a significant impact on island affairs. At the Pirates of Nassau Museum, there are lots of different exhibitions and displays that provide insight into this time. While there, you’ll have the option of a guided tour from an animated pirate, and access to a gift shop to pick up pirate-inspired souvenirs.

Pirates of Nassau Museum Bahamas

Image credit: Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock.com


For the full list of things to do in Nassau, check out this article!


Five great places to shop for souvenirs in Nassau

1. Bahama Handprints

Got fashion in mind and not sure where to pick up something fun and stylish in Nassau? Head to Bahama Handprints where you can find something original to take back home with you. Aside from clothing, you can also get things like readymade napkins, interior-design fabric, placemats, accessories, and more here. Don’t forget to ask about a tour of the factory!

2. Bahama Art & Handicrafts

Your souvenir hunt in The Bahamas may just take you to Bahama Art & Handicrafts. That is if you really want to find something out of the ordinary to take home with you. Bahamian treasures abound here, and you can choose from things like handmade jewelry like glass stone bangles and conch charm necklaces, Junkanoo headpiece ornaments, paintings, driftwood sculptures, handmade baskets, traditional handicrafts, and other decorative items.

3. Graycliff

Enjoy a touch of class on an already exciting stay in Nassau by visiting the historic Graycliff. This romantic locale was once the estate of a famous pirate, but today it is one of the best places in Nassau to acquire unique, sophisticated souvenirs. At Graycliff, you can find delicious gourmet chocolates and truffles crafted at their own chocolate factory, which make a scrumptious gift for those back home. The site is also home to the Bahamas’ first winery, Bahamas Barrels, so it may be worth your time to scoop up a few bottles of locally blended wine to pair with your sweet treats.

Graycliff Hotel Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock.com


4. Rum Cake Factory

You haven’t been to the Caribbean until you’ve tried some rum cake. You also won’t be able to adequately sell the experience to friends or family unless you bring some home with you once your vacation is over! Located in downtown Nassau, the Bahamas Rum Cake Factory makes it easy to take delicious rum cakes back home in flavors like amaretto, banana, chocolate, cinnamon, coconut, and more. These rum cakes are recognized as the official rum cakes of The Bahamas, so you can be assured you’re making a good purchase!

Rum Cake Factory Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Lost Mountain Studio/Shutterstock.com


5. John Watling’s Distillery

A little way from Government House in Nassau, you’ll find the John Watling’s Distillery. The distillery offers a popular tour which provides an opportunity to sample barrel-aged rum and explore the Buena Vista Estate where it is located. Tasting tours can be done daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

John Watlings Distillery Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Lost Mountain Studio/Shutterstock.com



Seven great lunch spots in and around Nassau

1. Señor Frogs

If you’re looking to get the party started around lunchtime, Señor Frogs is the place to be. This is a high-energy, fun zone where you can have a refreshing drink and some good food. The location is convenient, very close to the historic city center, and in the vicinity of the cruise port. Look for a colorful entrance that’s hard to miss and get ready for some fun and laughs!

Bahamas Senor Frogs Nassau

Image credit: Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock.com


2. Pink Octopus Restaurant and Bar

This off-the-beaten-path restaurant offers Mediterranean-influenced Caribbean cuisine in a casual waterfront setting. Sit out on the veranda and enjoy the cool breeze as you devour delicious cocktails and unique dishes like watermelon salad, roasted snapper, and hand-crafted pizzas.

3. Latitudes

Latitudes offers waterfront dining at its best, right at the Nassau Harbour Club. It could be the eye-catching menu that includes local and international cuisine or the views that keep people coming back; that’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself when you get there!

4. Compass Point Restaurant & Bar

Compass Point is the ideal place to go for good food with a lovely ocean view. There’s also live music on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10 p.m., which will really help you get in sync with the Caribbean rhythm of things that much quicker!

Compass Point Restaurant Nassau Bahamas

Image credit: Andrew Bondarchuk/Shutterstock.com


5. Aquafire

Venture into the western part of New Providence for an exotic lunch experience. Fitted with both indoor and outdoor dining areas, Aquafire gives you the opportunity to dine on Bahamian favorites like conch chowder, conch fritters, and grouper or try something a little different (think crispy octopus tacos, spicy coconut Thar red curry, and more!). Plus, there are quite a few delicious vegetarian options to enjoy.

6. Green Parrot

Green Parrot is a restaurant with humble beginnings that’s gained popularity with locals and visitors to The Bahamas. This establishment offers Bahamian cuisine at its best in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Their location on East Bay Street overlooks the Nassau Harbour, which will add some sunny vibes to your meal.

7. Blue Sail

A visit to Blue Sail is the beginning of a tasty Caribbean adventure. This restaurant overlooking the ocean serves up a variety of dishes, but their wood oven pizzas and Mediterranean dishes with a signature French touch are what really keep you coming back to this picturesque restaurant on Sandyport Beach.


Seven great places to dine in and around Nassau

1. Mogano

Mogano keeps things simple, with a strategy that has helped them work their way to perfection over the years. At this restaurant, you’ll be able to enjoy flavors from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and more, either from the comfort of the main dining room, the intimate 8-seat sushi bar, or out on the terrace with romantic waterside views. There’s also Bar Shima, a lounge setting that overlooks a pool where you can take your pick of a host of creative cocktails or sip on a glass of wine. You’ll need reservations to dine here.

2. Café Matisse

Café Matisse is an amazing dining spot that you could easily miss out on if you’re not in the know. It is one of the best places to get Italian food while in Nassau. If you’re looking for great options to try at this restaurant, consider the grilled lamb chops, pasta (of all kinds), or the over-roasted duck. There are so many delicious dishes that you really can’t go wrong!

3. Island Brothers

The last thing you’d expect to find while exploring New Providence is a cozy French café and restaurant, but Island Brothers is just that! This little brasserie puts a tropical twist on a traditional experience and will be truly appreciated by foodies with a more refined taste. They also have a quite diverse cocktail menu that you will love as you indulge in this European dining experience in the Caribbean.

4. Sapodilla Restaurant

Appetizers like tuna tartare, conch, smoked salmon and other mouth-watering options lead the way to a high-end dining experience at Sapodilla. This Bahamian restaurant is known for its great food and excellent service. There’s also a bar called the Kamalame Bar, plush outdoor seating options, and a piano champagne lounge. Remember that reservations are needed for this restaurant, which is open from Tuesday to Saturday weekly.

5. Kyma Seafood Grill

A Greek and Latin fusion restaurant by description, Kyma Seafood and Grill has an extensive menu and upscale ambiance. Lovers of Mediterranean cuisine especially will love the food on offer here, as well as the possibility of live entertainment.

6. Sushi Rokkan

If you’re looking for a sushi option that’s sure to please your palate, then you might just be in luck at Sushi Rokkan. This restaurant has a wide selection of sushi dishes and an award-winning sake list. It is located at the Old Fort Bay Town Center and is open Monday to Saturday.

7. Arawak Cay Fish Fry

Best place to dine and have drinks on a budget.

You’ll have a great time at the Arawak Cay Fish Fry on West Bay Street! You can enjoy fresh-off-the-grill fish seasoned and cooked to perfection, along with a bit of music and dancing. Take the opportunity to try the most popular Bahamian dishes, such as conch salad, peas and rice, conch fritters, cracked conch, and grouper fingers, while all pair well with an ice-cold local beer like Sands or Kalik!


Places to have a drink (or two) in Nassau

Five great places to start your evening

1. Bon Vivants

Best spot in Nassau for craft cocktails.

A coffee shop that doubles as a cocktail bar? That’s exactly what you’ll find at this locale, which pays attention to the art and history of the craft cocktail while serving up coffee, fresh teas, and pastries. A passion project of its creator, every detail of this space is carefully thought out, serving as a reminder to its patrons to live a luxurious life and live it well. By day, you’ll be able to enjoy a coffee shop experience here and at night, a craft cocktail bar.

Do you like the idea of unlimited cocktails? Drink as much as you want, as long as you want, at any of the bars (including swim-up bars) at the all-inclusive resort Sandals Royal Bahamian. A great way to start your afternoon!


2. 1er Cru

Best spot in Nassau for wine drinkers.

If you’re interested in tasting great wines and spirits from around the world in a relaxing, zen environment, you’ve got to make a stop at 1er Cru (pronounced Premier Cru) while you’re in Nassau! This boutique and lounge will also give you the chance to learn more about the history and culture of the World of Wine as you sip and appreciate the fruit of the industry.

3. Sunset Beach Club Bar

If you’re going to be dining at Sapodilla Restaurant, you could potentially get two experiences wrapped into one! Visit the Sunset Beach Club on the Sapodilla Estate if you’re in the mood for cocktails and food in a lively atmosphere. Prepare to be greeted by music as you enter (there is usually a DJ or live performer) and take a seat out on the terrace if you want to enjoy the views.

4. Daiquiri Shack

Frozen daiquiris are a Bahamian tradition! There’s no better place to wet your feet in the world of daiquiris than at the Daiquiri Shack. You’ll be amazed as the staff of this quaint venue turn fresh fruit into smooth, delicious frozen daiquiris right before your eyes. Choose between strawberry and pina colada (or a Miami Vice that combines the two), mango, or any number of other flavor combinations for a delicious, sweet treat that can be either rum-free or as potent as you wish!

5. Pirate Republic Brewery

Best spot in Nassau for craft beer.

The Bahamas has a pirate-filled history that will be fun to learn about while there. One of the places you can embark on your journey of discovery about that era is at the Pirate Republic Brewing Company. Whether you’re there for the historical notes or for the delicious craft beer, this will be one experience (may also include food, rum, and cocktails!) that will not disappoint.

Five vibrant places to go out until the late hours

1. Bond Nightclub

Swank and elegant, you can really enjoy getting dressed up for a Bond Nightclub experience! Considering several Bond movies were filmed in The Bahamas, this is a great place to pay homage to that. So, kick back with a cocktail, and show off your best moves on the dance floor!

2. Aura Nightclub

If you’re looking to enjoy a Caribbean clubbing experience, check out the Aura Nightclub while you are in Nassau. Aura is one of the best entertainment spots on the island, and it is luxurious enough to include a glass dance floor. This cashless venue has two bars, a VIP section, and food available for purchase.

Insider tip: Nassau is great for fun in the sun, and some resorts in this area like Sandals Royal Bahamian ensure guests always have something entertaining to do, including themed parties, live shows, reggae bands, and so much more!


3. The Skybar at Cable Beach

Who doesn’t want to have a Caribbean rooftop lounge experience? Above the big city lights, you’ll be able to have a few hours of fun and thrills at the Skybar at Cable Beach, which is the only rooftop lounge on the island of New Providence. As you would expect from such an amazing location, the view is phenomenal, and so are the service and drinks.

4. Cable Beach Casino

A casino right in the heart of paradise can make room for a night of grandeur in The Bahamas. Whether you feel like spending some time at the card tables, hitting the slots, or putting up a wager on a sports game, you’ll be able to do just that at the Cable Beach Casino, which is another one of the biggest casinos in the Caribbean.

5. Paradise Island Casino

Fast paced and glamorous, you’ll appreciate the ambiance at the Paradise Island Casino, one of the Caribbean’s largest casinos. You don’t even have to be an avid gambler to get into this experience. All you’ll need is a winning attitude and a pocket full of luck. There are 85 table games at this location, more than 700 slot machines, and many other options all available 24/7.


Where to stay if you want to visit Nassau

There are many amazing places to stay in The Bahamas, and Sandals Royal Bahamian is at the top of that list. Newly renovated and all-inclusive in nature, this resort appeals to couples who are looking to add some magic to their relationship in a place where they can focus on just each other.

Sandals Royal Bahamian Aerial

Sandals Royal Bahamian presents a signature Sandals luxury experience, mixed in with European elements and opportunities to spend time on a private offshore island. This resort includes two sky-sized colonnaded pools overlooking the ocean, 5-Star Global Gourmet™ dining at 10 specialty restaurants plus three unique themed fdsood trucks, eight all-inclusive bars including swim-up bars, an award-winning Red Lane® Spa, and free airport transfers (with the option of VIP transfers in a Rolls-Royce or Mercedes-Benz for butler guests in certain room categories).

If that isn’t the beginning of a luxurious vacation, we don’t know what is!

Insider tip: Diving is a must while in The Bahamas, whether snorkeling or scuba diving. Sandals guests get professional snorkeling and scuba equipment, and scuba is free for certified divers (up to 2 tanks per day)! Not PADI® certified? Here’s how you can get PADI® certified at Sandals in The Bahamas!


Bonus: Day trip ideas from Nassau

1. Swim with the pigs in Exuma

Hands down, swimming with the pigs in The Bahamas is one of the most hyped-up activities you’ll read about before getting there. Chances are you’re already signed up for this tour, and we can say you certainly won’t have any regrets. The famous swimming pigs of The Bahamas are a thrill to witness. They’ll fill your heart with joy with their antics, from swimming to your boat as you arrive on the island, to hanging around in hopes that you came bearing gifts (food!). This tour includes taking a powerboat from Nassau to the Exumas, which takes about an hour and a half each way, and then interacting with the pigs. You should also take the opportunity to experience some of the other things to do in Exuma while there.

Pig Island Exuma Bahamas


2. Rose Island

Rose Island is considered one of the ‘Out Islands’ in The Bahamas. You’ll be able to access Rose Island from Nassau via speedboat. Rose Island is more or less a private island where many visitors go to spend the day. Some tours to the island include lunch and snorkeling, after a delicious welcome drink. There's also a beach bar here which adds to the chill vibe.

Unspoilt Caribbean beach Rose Island Bahamas

Image credit: Liz Miller/Shutterstock.com


Expert tip: If the idea of staying on one island while exploring others appeals to you, check out our guide on island-hopping in The Bahamas to discover the best ways to experience multiple islands on your vacation!


3. Blue Lagoon Island

Blue Lagoon is another private island that you can access from Nassau. This island is super eco-friendly and is known and loved for its immaculate beaches. So untouched is this island, which is located just about 3 miles from Nassau, that you’re likely to see dolphins or even turtles swimming off the coasts. Swimming with dolphins and interacting with sea lions is an absolute possibility on Blue Lagoon Island!

Blue Lagoon Bahamas

Image credit: Victor Maschek/Shutterstock.com



The ultimate Nassau city guide will definitely point you in the right direction!

Let’s face it: while vacations can be amazing, the time spent in the dream destinations we choose to travel to passes by quickly. That’s why it’s important to learn all you can before you arrive about what you can do while there. Knowing this can also help you choose the best accommodation, which ideally would be near some of the things you want to do.

Sandals Royal Bahamian Couple Walking Beach

Dine around the world on this little island or enjoy local cuisine that’s sure to have you coming back for more! If you’re in the mood for dancing, grab a cocktail or craft beer and sway to the Caribbean beats under the moonlight. With so many amazing sights like colonial forts, cathedrals, and statues to see, there’s never a dull moment in the spectacular city of Nassau.

Island-Hopping in The Bahamas (So Much To Do, So Little Time!)

The Islands
February 24th 2022
Island-Hopping in The Bahamas (So Much To Do, So Little Time!)

If you’ve never been island hopping before, then The Bahamas is a great place to start. This tropical destination is made up of 700 inhabited and uninhabited islands, rocks and cays that you’re sure to fall in love with at first glance.

The region offers tons of exciting opportunities - many of which center around the vast and beautiful ocean the Bahamas is known for. It’s understandable that you might want to indulge in as many experiences as possible during your visit. To do this, you’ll definitely need to visit more than one island! This doesn’t have to be a complicated venture either. With a little planning, you can fit multiple islands into your Bahamian adventure.

The Bahamas Islands Snorkeling

In this post, we’ll help steer you in the right direction when it comes to the best islands to visit while island hopping in The Bahamas!

Good to know: Although the territory is spread across 500 miles of the Atlantic Ocean, you can visit more than one of the islands by plane or by boat at a reasonable cost. You can even consider splitting your trip between resorts on the various islands (more on that later!).


In this article on the Sandals Blog:

Island-hopping locations near Florida
Island-hopping locations near Nassau
Island-hopping within the Abacos
Most popular one-week itineraries
Most popular two-week itineraries

So many islands to hop, so little time


Bahamian island-hopping locations near Florida

Florida is one of the closest U.S. destinations to The Bahamas. It won’t take long to get to locations like New Providence, Grand Bahama, and many other amazing islands of The Bahamas from there.


Nassau

New Providence is likely to be the first recommendation you receive if you mention planning a vacation to The Bahamas. This is the country’s most popular island, and it is where you’ll find Nassau, the capital. Nassau is the largest city in The Bahamas, and it is easily accessible from U.S. destinations like Miami with just a 50-minute flight (here’s how to get from Miami to Nassau).

Nassau-The-Bahamas

Photo credit: Bogdan Dyiakonovych/Shutterstock.com

Nassau can be the perfect start to an island-hopping adventure as you can easily access other islands, including the ‘Out Islands’ (the more faraway islands) of The Bahamas from this location if you want to explore. It’ll cost less to get to some of the other islands from Nassau as well.

There are many awesome things to do in Nassau, such as beach hopping, shopping, checking out the art and history of the islands at local museums and galleries, and even taking in the vibrant nightlife which includes many bars and nightclubs and a handful of casinos.

Some of the other interesting attractions in Nassau include Cable Beach and the other great beaches in Nassau, the Pirates of Nassau Museum, Nassau’s historic city center, Colonial Forts (Fort Charlotte, Fort Montague, and Fort Fincastle), and the Queen’s Staircase.

Sandals Royal Bahamian -Aerial Reopening
Good to know: While in Nassau, you’ll be able to take a day trip to Paradise Island, which is connected to New Providence by two bridges. If you’re staying for the (long) weekend, choose to stay at this all-inclusive resort in Nassau, where you’ll be able to order unlimited cocktails and eat as much as you want at 10 restaurants and three food trucks. It’s all included!


Grand Bahama

On Grand Bahama, you’ll be able to swim with dolphins, snorkel, and scuba dive to your heart’s content, golf on gorgeous greens, party island-style while enjoying Fish Fry events, and lots more. It truly is a nature lover’s paradise.

Grand Bahama The Bahamas

Photo credit: YES Market Media/Shutterstock.com

Grand Bahama is about 64 miles west of Palm Beach, Florida, and offers a chance to experience simple island living. Grand Bahama is most known for its beautiful beaches, and the thrilling adventures you can have there, including shark diving and feeding. Some of the most popular places to visit while in Grand Bahama include the Lucayan National Park, Port Lucaya Marketplace, Taino Beach, Lucaya Beach, William’s Town Beach, and Xanadu Beach.

The main airport on Grand Bahama Island is the Grand Bahama International Airport. It can take around 45 minutes to fly to Freeport, Grand Bahama from Miami. This trip is quite a bit longer by boat - around 2.5 hours. Once you arrive in Grand Bahama, you can also explore nearby islands like Bimini. It takes just under 3 hours to get to Bimini by plane from Freeport, Grand Bahama. The Abacos are also about a 45-minute ferry ride from Grand Bahama. The ferry to Abaco costs around $50 USD each way.

Bimini

Bimini is a cluster of islands in The Bahamas that has inspired many people, including famed novelist Ernest Hemingway. This island is around 51 miles west of Miami and it takes around 2 hours to sail there, and 45 minutes to get there by plane from Miami.

Bimini The Bahamas

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Bimini is one of the best islands to include in an island-hopping adventure because it is easy to get to some of the other popular islands of the Bahamas, such as New Providence, from there. It takes 30 minutes to get to Bimini from Nassau by plane, and from Nassau, it is easy to connect to most of the other islands of The Bahamas. The main airport in Bimini is the South Bimini Airport, but there is another airport in North Bimini as well.

While in Bimini, some interesting places you can check out include the Limestone Well (Fountain of Youth), Great Issac Cay Lighthouse, Honeymoon Harbor Beach, Bimini Sands Beach, Radio Beach, Bimini War Memorial & Heroes Park, Bimini Craft Center, Alive Town Beach, and the Bimini Museum.

Good to know: The population of Bimini is about 1,988 people.


Island-hopping locations near Nassau

Nassau is the capital city of The Bahamas, and it is located on the island of New Providence. While on an island-hopping adventure in The Bahamas, Nassau will be a central point that can be used to access all the other islands. Here are some popular islands near Nassau:

Rose Island

Three miles off the coast of Paradise Island, you’ll find Rose Island, a small island that can be a diver’s haven. There aren’t any roads or much infrastructure on Rose Island, but there are pink sand beaches and an offshore reef. Rose Island is one of few islands in The Bahamas where you can swim with pigs, a signature Bahamian adventure. There is a wildlife sanctuary there that the pigs call home.

Rose Island The Bahamas

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Good to know: The best way to get to Rose Island from Nassau is by chartering a boat. It’ll take about 15 minutes by boat to get between these two islands.


The Exumas

The Exumas in The Bahamas is made up of over 365 islands and cays. This district of The Bahamas is also known as the Exuma Cays. It is possible to travel from Nassau to the Exumas by boat in around 3 hours. Little Exuma is slightly south of Great Exuma and the two are connected by a bridge.

Great Exuma

At 37 miles long, Great Exuma is the largest island in the Exumas. Here, you’ll find a few upscale resort brands like Sandals Emerald Bay. Great Exuma is loved for its beautiful white sand beaches and its sustainable development outlook. On Great Exuma, you will find minimal infrastructure, allowing you to appreciate some of the beautiful beaches on this island like Coco Plum Beach, Tropic of Cancer Beach, and Three Sisters Beach.

Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Aerial

Georgetown is the capital of the Exumas, and it is located toward the southern tip of Great Exuma. In Georgetown, you can see the charming pink and white government building, which is a central point of business activities on the island. There’s also a grocery store, boat rental, a bank, a liquor store, and a few restaurants. You’ll be able to get a water taxi to some of the nearby islands from Georgetown as well.

Sandals-Emerald-Bay-Aerial-Overview
Good to know: If you’re planning a trip to an all-inclusive resort in Great Exuma, Exuma International Airport (GGT) is the airport you will want to fly into. Be sure to try as many of the exciting things to do in Exuma as you can before it’s time to fly back!


Big Major Cay

Big Major Cay is where it’s at if you want to try swimming with the pigs in The Bahamas. This island is to the north of Great Exuma, and it takes around 2 hours to get there from Nassau or Georgetown by boat. Consider having a day trip to this island and take the opportunity to interact with the friendly pigs.

Big Major Cay The Bahamas

Other than the pigs, this island is uninhabited, so you’ll be able to walk around and explore.

Staniel Cay

North of Great Exuma, you can find Staniel Cay, which is popular for its beautiful beaches, offshore coral reefs, and swimming pigs. Staniel Cay is near Big Major Cay and the island is about 5 sq miles.

Staniel Cay The Bahamas

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Don’t let the size fool you though, Staniel Cay is gorgeous and quite famous. In fact, it was the backdrop of two James Bond Films. Thunderball in 1965 and Never Say Never Again in 1983 were both shot on the island. Staniel Cay only has a population of around 120 people, so you can definitely enjoy the opportunity for a quiet fishing trip, scenic dive among the coral reefs, or kayaking.

Stocking Island

Stocking Island is off the eastern coast of Great Exuma, and you can get to this island by a 10-minute water taxi or ferry from Georgetown. If you choose one of these options, it’ll cost about $15 USD per person. Stocking Island is great for a day trip and once you get to this island, you’ll be able to enjoy amazing diving and authentic Bahamian cuisine.

Stocking Island THe Bahamas

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While snorkeling on this island, you’re likely to see creatures like stingrays that love hanging around near the shore on some of the beaches. Other sightings while diving here can include octopus, starfish, sea snails, and more. After an exciting dive on this island, try the Conch Shack for something delicious to eat.

Eleuthera & Harbour Island

Eleuthera

About 50 miles from Nassau, you’ll find Eleuthera, an island that is around 110 miles long and one mile wide. This island is the fourth most populated island in The Bahamas, and it is another territory where you can find pink sand beaches. Eleuthera appeals to people who just want to vacation in a serene place and get away from it all.

Eleuthera The Bahamas

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The population of Eleuthera is around 11,165 people, so this island definitely gives small town vibes. Some of the best attractions on this island include Pink Sand Beach, Lighthouse Beach, Glass Window Bridge, Vic Hums Night Club, Tarpum Bay, Bannerman Town, and Hatchet Bay.

If you plan on visiting Eleuthera as part of an island-hopping adventure, it’ll take around 2 hours and 40 minutes to get to this island from Nassau. Ferry services are available and chartering a boat to get to Eleuthera is a possibility as well.

Good to know: Eleuthera is to the east of New Providence and has lots of shipwrecks that can be explored during a dive. Pineapple is this island’s signature crop, so expect lots of it while there!


Harbour Island

It’ll only take about 5 minutes by ferry to get to Harbour Island from Eleuthera. A trip here will be well worth it as you’ll be able to experience some of the famed pink sand beaches of The Bahamas. Many of these pink-hued strands can be found along the eastern shore of Harbour Island, and they’re bound to add some intrigue to your explorations.

Harbour Island The Bahamas

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On Harbour Island, you can visit the main settlement, Dunmore Town. Here you’ll find pastel-colored houses that, combined with the pink sand beaches, will really have you feeling like you’re living in a dream. This is a peaceful island, and here you’ll likely spend your days snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, biking, scuba diving, or just lounging on the beach enjoying the sunshine.

Good to know: There are no cars on Harbour Island, so you may need to rely on a golf cart to get around!


Long Island

Adventure awaits in Long Island in The Bahamas. This island is one of the smallest inhabited islands in The Bahamas, measuring 80 miles from top to bottom and 4 miles wide. Long Island is to the southeast of Nassau, and to the south of Great Exuma.

Deans Blue Hole Long Island The Bahamas

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If you choose to vacation in Nassau, you’ll easily be able to arrange a day trip to Long Island. While there you can check out some of the popular attractions, which include Lucayan Indian Cave, Dean’s Blue Hole (the second deepest blue hole in the world), Max’s Conch Bar, and Tiny’s Hurricane Hole.

It is possible to get to Long Island from Nassau by plane. This will take around 45 minutes and cost around $150 USD one way. If you choose to fly, you’ll either arrive at Deadman’s Cay Airport or Stella Maris Airport. A boat trip to Long Island can take much longer - up to 18 hours. From Georgetown in Great Exuma, it is possible to take a ferry to Long Island that’ll arrive in about 4 hours.

Good to know: Most of the gorgeous white sand beaches of Long Island are located along the island’s western coast.


Andros

Andros is one of those islands that’ll make it easy to disconnect from the seemingly pressing issues of life. This is the largest island of The Bahamas, and it is possible to get there by plane or boat from Nassau. It’ll take 2.5 hours to get to Andros by boat from Nassau, but only about 15 minutes by plane.

Andros The Bahamas

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Though Andros is quite large, much of it remains untouched. There are many natural attractions on this island that you’ll be able to see during an island-hopping adventure in The Bahamas, including the Andros Barrier Reef (the second-largest coral reef in the Western hemisphere), the Tongue of the Ocean, Blue Holes National Park, Andros Lighthouse, Henry Morgan’s Cave, Mariners Well, the Native Colony Ruins, and the world’s oldest dive shop.

While in Andros, you’ll appreciate the chill and relaxed atmosphere, and the ability to have some pretty incredible dive experiences as well. Andros is very popular for snorkeling and scuba diving, and it offers the best bonefishing in The Bahamas.

Good to know: There are five national parks on Andros that visitors can explore while on this island.


Island hopping within the Abacos

The Abaco Islands

The Abacos are considered ‘Out Islands’ of The Bahamas and they appeal to lovers of sailing and simple living. This island chain is to the north of New Providence and Paradise Island, and it is made up of 120 cays including Man-O-War Cay, Great Guana Cay, Green Turtle Cay, and Spanish Cay.

Abaco Islands The Bahamas

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Many of the Abaco Islands are uninhabited, but they can still make for interesting explorations, especially if you want to spend the day feeling like you’re on your own deserted island. If you choose to visit Great Abaco (the largest island in the Abacos) and explore from there by boat, you’ll encounter many small, beautiful islands, thriving coral reefs, and underwater caves. Some of the main attractions in the Abaco Islands are the Elbow Cay Lighthouse, Treasure Cay, the Great Abaco Golf Course, and Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar.

It’ll take about an hour to fly directly to Great Abaco from Miami, Florida. From Nassau, it takes just under two hours to get to Great Abaco by boat (this might make for an interesting day trip).

Good to know: The Abacos are popular for fishing and diving and the islands host quite a few regattas (a Bahamian cultural festival centered around sailing) throughout the year.


Great Guana Cay

Visiting Great Guana Cay is like something out of a dream. The island has some of the most beautiful beaches in The Bahamas. There are even beaches with light pink sand, which is a rarity even for the Caribbean. The gorgeous sand combined with crystal clear water and a peaceful atmosphere can be just what you need to find perfect relaxation.

Great Guana Cay The Bahamas

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Great Guana Cay is appealing because it is never crowded. You can really feel like you’ve gotten away from it all. Still, there are a few restaurants on this island, a liquor store, and a grocery shop. Like a few of the other islands in The Bahamas, you won’t be renting a car here (as there are none!), but you can easily rent a golf cart to get around.

It is quite easy to get to Great Guana Cay from Great Abaco, as there are ferries from Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay. You can also explore other nearby islands via water taxi from Great Guana Cay.

Green Turtle Cay

Green Turtle Cay is one of the smaller and less populated islands of The Bahamas. Located north of Great Guana Cay, this island is just 3 miles long, and half a mile wide. Green Turtle Cay is one of the ‘Out-Islands’ of the Abacos, and it is best suited to travelers who want to explore and spend time on beautiful beaches. There are quite a few villas and cottages you can rent in Green Turtle Cay, and boat rentals are available too. Golf carts are also available for rent to explore this island.

Green Turtle Cay The Bahamas

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While there isn’t an airport on Green Turtle Cay, you can get there via a 15-minute ferry ride from Treasure Cay in Great Abaco for $15 USD.

Elbow Cay

Elbow Cay is a 6-mile-long islet off the coast of Great Abaco. This island is to the northern end of The Bahamas, and it is popular with travelers who want a private island experience.

Elbow Cay The Bahamas

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Elbow Cay is great for surfing thanks to the many reef breaks in this area that generate amazing waves. There are several beaches on this island, and you’ll be able to rent golf carts for the day to explore since there are very few cars.

The main settlement on this island is called Hope Town, which has a few restaurants where you can try authentic Bahamian food. There’s also a lighthouse on Elbow Cay that dates back to 1894. It is one of the last kerosene lighthouses in the world. You can get to Elbow Cay via a 20-minute ferry ride from Marsh Harbour.

Man-O-War Cay

Man-O-War Cay in The Bahamas is known by many as the country’s boat-building capital. It is located in the Abacos between Great Guana Cay and Elbow Cay and offers a true back-to-nature experience.

Man O War Cay The Bahamas

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There are no bars, clubs, or any amenities of that nature in Man-O-War-Cay, but the island is home to beautiful beaches, great snorkeling, scuba diving, and opportunities to swim in the tranquil, clear seas. It is unlikely when you see the beauty of this island that you’ll miss any of the conventional luxuries of life. You’ll be too busy sinking into true relaxation and bliss.


Most popular one-week itineraries for island hopping in The Bahamas

One week can feel like a lot for a vacation, but when you’re island hopping the time can slip by - fast. If you’re planning a one-week trip to The Bahamas, it is best to book one place to stay for the entire week and do one-day excursions from that island to a couple of others that are nearby.

Pig Island The-Bahamas

If your stay will be shorter than one week, it is best to just select the island that most appeals to you and explore it as much as possible. Island hopping may be too much to take on during your short stay.

Popular routes for a one week stay in The Bahamas:

  1. Nassau + Rose Island (day trip), Exuma (day trip)
  2. Exuma: Great Exuma, Big Major Cay, Staniel Cay, Stocking Island
  3. Eleuthera + Harbour Island (day trip)
  4. The Abacos: Great Guana Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Elbow Cay, Man-O-War Cay

Insider tip: Not sure where to stay in The Bahamas? Pick the islands that speak most to you and save the rest for later. If it’s your first trip to The Bahamas, Nassau and Exuma are great places to start.


Most popular two-week itineraries for island hopping in The Bahamas

A two-week vacation in The Bahamas will give you more time to explore more islands. If you’ll be in The Bahamas for two weeks, you might want to consider splitting your stay between two entirely different islands.

Sandals Emerald Bay Sand Dune Couple

Popular routes for a two week stay in The Bahamas:

  1. Nassau (stay 1) + Rose Island (day trip), Exuma (stay 2): Great Exuma, Big Major Cay, Staniel Cay, Stocking Island, then back to Nassau.
  2. Nassau (stay 1) + Rose Island (day trip), Eleuthera (stay 2) + Harbour Island, then back to Nassau.
  3. Nassau (stay 1) + Rose Island (day trip), Abacos (stay 2): Great Guana Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Elbow Cay, Man-O-War Cay, then back to Nassau.
  4. Nassau (stay 1) + Rose Island (day trip), Eleuthera (stay 2) + Harbour Island, Exuma (stay 3): Great Exuma, Big Major Cay, Staniel Cay, Stocking Island, then back to Nassau.

Note: this last trip might feel a bit rushed if you’re staying 14 days. Consider staying a couple of days longer.


So many islands to hop, so little time!

Island hopping can be an exciting way to spend your days in The Bahamas. This country’s many islands have their own distinct personalities and offer a unique experience. You could be relaxing on the white sand of Cable Beach in Nassau one day, interacting with the world-famous swimming pigs of Pig Island the next day, and shark diving at Tiger Beach in Grand Bahama the day after that. You can make your couples' trip as low-key or exciting as you wish!

The Bahamas Beach Couple

If you’re planning an island-hopping trip in The Bahamas, staying in Nassau will give you easy access to many of the other islands. Plus, you’ll be able to choose from some of the most incredible all-inclusive resorts in The Bahamas.

With so many amazing islands to explore in this territory, you’ll likely regret it if you don’t experience as many as you can.

Happy travels!

So Much To Love About Bahamas Carnival & Junkanoo (Insider Tips Included)!

Culture
February 15th 2022
So Much To Love About Bahamas Carnival & Junkanoo (Insider Tips Included)!
Cover photo credit: jo Crebbin/Shutterstock.com

The lure of The Bahamas is hard to resist when you’re craving sunny shores, beautiful beaches, and the best island experiences. You’ll also love these Atlantic islands for the entertainment, especially festivals that show the heart of The Bahamas like the Bahamas Carnival (held annually in May) and Junkanoo (held on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day).

If you’ll soon be traveling to The Bahamas and want to know more about these well-loved festivals, such as when to go, what to expect, the cost and locations of these events, read on as we’ve got it all covered!


What is the difference between Bahamas Carnival & Junkanoo?

Junkanoo

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Both Bahamas Carnival and Junkanoo are popular festivals held in The Bahamas and are loved by locals and visitors alike. These events have quite a few similarities in that they involve music, costumes, competitions, and showcase the culture of the islands in various ways, but there are also many differences between them.

One of the main differences between these two events is when they are held. Bahamas Carnival is typically held once a year in April/early May while Junkanoo happens twice a year, first in late December and then in early January. There are many other ways to tell these festivals apart too.

For starters, the music associated with the Bahamas Carnival is completely different from the music you will experience at Junkanoo. While Bahamas Carnival has a heavy emphasis on soca, much like island carnivals elsewhere in the Caribbean, Junkanoo focuses on traditional musical styles that are unique to The Bahamas.

Since Junkanoo is part of Bahamian tradition, various aspects of the island’s culture and history are reflected in the music and dancing you’ll see during this festival. Carnival, on the other hand, serves more of an entertainment purpose despite also having some historical and cultural roots in the region.


What is Bahamas Carnival?

Costumes

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Bahamas Carnival is a highly entertaining cultural celebration held in the islands of The Bahamas. This four-day festivity typically involves stunning costumes adorned with beads, feathers, jewels, and other embellishments mixed in with lots of dancing, parties, concerts, and street parades. This event is most often held in April/May in The Bahamas, with lots of events happening on both Paradise Island and New Providence.

Much like the other carnivals of the Caribbean, the appeal of the Bahamas Carnival for many people is the entertainment factor, whether that comes from participating with a costumed band or watching from the sidelines. As costumes can be quite pricey, some people save up just to be part of the celebration.

Overall, the Bahamas Carnival is a festival that showcases Caribbean heritage and music, celebrates freedom, and brings people together.

Good to know: Bahamas Carnival was once labeled ‘Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival’. The name was changed to separate the individual identities of these festivals.



What events take place during the Bahamas Carnival?

Lots of activities take place during the Bahamas Carnival. There are so many events that most people won’t be able to do it all, though some may try. Some of the popular activities include private parties/fetes, live music events featuring local and international talent, and street parades. Even though the main event is the road march/street parade, many people make a point of attending the parties that lead up to the main event as well.

Some of the most popular activities in The Bahamas during carnival time are the soca parties and concerts, and the J’ouvert events. J’ouvert is a daybreak street party held ahead of the big parade. The event is held to usher in a new day of festivities. Some other popular parties held in The Bahamas around carnival time include ‘Insomnia’, ‘Amnesia’, ‘Unleash’, and other ‘last lap’ events held after the street parades.

It is useful to note that while many free carnival events get underway in The Bahamas around carnival time, most of the private parties and fetes, as well as participating with a costumed band, come at a cost.

Good to know: Nassau in The Bahamas tends to have great nightlife and an awesome entertainment scene overall when compared to many other Caribbean islands. Around carnival time, there are many big shows and events you can attend in Nassau, and you’ll be able to enjoy many other things to do in Nassau as well.



What are the costumes like for the Bahamas Carnival?

Costume

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You can expect to find vibrant and colorful costumes of all shapes and sizes as part of the spectacle that is the Bahamas Carnival. Depending on the price, costumes can range from simple to more extravagant, many with feathers, beads, and other captivating embellishments. Costumes vary depending on the carnival Mas band, section, and whether they will be worn by men or women as well.

Each Bahamas Carnival band typically has its own theme for the year as well as a number of costumed sections that potential revelers can choose from. Often, the first look at carnival costumes is presented via a band launch party. Most bands have their own costume launch parties, and after the band’s presentation for the year is officially launched, costumes are usually advertised on websites and social media.

When selecting costumes for Bahamas Carnival, one might find themselves going through quite a few bands to find the one that suits them best in terms of price and style. It is well worth taking your time to find the right costume as the event only comes around once a year!


How to participate in the Bahamas Carnival

Powder-fete

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All you’ll need to do to participate in the Bahamas Carnival as a spectator is to make the decision to do so! After that, the rest tends to flow easily enough. If you want to actually experience what it’s like to ‘touch the road’ as a reveler in the Bahamas Carnival, you’ll first need to find a carnival band that you are interested in.

Information about the carnival bands of The Bahamas is usually easy to find online, and once you find one that suits you, you can contact the Mas organizers directly or just sign up online.

Once that’s done, you’ll then need to select the section that features the costume you are interested in. In some instances, various sections have regular and VIP options that participants can choose from, which offer varied experiences. VIP carnival packages tend to cost more and have more inclusions, such as tickets to some of the best carnival events.

If you want to be part of the carnival fun in The Bahamas but don’t necessarily want to play Mas, you can opt to watch from the sidelines and attend a carnival party or two which will really help get you into the rhythm of things.


How much does Bahamas Carnival cost?

To come to a conclusion on how much it costs to participate in the Bahamas Carnival, several things need to be factored in. If you will be flying to the islands of The Bahamas from overseas, things like airfare, resort accommodations, costumes, event tickets, food, and drinks must all be considered.

Generally, if you are a visitor looking to participate, you can expect to spend somewhere in the region of $1,500 - $2,000 USD. This price will vary depending on how many parties you’ll be attending (if any) and whether you’ll be participating with a costumed band.

It goes almost without saying that playing Mas (participating in the carnival) costs more than it would to just watch the festivities from the sidelines. Carnival costumes in The Bahamas can range from $300-$600 USD. Popular fete tickets to events like ‘Music Masters’ and the Cultural Village can cost around $50-$150 USD.

When tallying your costs for Bahamas Carnival, you’ll also need to think about how long you’ll be on the island, and how many people you’ll be traveling with.


What is Junkanoo?

Were-to-watch

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Junkanoo is a popular, culturally-oriented festival in The Bahamas that happens twice a year. This is an authentically Bahamian celebration, and just like with a carnival, music, and dancing play an important role. Around Junkanoo time in The Bahamas, you can expect to hear lots of traditional Bahamian music and see traditional costumes, most of which are handmade for the grand street parade.

The main Junkanoo parades are held every year on Boxing Day, and again on New Year’s Day, but other associated cultural activities also happen at various times throughout the year. In the summer, there is typically a Junkanoo Festival where you’ll have the chance to experience Bahamian music, cuisine, and crafts in a fun environment. You may also be delighted by live performances from established Junkanoo groups during this festival.

Did you know?: Junkanoo is named after the West African John Canoe Festival. This event, which began as a masquerade, has an interesting history in The Bahamas that dates back to the 17th century. As history tells it, slaves would participate in this masquerade as a part of their Christmas traditions.


While the main bi-annual event is held in Nassau, smaller-scaled events may also take place on other islands of The Bahamas like Grand Bahama, the Exumas, and the Abacos. Junkanoo is held in other countries too! For example, in Miami and Key West, this celebration is observed in October by people with roots in The Bahamas.


Why is Junkanoo celebrated in The Bahamas?

Junkanoo has an interesting history and has been celebrated in different ways over the years. While there are many theories around its roots, most agree that the event started as a holiday tradition of slaves in The Bahamas. This is why the festival is said to have dated back to the 17th century, years before slavery was eventually abolished in The Bahamas in 1807.

Junkanoo, as it exists today, has a lot to do with celebrating freedom. Many Bahamians who participate in this event do so in order to celebrate their roots. There is an awareness of the colonial links for most and a recognition that the way they celebrate today was not possible back then. Overall, Junkanoo celebrations over the years have truly evolved into a more solid and consistent event.


What events take place during Junkanoo?

Parade

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Junkanoo is a very precise event and Junkanoo groups typically choose a different theme for each parade. This theme is often related to Junkanoo traditions as they have been carried out over the years. The events, costumes, music, instruments, and other components of this festival continue to resonate loudly with anyone lucky enough to witness it.

In terms of events, the main activity for Junkanoo is a large road parade held in Downtown Nassau along Bay Street on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. The parades usually start at odd hours – like 2 a.m. Even with such an early start, the Junkanoo parade usually continues for hours, going on until about 10 a.m.

Much like the Bahamas Carnival, Junkanoo groups each have their own theme for the parade. Some of the groups that usually participate are ‘Valley Boys’, ‘One Family’, ‘The Prodigal Sons’, ‘Roots’, ‘The Music Makers’, and ‘Saxons’. Within each group, there are usually dancers, musicians, and those that show off the larger costume pieces.

The musicians in the group play traditional instruments like goatskin drums, cowbells, horns, and whistles, as well as brass and wood instruments. All of the participants wear beautifully designed costumes. As freeing as Junkanoo is, it is also highly competitive and these groups vie for the ‘Best Junkanoo Group’ title, as well as cash prizes.

Good to know: If you’re not able to make it to the Junkanoo Festival in December or January, it is possible to get a taste of this Bahamian tradition in the summer on select Friday and Saturday nights in Nassau!



What are the costumes like for Junkanoo?

Junkanoo-Costume

Photo credit: jo Crebbin/Shutterstock.com

Junkanoo costumes are typically handmade by revelers in the weeks and months leading up to the big event. These costumes are usually inspired by the theme of the various Junkanoo bands and range from classic and simple to truly extraordinary.

Often, Junkanoo costumes are made out of cardboard with crepe paper strategically placed in the most intricate manner. Fringe and movement are pluses for the overall look of Junkanoo costumes. Some craftsmen use materials like aluminum rods and contact cement to add structure to a design. While simpler costumes don’t cost much, the more extravagant ones can cost thousands of dollars to put together.

In addition to the typical Junkanoo costumes, you can also expect to see parade floats at the Junkanoo festival. These are usually made out of the same kinds of materials as the costumes and are most commonly pushed or carried through the streets, which adds more vibrancy and excitement to the overall event.


Where to watch Junkanoo?

Watch-Junkanoo

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The location you watch the Junkanoo parade from while you’re in The Bahamas will determine the sort of experience you’ll have and also how much you’ll see. Some of the places where you’ll be able to get the best views of the Junkanoo parade include:

  • Bleachers along Bay Street (best views at Rawson Square) – price varies from $20-$120.
  • Restaurant balconies along Bay street – price varies from $50 - $150 for balcony tickets.
  • For free, you can also opt to stand street-side to view the parade.

Bay Street

Bay Street is where the main events of the Junkanoo Festival get underway in The Bahamas. Bleachers are set up along this street, and they make a great place to take in the festivities. If you choose to view the parade from this vantage point and get there early enough, you’ll be able to find a comfortable seat to take in the spectacle that is Junkanoo. Or, you can get an up-close view by standing on the sidelines of the parade to watch!



Other great places to watch

If you’d prefer a fancier option, there are a number of restaurants along Bay Street with balconies that offer great views of the Junkanoo Parade. These establishments normally offer tickets to watch the parade at a cost. This can be a very attractive option since there is less of a crowd, and the view of the parade from higher up is truly spectacular. Plus, if you do choose to pay for a balcony ticket and watch from the restaurant, you’ll have quick and easy access to food and drinks when you need them!


Tips & tricks for the best Junkanoo experience

Bahamas-Carnival

Photo credit: Trae Rollins/Shutterstock.com

Get there early

If you want to get the best view of the Junkanoo Parade, you’ll need to get to your preferred location early. Early (in Junkanoo spectator terms) is around 12 AM – 1 AM. The festivities usually get underway at 2 AM!


Ask for insights!

If you’ll be staying at an all-inclusive resort in Nassau, you can make transportation arrangements through your resort to get to a good viewing location and back once the parade is over. Resort staff can also give you tips on the best places to watch!

If you want to participate in Junkanoo, you can also get information from your resort on how best to go about this. The concierge at Sandals resorts in The Bahamas is great at helping guests make arrangements to attend local events!


How much does Junkanoo cost?

The price that a visitor to The Bahamas can expect to pay to attend Junkanoo is similar to the cost one would pay to travel to the islands to participate in the Bahamas Carnival. If things like airfare, accommodations, event tickets, food, and drinks are factored in, the cost to attend Junkanoo can be around $1,500 USD. This price varies depending on how involved you want to be in the festivities, how long you’ll be on the island, and how many people will be traveling with you.


Where to stay for Bahamas Carnival & Junkanoo

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Photo credit: dnaveh/Shutterstock.com

If you’re planning to attend Junkanoo or Bahamas Carnival, the best place to stay in The Bahamas would be areas where you’ll have easy access to the parade route and be close to the hottest events. The best place to stay overall is Nassau in New Providence, where there are lots of resorts and other accommodation to choose from.

You can still find other things to do in The Bahamas outside of Nassau. In fact, you can also celebrate the Bahamas Carnival and Junkanoo in Grand Bahama, in the Exumas, and also in the Abacos. If you will be going to Grand Bahama, keep in mind that the main events happen in Freeport. In the Exumas, you’ll be able to stay at an all-inclusive resort in Great Exuma and check out the festival activities in Georgetown. In the Abacos, you’ll need to go to Marsh Harbour to participate in carnival or Junkanoo events.


Feel the rush at Junkanoo & Bahamas Carnival!

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Picture: Sandals Royal Bahamian is a great place to stay if you want to be close to Junkanoo and Bahamas Carnival parade routes. Have the time of your life at the festival! We’ll be waiting to make the rest of your stay even more spectacular.


Festivals in The Bahamas are always exciting and fun, especially if you choose to stay in Nassau where many of the cultural festivals in The Bahamas are held. You’ll love the color and sparkle of the costumes and the thumping of the music at Junkanoo. Plus, the exuberant camaraderie you’ll find with your fellow Bahamas Carnival enthusiasts will be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. You’ll laugh, you’ll dance, you’ll rush through the streets of Nassau. Anything is possible at Junkanoo and Bahamas Carnival!

Staying at Sandals all-inclusive resort in Nassau will be as stress-free as the carnival itself and you’ll be near the epicenters for both Bahamas Carnival and Junkanoo. Staff at this resort are usually helpful in pointing out the best festival activities and will happily steer you in the right direction. While enjoying the Bahamian festivities, whether carnival or Junkanoo, you’ll also be able to indulge in quality inclusions like gourmet dining, premium drinks, multiple bars including swim-up bars, luxury accommodation, and everything you’ll need to relax once you’re all partied out!

Expert tip: Want to experience more Caribbean carnivals? Check out our Caribbean Carnival Calendar to see what’s happening on which island and when (includes dates and info for Jamaica Carnival and Spicemas in Grenada!).




Tee Off At the 10 Best Golf Courses In The Bahamas

Island Life
December 29th 2021
Tee Off At the 10 Best Golf Courses In The Bahamas

The Bahamas is loved for many things including its incredible beaches, great diving and dining, amazing natural attractions, and - for golf aficionados - its exotic golf courses. The islands offer something for everyone, from novice to professional golfers.

Why settle for stagnant duck ponds and standard bunkers when you could be swinging your nine iron on a bluff overlooking the ocean while basking in the warmth of Caribbean sunshine? Prove your mettle as you play championship courses that wind through seaside dunes, scenic mangroves, and rocky penninsulas. Trade winds and gentle sea breeze can be your friend or your foe as you take on this mentally stimulating sport!

Without further ado, here are the best golf courses in The Bahamas for travellers who can’t wait to schedule tee times with friends!


Islands that offer golf in The Bahamas

With the spectacular beauty of these islands you sure will want to golf and so much more. Here’s where to stay in The Bahamas for an amazing golf vacation:

• New Providence Island (Nassau)

• Paradise Island

• The Exumas

• Abaco Islands

• Grand Bahama

• Great Guana Cay



1. Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course

Island: Great Exuma

Bahamas golf

Playing golf on a Championship course is one of the many surprising things to do in The Exumas. This course is none other than the Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course, a Par 72 course designed by Greg Norman.

Great Exuma is known for its incredible natural beauty and calm turquoise waters, which gives a hint of the type of ambiance and scenery golfers can expect at the Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course. In fact, many of the holes on this exceptionally large course (7,001 yards from the back tees) are right along the shoreline making it possible to admire stunning views of the ocean throughout your game.

Easy on the eyes, the Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course also has all the amenities golfers could ask for including a full service golf shop, chipping and putting greens, club storage facilities, a practice bunker, jogging trail on the oceanfront back 9, and more.

Some of the other features of this course include mangroves, dunes, as well as striking rock outcroppings, and if you want to golf on this course it’ll be easily accessible through all-inclusive resort Sandals Emerald Bay and its marina.

Good to know: Green fees at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course are waived for guests of Sandals Emerald Bay, which is located on one of the most incredible beaches of The Bahamas.
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2. Paradise Island Golf Club

Island: Nassau / Paradise Island

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Photo credit: Vicino Photography/Shutterstock.com


With 18-holes and stretching 7,100 yards, the Paradise Island Golf Club is located on a short drive from Nassau. This is a Par 72 championship course designed by Tom Weiskopf. This course has great views and is kept well maintained — all of this adds to its popularity, and as such you can sometimes find a crowd here.

