Almost all of us travel and adventure junkies have one place on our travel bucket lists, the Bahamas. The Bahamas is the kind of place that blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. Its beauty is so ethereal that one can’t help but associate it with paradise. Rainbow-painted towns, white sand beaches, wildlife-stuffed reefs, crystalline waters, the Bahamas is so picture perfect, it’s almost a cliché.
So, do yourself a favor and visit this literal paradise on earth before this year ends. And if you are worried about the whole planning process and don’t know where to start, fret not, as we have got you covered. In this article, we will offer you the ultimate travel guide for a Bahamas vacation in 2023. From the best places to visit to safety tips, this ultimate travel guide for a Bahamas vacation will cover all the basics you need to know before embarking on your journey.
The Ultimate Travel Guide for a Bahamas Vacation in 2023 – A Quick Glance
The Ultimate Travel Guide for a Bahamas Vacation in 2023
Best Time for a Bahamas Vacation – The Ultimate Travel Guide for a Bahamas Vacation in 2023
Peak vacation season in the Bahamas which lasts from mid-December to mid-April is the most preferred time to visit the place, as the weather during these months is simply glorious. As it is peak vacation season, this is also the time when hordes of tourists descend on the islands, so be prepared to deal with higher prices and a surge of crowds.
In the Bahamas the temperature rarely drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, so in all honestly, there really is no bad time to visit the place. However, do keep in mind that the Atlantic hurricane season stretches from June to November, so be mindful of these months when booking your trip. The summer months are when the rainy season knocks on the door of the Bahamas, however, it’s also the time when the place will be less crowded, and the rates will be more affordable.
The months of September and October are the ones when the tourist numbers dip lowest. So, if visiting a place when it’s not plagued by hordes of crowds is your ultimate goal, planning a Bahamas Vacation during these months will be the ideal choice for you.
Getting to the Bahamas – The Ultimate Travel Guide for a Bahamas Vacation in 2023
The Bahamas islands are peppered with 20 international airports, with regularly scheduled flights from all over the world. The most connected destination in the Bahamas is Nassau, which is the capital of the Bahamas and is house to the largest airport in the archipelago, the Lynden Pindling International Airport. The airport welcomes all the large airlines from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. These three countries have direct flights to the city of Nassau, however, keep in mind that if you are traveling from other parts of the world, transit stops will be made before you board a direct flight to the Bahamas. Private charters are another popular option to get to the Bahamas.
However, one of the most common ways to get to the paradisiac land is via cruises. There are many famous cruise lines that stop in the Bahamas along their Caribbean routes, and some, like the Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, and Princess Cruises even harbor private islands in the archipelago.
Things to See and Do on a Bahamas Vacation – The Ultimate Travel Guide for a Bahamas Vacation in 2023
Go for a Dive in the Tongue of the Ocean
The Tongue of the Ocean is an oceanic trench running between Andros Island and New Providence. It has a distinct U-shape and measures 20 miles by 150 miles. This submerged geological feature that is a part of the underwater Great Bahaman Canyon plunges from 120 feet to an almost 6,000-foot drop to the seabed where the divers can spot lobsters, tropical fish, turtles, and can also get up close and personal with the reef sharks.
Hit the Beach
The Bahamas is the destination that is most frequented by beachgoers. Harbouring some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the Bahamas is truly a haven for lovers of sand and waves. Even though all of its beaches are stunningly beautiful, one that stands out the most is the highly photogenic Pink Sand Beach on Harbor Island.
This three-mile stretch of the softest pink sand that gets its breathtaking color from the seashells and microscopic organisms called foraminifera is the ultimate place to revel in the beauty of the world and get some much-needed relaxation. Bring a book to relax amidst the pinky heaven, or just spend time gazing at the beautiful expanse of the beach as you take in all the beauty the world has in store for you.
