The best-kept secret of the Bahamas is arguably the country’s sheer size, beauty, and diversity. With 16 major islands, the Bahamas is an unmatched destination across 100,000 square miles of the world’s clearest ocean.
The Bahamas, also known as the Bahamas Islands, is an extensive group of islands consisting of about 2,000 islands if you include the cays, which are small islands that are formed on coral reefs.
The Bahamas Islands are a tropical hot spot and they rank high among the best vacation destinations in the world. Even with their popularity, there are some facts about the islands of the Bahamas you wouldn’t know without going there yourself.
If you’re planning a trip to the Bahamas, this little guide will prove indispensable for first-time visitors heading to this little island paradise.
The Best Ways to Get to the Bahamas
It can be challenging to work out how to get to the Bahamas and also work out ways of getting around because the islands are so spread out. The Bahamas has over fifty airports of which three are major international airports as entry ports.
Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS), which is located in the capital city of Nassau, is the main gateway of the Bahamas for most international flights into the region. It is located 10 miles away from downtown Nassau and close to all the main attractions on New Providence and Paradise Island.
There are three terminals in this airport, namely, domestic and charter flights, flights to the USA, and non-US international flights. It has direct services to the USA, Panama, the UK, the Cayman Islands, Canada, and Turks & Caicos. There are frequent flights from Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami to the Bahamas.
The Bahamas is also well connected through waterways from neighboring countries. There are lots of government and private marinas all through the Bahamas, twenty-nine of which are authentic ports of passage to the islands.
You can opt for either cruise ships or ferries and even yachts to travel to various islands in the Bahamas. Nassau and Freeport are the most popular ports of call.
What is the Best Time to Visit the Bahamas?
The best time of the year to visit the Bahamas Islands is the high season, which is from mid-December to May. The Bahamas doesn’t suffer from cold or even icy winters, but it does have a hurricane season.
The Atlantic hurricane season stretches between June 1 and November 30. Most of these months, including May in some cases, also fall within the region’s rainy season, which can leave you with fewer days spent enjoying the islands’ outdoor activities if you happen to go during this time.
You should bear in mind that mid-December to May’s great weather attracts hordes of tourists, so airplane ticket prices and hotel fees will be at their highest and crowds at their thickest during these months.
Best Islands to stay in the Bahamas
Finding the best choice of where to stay in the Bahamas depends on the reason for the vacation and what you love doing. Whether it’s an adventure, culture, history, seclusion, or something unusual like swimming pigs, you’re sure to find the perfect destination on one of the many islands.
New Providence Island
New Providence Island is known as the Bahamas’ main commercial hub and the home of 400+ trust companies and banks. It is also the home of Nassau, which is the Bahamas’ largest city and its capital.
This island is a fantastic destination for first-time visitors to the Bahamas and families with kids. If you want to be in the place where the action is during your stay in the Bahamas, and you happen to be a real people person, you’ll love New Providence Island and its massive lavish resorts and bigger crowds.
You’ll also fall in love with the abundance of exciting nightlife, great restaurants, unique shops, and souvenir stands that full-fledged tourism has brought to the island.
Being the Bahamas’ principal island, New Providence is also home to the Pompey Museum, the Pirates of Nassau Museum, and the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas.
The best New Providence beaches are Atlantis, Blue Lagoon, Balmoral Island Beach, Cable Beach, Cabbage Beach, Coral Harbor Beach, Love Beach, and Saunders Beach. New Providence is often known as Nassau Island.
Grand Bahama Island
Grand Bahama Island happens to be the second most popular Bahamian tourist destination where you’ll find mile-long stretches of clean white sandy beaches, land and sea sports, and plenty of welcoming hotels. It is located right in the north of the group of islands less than 50 nautical miles from the U.S. with an international airport that receives flights from the U.S. and Canada.
The infrastructure is great around the city and Lucaya beach, with plenty of cruises coming in daily. There’s also a popular casino, nightly entertainment, and even some world-class scuba diving facilities.
Grand Bahama is a place where you can not only swim through giant underwater caves, but you can also enjoy hiking through forests that are blessed with 18 species of birds that are rare and unique.
The bustling city of Freeport, which is the main city on the island, is only 110 miles northeast of Miami and a great destination if you prefer people-watching. The city is easily accessible by just taking the ferry. It’s also a short trip to make if you have a boat, making it a great choice for one of those fun-filled Miami to Bahamas one-day trips.
This famous island is the go-to place for the plushest hotels in the entire Caribbean with world-class entertainment, massive casinos, and luxurious beaches.
Paradise Island sits just offshore from the island of New Providence in the Bahamas and is connected to the city of Nassau by two bridges. It measures five miles long and less than one mile wide for a total area of 685 acres.
Paradise Island is considered to be the best island for anyone looking for an enjoyable fun-filled stay in the Bahamas. It’s also home to the Paradise Island Golf Course, a famous lush green golf course designed by Dick Wilson and worthy of champions.
This island is one of the most easily accessible, family-friendly destinations in all of the Bahamas. The beaches on Paradise Island are lovely and the area is fairly safe.
Much of the exciting action is centered on the massive Atlantis resort with over 3,800 magnificent rooms. It also offers a casino and a water park that are both close to the popular beaches.
This is the top spot for all of the flashiest nightlife in the Bahamas. All of the action takes place at Paradise Island, where you’re sure to see everything from Vegas high-rollers to little old grandmothers from the Midwest playing slots.
Best Kid-Friendly Locations in the Bahamas
If you’ve been on the lookout for places and activities for your kids and family in the Bahamas, look no further. Here are some activities that you should not miss on a family vacation with kids, toddlers, or babies.
Discover the best activities for kids in the Bahamas, be it water parks, theme parks, or playgrounds.
Aquaventure Water Park at Paradise Island
Aquaventure Water Park is a gorgeous 141-acre aquatic playground that is well-loved by families for the never-ending fun it offers. This aquatic playground features Atlantis-themed towers with water slides, over 30 swimming areas, a mile-long river with rapids and wave surges, and a water play fort for kids.
Graycliff Chocolatier in Nassau
Graycliff Chocolatier, which is owned by Italian-born Enrico Garzaroli, is among the long-standing properties of the Graycliff hotel. The master chocolatier at the factory will teach you how to make chocolate through a fun, hands-on activity, or you can enjoy a tour at the factory and listen to stories about the history of chocolate in the Bahamas.
Pirates of Nassau Museum in Nassau
The Bahamas islands were home to several real pirates during the Golden Age of Piracy, and that includes the famous Blackbeard.
The fact that pirates kept their gold around the city attracted many merchants from near and far and soon Nassau was synonymous with its reputation. The Pirates of Nassau Museum takes your family back to that era through kid-friendly interactive exhibits.
Other kid-friendly locations in the Bahamas include Cabbage Beach, Arawak Cay, Junkanoo Beach, Clifton Heritage National Park, and Fort Charlotte.