The Paradise Island course is ideal for golfers of all experience levels and it features wetlands and lagoons. Golfers can expect great views throughout the course as it is set right next to the ocean.

There are holes along the shore as well which turn up the excitement factor during a golf session.


3. Royal Blue Golf Club

Island: Nassau / Paradise Island

The Royal Blue Golf Club can be found on New Providence Island in The Bahamas. This course is near Cable Beach in Nassau and was designed by Jack Nicklaus. This is the only course created by Nicklaus, a retired golfer turned course designer, in The Bahamas.

Kept in pristine condition, the green fees at Royal Blue are cut in half after noon. On this popular Bahamian green golfers can expect to find lots of bunkers, rolling sand dunes, and picturesque fairways. There’s lots of tropical fauna and stand out rock formations as well that’ll serve as the perfect backdrop for a rousing game of golf.

Expert tip: Stay at an all-inclusive resort in Nassau on Cable Beach for quick access to some of the best golf courses on New Providence and Paradise Island. You can find lots of other great things to do in Nassau as well, most of which are within driving distance from the most popular resorts!



4. Albany Golf Course

Island: Nassau / Paradise Island

New Providence Island in The Bahamas is where it’s at for some of the best golf courses in the country, and one of these is Albany Golf course. This course is located at the southern coast of New Providence Island, a few minutes from Adelaide Village.

Designed by South African golfer Ernie Els, this is a Par 72, 7,400-yard course. Golfers can expect a challenge here with challenging water features and desert dunes. At the Albany Golf course players can expect to find practice facilities including a 400-yard driving range, chipping and putting greens, a golf shop, locker rooms, and more.


5. Treasure Cay Golf Course

Island: Great Abaco

Great Abaco is one of the islands in The Bahamas golfers can look to when planning a fun-filled golf vacation in the Caribbean. In this part of The Bahamas, the Treasure Cay Golf Course is one golf location that stands out for good reason.

The Treasure Cay Golf Course is an 18-hole championship course and it is located near the ocean. The course was designed by Dick Wilson, and has previously been voted ‘the number one golf course in The Bahamas’ by Golf Digest in the past.

On a typical day, this course isn’t very crowded and golfers can enjoy the cooling sea breeze as they play. A full round on this course takes less than three hours, after which golfers can wind down restaurants or bars in the vicinity.

Expert tip: Want to find a golfing buddy while in The Bahamas? Show up at this course at 8.30 in the morning and staff here can assist you in finding a partner!



6. Grand Lucayan Reef Course

Island: Grand Bahama

While in Lucaya on Grand Bahama Island in The Bahamas you might want to check out the Grand Lucayan Reef Course which is one of the most challenging in the islands. This course has 6,909 yards of rolling greens and fairways, and it includes bunkers, water hazards and grassy rough. This is a links-style course, and it was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.

As this course tends to be quite challenging (especially with water present in 13 of the 18 holes), it ranks high as a shot-makers course where accuracy is acknowledged and even rewarded. If you’re interested in the Reef Course on Grand Bahama Island, it is worth inquiring ahead of travelling whether it will be open during your stay.


7. The Abaco Club On Winding Bay

Island: Great Abaco

Great Abaco Island is one of the best places to find great golfing in The Bahamas, and for this reason, The Abaco Club on Winding Bay stands out. Designed by Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie, this is a low-lying course that is right next to the Atlantic Ocean. With that said, golfers can expect nothing less than breathtaking views as they tee off in this truly scenic location.

There are glaringly Scottish-style elements in the design of this course, fused with tropical elements like the lush fauna that can be seen throughout. This is a true links golf course, and here golfers can find a practice area for short games, and the possibility of signing up for private lessons as well. Golf lessons here are run by PGA professional staff.

The Abaco Club is generally a private club, but it is open to one time sessions for non-members.


8. Baker’s Bay Golf Club

Island: Great Guana Cay

Located on Great Guana Cay in The Abacos, the Baker’s Bay Golf Club course was designed by golf course architect Tom Fazio who has designed and built over 200 courses. Positioned along the northeastern shoreline of this island, this Par 72 championship course measures 7,327 yards from the back tees.

Baker’s Bay Golf Club is quite a popular option in The Bahamas with golfers being treated to amazing ocean views everywhere they look as they get into a relaxing game of golf. The Baker’s Bay Golf Club is part of a private resort community in the Northeastern Bahamas. This golf course is open to members and their guests only.


9. Lyford Cay Golf Club

Island: Nassau / Paradise Island

Lyford Cay features a private golf club on the northwestern coast of New Providence Island. Designed by Dick Wilson, the Lyford Cay course has amazing ocean views and lots of royal palm trees and tropical fauna creating a paradisiac feel.

Lyford Cay itself is a private gated community so playing golf here has a really exclusive feel. The course here plays to about 7,007 yards and was most recently updated in 2006. This course is open to members and their guests only.


10. Fortune Hills Golf & Country Club

Island: Grand Bahama

The Fortune Hills Golf course on Grand Bahama Island was originally intended to be an 18-hole course, but today operates as a 9-hole course. The tee settings here are diverse, which allows the course to be played here to championship levels when played twice.

Located to the Northeast of Freeport, the Fortune Hills Golf & Country Club appeals to beginner and novice players. On this course, you won’t find the same level of challenge as on some of the other golf courses in The Bahamas, but you’re sure to find some entertainment for around $50 including a golf cart and caddy.

The Fortune Hills Golf & Country Club isn’t usually crowded, so golfers can have a calm and quiet experience here with staff that are always willing to help.


How much does it cost to play golf in The Bahamas?

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The price you’ll pay to golf in The Bahamas will depend on where you go. Some courses charge around USD $50 including a golf cart and caddy, while other courses can cost way upwards of that with carts and caddies being special features golfers would need to pay extra for. Other golf necessities you’ll need to pay extra for include green fees, equipment and shoe rentals.

Green fees

Green fees are available from USD $60 all the way up to USD $350 per person for 18 holes. Discounted rates are available for resort guests, but if you want your green fees waived completely while still playing one of the best golf courses of The Bahamas, consider staying at Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma.

Golf clubs & shoe rentals

Golf clubs can cost between USD $200 - $400 if you purchase your own, while renting them can cost between USD $30 - $70 for 18 holes, around USD $20 - $40 for 9 holes. The price to rent golf clubs tends to increase based on the brand of clubs you’ll be renting. Shoe rentals in The Bahamas can cost USD $10 - 15 per pair.

Caddies & carts

Caddies can cost around USD $20 per caddy per hour when walking. A caddy for 9 holes can cost between USD $10 - $15. Shared caddies can cost less than it would cost two golfers to each hire their own, and usually its two people max per cart. A golf cart can cost USD $50 and upwards for 18 holes, though some courses as previously mentioned include caddies and carts in their overall cost.


What is the best time to visit The Bahamas to play golf?

The best time to visit The Bahamas is between mid-December to mid-April annually, although May and June are also excellent months to go.

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Picture: Sandals Emerald Bay golf course, the undisputed number 1 golf course of this list. Guests of Sandals Emerald Bay don't pay green fees.

This time of year is considered peak season, and for good reason. The weather then is typically sunny and breezy, with less chances of spontaneous rain showers. You’ll be able to see the true beauty of Bahamian golf courses at this time of year as well, as it isn’t as hot as it would be in the summertime, and the trees, grass and other greenery are likely to be at their most vibrant.

Generally, peak season is a great time to golf as well because it provides a chance to socialise, have fun golf sessions, and just to enjoy The Bahamas at its best.


Take on a new challenge and prove your golf skills in The Bahamas

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The Bahamas is one of the most exciting places to play golf in the world, and there are lots of great golf courses that players of all skill levels can enjoy during their vacation. Golfers can revel in the natural beauty of these islands as they play through 18, or just 9, challenging holes, without giving up the professionalism they are used to. Many of the courses in The Bahamas were designed by esteemed golf course architects and professional golf equipment is readily available to all players.

You have nothing to lose by trying out any of the best golf courses in The Bahamas, and everything to gain. Get ready for a new adventure - golfing in an island paradise!

Shark Diving In The Bahamas: The Underwater Thrill Of A Lifetime

Island Life
November 17th 2021
Shark Diving In The Bahamas: The Underwater Thrill Of A Lifetime
Cover photo credit: nicolasvoisin44/Shutterstock.com

There are many wonderful reasons to visit The Bahamas.

Most of them revolve around the hypnotic blue seas this territory is known for. With 700 islands and thousands of cays to explore, The Bahamas is nothing less than a paradise for vacationers, especially divers of all kinds. Shark diving in The Bahamas offers incredible opportunities to get close to these amazing creatures of the deep.

Divers are lured by the country’s wide array of dive sites and the variety of sea creatures regularly spotted beneath its waves. Many shark species call this region home, and sightings can include Great Hammerhead Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Bull Sharks, Lemon Sharks, Caribbean Reef Sharks, Oceanic White Tip Sharks, Silky Sharks, and Nurse Sharks.

Shark-Diving-Bahamas

Photo credit: nicolasvoisin44/Shutterstock.com

The irresistible opportunity for a scenic, eventful dive compels divers to drop everything and head to The Bahamas. If you are ready to plan a shark dive, or any other kind of dive, in The Bahamas, here’s what you need to know...


How shark diving in The Bahamas works

Shark diving in The Bahamas is so incredibly exciting that both aspiring and seasoned divers should try to tick this experience off their bucket list. There are lots of dive locations to choose from and shark diving excursions are led by knowledgeable, experienced guides. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are considering a shark dive adventure in The Bahamas:

What to expect when shark diving in The Bahamas

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Photo credit: nicolasvoisin44/Shutterstock.com

Ahead of your trip, the dive masters usually share instructions and safety guidelines with divers. If you’re on a shark dive, this briefing session may include information on the shark species you can expect to see, and what to do when you encounter a shark.

While some shark diving adventures do include cages for the safety of divers, in regions like The Bahamas, there are unique opportunities to swim safely in open waters with sharks. These encounters center around more docile types of sharks, allowing more and more people to dive in for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Keep in mind that while shark diving in The Bahamas, you won’t have to worry about being left alone with sharks. Your guides will be there throughout the encounter and you can trust that they know how to keep everyone safe.

Stick with a professional dive company and you’ll be in good hands!


Do I need to be a certified diver?

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Photo credit: Tomas Kotouc/Shutterstock.com

While divers have to be certified to take part in most shark dive experiences, there is usually the option to snorkel with a cage dive. This depends entirely on the dive company. If you have never dived before, you may also like to take the opportunity to become a certified diver while on vacation in The Bahamas. You can consult your dive company to confirm which certifications they require to facilitate this amazing experience.


How much does shark diving cost in The Bahamas?

The cost of shark diving in the Bahamas varies greatly depending on the dive company, location, length of the excursion, number of tanks, and other factors. You may also have to consider the additional cost of renting equipment. On average, a shark diving experience in The Bahamas could cost anywhere from $130 USD to $440 USD per person depending on the location and the shark species you are looking for. This price does not include transportation, equipment rental and speciality courses.

It is a good idea to check with the dive company you are considering to confirm what’s included in your price. To reduce the cost of your experience, you may also think about going with one of the all-inclusive resorts in The Bahamas where scuba equipment is included for certified divers.


Where to find the best shark diving in The Bahamas

Shark Diving Sites

Photo credit: mnabeck/Shutterstock.com

Diving in The Bahamas is an incredibly memorable experience. There are a few islands to consider when choosing where to dive with sharks in The Bahamas:

Nassau / New Providence

New Providence is the hub of all touristic activity in The Bahamas. It is home to Nassau, the country's capital city and one of the more popular locations in The Bahamas for diving. Its proximity to the United States makes Nassau a perfect option for travelers looking to experience a tropical getaway while avoiding a long-haul flight. There, you can partake in unforgettable diving experiences without venturing into the more distant islands.

Divers love Nassau because it is convenient (loads of restaurants, bars, resorts, shopping, entertainment), and also promises tons of incredible dive sightings. Shark divers can look forward to seeing Caribbean Reef Sharks, Silky Sharks, and even the occasional Tiger Shark. It is not uncommon to see other types of marine life including fish like the Nassau Grouper, stingrays, and sea turtles while diving in this area.

The dive adventures you can choose from when in Nassau include shark feeding dives, which are set up by dive teams. If you have your heart set on a shark dive, ensure that you go with a reputable company.

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Expert tip: Plan your stay at an all-inclusive resort in Nassau like Sandals Royal Bahamian to enjoy as much food and (alcoholic) drinks as you wish, without worrying about your budget. On top of that, Sandals offers all their guests free scuba diving (max. two tanks a day) - this includes professional equipment!


Grand Bahama

Tigerbeach-Bahamas

Photo credit: Michael Bogner/Shutterstock.com

Bahamian waters are great for diving of all kinds, but one of the outstanding islands for shark diving is Grand Bahama. This island is located just around 100 miles east of Palm Beach, Florida, at the northernmost tip of The Bahamas. Grand Bahama is the 4th largest island in the country and it’s loved by divers because there’s just so much to see.

Tiger Beach is a popular spot to shark dive in Grand Bahama and is found about 20 miles off the island's west end. It sits on a shallow sand flat with crystal clear waters and thriving coral reefs that are home to a plethora of marine life including moray eels, groupers, snappers, and sea turtles.

Tiger Beach is also one of the best places in the world to encounter Tiger Sharks. It is common to see as many as 17 pelagic tiger sharks together in this area as well as other species like Lemon Sharks, which love foraging for food in sandy inshore areas. Other sightings can include Nurse Sharks, Caribbean Reef Sharks, and Great Hammerhead Sharks.

Did you know: Tiger sharks live in shallow coastal waters and can grow to be 18-feet long. Some can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds!


Cat Island

Cat-Island

Photo credit: Lukas Walter/Shutterstock.com

It will only take about 30 minutes to get to Cat Island from Nassau by plane. That’s more than enough time to get primed and excited for a shark dive on this beautiful island. While only 48 miles long and 4 miles wide, Cat Island is one of the best diving sites in The Bahamas. The island is particularly alluring for shark diving because it is one of the best places on the planet to see Oceanic Whitetip Sharks. This shark species usually dwells in the deeper waters but tends to come closer to shore in the spring, especially around the time of tuna migration.

In addition to Whitetip Sharks, it is also possible to find Silky Sharks and Dusky Sharks while diving around Cat Island. You may also see Tiger Sharks, Great Hammerheads, Blue Sharks, and even Blue Marlins and stingrays. In March, chances are high near Cat Island for also seeing Thresher Sharks, which are commonly found in temperate and tropical oceans. Thresher Sharks are the curious sort and are known for getting close to divers.

Ultimately, what you’ll see while shark diving around Cat Island depends on the season and the timing of your dive. One thing’s for sure - you will almost certainly have sightings in this area that’ll make your dive worthwhile!


Tips for shark divers visiting The Bahamas

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Photo credit: Martin Voeller/Shutterstock.com

Whether it’s your first dive or you’re shark diving in a new place, it’s important to know what to expect. Here are some more shark diving tips, including what to bring:

  • Don’t turn your back on an approaching shark. It is important to be as cautious and attentive as possible during this experience.

  • When you encounter a shark, stay very still.

  • Do not try to touch the sharks.

  • Avoid shark diving at dawn, dusk, or at night when some species move inshore to feed on fish.

  • Avoid shiny jewelry which might appear to be fish scales to sharks.

  • High contrast clothing is generally not recommended. Black wetsuits are usually the go-to for shark diving. These are more neutral compared to gray or white suits which sharks can confuse with fish.

  • It might be comforting to keep something in your hand that you can use to guide too-curious sharks away from you, like a PVC pipe. Typically, you won’t need this as your guides will be there constantly to ensure you’re comfortable and safe.

What to bring

Diver

Photo credit: JonMilnes/Shutterstock.com

If you’re serious about shark diving during your trip to The Bahamas, you’ll need to decide whether to bring your own diving gear or rent gear when you arrive. Renting dive gear can be helpful as it allows you to pack light. In addition to dive gear, you’ll also need a wetsuit or two. Black wetsuits are generally recommended for shark diving (as explained in our tips above).

Ahead of your trip, you should check with your dive company to confirm what’s included with your dive, and what you’ll need to bring along. In addition to dive gear and suits, you may also like to pack some snacks, drinks, water, and anything else you’ll want to have with you on the trip.

Tip: Professional scuba diving gear is free to use for guests at all-inclusive resorts like Sandals Royal Bahamian and Sandals Emerald Bay, which relieves the stress of packing some of your dive gear.



The best time to shark dive in The Bahamas

Shark-Dive

The best time to visit The Bahamas overall is December to Mid-April when the weather is likely to be optimal. However, if you are looking to shark dive in The Bahamas, you may want to consider what species of shark you hope to encounter beforehand. There are certain times of the year when you’re more likely to see sharks, or a particular shark species, in The Bahamas. This can vary from month to month and it will help to ask questions relating to timing while booking your dive vacation.

Some sharks, like White and Blacktip Reef Sharks, Oceanic Whitetip Sharks, and Tiger Sharks, can be found year-round. To see a Bull Shark in the wild, travel between February and April. Hammerhead sightings are most common between December and February. If it’s enormous Whale Sharks you want to encounter, a January or February trip would be your best bet.

To get the timing right, it helps to decide what kind of shark dive experience you’re looking for ahead of time.


Get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime shark encounter!

Sharks-Bahamas

Photo credit: Yann hubert/Shutterstock.com

Prepare to dive down to the sandy bottom of the Bahamian ocean and come face-to-face with the most majestic creatures of the deep! You’ll capture breathtaking photos that will make your friends envious and have an otherworldly experience in this remarkable Caribbean destination.

If you’re counting the days until you can finally enjoy the rush of shark diving in The Bahamas, consider staying in the comfort of a luxurious suite at Sandals Royal Bahamian and booking this professional shark dive from $220 USD per person.

The best part? After your dive, you can enjoy unlimited food and (alcoholic) drinks at any of the ten on-property restaurants, at the swim-up bar, or on the beach of Sandals’ private offshore island!




Flag Of The Bahamas Explained: History & Symbolism

The Islands
November 11th 2021
Flag Of The Bahamas Explained: History & Symbolism
Cover photo credit: Natanael Ginting/Shutterstock.com

The mere mention of The Bahamas is enough to send a person’s mind catapulting onto powdery white shores. Just imagine how relaxed you’d be sunbathing on a pink sand beach and sipping on piña coladas with the waves rolling in ever so gently. As dreamy as they sound, beaches with sands of white and pink are a picturesque reality in the tropical archipelago of The Bahamas. So is the possibility of island hopping between any of the country’s 700 islands, or its cays which are too numerous to count.

When you top that off with the fascinating sights of Nassau, the capital city, the diverse selection of restaurants, bars, and nightlife, and the multitude of natural attractions to experience, you’ll see why visitors are so interested in learning everything there is to do in The Bahamas before they arrive. Your exotic vacation planning may even lead to questions about the meaning and background of this remarkable destination’s flag.

Here’s all you need to know to satisfy your curiosity about the flag history of The Bahamas ahead of your stay in the island paradise:

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Expert tip: There’s nothing like the ice-cold cocktails served in The Bahamas! If you can’t wait until your next trip to this idyllic destination, you can try making delicious piña coladas at home with this authentic Caribbean recipe.



The history of the Bahamian flag

Flags can tell you a lot about the ideology and history of an island long before you set foot there. National flags are usually filled with symbolism and the flag of The Bahamas is no different.

The search for a new national flag began just before the nation gained independence from the United Kingdom on July 10, 1973. The Bahamian government initiated a contest and invited its citizens to submit their ideas for the development of the new flag. The intention was to select a single submission, but instead, various elements were extracted from individual drafts to create a final design.


The design of the national flag of The Bahamas was credited to Rev. Dr. Hervis Bain – a Bahamian artist, and the method of how it was composed sent a message of inclusion, just as the country was coming into its own through independence. The same designer also created the coat of arms for The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, which is the nation’s official name.


Symbolism in the Bahamian flag

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The symbolism of the Bahamian national flag is just as unique as its history. The flag of The Bahamas features a black equilateral triangle on the hoist side, and three horizontal bands: a gold middle stripe, and two aquamarine stripes at the top and bottom.

The golden stripe on the Bahamian flag represents the sun, the sand, and the abundance of natural resources that can be found in these islands.

The Bahamas is known and loved for having amazing beaches and the bluest waters. Strikingly turquoise, the Bahamian ocean is featured and admired all over the world. The ocean is represented on the flag by two aquamarine stripes.

The black triangle on the flag is positioned to the left and facing the center. This triangle is said to symbolize the strength, vigor, and force of the Bahamian people. They’re known for being incredibly friendly as well. The black triangle also represents the enterprising and determined nature of Bahamians, who have successfully navigated the many challenges their islands have faced over the years.


The-Bahamas

Good to know: Where is The Bahamas? The Bahamas, also known as The Bahama islands are located just north of the Caribbean Sea. This island grouping is still largely considered part of the Caribbean and is just an hour’s flight away from Miami.



Other flags of The Bahamas

Currently in use

Civil Ensign

Bahamas Civil Ensign

Photo credit: Greg Kushmerek/Shutterstock.com

The Bahamian civil ensign is easy to recognize with its red background, white St. George’s cross, and the national flag of The Bahamas in the canton. This flag may be flown on privately owned boats at sea, but most boat owners use the standard Bahamian flag.


War Flag

War Flag Bahamas

The Bahamian war flag has the same general design as the civil ensign with a red background and white St. George’s cross. The national flag is featured in the canton of the war flag, and a white equilateral triangle also appears on its right side.


Naval Ensign Bahamas

The naval ensign of The Bahamas is typically flown on navy vessels to indicate nationality. This flag can be identified by its white background, the red cross of St. George, and the national flag in the canton.


Auxiliary Ensign

Auxiliary Ensign Bahamas

The flag of the auxiliary fleet of the navy is known as the Auxiliary Ensign. This flag can be recognized by its white background, blue cross of St. George, and the national flag featured in the canton.


Historical flags of The Bahamas

The Bahamas has an interesting flag history which includes 11 iterations of the Bahamian flag under British rule. In every design, the blue ensign and the badge of The Bahamas remain constant.

While in The Bahamas, you’ll see the official flag of the islands flying high over important Bahamian landmarks like Government House, the official residence of the island’s Governor-General, located in Nassau.


More than one reason to vacation in The Bahamas

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Picture: Enjoy breakfast with an ocean view at Sandals Emerald Bay. The best part: all food and drinks are always included, always unlimited.

Finding out as much as possible about a destination you want to travel to will certainly add value to your vacation. You know the symbolism behind the country’s flag, but The Bahamas has many more secrets that can only be discovered by those that set foot on its sandy white shores.

If you’re planning a trip to The Bahamas and want to be as immersed as possible in all things Bahamian, you’d do well to stay at one of the all-inclusive resorts in Nassau. While vacationing right at the heart of the nation, you’ll be able to indulge in a bit of luxury and easily access some of the best attractions on this truly intriguing and beautiful island.




How To Have The Best Fly Fishing Experience In The Bahamas

Island Life
July 8th 2021
How To Have The Best Fly Fishing Experience In The Bahamas

Surrounded by the most tranquil and blue waters, the islands of The Bahamas are great for fishing. These islands are all near the U.S., with the closest being Grand Bahama which is around 100 miles off the coast of West Palm Beach, Florida.

When traveling to The Bahamas with a fishing expedition in mind, it helps to know ahead of time precisely the kind of fishing trip you want to try as there are many options including spear fishing, sport fishing, deep sea fishing, and bonefishing, which is a type of fly fishing that targets bone fish.

Bonefishing

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In this article we’ll cover one of the most popular fishing trips: bonefishing. There are many islands that are conducive for bonefishing adventures in The Bahamas, including Andros Island, Abaco Islands, New Providence Island and Yamacraw Beach.

If you want to find out when is the best time for bonefishing in The Bahamas, the best islands for bonefishing and even how to choose the right boat charter, then read on. By the end of this article you’ll be more than ready to plan your fishing trip to The Bahamas.

Also read: Fishing in Nassau, The Bahamas: The Definitive Guide.



First things first… What are Bonefish?

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Bonefish are a silvery game fish that can be found in shallow, warm waters near shore. These fish can grow up to 14 pounds and are often described as elusive for how hard they can be to catch due to their naturally camouflaged skin and reflective scales. Bonefishing is popular in The Bahamas as a type of sport fishing. Aside from bonefish, other common catches in The Bahamas include tarpons, barracudas, permit, jack, shark, grouper, and mutton snapper.




Where to go for the best fly fishing in The Bahamas?

fishing2

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The Bahamas is an impressive saltwater fly fishing destination with many places you can go fishing. In this tropical archipelago there are about 700 islands and cays, and some of the best islands for fly fishing include Andros Island, Acklins Island, Mangrove Cay and the Southern Flats. Here are some of our favorites:



Andros Island

Andros-Island2

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At 2,300 mi², Andros Island is larger than all 700 of the Bahamian islands and cays combined. Andros is divided into 3 separate areas including North Andros, South Andros, and Mangrove Cay. Each of these parts are separated by bights (estuaries) within which there are even more uninhabited islets and cays.

Andros Island is located about 180 miles off Florida’s coast and is considered the ‘bonefish capital of the world’. In Andros, it is not uncommon for fishers to make catches of 10 pounds or more. Aside from bonefish, chances are high of catching tarpon around Andros at certain times of the year. Further out into deeper waters fishermen often catch Mahi-Mahi, tuna, and wahoo.

Expert tip: When in Andros make some time to see some of the 1.5 million-acre national park known as the West Side National Park.



North Andros

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Photo credit: T photography/Shutterstock.com

There are a lot of similarities in the kind of fishing experience you’ll find on North Andros and Andros itself. On North Andros, anglers may find themselves doing quite a lot of flats fishing which is a method developed in The Bahamas and Florida in the 1940s. Flats fishing involves wading in water or from a flats boat or skiff. While in the shallow water, fishers use their skills to make a catch. In North Andros, other than bonefish there are often permit, tarpon and barracuda spotted near the flats.


Mangrove Cay

Andros-Island

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Mangrove Cay is on Andros Island and its capital is Moxey town. There are hundreds of square miles of flats, bays, and creeks around Andros Island that are easily accessible through this cay. Where you’ll make the best catch in Mangrove Cay depends on the tide, and because of the location of Mangrove Cay in the center of Andros, it’ll not be too difficult to move around when the tides shift. This movement increases the time you’ll be able to bonefish successfully in this area.


South Andros

South Andros is part of Andros Island and in this way, much like in North Andros, there are commonalities in the fishing experiences you’re likely to have there. South Andros is much less populated than Andros Island and in fact is probably the least populated part of this area. There are hard, sand flats in South Andros that are perfect for bonefishing. They are populated with a range of marine life that fishers of all kinds will appreciate.



New Providence / Nassau

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New Providence Island is generally the place where first time and even repeat visitors to The Bahamas choose to stay. This includes anglers who like staying in New Providence Island, experiencing some of the best fly fishing spots in Nassau, and then making their way further out to some of the other islands. New Providence Island is off the coast of Andros Island and home to the capital city of The Bahamas, Nassau.


Southern Flats

tarpon

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The Southern Flats are the best place to go bonefishing on New Providence Island. Lots of fly fishers who stay in Nassau for their vacation go to this area in the hopes of catching some of the biggest bone fish, which this area is known for. Aside from bonefish, just at the edges of the flats you can sometimes catch tarpon, permit, and barracuda.


Yamacraw Beach

bonefish

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Yamacraw Beach in Nassau is an interesting place where anglers can try their luck with some bonefishing. This is a popular spot for dry fishing, which means you’ll be able to fish right from the shore. Bonefish usually swim in the swallows, and here you’ll be able to catch them using angling and bone fishing techniques that hopefully have already been sharpened from experiencing other great sites in The Bahamas.

Expert tip: While in The Bahamas, stay at an all-inclusive resort in Nassau that can help organize your bone fishing trip so you don’t miss out on the best spots!



The Abaco Islands

Abaco-Islands

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The Abaco Islands in The Bahamas are among the more populated islands of this territory and they are located in northern Bahamas. Abaco is about 776 mi² and is often one of the islands recommended for good bonefishing. In the Abacos, one of the best places for bonefishing is in the Marls Region, while Coopers Town, Cherokee Sound, Crossing Rock, and Crown Haven are also known for great fishing.


Marls Region

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The Marls Region is part of the Abacos and is home to a thriving population of bonefish. Marls has been described as large enough to fit Manhattan 13 times over. It is sheltered, protected, and great for bonefishing. There are extensive sand flats in this area which is about 300mi² as well as lots of mangroves. Many anglers fish from the well maintained Maverick flats skiffs. Wading is popular here.


Green Turtle Cay

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Green Turtle Cay is one of the beautiful cays of The Bahamas that could be just the right type of location you need for some great fly fishing. This island is off the coast of Great Abaco and is about 3 miles long and half a mile wide. As such, this is not a populated island, but it is great for diving and fishing. You can get to Green Turtle Cay by ferry or boat. Once on this little island you’ll find three saltwater flats which will be perfect for fly fishing. Great Turtle Cay is known to have large populations of bonefish and barracuda off the coasts.


Bonefishing in the Out Islands

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The Out Islands of The Bahamas consist of all the islands that are away from the more populated parts of The Bahamas. Most of these islands are uninhabited with extensive and uncrowded sand flats that make them ideal for bonefishing and also fishing for tarpon and other types of fish.


Crooked Island & Acklins Island

Crooked Island and Acklins Island are part of a grouping of islands in a shallow lagoon called the Bight of Acklins. These islands are to the southeast of The Bahamas. Crooked Island and Acklins Island have over the years remained mostly untouched which makes them great for nature excursions and fishing. The Bight has lots of mangroves that are filled with bonefish. There are sometimes tarpon, permit, snapper, mackerel, jacks, grouper and sharks here also. Bonefish in this area are on average 3-4 pounds, but often catches can be up to 10-pounds. The hard sand flats in this area are ideal for wading which can increase the odds for a catch.


Long Island

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Long Island in The Bahamas is known for its vibrant coral reefs, beautiful white sand beaches, dramatic cliff sides and exciting fishing opportunities. Long Island is also known for being the home of Hamilton’s Cave, the largest cave system in The Bahamas. This island is between Great Exuma and Acklins Island and many anglers include this stop on their fly fishing schedule. The flats here are part of the appeal for anglers who really want to make a great catch. Aside from bone fish the waters of Long Island are also good for catching jacks, snappers, tarpon, barracuda and sharks.

When planning a bone fishing trip to Long Island you can stay at this incredible all-inclusive resort in Exuma — you’ll easily be able to make tour and charter arrangements to Long Island through the resort.


Expert tip: While on Long Island make some time to visit Dean’s Blue Hole which is the second deepest blue hole at 200m (660ft) deep.



How to Fly Fish in The Bahamas once you're there

Finding a fishing guide

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Saltwater flats fishing is something that is a big part of Bahamian culture. Fishermen from this region know the islands and the surrounding waters well, so it's a good idea to go with an experienced fishing guide for a fly fishing adventure. If you go with a guide, your chances of making a significant catch can be greater and you might spend less time fishing in areas that may not be conducive for your objective. You may also gain some new insights on how to catch bonefish from a local guide. If it is your first time fly fishing, a guide is definitely recommended.


Expert tip: When fishing in The Bahamas remember that National Marine Parks are off limits for any kind of fishing.



Chartering a boat

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Chartering a boat for bonefishing gives you more freedom especially if you want to do more than wading and dry fishing. If you want to get a boat charter, it is imperative to find the right one for your fly fishing adventure. To do so, there are some general guidelines to follow.

The first of these is to find a charter that is close to where you’re staying. This will help you avoid having to wake up even earlier than you need to for your fishing trip just to make your way to the boat. There are lots of charter options in Nassau which can accommodate either half or full day tours depending on your preference. Half day charters are usually around 4 hours while full day charters are generally 8 hours. Overnight charters are an option as well if you want to spend the night on the boat.


Other details for planning a boat charter

Once you’ve determined the kind of fishing trip you’ll be going on, it’ll be easy to find the right boat charter. With that said, it is important to ask the charter about the fishing opportunities they offer. You might also want to find out if other activities are included other than fishing, like snorkeling tours, sightseeing, beaching, or sunset tours and cruises.

Another thing to consider is how big your group is. This will help determine the kind of charter you need. If you will be on your own, you may just be able to get onto a shared charter. Larger groups are better off with a private charter.

Smaller charters will cater to about 6 people max, while party charters can fit up to 60 people comfortably. While shared charters may be more affordable, you may not get to spend as much time as you’d like bone fishing, or go to all the places you have in mind. For this reason, sometimes a private charter is best.

If you’ll be staying at a resort in The Bahamas you can ask the tour desk about chartering a boat and what you’ll need. You may be able to charter a boat with or without a crew in The Bahamas, but without a crew you’re likely to need a special boating license. You may not need a special license if you have a captain and crew on board, so this is something to consider.



The best time for Fly Fishing trips in The Bahamas

Quite a lot of stalking will be required to catch bonefish during a fly fishing expedition, and for this reason, it is important to choose the right time to go. The best time to plan a fly fishing trip to The Bahamas is November if you’re looking for a big catch, although you can expect a good catch anywhere from November all the way upto February. Some people from this region say these months are a great time to catch record-setting bonefish.

The increased odds of catching bonefish during the ‘winter’ months (when cold fronts tend to pass through making way for cooler water temperatures) has something to do with the fact that the bigger the bonefish, the better they are able to adapt to changing water temperatures.

During the summer months (late June through August), bonefish tend to move to colder, deeper waters of the flats which means this isn’t a good time for bonefishing in The Bahamas. Although this isn’t the ideal time for bone fishing, if you’re in The Bahamas at this time, you’ll be right on schedule to fish for tarpon and permit from May through mid-November. It’ll be harder to catch these during peak bone fishing season so this is something to keep in mind.

With the help of an experienced fishing guide in The Bahamas, you can have an enjoyable fishing experience any time of year.



Plan your Fly Fishing trip to The Bahamas

fly-fishing-trip

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The cool, clear waters of The Bahamas are great for fishing year round as there’s different seasons to catch different types of fish including bonefish, tarpons, barracudas, permit, jack, shark, grouper, snapper, and many more.

If you do decide to go bonefishing during the months of November to February in The Bahamas, expect to make a big catch! Don’t be shy to bring your catch back to your all-inclusive resort and have the chef prepare it for you. The resort will help you plan the best bone fishing adventures in The Bahamas.

Scuba Diving In The Bahamas: What To Expect

Island Life
December 2nd 2020
Scuba Diving In The Bahamas: What To Expect

If you’re getting set to go scuba diving in The Bahamas, prepare to be amazed. Not only are the beaches stunning and the marine life thriving in this part of the world, travelers can island hop in this tropical archipelago to experience multiple scuba sites. Many people go to this island chain just to dive and depending on how long you’re there, you’ll be able to scuba dive off the coasts of many different islands, some uninhabited.

Want to go on free scuba dive trips in The Bahamas? PADI® certified guests of any of the two Sandals all-inclusive resorts in The Bahamas can go on scuba diving trips at no additional cost, this includes all equipment (max. two tanks per day)! Not PADI® certified yet? Get certified at an additional cost and dive the rest of your vacation for free.

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Aside from the super clear seas and endless options, one of the things divers love most about vacationing in The Bahamas is that there are just so many things to do and see. All in all, The Bahamas is a great place for a scuba diving vacation. For the purposes of ensuring you’re well prepped for your dive vacation, we’ve compiled a list of Sandals’ best dive sites and the marine life you may encounter along the way.

What you can expect to see
Sandals best scuba dive sites in The Bahamas
When to go scuba diving in The Bahamas
Diving with Sandals Resorts
Bonus: alternatives to scuba diving
Happy diving!

What you can expect to see

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A better headline would probably be, is there really anything that you won’t see while scuba diving in The Bahamas? Ahead of your trip, you can be assured that it is indeed true that The Bahamas is an excellent dive destination.

Colorful fish and coral reefs of all types call this region home, and thus add to a more than optimal diving environment. In addition to fishes of all kinds, including the Nassau Grouper, the wrasse, parrot fish, scorpion fish, king fish, French grunts, barracuda and creatures like the Queen Conch and lots of crabs, lobsters, eels and even sting rays, you’ll have a real lesson right above the sea floor in a world much different than you’re probably used to.

While shark dives are optional, daring divers choose The Bahamas because they can seek out spots where they are likely to have sightings of sharks; including hammerheads, bull sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks and silky sharks. Dolphin and whale sightings are also not uncommon.

Sandals best scuba dive sites in The Bahamas

1. Blue Hole

Dive Level: Advanced
Available from: Sandals Royal Bahamian

Blu-hole-Bahamas

Photo credit: Lora B/Shutterstock.com

Blue hole diving is most assuredly for more skilled divers, and if you fit this category then this site is a must see while in The Bahamas. In fact, it has been rated as one of the top 3 dive locations in Nassau. The Blue Hole is about 9 miles off the eastern tip of Nassau, to the east. As you get into the hole, you’ll encounter coral heads of all sizes and scores of tropical fishes. The rock formations will immediately capture your attention as you deep-dive in this stunning location. While diving here you may even see turtles, stingrays, and sometimes sharks, particularly between July and early August which is the mating season for silky sharks.

2. Sandals Wall

Dive Level: Advanced
Available from: Sandals Emerald Bay

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Guests of the all-inclusive luxury resort Sandals Emerald Bay can make the most of this amazing dive sight during their vacation in The Bahamas. It’s easily accessible and there’s just so much to see. The wall starts at about the 50-ft mark and along the way you’ll spot a variety of tropical fish. Other sightings can include snappers, jacks, stingrays, barracudas and sometimes even dolphins or sharks!

3. Ras Mohammed

Dive Level: Advanced
Available from: Sandals Emerald Bay

parrot-fish

Photo credit: Richard Whitcombe/Shutterstock.com

More advanced divers will appreciate this dive most. Here you can spot things like parrotfish, bar jacks, amberjacks, and fan coral as far as the eye can see. If you’re staying at Sandals Emerald Bay, the reef is about 1 hour from the dive shop. On some days, you’ll even be able to spot barracuda.

4. James Bond Wrecks

Dive Level: Novice
Available from: Sandals Royal Bahamian

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Photo credit: Danita Delmont/Shutterstock.com

This site gets its name from famous appearances in not one but two James Bond movies. As expected, it is now one of the most popular dive sites across the islands. Visiting divers seek to experience for themselves the phenomenal deep sea location many had a chance to glimpse in the movies ‘Thunder Ball’ and ‘Never Say Never’. Here, in addition to props that still remain like The Vulcan Bomber, you can see parrotfish, soft coral including sponges, gorgonians, plum worms, arrow crabs, and more, not forgetting the Tears of Allah Wreck, a 92 ft supply boat.

5. Hollywood Bowl

Dive Level: Novice
Available from: Sandals Royal Bahamian

blue-tang

Photo credit: aquapix/Shutterstock.com

Hollywood Bowl is near Goulden Cay (west of New Providence) and it is a widely known dive site. Many of the underwater scenes from the James Bond 007 movies from the 1960s and 1970s were filmed at this location (once you take a dive you’ll see why!). Other movies including ‘Splash’, ‘Into the Blue’, ‘After the Sunset’ and ‘Cocoon’ also have scenes shot at this location. Here you can spot things like balloo, the Bermuda chubb, blue tang, sergeant majors, and various hard and soft coral formations. This is also a great spot for snorkeling and going on SNUBA® adventures.

6. Bahama Mama

Dive Level: Advanced
Available from: Sandals Royal Bahamian

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Photo credit: nicolasvoisin44/Shutterstock.com

The Bahama Mama is at the edge of the Tongue of the Ocean Wall. It is not too far offshore, which means a short boat ride will get you there in no time. Here you can explore the wall or the reefs, and scope for wrecks like the Bahama Mama which is about 40-ft down. The Bahama Mama is said to have once been a party boat. Other sightings in this area include lobsters, stingrays, and Bahamian reef sharks. Near the Bahama Mama vessel is the 200-ft vessel “Ray of Hope”, which was sunk purposely and now serves as an artificial reef. The “Ray of Hope” is fully intact, which means divers can explore the ship’s interior. This dive site is one that will keep you engrossed as you immerse yourself fully in the experience.

7. Stocking Island Blue Hole

Dive Level: Advanced
Available from: Sandals Emerald Bay

As far as Blue Holes go, Stocking Island is among the most raved about in The Bahamas. This dive site is also known as Angelfish Blue Hole much due to the number of angelfish that usually frequent the area. This dive starts at 18 ft and is 90 ft on the deep end. You can enjoy incredible sightings without even diving into the hole, but for those who do there’s a chamber on the bottom that you can swim through which is worth a try. Sightings in this area include horse-eye jacks, parrotfish, eagle rays, turtles, angel fish, and more. Aside from diving, the beaches are nice on Stocking Island, and you can grab something to eat at the conch shack, or at the beachside restaurant.

8. The Tug Wreck Dive

Dive Level: Advanced
Available from: Sandals Emerald Bay

The Tug is a 65-ft tugboat about 80 ft down off the coast of the Exumas. It was sunk intentionally in 2005 and now serves as an artificial reef. The best way to access this dive site is by boat, and you can spot a variety of marine life here including Nassau grouper, spiny lobster, horse-eye jacks, bar jacks, blue chromis, parrotfish, spotted drums, French grunts, schoolmasters, mackerel and even eels, stingrays, and barracuda. The Tug itself is a spectacular sight with sponges and corals embedded into its manmade features.

9. Mahoney Wreck

Dive Level: Novice
Available from: Sandals Royal Bahamian

There are many wrecks you can witness from underwater in The Bahamas, and Mahoney is one of those. Just about 30 ft beneath the ocean’s surface, near Paradise Island, this wreck (a steamship) dates to the 1800s and is considered a must visit. At this location sightings include angelfish, groupers, eels, pipefish, snappers, grunts, and more.

10. Shipyard

Dive Level: Advanced
Available from: Sandals Royal Bahamian

The Shipyard got its name because there is not one but four wrecks in this area. Wrecks include a 150-foot freighter known as The Ana Lise, the 95-foot Helena C wreck, the 90-foot Bahama Shell wreck and a wooden-hull cargo ship which is the most recent (1994). The wrecks lay at the 85 ft mark and are near each other, which while diving, can feel a bit like you’re diving in a nautical graveyard, as the site has been described. There’s life in this area though, and much of it, and you’ll encounter all sorts of tropical fish from silversides to Barracuda.

11. Port Nelson

Dive Level: Advanced
Available from: Sandals Royal Bahamian

Port Nelson is worth exploring for divers who want to take in both a wreck and a lively reef. This dive site is about 6 miles off the southwestern shore of New Providence. This artificial reef which was named in honor of a fallen seaman has survived many storms, and it is said to have been the last commissioned ship by the Royal Bahamas Defense Force prior to the Independence of the islands from Great Britain. The Bacardi Bar Reef is nearby and helps support the vibrant ecosystem and as such, the marine life in this area which often includes snappers, grunts, moray eels, scorpionfish, mackerel, kingfish, and barracuda.

12. Dog & Pup Reef

Dive Level: Novice
Available from: Sandals Emerald Bay

It can be hard to tell what to expect at a dive site with a name such as this, but Dog & Pup Reef offers a world of adventure for divers who might be just starting off. This reef is located off the shores of Dog Cay and Puppy Cay and on this dive, you may see things like French grunts, snapper, sea turtles, porcupine puffer fish, queen angelfish, grouper, lobster, and other interesting sightings.

13. Emerald Isle Reef

Dive Level: Novice
Available from: Sandals Emerald Bay

Clear waters and beautiful coral reefs are a sure recipe for a phenomenal diving session. Divers at Emerald Isle Reef can dive to a maximum depth of 46 ft around a densely populated reef where you can sometimes spot nurse sharks. The reef is about 45 minutes from the dive shop where you can gear up if you don’t have your own dive equipment.

14. LCT Wreck

Dive Level: Novice
Available from: Sandals Royal Bahamian

The LCT Barge dates to World War II and it is one of the historic things you can see while diving in The Bahamas. The wreck is near the White Hole Reef and is about 20 feet down. The wreck attracts many fishes and it’ll be an interesting experience seeing them either swim right up to you or flitter away as you descend. The eclectic reefs in this area will surely catch your attention, as will the wide variety of marine life.

15. Will Laurie

Dive Level: Novice
Available from: Sandals Royal Bahamian

The Will Laurie is a 130-ft freighter wreck near the New Providence area. As history tells it, the ship was on the way to being repaired, took in too much water, and sank. It now lays between 40-50-ft down and is decked with soft coral of all varieties. While exploring this area you may run into snappers, groupers, barracudas, and more. Look out for the large resident green moray eel known as Bubba! The eel normally hangs around the anchor winch or the aft so your search can begin there.

16. Fish Reef

Dive Level: Novice
Available from: Sandals Emerald Bay

Directly to the north of the Sandals Emerald Bay Marina you’ll find this dive site which is best for newbie divers. The reef here is quite shallow, and it is about 15 minutes away from the dive shop. Here you are likely to come across things like white grunts, yellowtail snapper, blue parrotfish and squirrelfish.

17. Da-Kutt

Dive Level: Novice
Available from: Sandals Emerald Bay

Da-Kutt is a straightforward site best suited for divers who’re new to the water or just want a less challenging dive. At this dive site you can get better acquainted with the various coral reef types and all their intricacies, as well as marvel at parrot fish, squirrel fish, Spanish grunts, yellowtail snapper, lionfish, and more. This dive site is about 40 minutes from the Sandals Emerald Bay resort.

18. Three Sister’s Rock

Dive Level: Novice
Available from: Sandals Emerald Bay

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Photo credit: RaksyBH/Shutterstock.com

Three Sister’s Rock in the Exuma Islands is a magnetic spot which is popular with divers of all skill levels. The waters around the Exuma Islands are clear and alluring, and it is quite an experience to swim around the rock formations. Here divers can get up close to marine life, explore ridges and peek into crevices where some of the most intriguing sea creatures often hide. You will see fish dart into the dark holes, seeking shelter from predators and passers-by, while staying safe from the sometimes turbulent tides. Here you might spot things like crabs, sea urchins, rock oysters, sea anemones, limpets, and sea plants and reef fish of all types.


When to go scuba diving in The Bahamas

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There isn’t really a bad time to go to The Bahamas, but there are certain times of year that would be more suitable depending on the kind of experience you’re looking for. Typically, the high season for The Bahamas is from the middle of December to mid-April, and during this time the island is most populated.

The low season is between the months of June to November, which can be rainy at times, but are for the most part warm and sunny. If you’re heading to the islands to dive, you’ll be able to do this year-round, but those wanting to experience the thrill of seeing sharks for example, have higher chances of doing so from October to June.

The shoulder season is from April to June, and during that time you can still get some of the benefits of high season travel, with more availability in terms of resorts, and more activities and events as compared to the low season. All in all, The Bahamas is a great warm weather getaway.

Read our post Best Time to Visit The Islands Of The Bahamas for more detailed information on when to go.


Diving with Sandals Resorts

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Diving made easy is a reason many people go the all-inclusive way when vacationing in Caribbean destinations like The Bahamas.

Sandals Resorts in The Bahamas make scuba diving a breeze for both beginners and more experienced divers. If you plan on diving but don’t have the necessary certification, you can start the process with the resort. If you already have your PADI certification, you’ll be able to get into the water almost as soon as you settle in at the resort.

You can opt for either morning or afternoon dives depending on your preference, but most people who want to go a little further out to see some of the nicer sites choose to go on earlier dives. The dive team will go with your pace, and as you get more comfortable you’ll be able to dive in more different locations. As the staff are professional and friendly, feel free to share your preferences on what you’d like to see, and where you’d like to go specifically.

Another benefit of diving with Sandals if that you won’t have to worry about bringing your equipment along. If you do though, you can use a locker rental to store it in the dive shop.

All in all, the best part about staying at an all-inclusive is that the diving is free (max. two tanks a day per guest), so you won’t have to think about whether you can afford to do daily dives.


Getting PADI certified in The Bahamas at Sandals Resorts

If you’re already PADI certified ahead of your Bahamas getaway, this will help you get straight into the diving action just as soon as you land and are settled into your resort. If you’re not, there’s still plenty of time to get certified once you get to the island. Sandals resort facilitates the PADI certification process for guests at an extra cost. Once you’re certified, you can take advantage of free diving (2 tanks per day) for the rest of your vacation. See Sandals Scuba courses & prices.


Diving safely

SNG-Scuba

The first step to diving safely is ensuring you have the necessary certifications before getting into the water – this helps you to be able to navigate the various dive sites and also to follow the safety procedures particularly regarding the use of diving equipment.

When diving in a new location especially it is important to follow the instructions of your dive instructor and to stay close to your dive buddy. Keep an eye out for dive signals, which are imperative for proper communication. It is best to dive with a reputable dive center, or at a resort which makes dive safety a priority. This helps to ensure that your equipment is safe for use, and that all other elements are in place to keep you safe.


Bonus: alternatives to scuba diving

The Bahamas is one of those destinations where there’s always something going on. From carnivals to regattas, even if you’re not a fan of scuba diving, you won’t have to search hard to find something to do in the islands.

If you’re not getting scuba certified and you’d like to explore the tropical fish and coral beneath the surface of those beautiful turquoise waters, go on a snorkel tour! In The Bahamas there’s also an opportunity to give SNUBA® diving a go, which is the closest you’ll likely get to scuba diving without going all in.

Tip: Read our Ultimate Guide to SNUBA® Diving to find out more. If you haven’t tried snorkeling before, take a peek at our snorkeling tips for beginners and explore the best snorkeling spots in Nassau.

If you are a scuba lover and just want a few extra things to do, we’ve got you covered in our list of things to do in The Bahamas.

For starters, you can spend some time lounging on some of the most incredible beaches in the world while your travel buddy enjoys the beauty of the undersea. There are many great beaches spread across the islands including Cable Beach and Love Beach. Read our post on the best beaches in Nassau to get an idea of where to begin your explorations!

Many people who vacation in The Bahamas choose to stay on the island of Providenciales, home to capital Nassau. If you’ll be staying in this area, our list of things to do in Nassau post offers 78 neat things you can try while you’re there, including going on a catamaran cruise and exploring historical forts downtown. You can also experience some deep sea fishing, which many people love!

swimming-pigs

Whether you want a bit of history on the side, or something more entertaining like watching the Swimming Pigs of Pig Island, once you plan it out right you’ll be able to fit in some really amazing experiences in The Bahamas.


Happy diving!

diving_Bahamas

You won’t soon run out of interesting dive sites in The Bahamas, nor will you exhaust the extensive list of things you can do while there. Make the best of your time in this awe-inspiring part of the world by planning properly – do the things you want to do most first, dive whenever you can, and relax and enjoy your time in paradise!

32 Popular Foods & Drinks You Must Try When In The Bahamas

Food & Drink
July 17th 2020
32 Popular Foods & Drinks You Must Try When In The Bahamas

Food makes the world go ‘round and finding a vacation where the food options are as appetizing as they are extensive is what the best dreams are made of. Of course, that dream is made even better in reality if that vacation is in a Caribbean destination like The Bahamas, known for its unique culture and cuisine.

