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.  Start planning your Bahamas vacation and continue reading our Bahamas Travel Guide.

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.

Best Attractions of the Bahamas

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is The-Cloisters-Nassau-300x200.jpgThe 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.

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Pig Beach Great Exuma, Bahamas, Bahamas beaches, best beaches of the Bahamas, Grand Bahama beaches, Abacos beaches, the Exumas beaches, Cat Island beaches, The Berry Islands beaches, Bahamas travel, best beaches of the Caribbean, best hotels in the Bahamas, best restaurants in the Bahamas, best Bahamas attractions, things to do in the BahamasPig 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.

Dunmore Town Harbour Island, Bahamas, Bahamas beaches, best beaches of the Bahamas, Grand Bahama beaches, Abacos beaches, the Exumas beaches, Cat Island beaches, The Berry Islands beaches, Bahamas travel, best beaches of the Caribbean, best hotels in the Bahamas, best restaurants in the Bahamas, best Bahamas attractions, things to do in the BahamasDunmore Town, Harbour Island

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.

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Fort Montahu New Provedence Island, Bahamas, Bahamas beaches, best beaches of the Bahamas, Grand Bahama beaches, Abacos beaches, the Exumas beaches, Cat Island beaches, The Berry Islands beaches, Bahamas travel, best beaches of the Caribbean, best hotels in the Bahamas, best restaurants in the Bahamas, best Bahamas attractions, things to do in the BahamasFort 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.

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Blackbeard's Tower Nassau, Bahamas, Bahamas beaches, best beaches of the Bahamas, Grand Bahama beaches, Abacos beaches, the Exumas beaches, Cat Island beaches, The Berry Islands beaches, Bahamas travel, best beaches of the Caribbean, best hotels in the Bahamas, best restaurants in the Bahamas, best Bahamas attractions, things to do in the BahamasBlackbeard’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. 

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Sapona Bimini, Bahamas, Bahamas beaches, best beaches of the Bahamas, Grand Bahama beaches, Abacos beaches, the Exumas beaches, Cat Island beaches, The Berry Islands beaches, Bahamas travel, best beaches of the Caribbean, best hotels in the Bahamas, best restaurants in the Bahamas, best Bahamas attractions, things to do in the BahamasSapona, 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 hurricane 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. 

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Port Lucaya Marketplace Freeport, Bahamas, Bahamas beaches, best beaches of the Bahamas, Grand Bahama beaches, Abacos beaches, the Exumas beaches, Cat Island beaches, The Berry Islands beaches, Bahamas travel, best beaches of the Caribbean, best hotels in the Bahamas, best restaurants in the Bahamas, best Bahamas attractions, things to do in the BahamasPort Lucaya Marketplace, Freeport

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.

Paradise Island Lighthouse New Providence, Bahamas, Bahamas beaches, best beaches of the Bahamas, Grand Bahama beaches, Abacos beaches, the Exumas beaches, Cat Island beaches, The Berry Islands beaches, Bahamas travel, best beaches of the Caribbean, best hotels in the Bahamas, best restaurants in the Bahamas, best Bahamas attractions, things to do in the BahamasParadise 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.

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Parliament Street Nassau, Bahamas, Bahamas beaches, best beaches of the Bahamas, Grand Bahama beaches, Abacos beaches, the Exumas beaches, Cat Island beaches, The Berry Islands beaches, Bahamas travel, best beaches of the Caribbean, best hotels in the Bahamas, best restaurants in the Bahamas, best Bahamas attractions, things to do in the BahamasParliament 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.

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Columbus Point Long Island, Bahamas, Bahamas beaches, best beaches of the Bahamas, Grand Bahama beaches, Abacos beaches, the Exumas beaches, Cat Island beaches, The Berry Islands beaches, Bahamas travel, best beaches of the Caribbean, best hotels in the Bahamas, best restaurants in the Bahamas, best Bahamas attractions, things to do in the BahamasColumbus 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.

 

For more information on the best each island has to offer, visit the following travel guides:

Best Restaurants in the Bahamas

Mahogany House  Over $50

Since the beginning they have treated MH as a big recipe, with the idea that if you source the greatest ingredients possible and prepare them with knowledge and care, you will create something special. The key is to keep things simple. They hope to have created a space for their guests that feels comfortable and real, somewhere that you can either grab a pizza & beer in flip-flops or a classic Bordeaux in Brioni. Telephone:  242-362-6669  Web:  Mahogany House