When on a Bahamas Vacation, Charter a Boat
Book a day trip on a boat and experience the stunning azure waters that surround the Bahamas. Or up your adventure game and charter a private vessel with a captain who will happily oblige your adventurous soul and lead you on a dive or snorkel adventure. Chartered boats also offer deep-sea fishing excursions, so take your pick and charter a boat to experience the stunning waters of the Bahamas.
Opt for a Day Pass to the Atlantis
If you thought that you had to book an overnight stay to experience the grandeur and fun that the Atlantis resort has to offer, you thought wrong. To visit this gem of a resort without booking an overnight stay, all you have to do is purchase a day pass. This day pass will grant you entry into this magnificently royal resort that is home to a thrilling 141-acre Adventure water park, that includes a rapid river, watersides, beaches, and pools.
Not impressed? Well, that is not all the resort has in stock for you. Try your hand at gambling at the resort’s casino or play a round of golf. If during your expensive shenanigans, you hear your stomach grumbling, have a meal at one of the multiple on-site restaurants. Are you impressed yet?
Every Boxing Day on December 26, and New Year’s Day, the Bahamians come out to celebrate their national festival called Junkanoo with vibrant consumes, parades, and lively music. The festival originated during the period of African chattel slavery when the enslaved African people were granted holiday celebrations around Christmas. This tradition continued after their emancipation and today Junkanoo is a colorful celebration of life and culture. The beautiful music from instruments like drums, cowbells, whistles, and brass brands fuse together to provide a joyful soundtrack for the thousands of people dancing on the streets, celebrating this merry festival.
Learn About Pirates on a Bahamas Vacation
When on a Bahamas Vacation, make sure to visit the interactive Pirates of Nassau Museum which is dedicated to the history of piracy during the golden years i.e., 1690 to 1720. When visiting the museum walk around replicas of pirate ships and visit the dungeons. Learn about how the pirates set up base here, as you stroll the expanse of the museum. The museum also houses an escape room that is dedicated to pirate Blackbeard. The escape room is cheesy but a lot of fun and its admission fee is 13.50 BSD.
Kayak the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park
The Exuma Cays is an island chain harboring over 365 islands that lie in the middle of the Bahamas. Ever since 1959, the Exuma Cays has been designated a protected land and sea park, the first marine conservation park of its kind in the world. The park spans over 112,000 acres and is home to various kinds of seabirds, groupers, as well as lobsters. Most guided trips to the park are multi-day excursions that cost around 300 to 325 BSD per day. You can, however, set out on your own kayaking trip by renting a kayak from Out Island Explorers for about 50 BSD.
Visit the Garden of Groves
The Garden of Groves is located on the Great Bahama Island and is a 12-acre eco-tourism park that is home to exotic birds, alligators, 10,000 different species of plants, dozens of lakes, and four waterfalls. The admission fee for the park is about 17 BSD. The Garden of the Groves is a great place to wander and learn about the ecology of the Bahamas islands.
Explore the Lucayan National Park when on a Bahamas Vacation
Lucayan National Park lies on a stretch of 40-acre land in the Grand Bahama and houses the world’s largest underwater limestone cave system. Most caves of the system are only accessible to experienced divers however there are two caves that are open for swimming. For those who would rather stay out of the waters, the park harbors various hiking trails that wind throughout the pine forest and along Gold Rock Beach. The admission fee for Lucayan National Park is 11 BSD, whereas the guided tours cost about 15 BSD.
Stroll the Port Lucaya Marketplace
The Port Lucaya Marketplace is a 12-acre open-air shopping complex in Freeport. This shopping complex harbours more than 60 shops, 90 vendors, two dozen artists, hair braiders, a dozen restaurants as well as live music. Here you will find great bargains on one-of-a-kind items and hand-crafted goods.
Witness the Timelessness of Fort Charlotte
Dating back to the 1780s, Fort Charlotte was constructed by British Lord Dunmore and overlooks the harbor in Nassau. The ancient fort harbors cannons, hidden passageways, a large moat, and dark dungeons all of which are open to explore. Despite being a fort, it was never actually used for defense as it was poorly designed. Due to its design, the fort was nicknamed Dunmore’s Folly and was abandoned entirely. You can visit this ancient fort for free.