Right up there with the stunning physical attributes of The Bahamas is the cuisine of the islands, which is diverse, delicious, and in some cases, daring. Some of the common items you’ll find on your plate are shellfish, lobster, conch, crab, fish, fruits, potatoes, pigeon peas, rice, and pork. All these ingredients and more are brought together in a passionate and determined fashion in The Bahamas… so much so that you’ll probably find yourself planning your return trip before leaving the island!

Also read: ‘Top 50 Fun Things To Do In The Bahamas’.


Food in The Bahamas stands out for its richness, intensity of flavor, and often, its simplicity. It is also set apart because of the unique twist often given to even the most common items, like regular mac and cheese, as compared to Bahamian baked mac and cheese (night and day!) A similar upgrade is granted to most dishes cooked up in this territory, and this is absolutely one of the things that makes The Bahamas a destination food lovers will enjoy.

If you’re planning on visiting The Bahamas or have booked your ticket already, here are some of the food and drink items you’ll need to get familiar with while in the islands!


In this article on the Sandals Blog:

Traditional Bahamian main dishes
Traditional Bahamian side dishes & snacks
Traditional Bahamian desserts
Popular Bahamian drinks
Get ready for the island getaway of a lifetime!




Traditional Bahamian main dishes

Conch salad (conch ceviche)

Conch Salad

Photo credit: BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock.com

If you’re in The Bahamas, chances are you’re not going to leave without trying conch, one way or the other. Conch salad is a good way to start if you want to feel as though you’re eating something healthy, that’s also interesting and different. In your conch salad bowl, you’ll find diced conch meat with add-ons like chopped peppers, onion, tomato, salt and pepper. Everything is tossed about in a marinade made with lime, lemon, and orange juice. The marinade ‘cooks’ the conch a little, but other than that, expect your conch ceviche to be mostly uncooked. This dish tends to be a little spicy when local peppers are added in, so that’s something to keep in mind.


Boiled fish

Boiled Fish Bahamas Food

Photo credit: Jacek Chabraszewski/Shutterstock.com

You can enjoy a bowl of boiled fish at any time of day, and it is especially popular during Christmas time in The Bahamas. There are different types of fish used for this dish, but the most common are the Bahamian snapper or the grouper, but pretty much any flaky white fish will do. Often, you’ll find boiled fish alongside buttered grits or Johnny cake, and it is usually cooked up with potatoes and spices. Bahamian boiled fish makes a comforting dish to enjoy particularly on one of the cooler nights in the islands!


Bahamian crawfish (spiny lobsters)

Bahamian Crawfish Lobster Bahamas Food

Photo credit: hlphoto/Shutterstock.com

If you’re a lobster fan, you’ll love these miniature ‘Caribbean lobsters’, which are cooked up in several different ways in The Bahamas. Most often though, Bahamian crawfish are broiled, or used in a ‘lobster’ salad. You’ll do well ordering crawfish as an appetizer paired with some tasty local sides, or as the central focus in a Caribbean centric entrée.

Expert tip: Guests of all-inclusive resorts Sandals Royal Bahamian and Sandals Emerald Bay can enjoy unlimited seafood and other dishes for free during their stay! Both resorts feature 11 high quality gourmet restaurants.


Souse (chicken or sheep’s tongue)

bahamas-food-chicken-souse

Photo credit: Niran Phonruang/Shutterstock.com

Every country has its own unique dishes that are a must try for visitors, and in The Bahamas, souse is one of the most popular. Try chicken souse, which is a wholesome soup that consists of lots of vegetables like onions, bell peppers, carrots, celery, and more. Fresh lime juice is added in for a zesty touch, and then either tender chicken pieces, oxtail, sheep’s tongue, or pig’s feet. If you’re trying it for the first time, start with chicken, and work your way up to the more diverse options, with a bit of pepper if you like it spicy. Johnny cakes (see side dishes) are the perfect side dish for souse, especially if you’re having it for breakfast.


Conch fritters

Conch Fritters Bahamas Food

Photo credit: Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock.com

The Bahamas is a great place to try conch for the first time if you haven’t already indulged in this Caribbean delicacy. Conch fritters are made with conch meat, onion, peppers, celery, garlic, and other seasonings. All the ingredients are combined, and then deep fried until they’re golden brown and delicious. While conch fritters may not be the healthiest dish, it certainly is one of the tastiest. Definitely have conch fritters with the dipping sauce, which is usually made from ketchup, lime juice, and mayonnaise.


Cracked conch

Conch fritters

Photo credit: MevZup/Shutterstock.com

There are many ways to cook conch, but the cracked conch method is one of the most delicious. Cracked conch is essentially fried conch, and during the preparation process you’ll notice chefs pounding the conch meat with a mallet until it’s tender. Later the thin slices are coated with batter, and then deep fried. Order your cracked conch in The Bahamas with a side of vegetables, dipping sauce, and fries (ketchup or hot sauce optional)!


Lionfish

Lionfish Bahamas Food

Photo credit: Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock.com

Though there are myths that Lionfish were released into Caribbean waters by way of an aquarium being flooded during hurricane Andrew in 1992, the truth of the matter is, long before that Lionfish were spotted near the region – in Dania Florida, to be exact (1985).

They have since made their way to the Caribbean, and their population has increased in recent years. As the Lionfish has no natural predators, this is a problem for marine life in the region which are often the target for Lionfish.

The solution? In many islands including those of the Caribbean, Lionfish has started to appear on menus, with more and more creative ways to cook it being conceptualized. Before cooking the spines of the Lionfish are removed, and underneath it all is a white, buttery meat, that many people are growing to love. While in The Bahamas, look around for light menu items like Lionfish tacos!


Minced crawfish

Minced Crawfish Lobster Bahamas Food

Photo credit: Luca Santilli/Shutterstock.com

Flavorful, rich, and a little spicy, minced crawfish is a comfort food that has long secured its place on the dinner table in The Bahamas. Bahamian crawfish are large, and not to be confused with small crayfish you find in the US. These instead are large spiny Caribbean lobsters, with spiky whips instead of claws. For this dish, after being boiled, shelled and shredded, crawfish meat is often sautéed in tomatoes, peppers and other spices. Later it is placed back into the shell and served with white rice or another local accompaniment.


Conch chowder

Conch chowder is a great introduction to the conch frenzy of The Bahamas, and this is a hearty soup if there ever was once. With tomato as a base, conch chowder is a medley of flavors including that of thyme, basil, crushed red pepper, garlic, fennel, potatoes, plum tomatoes, and more. During preparation the conch meat is stewed until tender along with the other ingredients. When conch chowder is done well, it is done exceptionally well, and you’ll probably be tempted to have a second bowl with a side of freshly baked buns!


Steamed chicken

Much unlike stewed or boiled chicken, steamed chicken isn’t cooked in boiling hot water. Instead, in The Bahamas you’ll find local chefs using their signature tomato sauce to braise the chicken, which creates an entirely different result. This is one menu item that will pleasantly surprise you, as many people find it doesn’t look or taste as they would expect. Try a local street food tour which will take you to the best spot to try Bahamian steamed chicken!


Bahamian stew fish (or stew conch)

Bahamian Stew Fish Bahamas Food

Photo credit: Geka/Shutterstock.com

Seafood is popular in The Bahamas, and stew fish or stew conch are the perfect examples of dishes that can do no wrong. If you’re a seafood lover, don’t leave the islands without trying a hearty fish stew, or stew conch, which is usually made with lots of spices, tomatoes, celery, onion, and other delicious ingredients. Have either of these for breakfast or lunch and you’ll be filled for a few hours at least!


Baked crab

Baked Crab Bahamas Food

Photo credit: Ezume Images/Shutterstock.com

You probably won’t be able to get enough of Bahamian baked crab once you’ve tried it just once; like most other dishes, the Caribbean twist is what makes regular crab stand out in this territory. Before getting onto your plate, your crab would have been baked inside the shell, then removed from the shell at which point various seasonings, breadcrumbs and other ingredients would be added in. After that it would be stuffed back into the shell ahead of being served. A lot of the time you’ll find that the crab is a bit spicy, and it’s best when eaten hot.


Fried/seared fish

seared-fish

Photo credit: SAM THOMAS A/Shutterstock.com

There’s a wide variety of fish to be enjoyed in The Bahamas, due to the abundance of fish in the surrounding oceans. Your fish meal is guaranteed to be fresh and tasty no matter how it’s prepared, but seared or fried are both delectable options. Most commonly, snapper and grouper are what you’ll find being served at local spots, and these are usually served whole. You can order just fish, or a complete fish meal if you choose, but be sure to add some fresh lemon or lime over top, and maybe even some pepper to add a little zing to your meal.


Fire engine

Fire engine is considered a comfort food in The Bahamas, with many people even attributing it to being a hangover cure. It’s salty, spicy, and savory, and includes ingredients like corned beef, corn, sweet pepper, celery, onions, tomato paste, rice, or grits. Fire engine is a breakfast staple but is versatile enough to suit other meal times. The name of the dish has something to do with its ability to keep your belly ‘warm’, or keep you filled until you’re ready to dive in for more!



Traditional Bahamian side dishes & snacks

Bahamian hot patties

Bahamian hot patties

Photo credit: Paul_Brighton/Shutterstock.com

Who doesn’t like patties, especially when they’re made Caribbean style? In The Bahamas, patties made with fillings like minced beef and vegetables are immensely popular, as are the ones made vegetarian, or vegan style. Sometimes local patties can be on the spicy side, but not overly so. This is the perfect snack to pack into your bag if you’re planning on doing some exploring around town or spending the day out.


Peas ‘n rice

Peas n Rice Bahamas Food

Photo credit: Carlos Diaz/Shutterstock.com

In The Bahamas, peas ‘n rice often refers to rice with pigeon peas. These two dishes are usually made separately, and then combined with vegetables, spices, fresh stock, and sometimes salted pork or bacon. Peas ‘n rice is the perfect accompaniment for just about any Bahamian dish you can think of, and it is truly delicious (and not at all hard to find)!


Johnny cake

Johnny Cake Cornbread Bahamas Food

Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

Bahamian Johnny cakes are a little sweet, and they are usually baked until golden brown then served in block shapes, or slices. You can have Johnny cakes for breakfast or as a snack on the go while in The Bahamas. There are plenty of ways to eat this treat which has a pretty short ingredient list (milk, butter, sugar, flour, and baking powder), but among the most common are with butter or jam slathered over top or accompanying a soup or stew. Either way, once you try it, you’ll understand right away what the fuss was all about.


Crab and rice

Crab and Rice Bahamas Food

Photo credit: fotosharks/Shutterstock.com

Comparable in popularity to peas ‘n rice, crab and rice is a heartier version of that Bahamian staple. There’s a bit of history behind crab and rice that you should know: it is said to have been one of those recipes brought to the islands by African American slaves from the southern United States. Today, most Bahamians know about crab catching practices in the summertime and the delicious result of a good catch even if they don’t engage in the traditional practice themselves. Try this savory dish while in the islands for an authentic taste of The Bahamas.


Baked mac and cheese

Baked Mac n Cheese Bahamas Food

Photo credit: AS Food studio/Shutterstock.com

As Caribbean people like to say, you haven’t had baked macaroni and cheese until you’ve tried it in the Caribbean. The magic is in the seasoning, and in The Bahamas, baked macaroni and cheese includes ingredients like onions, green peppers, and other herbs and spices. Eggs, milk, and sometimes mustard and even ketchup are added to the macaroni once it’s boiled, and then everything is placed into a baking dish, and topped with cheese. Some people choose to use more than one kind of cheese, which helps to enhance the flavor. Once cooked, the macaroni is cut into squares and served either individually, as a side for a full meal.


Potato salad

bahamas-food-potato-salad
Photo credit: JJava Designs/Shutterstock.com

The 14 Best Islands to Stay on Your Next Trip to The Bahamas

The Islands
February 25th 2020
The 14 Best Islands to Stay on Your Next Trip to The Bahamas

What is the best place to stay in The Bahamas? Well, that’s a tough question considering every island of The Bahamas is unique, which means that when planning a trip to this slice of paradise, you’ll want to know exactly what you want to get out of your vacation.

Tough doesn’t mean that it is impossible to answer, however. To figure it out, we’ll first need to learn more about the most popular islands in The Bahamas, a tropical archipelago made up of 700 islands and cays. Note that not all the islands are inhabitable, which does in a way make your decision a little easier.

The major islands where you can stay and play in The Bahamas include New Providence (where the capital Nassau is located), Paradise Island, The Exumas, Bimini, Grand Bahama, Eleuthera and The Abaco Islands.

Sandals Emerald Bay Aerial Bahamas

Sandals Emerald Bay brings unprecedented luxury to the easy-going rhythms of the Bahamian Out Islands.

New Providence is the ‘most happening’ place in The Bahamas, where you can mix relaxing beach days with a walk around Nassau’s historic city center, enjoying its restaurants, bars and clubs later at night. Paradise Island is one of the most touristic areas featuring a water park, perfect for families with kids. For a more low-key beach vacation, venture out to The Exumas with its powdery soft white sand beaches and incredible blue waters. Surfers will love a laid-back vacation on Eleuthera in the months of October through April.

Those are only four of the islands you can explore while in The Bahamas, and for the sake of helping you picking the right destination, we’ve summed up the 14 best islands to go to in The Bahamas underneath.


New Providence (Nassau)

Sandals-Royal-Bahamian-Cable-Beach-Bahamas

Picture: Luxury resort Sandals Royal Bahamian on Cable Beach.

Note: While the island is called New Providence, it is often referred to as Nassau - which is the main city located on this island. Generally, both names are used to refer to the same place.

New Providence in a nutshell: New Providence is the most popular island to travel to in The Bahamas, as it is central to all things Bahamian. From restaurants to bars, from shops to casinos, in Nassau everything you need will be at your fingertips, and you can easily access other islands (including the out-islands) if you want to explore.

The islands of The Bahamas have long been associated with being a territory where the rich and famous play, spend their summers, and transact banking business. Whether you want to spend your time relaxing on the beach, exploring the historic city center, shopping or taking in vibrant nightlife inclusive of casino stops, Nassau is one of the most popular islands to stay while in the Bahamas. Visitors to New Providence Island are often drawn in by the abundance of resorts available, including adults-only resort Sandals Royal Bahamian (which comes with a private offshore island, only accessible for guests).

The ‘Out-Islands’ - A majority of international flights arrive in Nassau/New Providence, which happens to be the business and political center of The Bahamas. This is the ‘most happening’ island, which is connected by bridge to Paradise Island. The term ‘Out-Islands’ is used to sum up all the other Bahamian islands. These islands are, generally speaking, less crowded and more low-key. Some of the most popular out-islands in The Bahamas include Exuma, Eleuthera, Abaco and Long Island.


How to get to New Providence

If you are staying in New Providence or just taking a day trip, getting there should be no issue. There is plenty of local transportation to and from the capital city of Nassau. However, if you are flying into the islands of The Bahamas, you can fly directly into Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) - located in the center of the island’s capital.

However, you can also get to Nassau by ferry. The ferry leaves from Miami, Florida. However, you can also take your car with you onto the ferry if you’d like. Additionally, navigating to Nassau from a different Bahamian island is easily accessible by plane or boat.

Recommended excursions on New Providence

Nassau and New Providence are full of a variety of activities ranging from relaxing beach days, nightlife, and delicious food. Some of our favorite activities in New Providence include:

Visiting Cable Beach and some of the other great beaches in Nassau

Taking in culture at Clifton Heritage Park

Tasting delicious Caribbean rum at Rum Cake Factory

Trying local beers at Pirate Republic brewery

Visiting the historic city center of Nassau, Fort Charlotte, & Queen’s Staircase

There are plenty more things to do in Nassau on your vacation to The Bahamas as well. This is a great place for both families, couples, and other adults to stay on the island, as it is also near by plenty of other excursions.


Insider tip: Take a daytrip down to Rose Island by boat. You’ll get to see the villas of the rich and famous, visit amazing beaches and participate in some fantastic snorkeling! Love scuba diving? Guests of the all-inclusive resort in Nassau, Sandals Royal Bahamian, can dive the most amazing underwater spots - for free (max. two tanks a day). This includes top-of-the-line equipment!



Paradise Island

Nassau Paradise Island Bahamas Sunset

Photo credit: John Wollwerth/Shutterstock.com

Paradise Island in a nutshell: Paradise Island is great for families with children. It is the ‘poster child’ of The Bahamas. Paradise Island is connected by 2 bridges to Nassau, though you’ll get pretty much everything you need on the island. Many hotels in The Bahamas are located on Paradise Island, so you won’t have a hard time finding a great place to stay.

Paradise Island is located on a 15-minute drive from Nassau’s historic city center on New Providence, and a 30-minute drive from the airport.


How to get to Paradise Island

The closest airport to Paradise Island will be Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) in Nassau. From there, it is just a quick taxi trip from New Providence Island to Paradise Island. Additionally, if you are traveling from a separate island, the easiest way to get there would be to take a boat or plane into New Providence and taxi over. The two islands are so close together that travel between them is usually seamless.


Recommended excursions on Paradise Island

As the name suggests, Paradise Island is just that. The island is popular amongst families with kids and has served as the backdrop for several Hollywood blockbusters including The James Bond movie Casino Royale, featuring Daniel Craig. Some of our favorite on the island activities include:

Visiting Cabbage Beach for a relaxing afternoon

Spending the day at Aquaventure Water Park (especially if you have kids)

Touring the Versailles Gardens of Paradise Islands

If you’re travelling with kids, the water park on this island are sure to keep them entertained, while adults can try their luck at local casinos, or check out the many local bars and restaurants. As this is one of the most touristic areas in The Bahamas, expect crowds, and higher prices.


The Exumas

Exuma Bahamas

The Exumas in a nutshell: Home of the swimming pigs of The Bahamas, the Exumas are made up of 350 islands and cays in all. Most of these are uninhabited, save for islands like Great Exuma where you’ll find a few upscale resort brands like Sandals Emerald Bay. Exuma is known for its sparsely-populated soft white-sand beaches and incredible turquoise waters. This is the place to be for a snorkeling adventure and low-key beach vacation!


How to get to the Exumas

The easiest way to fly into the Exuma Islands in The Bahamas is to use the Exuma International Airport (GGT). This will have flights from a few major cities around the world and from most of the other Bahamian islands, making it perfect for both local travel and international travel.

You can also travel to the Exumas by boat. Additionally, there is an inexpensive ferry that can take you from the capital city of Nassau to the Exumas very easily.

Recommended excursions in the Exumas

The Great Exumas are a paradise for lovers of powdery soft white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Travelers who enjoy sailing, snorkeling and water sports should have these islands at the top of their list. Some of our favorite excursions in the Exumas include:

Swimming with Pigs at Big Major Cay

Exploring underwater caves at Thunderball Grotto

Relaxing at Coco Plum Beach or Moriah Harbor Cay Beach

Golfing at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course

Spending the day at Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park

The islands are most popular with the sailing crowd that annually turns up for the Family Island Regatta. The Regatta is one of the oldest in The Bahamas and is usually held around April. During the Regatta and other big events in Great Exuma, the islands take on a party atmosphere (especially in George Town), but aside from the occasional event, you’ll have lots of peace and quiet, and more white-sand beach to yourself.

Love golf? Find one of the most spectacular Championship golf course of the Caribbean on Exuma. With stunning views over Exuma’s blue waters, designed by golf legend Greg Norman, this is as good as golf gets! Green fees are included for guests of Sandals Emerald Bay, one of the adults-only resorts in Exuma


Eleuthera

Lighthouse beach Eleuthera Bahamas

Photo credit: Gaston Piccinetti/Shutterstock.com

Eleuthera in a nutshell: The fourth most populated island in The Bahamas, Eleuthera with its pink sand beaches and breathtaking beauty wins hearts with every trip. It is best suited for travelers who want to relax and escape from the world. If you’re looking for some surf in The Bahamas, Eleuthera is the place to be from October until April.

With a population of 11,165, it’s safe to say Eleuthera gives small town vibes. At 100 miles long, it is an island packed with history and laid-back pink sand beaches, and where fun awaits if you go to the right places. With the name Eleuthera translating to freedom, that’s exactly what awaits most visitors who choose this island to spend their vacation, or even those who plan on spending just a few days on this island.

How to get to Eleuthera

There are three different airports on the Eleuthera islands. You can catch flights from Nassau, Florida, or a few other international destinations. However, the main airports you will be flying into are North Eleuthera Airport, Governors Harbour Airport, and Rock Sound International Airport.

You can also catch a quick ferry directly from Nassau if you are already on the islands. From Eleuthera, you can also get quick access to Spanish Wells, Three Island Dock, and Current.

Recommended excursions on Eleuthera

To the east of Nassau and New Providence, Eleuthera is said to have more natural ship wrecks than any other island. Sail, swim and stroll as you explore the island, and… expect lots of pineapple, or pineapple flavored goods, as pineapple is the island’s signature crop! Some of our favorite excursions on Eleuthera include:

Relax on the pink sand beaches at French Leave Beach or Lighthouse Beach

Take in breathtaking views at Glass Window Bridge

Explore nightlife at Vic Hums Night Club

Visit Tarpum Bay for the beach, shopping, and restaurants

Plan a romantic evening in Bannerman Town with beautiful ocean views

Explore unique scenery at Hatchet Bay

The unique experiences on Eleuthera island are worth taking the time to see, especially with how easy it is to travel in and out of the island.

Insider tip: Visit a local bakery while in Eleuthera to source some pineapple tarts that you can give to friends or family as a souvenir.



Harbour Island

Pink Sand Beach Bahamas Harbour island

Photo credit: BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock.com

Harbour Island in a nutshell: The home of Bahamas’ most famous pink sand beach, Harbour Island is a must for travelers who are looking for a (long) weekend getaway in The Bahamas. There’s a certain charm of the beaches found here that you likely would not have experienced anywhere else, and the quaint feel of this island is sure to reel you in. Visitors and inhabitants of Harbour Island alike, use golf carts to get around on this small island, instead of cars.

Harbour Island can be found within the chain of Eleuthera islands but is worth a separate mention. Promotions about Harbour Island tend to zero-in on the island’s pink sand beaches. The small and quaint Harbour Island with all its understated charm is perfect for romantic getaways, as part of a honeymoon or a casual visit. It’s just about three miles long, and is marked by Georgian architecture, a super laid-back atmosphere, and seemingly untouched natural elements.

How to get to Harbour Island

The best way to travel to Harbour Island is to fly into North Eleuthera Airport and take a water taxi to Harbour Island from there. There are no airports to fly into Harbour Island, but the water taxis and boat options are fast and convenient.

The travel options are inexpensive enough for a day trip, or you can stay at Harbour Island for a long weekend. Additionally, this island is so small that you’ll have no trouble getting around. Most people use golf carts to get from place to place.

Recommended excursions on Harbour Island

Although Harbour Island is worth a (long) weekend getaway, a majority of its visitors spending the day at Harbour Island, rather than spending their entire vacation. Some of our favorite excursions on this island include:

Spend the day shopping, eating, and exploring Dumore Town

Visit the beautiful Pink Sands Beach

Take in the sites at historical Bay Street

While Harbour Island is fairly small, this is a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of other Bahamian Islands.



The Abaco Islands

Treasure Cay Abaco Bahamas

Photo credit: Lyndah Wells/Shutterstock.com

Note: The Abaco Islands were impacted by Dorian and might still be recovering.

Abaco Islands in a nutshell: The living is simple in the Abaco Islands, and lovers of sailing will be at home on these shores. Whether attending or participating in festive regattas is of interest to you, or diving into the deep blue sea, the Abacos are definitely one of the top islands to visit in The Bahamas.

Known as the jewel of The Bahamas, you’ll fall in love with the Abaco Islands, which is made up of 120 cays. The abundance of islands and cays means you can go island-hopping in The Bahamas to various ones including Man-O-War Cay, Great Guana Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Spanish Cay, or any deserted island for a picnic lunch, starting in Marsh Harbor, which is the main town in Great Abaco, the largest island. The magic of the undersea can truly be appreciated in The Abacos as the islands boast healthy and highly populated reefs, which make for amazing diving opportunities.

How to get to Abaco Islands

The best way to get to Abaco Islands is by plane. You can take a flight into one of three airports: Marsh Harbour International, Treasure Cay International, or Walker’s Cay. However, Walker’s Cay is used exclusively for private flights.

However, there is also a ferry directly from Nassau onto the Abaco Islands if you are splitting your stay or just taking a day trip. Either way, the travel is fast and fairly inexpensive.

Recommended excursions in the Abaco Islands

Beginner divers will appreciate the shallow diving possible in most of the islands, and the fact that you don’t have to go too far out for remarkable views, or to see fish and other marine life you’ve never encountered before. The Abaco Islands are to the north of New Providence and Paradise island. Some of our favorite excursions on the Abaco Islands include:

Visiting the Elbow Cay Lighthouse for it’s history and beautiful views

Relaxing on the beach at Treasure Cay

Grabbing a bite to eat at Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar

Though these islands are fairly small, they make for a unique experience outside of the busy nightlife and bustling tourism on the other Bahamian islands.



Long Island

Long Island Bahamas Deans Blue Hole

Photo credit: Lora B/Shutterstock.com

Long Island in a nutshell: Not to be confused with Long Island in the USA, Long Island, Bahamas is a getaway best suited for lovers of adventure, nature and the outdoors. The island is 80 miles from top to bottom and only 4 miles wide. Long Island is located to the southeast of Nassau and home to one of the world’s deepest blue holes.

Visit a different beach for every day of the week if you like in Long Island, or spend your day fishing, sailing, or just exploring this pristine island, which is the biggest of the islands in the southern portion of The Bahamas. Long Island is ideal for travelers who want some peace and quiet, or those who want to enjoy some of the best diving The Bahamas has to offer. In fact, one of the world’s deepest blue holes, Dean’s Blue Hole is located just offshore from Long Island, and visitors are free to go snorkeling or scuba diving there.

How to get to Long Island

There are two ways to travel to Long Island: by boat and by air. You can either fly directly into Deadman’s Cay Airport or Stella Maris Airport. Additionally, you can find flights from Nassau as well. The flights are fairly frequent and the airports are in central locations making inter-island travel easy.

Additionally, the Nassau ferry runs to Long Island a few times per week. You may also be able to grab a ride on one of the local mailboats, but ferry is likely the easiest option.

Recommended excursions on Long Island

Elsewhere on the island there are opportunities to dive with sharks, which the most daring holiday makers will appreciate. Eco-tours are popular on this island, and you won’t have a hard time finding one. Sport fishing aficionados too can expect good things out of a visit to Long Island, as fishing of all types is popular here. Some of our favorite excursions on Long Island include:

Explore Lucayan Indian Cave

Visit Dean’s Blue Hole for great diving

Grab a bite to eat and a drink at Max’s Conch Bar

Long Island makes a great day trip during your Caribbean getaway. You’ll be able to relax and see some beautiful views.



Bimini

Bimini island Bahamas

Photo credit: Miami2youPhoto/Shutterstock.com

Bimini in a nutshell: Bimini is perfect for people who just want to get away for the weekend to recharge, particularly over a long weekend. It’s just 50 miles away from Miami, and it was once beloved by novelist Ernest Hemingway, who found plenty of inspiration there.

Believe it or not, Bimini is only a 30-minute flight from Miami. It is somewhere in between when it comes to the more developed and unspoiled islands, which makes it suitable for travelers who want the best of both worlds. Bimini makes it easy to get through winter for travelers from colder places as there as lots of opportunities to lounge beachside on this island or explore local restaurants and bars. The population of Bimini is about 1,988 people, and by the time you’re ready to leave, you’ll probably have encountered a good percentage of them!

How to travel to Bimini

There are two major airports on the Island of Bimini: North Bimini Airport and South Bimini Airport. You can get flights from the other islands in the Bahamas or from key places like Fort Lauderdale, Florida or New York.

Additionally, you can take a ferry from Miami Florida, lasting about 2 hours. Additionally, you may be able to find private boats to take you across the Atlantic Ocean.

Recommended excursions in Bimini

While you’re in Bimini, you may want to find out if there’s any truth to the olden fable of Bimini being home to the Fountain of Youth (enter Juan Ponce De Leon!) because really and truly, who wouldn’t want a splash of that? Some of our other favorite excursions on this island include:

Visit the Great Isaac Cay Lighthouse

Relax on Honeymoon Harbor Beach, Radio Beach, Alive Town Beach or Bimini Sands Beach

Take in the historic sites at Bimini War Memorial & Heroes Park

Learn more about Bahamian culture at Bimini Museum

Visit the Bimini Craft Center

Bimini is well-worth a visit for either a day-trip or extended stay. The easy access from both Florida and other Bahamian Islands make this a no-brainer on your Caribbean getaway.



Grand Bahama

Lucaya beach Grand Bahama Island The Bahamas

Photo credit: Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock.com

Note: Grand Bahama was impacted by Dorian and might still be recovering.

Grand Bahama in a nutshell: Grand Bahama appeals to the nature lover with its captivating natural beauty and simple lifestyle. It is located only 53 miles from the US coast and the perfect place to tan, swim with dolphins and do some shopping.

Go snorkeling, scuba dive, swim with dolphins, feed the sharks and even party at the Fish Friday event in Grand Bahama; the sky is the limit when it comes to finding things to do on this island. Grand Bahama is home to towns like Freeport and Lucaya, which are both interesting and convenient spaces where you can relax, shop, explore, and find good entertainment.

How to get to Grand Bahama

The best way to travel to Grand Bahama Island is by flying. You can fly directly into Grand Bahama International Airport or take a small charter flight from one of the other islands. Additionally, there is a cruise ship running from West Palm Beach that you can take as well as a fast ferry from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Recommended excursions on Grand Bahama

On this island, you’ll be able to go golfing, try watersports, and jam at beach parties, with plenty of time leftover to enjoy secluded beaches and relatively untouched parts of the island. Be sure to set up a tour once you get to Grand Bahama, which will allow you to take in more of the island, in less time. Some of our favorite excursions on Grand Bahama Island include:

Visiting Lucayan National Park

Shopping at Port Lucaya Marketplace

Relax on Tanino Beach, William’s Town Beach, Xanadu Beach or Lucaya Beach

As one of the most popular destinations in the Bahamas, there is no shortage of fun activities. You can either take a day trip from one of the other islands or spend your full vacation here.

Fun fact: Grand Bahama has the highest number of native bird species in all 700 islands of this region.


Andros

Andros Island Bahamas

Photo credit: Troutnut/Shutterstock.com

Andros in a nutshell: Andros is worlds away from it all, and it is a place where you can disconnect from the seemingly pressing things of life, and tune into what really matters. This is the perfect place to go scuba diving and bone-fishing. The island is rumored to be the location of the Lost City of Atlantis!

Your mind might drift to Greece when you hear the word Andros, but Andros in The Bahamas is hundreds of thousands of miles away from that part of the world. There are similarities in the two places though, that extend beyond their name. For example, Andros (Greece) is fertile, green and peaceful, much like it’s Caribbean far distant relative. They are both places people go when they want to get away from it all, and what visitors appreciate most about both is their calm and relaxed atmosphere.

How to get to Andros

There are a few ways to travel to Andros. The main way visitors travel to this island is to book a flight from Fort Lauderdale or Nassau into the Andros Town International Airport. You can also book private flights directly into Fresh Creek, Andros.

Additionally, you can take a quick ferry ride directly from the capital city of Nassau. Either way, these options are fairly fast and inexpensive.

Recommended excursions on Andros

In the Bahamas, Andros is a land known for its excellent bone-fishing and diving. Here you can find the world’s oldest dive shop, and the second largest coral reef in the Western hemisphere. There are also expansive wetland zones, which are ideal for bone-fishing, so it’s a great place to try this pastime. Some of our favorite excursions here include:

Visiting Blue Hole National Park for a swim

Take in the incredible views at Morgan’s Bluff

Go diving at Small Hope Bay or the Andros Barrier Reef

This spot is amazing for both experienced and new divers. You’ll be able to see the second largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere and plenty of beautiful and unique underwater life.



Cat Island

Kayaking Cat Island Bahamas

Photo credit: Wallace Weeks/Shutterstock.com

Cat Island in a nutshell: With a population of 1,500, Cat Island is one of the quieter islands of The Bahamas, which means getting away from it all is truly possible on this island. Cat Island is ideal for honeymooners looking for secluded getaway, or groups who want to sink into the endless adventures this island has to offer.

Remember that recurring dream you had about lounging on Caribbean shores, sipping on cocktails, and getting evenly bronzed while being cooled off by refreshing tropical breeze? Well, that dream can very well come to life on Cat Island, which is the answer to most questions about the perfect island getaway. Cat Island is anything but bustling and is considered the most picturesque of all the out-islands of The Bahamas. Diving off the south shore of Cat Island is an experience not to be missed while you explore this almost untouched island filled with things to marvel at. Cat Island is made even more special because of its pink sand beach, which is an 8 mile stretch of perfection.

How to get to Cat Island

Cat Island is only accessible by plane. You can take a flight from one of the local islands or from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. However, flights from Florida tend to be limited. The two airports you will be flying into are Arthur’s Town Airport or New Bight Airport.

Recommended excursions on Cat Island

When staying on Cat Island, don’t expect lavish hotels, resorts or villas. You’ll have to settle for bed and breakfast type accommodation. There also aren’t scores of restaurants and bars to choose from, but you’ll find a couple, and lots to do. All in all, be prepared for an unplugged holiday on Cat Island, so pack a few books. Some of our favorite excursions include:

Relaxing in the Boiling Hole

Visiting pink sand beaches like Rollezz Beach, Old Bight Beach and New Bight Beach

See the highest point of the Bahamian Islands at the Hermitage on Mt. Alvernia

Take in the history at Deveaux Plantation Ruins

Whether you want to take a simple day trip or spend your entire vacation on Cat Island, you're sure to have a relaxing experience.



San Salvador

San Salvador Bahamas

Photo credit: CanonDLee/Shutterstock.com

San Salvador in a nutshell: San Salvador Island is another great island destination for diving while in The Bahamas. It is one of the smaller islands, and not very populated, which is great for travelers who want to experience life on a private island, if only for the day!

Just about 930 people live on San Salvador Island, and that number doesn’t increase significantly with the few tourists who visit here and there. Additionally, San Salvador Island is said to have been the first place that Christopher Columbus set foot on when he arrived at the Bahamas in 1492.

Best ways to travel to San Salvador

San Salvador has its own airport located in the middle of the island. This is going to be the best way to travel in and out of this particular island. However, there are also marinas docked around the island, making it easy to get there if you have access to a boat.

Getting around on this island is incredibly easy. Since San Salvador is so small, you can get from place to place with a rental bike or by walking. You may also rent a car to travel around, but it is definitely not necessary.

Recommended excursions on San Salvador

This remote island is most appreciated for its beautiful beaches and great scuba diving. In fact, divers have as many as 50 dive sites to experience while on San Salvador Island, some of which promise sightings of stingrays and sharks, or opportunities to get up close to tropical fish, various types of coral, and more. Some of our favorite excursions here include:

Taking day trips to French Bay

Going diving at Devil’s Claw or Vicky’s Reef

Seeing the views at The Great Lake Preserve

Experience the historical sites at Cockburn Town

These day trips are best for a relaxing vacation day. While you can still see beautiful views and find unique diving spots, this small island is a more slow-paced environment.



The Berry Islands

Berry Islands Bahamas

Photo credit: Knumina Studios/Shutterstock.com

Berry Islands in a nutshell: The Berry islands are as delicious as they sound, but you may need to charter a boat if you want to experience the full allure of these islands.The Berry Islands are a great choice for travelers who’re into sportfishing, or spearfishing, or who just want to enjoy the sea in every way possible.
The Berry Islands are made up of 30 islands in all, and they’re a haven for yachties and fishermen. Made up of islets and cays, there isn’t much in terms of tourist facilities in the islands, and only about 700 people live on Great Harbor Cay, the main island.

Best way to travel to the Berry Islands

The main airport in the Berry Islands is called Great Harbour Cay Airport. As Great Harbour Cay is one of the center points on the islands, this will make it easy to travel around throughout the duration of your stay. However, there are not any ferries that run in and out of this cluster of islands, so plane may be your best bet.

Recommended Excursions in the Berry Islands

Great Harbor Cay is the largest island, and here you can find a marina, a golf course, waterfront townhomes, and more. Some say The Berry Islands are the backyard of the rich and famous, but even regular folk can enjoy a holiday here, with lots of beaches to explore, and adventures to be had. Some of our favorite excursions here include:

Playing golf at Joe Lee Championship Course

Taking a day trip to Chub Cay, Great Harbour Cay, Coco Cay, or Stingray City

Seeing the views from Great Stirrup Cay Lighthouse

Relaxing by Coffman Cay Blue Hole or Sugar Beach

This island is really great if you have access to a boat as well, which you can rent by the day. As it is made up of multiple smaller cays, you may want to travel by boat from destination to destination.


Crooked Island and Acklins

Crooked Island Long Cay Bahamas

Photo credit: Trazos sobre Papel/Shutterstock.com

Crooked Island and Acklins in a nutshell: You never know what something is going to be like until you do it yourself, and a visit to Crooked Island and Acklins will prove just that… they’re both great for adventure, and for travelers who want privacy, and to get a real feel of the out-islands.

Get off the beaten path with a visit to Crooked Island and Acklins. Stunningly beautiful and just what you’d expect from an untouched island in the middle of the ocean, these islands will simply astound you. Don’t expect luxury living here, just natural beauty at its finest, as you explore these two southern islands, which are part of an atoll consisting of four islands in all. There are lots of iguanas, flamingoes, and other animals roaming around this island that you’re bound to encounter while there. History buffs will appreciate the ruins of slave and cotton plantations, old churches and other structures still standing strong on the island, while animal lovers will not want to leave.

How to get to Crooked Island & Acklins

The best way to travel to these off the beaten path islands from other international cities and local Bahamian islands is to fly. You can easily fly in from Nassau’s airport daily for a quick day trip or for the duration of your stay. Additionally, there is a ferry that runs between Crooked Island & Acklins so you have easy access to both during your vacation.

Recommended excursions on Crooked Island & Acklins

Even though Crooked Island and Acklins are off the beaten path, there are plenty of beautiful sites to see. You also likely won’t run into too many other tourists while you’re here, so these beautiful islands can give you a truly local experience. Some of our favorite activities include:

Visiting North Side Beach

Taking a day trip to Relief Bay Eco Park

Seeing the view from Castle Island Lighthouse & Bird’s Rock Lighthouse

Exploring the Caves of Crooked Island

Visiting national parks like Hope Great House & Marine Farm

On your trip to Crooked Island & Acklins, be respectful of the wildlife you may encounter as well as the locals. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions from the locals either, as these excursions are a little off the beaten path for most tourists.



Low-key ‘out-island’ or vibrant Nassau: what’s the best place to stay?

Sandals Emerald Bay White Sand Beach

You decide! If you’re looking for a party, Nassau is your best bet. If you’re looking for adventures on the water and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Exuma is the place to be! Families with kids love Paradise Island. Looking for peace and quiet? The Bahamas offers plenty of places that are completely off the radar. Wherever you go, tune into ‘island time’ and relax on the most beautiful beaches this slice of paradise has on offer. The Bahamas is the perfect destination to wind down and recharge the batteries.

Happy travels!

Want to drink unlimited signature cocktails on the beach, for free? Check out some of the most spectacular all-inclusive resorts in the Bahamas. These resorts are adults-only, offering couples the ultimate romantic vacation.




20 Amazing Things The Bahamas Is Known For

The Islands
February 21st 2020
20 Amazing Things The Bahamas Is Known For

The islands of The Bahamas are a tropical hot spot and rank among the best vacation destinations in the world. Their beauty, amazing weather, and the fact that there are so many islands (700 in total) are part of what makes this tropical archipelago special.

Sandals Royal Bahamian Ocean Hammock

Picture: Couple lounging over the Bahamian ocean at Sandals Royal Bahamian.

Even with their popularity, there are some things you wouldn’t know about The Bahamas without having gone there yourself; like the fact that you can swim with pigs at Big Major Cay, or that the island has an intriguing pirate history. If you’re planning a trip to The Bahamas, know that you’re in for a relaxing holiday.


In this article on the Sandals Blog:

20 amazing things The Bahamas are known for
Eight authentic Bahamian souvenirs to bring home with you
Bonus: Five interesting facts about The Bahamas


20 amazing things The Bahamas are known for


1. Pristine white sand beaches and turquoise waters

Sandals Emerald Bay White Sand Beach Couple

NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly famously called The Bahamas "the most beautiful place from space", and it’s easy to see why. With beautiful white sand beaches, surrounded by an incredible palette of deep blue and turquoise waters, this tropical paradise sure stands out. Home to some of the world’s most beautiful white sand beaches in the world, you’re likely to experience beach hopping like never before. It’s the ultimate place for a beach vacation!

Insider tip: There are so many great beaches in The Bahamas, that it can be hard to choose just one. Luckily, we’ve combined a list of the best beaches in The Bahamas. Feel free to beach hop to your heart’s content!


2. The swimming pigs of Exuma

Sandals Emerald Bay Bahamas Pig Island

The Bahamas has the most famous swimming with pigs' experience in the Caribbean, and it is definitely something you won’t want to miss out on, during your vacation in the islands. You’ll need to take a boat out to Big Major Cay, also known as Pig Island for this tour, and once you get close enough to the island, you’ll actually see some of the pigs swimming out to your boat to greet you. This is a family friendly tour, but couples also enjoy the experience, and getting to know the swimming pigs of The Bahamas. Big Major Cay is located about 82 miles southeast of Nassau. Apart from the pigs and their caretakers during some parts of the day, the island is uninhabited.

3. The playground of the world’s rich and famous

Sandals Royal Bahamian Cars Entrance

There are a handful of islands in the Caribbean which are known to attract the rich and famous, and The Bahamas are high up on that list. Super wealthy travelers from the world over vacation in The Bahamas. The island nation even offers the uber rich opportunities to purchase their own private islands. In The Bahamas, you'll be able to have a peek at the oceanfront villas of Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan and many other celebrities.

4. History of pirates

Bahamas Stamp Blackbeard Pirate

Photo credit: Sergey Goryachev/Shutterstock.com

The ‘Golden Era’ or the ‘Golden Age’ is said to have been a time during the 1600s – 1700s, when pirates had a booming economy in the Caribbean, particularly in The Bahamas. They targeted merchant ships travelling through the harbor and robbed them. Their bounty included gold, salt and many other goods. Their gains attracted even more pirates, and among the famous pirates in the region at that time was Blackbeard. This chaotic state of affairs continued until 1718, when British captain Woodes Rogers was appointed Captain General, and Governor in Chief of Nassau, marking the end of the Pirate Republic.

5. Fantastic scuba diving and snorkeling

Bahamas Couple Snorkel Beach

The Bahamas is a top choice for travelers with diving inspirations, desirous of witnessing underwater life at its most spectacular. There are many diving spots for both snorkelers and scuba divers, including the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, the Andros blue holes, The Conception Island Wall in Long Island, The Henry Ford Wreck in the Biminis, and the many reefs that can be found in The Abacos.

6. The first landing of Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus First Landing Bahamas

Photo credit: Everett - Art/Shutterstock.com

Picture: First Landing of Christopher Columbus, by Frederick Kemmelmeyer, c. 1800-05.

A lot of information is available about Christopher Columbus’ journey through the Caribbean region, and The Bahamas is said to have been one of the first places where his crew made landfall. As the story goes, Columbus “discovered” the new world, beginning in either San Salvador, The Bahamas, or Samana Cay in The Bahamas. It is also said that when he got there, the native Lucayan Taino people were already present. Over the course of several years, the Taino people disappeared from the islands.

7. The Bahama Mama cocktail

Bahama Mama Drink Cocktail

Photo credit: JJava Designs/Shutterstock.com

This tropical cocktail, with rum, coconut rum, grenadine, orange juice and pineapple juice as its main ingredients, is well-known all over the world and a must-try when visiting The Bahamas. Get yourself a good spot on the beach or swimming pool and relax, while cooling yourself down with this beverage. You won’t be disappointed. While on the islands, give some of the other local classics a try and order some Sky Juice or a Goombay Smash!

Looking for a place that offers unlimited cocktails? Guests of the Sandals resorts in The Bahamas can order unlimited cocktails (and other beverages) at the bars, on the beach and in the swimming pools - without paying a cent. It’s all included in your stay. All cocktails are mixed by the best bartenders of the island and made of premium liquors.


8. Having a multitude of islands you can visit

Bahamas Island Touring

It can be hard to decide where to start first with over 700 islands just waiting to be explored. Fortunately, there’s a method to the madness. Many of the islands are uninhabited, which narrows things down significantly. The best islands in The Bahamas to visit include New Providence island, Paradise Island, The Exumas, The Abacos, Andros, Bimini, The Berry Islands, the Southern Bahamian Islands, Eleuthera and Harbour Island. The population of The Bahamas is just under 400,000 people, and 70% of that number reside on New Providence island, home of capital Nassau.

Most travelers fly into New Providence (Nassau), which makes it the most ‘happening’ place in The Bahamas. Paradise Island is great for families with kids and connected to New Providence by 2 bridges. All other islands are known as the ‘Out Islands’, where you can find a bit more peace and quiet. Exuma is known to be home to some of the most beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise waters The Bahamas has on offer.

Looking for an all-inclusive resort in The Bahamas? Sandals Royal Bahamian is a lively resort in Nassau that comes with a private offshore island, it is an amazing place for scuba divers (scuba diving is included in our stay). Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma is known to be located on a beautiful long stretch of white sand beach and comes with an 18-hole Championship golf course with stunning views over Exuma’s waters.


9. Delicious conch dishes & other seafood

Conch fritters conch salad punch Bahamas

Photo credit: MevZup/Shutterstock.com

Give your taste buds a new experience in The Bahamas, with fresh seafood that is as varied as it is delicious. Europe, Africa, and South American inspiration permeate the food across the islands in a way that is sure to leave you wanting more. While on any Bahamian island, try everything at least once, from conch salad (conch ceviche), johnny cakes, baked crab, rock lobster, fried fish, and more. After your vacation, you’re bound to return home with a new favorite dish, and hopefully a recipe to recreate at home!

10. Sport fishing & bonefishing

Deep Sea Fishing Bahamas

If you haven’t been sport fishing or bonefishing before, The Bahamas is a good place to start. If you’re a seasoned diver however, you’ll enjoy this experience even more, knowing before you go, that the waters of The Bahamas are filled with marine life, which is sure to make your fishing expedition that much more exciting. For sport fishing, try The Biminis, which has a reputation for having the best sport fishing in the world. In fact, Ernest Hemingway’s love for The Biminis is said to have put the two islands on the map; both for fishing, and for their stunning beauty. The Biminis are located just 50 miles from the Florida coast. Andros Island is known for having the third largest reef in the world. Where bonefishing is concerned, you can try your luck at the heart of the many unspoiled mangroves and shallow trenches that can be found along the island. Long Island and New Providence (Nassau) are also great fishing spots.

11. Pink sand beaches

Pink Sand Beach Bahamas Harbour island

Photo credit: BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock.com

The Bahamas is one of the only places in the world where you can find pink sand beaches, and Harbour Island, located to the northeast of Eleuthera, is one of the best places to find them. You’ll commonly hear the island being referred to as “Briland” by locals, and it’ll probably be love at first sight once you glance upon the quaint Dunmore Town, which is littered with pastel-colored cottages. While on the island indulge in a bit of sand bathing, or go diving, or on a fishing expedition. A visit to Harbour Island makes a pretty cool day trip, and you can get there via The Bahamas Fast Ferries Catamaran or by plane from Nassau. Some resorts, like Sandals Royal Bahamian, offer day trips.

12. Junkanoo festival

Sandals Royal Bahamian Junkanoo Festival

Junkanoo is a real Caribbean party if there ever was one. Held on Christmas and New Year’s Day annually, Junkanoo is a big event in The Bahamas. The celebration can be described as the Bahamian version of carnival. If you’ve never experienced a Caribbean carnival, expect lots of music, costumes, live bands, traditional instruments, parties, parades, floats, and lots of excitement.

Insider tip: If you’re planning to travel to The Bahamas for Junkanoo, you’ll have to book your flight at least six months in advance, as many hotels and resorts tend to be fully booked around this time.


13. The Bahamas was featured in several James Bond movies

Thunderball Grotto Bahamas

Photo credit: Danita Delmont/Shutterstock.com

There are many famous movies which were filmed in The Bahamas, a fact that isn’t so surprising considering how beautiful the islands are. Among these are ‘Thunderball’ and ‘Never Say Never Again’, both James Bond flicks. Thunderball Grotto in the Exuma Cays is a great diving and snorkeling spot, and its name comes from the fact that it was a standout feature in the movie Thunderball, particularly during an underwater fight scene. Divers love exploring this underwater cave, which some describe as intimidating at first, but super exciting once you get into it. Excursions are available from Sandals Emerald Bay.

14. The local dialect and slang – “Talkin’ Bahamian”

Bahamas Woman Market

Photo credit: Remanz/Shutterstock.com

Every destination has its unique accent or dialect, and Bahamians have a very distinct way of speaking, particularly when talkin’ Bahamian. Islanders speak a creole dialect that can be hard for foreigners to understand, but there are ways to learn more about their local creole, which has African influences. While on the islands, shop around for local books which can help you translate what you hear, and even help you throw out a phrase or two. English is widely spoken in The Bahamas, so you’re unlikely to have issues with communication whether or not you’re familiar with the local dialect. Here are a few of the common words and phrases you might hear during your visit:

‘Bey’

This can be anyone, regardless of gender. For instance, someone may ask ‘where mah’bey go again?’, which translates to ‘where did this person go to?’ This is something you’ll hear frequently.

‘Well mudda sick!’

This is an expression of surprise, or excitement akin to the English variations of “you’re joking!’, or “Oh my goodness!”.

‘Mash up’

This is a common Caribbean phrase which means to break or destroy something. For example, ‘you just mash up my book’, which translates to “you just destroyed or damaged my book’. This phrase is also used in scenarios where a person is tired and would use ‘mash up’ to describe just how sick, out of it or exhausted they really feel.

‘Potcake’

This term usually refers to a stray dog, and you may spot quite a few ‘potcakes’ during your vacation in The Bahamas. Potcakes are considered mixed breeds, and their nickname comes from the idea that old Bahamians used to cook everything in one pot, and the ‘potcake’ being the mix of everything stuck together at the bottom of the pot, after cooking.

‘Dem’

You… me, ‘dem’, or them. This is a popular Caribbean term and more often refers to a group of people. For example, you may hear someone say, ‘you can catch a ride with Derek dem’, which means ‘you can get a lift with Derek and the others’.

15. A history of colonial conflict and slavery

Pompey Square Bahamas

Photo credit: Barbara Kalbfleisch/Shutterstock.com

Picture: Pompey Square is site where slaves were unloaded from ships in 19th century. Named after slave who, in 1830, led a revolt which lead to Emancipation Proclamation.

Caribbean history is filled with colonial conflict, and The Bahamas is not an exception in this regard. Find out more about the history of The Bahamas while on the island by visiting places like the Pompey Museum of Slavery & Emancipation in downtown Nassau, Bimini Museum, Man-O-War Heritage Museum in Abaco, The Dolphin House in Alice Town, Albert Lowe Museum in Abaco, The Bahamas Historical Society Museum in Nassau, Long Island Library and Museum, Heritage Museum of The Bahamas in Nassau, and others.