Graycliff  $31 – 60

Sophistication and refinement have creatively transformed Bahamian dishes earning Graycliff Restaurant an international reputation for fine Bahamian cuisine. Your experience at Graycliff Restaurant begins in the parlour with its high ceilings and tranquil feeling. Within moments of sinking into one of the sofas, one of the bar waiters will arrive with your favourite cocktail. Telephone:  242-302-9051  Web:  Graycliff

The Landing  $11 – 30

The Landing restaurant serves a contemporary menu based on fresh local produce and freshly caught local fish and seafood. With an emphasis on fresh and quality ingredients, our chef of 15 years, Madelene Pedican, insures consistently top reviews. Madelene is skillful, passionate and creative. She delights in making dining at The Landing, an experience to remember.  Telephone:  242-333-2707  Web:  The Landing

Sapodilla  $31 – 50

The restaurant features several dining rooms including the Shell Room, Gallery Room, Corporate Dining Room or Room with a View, all of which enjoy the talents of our world-class pianist and musicians. If privacy is your preference then you’ll find the perfect venue nestled in the heart of Sapodilla Estate’s lush gardens. Share an intimate dinner for two in the privacy of our cabanas with personalized chef and butler services.  Telephone:  242-327-2161  Web:  Sapodilla

Dune  $31 – 60

Overlooking scenic Cabbage Beach, this at The One&Only Ocean Club offers spectacular sunset views and an intimate atmosphere. Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten serves an imaginative blend of French-Asian cuisine with a seafood twist and a dash of Bahamian spice in an inspiring setting atop a white-sand bluff.  Telephone:  242-363-8737  Web:  Dune

For more information on the best restaurants, night life, and much more, visit the following travel guides:

Best Bahamas Bars & Nightlife

The Daiquiri Shack

Great daiquiris, great music, and a friendly atmosphere are what you’ll find at The Daiquiri Shack, one of the most popular bars in the Bahamas. Proof of the popularity of the bar is on the walls, which are decorated with gifts and writings made by locals and tourists. The colorful shack has a wide variety of some 20 kinds of fresh fruit that guests can choose to make their own unique daiquiri with rum.  Web:  The Daiquiri Shack

Nipper’s Beach Bar & Grill

Nipper’s Beach Bar & Grill has it all! Besides the delicious food and drinks, this beach bar features a stunning beach that is great for snorkeling, a swimming pool, and gift shop, as well as live entertainment on Sundays. The festive atmosphere at Nipper’s makes it a popular place among locals and tourists. If you want to drink and party with friends, visit Nipper’s.  Telephone:  242-265-5111  Web:  Nipper’s Beach Bar & Grill

Bones Bar

At the Pelican Bay Hotel in Grand Bahama, you will find Bones Bar, serving freshly squeezed cocktails made from the delicious ingredients found in the Bahamas, the finest rums, ice cold drafts, and bottled beers. The bar features a flat-screen tv, lounge-style seating, and a view of the ocean.  Telephone:  242-602-2663  Web:  Bones Bar

Two Dollar Bar

If you want great drinks at unbelievably reasonable prices then Two Dollar Bar is your place. The bar, located in Grand Bahama, is a favorite among locals for its friendly atmosphere, great drinks, and the delicious Bahamian food cooked to perfection. The bar has a stunning view of the ocean and there is live music and karaoke almost every night.  Telephone:  242-602-0974  Web:  Two Dollar Bar

Fat Tuesday

The colorful, waterfront bar serves some the most delicious daiquiris in the Bahamas, along with margaritas, alcoholic shots, and other tropical drinks. The bar is located across from the Cruise Ship Welcome Center so at any given day, expect to find tourists hanging out with friends and family. Fat Tuesday’s serves delicious seafood meals and burgers.  Telephone:  242- 323-7483 Web:  Fat Tuesday

For more information on the best restaurants, night life, and much more, visit the following travel guides:

Best Hotels in the Bahamas

Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island


Sandals Royal Bahamian is a blend of European sophistication with an exotic offshore island adventure. Once a favorite of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, today it offers two sky-sized colonnaded pools overlooking the emerald sea, 5-Star Global Gourmet dining at 10 specialty restaurants, and an award-winning Red Lane® Spa. Experience the royal treatment at this glamorous all-inclusive resort featuring the all-new River Pool Swim-up Suites with butler service, two pristine white-sand beaches, and exclusive VIP airport transfers in a Rolls-Royce or Mercedes-Benz for butler guests.

Small Hope Bay Lodge – All Inclusive


This hotel is located right on the blue waters of Andros and features bright, beach-style décor, a private beach area and free breakfast. Small Hope Bay Lodge has complimentary Wi-Fi.    Small Hope Bay Lodge’s on-site restaurant serves local cuisine, and guests can find other dining options within 9.3 miles of the property.  Guests will find a gift shop, game room and small library at the property, and the tour desk can help arrange outdoor activities like snorkeling and wind surfing.