Swim With the Pigs
When on a Bahamas Vacation don’t forget to swim with the pigs. The Bahamas is the official home of the Swimming Pigs that is a group of 20 or so renowned pigs and piglets that call the Pig Beach their home. It is a mastery they got there as pigs are not native to the island and the Big Major Clay is uninhabited. You can get to Pig Beach via boat, but we must warn you the tours aren’t cheap and start around 250 BSD for a full-day trip from Nassau or George Town. But this cost also covers the expense of snorkeling gear, lunch, and drinks.
Visit the John Watling’s Distillery
If you are an alcohol connoisseur or just someone who enjoys liquor, a visit to John Watling’s Distillery is a must on your Bahamas vacation. This distillery is located in downtown Nassau, housed on an 18th-century estate, and makes the most delicious homemade rum, which of course you can sample as you tour the place. If, however, rum is not your drink of choice, the distillery also makes tasty vodka filtered with pink sand from Eleuthera. The tours to the distillery are free of cost.
See the Ocean Atlas
The Ocean Atlas is a sculpture made by the artist Jason deCaires Taylor and is located 16 meters underwater in Nassau Bahamas. The sculpture depicts a local Bahamian girl carrying the weight of the ocean above her which is a nod to the Ancient Greek myth of Atlas, the Titan that held up the heavens. This sculpture is the biggest underwater sculpture in the world and was designed to stimulate coral growth in the area. You can either swim or snorkel to see this masterpiece up close.
Where to Stay – The Ultimate Travel Guide for a Bahamas Vacation in 2023
Cosy Tropical Abode – Best Airbnb in the Bahamas
Price – From $98
Cosy Tropical Abode is a gorgeous apartment that is located in a safe, commercial part of Nassau lying close to Arawak Cay and Junkanoo Beach. The host of the apartment offers complimentary breakfast as well as some other bonus treats. The place is spacious with comfortable furnishings and a fully equipped kitchen. It also comes with amenities like a washer, TV, Wi-Fi, air conditioning, dryer, free parking, hot water, soap, shampoo, microwave, dishes and silverware, stove, and much more.
Humes@Hillcrest – Best Hostel in the Bahamas
Price – From $76
Humes@Hillcrest is an airy hostel that offers dorm rooms as well as private rooms. The hostel is nestled in a quiet community in Downtown Nassau district next to East Bay Street. The place harbors security lockers, and the lower bunk beds come with privacy curtains. There is a communal kitchen, free breakfast, and a couple of hammocks available on the property.
Ocean West Boutique Hotel – Best Hotel in The Bahamas
Price – From $234.76
Ocean West Boutique Hotel is situated by the dreamy Cable Bay and is a stunning mansion that offers boutique rooms with stunningly phenomenal views of the ocean. The hotel lies in a very peaceful location but is surrounded by plenty of restaurants and is only a short drive away from the Lynden Pindling International Airport. The rooms it houses are sophisticated, and guests can take advantage of the many amanitas that come with booking a room with the hotel, like an outdoor swimming pool, airport shuttle, fitness centre, free parking, free Wi-Fi, room service, bar, private beach area, and coffee/tea makers in the room.
Atlantis – The Most Extravagant Resort in the Bahamas
Price – From $500
Atlantis is one of the most popular, expensive, and extravagant resorts that the Bahamas houses. The resort has hosted many well-known and famous faces including Prince William and Kate Middleton, who stayed at the Atlantis during their tour of the Caribbean. The massive property is home to five different hotels, each carrying its own distinct vibe and atmosphere.
Where to Eat? – The Ultimate Travel Guide for a Bahamas Vacation in 2023
If a five-star dining experience is more up your alley, then book a table at Graycliff, which is an upscaled restaurant housed within the walls of an 18th-century mansion on West Hill Street in Nassau. There you can expect to be treated to exquisitely delicious conch soup and lobster along with plenty of dishes made of freshly caught fish.