16. Pirate Forts

Fort Fincastle Nassau Bahamas

Photo credit: tokar/Shutterstock.com

There are several forts you can explore while in The Bahamas, including Fort Charlotte, the largest fort on the island of New Providence, located in Nassau. Fort Charlotte was built by Lord Dunmore in 1788-1789. It was named after Queen Saharia Charlotte, the wife of King George the III. The fort features a drawbridge, dungeons, underground passages, 42 cannons, and amazing views.

Fort Fincastle built in 1793 is another popular attraction, that gets its name from British captain Lord Dunmore. His second title was Viscount Fincastle. As history tells it, Fincastle built the fort to help keep the Nassau Harbor safe. It was also a useful look out point for pirates. Fort Fincastle is made of cut limestone.

Another well-known fort in The Bahamas is Fort Montague, also made of local limestone. It is the oldest fort in existence on New Providence island and is on the east end of the Nassau Harbor. Fort Montague’s history goes as far back as 1725, but its present form has been in place since 1741-1742, when it was used by the British to keep Spanish invaders away. The site also has a history of being used by the United States military in 1776.

Blackbeard’s Tower is a bit harder to find, but it is believed to have been used by Blackbeard himself, as a lookout point in the 1700s. Since the ‘Pirates Golden Era’, the tower has deteriorated, but is still a historical landmark in The Bahamas.

17. Cave diving

Cave Diving bahamas

Photo credit: Rich Carey/Shutterstock.com

Many years ago, thousands in fact, the waters around The Bahamas were more than 100 feet lower than they are today. With rising sea levels, some caves on the island which are largely made of limestone were submerged. This has led to The Bahamas being recognized as one of the best places in the world to cave dive, something you should consider trying on your holiday in the islands!

18. Track and field Olympians

Shaunae Miller Bahamas Olympics

Photo credit: Denis Kuvaev/Shutterstock.com

The Bahamas has 14 Olympic medals to show for itself, much thanks to the efforts of athletes including sprinters Pauline Davis-Thompson, Tonique Williams-Darling and Shaunae Miller. All the island’s Olympic medals were secured in athletics and sailing. Notably, the 14-medal figure equates to a rate of 33.9 per million residents (impressive considering the Bahamian population is only about 385,340). Finland, Sweden and Hungary are the only countries which top Bahamas’ per capita strike rate.

19. Luxury goods shopping

Bahamas Jewerly Store

Photo credit: Remanz/Shutterstock.com

You can find some great shopping opportunities in The Bahamas, which is not something many islands in the region can boast. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs or high-end items, you’re likely to find a shop or local market offering something to suit your budget. Nassau and Paradise Island are both great options for jewelry shopping, as well as finding brand name fashion including Louis Vuitton and Gucci. If you want art or other unique pieces, try heading to a craft center downtown (Nassau) and bargain for a good price.

20. Historic lighthouses

Elbow Reef Lighthouse Hope Town Bahamas

Photo credit: Sinn P. Photography/Shutterstock.com

Lighthouses have a certain intrigue about them, and there are a few notable lighthouses that you can check out while in the Caribbean. Elbow Reef Lighthouse, also known as the Hope Town Lighthouse in Elbow Cay Bahamas, is among the most visited. Hope Town is already quite charming, and this 89-foot lighthouse adds to its appeal. The Elbow Reef Lighthouse was built in the 1860s, an era when lighthouses would be used to warn or guide ships at sea and it has survived to bring a bit of the past into the future. Amazing views are available from the top, which makes climbing the 101 steps worth it. The Hog Island Lighthouse on the western tip of Paradise Island is the oldest and best-known lighthouse in The Bahamas and was built in 1817.


Eight authentic Bahamian souvenirs to bring home with you


1. Pirate Doubloon jewelry

Pirate Doubloons Bahamas

Photo credit: M.R. Brennan/Shutterstock.com

Considering The Bahamas has a rich pirate history, it’s only natural that you might gravitate to jewelry inspired by this facet of the islands’ past. At Coin of the Realm in downtown Nassau, you’ll find Bahamian gold and silver, ancient Greek and Roman coins, and other treasures. Collectors can pick up proof sets of the Bahamian gold and silver coins, while shoppers just hoping to pick up something interesting may find earrings, pendants, and rings available here worth their while.

2. Conch shell products/jewelry

Conch Shell Products Bahamas

Photo credit: Anubhab Roy/Shutterstock.com

Interesting items made of the beautiful conch shell are an easy find in The Bahamas, especially when it comes to jewelry, or even cutlery and bowls. You can find these and more at local craft markets, and they’ll make the perfect gift for friends or family.

3. Locally made art and handicrafts

Nassau Market Bahamas

Photo credit: dnaveh/Shutterstock.com

You can’t go wrong with local art and craft when selecting souvenirs to bring back home. Try Bahama Art & Handicrafts which is located just outside downtown Nassau, where you can find a variety of one-of-a-kind pieces. Items range from sea glass and watercolor paintings, to wood carvings, jams, hot sauces, and more.

4. Pirate Republic craft beer

pirate republic nassau bahamas

Bring home some Pirate Republic craft beer for the beer lover back home. You can find the brewery and pub downtown Nassau near the cruise port and have a tasting of the different beers on offer. You won’t be disappointed trying out The Bahamas’ only craft beer!

5. Junkanoo Art

Nassau Bahamas festival junkanoo costume

Photo credit: Trae Rollins/Shutterstock.com

Missed out on Junkanoo? You can still take a piece of this cultural carnival home with you by picking up junkanoo inspired jewelry, paintings, ornaments and more. In a way, this makes up for missing out on the parade, and is an opportunity to bring parts of the festival home with you!

6. Straw goods

Straw Market Nassau Bahamas

Photo credit: dnaveh/Shutterstock.com

The Nassau Straw Market and the Port Lucaya Market Place are great choices if you’re looking for custom made straw products. Items available for purchase include hats, baskets, purses, and other trinkets. Some sellers can be quite persistent, but if you know what you want, and how much you’re willing to pay for it, you should have smooth and fun shopping experience.

7. Homemade jams and jellies

Homemade jam Bahamas

Photo credit: thodonal88/Shutterstock.com

As far as jams and jellies are concerned, it’s worth trying guava jelly, pineapple jam, or any of the other fruity varieties available during your visit to The Bahamas. You can even pick up a couple to take the sweet taste of The Bahamas home with you.

8. Coconut sculptures

Coconut Sculptures Bahamas

Photo credit: OlegD/Shutterstock.com

Coconuts anyone? Well, if not the real kind, then a sculpture. Take one of these items made of coconut husk home with you to set in stone your amazing Bahamian vacation. You can get a variety of sculptures from most craft places on the island, in the form of animals, sea creatures, and more.

Bonus: Five interesting facts about The Bahamas


1. It snowed in The Bahamas… once

Sandals Snow

Photo credit: Lenach/Shutterstock.com

Not many Caribbean islands can claim this feat, but The Bahamas had a wintery experience one cold January day, on the 17th of the month, in 1977 to be precise. Cold weather from southern Florida swept right down to the islands, and for the first time ever, it snowed in The Bahamas. Though there was no actual snow pile up leading to beaches and other areas being covered in slush, there were flurries aplenty in the city of Freeport, Grand Bahama.

2. The world’s second deepest blue hole is in The Bahamas

Long Island Bahamas Deans Blue Hole

Photo credit: Lora B/Shutterstock.com

As far as blue holes go, you’ll find one of the deepest in the world in The Bahamas. With a drop off of 660 ft, Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island in The Bahamas is the stuff world records are made of. In fact, loads of divers choose this spot precisely for the likelihood of they themselves setting world records there. There are other more well-known underwater attractions of a similar nature, like The Great Blue Hole in Belize’s Great Barrier Reef, but Dean’s Blue Hole is a lot deeper, and the drop off is close to shore!

3. The highest point in The Bahamas is not so high

Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Range Bahamas

With the highest point in the islands being just over 200ft, The Bahamas is not known to be a land of towering mountains. In fact, it ranks as number 5 for countries with the lowest “highest point” in the world. The Gambia, The Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, and the Maldives are the countries which fall in a similar category with The Bahamas as it relates to “high points”. The low-lying state of The Bahamas has to do with the fact that almost all land in the islands is made of sandbars or raised coral reefs.

4. The Bahamas is technically not part of the Caribbean

Emerald Bay Bahamas

Geographically speaking, The Bahamas which are located to the north of the Caribbean, are not considered in all spheres to be part of that region. A notable point frequently made is that the islands unlike many of the Caribbean islands were not formed through a volcanic process, and their positioning takes them even further away from the Caribbean grouping. Nevertheless, The Bahamas owns the Caribbean identity, much due to similarities in climate, history, and other aspects as compared to the other islands of the region. Additionally, the nation of The Bahamas is closely tied to many Caribbean associations and nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

5. The first Inhabitants of The Bahamas were Taino Indians

Taino Indian Bahamas

Photo credit: Soul Ray/Shutterstock.com

The Taino Indians, indigenous people who settled in islands including Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Hispaniola, and the Northern Lesser Antilles were the first known people to inhabit the islands of The Bahamas. More specifically, the Lucayan people of Taino descent had a solid presence in the islands long before voyages and other famed discoveries, including those of Christopher Columbus. The Lucayans were taken into captivity the years after Columbus’ arrival, changing the face of the island forever. By 1520, there were no Taino Indians left in The Bahamas.

Like any other destination, there’s much to learn about The Bahamas as a visitor. Whether you choose to spend as much time as possible relaxing on a white sand beach or you want to explore the pirate history of The Bahamas firsthand, you’ll find many things to do in the islands, as you get better acquainted with all the things The Bahamas is known for.

Cable Beach In Nassau: Picture Perfect and Unforgettable

Island Life
November 13th 2019
Cable Beach In Nassau: Picture Perfect and Unforgettable

Just before landing in The Bahamas for the vacation of a lifetime you’ll catch a glimpse of the island’s mesmerizing beaches framed with gorgeous white sand and fringed with greenery. This will be your first inkling that your vacation in this territory that boasts hundreds of islands and cays truly will be something special. If you’re lucky, one of the beaches you’ll spot will be Cable Beach which is one of the best beaches in Nassau.

Of the many gorgeous beaches in The Bahamas, Cable Beach is known and loved for its easy access, calm seas, clear turquoise waters, and peaceful ambiance. This beach is big enough (2.5 miles) that you can choose a lively spot for socializing, or somewhere more on the quiet end where you can just appreciate the sound of the waves crashing on the shore while unwinding with good company.

Whatever type of beach experience you’re looking for, it won’t be hard for Cable Beach to make it a reality.


Your dream getaway – Cable Beach

Cable Beach in The Bahamas

When the topic of beaches in Nassau comes up Cable Beach is often one of the first mentioned. This beach is known and loved for its mesmerizing turquoise waters and irresistibly soft sands, and it is one of the more popular beaches in The Bahamas.

This beach is located on New Providence Island where the capital Nassau is located and about a 12-minute drive from the airport and a 14-minute drive in the opposite direction to downtown. Cable Beach is free to access and the perfect backdrop for your vacation photos.

Here’s why:

There's always a place to sit

Cable Beach is spacious and there’s always somewhere you can set up for a chill day on the beach. Whether you decide to rent out a beach chair (or use one provided by your resort) or lay out your beach towel to soak in some rays, you’ll always be able to find a comfortable space to spend your beach day.

Insider tip: From Cable Beach, guests of Sandals Royal Bahamian have access to a private offshore island that they can get to via a ferry. On this island there are two private beaches with great snorkeling right off the shore, a Beach Club with swimming pool, a swim-up bar, a whirlpool, and a seafood restaurant. You’ll also find over-the-water hammocks, private cabanas, and a Zen Garden with a fire pit all of which are perfect for a couple’s day out. The ferry comes around every 15 minutes and is included.

Offshore-Island


Some of the best resorts are located on Cable Beach

If convenience is important to you when planning a beach day then Cable Beach might be just what you’re looking for. As this beach is in the ‘hotel district of Nassau’ it is not hard to find restaurants, bars, lounges and resorts near the beach. Cable Beach is particularly well known for its amazing dining opportunities and it’s worth taking some time to try one of the restaurants in this area while in The Bahamas. Not sure what to order? Here are 32 popular foods and drinks to try in The Bahamas that won’t be hard to find in Nassau.

Gordons on the pier restaurant Nassau
Picture: Sandals' Gordon's on the Pier restaurant is located right on Nassau's Cable Beach. The best part? For guests of Sandals Royal Bahamian this restaurant is always included, always unlimited - even the drinks!


Cable Beach is a safe beach

Cable Beach’s shallow and calm waters make it a top choice for families vacationing in The Bahamas. Not only are the waters here safe for children, but they’re also a good starting point for newbie snorkelers or beach goers who want to try some new water sports. Family-friendly, safe and fun, just about anyone can find something to do that they like on Cable Beach.

Insider tip: Cable Beach is one of the 10 best snorkeling spots in Nassau. If you’ll be snorkeling for the first time, here are some snorkeling tips for beginners. Guests of Sandals have free access to clean, top-of-the-line snorkeling gear.

Snorkeling



It’s just a short drive from other Nassau must-sees

Cable Beach is located midway along the north coast of the island, which is perfect as it’s far away enough from the cruise port to be not overrun by other travelers, but still easy enough to get to from other attractions and points of interest.

Cable beach is located on a 14-minute drive from Nassau’s historic city center, where you’ll find the Queen’s Staircase, Fort Charlotte and the Pirate’s of Nassau museum.

Insider tip: Before heading out to Cable Beach, get yourself some cold Pirate Republic beers at a liquor store nearby. It’s Nassau’s local craft beer and a favorite amongst locals and visitors!


Calling it a day after some time in the sun? Guests of Sandals Royal Bahamian can enjoy a wonderful dinner over the Cable Beach waters at ‘Gordon’s on the Pier’, one of the 11 restaurants located on property at this all-inclusive resort. Afterwards there’s time to have a drink and enjoy some live music. Not a guest at Sandals? End the day with a drink at the Sky Bar and enjoy the view!


Things to do at Cable Beach

Paddleboards

There’s a lot to love about Cable Beach, and one of those things is that there’s always something to get up to. From finding a great restaurant to enjoy authentic Bahamian cuisine, to simply dipping into one of the bluest waters you’ve ever seen, your beach day on Cable Beach is sure to be memorable. And, while you’re planning your Cable Beach getaway, you can also get familiar with some of the things The Bahamas is known for.

Water sports at Cable Beach includes windsurfing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. If you want you can also ride around in a water trike or rent out a jet ski. Snorkeling is another option at Cable Beach and some of the marine life you just might come across are green sea turtles which love swimming near shore.

Insider tip: If you’re staying at a Sandals Royal Bahamian on Cable Beach you can enjoy an ocean of water sports and professional instructions for free. It’s included in your stay!



The best time to visit Cable Beach

Cable Beach is fun to visit year round. Peak season is from mid-December until April, but you’ll find that the best beach weather in The Bahamas will be from March until June when it gets a bit warmer. In March and April you’ll find the average daytime temperature to be around 82 °F (or 28 °C). By the time May comes around the corner there’ll be an uplift to 86 °F (or 30 °C).


Enjoy Cable Beach in Nassau!

Sandals all-inclusive resort on Cable Beach
Picture: All-inclusive resort Sandals Royal Bahamian is located on Cable Beach and offers its guests access to an exotic private island just off the shore.

A day at Cable Beach is one of the must-do’s when you travel to Nassau. Get active and participate in the water sports this beach offers, or just lounge around on the soft white sand: whatever you do, you’ll be blown away by the turquoise color of the water when the sun is shining!

Want to enjoy unlimited free cocktails while lounging on this beach? In this area you’ll find some of the best all-inclusive resorts in The Bahamas.




33 Pictures That Will Make You Fall In Love With The Bahamas

The Islands
January 30th 2020
33 Pictures That Will Make You Fall In Love With The Bahamas

Sandals Emerald Bay Bahamas Main Pool

A morning at Sandals Emerald Bay's impressive main pool. Exuma's most luxurious all-inclusive resort.

Nassau Bahamas 2019 Goombay festival junkanoo costume

Photo credit: Trae Rollins/Shutterstock.com

Junkanoo Festival incorporate all aspects of Bahamian culture including musical performances, food, heritage games, authentic Bahamian arts and craft and more. This spectacular event takes place on the nights of the 25th, and on the 31st of December.

Find out more about Junkanoo Festival, and other carnivals in the region by checking out our complete Caribbean Carnival calendar.


Blue Lagoon Bahamas

Photo credit: Victor Maschek/Shutterstock.com

Blue Lagoon Island is secluded, with clear waters, friendly animals and a serene habitat. The island has been voted as one of the “top attractions in The Bahamas” and is a great place to swim with dolphins and sea lions. Daytrips are available from Sandals Royal Bahamian.

Major Cay Bahamas Pig Island

You’ve probably heard about the swimming pigs of The Bahamas. What you may not have known is that the tour isn’t just an opportunity to swim with the wild pigs of Big Major Cay; it is a great way of experiencing all the Exumas have to offer. Half day boat trips can be booked from Sandals Emerald Bay.

Royal Bahamas Police Nassau

Photo credit: fitzcrittle/Shutterstock.com

Two Royal Bahamas Police officers downtown Nassau, the Bahamas.

Tropic of cancer beach Little Exuma Bahamas

Photo credit: Thomas Kloc/Shutterstock.com

Tropic of Cancer Beach, located on Little Exuma, the Bahamas. One of the stunning whitesand beaches you can find in the Exuma district on one of about 365 cays.

Bar Jacks School Bahamas

Photo credit: Nipit Congpuong/Shutterstock.com

Bar Jacks are just one of the big variety of fishes you can find in Bahamian waters. Often, you'll encounter Bar Jacks just off shore from the beach.

Versailles Garden Bahamas

Photo credit: Erkki & Hanna/Shutterstock.com

The "Versailles Gardens" on Paradise Island comprise a charming lush multi-terraced landscape set in a rectangular design which is about 75 feet wide. Find this gem on a 15-minute drive from Nassau's historic city center.

Sandals Royal Bahamian Beach View Bahamas

The Bahamas is paradise and Sandals Royal Bahamian fits right in. Located in Nassau on Cable Beach, guests of this adults-only all-inclusive resort can enjoy unlimited free gourmet food and signature cocktails.

Conch fritters conch salad Bahamas

Photo credit: MevZup/Shutterstock.com

Conch is the national dish of the Bahamas. Popular seasonings commonly used in dishes include chilies, lime, tomatoes, onions, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, rum, and coconut. Rum-based beverages are popular on the island. Since the Bahamas consist of a multitude of islands, notable culinary variations exist.

Green sea turtle Bahamas

Photo credit: blue-sea. cz/Shutterstock.com

One of the most intriguing animals you can expect to encounter during a snorkeling trip is the sea turtle. Also known as marine turtles, they are graceful to watch and fascinate people of all ages.

Lighthouse Sunset Nassau Bahamas

Photo credit: John Wollwerth/Shutterstock.com

Wherever you are in the Bahamas, chances are you are gonna be able to witness a stunning sunset. The best view on this particular lighthouse can be enjoyed from Junkanoo beach in Nassau.

Sandals Emerald Bay Bahamas White Sand Beach

The 700 islands that make up the Bahamas holds a special magic found nowhere else in the world – and the crystal clear waters that surround these islands are perfect for leisure swims, scuba diving, and every type of water sport. This picture was taken in Exuma.

Elbow Reef Lighthouse Hope Town Bahamas

Photo credit: Sinn P. Photography/Shutterstock.com

The British Imperial Lighthouse Service built this candy-striped lighthouse to mark the Elbow Reef during the 1860's. You can find this lighthouse in Abaco, the Bahamas.

Sandals Emerald Bay Bahamas Island Tour

Each of the 700 islands and cays of the Bahamas has its own story. Most people visit one island group and explore another one the second time around. This deserted beach can be found in Exuma. Excursions are available from Sandals Emerald Bay.

Parliament Square Nassau Bahamas

Photo credit: Kushal Bose/Shutterstock.com

The buildings located around the Parliament Square were constructed in 1815 by the Loyalists. These flamingo-pink government buildings are excellent examples of the colonial architecture of old Nassau.

Caribbean reef shark Bahamas

Photo credit: Michael Bogner/Shutterstock.com

From Tiger sharks at Tiger Beach to the hammerhead sharks of Bimini, shark diving is big in the Bahamas. PADI certified guests of Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau can participate in free scuba diving during their stay (max. two tanks a day). Don't worry, you won't find any sharks close to the touristic beaches.

Thunderball Grotto Exuma Bahamas

Photo credit: Danita Delmont/Shutterstock.com

The Thunderball Grotto is not to be missed! This underwater cave was named after the James Bond movie that was shot here and offers amazing snorkeling and diving opportunities. The Thunderball Grotto is one of the highlights of the Bahamas! Excursions are available from Exuma.

Glass window bridge Eleuthera Bahamas

Photo credit: BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock.com

One of nature's true wonders, The Glass Window Bridge at Eleuthera divides the dark blue Atlantic Ocean from the turquoise Caribbean waters.

Nassau Bahamas 2019 Goombay festival junkanoo parade

Photo credit: Trae Rollins/Shutterstock.com

Junkanoo Summer Festival is a Ministry of Tourism event that showcases Bahamian culture and heritage at its best. Whether you visit Nassau or festival sites in Grand Bahama, The Abacos, or The Exumas during the months of June and July, you will enjoy an enriching cultural experience.

Sandals Royal Bahamian River Room Bahamas

Take a refreshing swim right from your suite with Sandals Royal Bahamian's luxurious swim-up rooms.

Treasure Cay Abaco Bahamas

Photo credit: Lyndah Wells/Shutterstock.com

This is the most sparkling natural feature of the coastal regions on the island of Abaco. Stunning is the word that describes Treasure Cay, a 3.5-mile stretch of sugar-soft, powdery white sand, matched only in brilliance by the sparkling diamond and turquoise water colors lapping at its shore.

Long Island Bahamas Deans Blue Hole

Photo credit: Lora B/Shutterstock.com

Plunging to a depth of 663 feet (202 meters) in a bay west of Clarence Town on Long Island, Dean’s Blue Hole is one of the deepest known blue holes.

Compass Point Nassau Bahamas

Photo credit: Andrew Bondarchuk/Shutterstock.com

Despite the rampant development in recent times, Nassau is still steeped in colonial charm. Visitors can witness this old-world elegance in the city's candy-colored colonial buildings, old forts, and grand hotels.

Sandals Emerald Bay Bahamas Iguanas

Among the most popular tourist attractions in the Exumas, are the famous swimming pigs. But for those who prefer to glimpse the native wildlife, iguanas are the real stars. Excursions can be booked from Sandals Emerald Bay.

Sandals Emerald Bay Bahamas Beach Chairs

Sandals Emerald Bay sits directly on a pristine, mile-long beach, deep within the idyllic waters of the Exumas. A quintessential island paradise with crystal-clear turquoise waters and vibrant coral reefs to explore.

Fort Charlotte Bahamas

Photo credit: Ritu Manoj Jethani/Shutterstock.com

The forts and military installations, like Fort Charlotte and others throughout The Bahamas formed such an insurmountable defense system that potential invaders were discouraged, and, as a result, these forts never fired a gun in battle.

Sandals Emerald Bay Bahamas Golf Course

Located at the Bahamas' Leading Golf Resort, Greg Norman's award-winning golf course design at Sandals Emerald Bay preserves the landscape's pristine beauty and natural barriers.

Sandals Royal Bahamian Scuba Boat Bahamas

Explore life underwater in The Bahamas by embarking on an exciting scuba diving tour. You can roam the waters with the marine life and get an up and close look of the wonderful coral reefs that can be found down below. Guests of Sandals Royal Bahamian dive for free (max. two tanks a day).

Nassau Bahamas Beach Cruise

Photo credit: ackats/Shutterstock.com

Junkanoo Beach is the party beach of the Bahamas and located near the historic city center of Nassau, a 10-minute walk from the cruise ship dock.

Exuma Bahamas

Photo credit: 2M media/Shutterstock.com

Powerboat adventures are fun filled things to do in The Bahamas, and make it possible for guests to visit multiple islands in one day. Visitors get to enjoy a scenic boat ride, participate in tours along the various islands, sightsee, snorkel, and more.

Sandals Royal Bahamian Island Party Bahamas

When the sun sets at Sandals Royal Bahamian, the vibe changes and the parties rev up at Sandals' private offshore island. Have the time of your life, dancing around the bonfire with a Junkanoo band and island-themed parties that last all night long.

Sandals Royal Bahamian Private Island Bahamas

Just across the shore of Sandals Royal Bahamian, guests get exclusive access to Sandals Island, an authentic offshore adventure with two secluded beaches where you can relax, go for a leisure swim, have unlimited free signature cocktails at the swim-up bar, or explore some of the Bahamas’ best snorkeling.

Is the Bahamas expensive compared to the US? A complete overview.

The Islands
January 24th 2020
Is the Bahamas expensive compared to the US? A complete overview.

If you’ve got your heart set on a luxury vacation in an amazing Caribbean destination, the Bahamas just might be at the top of your list. That doesn’t mean however that the islands of this coral-based archipelago don’t cater to visitors desirous of a more budget conscious holiday experience; if you want to spend less and still enjoy a holiday in the Bahamas, you’ll just need to do a bit more planning to avoid spending more than you intended.

Pig Island Bahamas

Before setting off to the Bahamas, know that it is the third most expensive country in the world to live in, according to a survey by Numbeo. If you're not staying at an all-inclusive resort, expect to be paying up to 10 USD for a beer and 18 USD for a cocktail.

In this article, we’ll discuss what the high cost of living in the Bahamas means to visitors to this territory, how the Bahamas is compared to other Caribbean islands, and what you can do to save money on your Bahamas vacation.


In this article on the Sandals Blog:

How expensive is the Bahamas?
How expensive is the Bahamas compared to the US?
How expensive is the Bahamas compared to other Caribbean destinations?
How to keep down expenditures while in the Bahamas?



How expensive is the Bahamas?

Most Caribbean islands tend to be more expensive than the United States for things like shopping, dining, accommodation, and more. Many visitors to the region consider vacations to this part of the world a once in a lifetime opportunity, or a once in a while endeavor, with experiences to be gained that are not likely to be forgotten anytime soon. You’re in paradise after all!

Sandals Royal Bahamian Beach Couple

If you choose to vacation in the Bahamas, you’ll likely notice right away how much more expensive it is to eat out, and even to pick up select items from the store. This is exactly why many visitors who vacation in the Bahamas choose to go on an all-inclusive vacation, which includes unlimited food and (alcoholic) beverages as part of your booking. Sandals Resorts for instance, offer couples looking for a romantic getaway in the Bahamas unlimited soft drinks, beers, amazing wines, exotic cocktails and premium liquors. Even the mini fridge in the room is stocked and free to use! Considering the fact, you can expect to pay as much as 10 USD for a beer and 18 USD for a cocktail at regular resorts/hotels in the Bahamas, going all-inclusive might not be such a bad deal after all! Even gourmet breakfast, lunch, dinner and in-between snacks are all included at the restaurants on-property (Sandals Royal Bahamian features 10 restaurants, Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma features 11 restaurants).


How expensive is the Bahamas compared to the US?

The higher cost of living in the Bahamas are due to the fact that most goods need to be imported, and all of these items are taxed, when they arrive and clear customs. Unlike the US, there is no income tax in the Bahamas. Instead the government makes its money by taxing imported goods, as well as charging value added tax (VAT) for goods and services when they are sold by vendors.

Eating out for example, tends to be at least 20-25% more expensive in the Bahamas than in the US. In fact, the prices for decent breakfast and lunch options may shock you; in some instances, you may pay double for the same sort of meal you’d find for breakfast or lunch in the US. In addition, most restaurants charge 15% gratuity (automatically by law), making all of these good reasons to venture out on an all-inclusive vacation in the Bahamas. Judge for yourself:

cost of living table Bahamas

Love to drink a beer on the beach or at the swimming pool? Enjoy a local Kalik or Sands beer or try the Pirate Republic craft beer. You’re unlikely to be disappointed!


Sandals Emerald Bay Dining

Picture: The culinary experience at Sandals Emerald Bay is unrivaled in the Bahamas. The best part is: food and drinks are always included, always unlimited!


How expensive is the Bahamas compared to other Caribbean destinations?

The Bahamas offer a tropical paradise that is hard to match. The islands boast incredible white sand beaches, tropical palm trees and turquoise waters. Snorkeling and scuba diving are amazing, and you can expect a variety of tropical fish and turtles to pass your path. Looking for an alternative Caribbean paradise with a lower cost of living?

Sandals Negril Seven Mile Beach Overview

Picture: Looking for a less expensive alternative in the Caribbean? Jamaica might have what you are looking for. Stay at Jamaica's most beautiful beach, the legendary Seven-Mile Beach in Negril, to see for yourself if it matches up with the Bahamian beaches.

Going on a tropical getaway in Jamaica can be up to 40-50% less expensive than in the Bahamas. For that reason, Jamaica is a great alternative for vacationers who like to spend a bit less while traveling. The Bahamas beats out Jamaica for its closeness to the United States (45 minutes from Miami), but keep in mind Montego Bay in Jamaica is only 1 hour and 30 minutes away from US shores.

Like to know how Jamaica matches up with the Bahamas? Read our ‘Jamaica vs Bahamas’ article for a comprehensive overview!


Islands like Saint Lucia and Grenada are also good alternatives where the Dollar goes a longer way than in the Bahamas. Saint Lucia and Grenada match Jamaica in having prices that are about 40-50% lower than that of the Bahamas, but there’s a little more travel time (and costs) associated with these islands. Saint Lucia is 3 hours and 29 minutes away from Miami by plane, and it takes 3 hours and 34 minutes to get to Grenada.

Do these destinations live up to what the Bahamas has on offer? It’s up to you to decide!


How to keep down expenditures while in the Bahamas?

The Bahamas on a mid-range budget

  • Go for an all-inclusive resort which gives you the most bang for your buck. While the common perception is that all-inclusive resorts can be costly, not so much when you take into account all the things that are included with your stay! Things to look out for: Are airport transfers included? How many restaurants and bars are available on-property? Does the resort include high-quality premium brand liquors? Are water sports included? Is golf included? Are snorkeling trips and scuba diving trips included? Is entertainment included in the evenings? Does the resort give you access to private offshore islands?

Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Green

Picture: Designed by golf legend Greg Norman, Sandals Emerald Bay's award-winning golf course is recognized as one of the most scenic 18-hole ocean-side golf courses in the Caribbean and renowned for its challenging fairways.

What can you expect to be included at an all-inclusive resort in the Bahamas? Read ‘What Does All-Inclusive Mean? Answering All Your Questions.’.


  • Use the amenities provided by your accommodation and take full advantage of watersports equipment use (e.g. stand-up paddle boards, snorkeling gear and kayaks). This can help you save money as opposed to searching for the same things elsewhere.
  • Ask about joining other groups when heading out on excursions to save on transportation cost. The resort staff will likely be able to help you plan.

The Bahamas on a low budget

  • Do your research so you find the best spots to go to, and don’t waste money trying ‘hit’ or ‘miss’ attractions or restaurants. There are some decent takeaway restaurants on the islands with lower prices and good food. The fish fry restaurants like the ones in Arawak Cay in Nassau are also a great option.
  • Local buses in the Bahamas are known as jitneys, and you can use them to get around in the daytime if you’re not heading too far out. This can save you from spending on a taxi or rental. You can also alternate taxi and jitney, depending on where you’re headed.

Jitney Bahamas Public Transport

Photo credit: Zoe Esteban/Shutterstock.com


The Bahamas on a shoestring budget

  • If you’ve saved up enough to make it to the Bahamas (but barely) and want to stick to your budget, try to make use of your contacts in the islands if you have any. People with friends or acquaintances living in the islands may consider a bit of ‘Couch Surfing’. If that isn’t possible, opt for an economical guest house, preferably one that includes at least one meal a day.
  • Go grocery shopping and cook your own meals. Check out one of the Supervalue supermarkets, where you’ll be able to find most things you need. Solomon’s Freshmarket is a bit more varied than other local grocery stores, but it’s also a bit more expensive. Keep in mind though, that no matter where you go, grocery shopping in the Bahamas is not cheap.
  • If you’re a drinker, buy beers by the pack or buy a bottle of local rum and chasers, rather than spending all your money at a bar.
  • If you don’t mind the occasional unhealthy option, pick one of the fast-food options. You’ll find options like MacDonald’s, Wendy’s, KFC and others in the Bahamas, offering a cheaper meal than most other restaurants.


The Bahamas can be expensive, but you’ll have the time of your life!

Sandals Royal Bahamian Private Island

Picture: What better way than to enjoy an all-inclusive vacation in the Bahamas, when you can escape to Sandals exclusive offshore island. Only accessible for guests of Sandals Royal Bahamian!

The Bahamas might be more expensive than the US, but considering the experiences you can gain on the island during your tropical getaway, the cost of living there shouldn’t sway you from visiting this slice of paradise. Worst case scenario, you can save a bit more, and visit later, or travel to alternative Caribbean islands like Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Grenada, where things cost a little less. Just like in the Bahamas, these islands all offer all-inclusive resorts, which will help ensure your Caribbean vacation is everything you’ve ever imagined, and more.

Where Is The Bahamas Located? Paradise Around The Corner.

The Islands
January 17th 2020
Where Is The Bahamas Located? Paradise Around The Corner.

The Bahamas is a chain of over 700 islands and cays located in the Atlantic Ocean, on a 1 hour flight from Miami. It is located to the east of Florida in the United States. Other neighboring countries include Turks & Caicos and Cuba, which is located to the south of The Bahamas.




With its white sand beaches and turquoise waters, The Bahamas is a popular vacation destination known for its pirate history, fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving sites, the Bahama Mama cocktail and delicious conch dishes. Find out what else The Bahamas is known for.

Thinking of going on a beach vacation, sipping on unlimited free cocktails? The Bahamas is the place to be for an all-inclusive resort vacation.

Sandals Royal- Bahamian

Picture: All-inclusive resort Sandals Royal Bahamian features 11 restaurants, 9 bars (including three swim-up bars) and a private offshore island. The best part: all food and drinks are always unlimited, always included!



Also read:
Where is Jamaica?
Where is Saint Lucia?

Bahamas Packing List: What To Pack For A Vacation In The Bahamas?

The Islands
August 21st 2019
Bahamas Packing List: What To Pack For A Vacation In The Bahamas?

When packing for any type of vacation, the trick is balancing what you need with what you want, to ensure you don’t go overboard. On top of that it is important to consider what you want to do during your vacation to determine what to pack for your trip to The Bahamas.

Whether you plan on island hopping, or you want to swim with the pigs in Big Major Cay, all you need to do is plan carefully about what to bring and you’ll be all set. Both first time and repeat visitors to The Bahamas will benefit from keeping this packing checklist handy, whether they plan on a beach vacation, at an all-inclusive resort, or renting your own place.

In this article on the Sandals Blog:

Consider before packing

Clothes to pack for 7-days in The Bahamas
List of essential travel items
Things you’ll need for sunbathing
Things you might not have thought of


5 Things to consider before you start packing

Read on to find out what things you want to consider before packing for the Bahamas, or go directily to clothes to pack for 7-days in The Bahamas instead.

Who will be travelling with you?

couple packing suitcase

Photo credit: Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock.com

This can help to determine what you’ll need to pack for your trip. If you’re going on a family vacation, you’ll need to ensure you have everything the entire family will need for the duration of the trip. The same goes for if you’re traveling with elderly members of the family. Singles, and particularly couples going on adults-only vacations probably have it the easiest, as they can pack less depending on the duration of their stay.

What is the expected weather for your travel dates?

The weather is generally great all year round in The Bahamas, so you can expect to spend most of your time during the day in beachwear. However, don't forget to bring some dressy clothes to go out for dinner in the evenings! Read our 'Best time to visit the Bahamas article' to find out more about the weather in each month.

What type of accommodation are you staying at?

Accommodation plays a factor in what you’ll need to pack, particularly when it comes to hotel versus villa, or apartment options. It also makes a difference whether you select an all-inclusive resort, as opposed to a regular hotel or resort stay.

Not all villas or apartments are created equal, which means that not all will come with everything you need for your stay. Most resorts, particularly all-inclusive resorts, tend to provide items like hairdryers, towels, shampoo and conditioner, lotion, body wash, soap, and even bath robes for your stay.

Sandals Royal Bahamian resort beach

Picture: The Sandals Royal Bahamian resort beach.

Tip: Resorts like Sandals Royal Bahamian and Sandals Emerald Bay are perfect for a worry-free vacation in The Bahamas, particularly if you’re planning on a romantic adults-only vacation. Make sure to bring some dress clothing for the restaurants!



What activities will you partake in?

In order to plan properly for your vacation in The Bahamas, it helps to know the sort of activities you plan on participating in while among the islands. Are you going for a destination wedding? Do you plan on swimming with the pigs on Big Major Cay? Are you going for a fishing trip off the coast of Nassau, or do you want to explore some of the best beaches of the Bahamas?

group feeding swimming pigs

Trips with a focus on beach hopping or pool lounging may require more swimwear, while hiking trips would require more comfortable shoes, and all-weather clothing. Mostly, casual works fine for The Bahamas, with emphasis on summer dresses, shorts, t-shirts and khakis!


Tip: If you are looking to fill up with your vacation with lots of other activities, have a read through our top things to do in The Bahamas article, for some more inspiration.



What is the length of your trip to the Bahamas?

How long do you plan on staying? Typically, people who vacation in the Caribbean tend to stay for five to seven days, but some choose to stay for two to three weeks, or even longer. If you’re staying for a longer period, you may feel inclined to pack more, which may lead to problems particularly if you plan on shopping once you get to your destination. Weight restrictions apply for most airlines, so it is best to pack light when possible, to avoid any delays and extra costs at the airport. For longer stays, you can always make use of the laundry services at your accommodation!


What clothes should I pack for a 7-day trip to The Bahamas?

Clothing packing list for ladies

woman's packed suitcase

Photo credit: FabrikaSimf/Shutterstock.com

  • 2 swimsuits / bikinis
  • Beach wrap, dress, or sarong (1 or 2)
  • 4-5 tops / t-shirts
  • 1 or 2 pairs of shorts
  • 1 casual dress
  • 1-2 pants (Bermuda shorts or capris)
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • Enough underwear to last the duration of your trip
  • 2 sets of PJ's
  • Comb, makeup, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrush, and other toiletries.
  • 1 or 2 dressy outfits for dinner or other events. This is important particularly at resorts with dress codes for certain restaurants. If you are staying at a Sandals Resort, you might want to pack a dressy outfit for each evening of the week, since the top of the line restaurants will have dress-codes.
  • 1-2 pairs of heels or wedges if you wear them
  • Jacket or cardigan (for the flight)
  • If you decide to play golf, consider bringing some appropriate shirts and pants. Consider also checking course dress codes too, prior to arriving.

Packed your clothes? Have a look at these essential items to pack for the Bahamas.


Clothing packing list for men

man packing

Photo credit: LightField Studios/Shutterstock.com

  • 2 pairs of jeans / trouser-style jeans
  • 1 belt (a color that goes with everything)
  • 1 or 2 pairs of shorts
  • 1 or 2 pairs of beach shorts
  • Enough underwear for duration of trip
  • Deodorant, shaving cream, dental floss, toothpaste, toothbrush and other toiletries
  • 2 sets of sleeping clothes
  • A pair of long pants and closed-toe shoes for dressy dinner along with a nice button-down shirt. Bring more if you are staying at a Sandals resort, as the most popular restaurants will have dress codes.
  • 3-4 t-shirts / vests
  • 2-3 polo shirts or button downs
  • Jacket for flight in case it gets cold (place in carry on)
  • A pair of flip flops and 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes
  • If you decide to play golf in the Bahamas, make sure you bring some appropriate shirts and slacks. Consider also checking course dress codes too, prior to arriving.

For the flight, make sure that you’re comfortable in whatever you wear, and that you’ll be warm if the airport is cold. Jeans or slacks are usually fine, with a casual shirt of jacket, along with comfortable shoes. Wear things that can be reused during your vacation if possible, which can help you pack lighter.

Generally, the key to packing light is mixing and matching, so keep this in mind as you go along.


12 Essential items you’ll need when traveling to the Bahamas

Keep these essential travel items either on you, or in your carry-on luggage.

1. Valid passport

man holding U.S. passport

Photo credit: charnsitr/Shutterstock.com

Do you need a possport to go to The Bahamas? Most countries in the Caribbean require that you travel with a passport. The Bahamas is no different. Be sure that you don’t leave this behind, otherwise you may not be able to leave the country! When traveling, it is wise to check ahead of time that your passport has at least 6 months remaining before its expiry date. Though it is not common, immigration authorities in some countries and airlines, can deny you entry on this basis.


Bonus tip: If you’re travelling with children, check passport expiry dates as children under 16 have a duration of five years before expiry, as opposed to adults with 10 years.



2. Plane ticket(s)/boarding pass

Although a passport is normally enough to get your boarding pass printed, you’ll want to print your boarding pass if you already checked in online. In most cases you can bring your boarding pass on your phone, but you might lose it when accidentally dropping your phone or when you run out of battery. It's always good to bring a back up on paper!

3. Address of accommodation

More than likely, you will be asked to present the address and phone number of the place where you will be staying for your trip once you get to your destination. It is a precautionary measure on most airports, and also helps to ensure that you know where you’re going once you’ve landed!

Tip: When booking your trip, ask for a contact name and number for someone associated with the property, that you can present at the airport if need be. Exchange your contact information as well, in case they need to reach you. If you stay at a Sandals resort, someone will be waiting for you to transfer you to the resort.



4. Valid driver's license

Doing some exploring on your own? If you decide to rent a vehicle, bring a valid driver's license to the Bahamas. You can use a US driver's license for the first three months of your stay.

5. Health/life insurance cards

Better safe than sorry when traveling to faraway locations. Walk with your insurance cards, which will come in handy if you have an emergency or require medical assistance.

6. Travel insurance for The Bahamas

As a wise man once said, if you can’t afford travel insurance, then you probably can’t afford to travel. Though we all hope for the best when going on vacation, it's impossible to predict if and when things will take a turn for the worse. Resorts like Sandals make it possible to get travel insurance at a small cost, as part of your reservation.

7. Must have & precautionary items

Be sure to walk with one or two pens to fill out your immigration forms and keep these in an area where they’re easy to find, like in the outside pocket of your carry-on. Also walk with copies of your travel documents and passports; you can take photos of them with your phone which will come in handy if they are lost or stolen.

8. Cash and credit cards

Hands counting dollar bills

Photo credit: Yulia Grigoryeva/Shutterstock.com

You’ll need money to make your trip to The Bahamas. Include small bills for tipping at the airport. Notify your bank about your trip before you leave, so your debit or credit cards don’t get cut off. The US Dollar (USD) to Bahamian Dollar (BSD) exchange rate is 1:1, but all vendors accept USD. Not all vendors take credit or debit cards, however, so ensure you keep this in mind to make provisions on how much money to bring. Keep in mind also, that when you spend US Dollars, you may get your change back in Bahamian Dollars, or a combination of US Dollars and Bahamian Dollars.


Insider tip: Sandals resorts have currency exchange services at the front desk, so you’ll be able to change your money easily.



9. Prescription medications

If you have prescription medications, make sure you pack enough to last the duration of your stay. It can be difficult to find some prescription items in The Bahamas, particularly from American pharmaceutical brands as medicines available in The Bahamas are typically based off the British system. Also, you may have to pay more to get replacement prescription items than you would at home. Depending on what the item is, you may need a doctor in The Bahamas to prescribe it to you, so if you don’t want to spend time going through the motions of replacing your medications in The Bahamas, ensure you fill and pack your prescription medications early. Non-prescription items in the US, including narcotic pain medication may also be hard to obtain. To avoid the hassle, walk with these items in their original prescription bottles, and with enough to last your entire vacation.

10. Must have items

Whatever it is that you can’t live without, don’t leave it behind – within reasonable limits, of course. Keep in mind that you will be able to find almost everything you can think of in stores in The Bahamas, but likely with a higher price tag, from a lesser known brand. Still, take what you need, but be reasonable, to avoid overweight fees.

11. Entertainment during travels

child with tablet plane

Photo credit: d13/Shutterstock.com

Travel times can be lengthy, particularly if there are layover times in between. If you’re travelling with children, it helps to pack things that will help keep them occupied in between, including cell phones, laptops, tablets, and the like. Remember, don’t leave home without chargers for these devises!

12. A change of clothes and basic toiletries in your carry-on

Lost luggage is not uncommon, so walk with extra clothes and some essential items like deodorant, toiletries, and undergarments in your carry-on just in case you have to go a day or two without your bags. Keep in mind the restrictions on liquids in the carry-on luggage; the restriction being liquigs can be in a 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume).


Insider tip: All Sandals resorts provide Red Lane Spa shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, body wash, hand soaps, towels, and wash cloths for guests, in their rooms.



Things you’ll need for a sunbathing session

1. Sunscreen

Sure, you’re travelling to the Caribbean for the sun, sea and sand, but that doesn’t mean you signed up for getting sunburnt. SPF 50 will keep you safe against 98 percent of harmful rays, which is pretty much all you’ll really need. As for the rest of the numbers, they don’t equate more protection. Don’t go below SPF 30 in The Bahamas, and you should be just fine!

Woman sunscreen

Photo credit: SNeG17/Shutterstock.com

It is advisable to reapply about every two hours in the Bahamas, particularly if you’re in the water, or engaged in any physical activity which can cause you to sweat it off.

Tip: Invest in reef safe sunscreen if you plan on snorkeling or scuba diving near reefs. Reef safe sunscreens do not contain some of the reef-harming ingredients in regular brands, like oxybenzone, avobenzone and others.



2. Lip balm with SPF

Woman Applying Lip Balm

Photo credit: puhhha/Shutterstock.com

Keeping your lips lubricated and well protected is important when on a scorching Caribbean island. Don’t forget to take lip balm which includes SPF.

3. Wide-brimmed hat

Girl wooden dock Exuma Bahamas

Photo credit: Capricorn Studio/Shutterstock.com

Be fashion savvy and protect your skin all at once with a wide-brimmed hat. If you’re out in the sun during the hottest hours of the day, you’ll want to keep cool with one of these.

Resorts like Sandals have beach umbrellas or cabanas, which are perfect for cooling off after your sunbathing session!


4. Cover ups

woman sunhat beach

Photo credit: Phototalker/Shutterstock.com

Cover ups are a major vacation fad now, and you can choose one from a variety of styles when deciding what to pack for The Bahamas. You can try traditional sarongs, translucent dresses, or even crochet styles. Most of these pair well with wide brims or other styles of hats, which serve their purpose of protecting your skin from sun exposure. Weirdly enough, loose fitting long sleeve shirts and pants, for men and women, can help keep you cool in high temperatures. Choose the sunniest of these that you’ve got stored in your closet or buy a couple items just for your trip. Linen styles are popular and fashionable.

5. UV protection sunglasses

Heading to a Caribbean vacation with no sunglasses is almost unheard of, whether solely to protect your eyes from the sun, or just to be fashionable. Even if you just want to be fashionable, you’ll want to ensure you have a pair with UV protection. Polarized sunglasses are highly rated, and they will keep your eyes protected, even when its overcast.

6. UV protection clothing

Perhaps you’ve never investigated this type of clothing until now, but you’ll be happy to know that there is such a thing as Ultraviolet (UV) protection clothing. Mostly this feature can be found in athletic gear, but there are some regular items you can pick up off the shelf for your beach vacation that will help protect you from harmful rays. UV ray protection clothing comes in handy for activities including snorkeling, so it helps to pack this to protect your skin from burning.

7. Beach bag and other essentials

a beach bag on bahamas beach

Photo credit: Matthew Bechelli/Shutterstock.com

Avoid walking down the beach with so many things in your hands that you can’t catch your hat as it blows away. Invest in a good beach bag to throw in all your beach vacation essentials. The ideal beach bag will have a cooler storage pouch to keep your drinks cool.

8. Beach blanket

beach blanket on beach in the bahamas

Photo credit: Ekaterina Kondratova/Shutterstock.com

Forget bulky beach towels. Invest in a good beach blanket which is quick dry and made with a material that you can shake sand off easily. There are lots of variations to choose from, some which can be fixed into the sand to ensure they don’t blow away. Other options are ultra-portable, which means you’ll be able to fold and pack them easily.

9. Waterproof phone case

Get a waterproof phone case to bring along just in case you get thrown into the ocean or a pool, are taking a picture from the ocean, or you get suddenly rained on by a tropical thunderstorm.

10. A quick dry towel

As you’ll be in and out of the water, it helps to have on hand something that will dry fast. Look for quick dry materials when selecting the towels that you will bring with you to The Bahamas, if you have the space to pack them. Most resorts will provide beach towels for you.

Tip: Be sure to bring along some soothing aloe Vera based after sun lotion, or pure aloe Vera. It’ll help with sunburn, if you do happen to get burnt.



22 Items you might not have thought of

1. Replacement jewelry

People tend not to think about things like losing valuable jewelry while on vacation, but it is more common that you think. On the list of commonly lost items during snorkeling and diving trips are engagement and wedding rings; don’t let that be you. Whether it’s your wedding ring, or another priceless item, opt to bring something else you can wear while engaged in activities like snorkeling. Some people choose to wear cheaper replacement items for most of their vacation, while saving their precious items for use back at home. If you have valuable items with you that you wish to store, resorts like Sandals offer in-room safes which are highly recommended.

2. Snorkeling gear

a couple wearing snorkeling gear

The Bahamas is one of the best places to snorkel in the world. If you plan on snorkeling, it is completely possible to rent gear once you’re on island, but if you want to have your own authentic, true-to-size and personalized snorkeling gear, you’re probably going to have to bring your own. Besides, when you bring your own, you know without a doubt, the equipment was cleaned properly. Even if you don’t walk with a full snorkeling set, you can bring along some goggles, which will come in handy if you plan on swimming. People with prescription goggles will need to bring these along. Note that at all Sandals resorts snorkeling equipment is free to use during your stay.

3. Waterproof camera

woman takes photo underwater

Photo credit: Sergius Bleicher/Shutterstock.com

The fun doesn’t stop with a waterproof camera, and in The Bahamas you’ll see this firsthand. You can explore beaches and coral reefs, and have neat underwater videos and photos to cherish forever. You can also look into waterproof pouches for your phone, or camera.

4. All-natural fish food

You’ll be grateful when you’re getting ready to head out on a snorkeling trip and remember those fish pellets you packed in your suitcase for those beautiful fishes of paradise!

5. Waterproof pouch or bags

yellow waterproof travel bag

Photo credit: MosayMay/Shutterstock.com

These are perfect to hold wet suit suits and works great to keep your small electronic items dry during on the water sporting activities. Zip lock bags are ideal.

6. Luggage scale

digital weight scale baggage

Photo credit: Magnetic Mcc/Shutterstock.com

A luggage scale is worth looking into not only if you plan on shopping while in The Bahamas, but before you head off for your vacation. Having a luggage scale helps you along while you’re packing so that you don’t overpack, and your luggage isn’t overweight. Most airlines have a limit of 50lbs per bag.