The Cove Eleuthera


The Cove, Eleuthera, is an exclusive island retreat situated on 40 lushly landscaped acres on the northern end of the Bahamian island of Eleuthera, facing the Caribbean. A short 45-minute flight from South Florida, the 57-room boutique property features a variety of stylish seaside villas and suites and elegantly-appointed accommodations, gourmet restaurant and sushi bar, the outdoor Gregory Town Grill, an open-air sunset bar, hilltop infinity pool, two private beaches, fitness center, and an array of recreational amenities including snorkeling, paddle boarding and kayaking. Additional activities include charter fishing and island excursions, scuba diving, water sports and horseback riding.

Grand Isle Resort & Spa


Located on Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, The Bahamas, Grand Isle Resort & Spa is a stunning ocean front resort. The exclusive gated community comprises 78 luxuriously appointed 1- to 4-bedroom villas that range from 1,250 sq. ft. to 5,200 sq. ft. and offer a fully equipped kitchen, spacious living area, high-end amenities, and extraordinary views. Getting around the resort is quick and convenient, as every villa is equipped with a personal golf cart. Grand Isle is one of the finest resorts in the Caribbean and is ideally suited for family holidays, romantic getaways, destination weddings and honeymoons, or for simply enjoying the beach.

Tiamo Resort


Tiamo Resort Tiamo resort consists of ten exclusives houses. Staying at Tiamo means being close to the nature and adopting to the easy way of living in uncompromised exclusive house. The hotel blends into the décor of white sand and turquoise crystal clear water and the desire to respect the environment and ecotourism is felt. These villas are built in a style Bahamian, they retain all the spirit of the Bahamas and environmentally friendly, you can even contemplate many animals who take refuge in the heart of the property. The villas are hidden in the Mangroves which stretches along our natural beaches.

For more information on hotel accommodations each island has to offer, visit the following travel guides:

28 Comments

  1. smac

    Hi Leahrae

    I absolutely love your post.  I have only been to the Bahamas once, many years ago, however I do not remember it as being so beautiful as you have portrayed in your website.  I loved the drone video in your post, such fabulous beaches, makes me want to go there right now.  Thank you so much for all the great information, great restaurants, points of interest, great lodging.  I look forward to checking out your other posts.  

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great 🙂  Thanks for the visit and I am glad you enjoyed my Bahamas post.  I was just there this past winter, and it is beautiful.  So worth a vacation to.

      Reply
  2. Ray

    This is an excellent website and article on the Bahamas. I’m a huge fan of the Caribbean and have been to most of the islands, but have never made it to the Bahamas. I’m a big fan of Aruba and have been there many times. The US Virgin Islands, Grenada, Guadaloupe, and Barbados are also some of my favorites.

    Not a big fan of Jamaica or Cuba.

    It looks like I will have to find a way to make it to the Bahamas as it looks and sounds amazing. I think your website will convince many of your visitors to visit the Caribbean.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I hope so Ray!  the Bahamas and any where in the Caribbean really is worth a visit.  Especially if you like a tropical paradise.  I just love the clear ocean….and can and do just spend a day mostly in the water.  So nice!  Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  3. Pentrental

    I have been wanting to go the Bahamas so this post is really helpful. You don’t realize that The Bahamas are so close to Florida, so it might be a nice double trip when considering The Bahamas. I appreciate you shedding light on things to do away from the resorts. I’m particularly fond of Dunmore Town, Sapona and Parliament. I’ll be sure to save your post that I can reference it on my next Bahamas trip, well done!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I live in Florida and heading to the Bahamas from Miami is super affordable!  It’s a great weekend trip for me 😀  Thanks for reading my Bahamas Travel Guide.

      Reply
  4. Yvonne

    Visiting Bahamas will be on my list of places to travel! It looks like a lot of fun and my family love the sun and the sea so it’s perfect for us. Going there on a cruise also will be an option for us. Thanks for your recommendations!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You bet Yvonne. Yes, a cruise is a great option because you get to visit so many places and I think they are a bargain! Thanks for reading Bahamas Travel Yvonne!

      Reply
  5. Deepika

    Bahamas is one of my favourite places to visit. The sheer colour of water is so inviting. Have not seen the sea as clear and with so many shades of blue, green, turquoise as in The Bahamas. Just sitting by the sea and sipping on the local beer ‘Kalik’ in itself is so relaxing!
    You have described the place so well!!
    Great job!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much and sounds like you have enjoyed the Bahamas on more than one occasion. You are very lucky! Yes, have a Kalik by the pool would be wonderful! Thank you for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com!

