The Best Bahamas Travel Guide -The Bahamian islands lure millions of visitors to their white-washed shores, duty-free shops, fishing and scuba diving excursions and luxurious accommodations each year. The families that flock here tend to indulge in the diversions of the mega resorts, but this diverse island chain also offers a range of activities away from the hotel zone. Nature enthusiasts can explore the offshore reefs and wildlife preserves and golf lovers can tee up on the numerous par-72 courses. Bargain-hunters enjoy patrolling the marketplaces for the best duty-free deals. No wonder the Bahamas has become a popular destination in the Caribbean.
Though the area consists of more than 700 islands and cays, this first stop for most visitors is New Providence Island’s Nassau. Here, the twinkling casinos and upscale resorts are intertwined with American Civil War history and pirate lore. The second most popular island is also the most northwest: Grand Bahama, home to bustling Freeport and a center of ecotourism with its underwater limestone caves and botanical gardens. When you need a break from all the crowds, head east from Nassau to the Outer Islands, where you can easily drop off the grid and enjoy a simpler way of life. Visit the Best Beaches in the Bahamas for an in-depth look at the best beaches located in the Bahamas, or visit us on Pinterest.
Bahamas Weather – When to Visit
The best time to visit the Bahamas is from mid-December to mid-April, the country’s peak season. Though temperatures here are great year-round, the islands fall within the hurricane belt, so hurricanes may be a factor between June 1 and Nov. 30. Most of these months (plus May) also fall within the region’s rainy season, which can leave you with fewer days spent enjoying the islands’ outdoor activities. But keep in mind that mid-December to mid-April’s sublime weather attracts hordes of tourists, so prices will be at their highest and crowds at their thickest during these months.
Top Beaches in the Bahamas
Love Beach (Nassau)
Love Beach offers crystal-clear turquoise waters, long stretches of soft, white sands, and the opportunity to see low-flying airplanes buzzing right overhead. It’s a convenient beach close to the Nassau downtown area that you can get to by bus, and it’s a favorite among visitors and locals alike. If you get hungry after a hard day of relaxation, you can head for the local beach bar to grab a cocktail or some snacks.
Pink Sands Beach (Harbour Island)
Pink Sands Beach offers a truly unique beach experience because the sand is actually pink where the surf laps ashore. The pink color of this 3-mile stretch comes from crushed seashells, and it truly looks magical. This is something of a hidden gem among Bahamas beaches that’s become very popular among honeymooners looking for that picturesque, romantic getaway. Regular vacationers looking for something convenient and relaxed also love this one. For my information on Harbour Island, visit The Best of Harbour Island.
Tropic of Cancer Beach (Exuma)
Tropic of Cancer Beach offers a getaway that’s among the most iconic in the Bahamas, with gorgeous landscapes, clear waters, endless stretches of sand, and quiet surroundings. This beach is about 20 minutes by car from Great Exuma and is a secluded stretch of sand and surf that tends to be a quiet and serene place even when crowded. You won’t find many shops or restaurants around here, so be sure to pack your snacks, food, and other requirements.
Cable Beach (Nassau)
Cable Beach is among the most popular beaches in Nassau, offering great views, clear-blue waters, water sport adventures, nearby resorts, shopping, dining, and excitement. This is one of the more expansive beaches in Nassau, so you’ll find a lot to do here before or after your time building sandcastles, laying out in the sun, going surfing, or renting a water scooter to get out on the waters. You can also find plenty of beach bars, restaurants, and snack stands to grab a cocktail and some food.
Junkanoo Beach (Nassau)
Junkanoo Beach is named for the Junkanoo celebrations between December and January and offers a party atmosphere with restaurants, bars, music, dancing, and a hip vibe. If you’re looking for a place in Nassau that combines a tropical paradise, white sands, and clear turquoise waters with a truly vibrant nightlife, this is it. You’ll hear loud music thumping from the clubs almost any time of day.
Best 5 Islands in the Bahamas
For the ultimate fairy-tale getaway, head to Harbour Island. With pastel-colored cottages, swaying palm trees and alluring blush-tinted sand, this dreamy oasis is worthy of a postcard. Spend a day exploring the quaint streets of Dunmore Town on a golf cart (the island’s primary mode of transportation), then refuel with a delicious lunch of conch fritters (shellfish that is battered and deep-fried with vegetables and seasonings). When you’re ready to hit the beach, Harbour Island’s illustrious Pink Sand Beach provides excellent swimming and snorkeling conditions, while the Lone Tree at Girl’s Bank Beach is a must for photographers. For my information on Harbour Island, visit The Best of Harbour Island. Best Hotel on Harbour Island: French Leave Resort, Autograph Collection
Famed for its cobalt blue water, white sand beaches and friendly swimming pigs, this chain of 365 cays along the Atlantic Ocean is so esteemed that many of its islands are privately owned by celebrities (including Johnny Depp and Tyler Perry). Head to Coco Plum Beach for prime sand dollar hunting or get your feet wet at the renowned Tropic of Cancer Beach. Meanwhile, divers should suit up for a swim at Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, the world’s first land and sea reserve, or Thunderball Grotto, a fascinating underwater cave featured in the 1965 James Bond flick, “Thunderball.” You can visit The Best Exumas Guide here. Best Exuma Islands Hotel: Grand Isle Resort & Residences
Grand Bahama Island
Visit Grand Bahama Island if your idea of a perfect island getaway includes ample water sports. Snorkel in some of the Bahamas’ best blue holes or go diving with tiger sharks at Tiger Beach. Lucaya Beach and Taino Beach are both top-notch shores, but the rippled sand at Gold Rock Beach in Lucayan National Park has been known to attract photographers. In the evening, head to Count Basie Square in Port Lucaya Marketplace for dinner, drinks and traditional goombay music. Visit the Grand Bahamas Travel Guide here. Best Grand Bahama Island Hotel: Dolphin Cove
Spanning 120 miles, the boating capital of the Bahamas is home to the Sea of Abaco, a naturally protected body of water with stellar fishing and premier sailing. Marsh Harbour’s myriad restaurants, resorts and marinas make a great home base for island hoppers, while Hope Town, a charming village known for its colorful cottages and iconic Elbow Reef Lighthouse, appeals to history buffs. Don your scuba diving gear to explore the underwater caverns of Walker’s Cay, or stroll the sandbar at Tahiti Beach. Only accessible by bike, boat or on foot, this secluded stretch of shore is perfect for leisurely beach days. For vacation planning, visit our Abaco Islands Travel Guide here. Best Abaco Islands Hotel: Bahama Beach Club
Boasting a plethora of resort hotels and more airports than any other Bahamian island, Eleuthera may be easy to visit – but it’s definitely not easy to leave. Dramatic cliffs, miles of unspoiled coastline and some of the sweetest pineapples in the world make this picturesque island ideal for long, leisurely days by the water. Hang 10 at Surfer’s Beach or spend an evening on Lighthouse Beach, a stretch of pink sand best for romantic strolls. For an unforgettable experience, see where the aquamarine waters of the Bight of Eleuthera meet the dark blue Atlantic Ocean at the Glass Window Bridge. Get more information on the Best Eleuthera Hotels and Resorts here. Best Eleuthera Hotel: Villa Allamanda