7. Extra camera supplies

Don’t miss the moments by forgetting to charge your camera battery or forgetting to walk with your memory card. Bring an extra battery with you and take a back-up memory card.

8. Distinctive luggage tags

luggage tag

Photo credit: winnond/Shutterstock.com

Find your luggage easily with customized or bright luggage tags or ribbons. This will save you some time, so you can get through customs more quickly and head to the beach!

9. A money belt

woman wearing a money belt

Photo credit: Mike Focus/Shutterstock.com

A money belt is a great option for keeping your cash safe. As theft is likely anywhere in the world, you’ll want to invest in one and bring it along to The Bahamas. Go for designs with hidden pockets, that are easy to conceal.

10. Medicine kit

First aid kit

Photo credit: Studio KIWI/Shutterstock.com

Though you may not need to bring a complete first aid kid, it is worth packing some of the essentials like band-aids, alcohol pads, and pain relievers like Tylenol and or Ibuprofen. You may also want to walk with antibiotic ointments, antihistamine, medication for seasickness or gastrointestinal ailments like Pepto-Bismol and Tums. Baby powder always comes in handy for chafing, as does Desitin. It's also useful to walk with an Epi-pen for food allergies, which will be a life saver in the event of an emergency.


Insider tip: All Sandals resorts have a dedicated nurse to service guests on property, in the event of emergencies.



11. Insect repellent/bugspray

woman spraying insect repellent

Photo credit: Sergio Monti Photography/Shutterstock.com

Mosquitoes will likely be a factor in the Caribbean, particularly once the sun goes down. Plan ahead of time by finding a bugspray with at least 20% picaridin or 30% oil of lemon eucalyptus, both of which are ingredients in top performing bug repellents. These are safer options, than products with the controversial DEET ingredient, which are not necessarily more effective.

12. Insect bite relief cream

Aside from mosquitoes, you need to plan ahead for interactions with other bugs. This is recommended especially if you have allergies, in which case you’re also going to need to walk with Benadryl cream or Cortaid creams.

13. Hand sanitizer and/or disposable wipes

Keep your immediate area and your hands clean and germ free. While you may get these in The Bahamas, they will likely be more expensive, and you won’t have much variety. These are valuable if you are traveling with children. Bring along a small bottle or two.

14. A hair dryer

If you plan on staying at a hotel or resort, chances are you’ll find a hair dryer in your room, but this is not always the case at other kinds of accommodation, like villas or apartments. If you have specifics on the kind of hairdryer you want to use, your best bet is walking with your own. If you’re travelling with a group, decide ahead of time who will walk with the specific hair dryer you all need, to save on space.


Did you know? It is pretty normal for hotel rooms to provide you with hairdryers nowadays. Sandals Resorts was the first to introduce this concept!



15. A surge protector

The electrical system in The Bahamas is the same as that of the U.S. The chance of a power surge however, is more likely. Bring a portable surge protector along with you to minimize the risk.

16. A multi-port charger

multiport fast charging station

Photo credit: JIPEN/Shutterstock.com

Bring a multi-port charger that has USB ports and plugs. These comes in handy when staying at hotels or resorts with limited outlets. With this item, you’ll be able to keep multiple gadgets charging in a single place, which helps you keep better track of them.

17. Portable water bottle

glass reusable water bottle

Photo credit: nito/Shutterstock.com

Beat the heat by sipping on water, but ensure you pick a reusable bottle. Bringing a water bottle with you will help minimize the number of plastic bottles you use, which is great, since The Bahamas isn’t great at recycling.

18. An insulated mug

This will help you keep your drinks nice and cool, which can save you quite a bit of time standing around at the bar trying to get an ice-cold refill. You’re going to The Bahamas to relax, so take care of the little things ahead of your trip for a completely leisurely vacation. Be sure to get an extra-large mug!

19. Water shoes

Water shoes

Photo credit: Maridav/Shutterstock.com

Water shoes are useful for just about any water activity you can think of, especially when going to secluded beaches, like those located in the out islands in The Bahamas. You can rent these, but it's more economical to take your own, if you have them.

20. Flip-flops

Sunny shores and flip flops are pretty much synonymous. You don’t even need to be near the ocean to wear these. You may find that these are your go-to footwear while in The Bahamas, particularly if you’re staying at a beach resort. Take a couple pairs to add some variety and to have a back-up at hand if one pair breaks down.

21. Storage for used clothes

Some other items that may come in handy are over-the-door shoe racks (for use while packing or once you arrive), which can help you keep track of the shoes you bring so nothing gets left behind, and a laundry bag to put dirty clothes.


22. Plug adaptor (if you are not from the US)

As The Bahamas and the US use the same types of plugs and sockets, this piece of advice relates to travelers from non-US destinations. Get an adapter at a local convenience store or pick one up at the airport.

All packed and ready to go!

Once you have these things in check, you’re all set for your trip to The Bahamas! Now that you’re ready, the one thing you need to remember is to relax and enjoy yourself. That’s the point of your vacation in the first place, and now that you’re no longer scrambling around trying to figure out what to pack for The Bahamas, you’re well on your way to an amazing vacation!


Do U.S. Citizens Need A Passport To Go to The Bahamas?

The Islands
July 12th 2019
Do U.S. Citizens Need A Passport To Go to The Bahamas?
Photo credit header image: LifetimeStock/Shutterstock.com


Sugary white beaches, crystal like waters and seemingly endless sunny days make The Bahamas a picture-perfect paradise. Additionally, being only 50 km from the shores of the U.S., this chain of beautiful islands is ideal for American citizens, and is one of the best islands to visit the Caribbean.

While The Bahamas is a visa-free destination, U.S. citizens are generally required to present a valid U.S. passport when traveling to The Bahamas, as well as proof of anticipated departure from The Bahamas. However, there are some alternative options when you take a cruise.

Sandals Emerald Bay resort
Picture: Sandals Emerald Bay resort in Exuma, The Bahamas.

In this article on the Sandals Blog:

Need a passport when flying to The Bahamas?
Need a passport when cruising to The Bahamas?
Visa requirements

Stuck in The Bahamas without a passport?
Bonus: Currency restrictions
Bonus: Special vaccinations required?


Passport requirements when traveling to The Bahamas as a U.S. Citizen

If you are a U.S. citizen traveling to The Bahamas, you will most likely need a passport to enter the country. When flying by plane, a passport is always required for international travel.

However, there are a few different ways for U.S. citizens to travel to the Caribbean islands. Because of that, a passport is not always an entry requirement for travel (though it is always recommended). Many people travel to The Bahamas via cruise line, which has different requirements for proof of citizenship and identity.



Do I need a passport to fly to The Bahamas?

When crossing international borders by plane, a valid passport is always required - The Bahamas is no exception. Another thing to bear in mind is your passport validity, specifically the expiration date. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that you have at least two blank pages in your passport book. Some airlines will not allow you to board the plane without this.

Different countries have different laws around passport validity. Some will allow for three months validity while you travel, but most countries, including the U.S., require that your passport is valid for at least another six months while on your trip.

sunset view wing airplane

Photo credit: Patty Chan/Shutterstock.com



Do I need a passport to take a cruise to The Bahamas?

If you are traveling by sea, you can use a passport book or one of the following documents:

A passport card

A Trusted Traveler Card

An Enhanced Driver's License

Nassau Bahamas Cruise Ships port

Photo credit: Nazar Skladanyi/Shutterstock.com

Picture: The Nassau Cruise port view from a cruise ship.

Even though the above are valid travel documents, the U.S. Department of State advises that all U.S. citizens travel with a valid passport in the case of unforeseen circumstances. In the event of a family, medical, personal or business emergency, where the traveler must fly back to the U.S., a passport card is not a valid travel document.

Similarly, if a cruiser does not make it back to the port and must fly to the next port to re-board the ship, they will need a passport to be eligible to fly. For this reason, we always recommend every traveler carry a valid passport anytime they leave the country.

Passport exceptions for U.S. citizens traveling to The Bahamas

If you are traveling to The Bahamas on a cruise ship that embarks and ends at the same U.S. port, you can use your government issued driver’s license or birth certificate instead of a passport. This is known as a closed-loop cruise.

white cruise ship

Photo credit: Mikhail Starodubov/Shutterstock.com

Additionally, for minors traveling to The Bahamas with their parents or guardians, there are a few other passport exceptions that you may want to consider.

  1. Children under age 16 can use a birth certificate, naturalization certificate or certificate of citizenship IF they are traveling to and from The Bahamas by sea.
  2. Children under age 19 can also use birth certificates IF they are traveling by sea and IF they are traveling with a school group, a church group or a social or cultural organization supervised by an adult.

As with adults, children in any age group must have a passport to travel to The Bahamas by plane.


Visa requirements in The Bahamas

U.S. visitors traveling for tourism will not need a Bahamas visa for travel up to eight months. The maximum period of stay will be documented in your passport and may vary depending on the discretion of the immigration officer at port of entry. Business travelers or visitors with longer itineraries should contact the Department of Immigration to apply for an extension:

Department of Immigration
Hawkins Hill
P. O. Box N-831
Nassau, The Bahamas
[email protected]
Phone: +1 242-322-8504



What to do if you lose your passport in The Bahamas

Realizing you don’t have your passport mid vacation is possibly the worst thing that could happen to anyone on their travels. Whether your luggage was stolen, or you misplaced your passport, the experience is equally as painful.

Tip: If you are staying at all-inclusive resorts in Nassau or adults-only resorts in Exuma, head straight to the concierge. The friendly staff will assist you in solving this crisis.

nassau bahamas police officer

Photo credit: pablopicasso/Shutterstock.com

Picture: Bahamian police officer in downtown Nassau.

Below are the necessary steps to get an emergency passport as quickly as possible:

  1. Head straight to the police station. Report the incident and get a copy of your report.
  2. Contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate general. Give a detailed description of the circumstances documented by the police report and provide an airline ticket as proof of your need to travel. The address of the U.S. embassy in Nassau is provided below.
  3. Complete a passport application known as Form DS-11.
  4. Complete a statement regarding the lost passport known as Form DS-64.
  5. Pay the required fee of $110 USD (the same fee as a new passport).

U.S. embassy in Nassau:
42 Queen Street
Nassau, The Bahamas
Phone: +1 242-322-1181

US Embassy Board

Photo credit: Syda Productions/Shutterstock.com

When at the consulate, try to present as many of the following documents as possible. Even if you struggle to provide the consulate with all the documents, they will do their best to assist you with providing an emergency expedited passport:

  • Passport photo.
  • Picture identification, like a driver's license, Real ID, or government-issued photo ID.
  • Evidence of U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate, permanent resident card (sometimes known as a green card), or a photocopy of your missing passport.
  • Travel itinerary (airline or cruise tickets).
  • Police report, if available.

It is important to note that the emergency passport provided under these circumstances has a limited validity. Unlike an emergency passport which is processed by a paid for expedited service due to unforeseen circumstances, this limited-validity emergency passport will need to be replaced with a permanent passport on your return.


Frequently asked questions about passport requirements to travel to The Bahamas

Is it better to travel to The Bahamas with a passport?

Though it is possible for some travelers to arrive in The Bahamas without a passport, we always recommend traveling with a passport in case of an emergency. Even if you are not arriving via air travel, having a passport is a sure fire way to ensure you can travel home in the case of emergency.

Is there a 6 month passport rule when traveling to The Bahamas?

Some countries, including the USA, require your passport to be valid for 6+ months after your visit. However, The Bahamas is not one of those countries. As long as your passport is valid throughout the duration of your stay, you will have no problem traveling in and out of The Bahamas as a U.S. Citizen with a valid passport.

What is the difference between a passport book and a passport card?

A passport book is the traditional passport used for all international travel. These are generally required for all travelers flying to another country internationally and can be used when traveling by sea.

However, a passport card can be used to enter countries like Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean via land borders or sea ports-of-entry. They are generally less expensive and more convenient than a traditional passport book.

recepcionist passport card

Photo credit: Corepics VOF/Shutterstock.com

For frequent travelers (traveling by sea only) into The Bahamas, a passport card could be considered a less expensive option. A passport book for one adult will set you back $135 USD, while a passport card costs you only $55 USD.

Passport cards are also seen as more convenient when traveling due to their size. A passport is 5x3-1/2 inches, while the passport card is wallet-sized. Of couse, a passport card has no space for stamps or visas.

Can I use a Trusted Traveler Card to enter The Bahamas instead of a passport?

The Trusted Traveler program allows certain travelers to use expedited lanes at U.S. airports to travel to nearby countries in North America. These programs include the following:

  • NEXUS: Generally used to enter the U.S. from Canada through land, air and sea;
  • SENTRI: Generally used to enter the U.S. from Canada and Mexico by air or land;
  • FAST: Generally used to enter and exit the U.S. from Canada and Mexico with a commercial truck.

While these memberships can be used as identification when traveling to The Bahamas on a cruise, they are not valid when traveling via air. If you plan to fly to The Bahamas, you will not be able to use your Trusted Traveler Card in place of a passport.

Can I use an Enhanced Driver's License to enter The Bahamas instead of a passport?

A state-issued Enhanced Driver's License (EDL) provides travelers not only a license to drive, but also a proof of identity and citizenship when exiting and re-entering U.S. borders. This is a card under the WHTI that has security features and technology that make travel a lot easier and safer. They provide travelers with a low-cost, convenient alternative to a passport.

Note: The Enhanced Driver's License (EDL) allows you to re-enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico and some countries of the Caribbean. To find out which Caribbean countries, contact the application center nearest to your state. The EDL is only accepted at land and sea border crossings, not for air travel.


The states of Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Washington State are currently the only states issuing these enhanced drivers licenses. This license cannot be used for air travel.

When should I apply for my passport to travel to The Bahamas?

If you are departing on a trip to The Bahamas, you’ll want to prepare early and ensure that your passport is up to date (or apply for a new one).

Generally, the wait time for a passport can be between 6 to 12 weeks. We recommend applying for a new passport or to renew your existing passport at least 3 months before your trip.

Bonus questions about traveling to The Bahamas

What are my currency restrictions when traveling to The Bahamas?

Visitors must declare currency and other documents or receipts of $10,000 or more upon entry and exit of The Bahamas. This can be done at the Customs and Border Protection office at the port of entry.

What are the required vaccinations to enter The Bahamas?

Most visitors are not required to get special vaccinations before entering The Bahamas. The Bahamas only requires proof of Yellow Fever vaccination if you are arriving from a country where Yellow Fever is endemic or there is an outbreak. Travelers over the age of one must provide a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate, if arriving from countries with risk of Yellow Fever transmission such as...

Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Rep., Chad, Congo, Congo (Dem, Rep.) Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda.

This list is complete at time of writing, but please do check whether it’s still up to date before planning your vacation to The Bahamas.

doctor vaccinating male patient

Photo credit: New Africa/Shutterstock.com

This requirement also applies to travelers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission. In this case, you must be vaccinated 10 days before entering The Bahamas.

Start planning your stay in the beautiful Bahamian islands today!

The Bahamas is a great vacation destination for couples looking for the ultimate level of relaxation. With beautiful beaches, tons of activities, and rich culture, you simply cannot go wrong. By visiting one of Sandals all-inclusive resorts in The Bahamas, you have full access to the island’s unbeatable beauty.



Disclaimer: All information on this article was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Sandals is not affiliated with immigration authorities or their application centres and will not be liable for loss or inconvenience arising from the use of this volatile information.



Jamaica vs The Bahamas: Which Island is Best for You?

The Islands
July 11th 2019
Jamaica vs The Bahamas: Which Island is Best for You?

When it comes to Caribbean vacations, Jamaica and the Bahamas have always been able to hold their own. Cumulatively, because of the fact that the Bahamas is made up of 700 different islands, and that Jamaica is a single 4,244 mi² landmass, the two are among the largest territories in the Caribbean region.

While both tropical paradises are worthy of a beach getaway, the Bahamas offers you over 700 tropical islands and therefore this is the place you go on a relaxing boat trip, from one beautiful white sand beach to another. Jamaica has its incredible mountainous landscape, which offers wild river rafting, spectacular waterfalls, hiking tours and zipline adventures. Although the ocean water is slightly warmer in Jamaica compared to the Bahamas, the latter has a slight upper hand when it comes to snorkeling and scuba diving.

Tip: Get PADI® certified at one of Sandals all-inclusive resorts, and dive the rest of your stay for free!

When it comes to food, there is a soul in Jamaican cooking that is unmatched. When in the Bahamas, try out one of the many conch dishes and ‘peas & rice’. In Jamaica, give the jerk chicken and ‘ackee & saltfish’ a try.

beach in the bahamas

Both Jamaica and the Bahamas have a rich history and similar style architecture. In Jamaica you will find Georgian style buildings and in the Bahamas you can marvel at colonial style buildings. Both countries feature colonial fortifications.

While casinos are hard to find in Jamaica, nothing beats listening to a live reggae band while sipping on your Red Stripe beer. If you are looking to play golf on your vacation, check out Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma (the Bahamas) or Sandals Ochi in Ocho Rios (Jamaica).

Both countries are post card worthy and undeniably worth a visit. Still not sure which of the two tropical paradises to pick for your next vacation? Here is an in-depth look at both islands, which we hope will help make your choice that much easier!


In this article on the Sandals Blog:

Activities
Architecture
Landmarks
Landscape & climate

People
Culture
Language
Food
Music

Where to stay?
Getting around
Economy & currency
Safety

Jamaica or the Bahamas?


Activities: Jamaica vs Bahamas

Select your favorite activity from the list below:

Relaxing on the beach
Snorkeling
Scuba diving
Fishing
Tours
Shopping
Entertainment & Nightlife
Casinos


Beaches: Jamaica vs Bahamas

Get in touch with your most laid-back self as you lay on warm Caribbean shores soaking in the sun. Caribbean beaches tend to be more beautiful than most, so be sure you walk with your camera, and plan out your day ahead of time.

Beaches in Jamaica

There are plenty of beaches to choose from in Jamaica, including the world famous Seven Mile beach, Frenchman’s Cove and Doctor’s Cove beach. Most are tourist friendly, with amenities allowing you to stay for longer periods of time and have fun. The sunsets in Negril are simply amazing. Jamaica also has beaches like Tropical Bliss beach in Montego Bay, perfect if you prefer a party beach atmosphere.

Sandals Negril seven mile beach

Picture: Sandals all-inclusive resort in Negril, located on Seven Mile Beach.

Beaches in The Bahamas

While in the Bahamas, Cable Beach, Coco Plum Beach, Pink Sand Beach, and Gold Rock Beach are favorites for both locals and tourists alike, beaches like Lighthouse beach are best for relaxing in a quiet and serene environment. In the Bahamas you will find plenty of beaches of white soft sand and beautiful turquoise waters.

Sandals Royal Bahamian on Cable beach

Picture: Sandals Royal Bahamian, located on Cable Beach.

Check out the beaches we listed in our ‘Top 12 beaches in Nassau’ and ‘Top 40 beaches in the Bahamas’ articles, if you want to learn more about the amazing beaches found in this country.


The verdict on beaches

While Jamaica has some amazing tropical beaches, like those in Montego bay, Ocho Rios and Negril, the Bahamas comes out on top. The beaches in The Bahamas are so plentiful, and so diverse, that you can find a breathtaking white sand beach on dozens, if not hundreds of the 700 islands across the Bahamian archipelago. Ideal for beach-hopping!


Snorkeling: Jamaica vs Bahamas

Loads of people travel to both Jamaica and The Bahamas to see what the beaches have to offer. It’s part of their Caribbean appeal. In Jamaica, there is a range of activities visitors can engage in on some of the most pristine beaches, including Seven Mile Beach and Doctor’s Cove Beach. While in The Bahamas, Pink Sand Beach and Gold Rock beach are favorites for both locals and tourists alike.

Top snorkeling spots in Jamaica

Seven Mile Beach

Doctor's Cave Beach

Treasure Beach

Booby Cay

Sea life you might encounter while snorkeling in Jamaica, include snappers, sergeant majors, barracudas, squirrel fish, flying gurnards, spotted moray eels, stingrays, trumpet fish, jack fish, puffer fish, hard corals, soft corals, scorpion fish, butterfly fish, squid, parrot fish, urchins, sharks, jacks, groupers, turtles, lionfish and more.

Top snorkeling spots in The Bahamas

Cable Beach, especially Sandals private offshore island (Nassau)

Gold Rock Beach (Grand Bahama Island)

Rose Island Beach (Rose Island)

The Goulding Cay Reefs

Sea life you might encounter while snorkeling in The Bahamas, include lobsters, crabs, snappers, eels, stingrays, hard corals, soft corals, squid, angel fish, parrot fish, trumpet fish, trigger fish, goat fish, urchins, squirrel fish, tangs, butterfly fish, sharks, barracudas, jacks, anemones, groupers, flounder, octopi, turtles, jellyfish, lionfish and more.

Snorkeling


The verdict on snorkeling

Snorkeling can be amazing all over the world, but in the Caribbean, you have some of the best, with Jamaica and The Bahamas ranking above most. Though Jamaica may have some amazing beaches and reefs, the snorkeling in the Bahamas, especially in the out islands, is slightly better. Some areas of the Bahamas, where the snorkeling is best, you will see gorgeous reefs plentiful with many different species of fish and marine life. Along with the diversity, the easy access, and number of islands with reefs in The Bahamas, lets these 700 Bahamian islands take the top prize in this category.


Scuba diving: Jamaica vs Bahamas

Diving in Jamaica

Jamaica might not be known as a popular scuba diving destination, but there is plenty to see! Turtles, nurse sharks, dolphins, rays and sea horses are spotted on a regular basis. Most popular diving spots in Jamaica can be found around Montego Bay (great dive sites for beginners!) and Negril. Popular dive spots include the Arch (Montego Bay), the Wreck (an old DC3 plane wreck, Montego Bay), Middle Shoal reef (Negril), Shark’s Reef (Negril), Throne Room (Negril), Surprise Reef (Negril) and Devil’s reef (Ocho Rios).

scuba diving


Diving in The Bahamas

In the Bahamas there are lots of locations to choose from when it comes to diving, as there are many islands offering varied experiences. Some of the top diving sites include Runway Wall (Nassau), the James Bond Wrecks (Nassau), Bahama Mama (Nassau), Current Cut (Eleuthera), Tiger Beach (Grand Bahama), Victory Reef (Bimini) and the Andros Barrier Reef (Andros).

The diving in the Bahamas is spectacular, and ranges from drop-offs and underwater caves to wrecks and shark dives.

scuba diving bahamas


Tip: Stay at Sandals Royal Bahamian, an all-inclusive resort located in Nassau. Scuba diving is included in your stay, including state-of-the-art equipment! Plus, you will have access to a private offshore island to relax in between dives!



The verdict on scuba diving:

Hands down the Bahamas come out on top when it comes to scuba diving, although Negril has some amazing dive sites as well. The Bahamas simply have a bigger variety of things to see. From James Bond wrecks to underwater caves, from colorful coral reefs to shark spotting – scuba diving in the Bahamas is pretty amazing.


Fishing: Jamaica vs Bahamas

Fishing in Jamaica

In Jamaica you’ll find plenty of boating events, like the Montego Bay Yacht Club Easter Regatta in March/April every year. Tour companies like Island Routes offer a wide range of fishing tours, including deep sea fishing. Fish you can expect to catch, include Blue Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo, Mahi-Mahi, Grouper, Mutton and Yellowtail Snapper and Jack Crevalle.

Fishing in The Bahamas

Billfish angling is extremely popular in The Bahamas, with several tournaments being hosted annually. There are also several boating events and regattas which happen throughout the year, the most popular being the Bacardi Billfish Tournament in March and The Bahamas Billfish Championship held between April and June.

Fish you can expect to catch while in the Bahamas are the Blue and White Marlin, Red Snapper, Nassau Grouper, Blackfin and Yellowfin Tuna, Sailfish, Mahi-Mahi, Amberjack and Wahoo.

Want to learn more about fishing in Nassau, the Bahamas? Check out our 'Definitive Guide to fishing in Nassau'.

fishing group on boat


The verdict on fishing

Since Nassau (capital of the Bahamas) is only a 15-minute boat ride from the deep waters, it means that you can get into the deep and plentiful waters in almost no-time. There are many fishing tournaments year around that can take you on some of the most exciting and challenging fishing adventures you can find anywhere. The Bahamas tops Jamaica, when it comes to fishing.


Tours: Jamaica vs Bahamas

Popular tours in Jamaica

Bamboo river raft tours

bamboo river raft

Bamboo river rafting in Jamaica is a popular couples' experience. Explore the “Rafter’s Village” aboard a 30-foot, bamboo raft, which is an experience unlike any other. Sip on your welcome drink and take in the amazing sights as you bob down one of Jamaica’s many rivers.

Waterfall excursions

waterfall in Jamaica

Jamaica has some pretty impressive waterfalls like the Dunn River’s Falls. Grab your water shoes and GoPro for this adventure. You can either go for a wet and adventurous climb up the Falls, or walk beside it, taking in the spectacular beauty. Reach Falls in St Thomas, and Secret Falls in Ocho Rios are two other waterfalls you’re sure to love!

Pelican Bar boat trip

island routes catamaran cruise with guests at floyd's pelican bar

Make an adventure out of it; take a boat out to Pelican Bar which is located just about a mile offshore from Treasure beach. Have a bite, some cold beers or a cocktail, take lots of pictures, and be sure to go for a swim!

ATV safari tour

You can’t go wrong with an ATV on a beautiful and rugged Caribbean island. Explore the sights and sounds of Jamaica on four wheels, in areas like Negril, Sandy Bay, Montego Bay, and Ocho Rios.

Catamaran tour

Oceans are considered magical for a reason, and you’ll see this for yourself while on a scenic catamaran tour in Jamaica. Enjoy great drinks, music, and maybe even the best sunset of your life!

Expert Tip: Try a party cruise with snorkeling, or a romantic private catamaran tour for your honeymoon vacation!


Other fun adventures while in Jamaica include ziplining, horseback riding, hiking and biking, cliff diving, safari tours, and more!

Popular tours in the Bahamas

The Bahamas is all about the beach life. Nowhere in the Caribbean will you have so many beautiful beaches in such close proximity, and at your disposal. You can choose between pink and white sand slices of paradise, and beaches to relax, or beaches where you can interact with nature; think swimming pigs, roaming iguanas, friendly stingrays, and playful dolphins!

Boat / Snorkel tours

Snorkel tour

If you’re in The Bahamas, chances are you’ll venture out on at least one relaxing boat tour to another island. Ferries and water taxis are relatively low cost, so you can take full advantage of this to explore the best the islands have to offer.

Swimming with pigs (Big Major Bay, Exuma)

Pig Island in the Bahamas

The Bahamas leaves Jamaica in the dust with this one. The adorable swimming pigs in Exuma are not to be missed. They will literally swim out to meet you as you arrive to Big Major Cay (Pig Island) by boat, and if you’re travelling with kids, you’ll win some major points for this activity.

Learn more about the swimming pigs.

Lucayan National Park (Grand Bahama)

Lukayan national park

Photo credit: Panicha Sillapawatayanon/Shutterstock.com

Caves, mangroves, and a pretty amazing beach. Gold Rock Beach, located within this park is especially beautiful at low-tide. Some people describe it as magical. Some tours to Lucayan Park included kayaking, hiking, and cave explorations.

Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (Eleuthera)

Nature lovers will appreciate this 25-acre sanctuary managed by The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) and the Leon Levy Foundation. You can learn about the history of Eleuthera, and indulge in a most peaceful space amid the flora and fauna.

The Glass Window Bridge (Eleuthera)

The narrowest point of the island of Eleuthera, The Glass Window Bridge is a sight to behold. It is literally a strip of land between wide bodies of water, one the Atlantic Ocean, and the other, Eleuthera’s beautiful blue waters. You won’t find this in many other places, so take a deep breath, and save the memories for later.

The verdict on tours

Jamaica has the edge on tours when activities are considered. As there are no waterfalls, and a general absence of rivers and mountains in the Bahamas, there are simply more adventurous things you can do in Jamaica. That being said, if you are just looking for a relaxed beach vacation including a boat trip or two – the Bahamas has all you need.


Shopping: Jamaica vs Bahamas

Shopping in Jamaica

Bigger island, wider range of shopping opportunities. While in Jamaica, check out places like The Shoppes at Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Island Village in Ocho Rios, and Time Square Shopping Mall in Negril.

In Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay you’ll find plenty of options for shopping, from art galleries like the National Gallery of Jamaica and The Art Centre, to craft markets like the Kingston craft market, which is often described as “a true representation of Jamaican culture”.

Craft Market Ochi Jamaica

Photo credit: Debbie Ann Powell/Shutterstock.com

Take home with you: Blue Mountain Coffee, Oil Paintings, Jamaican Dolls, Local Rum (Jamaican White Overproof Rum), Jamaican spices.

High-up-in-the-Blue-Mountains-in-Jamaica-2
Did you know: The Blue Mountains in Jamaica are among the highest peaks in the Caribbean! Some visitors fly to Jamaica just to sample coffee grown in the Blue Mountain region.


Shopping in The Bahamas

If you’re looking for souvenir or gift items while in The Bahamas, check out the Nassau Straw Market. Bahamian artisans use sisal, also known as Agave sisalana, as part of their crafting process. It is widely cultivated in The Bahamas, as are palm leaves. Once they are dried, both are used to create intricate items – everything from weaving baskets and fans, to hats and purses. Sometimes you’ll find colorful fabrics incorporated in these designs, which amounts to a pretty neat finish. Among those treasures, you’ll also find things like handmade crafts, shell jewelry, and wood carvings.

Nassau Straw Market Bahamas

Photo credit: dnaveh/Shutterstock.com

The various booths at the Bahama Crafts Centre (Paradise Island) feature locally made items including Junkanoo art, steel drums, and jewelry. The Crafts Centre is located near Marina Village on Paradise Island. Marina Village is also worth scoping for interesting shopping finds.

The Craft Cottage (Nassau) is an art lover’s dream, as you’ll not only be able to purchase cool items like soaps, clothing, and art, but you might even be able to meet some of the creators and artists who frequently stop by this location. While in Nassau, it’s also worth taking time to peruse the art pieces at the Doongalik Studios Art Gallery.

Crystal Court Shops in Paradise Island, Marathon Mall in Nassau, and Port Lucaya Market Place in Freeport are also interesting places to shop.

Take home with you: Jams and jellies, cigars, Junkanoo art, rum, and batik-style clothes.

The verdict on souvenir shopping

While both Jamaica and The Bahamas have lots of places to shop for souvenirs, Jamaica comes out on top. You will find more places for you to buy souvenirs from and the US Dollar goes a longer way.


Entertainment & nightlife: Jamaica vs Bahamas

Nightlife in Jamaica

Jamaicans sure know how to party, and if a party experience is what you seek, you’ll find yourself right at home on these shores. If you choose to venture outside of the resorts, great places to go for a night out include Rick’s Café (Negril), Collette’s Bar (Negril), Floyd’s Pelican Bar (Treasure Beach) and Usain Bolt's Tracks and Records (Kingston and Montego Bay). Montego Bay is your best bet, if you are looking for a night out.

people drinking at Sandals Montego Bay

Picture: Seaside fireplace at Sandals Montego Bay.

Nightlife in the Bahamas

That’s not to say the people from The Bahamas fall behind in that category. Both islands play host to spectacular carnival parades annually, drawing thousands of visitors to their shores. Places to go include The Daiquiri Shack, Tiki Bikini Hut, Senor Frog’s (all in Nassau) and Nippers Beach Bar (Abaco). Nassau is the place to be in the Bahamas for a good night out.

Verdict on nightlife

No clear winner here. In both locations it is your safest bet to stay inside the resort area. All-inclusive resorts often offer unlimited drinks until late and have plenty of live music and other forms of entertainment. Whether you’re in the Bahamas or Jamaica, you’ll find lots to do in and out of your resort!

fire show at Sandals resorts

Picture: Entertainment you can expect at Sandals all-inclusive resorts.



Casinos: Jamaica vs Bahamas

Casinos in Jamaica

Jamaica is not a casino destination, according to the island’s tourism minister, and may never be. It is however a destination where casino gaming is available. There are plenty of gaming lounges that you can check out around Jamaica, including in Montego Bay.

Casinos in The Bahamas

You’ll find casinos in The Bahamas, but you won’t find many locals taking a chance, as local laws prevent nationals from gambling. As a visitor you will be free to indulge. Most casinos in The Bahamas are located within hotels or resorts.

roulette gambling table

Photo credit: Eric Glenn/Shutterstock.com


The verdict on casinos

With Jamaica not having any casinos, The Bahamas gets the default vote. However, there are casinos in Nassau that are world class, so if you have the bravery for putting your money on the table, you can win big here.


Architecture: Jamaica vs Bahamas

Jamaican architecture

Jamaican Georgian architecture

jamaican georgian architecture

Photo credit: Photo Spirit/Shutterstock.com

Jamaica’s architecture is unique and historic. Still today you’ll find places with very distinct Jamaican Georgian Architecture, which combines ancient Georgian elements with more modern and functional aspects that suit the Jamaican landscape. Jamaican Georgian architecture at one point became the go-to as far as construction went, with everything from public buildings, to private homes, dawning elements from this style.

Jamaican Vernacular architecture

The Jamaican Vernacular architecture style, brought to the island by tenant farms and indentured laborers mostly from Scotland, is another still existing feature you may spot in some places while traversing the island. This style is described as ‘more down-to-Earth’, particularly for those who could not afford the Jamaican Georgian design. House with this style can be compared to the bothies of 18th century Scotland.

The mid-1900s and onwards

Changes to local infrastructure in Jamaica happened during this period, as British tradition made way for influences by the Spanish who brought in their own preferences, like larger verandas and balconies. This was adopted by some, but as time wore on, climatic suitability trumped everything else. More modern designs followed, and soon the 20th century led to taller buildings, and more international designs, some of which still contained Georgian detail.

Bahamian architecture

Bahamian clapboard cottages

colorful house in the Bahamas

Photo credit: Lux Blue/Shutterstock.com

Not so popular nowadays in The Bahamas, but you’ll still find a few signature Clapboard Cottages in islands like Harbour Island and Spanish Wells. As a signature, Clapboard Cottages were from the earliest days angled in order to let the trade winds in. Added to this, windows tended to be larger, and ceilings higher, which keep residents cool. Other features included awning-style push-out shutters, shaded windows, and low stilts.

Bahamian colonial houses

Old Parliament house Nassau Bahamas

Photo credit: Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock.com

With traditionally thick walls, shuttered windows, and light paint to reflect the sun, old colonial buildings are now mostly used to house government buildings in the islands of The Bahamas. You’ll find quite a few of these quaint and British inspired buildings throughout the islands.

Modern Bahamian Villas

Susceptible to tropical storms, it is important that all infrastructure in The Bahamas is built to withstand possible strong wind. Carefully considered elements of modern villas in The Bahamas keep this in mind with their tiled roofs and stone walls. The modern Bahamian Villas are as sturdy, as they are beautiful!

The verdict on architecture

This is a bit of a toss-up when it comes to architecture of the two countries, as both have some amazing historical heritages, preserved by both countries.

Both countries have similar styles like the colonial style of the Bahamas and the Georgian style of Jamaica. Both countries have their own colonial fortifications that beg to be explored and both have plantation-styled homes on estates that can be visited.

However, if there was one deciding factor, Jamaica wins being a much larger, individual landmass, and as the population centers are all connected and easily accessible, and there is more to see, in terms of man-made structures.


Landmarks / historical sites: Jamaica vs Bahamas

Landmarks and historical sites in Jamaica

Devon House

Devon House Kingston Jamaica

Photo credit: Mihai-Bogdan Lazar/Shutterstock.com

At this mansion in Kingston attributed to Jamaica’s very first millionaire George Stiebel, you’ll be able to embark on guided tours, or check out the in-house bakery, ice cream parlour, restaurant, or shops. Devon House is also a very popular wedding venue.

Morant Bay Courthouse

Here you’ll find Edna Manley’s statue of National Hero Paul Bogle – a historic monument, fitting for a place so rich in history that is commonly associated with the Morant Bay Rebellion, an important moment in Jamaican history.

National Heroes Park

A botanical garden and one of the most expansive open spaces in Kingston. You’ll find a range of monuments here, and the burial ground of some of the most prominent Jamaican national heroes and leaders.

Rose Hall Great House

Rose Hall Great House Montego Bay Jamaica

Photo credit: Debbie Ann Powell/Shutterstock.com

Tours, golf, weddings, events, and more. All of these are available at this Jamaican Georgian style mansion located in Montego Bay. Rose Hall was built in the 1770s, and first belonged to colonist Fulke Rose, and later in the 1800s, to John Palmer.

Spanish Town Square

There are a number of 18th century buildings in this area which has Spanish origins. It was previously known as Villa de la Vega, and was once the capital of Jamaica.

Landmarks and historical sites in The Bahamas

Old Forts (Nassau)

Fort Charlotte Nassau

Photo credit: Ritu Manoj Jethani/Shutterstock.com

Fort Montague, Fort Charlotte, and Fort Fincastle are all located in New Providence Island in The Bahamas. At all three locations you’ll have opportunities to tour the British-colonial era forts built in the 1700.

Parliament Square (Nassau)

Nassau City Parliament Square Bhamas

Photo credit: Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock.com

Marked by its typical colonial design Parliament Square in downtown Nassau stands out in a charming and mysterious way. Full of history, the buildings here were constructed in 1815. Today, they typically host government meetings.

The Queen’s Staircase (Nassau)

Queens Staircase Nassau Bahamas

Photo credit: dnaveh/Shutterstock.com

A major landmark in the Fort Fincastle Historic Complex in downtown Nassau, the 66 steps here are made of solid limestone. They are named in honor of Queen Victoria (Britain, 1837 to 1901).

Cloisters and Versailles Gardens (Paradise Island)

Versailles Gardens Paradise Island Bahamas

Photo credit: Adrian Acu/Shutterstock.com

The Cloisters Paradise Island is a breath of fresh air. The Cloisters, which was first part of a French Monastery in France, has a history of being disassembled and re-assembled. The structure has found a resting place in The Bahamas’ Paradise Island. At this location you’ll also find the expansive Versailles Gardens, which is particularly lush, and loved by all who visit.

Tip: There’s a great view of Nassau’s Harbor from this location which is also popular for weddings.


Government House (Nassau)

Government House downtown nassau

Photo credit: photravel_ru/Shutterstock.com

Like most islands in the Caribbean, Bahamas’ Government House is the residence of the Governor General (GG) of The Bahamas. The building itself is from the colonial era, and previously was home to the Governor of The Bahamas. The GG’s residence is open for scheduled tours.

Christ Church Cathedral (Nassau)

Christ Church Cathedral Nassau Bahamas

Photo credit: Zoran karapencev/Shutterstock.com

Built in 1670, this church is the oldest in The Bahamas. Known to be the ‘Mother’ of all Anglican churches in the islands, Christ Church Cathedral was notoriously destroyed and rebuilt several times.

The verdict on landmarks

Though Jamaica has an abundance of landmarks that you can and should visit, there is a distinct advantage in The Bahamas, especially if you are looking to see many in a short period of time, like in the nation's capital of Nassau. Many of Jamaica's landmarks can be hours apart to see them apart, while in Nassau you can do a whirl-wind tour of over a dozen just by walking.


Landscape & climate

Both Nassau and Jamaica are considered third world developing countries. A quick comparison finds that Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas, is more developed than most parts of Jamaica. This balances off because most of the out islands in The Bahamas are less developed, and some even untouched. The Bahamas takes pride in sustainable development and pays attention to preservation concepts within the development of infrastructure.

Jamaica mountains

Picture: Mountainous landscape of Jamaica.

Jamaica is one major island, unlike The Bahamas which is a tropical archipelago made up of 700 different islands of varying sizes. It is one of the biggest islands in the Caribbean and features lots of mountains and rainforests; with beautiful beaches that are especially popular for snorkeling and scuba diving for their numerous reefs. Jamaica is nearer to the Equator than The Bahamas, which means the waters here are slightly warmer. Jamaica can be found about 500 miles south of The Bahamas.

Peak season in Jamaica

Peak season in Jamaica is from December to April, much like in The Bahamas. The weather tends to be cooler then, and the island busier than most other times of years as this is a popular time to travel. If you’re planning to travel in peak season, you’ll need to book your trip in advance in both islands. Peak season temperatures in Jamaica range from lows of 70°F to highs of 84°F.

Want to find out more about Jamaica’s weather? Check out our 'Best Time visit Jamaica' article.


Peak season in The Bahamas

Peak season is the most popular time to travel to most destinations, and the same goes for The Bahamas. The islands are the least rainy around this time, with temperatures still moderate as opposed to traveling in the summertime. Another plus is that the peak traveling months, from December to April. The average temperature during the high season ranges from lows of 63°F to highs of 82°F in The Bahamas.

This means your chances for an idyllic and sunny Caribbean vacation are sky high!

For more info, check out our ‘Best time to visit the Bahamas’ article.


The verdict on landscape and climate

It is hard to deny that The Bahamas are gorgeous. The beaches, the crystal-clear waters, its sunsets and even the plants you can see all around the islands.

However, Jamaica comes out on top here. Also, with beautiful waters and beautiful white sand beaches, Jamaica has rich and lush mountain ranges that can't be found in the comparatively flat Bahamian islands. There is something to be said about being able to trek through jungle-like forests to come upon gorgeous rivers and naturally occurring waterfalls.

On top of that, Jamaica's high temperatures are around 5 degrees Fahrenheit higher in the months of December until April, compared to the Bahamas. It all depends on what temperatures you are used to at home, but some travellers prefer Jamaica especially in the months of January and February, for this very reason. In these months high temperatures in Jamaica reach 82 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to 77 in the Bahamas.


People: Jamaicans vs Bahamians

Everything irie in Jamaica

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone in the island of Jamaica, or in the Caribbean for that matter, is Rastafarian, and hangs out on a lush beautiful beach all day.

People in Jamaica

As a very mixed culture, Jamaicans are known as generally hard-working people, much like most of the residents across the islands in the Caribbean.

Some of the major ethnic groups which influenced the diverse races in Jamaica include: the Tainos from South America, the Spanish (in the days of Columbus), Africans, the British, Indians, the Chinese, and people from the Middle East (Libya and Syria).

The Bahamian connection

People from The Bahamas are known as Bahamians, and most are also mixed, due to the colorful histories of the islands, which include back and forth battles for dominion, and the times of slavery.

The Bahamas is 91 percent afro-Caribbean, with about 5 percent of the population being made up of mostly white natives. Two percent of the population identifies as ‘mixed’ while the rest is unspecified.

Verdict on the people

Bahamians tend to be a bit more reserved than Jamaicans, due to differences in culture. Some visitors might interpret this as rude, but as long as you are friendly and give it time, most will become more open. Generally speaking, both Bahamians and Jamaicans are friendly people, and will go out of their way to show you all the reasons you should (and will) fall in love with their beautiful islands!


Culture: Jamaica vs Bahamas

Culture in Jamaica

Jamaicans and their culture are vibrant and dynamic, and this can be seen in everything Jamaican – from the people, to the food, to the entertainment you’ll find.

Jamaica is frequently associated with Reggae and dancehall music, and rightly so. The island is the root of these genres, with artistes like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, and in recent times Sean Paul and Shaggy. Not only is this island home to some of the best of music, but the same goes for sports, with icons like Olympians Usain Bolt, Shelly Ann Fraiser and others.

On a wider scale, aspects of African traditions can be seen in Jamaican culture, in terms of the music produced on this island, as well as in art, dance, and local theatre. Ethnically diverse, the culture is quite mixed in Jamaica, so if you visit the island, expect to be pleasantly surprised!

Culture in The Bahamas

Bahamian culture has noticeable African, British and American elements and influences. With a history rich in piracy to its reformation into privateering, to slavery and its abolishment, the culture in The Bahamas has been shaped in ways that even a storybook would be hard-pressed to match. These elements are infused in its cultural traditions and events, and the way of life of the people. One of the biggest cultural celebrations in The Bahamas is the Caribbean carnival called Junkanoo, a street parade with costumes, music, dance, usually held in the early hours of Boxing Day, or New Year’s Eve.

Junkanoo celebrations Nassau

The festival itself, much like the people of this territory, is lighthearted, fun, and exciting.

The verdict on culture:

If you are looking for a place that is steeped in musical heritage, where the people are hardworking and full of soul, then Jamaica wins here. However, if you are looking to explore lands and seas that where the culture was carved from a more rugged, mystical set of events, where survival was a daily struggle for most, then The Bahamas tip the scales and come out on top.


Language: Patwa vs Bahamian English

Language in Jamaica

Though Jamaicans speak English, for many, even some people from the Caribbean, it may be difficult to understand their dialect, which is also known as Patois (Patwa). Patwa is an English-based creole dialect that most Jamaicans speak naturally, though nearly everyone can revert to proper English before you can bat an eyelid.

People talking in Jamaica


Language in The Bahamas

The Bahamas is predominantly an English-speaking island, though some people are fluent in Haitian-Creole, and Bahamian English which incorporates African influences and island dialect. Some say Jamaicans and Bahamians have similarities of speech, but you’ll have to decide for yourself.

The verdict on language:

The vast majority of both the Jamaicans and Bahamians speak English. If you are visiting any of these Caribbean island getaways, you should have no problem with communication.

Hands down the Jamaican dialect is as the more complex to understand, especially Patwa, which if you do not speak it, it is like a completely different language, but there is a beauty in their accent that is warm, welcoming and invites you to relax and just enjoy the moment.

With the language in The Bahamas there are many unique words spoken in the local dialect that are fun and entertaining, especially when you learn them for the first time. Don't be shy to test it out and ask a local to speak Bahamian with you.


The food: Jamaica vs Bahamas

One thing’s for sure, Caribbean people love delicious food. If you travel to any destination in the Caribbean you’ll notice just how much attention natives pay to ensuring the correct proportions of seasoning are added to meats especially, to ensure the richness of flavors and an almost sensual experience of the palette.

The food in Jamaica

As popular as it is in Jamaica, some people might even believe ackee and saltfish is the only thing Jamaicans eat. This dish is quite flavorful, but it is just one of many delectable delights you can find on this island.

Many Jamaicans credit steamed fish and okra, another culinary favorite, for their athletic prowess and other talents. This dish is healthy and tasty, so it’s a win either way!

Other popular menu items include the world-renowned Jamaican jerk chicken, pork or seafood, curried goat, rundown, rice and beans (made with coconut milk and red beans), and more.

Jamaican jerk chicken with rice

Photo credit: dapperland/Shutterstock.com

Picture: Jamaican rice and peas, fried plantain and jerk chicken.

Callaloo, a savory dish made from boiling down leaf vegetables (amaranth, taro or xanthosomo) in water is a culinary experience that must be had, as is ‘Bammy’ a yummy cassava-based (yucca) flat bread. Scotch bonnet peppers are a secret ingredient in many dishes, adding the spice that brings Jamaican foods to life.

Jamaican Patties are also popular and have made their debut into the international arena. These yellow, flaky pastries are often filled with chicken curry, beef, or vegetables, but you can also find cheese and lobster patties which are amazing, to say the least!

Traditional Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish

Photo credit: Paul_Brighton/Shutterstock.com

Picture: Jamaican acee and saltfish with festival and callaloo.

In Jamaica you’ll also find soursop of all varieties, even soursop juice. Soursop, a white, fleshy fruit rich in health benefits, is the fruit of the Annona muricata, evergreen tree.

Last but not least, the local Red Stripe beer is a celebrity in itself, and one sip is all the introduction you need!

Food in The Bahamas

The Bahamas is famous for its conch dishes, which include but are not limited to Conch Salad, Conch Fritters, Cracked Conch, Conch Chowder, Conch Burgers, and more. Conch is a good source of protein, and other vitamins and minerals. Conch Salad is best enjoyed on a breezy Bahamian beach!

Caribbean people love fried fish and chicken, and Bahamians fall right into that stereotype. Except in this case, the food is so delicious that it isn’t even a bad thing!

Bahamian conch fritters

Photo credit: Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock.com

Picture: Bahamian Conch Fritters.

In The Bahamas you’ll also find their version of Peas & Rice, which can include pigeon peas, ham (or bacon), tomato paste, thyme, salt, pepper and other seasonings. It’s a very different dish from Jamaican Rice and Beans, but also incredibly tasty!

If you’re spending some time in The Bahamas, it is highly recommended that you seek out some Minced Lobster, which is otherworldly, if you can find someone who makes it.

Bahamian peas and rice

Picture: Bahamian peas and rice, fried plantain, coleslaw and steamed chicken.

Other popular dishes include Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Stewed/Baked Chicken, and ‘Switcha.’ The latter is similar to lemonade and is perfect with lots of ice on a hot Bahamian day.

Where beverages are concerned, you’ll also want to try ‘Sky Juice’, a cocktail made with fresh coconut water, gin, and condensed milk. It’ll give you a ‘kick’ that’s purely Caribbean. Also try local Bahamian beer, Kalik, which locals say is supposed to symbolize a cowbell ring! Sands is another popular local brew.

The verdict on food

There is a soul in Jamaican cooking that is unmatched. What they do well they do extremely well, and there is an abundance of chefs in Jamaica that are magicians when it comes to mutton, chicken and pork.


The music: Jamaica vs Bahamas

The music in Jamaica

Reggae, dancehall, and a little bit of Soca are the trending genres of Jamaica, but it’s not all you can expect to listen to while in Jamaica. Jamaicans are quite cultured when it comes to music preferences, and you’ll notice this as you scan through radio stations in your rental, or if you decide to check out the local bars or clubs.

However, Reggae and Dancehall music genres are gigantic in this territory, as this is the land in which they originated. You’ll find loads of studios in Jamaica which are buzzing with artistes, both established and aspiring, as everyone works on getting the next hit. It is common in Jamaica for one producer to create a particular ‘riddim’ or beat, and for a number of artistes to lay their music on that same beat. Of course, only the most popular reach international airwaves.

19-reggae-tribute-band-Nine-Mile-Jamaica

Photo credit: Lost Mountain Studio/Shutterstock.com

On the Reggae scene, Bob Marley, even in his death is King of Reggae music. Some visitors travel to Jamaica just to visit the land of his birth, and his childhood home. While in Jamaica, Reggae buffs can visit the popular Bob Marley Museum where they can enjoy everything Bob Marley. Tour options include the ‘Combo “One Love” Tour’, the ‘Bob Marley Home Tour’ and ‘Bob Marley’s “Making of the Music” Tour’, the latter of which allows participants to tour the legendary Tuff Gong recording studio.

The music in The Bahamas

Music in The Bahamas is lower key than that of Jamaica, as Jamaica comparatively sets the bar higher than most other Caribbean countries are able to go.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect to hear good music, as Soca and Calypso are popular in The Bahamas, especial around carnival which happens in May annually. ‘Rake and scrape’ music is part of Bahamian tradition too, and it is said to have originated from Cat Island. This genre commonly incorporates Concertinas, Goombay drums, and a Handsaw. Rake and Scrape tunes are mostly instrumental, and the rake and scrape effect is achieved by bending a saw, and scarping a small object, like a screwdriver, against the saw.