      Reply
  6. Michael Medlen

    Really informative article.

    The Bahamas have always looked so beautiful and I love how you have really broken down the nuts and bolts of travelling arrangements.

    Would love to go there someday myself so who knows, maybe this article is just the right amount of inspiration I need at the moment!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Michael!  I know that you would absolutely love the Bahamas!  Thanks for visiting Bahamas Travel!

      Reply
  7. Eboni

    I’m preparing to plan a vacation. Yes, I’m the type of person that prepares to plan. Ha! It’s great to know that I’ll be dealing with higher prices if I’m trying to escape the US winter. Thanks for including so much detail! It was nice to get so much info from one spot.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome!  Yes, I do the same thing actually.  I prepare to plan as well :D.  I think that way I get the best vacation I am looking for.  I go thru different destinations, and whole thing before I finally land on something that I can start planning for.  You will absolutely love the Bahamas.  Thanks for visiting Bahamas Travel!

      Reply
  8. Flavia

    This is fantastic. As a travel agent and someone who has visited Nassau as a port of call on a cruise, I didn’t know a quarter of the information you have in your article. Having the hotel recommendations is great too. I will tell my colleagues to check out your site if they need any information.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much and I am glad that I have all the “right stuff”! I try to provide information that travelers will need when they are visiting these great beach destinations. Thank you so much for visiting Bahamas Travel!

      Reply
  9. Darmendra

    This is a great article to learn about the Bahamas. Thanks so much for the very details and recommendations. I’ve been thinking of visiting the Bahamas, but I wonder when is the best time to travel there.
    Do you have a month or season preference to visit the Bahamas? And, Is there a timing when is cheaper?

    Thanks again.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Really, anytime in the Bahamas is going to be great as the weather is very similar to Florida, making the Bahamas a year-round destination.  The highest prices are going to be mid-December thru April.  Any other time will be much less.  Also, if you book 2 to 3 months in advance, you can get MUCH better deals.

      Reply
  10. Orion

    Hello and thank you very much for shining the light on the Bahamas. It just so happens that I am searching for ideas for a vacation destination. Your article is great and provides all the necessary information for a prospective vacationer.
    I am certainly going to refer to this article if I decide to go to the Bahamas
    Cheers
    Orion

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great!  I am glad I could help.   Please let me know if you need any other information or vacation ideas 🙂

      Reply
  11. Alice

    I was in my early twenties when I first heard about the Bahamas especially the cool beaches. And that was like two decades ago. So I really wish to visit it hopefully before the end of this year or next year. I’ve been working really hard to make this dream of visiting the Bahamas a reality.
    I’ve been to other places with beautiful beaches such as Singapore and Thailand but I’m expecting the Bahamas beach to be much more beautiful. Thank you for this article that makes me want to visit the place even more.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad you enjoyed reading and you will not regret going to the Bahamas.  With the gorgeous beaches, the beautiful water, and so many things to do, it is just one of those bucket list places for sure.

      Reply
  12. Daniella

    Hi Lea,

    This article is fantastic!
    My family and I are planning to sail to the Bahamas this winter, and we can’t wait. We are so excited!
    I didn’t know that to be able to rent a car you need to be more than 21 years old. Great to know!
    Another thing I didn’t know about the Bahamas is that restaurants are expensive. But you know what. It really doesn’t matter to me because when I am on vacation, I love spending money!
    However, I will follow your great suggestions!
    Thank you for this excellent post.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      We are in agreement!  When on vacation, it’s time to enjoy and not follow a budget.  That takes away from the vacation.  Enjoy your trip!

      Reply
  13. Horst

    Ah the Bahamas, I’ve never been but would love to go. It’s my cup of tea where the weather is between 70’s and 80’s in the winter. I live in Wisconsin and we all look for a getaway in the winter. I love how you broke down everything from passports to travel while visiting there. I would imagine there are all inclusive resorts? I’m planning a trip with my wife in February and now you peeked my interest thanks.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, the Bahamas, one of those places everyone needs to go, even if you are not a beach goer.  So much to see and do.  Thanks for reading.

      Reply
  14. Gareth

    This is a plethora of useful information! I had to bookmark it because I was actually thinking about taking my wife on a trip out to the islands. To me I just think of beaches and sand no matter where I would go, but this is a great primer in understanding what there really is to see and do, and it also shows how unique it really is. I also appreciate the connections to sites that will help me make this trip happen. Keep up the quality content – I love it!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you and glad you have found it useful for you!  I am glad to hear I am doing things right 🙂  Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com

      Reply

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