Best Things To Do in Bahamas
From gorgeous beaches to expansive golf courses, most agree the Bahamas are the quintessential relaxing Caribbean vacation. There are historic attractions and bustling marketplaces in Nassau and Freeport. And if you’re looking for more active pursuits, strap on some diving gear and explore the coral reefs or hike around The Glass Window Bridge. Kid-friendly attractions like the water park at Atlantis, Paradise Island on Paradise Island make this a great family destination as well.
1. Bahamas Beaches
The Bahamas’ year-round warm weather makes it a prime spot for a relaxing vacation in the sun, and some of the islands’ best places to unwind are the beaches overlooking the country’s clear blue waters. Available beaches on the Bahamas’ 700 islands range from water sports-focused sands at mega-resorts like Atlantis, Paradise Island to quiet sanctuaries on private islands. Some are great locales for snorkeling or horseback riding, while others are best suited for lounging with a drink.Gold Rock Beach in Lucayan National Park (which was featured in two “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies), Pink Sand Beach on Harbour Island (named for its stunning blush shoreline), Cable Beach in Nassau and Pig Beach, where you can visit and feed wild pigs, are just some of the popular shorelines available in the region.
2. Bahamas Boat Tours
Though you’ll find many ways to spend your time on shore, one of the best ways to take advantage of all the Bahamas has to offer is to go on a boat tour. Chartering a boat will give you the chance to try a variety of activities, including diving and snorkeling, fishing and swimming with wild pigs. Many excursions also offer access to private islands, where you can lounge on pristine sands after savoring a picnic lunch on the beach.Recent travelers raved about the sailing excursions offered in the Bahamas, describing their experiences as “incredible,” “fantastic” and “awesome.” However, a few cautioned that charter prices are steep, so plan your budget accordingly. Boat operators recommended by previous visitors include Island Time Charters and Bahama Boat Tours for New Providence Island and Exuma Water Sports (for The Exumas).
3. Bahamas Diving & Snorkeling
Beneath the surface of the Bahamas’ waters lie a plethora of reefs, underwater caves and sinkholes teeming with aquatic animals, such as stingrays, sea turtles, dolphins, sharks and Nassau grouper. As such, it’s hardly surprising that visitors flock to the islands to snorkel or dive. Many local beaches, resorts and private islands offer shallow areas that are ideal for snorkeling, while islands like New Providence, Grand Bahama, Andros and The Abacos feature world-renowned dive sites, such as the 6,000-foot-deep Tongue of the Ocean (by Andros) and the James Bond Wrecks (near New Providence Island).Many boat tours (such as ones offered by Island Time Charters and Exuma Water Sports) include snorkeling in their itineraries. For diving, past visitors suggest signing up for excursions with companies like Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas (on New Providence Island) and Sunn Odyssey Divers (on Grand Bahama Island). Each company offers knowledgeable and friendly guides, according to previous divers.
4. Lucayan National Park (Grand Bahama Island)
There are three national parks on Grand Bahama Island, but this is the definitive favorite. A 40-acre spread of mangrove, palm and pine trees, Lucayan National Park also contains the impressive Gold Rock Beach (which appears in two of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies), as well as the Burial Mound Cave (where the remains of indigenous Lucayans were discovered in 1986) and Ben’s Cave. Both caves are part of one of the world’s longest underwater limestone cave systems.Recent visitors enjoyed Lucayan National Park’s sights, especially the beach. Many travelers were smitten with Gold Rock Beach, commenting on the clear waters, lack of crowds and overall beautiful setting. Some visitors recommended kayaking through the mangroves as another way to fully immerse yourself and enjoy the park. Meanwhile, avid divers can go diving at Ben’s Cave via operators like Sunn Odyssey Divers and Calabash Eco Adventures. Dives cost $140 to $175 per person.
5. Private Islands
Whether you cruise or fly to the Bahamas, chances are you’ll visit at least one private island during your stay. A few feature boutique resorts like Kamalame Cay and Fowl Cay Resort, while others (think: Blue Lagoon Island) offer activities like Segway tours and swimming with dolphins. Meanwhile, those who arrive by cruise ship via Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line or Royal Caribbean International have access to their cruise line’s private island. Each island offers water sports equipment rentals, eco-tours, cabanas and more (for a fee).Past visitors appreciated the various activities available at Blue Lagoon Island, especially the dolphin encounters. Travelers also praised cruise-affiliated private islands like Castaway Cay (Disney), CocoCay (Royal Caribbean) and Half Moon Cay (Carnival). Many described CocoCay as “paradise” and Half Moon Cay as “beautiful,” while Disney cruisers said Castaway Cay was the highlight of their vacations.