Boy with trumpet

Varied cultural influences have played a part in what Bahamian music is today. Since the 1950s, however, music in The Bahamas has been influenced significantly by American culture, and by many of the other ethnic groups coming to Bahamian shores.

Artistes from The Bahamas who have reached the heights of international fame include The Baha Men (Who Let the Dogs Out?), Ronnie Butler and Kirkland Bodie.

The verdict on music

When it comes to producing new and original music in their own style Jamaica wins with little doubt. Jamaicans are the pioneers and kings of Reggae, they are unmatched in such genres. The Bahamas, though there are some noteworthy musicians in calypso, rake and scrape and other forms of music, there tends to be a heavy reliance on American influences, when it comes to general music played across the land. Here you will not be surprised when you hear common, even old top-40's style music played in many places you go.


Where to stay: Sandals Jamaica vs Bahamas

Staying in Jamaica

In Jamaica, some of the most popular areas are Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios.

Sandals has two all-inclusive resorts in Montego Bay, including the newly renovated Sandals Montego Bay (the first Sandals!) and Sandals Royal Caribbean (comes with an exotic private island).

You’ll find two all-inclusive resorts in Ocho Rios: Sandals Ochi (comes with tropical gardens and a golf course) and Sandals Royal Plantation (secluded boutique resort, oceanfront butler suites only).

Sandals Negril is located on the beautiful Seven Mile Beach, offering an amazing beach vacation and incredible sunsets. Sandals South Coast features Jamaica’s largest pool, plus all rooms are beachfront with oceanview.

Sandals Montego Bay beach resort

Picture: Sandals Montego Bay in Jamaica.

No matter which of these resort you stay in, you can play at all 6!* That means you will have access to all restaurants, bars, swimming pools and beaches these amazing resorts have on offer.

See all Sandals all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica.

Staying in the Bahamas

Some of the more popular islands in The Bahamas include New Providence Island (Nassau), Paradise Island, Abaco, the Exumas, Eleuthera & Harbor Island.

If you’re staying Sandals Emerald Bay on Exuma, you can expect a beautiful large beach with soft white sand – truly paradise. The food is incredible, and the resort comes with an award-winning Greg Norman's Championship golf course.

Sandals Emerals Bay in Exuma

Picture: Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma, the Bahamas.

If you prefer to stay in Nassau, Sandals Royal Bahamian is a treat and a great resort for scuba diving. On top of that, this resort will give you access to a secluded private offshore island. Don’t forget to visit Kimonos, one of the amazing restaurants Sandals Royal Bahamian has on offer.

Both resorts are all-inclusive beachfront resorts and great for destination weddings and honeymoons!

See all Sandals all-inclusive resorts in the Bahamas.


Getting around

While you won’t find Uber or LYFT in The Bahamas or Jamaica, there are ways to get around without much hassle. You can take a taxi, or a ‘jitney’ in The Bahamas, the latter of which is the local term for a bus. In Jamaica, you can take a street van or taxi to get to your destination. You can also catch a shuttle to and from your hotel or resort of choice via the local airports in both territories. If you book your vacation with resorts like Sandals, your all-inclusive package will come with complementary shuttle transportation both ways.

red plate cabs Sangster International Airport Montego-Bay

Photo credit: Debbie Ann Powell/Shutterstock.com

The best way to get around in Jamaica is by red plate taxis, as they are the only licensed taxies in Jamaica. If you haven’t made arrangements to get to your hotel (airport transfer is included when staying at any Sandals resort), you’ll find taxis just outside airports including Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport (MBJ). Getting buses is a little more challenging in Jamaica, especially when you need them most. In some places you’ll have to wait anywhere from 10 mins, to a half hour or more, so you’re better off either spending on a rental car, or catching a cab.

Bahamas Taxi Cab Union Shuttle Van Nassau

Photo credit: TAH Media/Shutterstock.com

In the Bahamas you can catch a jitney from the country’s main airports, Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) in Nassau and Freeport’s Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) to your destination. Jitneys cost $1-2 (Bahamian or US). Taxis can be found just outside the airport, downtown, or just outside your hotel or resort. You can expect to pay $32 from the airport to downtown Nassau, $22 to Cable Beach and $38 to Paradise Island, plus relevant toll fees.

In both The Bahamas and in Jamaica, be careful to negotiate taxi prices, and ask ahead of time what the flat rate will be for your trip. This helps to avoid being overcharged.


The verdict on getting around

The Bahamas wins in this area as it is generally much easier, as there are more opportunities, as well as public transportation, to help you get around. In Jamaica you will be mostly left to hiring taxis, or traveling by foot to get to where you need to go.


Economy & Currency

Most vendors in both Jamaica and the Bahamas will accept American Dollars (USD). The locals in Jamaica generally pay with Jamaican Dollars (JAM), where in the Bahamas payments are made with Bahamian Dollars (BSD). However, it’s not uncommon for people to pay with a mix of both currencies. The Bahamian Dollar is 1:1 with the American Dollar, which makes it easier to get a grasp of the value of the local currency.

Jamaican money

Photo credit: Janusz Pienkowski/Shutterstock.com

When it comes to purchasing power, you will find the American Dollar goes a long way in Jamaica. When you are going out for dinner and drinks, expect Jamaica to be ~ 20% cheaper than the Bahamas. When shopping for clothes, you’ll find you pay on average twice as much in the Bahamas as in Jamaica. You will find peddlers in both Jamaica, and the Bahamas. A simple “no thank you” will suffice in most cases.

Bahamian dollar

Photo credit: Janusz Pienkowski/Shutterstock.com


The verdict on economy and currency

The economies of both Jamaica and The Bahamas are quite different at a glance, and although the Bahamas is the richest country in the West Indies, and third Wealthiest in the Americas, for your wallet, you will find that Jamaica will give you superior value for your US dollar.

In general, you will find the cost of living in the Bahamas to be quite a bit higher, making things such as food, drinks and shopping more expensive than in Jamaica.

Don’t want to worry about bringing your wallet? Book a all-inclusive vacation and everything is taken care of. See the full list of inclusions at Sandals all-inclusive resorts.




Safety: Jamaica vs Bahamas

Safety in Jamaica

Generally, Jamaica is a safe place to travel to. As with any other trip, you’ll need to stay alert, especially if you are visiting the destination for the first time. Take some time to get your bearings right, and get as much information as you can before heading out to various places. Stick to recommended areas for your own safety. In Jamaica, as in most other countries, it is best not to head into places that are unfamiliar late at night, especially those in urban areas. A bit of common sense and you’ll be on your way to a peaceful vacation.

Safety in The Bahamas

The Bahamas is largely promoted as a tourist island, and quite a few visitors have reported that they feel slightly safer there outside of the resorts (compared to Jamaica). As a result of the island’s intensive touristic thrust, the Bahamian government places priority on ensuring the islands are safe, and you’ll notice this by the police presence which is on most days visible in downtown areas. To stay safe in The Bahamas, and any other vacation destination, do not stray too far into secluded areas.

nassau bahamas police officer

Photo credit: pablopicasso/Shutterstock.com


Verdict on safety

In general, you can say the Bahamas is a slightly safer place to travel to, than Jamaica. However, you can expect to return home safely from both destinations – especially if you are staying at a resort.

All-inclusive resorts are by design sectioned off from public access, with 24-hour strict private security. At Sandals, resort management performs background on potential staff during the hiring process, and the resorts work hard with local law enforcement and government agencies, in conjunction with the likes of local US Embassies, to ensure maximum safety and support for the guests.


So… Jamaica or The Bahamas?

There you have it, the best of both of these beautiful Caribbean islands. We’re happy to provide these details on the things that make the islands as unique as they are. Ultimately, the final decision is up to you. Who knows, you may one day have ticked both islands off your list, but for now, go with the island that best suits your idea of a Caribbean vacation!

Expert tip: Get a better 'feel' for both countries by looking at some of these amazing pictures of Jamaica and the Bahamas that should give a good idea of what to expect. Which paradise speaks most to you?

Fishing in Nassau, The Bahamas: The Definitive Guide

Island Life
June 27th 2019
Fishing in Nassau, The Bahamas: The Definitive Guide

The delightful panic that ensues following the first, “STRIKE!”. The experienced crew member hastily reaches for the rod to set the hook into the catch before handing it over to you. You know you have a good fight ahead.

It’s this inexplicable thrill that keeps fishermen returning for fishing in Nassau, Bahamas. Whether a first-timer or a seasoned angler, you’ll find there’s more to the crystal-clear Bahamian waters than just swimming and diving. Replete with sea life, the surrounding ocean makes for the perfect destination to test and perfect your angling skills.

Here’s the definitive guide to fishing in Nassau, Bahamas: what kinds of fish you might catch, the best time of year to catch your favourite fish, what to bring on board, and where to book a fishing charter.



In this article on the Sandals Blog:

Fishing options in Nassau

Inshore vs. offshore fishing in Nassau
Inshore fishing: What fish to expect
Offshore fishing: What fish to expect
Spearfishing in Nassau

Best time to fish in Nassau (calendar)
Choosing the right charter
What to bring on the boat
Bahamas fishing event calendar 2019


big game fishing marlin hook

Photo credit: Go2dim/Shutterstock.com

Picture: A beautiful White marlin taking the bait.



What types of fishing can I do in Nassau?

Your fishing options are plentiful off the shores of Nassau. Whether it’s bonefishing, spearfishing, deep-sea fishing or reef fishing, anglers cast their lines throughout the year here in the capital city. Whether you’re a local forging your way through the waters on your own boat, or a vacationer seeking expert advice, you’ll be sure to find the type of fishing that suits your needs.

Tip: Stay at Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, and you will be able to book your own fishing adventure from the comfort and luxury of this all-inclusive resort.



Inshore and offshore fishing differences in Nassau

As the names would suggest, the main difference between the two is the depth of the water at the fishing location. Typically, inshore fishing is carried out just a few miles from the shore. Estuaries and bays are also considered attractive inshore fishing spots. Offshore fishing in Nassau is far from the shore, typically 20-30 miles out, in waters hundreds of feet deep.

a large sport fishing boat

Other than the depths of the waters, below are 6 main differentiators between inshore and offshore fishing:

1. Size of the boat

Inshore: Small motorboats, canoes, and kayaks.

Offshore: Large sports fishing boats.

2. Weather conditions

Inshore: Consistent fishing in Nassau year-round, even with significant seasonal changes

Offshore: Seasonality often dictates what type of fish you will catch.

3. Fuel & supplies

Inshore: Shorter distances and durations, smaller boats and fish.

Offshore: Longer distances and durations (often overnight), larger boats & fish (more ice required).

big game fishing reels rods

Photo credit: paul prescott/Shutterstock.com

4. Tackle

Inshore: Light tackle, live and dead bait.

Offshore: Heavy-duty equipment, large heavy bait.

5. Electronic equipment

Inshore: While tracking devices are important with inshore fishing, it is minimal compared to that of offshore fishing.

Offshore: Includes 74-mile open radar (allows for travel and fishing at night), XM Satellite Radio & Weather, Chirp Sonar (technology used specifically for recreational fishing).

Fishermen posing with caught mahi
Picture: Father and son posing with their catch of the mahi mahi and one barracuda.

6. Variety & size of fish

Inshore: Smaller varieties such as yellowtail, kingfish, redfish (drum and sheepshead), snapper, and grouper.

Offshore: Larger fish such as amberjack, Mako sharks, blackfin, yellowfin, wahoo, marlin, cobia, dorado, king mackerel.



Inshore fishing: What fish to expect in Nassau?

Fish you can expect to catch when inshore fishing in Nassau, include bonefish, red snapper and the Nassau grouper.

Bonefishing in Nassau

If you are new to the fishing scene, you’re about to discover that when fishing in Nassau, you will experience some of the fiercest fishing in the archipelago, with Bonefish as the focus inshore. Bonefishing, simply put, is the most famous of all Bahamas fishing, attracting enthusiasts from all over the world.

bonefish tropical water nassau bahamas

Photo credit: Apriadi Kurniwan/Shutterstock.com

Picture: The Silver Ghost, almost invisibe to the naked eye.

Providing the perfect habitat, Bonefish are found all year round in the Bahamas, though they’re near impossible to hook. Known as the Silver Ghost, the Bonefish are almost invisible to the naked eye and flee at the slightest provocation. Hooking the bonefish is only half the job. Unwavering in their pursuit, even the most seasoned anglers will be challenged to bring one in.

bonefish caught

Photo credit: Matt Jeppson/Shutterstock.com

Picture: An illustration of how beautiful and silver the Bonefish is. A fact that makes it so hard to spot in the water.

The southern side of the island is by far the most celebrated for bonefishing. Commonly, inshore fishing is defined as fishing in water that is less than 90 feet which would require the use of a small vessel. During the low tide, however, you’ll find miles of wadable water making it the optimal time to cast your lines.

The summer sees an influx of permit and tarpon. Though not as easy to find, permit and tarpon make for some astounding fishing in Nassau. A good place to target tarpon is in the canals and water channels which head into the island, where the biggest silver kings like to lurk.

tarpon fish dark water

Photo credit: Janos Rautonen/Shutterstock.com

Picture: A school of large tarpon.

Reef or dry-ground fishing in Nassau

A favorite among families, reef or dry-ground fishing is far less wearing than the demands of bonefishing and easier on the pocket than deep-sea fishing. Known as hand line or bottom fishing in the Bahamas, the main requirement is to drop bait down to the seabed, where prowling fish are easily preyed upon. This is the only native form of recreational fishing. Hand line fishing grew from the simple necessity of catching fish for sustenance - all you need is fishing line, a hook, sinker and bait. With a little bit of patience, cast a line off the beach, pier, dock or boat and even the least proficient fisherman is guaranteed to catch fish in the Bahamian waters.

Expert Tip: Use squid as your bait when fishing from the shore. Many of the smaller fish swimming in the reef around the shoreline love squid, and it is both plentiful and affordable from local grocery stores in Nassau.


squid bait fishing

Photo credit: Dolores Harvey/Shutterstock.com



Light tackle fishing in Nassau

Light tackle fishing is a carefully thought-out approach that centers around your own ability as an angler, the species you seek, and the conditions under which you must fish. The angler uses light bait, as well as matching it up in rod, reel and line size accordingly. Don’t be fooled, there is nothing soft about this method of fishing. Some anglers swear by it and use it when the traditional fishing ways aren’t catching anything, they will switch over to this method. The idea is catching more, and bigger fish.

Though teeming with marine life, the two main fish you will encounter right from the shoreline are red snapper and grouper.

Red snapper

fisherman holding red snapper

Photo credit: Fabien Monteil/Shutterstock.com

The red snapper is a bottom-feeding fish typically found around rocks, reefs, and wrecks. Red snappers are recognized by their distinctive pinkish color, white underbelly, red eyes, and their prominent snout which tends to be pointed. Generally weighing less than 10 pounds and are between one and two feet in length, they have been known to reach up to 40 inches long and weighing in at 50 pounds. The largest red snappers can live for up to 20 years.

Due to its popularity as a commercial fish, the population of the red snapper has declined. As a result, you'll be limited to catching two per day. Be sure to consult the guidelines set by the government denoting which times of the year fishing for red snapper is permitted when fishing in Nassau, Bahamas.

The Nassau grouper

large grouper underwater coral reef nassau bahamas

Photo credit: Warren Metcalf/Shutterstock.com

The Nassau grouper represents the most important finfish in the Caribbean and is valued as a major fishery resource. Also known as a bottom-feeding fish, the grouper seeks habitat among reefs, rocks, and ledges.

Easily tempted with live bait, the grouper makes an excellent choice for local and vacationing fishermen. It is for this very reason that fishing of grouper fish is banned during spawning season in efforts to minimize endangerment. Although adult grouper are usually solitary animals, during the full moon of November to March (winter) they migrate over long distances, grouping together in large numbers to breed. A school of breeding fish is called a spawning aggregation. Historically aggregations had tens of thousands of fish, but today these numbers have dwindled significantly.

Interesting fact: All groupers are born female, and some will change to male when they reach breeding age.


There are many types of Bahamian grouper, but the Nassau grouper is easily distinguished. It is recognized by its diagonal markings through the eyes, five olive brown vertical markings (bars) on a light body, Y-shaped marking on the front of the face between the eyes, and the dark saddle-shaped marking on the base of the tail.

When fishing in Nassau, Bahamas you will find groupers that are generally between 1 and 10 pounds maxing out at 50 pounds.


Offshore fishing: What fish to expect in Nassau?

Clear sunny skies, ocean breezes, and turquoise waters: the postcard-perfect destination begets outstanding conditions for game fishing. Home to many species, the warm waters of Nassau house predators such as marlin, tuna, sailfish, barracuda, mahi mahi, wahoo and sharks to name a few.

boat fishing trolling rod reels

Photo credit: lunamarina/Shutterstock.com

Short trips or long excursions, deep-sea fanatics eagerly attempt to beat over 50 world records set here. A day out at sea on a fishing charter off the shores of Nassau is a day of frenzied fun and promises to contend as one of your best fishing trips you will ever have. Below is a detailed breakdown of the different types of game fishing you can do which should set you on your way.

Barracuda

large barracuda hovering crystal water

Photo credit: Eric Carlander/Shutterstock.com

Until you have successfully hooked your first barracuda, you have not yet experienced deep-sea fishing.

Found offshore and inshore, the barracuda can grow up to six feet in length and a foot wide, with a row of razor-sharp teeth that can intimidate even the most seasoned fisherman.

Known as the tiger of the sea, the barracuda prowls the ocean preying on smaller fish including jacks, grunts, groupers, snappers, small tunas, mullets, killifishes, herrings, and anchovies. Though, they are not impartial to bigger prey.

Stealth, surprise and short bursts of speed is what separates this predator from its prey. Always hungry, the barracuda tears through the waters at an average pace of 27 mph which means that there are few fish in the ocean that strike your line with the ferocious force of a feeding barracuda.

Distinguished mostly by its silvery sides and chalky-white belly, this game fish varies in color from dark blue to dark green or even gray on its upper body. In our Bahamian waters, the species typically have a row of darker crossbars on each side.

White and blue Marlins

atlantic white marlin sport fishing

Photo credit: lunamarina/Shutterstock.com

Picture: A White marlin.

Marlins, white or blue, are bountiful across the shimmering blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. As the largest and most powerful fish of the Bahamas, the silvery blue marlin represents the national fish and can be found on the Bahamas coat of arms. Marlins are known for their size with the females growing up to four times as large as the males. While the larger males usually weigh about 350 pounds, a female can reach up to 1,800 pounds.

White marlin and blue marlin fishing have many similarities, particularly in the dramatic show that the fish puts on when caught. Though one of the most popular fish in the Bahamas, catching one, may prove difficult due to their strength and size, but is extremely rewarding. Both the blue and white marlin are spectacular jumpers and persevering fighters. The marlin effortlessly launches itself out of the water displaying its strength as you stand your ground in your vessel. The blue marlin, however, wins the prize for being stronger and more powerful.

Differentiating itself from the white marlin, blue marlin is larger in size but the most recognizable characteristics are its high dorsal fin and it’s long pointed bill. The fish is usually blueish-black to cobalt blue on top with a silverish-white underside.

blue striped marlin underwater

Photo credit: swordfishmike/Shutterstock.com

Picture: A Blue marlin.

The rounded dorsal, pectoral, and anal fins are the notable differentiating characteristics of the white marlin. While swimming they commonly display a technique known as “tailing,” in which only the dorsal lobe of the caudal fin is visible above the surface of the water.

Natural bait and artificial bait can all be used when catching marlins. Dating as far back as the 1930s natural rigged bait like Spanish mackerel and horse ballyhoo have been used and are still popular today. To catch the crown jewel of the Bahamas, the splashing action and bubble trail of an artificial lure is usually a more popular option. The artificial lure should be between 7 and 14 inches and fished at a speed of 7.5 to 9 knots. It can be fished from an outrigger or rod tip.

With a preference for warmer waters and warmer temperatures, the marlins generally stay in the tropical areas of the Atlantic Ocean, particularly in the waters of the Caribbean and Central and South America, as well as the coast of Africa near the equator.

Sailfish

sailfish fish ball underwater

Photo credit: pho-tabi .com/Shutterstock.com

Noted for its incredible fight, the Sailfish is widely known as the world-class fighter. Dubbed one of the fastest fishes in the ocean, ploughing through 100 meters of water in under five seconds, Sailfish angling is some of the most rewarding big game fishing out there.

Like its cousin the marlin and swordfish, it has an elongated bill, and is commonly known as a billfish. These ocean warriors can grow up to eight and nine feet in length and top out at two hundred pounds. This beautiful sailfish gets its name from its large dorsal fin which resembles a sail, and which often stretches the entire length of its back.

Not only does the sailfish offer a world-class fight, but once hooked their sensitive skin changes colors in response to their nervous systems. You will see an incredible range of colors, from browns and grays to shimmering purples, blues, and silver, as this amazing fish dances through the sea and across the waves.

Hoping for an Ernest-Hemingway-style portrait? Sailfish are found around Nassau, in late fall—October and November - and in the spring, April and May.

Mahi Mahi

dolphin fish mahi mahi Coryphaena Hippurusl

Photo credit: Beth Swanson/Shutterstock.com

As easy as a Sunday, Bahamas mahi mahi fishing makes for a lovely day out at sea. Commonly known as dorado or dolphinfish, mahi mahi catches the eye as it shimmers in colors of gold, green, blue, and even red coloring on a sleek body of pure fighting muscle.

The name mahi mahi is Hawaiin for strong. As the name would suggest, the mahi mahi puts up a hard fight. A telling sign that you may be in the presence of a school mahi mahi are the frigate birds swooping into the water diving for food. The fierce predators are drawn to floating wood, fronds, or seaweed where the smaller fish congregate for a feed.

The male, or bull is characterized from its distinctive blunt head or the cow with the more rounded head, either way, mahi mahi typically weigh in between 15 and 30 pounds. Though not the biggest of the game fish, once on your line, mahi-mahi are incredibly fast. When you reel one in with the help of your captain and crew, you'll enjoy its vibrant colors that soon fade once caught. Able to respawn very quickly when in season, mahi mahi are very tasty with a mild flavor.

Wahoo

fisherman holding wahoo

Photo credit: Fabien Monteil/Shutterstock.com

The exalted feeling you get as you shout “WAHOO”, doesn’t even touch the feeling you get when you catch this fish. This game fish is known for its long hard runs at speeds of up to 45 mph. The boat may troll up to 10 knots for this catch. Recognized for its beautiful blue vertical stripes, this species can grow up to eight feet long and weigh over 100 pounds.

While not the easiest fish to catch, Bahamian experts recommend an early morning rise as success is more likely at daybreak. Turning off the engine and allowing the fish to come to you may also help. While feeding in groups, these fish are also prone to travelling with other groups of fish, leaving fishermen pleasantly surprised when they reel in their nets and find that they have caught one.

The Hawaiian word for this fish is “Ono” which means “tasty.” If you do catch the fish don’t miss the opportunity to get your buddies together to give them a taste of your catch of the day. It’s a delicacy not to be missed.

Blackfin tuna

angler fisherman holding blackfin tuna

Photo credit: Piotr Wawrzyniuk/Shutterstock.com

A Bahamian summertime favorite! During the months of June and July, large blackfin are in abundance making them easier to find in open water. Though not the biggest of its species, the average adult measures approximately 40 inches in length and weighs in at about 45-50 pounds.

The Blackfin can be characterized by its distinctive dark back and white body. They usually have yellow-tipped fins and narrow light-yellow bands above their side fins. Blackfins live an average of five years and breed at roughly two years old. Their spawning season is during the summers, therefore among the best times of the year for a delicious red-fleshed steak.

In the Bahamas, Blackfins hunt and feed mainly in the mornings as well as early afternoons. All fishing parties are to abide by local Bahamian fishing laws. Keep in mind that in The Bahamas, only six tuna species per boat can be caught and kept – any extra fish must be caught and released for conservation purposes.

Bluefin tuna

bluefin tuna thunnus thynnus

Photo credit: lunamarina/Shutterstock.com

Sports fishing enthusiasts head to the Bahamas throughout the year in the hope to catch what is recognized as one of the most prized of trophies, the Bluefin tuna. It’s size, strength and rarity are what give it its appeal. Its rarity is due to the Bluefin being over-fished commercially for decades making a catch that much more difficult, but that much sweeter.

The largest of all tuna species, Bluefin tuna can weigh more than 500 pounds and stretch more than six feet in length. As large as they are, this has no bearing on the fish’s natural speed. They have been known to swim more than 40mph. Also contributing to the Bluefin’s elusiveness.

These large predators are the only warm-blooded fish of its species. This means they need to consume large quantities of food if they are to survive the cold ocean waters. Swimming for miles, and sometimes crossing the ocean multiple times increases their nutritional requirements. Anglers can use this to their advantage. Tempting the Bluefin with the right bait is the key to a successful catch.

The Bluefins are celebrated for their tender and flavorful meat. If you haven’t caught one before, you’ll recognize it as sushi, the Japanese delicacy. A single 500-pound fish can be sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Yellowfin tuna

yellowfin tuna thunnus albacares

Photo credit: Al McGlashan/Shutterstock.com

The yellowfin tuna is the most common of the tuna species found in the Bahamas. While not the largest of the tuna family, they certainly put up a fight that rivals any fish in the ocean. While yellowfin tuna can be caught worldwide, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place than the Bahamas.

A great tip to locating tuna is to look out for the birds. If you see birds diving into the water to find food, you know you’ve hit gold. The reason for this is because the tuna push baitfish up to the surface of the water thus inviting the birds to swoop down to feed.

Yellowfin tuna of the Bahamas can range between 10 to over 400 pounds. A long pectoral fin doubled with a tail larger than its body, make for a very strong and fast fish. The bigger the fish the more rewarding the challenge.

Difference between bluefin and yellowfin tuna

While bluefin tuna tend to be bigger than yellowfin tuna, it can be difficult to distinguish between smaller bluefin and yellowfin tuna, especially since their coloring changes slightly after a long fight. Below are a few guidelines to help you quickly identify the difference:

Bluefin tuna: How to recognize?

bluefin tuna swimming in group

Photo credit: Guido Montaldo/Shutterstock.com

  1. The pectoral fins of bluefin tuna do not reach past the beginning of the second dorsal fin.
  2. The silver underside of a bluefin’s body is marked with white dots and uneven lines.
  3. The second dorsal fin is a mix of grey and yellow in color.
  4. The tail fin is dark blue in color.

Yellowfin tuna: How to recognize?

yellowfin tuna fins caught

Photo credit: SOMKKU/Shutterstock.com

  1. The pectoral fin of a yellowfin reaches just beyond the beginning of the second dorsal fin.
  2. The second dorsal fin has yellow coloring.
  3. The tail fin has yellow and grey coloring.

Sharks

Caribbean Reef Shark underwater

Photo credit: Thomas Kotouc/Shutterstock.com

The Bahamas is one of the few countries which still has an many of sharks in its waters. Just 20 miles off the shores of the Nassau you will find Lemon, Hammerhead, Bull, Blacktip, Tiger and Reef sharks. Actively hunting for sharks is currently illegal in The Bahamas. If one is caught, it required to be released.


Spearfishing in Nassau

In contrast to hand line fishing, spearfishing is one of the introduced forms of recreational fishing. The Bahamas offers some of the best fishing in the world, so it’s no surprise that it is also host to world-class spearfishing. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned spear-o there are plenty of opportunities to get some great fish including grouper, hogfish, snapper, lobster, or conch.

man spearfishing a grouper

Photo credit: RWBrooks/Shutterstock.com

Picture: A local diver spearing himself a Nassau grouper.

You might be under the impression that the Bahamians are rather relaxed about the rules of spearfishing. This is not true, in fact the opposite. There is a reason why the Bahamian waters are one of the few seas still teeming with marine life.

Below are a few Bahamian spearfishing laws you will need to take into consideration:

  1. Scuba gear is not allowed under Bahamian law to catch fish. The spear fisher needs to be both physically fit and an accomplished swimmer - AKA free diving (breath hold).

  2. Spearfishing equipment consists of flippers, a mask, a snorkel and a "Hawaiian sling" which is the only legally allowed type of spear - spear guns are not permitted.

  3. Spearfishing is not allowed within one mile of New Providence and/or the south coast of Grand Bahama Island.

permit fish trachinotus falcatus

Photo credit: Ibrahim Shareef/Shutterstock.com

Picture: Permit fish.

  1. Spearfishing is not allowed within 200 yards of the coast of any of the Bahamian Out Islands. This includes: Acklins & Crooked Island, Andros, The Abacos, Bimini, Eleuthera, The Exumas, Inagua, Long Island, Mayaguana, Ragged island, Rum cay, San Salvador or The Berry islands.

  2. National Marine Parks are strictly off limits for any kind of fishing.

The most fruitful spearfishing is done on reefs or around heads of coral, where the fish tend to hide. For an accurate catch the spear fisherman has to know where he should be looking, which will often involve a series of dives as he gets down to look under ledges or into holes.

The rules of lobster spearfishing in The Bahamas

spiny lobster rock lobster panuliirus argus

Photo credit: George P Gross/Shutterstock.com

Picture: A Caribbean Spiny lobster, one of the top exports of the Bahamas.

Lobsters season opens August 1st and runs until March 31st. With hundreds of thousands of crustaceans being harvested each season, The Bahamian Ministry of Fishing has strict laws to ensure sustainability for generations to come. Here are the main ones:

  1. Season: August 1 - March 31.

  2. Bag limit: 6 per person. You may never have more than this limit on your boat, regardless of how many days you’re in The Bahamas.

  3. Size: 3 3⁄8 inches carapace length or six inches tail length. Be careful—the US carapace minimum is 3 inches, so pay attention to how you measure your lobster.

  4. You must possess a valid Bahamas cruising permit anytime you are on board your boat or in water when not on a dock, obtained at a designated port of entry.

  5. Spearing lobster is legal in The Bahamas. You may only us a pole spear or Hawaiian sling.

  6. Scuba gear cannot be used while taking lobster.

  7. Egg-bearing lobsters are protected and are off-limits. The eggs are held beneath the tail, so keep your eyes open and be vigilant.

  8. Any lobsters harvested in The Bahamas during their open season cannot be transported by private vessel into state waters during Florida’s closed season.

  9. Lobsters brought back to Florida must be in whole condition and not tailed (see picture below).

spiny lobster rock lobster panuliirus argus raw tails

Photo credit: Edward Westmacott/Shutterstock.com

  1. When transporting by air to any US destination you should contact the US Fish and Wildlife Service for regulations regarding transport of lobsters, fish and conch.

Expert Tip: Be aware that these rules & regulations are subject to change at any time. Check for any changes with the Bahamas Department of Marine Resources at https://www.bahamas.gov.bs.


If luck is on your side and you nab yourself some jewels of the ocean, ask a local to prepare your fresh catch for you and see what “sea to table” dining is all about.

colorful lobster New Providence Island Nassau Bahamas

Photo credit: bulbspark/Shutterstock.com



When is the best time to go fishing in Nassau?

Below is our easy to use guide detailing what fish are in season in the Bahamas during the year.

Inshore Fishing - The best times for top fish

Nassau Bahamas inshore fishing calendar

Most noteworthy inshore fishing times:

  • Amberjack - Fishing chances are superb March through August.
  • Barracuda - Fishing chances are superb June through August.
  • Grouper - Fishing chances are superb April through September.
  • Kingfish - Fishing chances are favorable June through July.
  • Permit - Fishing chances are superb April through July.
  • Snapper - Fishing chances are superb April through September.
  • Spanish Makeral - Fishing chances are superb March through April.
  • Yellowtail - Fishing chances are superb April through September.


Offshore Fishing - The best times for top fish

Nassau Bahamas offshore fishing calendar


Most noteworthy offshore fishing times:

  • Bluefin Tuna - Fishing changes are favorable in April and June.
  • Barracuda - Fishing chances are superb June through August.
  • Blackfin tuna - Fishing chances are superb June through July.
  • Blue marlin - Fishing chances are superb in June.
  • Bonito - Fishing chances are favorable June through July.
  • Mahi mahi (Dolphin fish) - Fishing chances are superb in April.
  • Kingfish - Fishing chances are favorable June through July.
  • Sailfish - Fishing chances are superb in April.
  • Spanish mackerel - Fishing chances are superb March through April.
  • Wahoo - Fishing chances are superb January through March.
  • White marlin - Fishing chances are superb in May.
  • Yellowfin tuna - Fishing chances are superb May through July.



Choosing the right charter for you

a group fishing on a boat

By far, one of the best water adventures is securing a boat rental for your first fishing experience in Nassau. In the Bahamas, you will arrive to find the most beautiful blue waters perfect for swimming and fishing. Finding the right charter means you’ll be able to focus on your angling skills in safety and in style while taking in the breathtaking surroundings. If you’re lucky, you’ll connect with a wonderful group of boaters who’ll soon become new friends.

1. Location, location, location.

Choose a charter that is near where you are staying. You’ll need to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for a day out at sea, so you don’t want to get up even earlier to travel halfway across the island to board your vessel. There are plenty of charter options on the island of Nassau. You shouldn’t have a problem finding a charter that suits your needs.

mah holding a tubit fish

Picture: An example of the kinds of fish you don't normally want to catch. Queen triggerfish (or turbot), though beautiful, are not the cream of the crop when fishing in Nassau.

2. What type of fishing will you be doing?

As you now know there are a variety of fishing options. Do you want to do an inshore trip? An offshore trip? Or a reef trip? This will determine the type of fishing charter you should choose. Do your due diligence and ask the charter what fishing opportunities they offer. Also, be clear about what type of fishing you want to do. You don’t want to get stuck on a tuna charter, when all you wanted to do was fish bonefish. You may not only want to go fishing. A day out on a boat should be fun. Perhaps you’ll be out with your family or maybe with your buddies looking for a lazy day filled with water activities. Below are a few guidelines to help you make your decision:

  • Do they specialize in big game fishing?
  • Do they only do smaller time deep-sea fishing?
  • Do they offer inshore/light tackle fighting (good for beginners and kids)?
  • Do they offer snorkeling tours?
  • Do they offer sightseeing tours/cruises?
  • Do they offer beaching tours?
  • Do they offer sunset cruises?


3. How big is your group?

group watching woman fishing

The size of your group plays a pretty big role in your decision-making process of what charter to choose. If you’re heading out on your own you could join a shared a charter, or if you’re part of a larger group, you might want to consider a private charter. A standard size charter will cater for up to six people (known as six packs), while party charters can hold up to 60 people. Shared charters can be very affordable, but your chances of a catch may be limited. A private charter is your best bet.

4. Trip duration

You’ll have the choice between half day charters which will get you four hours, a full day which is eight hours and an overnight charter which means you’ll be spending the night on the boat. More time on the water means you’ll have more chance of making a catch.

5. Pick a fish

freshly caught tropical fish lobsters

Photo credit: Alekshandra H. Kossowska/Shutterstock.com

Telling the captain what type of fish you are hoping to catch, and the quantity can help the charter plan accordingly. Will you be looking to catch enough for a meal for two or are hoping to stock up for a rainy day? The captain will also be able to best advise if you’re fishing in Nassau out of season. There’s no use fishing for wahoo in July when the best time is around the earlier part of the year.

You might be a seasoned angler looking to catch a sport fish and have it mounted but are unfamiliar with the Bahamas. Ask the charter company if they can make recommendations, as most will be partnered with companies that provide these services.

Similarly, most companies will scale/fillet/clean/bag the fish for you so you can take it home, or if you intend on taking your days catch to a restaurant to cook it. Most companies will also be happy to make recommendations of where you can take it to be cooked for you.

6. O captain! My captain!

fishing boat cruising Nassau Bahamas

Photo credit: richard pross/Shutterstock.com

Always do your research! A day of fishing in Nassau promises to be one of the best experiences you are yet to experience out at sea. The last thing you want is to be living out your worst nightmare in the middle of the ocean. Read reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor to get other people’s thoughts and opinions on how the captain operates, what the boat is like, what the crew is like, and whether it was a good experience. Below are a few considerations to help you gauge whether you have found the right captain.

  • Make sure the charter captains are licensed boat captains.
  • Make sure the charter captains do this for a living.
  • Check how many years they have been in business.


7. Select your boat

fishing boat cruising over blue water

Photo credit: TOM GADDIS/Shutterstock.com

Be sure about the type of fishing you want to do in Nassau. This will help the captain select the right boat for the trip you’re planning. Some charter boats have restrictions as to how far they can be from shore. Your dream of deep-sea fishing may come to a screeching halt if all the charter only has canoes.

If you are travelling with your family, ask if their charters are family or kid friendly, if you are traveling with kids, as it could be a great opportunity for bonding.

8. Boat amenities

Amenities can so often be overlooked. Four to eight hours on a boat might not be so much fun if you find there isn’t a bathroom on the boat or a fridge to keep your refreshments chilled. Safety is also important. Make sure the boat has proper safety equipment. Double check the boat has a fighting chair. You may not think you need one but a long standoff with a 200 lbs. beast might have severe consequences on your back.

big game fishing amenities rods reels

Photo credit: project1photography/Shutterstock.com

9. Conservation practices

Find a charter that is familiar with the fishing laws. These rules and regulations have been put in place for a reason and it is these reasons you are still able to enjoy beautiful days at sea creating memories to last you a lifetime. You want to be sure your captain knows what’s in season and what isn’t, quantity restrictions, whether you can keep a certain fish or not and what the boundaries of any protected waters may be.

10. Standardly cheaper charters are not always better

two girls holding small fish

The right vessel for you when fishing in Nassau will ultimately come down to your budget. While it’s tempting to go with the lesser expensive option, you might just get what you paid for. If the deal seems too good to be true, do a bit of research and make sure you’re going with a tried and tested charter company and not just any Joe Blogs with a boat.

Before putting any money on the table here are a few questions you could ask to make sure you are getting your bang for your buck:

  • Ask if they give discounts for paying in cash, as some will give you an additional 5% or greater discount if you do.

  • Check to see if they will give you an additional discount if you book direct, as most will.

  • Always check their cancellation policies, as most will have a 72-hour policy where you will be obligated to pay some or all the booking fee, should you choose to cancel late, or do not show up.

  • Check what is included with your charter fee. Most companies will at minimum provide the bait, tackle/equipment, and ice – some will also include bottled water.

  • Check if the company has a no-fish-no-fee policy, where the company guarantees you will catch fish on your charter, else you are charged $0 for the trip.


11. Refreshments

You want to enjoy your day out on the boat with all the refreshments that your need at hand. If you’re on vacation, then you won’t want to worry about packing a picnic basket or a cooler box. When it comes to food, the charters will generally charge extra for anything they have on hand, should you choose to eat or drink it. If you are looking for a company that provides packed/boxed lunches, some charters will do it at a nominal fee. If you require any special drinks or liquor, most companies will be happy to source them for you at an additional fee.

group drinking on fishing boat

Expert Tip: If you are unsure of which charter is best, why not try Sandals preferred charter company, Island Routes. Get the best fishing experience without any hassles.


What should I bring on a fishing boat?

man drives fishing boat open sea

Photo credit: Dmitry Chulov/Shutterstock.com

Unlike a day out on the beach, there are a few essentials you should consider bringing on the boat with you before heading out to sea, especially if it’s a full day excursion. Fortunately, most charter companies in Nassau will provide you with most of the fishing gear you need, but it’s always best to check when booking your excursion. Below are a few tips when planning for your fishing trip:

  1. Sunscreen.
  2. Sunglasses.
  3. Hat.
  4. Bottled water and snacks.
  5. Camera to capture your “Ernest Hemingway” moment.
  6. Anti-nausea medication (if needed).
  7. Light sweater or jacket.
  8. Towel.
  9. Flat, non-slip shoes. Preferably not flip-flops or sandals.

Expert Tip: Your safety is very important. Please ask your crew for full safety directions for the charter.


Bahamas sport fishing events calendar 2019

Angling enthusiasts descend on the Bahamas throughout the year to pit themselves against some of the biggest predators of the sea. With such variety, it is very easy to understand the lure to world-class competitors.

dolphin fish mahi mahi jumping out of water

Photo credit: Jason Richeux/Shutterstock.com

Fishing events in February

  • 14th Annual Wahoo Championship

    Start: 3 February 8:00 am
    End: 6 February 5:00 pm
    Location: Hawk’s Nest Resort & Marina, Cat Island.


    The wahoo is an outstanding gamefish, reputedly the fastest game fish in the ocean. It requires a lot of skill and knowledge to boat this fish successfully. The Bahamas is known worldwide as a prime location for the pursuit of wahoo.

Fishing events in April

  • Bahamas Billfish Championship Series

    This is held annually during the spring and early summer at five different locations. Anglers are welcome to take part in all or as many legs as they wish. The first two legs are held in April and Bimini and Walker’s Cay. In May, the tournament moves to Treasure Cay and Boat Harbor. It ends at Chub Cay in June.

black marlin off the hook

Photo credit: evenii mitroshin/Shutterstock.com

  • Abaco Anglers Fishing Tournament

    Annually throughout April
    Location: Elbow Cay, Abaco.

This Deep Sea and Bottom fishing tournament has been part of the landscape for more than thirty years. It is family oriented, catering to local fishing enthusiasts and visitors wishing to visit the Abacos and participate. All levels of fishing abilities, including children are encouraged.

  • Skip’s Tournaments Custom Shootout

    Start: 30 April 30
    End: 4 May

This charity event is limited to just 60 custom inboard teams - 32’ or larger - chosen by invitation only to represent the custom boat manufactures in an all-release format. Charities include; Breast Cancer Research Foundation, IGFA, Joe DiMaggio’s Children’s Hospital and many other organizations in need.

Fishing events in May

  • Skip’s Tournaments Custom Shootout

    Start: 15 May
    End: 18 May
    Location: Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbor Marina.

Just 50 teams represent the U.S. custom boat manufacturers in this all charity event. Accept a coveted Custom Shootout invitation. You will compete among the most elite fleet of sport boats assembled in one location. Leg Two, Abaco Diamond Series.

leaping marlin sport fishing

Photo credit: kelldallfall/Shutterstock.com

  • Abaco Beach Blue Marlin Tournament

    Start: 29 May
    End: 1 June
    Location: Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbor Marina.

Final leg of the Abaco Diamond Series.


  • Sea Spray Resort Fishing Tournament, Elbow Cay, The Abacos

    Annually throughout the year.

Deep Sea Fishing has a home in White Sound, Elbow Cay. This event caters to fishing enthusiasts wishing to visit the Abacos and enjoy the hunt of the blue marlin and Tuna. It is also a promotional event for the resort and the Abacos.

Fishing events in June

  • The Bahamas Rotary Tuna Classic Annual Tournament

    Annually throughout June

The Bahamas Rotary Tuna Classic, Annual Tournament features prizes and a grand trophy for the largest tuna.

yellowfin tuna underwater hooked

Photo credit: Al McGlashan/Shutterstock.com

Fishing events in August

  • Bimini Native Fishing Tournament

    Start: 5 August
    End: 10 August

One of the oldest fishing tournaments in existence, this is a major visitor attraction during the month of August. The day is widely celebrated through the Bahamas as August Monday. Each sign-up is offered a package of six cocktail parties, a beach party, dinner Junkanoo parade as well as an exciting Awards Presentation.

Fishing events in November

  • The Wahoo Smackdown

  • Bimini Big Game Club Tournaments

  • 2019 Old Bahama Bay Wahoo Charity Cup

    November
    Location: Old Bahama Bay Resort & Marina
    West End, Grand Bahama

This tournament is not-for-profit. All proceeds going to Leukemia & Lymphoma NI. 100% of all cash donations, 20% of boat entry fees, and all proceeds from the raffle and silent auction go straight to charity.


  • Bimini Wahoo Mayhem Tournament

    November
    Location: Bimini

a boat langside resort dock

Now you know, it's time to go fishing in Nassau!

If you are looking for the adventure of a lifetime, fishing in Nassau might very well be it. Welcoming first-timers and seasoned anglers, the Bahamas makes for the perfect setting for a day out at sea with family and friends. With this definitive guide, you have all the information you need to get out there and catch your first wahoo, mahi mahi, tuna, or even join a tournament to catch your own trophy marlin! You never know, you might be shouting “STRIKE”, sooner than you think.

The 12 Best Beaches in Nassau, the Bahamas.

Island Life
June 27th 2019
The 12 Best Beaches in Nassau, the Bahamas.

Beaches in Nassau, Bahamas leave none of your desires unsatisfied. Even in the more densely populated capitol, located on the island of New Providence, Nassau’s beaches almost guarantee you will find a stretch of golden sand that will make your top ten list of best beaches in the world. Their clean white sand and crisp turquoise waters are just that beautiful. To make your next trip to the Bahamas even more enjoyable, we’ve taken the liberty to sum up the top 12 beaches in Nassau!

1. Cable Beach

cable beach nassau

Picture: Luxury resort Sandals Royal Bahamian on Cable Beach.

You won’t be able to get enough of Cable Beach once you set foot on its pristine shores. There’s plenty of room to walk around and explore, and you’ll be mesmerized by the blue waters, and striking white sands. These gorgeous features are obvious even as you’re making your way to the beachfront. You will find Jet Ski rentals if you’re looking for some adventure. Cable beach is beautiful, peaceful, fun and a great choice for beach goers of all ages.

How to get here: You can find Cable beach about 6 miles west of downtown Nassau. It is on the north shore of New Providence. The number 10 bus will take you there for a fare of about US$1.50 from George Street in downtown Nassau. You can also catch a taxi fairly easily to Cable Beach. Try to negotiate the fare with your driver in advance.

Insider Tip: Sandals Royal Bahamian is located right on Cable Beach. This all-inclusive resort also has its own private offshore island and you can easily travel from this resort to most beaches mentioned in the article across Nassau – if you want to.



2. Love Beach

love beach nassau

Love Beach is a dream you won’t want to wake up from, and you won’t have to – at least not for the duration of your vacation! Among the most interesting features on this beach are its natural rock pools, hammocks and cabanas. Love Beach is quiet, calm, perfect for a romantic stroll, and even good for family beach days. It is one of the most popular beaches for locals living in the west of New Providence. Love Beach is also a great spot for snorkeling with a 40-acre protected coral reef about one mile offshore. Early morning snorkeling tends to be better, with greater visibility, but you’re bound to see something exciting once you go. The Nirvana Beach bar is always a vibe and a great place to get a cold cocktail. This beach is located quite near the airport, so you can expect to have the best view of low flying air crafts of all sorts and sizes, which can be exciting to watch!

How to get there: If you taking a public bus to this location, take the 12a or 12b bus (jitney), then ask the driver to take you as close as possible to the beach without going off his route. You can also take a cab, which is a little more expensive, but more convenient.


3. Jaws Beach

jaws beach nassau

Unlike the movie that left the most jittery of us scared to set foot into open water, Jaws beach in the Bahamas will lure you in without hesitation. Jaws Beach is a top-rated Nassau beach, and will have you snapping photos and capturing moments like there is no tomorrow. This is even more likely considering the beach was once used as a filming location for the final installment of the “Jaws” movie. Some people visit this beach just for its cinematic value, but most visit based on reviews, which promote Jaws as a off the beaten track beach, loved by locals. Jaws beach is located within the Clifton Heritage Park.

How to get there: You can take the 12B jitney to get to this beach, but make a point of letting the driver know your destination beforehand as the buses don’t always pass near the beach. You will need to make arrangements with the driver to pick you up afterward, as buses to and from this area are not always reliable.


4. Cabbage Beach

Cabbage beach Paradise Island Nassau Bahamas

Photo credit: Giongi63/Shutterstock.com

Cabbage beach is one of the top picks for lounging on the sand with a sea view while in the Bahamas. It is often described as one of the best beaches in Nassau and lives up to the hype. As this beach is tourist friendly, you will find various water excursions on this beach, including parasailing and water skiing. Near this Nassau beach you’ll find various resorts, bars, restaurants, and shops, but that is of course, if you’re willing to tear yourself away from the tantalizing turquoise, blues and greens of the ocean. While you’re at the expansive Cabbage Beach, you may want to join the plethora of jet ski lovers racing around, or find somewhere quiet to take in the beachside views. Cabbage beach can get busy and you might get hustled by beach vendors now and then, but it’s large enough to find a quiet spot as well!

How to get there: To get there, you will first need to make your way over to Paradise Island. To do this you will need to cross over the Paradise island bridge (either by car or by foot). Once there you can go via Casino Drive, Paradise Island. From New Providence it is a good idea to take a cab, or rent a car for the day. Keep in mind the toll across the bridge to Paradise Island cost $2, if you are driving.


5. Paradise Beach

As the name suggests, this Nassau beach is pure paradise – tropical paradise, in its finest form. Here you’ll find a sprawling coastline, which means you can choose your spot on the beach depending on how you’d like to spend your day. Opt to be surrounded by the crowd, or in a more private area with friends, or the love of your life. There are water sports available so you won’t get bored, and you’ll also find coconut water for sale, and plenty of things to snack on.

How to get there: Paradise beach is located on the north-western coast of Paradise Island. It is to the west of Cabbage beach. The beach access point is located near the stretch of hotels on the northern coast of the island.


6. Arawak Beach

While you’re unlikely to find any Arawak Indians here (or just maybe you might), you are sure to find the relaxation you’re seeking out of a Caribbean beach vacation. At this Nassau beach you’ll get the best of both worlds, as with many of the beaches in the Bahamas – you can find a peaceful spot if you so desire, or somewhere where you’re able to take in the social scene. The shallow waters here are an attraction for families with children and people who want to have an easy snorkeling experience in pristine and clear waters. The downside to this beach is that there are no rest rooms, so you’ll need to plan accordingly.

How to get there: Arawak beach is located about three miles from downtown Nassau, and it is recommended that you take a taxi to get there. If you plan on travelling in a private car (rental), keep in mind the $2 toll fee.


7. Caves Beach

caves beach nassau

Some people go to the beach for the excitement, and others just to find the sort of serenity you can only find near an ocean. Caves beach is perfect for the latter, as it is one of the more secluded beaches in the Bahamas. There are many limestone caves that can be seen along the edges of this beach, and that is where the beach got its name. As history tells it, the caves once provided shelter for native Indians, but they do come in handy as a shelter in rainy weather. Caves beach is perfect for relaxing and exploring, and from time to time, you can find a local tour guide on site who’ll be more than happy to take you around.

How to get there: Caves beach is located to the west of Cable beach. It is near the main road, and will be easy to find if you stick to the coast. There is free parking here for those who opt to take out a rental for their beach day, though you’ll have no trouble getting a taxi to this location. Caves is a 15-20 minute drive from downtown Nassau.


8. Saunders Beach

saunders beach nassau

Beach beauty at its finest, with crystal clear waters to boot. That is the magic of Saunders Beach; this stunning location comes complete with trees for shade and manmade rock coves, which are roped off for safe swimming. Saunders is most crowded on weekends or public holidays, but even then you won’t feel cramped, and there’ll still be plenty of space for fun in the sun, and privacy. You can catch an awesome view of cruise ships docking from this location. There’s a playground with swings and slides nearby, and restrooms, which puts it high up on the list of family friendly beaches. There are some food shacks as well, so you’ll have options for snacks and drinks.

How to get there: Saunders Beach is located east of the resort area of Cable Beach and can be accessed via the Number 10 or Number 12 buses to the port terminal. Buses operate on a schedule, which means you can expect to catch one every 15-20 minutes.


9. Junkanoo Beach

junkanoo beach nassau

Locals call this Nassau beach ‘Spring Break Beach’, and you can well imagine why. Throughout the year you can find ‘Spring-break’ inspired events happening here, especially in December to early January, when the Bahamas hosts its popular Junkanoo celebration. Junkanoo beach is located within walking distance from the cruise terminal, and in an area with several restaurants and bars; you’ll have no issues as far as sourcing food and drinks. This is the perfect beach for those who like convenience and fun. From the up close and personal view of the cruise ships, to the blaring music some of the beach bars play to attract a crowd, there’s no shortage of excitement on these shores. Junkanoo beach isn’t the most serene in the Bahamas, but it is perfect for a good time!

How to get there: Junkanoo beach is located near to downtown, and close to the cruise ship port (10-15 minutes), so you can take a brisk walk there, or a cab if you choose. If walking, head west along Woods Rogers walk or Bay Street. Keep along the coast, and you won’t miss it. There are also signs to point you in the right direction.


10. Adelaide Beach

adelaide beach nassau

A bit off-the-radar, Adelaide beach is a hidden treasure of the best variety. Both locals and tourists love this Nassau beach, though on a typical day you can expect to have the beach mostly to yourself. This beach has a similar feel to some of the out-island beaches, but in much closer proximity to the more populated parts of the Bahamas. Once you get there, you might find some locals playing dominoes or listening to music. People from the Bahamas are super friendly, so don’t be surprised if you’re offered a taste of the famous local Kalik beer!

How to get there: Adelaide is located south of Old Fort Bay, on the south western coast of the island. Your best bet to get there is renting a taxi to this location, or hiring a vehicle. A taxi may get you there quicker, if you’re not up for the exploration.


11. Coral Harbor

coral harbor beach nassau

From hammocks swaying in the wind, to upbeat horse-riding tours, Coral Harbor has a different feel as compared to some of the other beaches on New Providence Island. For one, it’s a little more secluded. It’s also one of the only Nassau beaches where you can partake in a fun horse-riding tour, right on the beach front. Coral Harbor beach is spacious, and relatively undiscovered, so you won’t have to worry about it being overcrowded. Just pick a spot, spend some time cooling off in the sea breeze on the beachside hammock, and plan to make some time for horse-back riding later!

How to get there: Take a taxi, or drive (rental) to the south western coast of the island. You will find Coral Harbor beach at the end of Coral Harbor Road.


12. Montagu Beach

montagu beach nassau

Montagu Beach is popular for picnics, and generally cooling off in the refreshing oceanside breezes. It’s a smaller beach and often busy, but not as busy as Cable, Junkanoo, or Cabbage beaches. Montagu scores added points for the fact that it is well maintained, and located near the historic Fort Montagu, Nassau’s oldest fort. Montagu requires a little caution when swimming out beyond the designated areas, as there is a lot of boat traffic between Paradise Island and Nassau, where it is located. Still, it is known and loved by both locals and tourists, and a beautiful sight to behold.

How to get there: Montagu is located to the east of the Paradise Island Bridge, off East Bay Street. Stay close to the coast, and you’ll find it easily. Most taxis on island will be able to take you to and from this location. Make plans with your taxi driver in advance for pick up once you’re done.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What island is Nassau on?

Nassau is one of the most popular destinations in the Bahamas, and can be found on New Providence, one of the largest islands. Measuring just about 21-mile-long, New Providence is the 11th largest island in the Bahamas.

What is the best beach to go to in Nassau, the Bahamas?

The Bahamas is known for its post-card worthy beaches, and some of the most talked about and visited include: Cabbage Beach and Cable beach; both in Nassau. Cable Beach is a favorite for many people as it is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, parasailing, or taking in romantic sunsets!

Planning on snorkeling while in the Bahamas? Check out our snorkeling tips for beginners!

How many beaches are in the Bahamas?

four people on cable beach

Believe it or not, there are over 2,000 beaches in the in the Bahamas, which is a tropical archipelago made up of 700 islands, and even more cays and islets. If you’re planning on a beach hopping excursion, look no further than these Caribbean islands. You can find every kind of beach imaginable in the Bahamas, from the ultra-secluded, to the party zones, with white sand, pink sand, and everything in between!

How do you get around in Nassau?

There are many ways to get around Nassau. You can choose to take the public bus, also known as a jitney on local shores, a taxi, or a rental to get around. There’s no Uber or Lyft, and the alternative local taxi apps are often unreliable.

It takes about 30 minutes to get to downtown Nassau, from the area across the bridge. In the downtown area, you’ll have no issue finding a way to get around. You may even opt for the opulence of a luxury town car or SUV to get to your hotel, or explore around town. Downtown you’ll find the cruise ship port, and many places to shop!

What is the best time of year to go to the Bahamas?

The Bahamas is great all year round, but the best time to visit the Bahamas is from mid-December to mid-April, which is considered to be peak season in this territory. Despite the various travel seasons, you’ll find consistent temperatures year-round, which hardly ever dip below 60 degrees.

Where do cruise ships port in Nassau, the Bahamas?

Most cruise ships in Nassau dock at the cruise terminal in Nassau, on the Prince George Wharf. This terminal can be found on island’s northern coast, on walking distance from downtown Nassau and Junkanoo Beach.

Is it safe in the Bahamas?

Yes. The Bahamas is considered a safe place to vacation, but you should still be vigilant to protect your safety, as you would in any foreign territory. The Bahamian government has especially increased security in the downtown area, which means there is an increased police presence (both day and night). It’s wise to avoid back roads and alleys especially when in rural areas and stick to familiar places. Stay alert, and stay safe. If you don’t plan on leaving your resort, you need not worry about any of this, but if you do run into any problems, there is a US Embassy located in downtown Nassau, where you can seek assistance. The US Embassy also deals with issues including misplaced passports.


Nassau has it all!

Sandals Royal Bahamian on Cable beach

Maybe you were planning a beach vacation in the Bahamas, but weren’t quite sure where to go to find the best of Nassau’s beaches. All things considered, Nassau is home to some of the best beaches in the Bahamas; most located within close enough proximity to the main downtown area. During the summer months waters on the beaches in the Bahamas are especially warm, but things don’t change much through the year, as the temperatures in the Bahamas are pretty consistent, which means you’re good to go for your beach vacation at whatever time you choose. Resorts like Sandals Royal Bahamian offer great all-inclusive vacation packages in the Bahamas year-round!

Happy beach vacationing!

Caribbean Paradise: 40+ Best Beaches In The Bahamas

Island Life
June 21st 2019
Caribbean Paradise: 40+ Best Beaches In The Bahamas
Photo credit header image: Claudio Soldi/Shutterstock.com


The land of beautiful beaches, a visitor to the Bahamas will be presented with many choices. From pink shorelines and palm trees, to silky white sands and turquoise waters, the variety is exquisite. There are over 700 islands in the Bahamas, so if you’re spending a week or less on one of these islands, you’re going to want to immediately know which beaches are king.

Consider this your exclusive guide to the best beaches in the Bahamas.

Unlimited cocktails? Book one of Sandals all-inclusive resorts in the Bahamas.


In this article on the Sandals Blog:

Four shortlists
Popular Bahamian beaches with animals

The best beaches in... Nassau, Exuma, Abaco, Andros, Grand Bahama, Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Long Island, San Salvador, Cat Island, Berry Islands, Bimini, Rum Cay, Mayaguana and Inagua.

Beachside rules
Protect your belongings
Beach safety tips for the Bahamas
When to go?



Four shortlists

Since the Bahamas is home to over 2,000 beaches, we compiled four short lists of the best beaches in the Bahamas - each ranking beaches in a different category. The most beautiful beaches in the Bahamas are sometimes harder to come by, and might not always be a great place to snorkel. Expect beaches that are popular amongst U.S. visitors to be saver, easier to reach, but also more crowded.

Sandals Royal Bahamian on Cable Beach

Picture: Luxury resort Sandals Royal Bahamian on Cable beach, the Bahamas.

Bringing the kids? Make sure the water is calm and the sand is free of rocks. Also check out if there are restaurants and rest rooms nearby. These family-friendly beaches might not be the best if you are looking for peace and quiet though.

You decide which shortlist fits your preferences best!



Most beautiful beaches in the Bahamas:

  1. Coco Plum Beach (Exuma)
  2. Lighthouse Beach (Eleuthera)
  3. Pink Sands Beach (Harbour Island)


Popular beaches amongst U.S. visitors:

  1. Cable Beach (Nassau)
  2. Junkanoo Beach (Nassau)
  3. Cabbage Beach (Paradise Island)


Best beaches for snorkeling:

  1. Gold Rock Beach (Grand Bahama Island*)
  2. Rose Island Beach (Rose Island)
  3. Mermaid Beach (Abaco*)


Best beaches for families with kids:

  1. Blue Lagoon Island
  2. Treasure Cay beach (Abaco*)
  3. Pink Sands Beach (Harbour Island)


Popular Bahamian beaches with animals


Swim with the pigs: Big Major Cay (Pig Island)

swimming pigs of big major cay

The famous swimming pigs of the Bahamas are ready for your visit. Eager to find out what food you are bring with you, they will swim out to you as soon as the boat arrives. The ‘beach babes’ are friendly, a sight to behold and ready for a unique photo opportunity.

Chill with iguanas: Bitter Guana Cay

iguana beach bahamas

You’ve likely never witnessed a community of iguanas quite like the ones that can be found on this island. Described as somewhat domesticated, if you take a boat to this island, the iguanas will greet you by walking right up to you just as soon as you set foot onshore. They are friendly, fun, and photogenic!

Swim/walk with nurse sharks: Exumas

nurse shark feeding bahamas

Swimming with sharks might sound terrifying to some, but when we’re talking about nurse sharks, this is a risk-free experience. One you’re able to get over your fear, you’ll find yourself swimming with nurse sharks, which are for the most part, harmless. Many divers and snorkelers visit the Bahamas just for this experience.

Ride horses on the beach: Paradise Island

Horseback riding on pristine Caribbean beaches is a dream that can be brought to life in the Bahamas. One of the best horseback riding expeditions in the Bahamas can be found in Paradise Island, which is located near the island of New Providence in the Bahamas.

Swim with dolphins: Blue Lagoon Island

Best beach for families with kids.

The best swimming with dolphin’s tour in the Bahamas starts from the Nassau Harbour to Blue Lagoon Island. There you will be able to get up close and personal with friendly dolphins that will (if you’re lucky) perform neat tricks for you and treat you like one of their own! The dolphin swimming program takes about one hour including orientation.


The best beaches in Nassau / Paradise Island / Rose Island

Cable Beach (Nassau)

Most popular beach amongst U.S. visitors.

Cable beach in Nassau

Cable beach is the most popular beach in Nassau, and for good reason! On these beautiful sandy shores you can take advantage of fantastic views, and calm, clear blue seas with water sport adventures in abundance. If you would love to rent a jet ski for a daily dose of adrenaline, this is the place to be. Moreover, it’s a great beach to sip on a cocktail and just enjoy life. Cable beach is quite expansive, so you may need to do some exploring before settling down for the day.

Insider Tip: If you’re looking for an all-inclusive resort right on Cable Beach, all-inclusive resort Sandals Royal Bahamian might be the best way to go. Plus, this resort will give you access to a private island just off the shores of Cable Beach.



Rose Island Beach (Rose Island)

rose island sandy toes bahamas

Explore this small Bahamian island by boat (about 30 minutes from Paradise Island) and add some excitement to your vacation. Once you get to Rose Island, you’ll find great snorkeling on one side, and swimming pigs on the other! There’s also a beach bar, and plenty of lounge chairs to relax.

Love Beach (Nassau)

love beach nassau

In Nassau you can choose whether to take a bus (jitney) or a taxi to get around. Jitneys, the local term for buses, are cheaper to get around, and usually drivers are very helpful about giving directions, and dropping you close enough to where you’d like to go. Lots of people take the local jitney to get to Love Beach, but a regular cab will also take you there. Love Beach features beautiful turquoise waters and white sand shores. Low-hanging airplanes fly over this beach regularly and it’s quite a sight to behold! Don’t forget to visit the Nirvana beach bar for a cocktail or two. Love Beach is convenient, beautiful, and a favorite amongst locals.

Also read: The 12 best beaches in Nassau - for more beaches in this popular vacation spot.


Jaws Beach (Nassau)

jaws beach nassau

Is this sand or baby powder? You’ll find yourself contemplating this once you set foot on this spectacular beach. That and why on earth such a slice of paradise is named after one of the most terrifying movies of all time! Have no fear; you’re unlikely to see any sharks here. The beach is named as a tribute to ‘Jaws Revenge’, which was shot at this location. Take lots of photos, as Jaws Beach is probably the most picturesque beach in Nassau. It’s not every day you get to bask in the sunshine at a world-famous movie set! Jaws beach is more off the beaten track for its remote location and that is the exact reason why it’s loved by locals.

Cabbage Beach (Paradise Island)

Cabbage beach Paradise Island Nassau Bahamas

Photo credit: Giongi63/Shutterstock.com

Cabbage Beach is the most visited beach on Paradise Island and offers a long stretch of sandy shores on the North coast. This place is prime location for well-known resorts and restaurants and can get crowded at some parts. However, the beach is long enough to find a quite spot as well. Cabbage Beach is beautiful and the views on the turquoise waters are amazing. The water can get rough at times, so keep an eye out for the flags that’ll tell you whether it’s safe to swim. This beach is also a great place to race around with a jet ski!

Junkanoo Beach (Nassau)

junkanoo beach nassau

Famous for its Junkanoo celebrations which happen between December and January (annually), it’s quite appropriate that there would be a beach with the same name in the Bahamas. This beach offers plenty of beach bars and restaurants, often playing loud music. Junkanoo Beach is quite a vibe, great for people-watching and has a beautiful view on the cruise ships docking in the port. Since Junkanoo is on walking distance from the cruise port, it can get a bit crowded during peak season.


The best beaches in Exuma, the Bahamas.

Coco Plum Beach

Most beautiful beach in the Bahamas.

Coco Plum beach Great Exuma Bahamas

Photo credit: Giongi63/Shutterstock.com

If finding a nice beach with fun water swings is something you’ve dreamt about your entire life, then Coco Plum Beach in the Bahamas is very likely what you seek. This beach is not only one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, but it is a popular site for kite surfing, wind surfing, and snorkeling. When the tide goes out on this beach, you can walk out almost half a mile on the sand, in water that’s about ankle deep. Many visitors use this opportunity to collect sand dollars, which are in abundance on this beach. If you’re traveling as a family, Coco Plum beach is ideal.

Insider Tip: Sandals Emerald Bay, an award-winning all-inclusive resort in Exuma, is located on a 10-minute drive from Coco Plum beach and is located on a gorgeous stretch of white sand beach. Visitors can also book a tour to the swimming pigs from this resort.

Sandals Emerald Bay
Picture: Sandals Emerald Bay, award-winning all-inclusive resort in Exuma - includes a Greg Norman designed championship golf course!


Tropic of Cancer Beach

Tropic of Cancer Beach Little Exuma Bahamas

Photo credit: Thomas Kloc/Shutterstock.com

Tropic of Cancer Beach has become almost synonymous with the Bahamas. You are pretty much guaranteed a good time once you decide to spend the day at this beach located in the Exumas. Once you get here, you’ll see why some people describe it as the most beautiful beach they have ever seen. Of course, you’re not going to want to just stand around in admiration. Slather on some sunblock, take off your beach wrap or t-shirt, and dive into some of the bluest waters on the planet.

Insider Tip: This beach is about a 15-20-minute drive from Great Exuma. It’s relatively quiet, so pack what you need.


Stocking Island Beaches

Stocking Island Bahamas

Photo credit: Thomas Kloc/Shutterstock.com

The Exumas are blessed with great beaches, and the beaches of Stocking Island are no exception. On this beach with crystal clear waters you’ll get the unique opportunity to feed stingrays! If you can get over your fear (if you have any at all), you’ll find that the stingrays are quite friendly. They may even swim right up to you! Some visitors choose to feed them bits of leftover conch, which can be sources from caretakers. Though this beach is beautiful with lots of attractions, the stingrays are the star of the show!

Insider Tip: There’s often a good beach volleyball game happening on this beach. Don’t be shy to join in!


Highbourne Cay Beach

Exuma beach Highbourne Cay

Photo credit: B.C.photography/Shutterstock.com

You may need reservations to get to this island, which features some of the most outstanding private beaches in the Bahamas. Highbourne Cay is located 35 miles southwest from New Providence Island, and here you will find a top-notch marina and high-end cottages. Visitors who plan on visiting this island should make bookings prior to arrival, as the island is extremely popular, particularly for yachtsmen. Highbourne Cay is also known as the gateway in the Exumas!

Big Major Cay (Pig Beach)

Big Major Cay swimming pigs

This beach isn’t known for swimming as much as it is for its swimming pigs. They are absolutely unforgettable! From the moment you approach this beach in a boat, you’ll find that the pigs swim out to greet you. It’s quite an exciting moment, and second to no other experience in the Bahamas. There are pigs of all ages, and you can watch the keepers on the island as they care for and feed the pigs. You can also get up close and personal, and swim with the pigs. This experience is great for families.


The best beaches in Abaco, the Bahamas.

Great Guana Cay

great guana cay abaco

Photo credit: Daniela Filomeno/Shutterstock.com

Locals love this spot on long weekends, and visitors are catching on. The appeal here includes a beach bar and grill, clean shores and calm waters. Great Guana Cay, the largest Cay in the Abaco Islands, and in recent times has developed the reputation for being the best of both worlds – here you can find a relatively private space, with amenities to keep you comfortable throughout the day.

Winding Bay

This island is famous for its 18-hole championship golf course, but of equal attraction are its beaches which have a reputation of being the perfect place to spot sea turtles. You may not even need to go snorkeling to witness the native sea creatures that are known to frequent this top beach. Chances are you’ll spot them bobbing up and down in the seagrass, not too far from shore. If calm waters and a private beach are what you’re after, Winding Bay is perfect.

Treasure Cay Beach

treasure cay beach bahamas

Photo credit: Lyndah Wells/Shutterstock.com

Don’t judge a beach by its name, except when it comes to Treasure Cay. What an absolute find! This mesmerizing beach will have you wondering why you took so long to plan a beach vacation in the first place! Now that you’re here, waste no time in falling in love with its crystal-clear waters and silky white sands. At low tide you’ll be able to walk across the sandbars and find perfect spot for shelling!

Tahiti Beach

Tahiti Beach Elbow Cay Abaco Bahamas

Photo credit: pics721/Shutterstock.com

Located on Great Abaco Island, and not to be confused with the picturesque French Polynesian Island, Tahiti beach has its own compelling attributes that draw visitors to its shores. For one thing, there’s a floating restaurant and bar, and to top that off the waters here are warm, shallow, and perfect for floating around or tanning while submerged in the ocean. When the tide is out you may even encounter sand dollars and star fish!

Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach on Great Abaco Island is a diver’s paradise – particularly divers trying out snorkeling or scuba diving for the first time. At Mermaid reef, located just off Mermaid Beach, you can spot a variety of fish species, as well as lobsters and rays. The reef is located in a shallow protected area, and people who snorkel here think the fish are especially friendly, as they literally swim to you. This may be because they’re used to being feed by adoring strangers, but one thing’s for sure, you can see a lot, in a short amount of time when snorkeling off Mermaid beach!




The best beach in Andros, the Bahamas.

Kamalame Cay Beach

Kamalame Cay is known as the beach where socialites and celebrities sip and play all day. Guests can book bungalows on this 97-acre private island and take advantage of miles of deserted beach. Kamalame is getting more popular as an island getaway as it continues to be sustainably developed by the owners. Celebrities who’ve been spotted here include Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, Mick Jagger, Emma Watson, and Karolina Kurkova. Notably, Serena Williams spent some time on this island while on honeymoon!


Best beaches in Grand Bahama

Gold Rock Beach

Best beach for snorkeling.

gold rock beach grand bahama island bahamas

Photo credit: Styve Reineck/Shutterstock.com

Part of Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahama Island, Gold Rock Beach is described as being “as pretty as a postcard”. This high ranking beach is notorious for being one of the filming locations in the Bahamas for the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and though you’re unlikely to find any pirates on your trip there, you’re bound to leave rested and completed unwound.

Famous Movie Shot Here: Pirates of the Caribbean!


Fortune Beach

Fortune Beach in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island in the Bahamas is a great place to start any beach hopping expedition. The only drawback is that once you get here, you might not want to leave. Islanders say the beach got its name after a multi-million-dollar shipwreck was discovered here. In any case, the water is calm and shallow, making it a good choice for families, especially those up for a day of adventure and exploration. Fortune Beach is located just about five miles from Port Lucaya Marketplace.

Taino Beach

Taino Beach is as beautiful as they come, and the azure waters will steal your heart as you choose from a range of activities to partake in for the day. Whether you’re a fan of jet skiing, parasailing, or simply swimming in the warm waters of the Caribbean, you’re bound to love Taino Beach!


Best Beaches in Eleuthera, the Bahamas.

Lighthouse Beach

Lighthouse beach South Eleuthera island Bahamas

Photo credit: Gaston Piccinetti/Shutterstock.com

Lighthouse beach on Eleuthera Island is the definition of serenity. Kick back and watch the waves lap against the shore as you regain clarity, peace, and parts of yourself long forgotten in the chaos of everyday life. A 4x4 may be required to get to the beach, as the road is quite rugged, but once you get there, you’ll find that it’s well worth the effort, just as soon as the first sweet smelling sea breeze greets you at the shore. When venturing to Lighthouse Beach, pack everything you’ll need for the day, including food and a cooler packed with drinks on ice!

French Leave Beach

French Leave Beach is one of the notorious pink sand beaches in the Bahamas. Even with the refreshing Atlantic breeze blowing across this beach, don’t forget to apply your sunscreen. French Leave is relatively quiet, so you’ll want to walk with everything you’ll need for the day.

Insider Tip: There is little to no shade on this beach, so walk with a beach umbrella!


Cotton Bay Beach

Cotton Bay Beach is located on the southern coast of the island of Eleuthera. If you’re looking to get away from the crowd, this beach is ideal. Just over a half mile away you’ll find the Cotton Bay golf Club. Cotton Bay Beach is also located in close proximity to the seaside town of Rock Sound.

Ten Bay Beach

The road to this beach is half of the adventure. If you’re considering heading to Ten Bay Beach, it might be best to head there by boat as even 4-wheel drives sometimes struggle in this territory. Other than that, this is a great family friendly beach, hidden with pretty awesome sunset views. This beach is shaded by lots of trees, and it’s long and winding for a good beachside stroll.

Surfer’s Beach

Hang-ten, or simply just hang-out on this beach of sugary white sands. Just two miles south of Gregory Town, the surfing experience at Surfer’s Beach has been compared to that of some of the best locations in Hawaii. This beach is best for strong swimmers, or people who just want a cool place to chill.

James Point Beach

One of the exclusive beaches of the Bahamas, James Point is long, wide and definitely worth a visit. On this beach you’ll find an ancient shipwreck, and if you’re willing to walk a few yards, a natural Jacuzzi rock formation, and another private beach! James Point is located to the north-west coast of Eleuthera.

Plum Creek Beach

One of the more family friendly locations, Plum Creek located in Deep Creek, South Eleuthera is one of the lesser known beaches in the Bahamas. Here you’ll find calm and shallow seas at low tide, and waves that sweep across the main road during high tide. On the upside, there’s some great scenery at Plum Creek which sets it apart from other more popular beaches in the area.

Insider Tip: You’ll need to schedule a visit to this beach when the tide is low, as the road tends to get flooded with water during high tide, making passage impossible in some cases.



Best beach on Harbour island, the Bahamas.

Pink Sands Beach

Pink Sand Beach Bahamas Harbour island

Photo credit: BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock.com

There are many miraculous things waiting to be discovered in this world, and one of them is Pink Sands Beach in the Bahamas. This gem of a beach on Harbour Island is an absolute dream. It’s incredibly popular with honeymooners, and with regular vacationers seeking a convenient beach getaway. To get to this beach you’ll need to walk down a short dirt path through the trees. Once you set foot on its shores, you’ll find little shops selling snacks and drinks to cool you off.


The best beach in Long Island, the Bahamas.

Cape Santa Maria Beach

Long Island in the Bahamas is famous for its outstanding beaches. As the best beach on Long Island, Cape Santa Marie is the most highly rated. You won’t be able to stop your jaw from dropping once you get here, but what you will have control over is how quickly you’re able to get suited up on the island, where the clear blue seas await.

Columbus Harbour Beach

You guessed it; Colombus Harbour Beach has something to do with Christopher Columbus. As island history would have it, Colombus passed through this area on his inaugural journey to the “New World.” What he would have found on that journey, was a beautiful beach, about a mile long, with shallow waters, soft white sand, and just the right amount of privacy. This secluded beach is popular with honeymooners, or people who just want a beach that is off the beaten path.




The best beach in San Salvador, the Bahamas.

East Beach

East Beach is the perfect place to spend your beach bumming days while in the Bahamas. It’s somewhat secluded, but you’ll barely notice as there’s so much to take in visually, as well as great snorkeling. Go with a group and enjoy your private beach escape.

Insider Tip: Don’t forget to pack drinks and food!


Half Moon Beach (Half Moon Cay)

Half Moon Beach is the ideal place to relax, and sink into island time, particularly if you might have just packed your holiday schedule with way too many activities. The beach is beautiful, the water is clear and warm, and the shore is clean. This is a sure recipe for the most amazing beach day, and to top that off, the beach is also family friendly with its shallow waters. Half Moon is located on the tiny Half Moon Cay, a private island used predominately by cruise lines. Here you can rent out a beach chair and lounge on the sand, or swim with the stingrays.


The best beaches on Cat Island, the Bahamas.

Shanna’s Cove

If you’re a fan of deep-sea fishing, diving, snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boarding, a trip to Shanna’s Cove may be just right for you. Though this beach is relatively secluded, there’s a restaurant and bar where you can indulge while you wait for a picture-perfect sunset. Shanna’s Cove is also great for honeymooners!

Fernandez Bay

Your search for paradise ends at this hidden jewel in New Bight, Cat Island. Here you’ll find amazing views, sand dollars, a bar and restaurant and other amenities close by. Cat Island is located in central Bahamas, and while on island, it’s worth taking some time to explore Mount Alvernia, the nation’s highest point which rises to 206 feet.

Insider Tip: Walk with bug spray!



The best beaches on the Berry Islands, the Bahamas.

Shelling Beach

Shelling Beach is a slice of heaven. Located on Great Harbour Cay, the largest of the Berry Islands, this amazing beach is calm on most days. Shelling beach is best if you’re looking for a private experience, and the great views make it perfect for amazing vacation photos.

Insider Tip: Try to avoid heading to this beach on rainy days as you may have trouble navigating huge puddles.


Dannenberg Beach

Named after Doris Dannenberg, a Wisconsin woman who owns a second home on the island, Dannenberg Beach is as beautiful as it is private. Doris received island fame for her community outreach efforts, which included teaching arts and crafts to local children. Pretty much everyone else you’ll find in this area is friendly and welcoming, so you can be assured of a hospitable beach environment once you go. This beach is quite secluded, so take with you everything you’ll need for the day.

Insider Tip: There are lots of cool diving locations in the Berry Islands including The Hoffmann’s Cay Blue Hole, Mama Rhoda Reef, and the Great Stirrup Cay.



The best beach in Bimini, the Bahamas.

Radio Beach

Whoever was charged with responsibility for naming beaches in the Bahamas surely had a grand time going about it. Radio Beach, located in the Alice Town Area of Bimini is a charm. Serene and beautiful, Radio Beach is the best beach in Bimini. Perfect and peaceful, you’ll find friendly locals, food kiosks and amazing sunsets!


The best beach in Rum Cay, the Bahamas.

Picnic Bay Beach

Like the name suggests, Picnic Bay is popular with locals and tourists looking for a quiet picnic location. Picnic Bay is quiet on most days, but livens up on public holidays. Families with children will appreciate the calm and shallow waters here, and the great visibility, which adds to its snorkeling appeal.


The best beach in Mayaguana, the Bahamas.

Northwest Point Beach

To say that this island is remote is an understatement. In 2010, the population on the easternmost island of Mayaguana was 277! With that said you and your party can take a trip to Mayaguana Beach and have the beach pretty much all to yourself. Mayaguana is a popular location for snorkeling, exploring and picnicking.


The best beach in Inagua, the Bahamas.

Morton Salt’s Beach

Located on Inagua Island in the Bahamas, at Morton Salt’s beach you’ll find plenty of relaxation in the hammocks, gazebo and cabanas on the beach front. This beach got its name because it was developed by the Morton’s Salt Company, as a community outreach effort. Today it is popular for snorkeling, beach parties, and other social events.

Insider Tip: While on Inagua island visit the National Park where you can find wild donkeys and flamingos!



Beachside rules?

beach chairs bahamas

Beaches are overall a liberating space, but while on vacation there are a few things to keep in mind which can make your holiday that much smoother. Unlike some beaches in the United States, there are very few beach rules in the Bahamas, but here are some things you should know.

  • Don’t litter. You can find trash cans on most beaches, but if you don’t, take your trash with you.
  • Some beaches do not allow skinny dipping. Find out from your local resort or tour company ahead of time.
  • Some beaches near resorts or residential areas may have rules about amplified music on the beach. Use your discretion.
  • Don’t take away conch shells or other forbidden items without seeking permission.


Protect your belongings

It can be hard to keep an eye on your belongings when all you want to do is make the most of your time at the beach. Here are a few ways to stay worry free during your beach vacation:

  • Leave your valuables at home.
  • Travel with just as much cash as you need.
  • Whether you’re on a secluded or more crowded beach, be aware of your surroundings.


Beach safety tips for the Bahamas

  • Use sunblock.
  • Be aware of safety signs.
  • Do not swim while intoxicated.
  • Don’t go to secluded beaches alone.
  • Be aware of rip currents.
  • Stay hydrated to prevent heat exhaustion
  • Always swim in jet ski free zones.
  • Encourage kids to wear beach shoes on rocky beaches to prevent injury.
  • Steer clear of beaches populated with jellyfish to avoid being stung.
  • Be aware of Sea-thimble/Sea lice season (small jellyfish) in the Bahamas in the months of April until July.



So, when to go?

Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma

Picture: Sandals Emerald Bay, award-winning all-inclusive resort in Exuma - includes an 18-hole golf course!


The best time to visit the Bahamas for perfect beach weather is in the high season, which is between the months of December and mid-April. If you’re traveling in the high season, it is best to book two or three months in advance to ensure availability of both flights and accommodation.

The shoulder season is the next best time to go, and is between the months of May through July. You’ll find less activities on the island during this time, but more chances of securing your first choice of accommodation with less congested resorts.

The low season is from August to November. Low season travel is ideal for people who’re looking for a less crowded time to visit the islands.

All in all, there’s no bad time to travel to the Bahamas to check out its best beaches. Choose the time that works for both you and your partner, and you’ll be well on your way to the vacation of a lifetime!

Best Time To Visit The Islands Of The Bahamas!

The Islands
April 11th 2019
Best Time To Visit The Islands Of The Bahamas!

Waves rolling across the turquoise ocean, birds gliding in clear blue skies… mega yachts docked in full splendor. These images of paradise might seem like a dream, but in the Bahamas, exceptional, simplicity and good old-fashioned fun are all just a way of life!

You might have heard rave reviews about this part of the globe, but how much do you really know about the Bahamas, and when is the best time to go there?

The best time to visit the Bahamas is during high season, which runs from mid-December to mid-April,. While the beaches are a little more crowded, it’s a great spot for a warm winter getaway. Bahamian summers are generally warm and sometimes rainy, with daytime temperatures reaching about 89.7°F. The low season lasts from June to November.

Read on to find out more about the best time to travel to the Bahamas, and what to expect when you get there!

In this article on the Sandals Blog:

The Bahamas in a nutshell.
When to go to the Bahamas: Seasonality.
What if I booked a cruise?
The weather in the Bahamas.
Sunshine hours in the Bahamas.
Major events in the Bahamas.
Featured activity: Swimming with the pigs!
Before you go...

Beautiful Bahamian Beach

The Bahamas in a nutshell

Located to the East of Florida, the islands of the Bahamas (there are over 700 of them!) have always been promoted as the ultimate vacation destination. This tropical archipelago is blessed with a natural beauty that is almost beyond belief, and coupled with its melting pot of people, features, sights and sounds that are packed with a unique history and culture.

Also read: The most beautiful beaches in the Bahamas.

Many of the islands of the Bahamas remain uninhabited. That in no way slows down the flowing traffic of curious tourists – because of its proximity to the United States, these islands have a flow of visitors from the US all year round. Most of these travelers arrive via the Lynden Pindling International Airport (Nassau) by plane.

Popular island destinations in the Bahamas include New Providence Island (Nassau/Paradise Island), Grand Bahama Island, The Exumas, The Abacos, Eleuthera, Long Island, Harbor Island, and San Salvador Island.

Map of the Bahamas

When to go to the Bahamas: Seasonality

There are lots of things you need to keep in mind when planning a Caribbean vacation, and finding the right time to go is one of them. In travel industry terms, the year is made up of three very important seasons which are detailed below. Here are the pros and cons for traveling in each of these seasons:

Peak season: mid-December – mid-April

Couple on a Bahamian beach

  • The islands of the Bahamas are their liveliest between December and April, with lots of festivals, regattas, and other events. This is a great time to travel if you’re vacationing with kids, as there are lots of activities across the islands around this time.

  • These months are outside of the wet season so you can expect good weather and lots of sunshine.

  • The months of January and February are great for visiting the Bahamas for people who love the sun, but not extreme heat and humidity. There is also a great balance of heat and cool in March, but keep in mind that the evenings may get Caribbean chilly*, so make sure to pack appropriately if you go then.

Cons

  • Traveling to the Bahamas between mid-December and mid-April in general tends to be more expensive.

  • You may find yourself stuck in lines for longer than usual at various attractions, as many people visit at this time.

  • It may be more difficult to find accommodation, particularly if your heart is set on a specific villa or resort, and not open to exploring alternative places or dates.

"Caribbean chilly"

adjective

Not to be confused with chills in winter-prone areas! On breezier than usual Caribbean nights, light-weight long-sleeved shirts or jeans/pants will do.

Non-Bahamian tourism arrivals



Shoulder season: Mid-April – June

Pros

  • As between April and June see a slightly lower volume of arrivals than the previous, peak season, these shoulder season months can be a great time to explore the best of the Bahamas in a more peaceful setting.

  • Flight prices tend to be moderate to low in cost, so this is a great time to travel if you're on a budget.

  • There are lots of Spring Break-related activities that happen on the islands so there’s no short supply of things to do.

  • If you’re into snorkeling or scuba diving, this is an ideal time to visit the islands as the warmer than usual waters attract various species of sea life, which you might not see at other times of year.

Cons

  • The Bahamas is party-central during spring break, so if you’re looking for a completely Zen vacation or a romantic getaway, this might not be the best time to visit. Good to know: Sandals resorts in the Bahamas are for couples only, so nothing will stand in the way of undisturbed romance!

  • The wet season in the Caribbean begins in June so you might experience some rain here and there. Still a good time for a relaxing beach vacation though!

Low season: August – November

The Exuma Sandals Emerald Bay Beach

Pros

  • The best flight deals tend to be in the low season, so if you’re on a budget, this is the ideal time to travel.

  • Resorts and hotels also tend to offer great deals for staying between August and November. That luxurious Butler suite that you’ve always dreamed of, might all of a sudden be within your price range!

  • The island is less crowded, which is great if you desire a more personalized experience. Plus, you won‘t have any trouble finding a good spot at the beach or the pool!

Cons

  • As this is the off-season there’s less happening, so if you are looking for a party or plenty of events, you’ll be better to visit the Bahamas during peak season.

  • These months are smack in the middle of the wet season so you’re more likely to run into some rainfall. There are still plenty of beach days though!

The Sandals Emerald Bay Resort and beach



The weather in the Bahamas

The dry season spans from November to June, with the wet season starting in July and ending in December. If you’re going to the Bahamas during the wet season, expect to see an increase in rainfall - but still plenty of beach days. The ocean water tends to be warmer at this time, which makes it a great time for snorkeling.

rainfall in the Bahamas by month

wind in the Bahamas by month

humidity in the Bahamas by month

Though this Caribbean territory does not experience winter, months like January tend to be cooler than most with lows of 63°F at night. Highs in January are typically around 79°F during the day.

temperature in the Bahamas by month



Make the most of ‘Sunshine’ hours in the Bahamas

In the Bahamas, the sunniest month is April, which sees an average 9.2 daily hours of sunshine. The least sunny month is December, with a recorded 6.9 hours of sunshine per day. You can still expect great beach weather in December, it just gets light a bit later and dark a little earlier.

ocean temperature and sunshine hours in the Bahamas

When reading this graph, keep in mind the dry season spans from December to June, while the wet season starts in July and ends in December.



Major events in the Bahamas

Now that you’re well versed with Bahamian weather, we’re on to the fun part. Bahamians love to share their very mixed culture, and for this reason, there is a wide range of activities which happen in the islands throughout the year. Here are some of the most popular events which may help you decide on the best time to visit:


Junkanoo

This Mardi-Gras-style festival is usually held on Christmas Night into the early hours of Boxing Day (the day after), with a second round held on New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day.

A couple dancing with Bahamian Junkanoo berformers

Junkanoo is a big national pride event where local groups compete for boasting rights. If you win both days it is a big deal for the group (in terms of pride and bragging rights).


Farmer’s Cay Festival

An annual festival is held every February in the Exumas for yachtsmen and is a homecoming for the people of Farmer’s Cay.


Bacardi Billfish Tournament

The Bacardi Billfish Tournament is a weeklong tournament in March for avid deep-sea fishers!


Bahamas Family Island Regatta

This event held in George Town in April, in the Exumas, features boat races and lots of onshore activities.


Bahamas Billfish Championship

Split into four different venues and times, this fishing tournament series happens between April and June.

Eleuthera Pineapple Festival

Pineapples, a parade, arts & crafts… what more do you need? This event happens in the first week of June.

Independence Week

Parades, fireworks, and lots of entertainment to celebrate the independence of the Bahamas. This takes place on July 10, with different events throughout the islands.


Great Bahamas Seafood and Heritage Festival

Authentic Bahamian seafood is on display at this festival held in October.

A Bahamian holding a bowl of Conch Salad

Annual One Bahamas Music & Heritage Festival

Three-day celebration at Nassau and Paradise Island in the last week of November. Lots of live performances!

These are just some of the events - there are loads of other regattas and festivals happening on the islands throughout the year. If you’re visiting the Bahamas, you’re bound to find something to do!



Featured activity: Swimming with the pigs!

One of the most interesting things to do in the Exumas, which has gained popularity over the years, is swimming with the pigs that live there.

Two couples in the water with a swimming pig

The most adorable pigs and piglets swim out to your boat to greet you on arrival to a tropical paradise. This is a must-do activity particularly if you’re traveling with kids!

Insider tip: Want to vacation close to the swimming pigs? Book Sandal’s luxury resort in Exuma!

Sandals Emerald Bay Resort Pools



Before you go…

Keep in mind that seasonality is something to consider when planning the ultimate Caribbean vacation in the beautiful islands of the Bahamas. Luckily, when traveling to the Bahamas, the odds are in your favor for some fun in the sun. Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be better prepared for your Caribbean beach vacation.

Feel free to share the article!




Picture Perfect Scenery: Famous Movies Filmed In The Bahamas

Culture
May 8th 2019
Picture Perfect Scenery: Famous Movies Filmed In The Bahamas
Photo credit header image: Alexander Chaikin/Shutterstock.com


Sandy shores draw more than just curious tourists looking for a tropical escape. This is most evident in the number of famous scenes from the movies we know and love which are shot in the Caribbean. Filmmakers are right on the money for choosing the region for this purpose, as the Caribbean avails production crews a wide variety of stunning backdrops, most within close proximity of each other. As most of the islands in the Caribbean are relatively small, it is generally easy to get around, thus making it easier for crews to navigate.

Also read: Famous film set locations in Jamaica

The Bahamas is one of the locations in the Caribbean which has seen some serious star power with numerous world-famous films having been shot on the shores of its islands. The fierceness of that fact is complemented by the laid back nature of the people who reside in these islands – more down-to-earth fans and less populated islands means that films can be shot without unnecessary delay!

From action packed James Bond films, to Pirates of the Caribbean, the Bahamas is a top choice for Hollywood filmmakers. Here are a few of the most famous movies shot on Bahamian shores:

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest & At World's End

2006 & 2007 | Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley

footprints beach little exuma bahamas

Photo credit: Alexander Chaikin/Shutterstock.com

Picture: Beach in Little Exuma, the Bahamas


Pirates of the Caribbean is probably one of the most famous movies filmed in the Caribbean. Every single island benefited in some way from this movie, simply for being part of this strikingly beautiful region. There are several installments of this movie, and in Dead Man’s Chest, the Bahamas makes a spectacular appearance. Filmed near Little Exuma is the notorious duel between Norrington, Sparrow and Turner. In another chapter, At World’s End, White Cay also known as Sandy Cay in the Bahamas and is quite the appropriate spot for an intense conversation with pirates!

WATCH: Duel between Norrington, Sparrow and Turner (video opens in new tab)


Dreaming about Bahamian beaches? See the 40 most beautiful beaches of the Bahamas.


Thunderball & Never Say Never Again

1965 & 1983 | Sean Connery

Thunderball Grotto Exuma-Bahamas

Photo credit: Danita Delmont/Shutterstock.com

Picture: Thunderball Grotto in the Bahamas.


Die-hard James Bond fans know that some of the most memorable scenes from ‘Thunderball’ and ‘Never Say Never Again’ are shot in the Bahamas. Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas is the focal destination for these flicks set apart by almost two decades. Staniel Cay, a picturesque location in the chain of Exuma islands (The Exumas), is the location for a famous underwater fight scene from the films, and the area has for that reason and others grown in popular for the scuba crowd. In fact, the Thunderball Grotto (named after the movie) is a top choice diving and snorkeling site now. Love Beach and Clifton Pier are also featured, with the bulk of filming being done in the capital. Both movies highlight similar locations, with new locations including the Tears of Allah Wreck and Villa 1085 appearing in ‘Never Say Never Again’.

WATCH: Underwater battle scene (video opens in new tab)


Insider tip: Thunder ball Grotto in the Bahamas is a top choice diving and snorkeling site located in Staniel Cay which features a spectacular underwater cave system. Tours are available from Sandals’ all-inclusive resort in Exuma.


Silence of the Lambs

1991 | Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

Bimini Harbour Bahamas

Photo credit: Pilot Lauren/Shutterstock.com

Bimini is quite a scary place – only in the movies!

Scenes from the movie ‘Silence of the Lambs’ since its production have made several lists for the ‘Scariest Film Locations in the World’. It’s hard to believe that the sunny shores of the Bahamas would ever be included in any listing of that nature, but for the production of ‘Silence of the Lambs’, the Bahamas is not left out. Featured briefly in a scene depicting Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins) during his sunny ‘retirement’, the Bahamas is again promoted, whether indirectly, as a tropical haven made for recapturing peace of mind. The scene was shot on South Bimini in the Bahamas. Bimini Island is the closest island to the United States, and it is known as loved for its serene nature. When it’s not being used to shoot horror/detective classics that is! Famous people including Ernest Hemingway, Jimmy Buffett and even Martin Luther King, Jr. have spent time on this island seeking inspiration and relaxation!

WATCH: Silence of the lambs end scene (video opens in new tab)



HELP!

1965 | John, Paul, George and Ringo

Sandals Royal Bahamian on Cable Beach

Picture: Sandals Royal Bahamian on Cable Beach. The Beatles stayed here during the shooting of the 'HELP!' movie and shot the video clip for 'Another Girl' on the private island - also owned by Sandals.


The Bahamas and the Beatles go hand in hand for the production of ‘Help!’ a musical compilation of the Beatles, which is a follow-up to ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, the Beatles’ first film. Shot on Paradise Island, the movie features some of the best tracks by the Fab Four including ‘Ticket to Ride’, ‘You’re Going to Lose That Girl’ and, their hit song, ‘Help!’. In 1965 The Beatles stayed at the glitzy Balmoral Club on Cable Beach, which later changed to Sandals Royal Bahamian. Not far out from the resort, The Beatles went to a private island (also owned by Sandals) to shoot their ‘Another Girl’ video clip.

WATCH: The Beatles going to the Bahamas scene (video opens in new tab)



SPLASH

1973 | Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah

Castaway Cay Bahamas

Photo credit: Lost_in_the_Midwest/Shutterstock.com

The entertainment industry’s Caribbean patronage continues with ‘Splash’. Featuring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, this love story unfolds on the famous Castaway Cay. In the movie, actor Tom Hanks encounters a nude Daryl Hannah on the island, who is a mermaid that he ends up falling in love with. He is forced to make the difficult decision of whether to continue life as usual on dry land, or follow his heart into the depths of the ocean. If you still haven’t seen this flick, don’t worry, we’re not about to spoil it for you. What we will say is that Castaway Cay, formerly known as Gorda Cay, is absolutely stunning, and is perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. It is located near Great Abaco Island. We doubt you’ll encounter any mermaids, but if you do, we’d be happy to hear about it!

WATCH: Splash underwater scene (video opens in new tab)



Casino Royale

2006 | Daniel Craig

big pool on paradise island

Photo credit: Kate Connes/Shutterstock.com

Moments after a sea plane comes in for a smooth landing in Nassau, a finely suited Bond makes his way onto a tropical island, as luxury boats bob in the background, and helicopters hover above. The actor hops into a waiting car, and the rest of his drive captures more spectacular scenery, including a local market, school children at the side of the road, and the pure and mostly untampered with beauty of the Bahamas. This is one of the most memorable scenes from ‘Casino Royale’ shot in the Bahamas.

WATCH: Bond arriving in Nassau scene (video opens in new tab)



COCOON

1985 | Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Tahnee Welch, Steve Guttenberg

Bimini Road Bahamas

Photo credit: Beth Swanson/Shutterstock.com

Picture: Bimini Road.


In this underwater fantasy film, American film-maker and actor Ron Howard tells the under worldly story of a team of aliens on a mission to save their compatriots who were left behind post Atlantis. Interestingly, some islands in the Bahamas like Bimini have histories which are tied (according to urban legend) to the mystical city of Atlantic. Bimini Road for one is said to be a remnant of the legendary Lost City of Atlantis. The film ‘Cocoon’ in its own way highlights some of these urban legends, including that of famed explorer, Ponce de León, who allegedly was led to Bimini in the early 1500 in search of the ‘Fountain of Youth’. In one of the scenes of ‘Cocoon’, residents of a nursing home make a spectacular discovery, which revolves around a swimming pool charged with ‘life-force energy’ that they use to reverse the effects of aging. The underwater scenes of ‘Cocoon’ were filmed at South Ocean, which is located to the East of Nassau.

WATCH: Cocoon trailer (video opens in new tab)



SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL

1997 | Sandra Bullock, Willem Dafoe

Tongue of the Ocean Bahamas

Photo credit: Authentic travel/Shutterstock.com

Picture: Tongue of the Ocean, south of Nassau.


Much of this movie which features famed actors Sandra Bullock and Willem Dafoe was shot in the duel island nation of St. Martin. This was the sequel to ‘Speed’, which sky-rocketed the careers of Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. Reeves however, is missing in action in ‘Speed Control’, which highlights some of the beauty of the Bahamas. Tongue of the Ocean, located to the south of Nassau in the Bahamas was rightly chosen for the underwater scenes, but not for the reason you might think. In fact, this was probably the only occasion where the clear and pristine waters of the Bahamas actually proved to be a problem. From post movie accounts, the director had divers manually sprinkle sediment to make the scene appear more granular. Whatever works!

WATCH: Speed 2: Cruise Control trailer (video opens in new tab)



20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

1954 |Kirk Douglas, James Mason

Downtown Nassau Providence Island Bahamas

Photo credit: dnaveh/Shutterstock.com

Picture: New Providence Island, the Bahamas.


‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ is notably one of the first movies filmed under water. Starring Kirk Douglas as Ned Land and James Mason as Captain Nemo, this is a family friendly movie that still remains relevant today. A classic Disney film, the movie features several Caribbean sites, as the actors embark on a family vacation. At the time when the movie was shot with a budget of around $9 million, it was one of the most expensive movies ever made. The underwater scenes in this flick were filmed near New Providence Island, where you can find the capital city, Nassau. To this day, there is a ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ submarine located in Castaway Cay in the Bahamas, which can be found on scuba diving excursions!

WATCH: Undersea funeral scene (video opens in new tab)



Into the Blue

2005 | Paul Walker

Fishing Boat Lighthouse Bahamas

Photo credit: Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock.com

Paul Walker is at his best in the film ‘Into the Blue’. The late actor, made even more famous for his part in the ‘Fast and the Furious’ movies makes bold and daring moves in this movie shot in the Bahamas, which features scenes with live sharks! During filming the crew wore protective gear, but some of the actors reportedly did not. In any case, the success of the film proves that their risks were not in vain, and that sometimes it really does pay off to live on the edge!

WATCH: Underwater fight scene (video opens in new tab)



Flipper

1996 | Elijah Wood, Paul Hogan

Dolphins Swimming Bahamas

Photo credit: MOlson_PA/Shutterstock.com


Who doesn’t love Flipper? The movie tells the story of a friendship between a boy and a dolphin that will absolutely steal your heart. Though the main storyline of the 1963 movie is set in Florida, many of the scenes from Flipper were actually shot in the Bahamas. The fact that the Bahamas is famous for its pristine beaches and prolific marine life; it’s no surprise that filmmakers chose this location for the classic film. The set was built on a beach between Lyford Cay and Clifton Pier.

WATCH: Flipper trailer (video opens in new tab)


Tip: Want to swim with the dolphins? There are lots of tour operators in the Bahamas offering this activity, so be sure to shop around to find one that’s right for you.


Jaws: The Revenge

1987 | Lorraine Gary, Lance Guest, Mario Van Peebles and Michael Caine.

There are plenty of underwater sites to explore in the Bahamas including the cockpit of the DC3 plane wreck from Into the Blue, the Tears of Allah wreck from James Bond’s ‘Never Say Never Again’ and Thunderball’s Vulcan Bomber. There is also the Cessna plane which was purposefully crash landed for Jaws IV. It is now a popular undersea exploration site for scuba divers. Jaws: The Revenge was shot in New England, and in the Bahamas. Notably, the film reached completion in less than nine months!

WATCH: Plane crash landing in the water (video opens in new tab)



More than just fun in the sun

Movies have a way of bringing people together, and films shot in the Caribbean have a way of luring tourists to the region to get a taste of the famous scenes from Hollywood blockbusters which at one point, had them hanging off the edge of their seats. Of all the movies shot in the Caribbean, a significant number are shot in the Bahamas. A visit to the islands which feature great accommodation and a wide range of activities will show you why.

Check out our article on the best time to visit the Bahamas to find out more!

Exuma beach Bahamas


Get scuba certified in the Bahamas!

Quite a number of famous movies sites in the Bahamas are located underwater, so it’s a good idea to ensure you’re scuba diving certified before getting there, or once you arrive to your island of choice. The Bahamas is a great place to get PADI Scuba Diving Certification as there are sites which are great for both advanced and newbie scuba divers.

Insider tip: Scuba diving is included in your stay at both Sandals’ all-inclusive resorts in the Bahamas. If you are not PADI certified yet, you can become a certified diver on vacation for an additional 450 USD and dive the rest of your stay – for free!


Scuba diving Bahamas


Playground for the rich and famous

Spotting celebrities is just another common happening in the Bahamas, and perhaps that would explain the laid back nature of the people who encounter them, and why stars love going to the Bahamas, and by extension the Caribbean. Whether they come for work or play, they’re able to do that in the absence of throngs of frantic fans. That is not to say they don’t have any fans that recognize them in that part of the world, but that the culture of the region as it relates to the reception of celebrities is in a lot of cases subdued much due to the easygoing nature of the people. Whatever the case, the Caribbean is a win-win for film-makers and tourists alike!

The Top 10 Cultural Landmarks of the Bahamas

Culture
June 26th 2018
The Top 10 Cultural Landmarks of the Bahamas

The islands of The Bahamas are famed for their beauty and tranquility, but there’s far more to The Bahamas than might first meet the eye. In fact, this collection of exotic islands is home to a whole host of interesting cultural landmarks, just waiting to be explored.

Whether you’re making your way to Nassau, Freeport or Grand Exuma, you’ll be able to find plenty of things to see and do. Just follow along this list for a little inspiration.

These are the top cultural landmarks in The Bahamas

1. The Cloisters, Nassau

Dating back to the 14th Century, this is one of the most intriguing Bahamas landmarks you'll find. Originally created in France, the buildings of the Cloisters were imported to the Bahamas, brick by brick, in the 1960s, by newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. The Cloisters then found their new home on high ground in the heart of Paradise Island, and they remain there to this day.

2. Pig Beach, Great Exuma

You may well have heard of this one, as it’s arguably one of the most famous tourist attractions in The Bahamas. And that’s because of the famous residents you’ll find here. Pig Beach is home to a family of swimming pigs, who have risen in popularity over recent years, so much so that tourists now regularly visit this uninhabited island off the coast of Great Exuma, just to meet the porcine celebrities in the flesh. Tourists are welcome to swim with the pigs, and there are plenty of guided tours stopping off here. Just remember to respect the animals and look after them while you’re there. Find out more about how you can visit the swimming pigs of Pig Beach here.

3. Dunmore Town, Harbour Island

If you’re headed to Harbour Island, make time to stop at this pretty town. Dunmore Town is Harbour Island’s only town, and you’ll find it just east from North Eleuthera. Tourists can take day trips to this small settlement, which is one of the most scenic and impressive Bahamas attractions. Visit the Princess Street Gallery, enjoy an afternoon shopping at the charming boutiques or just wander the streets of this lovely, authentic Bahamian town.

4. Fort Montagu, New Providence Island

If military history is your thing, you can’t miss a trip to one of our favorite Bahamas tourist attractions: Fort Montagu. This fort consists of four cannons, and it was originally built as a defensive hold by the British, who wanted to see of Spanish invaders in the 18th Century. Its construction was overseen by Peter Henry Bruce, a famous military adventurer of the era.

5. Blackbeard’s Tower, Nassau

The Bahamian island of Nassau has a rich and varied history that never fails to enthuse its visitors. And if there’s one part of Bahamian history that piques everyone’s interest, it’s pirates. Blackbeard’s Tower harkens back to the island’s past. If you’re wondering about the best places to visit in The Bahamas, you can’t go wrong with this historic tower.

6. Sapona, Bimini

Scuba diving enthusiasts flock to the Bahamas to explore its many underwater shipwrecks, but did you know there’s one you can see without getting into the water, too? SS Sapona was once a vast cargo steamer, initially used as a floating casino. A storm in 1926 saw the ship run aground, and it has remained in place to this day. The ship is easily visible above the water, and divers can choose to explore what lurks beneath the waves, too. It’s a spooky sight, and definitely one of the creepiest of these Bahamas landmarks.

7. Port Lucaya Marketplace, Freeport

If any shopaholics are wondering where to go in the Bahamas, we’ve got three words for you: Port Lucaya Marketplace. Located in Freeport, on the island of Grand Bahama, this beautiful shopping village is home to some of the world’s most luxurious brands, alongside smaller local boutiques and a fabulous market where you can buy souvenirs to take home with you. It’s a pastel-colored paradise where you’ll happily while away an afternoon, browsing authentic local crafts and handmade clothing.

8. Paradise Island Lighthouse, New Providence Island


Did you know that the Bahamas is home to the oldest surviving lighthouse in all of the West Indies? You’ll find it at New Providence Island, standing proud at the northwestern entrance to the Port of Nassau. The lighthouse was built in 1817, when it would have been an integral part of the port’s infrastructure. It’s still a spectacular sight to see, and one any keen history buff will love.

9. Parliament Street, Nassau

One of Nassau’s oldest streets remains a popular tourist attraction, with many visitors choosing to explore the area on foot. You can also take a horse-drawn carriage ride of Parliament Street, enabling you to chat to a friendly local driver who really knows about the history of the area. Feast your eyes on Parliament Street’s fabulous old buildings and enjoy an interesting day out exploring one of the lesser-known areas of the Bahamas.

10. Columbus Point, Long Island

The Bahamas is known for its fabulous views, but if you want to really experience the best the islands have to offer you’ve got to get yourself down to Columbus Point. This monument stands tall on the coast of Long Island, offering tourists a spectacular vantage point from which they can enjoy expansive views of the island’s crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches. It’s a bit of a walk to get there, but once you arrive we guarantee you’ll agree that it was well worth the journey.

Don't Miss These Landmarks of the Bahamas

If you’re off to last-minute vacation to Bahamas, make sure you check out some of our top cultural landmarks. Whether you’re interested in military history, you’re a keen animal lover or you’re on the hunt for undiscovered shipwrecks, you’ll be able to find so much to see and do. The only difficult part is deciding what to do first.

3 Unforgettable Cultural Festivals of The Bahamas

Culture
January 2nd 2019
3 Unforgettable Cultural Festivals of The Bahamas

The pounding sheepskin drums of traditional Bahamian rake-and-scrape music provide the soundtrack to the island nation’s most exciting festivals, filled with sights and sounds that will prove unforgettable.

Each island nation has few captivating cultural festivals visitors can experience when they come to the Caribbean, and The Bahamas is no exception.

These Are The Best Cultural Festivals of The Bahamas:

Junkanoo

Some in the know might say that Junkanoo never really ends; it only takes many different forms throughout the calendar year. A celebration of Bahamian culture, participants don elaborate, colorful costumes as they march through the streets of every island for the primary celebration.
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The largest such instance is the one you’ll want to make the trip for: a two-day parade through the capital of Nassau, on Boxing Day (Dec. 26) and New Years Day (Jan. 1). Borne of native traditions celebrating the island’s freedom, the spirit of Junkanoo permeates every song and dance to be found in the Bahamas.

As a bonus, if you really want to get into the spirit, check out some of these cultural landmarks of The Bahamas while you're there.

National Family Island Regatta

You can probably imagine this chain of tropical islands has a robust local boating culture. What you’ll be delighted to learn is that this annual boat race is accompanied by spirited concerts and unforgettable foods as well.
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Visitors from all around flock to Great Exuma in the last week of April every year to take part, both top notch sailors looking to take the crown, or just those seeking a fantastic nautical celebration. With local musicians taking stages across the island, and countless local foods and other activities to enjoy, this regatta is one any Bahamas visitor won’t want to miss out on!

Mars Bay Conch Fest

No trip to these islands is complete without sampling the national food of the Bahamas, and there’s no better place to get your fill than the annual Mars Bay Conch Fest.
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The meat of the conch (pronounced “konk”) is described as firm and chewy and unmistakably Caribbean, and is the foundation of a huge variety of local delicacies. Learn how their beautiful shells are sought and harvested by local fishers, ride on a traditional conching sloop, and, most importantly, partake in both long-treasured and innovative new methods of cooking this tantalizing treat.

No matter if it’s steamed or fried, in a salad or sandwich, as long as you’re in the Bahamas, you’re in Conch Country.

Best Dive Sites in the Bahamas

Guides & Tours
April 16th 2018
Best Dive Sites in the Bahamas

With staggering wall dives, tunnels, sunken ships, caverns, miles of coral reef, crystal-clear waters, and close encounters with reef sharks, scuba diving in the Bahamas is an absolute thrill.

Vacationers travel to these islands and their all-inclusive resorts to experience the rich marine environment and an almost endless range of scuba diving possibilities. The Bahamas provide vacationers with a well-developed scuba dive infrastructure that makes the islands among the world’s top destinations for scuba diving. With over seven hundred islands, there’s so much to explore in the Bahamas, whether you’re looking to do some advanced wreck diving or simply take basic scuba diving lessons.

The Bahamas are situated where the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean (on the Western side) meet. The islands experience a subtropical climate, which makes diving in the Bahamas a unique experience.

Whether you’re diving off Grand Bahama Island, exploring the pristine reefs of the Abacos, enjoying the warm waters of Bimini, or trying out the waters off New Providence, the dive conditions in the Bahamas are impressive throughout the year. And, each diving destination has its own set of unique challenges.

There's an added bonus to scuba diving in the Bahamas. If you're wiped out afterwards, you can always relax in the sand of a tropical beach. It really doesn't get much better than that.

These are the Best Dive Sites in The Bahamas:

Tiger Beach, Grand Bahama

The Grand Bahama Island is not only one of the scuba diving destinations in the Bahamas - it's one of the best in the world.

Located toward the northwestern tip of the Bahamian chain, this island gives Bahamas divers an opportunity to see dolphins and explore shallow wrecks.

One of the best dive sites for shark diving on the Bahamas is at Tiger beach on Grand Bahama. Vacationers often come here to explore what’s referred to as “a cafeteria for tiger sharks.”

Dozens of tiger sharks and other Caribbean reef sharks come to this beach to dine with dive masters. Visitors can take a 25-mile boat journey (about an hour) off Grand Bahama to get to the Tiger Beach. It sounds scary, but it's really thrilling. You won't be disappointed.

Runway Wall, Nassau

New Providence is also among the world’s top diving destinations. New Providence is at times referred to as Nassau and is known for its dramatic walls, blue holes, healthy coral reefs, historical wrecks, caves, and thrilling shark dives.

No Nassau diving experience is complete without a swimming session with Caribbean reef sharks in the clear waters before having a shark feeding dive experience. You can’t miss out on this incredible shark encounter at the Runway Wall. There's No need to worry about your certification level since the dive site is only 12 meters (forty feet) of water.

Current Cut, North Eleuthera Island

Current cut is situated between the Current Island and North Eleuthera Island and is often referred to as the Bahamas’ Best Drift. Vacationers make their way here to explore the rich marine environment and Bahamian reefs while being washed by river-like currents created as a result of tidal changes.

The narrow gap between the two islands has a maximum depth of 18 meters (60 feet) and gives divers and snorkelers alike the chance to be washed away without using any energy. Some of the marine life divers are likely to see include squadrons of barracuda, eagle rays, sharks, and more.

The Washing Machine, Exuma Cays

With 350 cays, the Exumas is of the most beautiful groups of islands in the Bahamas. A major attraction in the Bahamas, the National Trust’s Land and Sea Park is a preserve that attracts divers to its spectacular reefs and sea gardens. Outside this natural preserve, north of the Exuma Cays lies the Washing Machine, a dive site that allows divers to be washed down an insistent current before they are picked up and propelled through a narrow cut in the reef.

That explains why the drift dive is referred to as the “Washing Machine.” Come here and ride through this fun drift dive, gliding peacefully over a beautiful and colorful reef before ascending to safety. The current releases you at around 15 meters (50 feet).

Over the Wall, Andros

Diving in the Bahamas can’t be complete without spending some time exploring the inland blue holes and enjoying the abundance of ocean that’s found on Andros. If you’re a tech and night diving enthusiast, one of the dive sites you must visit is Over the Wall on Andros Island.

Of course, less advanced divers can still have a fantastic and exciting day dive. But those looking to experience a real magic dive in the dark of night should go for it here. The waters have a high concentration of plankton, which provides divers with a spectacular nightly spectacle that one can’t forget. The island drops out to about 1,820 meters (5971 feet) to the tongue of the sea. It’s recommended to switch off your scuba dive lights as soon as you’re at 20 meters (65 feet).

Victory Reef, Bimini

The Gulf Stream serves as a highway for hammerhead sharks, especially from October to mid-March. You’ll find these beautiful sea creatures in the underwater environment between the North and South Bimini islands during this period as this is their pit stop.

The fact that Bimini islands are situated on the edge of the Gulf Stream means divers can have a fantastic experience kneeling on the sandy bottom and watch shark feeders lure the hammerheads. Victory Reef is a dive site south of Bimini, and its appropriate for divers of different experience levels. The reef line has several dive spots ranging from 9 meters (30 feet) to 24 meters (80 feet).

Find The Best Dive Sites in The Bahamas

Your adventure can begin as soon as you want it to. Diving is an inclusion at Sandals resorts, and experiences await for every diver, from beginner to expert.

The Travel Mom Emily Kaufman Visits the Caribbean
Emily Kaufman, otherwise known as The Travel Mom, and a leading expert in travel since her first television appearance in 1996, made her way to Sandals and Beaches Resorts this past week. She says according to the Caribbean Hotel Association, 32 islands or 70 percent of the Caribbean was not damaged by September's recent hurricanes, including some of the region's most popular destinations such as Jamaica, The Bahamas and St. Lucia where Sandals and Beaches Resorts are located.
Sandals Resorts to Play Host to the 2018 Web.com Tour With Exclusive LIV+ Sports Packages for Guests
Sandals Emerald Bay is thrilled to once again play host to the first tournament of the 2023 season for PGA TOUR’s Web.com Tour, the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic. In conjunction with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and BD Global, LLC., the tournament, taking place January 10- 16, will feature a Friday Pro-Am headlined by World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and conclude with the official four-day tournament.
Escape to the Bahamas: New Flights, Two Exotic Resorts, and The Great Exuma Classic.
Headed to Sandals in the Bahamas? Bahamasair has announced two new routes from Houston (IAH) and Chicago (ORD) to Nassau, Bahamas (NAS). Service from Houston to Nassau will operate every Thursday and Monday as of November 16, 2023, and Nassau to Houston will operate every Wednesday and Sunday. The IAH/NAS service, as of now is year round and ORD/NAS will be a seasonal service. The following flights will soon be available:
American Idol Celebrity Pia Toscano Honeymoons at Sandals Royal Bahamian
Top contestant on American Idol, Pia Toscano, traveled to the Bahamas to enjoy a Luxury Included® vacation at Sandals Royal Bahamian from July 8th through July 13th.  After tying the knot in January, Pia and her new hubby traveled to Sandals Royal Bahamian to celebrate their honeymoon.
Jetsetter Names Sandals As 8 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the Bahamas
Jetsetter Magazine give readers its inside connections, the advice on where to go, where to stay, and what to do when you get there. As discerning curators, they let you know the places they love and would visit again. Lucky enough to make the list, Sandals Emerald Bay and Sandals Royal Bahamian have been named among the top eight best all-inclusive resorts, picked from Andros to Nassau. 
Sandals Welcomes 20 Top US Radio Stations to the Bahamas
All this week, Sandals Resorts welcomes 20 top-rated radio stations from across the United States to trade in their studios, slip on their sandals and broadcast their popular shows live from the most elegant resort in the Bahamas, Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort and Offshore Island 
Sandals Royal Bahamian Hosts Second Story Behind the Songs Concert Featuring Eli Young Band and Tucker Beathard
Bringing some country to the island vibe, Sandals Royal Bahamian hosted Sandals Resorts International's second Story Behind the Songs concert this past weekend in Nassau, Bahamas. Couples were able to bring their boots to the beach and get cozy for an intimate weekend-long performance from country favorites' Eli Young Band and Tucker Beathard, joined by CMT Radio personality, Cody Alan.
Sandals Emerald Bay Hosts First Ever PGA Tour
Sandals Emerald Bay, the perfect destination for golfers and beachgoers alike, is excited to host its first-ever PGA tour beginning January 2023. The Web.com Tour will begin in The Bahamas, starting with The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic that will tee off on one of the most scenic oceanside golf courses in the Caribbean. 
Sandals Royal Bahamian Re-Opens Its Doors to Guests
The Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island located in Nassau, Bahamas opened its doors back up yesterday, welcoming guests and debuting an extensive US$4 million makeover.  The resort, which was originally slated to re-open October 14 following its scheduled renovations, was forced to postpone in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.   
Sandals Resorts Hosts the 10th Annual Chairman's Invitational Golf Tournament with Special Guest, Greg Norman
From September 7-11, 2023, Sandals Select Guest Members, Sandals Resorts’ most loyal returning guests, spent some time out on the green during the 10th Annual Chairman’s Invitational Golf Tournament. The two-day tournament, sponsored by Bank of America, was held at Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas and was hosted exclusively for members of Sandals Select Rewards program.
Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa Wins Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards
Each year Travel + Leisure asks its readers to cast their votes and weigh in on their favorite hotels around the globe among other various categories. This year a new Sandals took home the name for "Best Resort" in the Caribbean. Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa was ranked number 15 among Travel + Leisure's "Best Resort Hotels in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas" category.
Celebrity Sighting: Tyler Blackburn and Chris Galya Spotted at Sandals in the Bahamas
Pretty Little Liars star Tyler Blackburn and Chris Galya of Disney’s Jessie traveled to the Bahamas, visiting Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas over the 4th of July weekend. The friends continued their vacation at Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas.
Paint Your #HappyPlace at Pinot's Palette For A Chance to Win a Sandals Resorts Luxury Included Vacation
Pinot’s Palette and Sandals Resorts #HappyPlace Summer Getaway is in full swing, and we can’t help but think about hitting the beach. With that in mind, Sandals Resorts has partnered with Pinot’s Palette, the fastest growing paint-and-sip franchise in the nation, to send a lucky winner to their #HappyPlace as part of the Reality Meets Your #HappyPlace Summer Sweepstakes! Now through August 13, Pinot’s Palette’s guests who attend any participating studio and select any one or more of the 15 different summer series paintings will be entered to win a Luxury Included® Vacation at any Sandals Resort in Jamaica, St. Lucia, Bahamas, Antigua, Barbados and Grenada. Pinot’s Palette is the perfect place for a romantic date night, or a fun group get together. Paired with the chance to win a 4-day Luxury Included® Vacation, what could make you happier this summer? Check your local studio for upcoming designated classes in the summer #HappyPlace series here.
With Thanks: Exclusive Service Discount!
Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts extend an exclusive offer to members of the U.S. and Canada military, International Association of Firefighters Members, and U.S. and Canada active force members as a special thank you for your service. Enjoy a well-deserved vacation in paradise alongside an additional 10% off! Luxury Included® experiences await for the whole family or just for the two of you! Choose from an impressive range of resorts in Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua, the Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados, or Turks & Caicos.
Sandals Royal Bahamian New Love Nest® Suites are the Perfect Romantic Getaway
As if luxury couldn’t get any better, Sandals Royal Bahamian in the Bahamas just stepped up the game. With brand new renovations and all new Royal Village Love Nest® Suites, your private, romantic getaway is just a quick plane ride away.
Championship Golf in the Bahamas or Jamaica – You Choose!
This year, choose between two golf vacation destinations for the Chairman’s Golf Invitational—Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club in Great Exuma and the Jamaica Golf & Country Club—each offering a characteristic course with majestic vistas and unique style of play.  
Tune-in to the No Worry Movement with your Favorite Radio DJs
Sandals Resorts is welcoming 20 top-rated radio stations from across the United States to trade in their snow boots and slip on their sandals to broadcast their popular shows live from the Bahamas most elegant resort, Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island.
WeddingMoons® by Sandals and Beaches Host Aisle Society’s First-Ever Retreat!
WeddingMoons® by Sandals and Beaches Resorts are thrilled to have recently hosted your favorite wedding bloggers at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, located in Nassau, Bahamas. Going live this past Fall, Aisle Society, a wedding society of 30 elite wedding gurus from around the world, quickly became the new “it” inspiration hub for discovering the best in weddings! We could not have been more pleased to host their first-ever retreat, complete with an intimate look at the Sandals WeddingMoon product.
Celebrity Sighting: Duél Hill spotted at Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas
Dulé is best known for his role on NBCs hit TV show,” Psych” and his current role on HBOs new TV series, “Ballers”.
Island hop the islands of the Bahamas … on us!
So, you’re planning a romantic escape to the Bahamas, but you are torn between the majestic splendor that is Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort and Offshore Island and the exquisite sophistication that exists at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort? Why choose? Stay at both and fly for free on us.
Great White Shark Shoots Rounds with Macy's Sweepstakes Winners
Pro golfer, Greg Norman joined Macy’s Sweepstakes winners, Brian and Debra Kulik for a 9-hole round of golf and private lunch at the Emerald Reef Golf Club at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Tennis and Spa Resort in the Bahamas.
Sandals Resorts International Honored at this Year's World Travel Awards
Sandals Resorts International (SRI) has done it again! The resort company was honored with prestigious recognition at the 22nd Annual World Travel Awards’ Caribbean & The North America Ceremony, held on October 17, 2023 at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis & Spa Resort in the Bahamas.
Sandals Foundation Working To Help The Bahamas Recover
The Sandals Foundation, the non-profit arm of Sandals Resorts International, has sounded the call for support in its efforts to help citizens of The Bahamas who have been affected by the destruction caused by Hurricane Joaquin. These include the southern islands of San Salvador, Cat Island and Rum Cay which were most impacted by the Category 4 storm, as well as Long Island which has also seen its fair share of destruction.
Featured Honeymoon Hop®: Experience Bahamian Splendor at Sandals Royal Bahamian and Sandals Emerald Bay
If you’re planning a WeddingMoon journey, you can now experience the best of the Bahamas at these two magnificent resorts. The Sandals Honeymoon Hop® program makes it easy for you to tie the knot at the exotic Sandals Royal Bahamian, featuring an exclusive offshore island escape, and then when the wedding festivities are over, you can begin your honeymoon at the Six Star Diamond award-winning Sandals Emerald Bay, set in the secluded and serene Bahamian Out Islands. 
Sandals Emerald Bay Joins the Ranks of World’s Best
Sandals Resorts is proud to announce that Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort was ranked as the Best Caribbean Spa Hotel in this year’s Travel + Leisure 2023 World’s Best Awards.  It was also recently announced that in the Family Travel Caribbean Resorts category, Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa retained its ranking as the best Caribbean resort for families for the second year in a row, while Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa received the coveted #1 ranking in the general Caribbean, Bermuda, & the Bahamas Resorts category.  Sandals Royal Plantation Resort & Spa was also honored in the general Caribbean category of T+L’s World’s Best Awards. Representatives for the brand were on hand to receive these prestigious awards during Travel + Leisure’s 20th Anniversary Celebration last week in New York City.
Sandals and Beaches Resorts Secure Position as World’s Best
Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts are proud to announce that both brands were ranked #1 in their respective categories in this year’s Travel + Leisure 2023 World’s Best Awards.  In the Family Travel Caribbean Resorts category, Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa retained its ranking as the best Caribbean resort for families for the second year in a row, while Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa received the coveted #1 ranking in the general Caribbean, Bermuda, & the Bahamas Resorts category.  Additionally, Beaches Turks & Caicos was ranked #16, and Sandals Royal Plantation was ranked #23 in the general Caribbean, Bermuda & the Bahamas category. 
Destination Bahamas: Fall Chairman’s Golf Invitational
Stay at the exquisitely exotic Sandals Emerald Bay where you’ll enjoy luxurious services and amenities, and of course, the stunning Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club. Recently named the Bahamas’ Best Golf Course at the 1st Annual World Golf Awards, Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club features majestic panoramic views, six signature holes that hug the coastline of a scenic peninsula, and more!
Climb up to Sandals Royal Bahamian’s Windsor Tower
Known for its majestic European feel, the Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort and Off-Shore Island is nestled in the unmatched beauty of The Bahamas. Now, the most elegant resort has an accent that further solidifies its reputation with its newly enhanced Windsor Tower.
Tune-In to Win a Sandals Resorts Luxury Included® Vacation!
Sandals Resorts and your favorite hit radio stations from across the U.S. want to help you escape the cold and dive into the heart of the Caribbean! Tune in on Monday, March 23rd and Tuesday, March 24th or on Thursday, March 26th and Friday, March 27th as 20 radio stations trade their studios for sweeping ocean views as they broadcast LIVE from Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis & Spa Resort in Great Exuma, Bahamas. DJ’s will also provide you with the exclusive chance to win a 4-day/3-night Luxury Included® Vacation to any Sandals Resort, including round-trip airfare for two on American Airlines!
Vibes on the Island returns to Sandals Royal Bahamian
A trip to Sandals Royal Bahamian is always a guaranteed good time! With up to 10 Gourmet Discovery Dining restaurants, a royal history and a private offshore island, there is little you could add to make a trip to this Luxury Included® resort any better – or so you thought. On April 25, Sandals Royal Bahamian kicks it up a notch with the return of the fundraising concert, Vibes on the Island 2023  presented by The Sandals Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company and Caribbean Bottling Company Bahamas.
Sandals Foundation Joins the “1000 Bricks in 100 Days” Campaign in The Bahamas
The Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, and The Nassau, Bahamas Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (DST), recently kicked off their “1000 Bricks in 100 Days” fundraising campaign.  The call-to-action challenge will aid the partnership’s P.A.C.E. program, (Providing Access to Continued Education) in the building completion of a first-of-its-kind support center that will ensure young teenage mothers and their children are provided with a resource that accommodates administrative, counseling and academic services. 
Diving in the Bahamas Just Got Better at Sandals Royal Bahamian
The world’s largest single underwater sculpture, ‘Ocean Atlas’ is the newest attraction for Sandals Royal Bahamian guests looking to explore the deep blue sea in Nassau, Bahamas. Now, the Caribbean’s best scuba diving and snorkeling program features two underwater art exhibits with the newest addition in the pristine Bahamian waters.
USA Today Names Sandals Emerald Bay & Sandals Royal Bahamian Best Adult-Only All-Inclusives!
Winter is rapidly approaching and before you know it cabin fever will begin to set in.  With the hustle and bustle of the holidays heating up we’re sure you’re looking  for that perfect kid-free escape. Recently, USA Today, the nation’s newspaper, compiled a list of the best kid-free, all-inclusive hotels for parents to get away and rekindle their love under the heat of the Caribbean sun. Among the list are not one, but two Sandals’ properties nestled away in the 700 islands of The Bahamas: Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis & Spa Resort and Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island.
Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club Named The Bahamas’ Best Golf Course
The world has voted and the results are in! Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis & Spa Resort was recently named The Bahamas’ Best Golf Course at the 1st Annual World Golf Awards! Among stiff competition, Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club came out victorious due to the course’s pristine location, nestled along the turquoise waters of Great Exuma’s Emerald Bay. 
New Private Luxury Transfers & VIP Lounge Service For Sandals Resorts & Beaches Resorts
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island is rolling out the red carpet for guests with two sparkling new Rolls Royce vehicles. Nothing says Luxury Included® at Sandals like the arrival itself. From touching down in the beautiful Bahamas, checking-in to the exclusive Sandals Airport Lounge, to traveling in a fancy Rolls Royce and being welcomed by a personal butler, the Closer You Look at Sandals Royal Bahamian, this Luxury Included® service is the gold standard for all Butler-level category guests who book a vacation at Sandals Royal Bahamian.
Sandals Select: Enjoy the Last Exclusive Event of 2014!
After a year of exciting experiences, our 2023 exclusive events roster is coming to a close. The Sandals & Beaches Reunion Weeks, and 8th Annual Chairman’s Golf Invitational, held for the first time at the beautiful Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club in Great Exuma, the Bahamas, were a blast! And, there’s still one more exciting event to partake in: Lady Sandals! Checkout what’s in store for our most valued guests aboard the Chairman’s personal yacht.
THE SANDALS FOUNDATION LAUNCHES NEW VIDEO PRODUCED BY GIL GREEN
The video was created to bring awareness to the Sandals Foundation’s cause in a cinematic form, and was shot entirely on location in Jamaica by famed director, Gil Green.  Entitled the “Soles of Our Youth,” the 3 ½ minute short film hopes to raise awareness, create attention, and bring in needed funding to support the multitude of programs and initiatives the 501(c)(3) reinforces within Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia, The Bahamas, The Turks & Caicos Islands, Grenada and this winter, Barbados.
Sandals Select Members Show Off Their Skills at the 8th Annual Chairman's Invitational Golf Tournament
From September 10-14, 2023, 100 Sandals Select Rewards Members, Sandals Resorts’ most loyal returning guests, spent some time out on the green during the 8th Annual Chairman’s Invitational Golf Tournament. The two-day tournament was held at the Greg Norman- designed Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club in Great Exuma, Bahamas and was hosted exclusively for members of Sandals Select Rewards program.
Beautiful Beginnings Start Here: 5 Common ‘Free Wedding’ Questions Answered
Say ‘I do’ at any of the Luxury Included® resorts in Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Antigua, the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Grenada and Barbados and receive a FREE Beautiful Beginnings wedding! Here are some answers to common questions about what’s included in this elegant, free wedding theme - it’s almost too good to be true.
Forbes.com Names Fowl Cay as The Ultimate Island-Hopping Caribbean Vacation
Where can you access “the most enticing turquoise water and white sand in the western hemisphere” and have “the freedom to explore it all on your own”? Forbes.com columnist Ann Abel will explain that Fowl Cay Resort, a private island oasis not so easily found in the Bahamas, is the ticket to your next Caribbean vacation, much thanks to this resort’s one unique, yet must have amenity… You may of heard of a personal butler, golf cart or villa, but what about all of these and your very own 17- or 18-foot powerboat?  
The Sandals Foundation Partners With Delta Sigma Theta In Support of The P.A.C.E. Program
The Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals and Beaches, is partnering with The Nassau Bahamas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the local chapter of an organization that is 350,000 women strong worldwide, in support of the P.A.C.E. (Providing Access to Continued Education) Program. This community-based outreach initiative is designed to improve education and support to teenage mothers and promote awareness to help reduce teen pregnancy among young adults. 
Lapping it Up at Fowl Cay Resort
We could all learn a lot from the four-legged Labrador who takes residency all year long at Fowl Cay Resort, a  private island paradise located in a remote area of the Bahamas known as the Exumas. Appointed to the role of island mascot, security guard, welcome chair and temporary guest companion, Ruby is a veteran lady of leisure. Her lovable spirit even earned her a feature in this month’s edition of Islands magazine!
Bring a Friend. Earn Rewards.
For the first time ever, the Sandals Select Rewards Chairman’s Golf Invitational will be held in Great Exuma, the Bahamas. And, that’s not the only enticing surprise. Along with an elegant Awards Ceremony Dinner, Amazing Prizes, a Golf clinic and Private Reception with Guest Greg Norman, and the chance to win Four Complimentary Nights, our valued Sandals Select members can also earn up to 10,000 rewards points – here’s how:
Visit Macy’s.com For a Chance to Win A Golf Getaway with Greg Norman*
Give dad a gift he won’t forget this Father’s Day.  Sandals Resorts has teamed up with Greg Norman for Tasso Elba and Macy’s to reward one lucky dad with the trip of a lifetime.  We are giving away a 4-day/3-night Luxury Included® vacation for two including airfare to Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas. The winner will enjoy 9 holes of golf and lunch with golf legend Greg Norman as well as a Greg Norman for Tasso Elba wardrobe to wear on the course.
Sandals Emerald Bay Featured On OK! TV's A-list Living
Alex Miranda, host of OK! TV USA¹s A-list Living, recently traveled to Great Exuma, Bahamas for a taste of the high life at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Resort & Spa. From the beachfront butler service in his own private villa to a luxurious treatment at the Red Lane® Spa, he truly vacationed like a celebrity at this award-winning Luxury Included® resort.
Spring it On: Your WeddingMoon® at Sandals Royal Bahamian
An array of brilliant flowers and plants are found in the Bahamas. Here are just a few of the plants and flowers you may see around the lush gardens of Sandals Royal Bahamian and the Sandals Wedding Designer color options that coordinate with them.  
Celebrity Sighting: Katrina Bowden spotted at Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas
The beautiful Katrina Bowden and her husband spotted at Sandals Emerald Bay!
Sandals Emerald Bay Featured on Golf Channel’s Hit TV Show “Playing Lessons”
Calling All Golfers! Looking for the next big thing? Watch the Golf Channel’s season premiere of “Playing Lessons,” as golf pro Greg Norman takes you inside his outstanding and challenging championship course located in Great Exuma Bahamas known as the Sandals Emerald Reef Golf club and home to the Luxury Included® resort, Sandals Emerald Bay.
Championship Golf Courses of Sandals Resorts
Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club – Great Exuma, the Bahamas
Sandals Earns Their Keep in the Caribbean in Honor of Earth Day!
Sandals Resorts across the Caribbean are paying homage to the very land and seascapes that provides the tourism industry with its livelihood—thanks be to Mother Nature! From beach clean-ups in Montego Bay Jamaica to Great Exuma in the Bahamas, Sandals is rallying together not just on Earth Day, but the entire month of April in honor of the company’s annual environment-focused objectives through the Sandals Foundation. 
Win a Sandals WeddingMoon® in the Bahamas!
Congrats! You’re engaged and planning a destination wedding, but wouldn’t it be nice to win your wedding for free?  Sandals and The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism are partnering for your chance to win a free WeddingMoon® as part of The Bahamas 16 Islands Wedding contest. 
Exclusive Golf Clinic with Greg Norman for Sandals Select Members at Chairman’s Invitational
Great news! Sandals Select Rewards members can mingle with ‘The Shark’ himself, Greg Norman, at the 8th Annual Chairman’s Golf Invitational set for September 11-13, 2023 on the Norman-designed golf course at Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas.  As an exclusive reward for our Sandals Select members, golf legend Greg Norman will host a private golf clinic where you’ll learn some tips from this golf legend followed by a cocktail reception. Norman spent 331 weeks as the world’s #1 ranked golfer throughout the 1980s and 1990s and has won 91 professional events around the world.! Don’t miss your chance to experience the spectacular Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club and to meet this iconic golfer, golf course designer and entrepreneur. 
The Beatles Also Invaded The Bahamas
Beatlemania is back! Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the band’s first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” when the Fab Four took the country by storm and skyrocketed their global appeal. This milestone is reigniting buzz about their journey as they swept the globe on a tour that eventually earned them the title as best-selling band of all time.
Win a Sandals Honeymoon with Southern Weddings
Sandals Resorts has partnered with Southern Weddings Magazine, the South’s premier publication for the modern bride, and the Southern Weddings blog, which highlights the prettiest real weddings to be found in the Southeast and celebrates the best that Southern culture has to offer, for an announcement that will make you kick up your boots.  From now until November 22, 2023, one lucky couple will have a chance to win a 4-day/3-night  Luxury Included® Honeymoon to any Sandals Resorts location in Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia, or the Bahamas. This romantic getaway will feature deluxe accommodations, unlimited Discover Dining where you can savor the world at up to 15 gourmet restaurants, premium brand beverages, daily and nightly entertainment, an array of land and watersports including snorkeling and scuba diving for certified divers, and so much MORE!
Sandals Royal Bahamian to Host Benefit Concert featuring Shaggy
The Sandals Foundation and Coca Cola are proud to present “Vibes on the Island”, a benefit concert featuring reggae superstar, Shaggy.  On Saturday, November 2nd at 7pm, “Mr. Bombastic” himself will take the stage at the Private Island at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island to perform all of his hits, all for a great cause. Tickets for this exclusive event are $175 and all proceeds will go to benefit the P.A.C.E. Foundation which provides education and support to teenage mothers and promotes awareness of policies to help reduce teen pregnancy among young adults within The Bahamas.
Sandals Foundation Joins International Coastal Cleanup Day 2013
Every year, thousands of people around the world gather for International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day to help keep our ocean’s clean and healthy. Dedicated to environmental preservation, the Sandals Foundation took part in this year’s cleanup activities on the islands of Jamaica and the Bahamas, collecting over 8,000 pounds of garbage thanks to the help of dedicated volunteers. Both team and community members from nearby local Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts gathered September 21, 2023, for a fulfilling day of hard work.
Club Sandals Rolls Out the Red Carpet in Saint Lucia
Sandals Resorts has been rolling out the red carpet for its guests like never before with the all new Club Sandals experience, a VIP level of service redefining the concierge hospitality at Sandals Resorts in Jamaica, The Bahamas, Antigua and now—Saint Lucia!  Beginning October 1, concierge-level guests and higher at Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort & Spa, Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort and Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia will enjoy the complete Club Sandals treatment.
Stars Tee Off At Sandals Emerald Bay Celebrity Getaway & Golf Weekend
Sandals Resorts and Access Hollywood recently rolled out the red carpet at the Sandals Emerald Bay Celebrity Getaway & Golf Weekend in Great Exuma, Bahamas. Joined by special guests Access Hollywood host Billy Bush and golf legend Greg Norman, celebrities flew south thanks to American Airlines and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism for a three-day event full of sun, golf, and plenty of good times.
Baccarat at Sandals Royal Bahamian: Elegant French Cuisine
Prepare to be whisked away to the heart of France.  Join Sandals Resorts Culinary Ambassador, Chef Walter Staib, and Executive Chef, Josef Swaboda, as they explore classic French cuisine at Baccarat, found at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island in Nassau, Bahamas.  Named after the famous French crystal manufacturer who created the elegantly curved windowpanes that grace the exterior, Baccarat mingles delightfully fine crystal amid sophisticated Art Nouveau décor, creating a dining experience you are certain to remember.
Sandals Foundation Joins International Coastal Cleanup Day 2013
Every year, thousands of people around the world gather for International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day to help keep our ocean’s clean and healthy. Dedicated to environmental preservation, the Sandals Foundation took part in this year’s cleanup activities on the islands of Jamaica and the Bahamas, collecting over 8,000 pounds of garbage thanks to the help of dedicated volunteers. Both team and community members from nearby local Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts gathered September 21, 2023, for a fulfilling day of hard work.
Sandals Select: Member Only Labor Day Savings
Sandals Emerald Bay | Great Exuma, Bahamas
Discover Traditional English Pub Fare at The Cricketer’s Pub at Sandals Royal Bahamian
Prepare to be charmed by the lively atmosphere and spirits of the Olde Country as you discover true English Pub Fare at The Cricketer’s Pub at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island in Nassau, Bahamas. Cozy beyond compare with its genuine décor including wraparound bar with brass railing, authentic church pews, carved ceilings and solid wood floors- every corner of this bar was brought over piece-by-piece from a true working pub in England!
Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Names Sandals as Best All-Inclusive Honeymoon Resorts
After scouring the globe to find the all-inclusive resorts that truly stand above the rest, top destination bridal magazine, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, recently featured Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas and Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort & Spa in Saint Lucia among the “Best All-Inclusive Honeymoon Resorts.”
Sandals Emerald Bay: Paradise Within Reach
Sandals Emerald Bay is merely 40 minutes by plane from south Florida, so you can feel worlds away island hopping to picturesque islets and cays, diving, fishing, and yachting. With a tranquil backdrop and lavish activities including the Greg Norman-designed, 18-hole, par 72 championship course, regarded as one of the best in the Caribbean by Travel + Leisure Golf; one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the Bahamas; seven unlimited fine dining restaurants including the acclaimed Italian restaurant Il Cielo; and the extraordinary service of the butlers, this resort is one of the most alluring resorts in all of the Out Islands. Plus, Sandals Emerald Bay is now even more accessible with Delta Airlines’ new route from the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia.
Vacation like Royalty with Club Sandals at Sandals Royal Bahamian
Located on Nassau’s most spectacular white sand beach, Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island is one of the most elegant resorts in the Bahamas. Pulling into the porte cochere upon arrival, you can’t help but feel like European royalty. After all, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor once made it their epicenter for high society as the famed Balmoral Club of the 1940s. Today, Club Sandals is making its debut in Nassau, redefining the concierge experience and ensuring guests of the Concierge level truly feel like king and queen.
Spotted: HBO’s True Blood Star Vacations at Sandals Emerald Bay
Who says vampires can’t go in the sun? Kristin Bauer, star of HBO’s acclaimed sci-fi series True Blood, took a daring risk by choosing Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas as her perfect island destination for a relaxing, sun filled getaway last week.
Club Sandals Brings VIP Experience to Sandals Emerald Bay
After a successful launch in Jamaica, Club Sandals, an exclusive new club redefining the concierge experience, is now at Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas. As a guest of a Concierge level suite at this award-wining resort, you will now experience elite status with the addition of even more amenities to enhance your Luxury Included® Vacation.  
Sandals Resorts Golf Pro Competes in the PGA EuroPro Tour
Sandals Emerald Bay’s very own golf pro, Kevin Mumford, is currently competing among some of the world’s best in the PGA EuroPro Tour, representing Sandals Resorts on courses across England, Scotland and Switzerland. If you have vacationed at Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas, you might have seen Kevin taking swings on the Greg Norman-designed, 18-hole, par 72 Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club. Before joining the Sandals team in 2011, Kevin played golf professionally on development tours in the USA, Asia, Canada and Europe. He most recently finished 3rd in the 2023 Bermuda Open, tied 17th in the 2023 Jamaican Open and competed in the 2023 EuroPro Tour Qualifying Tournament where he successfully gained full playing privileges for this elite tour.
A Perfect Honeymoon Destination: Great Exuma, Bahamas
Cast like tiny jewels across the sea, the 365 islands and cays of The Exumas, Bahamas possess a hypnotic allure unlike any place else on earth.  Endless crystal turquoise water entices the senses and invites you to explore vibrant coral reefs beneath its surface in this island paradise.  The unspoiled beauty, privacy and seclusion, and impressive luxury available here make this a perfect honeymoon destination. 
"Like" Fowl Cay Resort on Facebook!
Fowl Cay Resort, our private island retreat, recently launched an all-new Facebook page so that  fans of this secluded island in Exuma, Bahamas can stay connected worldwide.  We look forward to sharing the latest resort news and exclusive offerings while connecting with past and future guests alike.
Fowl Cay Featured On Travel Channel's "Sins of Beaches"
According to the Travel Channel’s “Sins of Beaches” television special, Fowl Cay Resort, located in the remote Out Islands of the Bahamas, is synonymous with the sin “Envy.” Coveted for its exclusive locale which can only be reached by private plane and boat; boundless adventure hidden among countless islands and exotic marine life; and mobile luxuries such as your own golf cart and boat for exploring; friends of Fowl Cay guests will be drooling when they find out about this hidden gem.
Tune In & Win During Our LIVE Broadcasts at Sandals Emerald Bay
Dreaming of your summer vacation but haven’t made any plans yet?  No worries mon!  All you have to do is listen to your favorite radio station for your chance to win a Luxury All-Inclusive Vacation to any Sandals Resort.  Throughout the next two weeks some of the most popular radio shows from 20 stations across the U.S., including New York, Long Island, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and St. Louis just to name a few, will broadcast live from Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas and make this romantic paradise their temporary home.
The Sandals Foundation Celebrates Marine Awareness Month
In an effort to promote marine awareness during the month of April, the Sandals Foundation reached out to over 2,000 local students and Sandals Resorts guests to share the importance of the preservation of marine life and expose some of the unique aquatic ecosystems in the Caribbean. Through visits to local schools across the islands of Antigua, the Bahamas, Saint Lucia, Turks & Caicos and Jamaica, as well as voluntourism experiences integrated into Sandals Resorts’ Reunion Week, the Sandals Foundation continues to spearhead its mission of bettering the region through community, education and environmental outreach.
USA Today Names Sandals Emerald Bay Best Fitness Vacation
While you might escape to the Bahamas with the sole intention to laze your days away under a pool cabana with a tropical drink in hand, you might also want to keep up your fit lifestyle to maximize your vacation fun. At Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas, there are plenty of ways to stay active whether playing 18 at Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club, diving into the crystal blue waters of the Exumas, or even visiting the state-of-the-art fitness center.
Relax at Sandals Emerald Bay with a Free Couples Massage
The new year is well under way and the general everyday stress is starting to pile on. You need a way to unwind and take some time for you and your loved one to spend quality time together. And what better way to de-stress than spending a few days on a Luxury Included® Vacation at Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas.  Nestled along a one-mile stretch of unspoiled beach on Great Exuma, Sandals Emerald Bay will allow you to enjoy romance and relaxation with spectacular accommodations, fantastic fine dining and golf on a Greg Norman-designed course.
January?s Suite of the Month ? Prime Minister Suite at Sandals Emerald Bay
After your New Year’s engagement, its time to get the honeymoon planning started!  Sandals Resorts is here to help you narrow down your choice in destination and resort.  If escaping to an island surrounded by indescribable natural beauty, where the ocean shimmers with different shades of turquoise each hour of the day, all within the privileged seclusion for you and your loved one to enjoy appeals to you, then Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas is the perfect choice for your honeymoon.
Unique Wedding Locations: Sandals Island at Sandals Royal Bahamian
Sandals Resorts offers exceptional locations for brides and grooms to choose for their destination wedding.  Some of these locations are not only unique, but also pretty spectacular like Sandals Island, the private offshore island  located at Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort & Spa in Nassau, Bahamas. 
Taking the Kids to Fowl Cay Resort featured on FoxNews.com
Leading national travel expert and syndicated columnist, Eileen Ogintz, has made a 20-year career of touring vacation destinations around the world and providing a travel resource for how to get the most fun and memories out of your family vacations at TakingtheKids.com.  Her latest stop landed her at Fowl Cay Resort, or “…the most unique Caribbean all-inclusive resort that I've ever seen” as Eileen put it, a 50-acre retreat in the secluded chain of the Exumas, Bahamas.  A travel writer by occupation, Ogintz had no idea this undisturbed tropical paradise would deliver so many firsts for her and her family.
The Sandals Foundation Spreads Goodwill throughout the Caribbean
The Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, participates in a variety of projects throughout the Caribbean every year. Whether supporting community, education or environment initiatives in Jamaica, The Bahamas, Antigua, Saint Lucia and Turks and Caicos, the Sandals Foundation takes every project enthusiastically under its arm, garnering financial support through donations and fundraising events. Here’s what the Sandals Foundation has been up to recently:
Sandals Emerald Bay Ranked Best Beaches by The Knot
It’s that time again Brides and Grooms; The Knot magazine’s Winter 2023 issue has come out with their Annual Guide to the 50 Best Honeymoon Spot and guess who is ranked as one of the 10 Best Beaches -  Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas!
Sandals Foundation Continues To Make A Difference
The Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, continues to spearhead a variety of programs to better the Caribbean. Whether focusing on education, the environment or the community, the Sandals Foundation’s initiatives always aim to alleviate challenges in the region. Additionally, the Sandals Foundation identifies a number of projects each year in Jamaica, The Bahamas, Antigua, Saint Lucia and Turks and Caicos to be taken under its arms and funded through donations and fundraising events. Here’s what the Sandals Foundation has been up to recently: 
Two Vacations in One with Offshore Islands
Only Sandals Resorts gives you two vacations in one with Private Offshore Islands located at Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas and Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Nightmare Date to Night Out
In celebration of the upcoming ‘The Bachelor’ finale filming at Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas, we're giving you the chance to WIN a date! Tell us about the worst date you've ever had and you could WIN a voucher for a slap up meal!  You choose the partner, we'll do the rest!  Wipe your memory clean of the nightmare with a night out from Sandals Resorts! Just CLICK HERE to enter. 
Channel 5's THE BACHELOR features Sandals Emerald Bay
Sandals Resorts has earned a worldwide reputation for providing two people in love with the most romantic holiday experience in the Caribbean, so it is no surprise that the stunning Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas has been chosen as the setting for the climax of the second season of Channel 5’s hit show The Bachelor. Episodes 9 and 10 will air on 24 and 31 August respectively and will see ‘Bachelor’ Spencer Matthews jet off to the Bahamian paradise of The Exumas for a Luxury Included® stay at Sandals Emerald Bay, accompanied by the three girls who have made it through to the show’s finale.
Wheel of Fortune Sandals Resorts Golf Getaway Week, Aug 20-24
Take another swing, August 20-24, as Wheel of Fortune showcases a Luxury Included® golf getaway to Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas during Sandals Resorts Golf Getaway Week, a rerun of the original show that aired in December 2011.
Barefoot by the Sea with Culinary Ambassador Chef Walter Staib
Chef Walter Staib’s culinary journey voyages to the beautiful beaches and turquoise waters of Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas to visit with resident Executive Chef Basel, and prepare a popular dish from the flavorful menu of Sandals' Barefoot by the Sea.
A Private Villa (and an unforgettable Honeymoon) Await at Fowl Cay Resort
Brides are not just interested in having a unique wedding, different from the next, they’re also looking for an unrivaled honeymoon destination unlike all the rest! Top bridal magazine, Bridal Guide, has just the place to fit the bill, a small private island in a secluded area of The Bahamas named Fowl Cay Resort.
Wheel of Fortune Sandals Resorts Romance Week, June 25-29
Relive the romance, June 25-29, as Wheel of Fortune showcases a Luxury Included® romantic getaway to Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas during Sandals Resorts Romance Week, a rerun of the original show that aired earlier this year in February.
Have you ever dreamed of having your own private island ? you can!
Have you ever dreamed of kicking back on a powder white sand beach, one so soft that your feet sink up to your ankles when you walk on it? One that is never the same, always changing with the tides.  A private beach where you can watch the sandbars shift throughout the day and the only companion you have is Mother Nature herself?  If so, then a getaway to the private island resort Fowl Cay, located in the stunning Exumas islands of the Bahamas, is your dream getaway.
A Sandals Resorts Culinary Journey with Chef Walter Staib
We invite you to join us on a culinary journey throughout our Caribbean destinations in a cooking demo series hosted by Sandals Resorts' own Culinary Ambassador, Chef Walter Staib. Sandals Resorts offers guests gourmet cuisine from around the world including fine Italian fare served at the upscale Il Cielo, a Ristorante Italiano exclusively at Sandals Emerald Bay. We begin our journey in the out-island chain of the Bahamas, referred to as The Exumas. Here you will discover the flavors of Tuscany found right in the Caribbean. Click below to watch Sandals Emerald Bay’s Executive Sous-Chef Ivan, joined by Chef Walter Staib, prepare one of Il Cielo’s delectable signature dishes, the “Pistachio-Crusted Salmon with Panzanella Salad". 
Sandals Emerald Bay Hosts Multi-Station Radio Remote
Last week, Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas hosted 17 top-ranked radio stations from across the US, including, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York, to experience and share with their listeners the Luxury Included® amenities that the newest Sandals Resort has to offer. DJs and staff dined at many of the 7 wonderful restaurants available at Sandals Emerald Bay, took a dip in the breathtaking waters of Great Exuma, indulged in relaxing treatments at the signature Red Lane®, experienced an Island Routes excursion and even teed off on the Greg Norman-designed Championship golf course.
Sandals Emerald Bay named Best Honeymoon All-Inclusive Resort
Sandals Resorts is thrilled to announce that Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas has been recognized as the “Best Honeymoon All-Inclusive Resort” in the 2023 About.com Readers’ Choice Awards. 
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