Anchor Bay Fish Fry
Head to Anchor Bay in Governor’s Harbor for a low-key dining experience and indulge in their beloved fish fry. This outdoor event is held every Friday and features plates of decadent fish fry and other local delicacies.
Goldie’s Conch House
This restaurant is one of the top ones in Nassau to savor the sea snail delicacy native to the Bahamas. The conch salad here is a delicious low-carb meal, a great option for those on a diet and fitness freaks. Some regulars even say Goldie’s Conch House’s conch salad is the best one in town. For a greasier and more satiating alternative, opt for the restaurants’ deep-fried conch fritters.
How to Get Around? – The Ultimate Travel Guide for a Bahamas Vacation in 2023
Rental Car – If your plan is to stay on one island for a while, then it’s best to rent a car so you can get around with ease. Car rental options are in abundance at the airport in Nassau and include brands like Hertz, Avis, and Budget.
Taxi – Taxi services are also available to get you from one point on an island to another and the rates are fixed by the government, so estimating your fare is easy. Ride shares like Lyft and Uber are not operational on the islands.
Intra-Island Flights – There are both chartered and scheduled intra-island flights available throughout the Bahamas. The airline company Bahamasair offers flights between Treasure Cay and Marsh Harbor in Abaco, as well as from Nassau to Great Exuma. Other airline options that you can opt for include Western Air and Flamingo Air.
Ferry – When on a Bahamas Vacation, you will find that there are several ferry and water taxi services available throughout the archipelago to transport guests from one island to another. The Green Turtle Ferry is a famous company that services the Abaco Islands and offers scheduled service between Green Turtle Cay, New Plymouth, and Tressure Cay on Great Abaco. Another company, the Bahamas Ferries offers connections between Long Island and George Town, Exuma and Nassau.
Cost of Bahamas Vacation – The Ultimate Travel Guide for a Bahamas Vacation in 2023
The Bahamas is home to several budget-friendly hotels, hostels as well and Airbnbs. The most cost-efficient staying option in the Bahamas is the hostels the cost of which can start from $50. Airbnbs are also budget-friendly options that can cost anywhere from $90 to $200. Budget-conscious people can also opt for three-star hotels the price of which start from $100 to $150 per night and covered within the price are basic amenities like fee Wi-Fi and air conditioning. Some hotels also offer complimentary breakfasts.
The traditional cuisine of the Bahamas relies heavily on seafood, which is not a surprise. Shellfish, fish, and lobster are the common staples, although the national dish of the area is conch which is a large sea snail. Pork and tropical fruits round out the diet and rum is the local drink of choice. Also on your vacation, expect to see dishes like stewed fish, baked crab, peas and rice, cracked conch or deep-fried conch, and johnnycakes that are cornmeal flatbreads.
While the Bahamas offers a lot of opportunities for you to splurge, if you are in search of some cheap eats then you have to go for the fish fry. For only about 12 to 15 BSD, restaurants in the Bahamas will serve you a big plate filled with delicious seafood, potato salad, peas and rice, and Bahamian macaroni and cheese. You can also save money on food by grabbing a breakfast of grits from a food cart for less than 3 BSD. For lunch, you can get fish tacos or chicken wings from a food truck for 10 BSD.
Bakeries and cafe around the Bahamas serve filling fast food such as Jamaican-style patties the cost of which start from 3 BSD. If you are craving foods like clam chowder or jerk chicken be ready to pay around 8 to 15 BSD. A meal of burgers and fires at a Western restaurant will set you back by 15 BSD. For fine dining, you will have to pay from 40 to 50 BSD for an entrée. When it comes to drinks, bottled water costs around 2 BSD, while beer costs about 5 BSD. If restaurant food isn’t really your style and you plan on cooking food yourself, expect to spend around 60 to 70 BSD per week on groceries.
Bahamas Vacation – Estimated Daily Costs
|Type of Vacationer||Accommodation||Food||Transportation||Attractions||Average Daily Cost|
*The prices mentioned above are in BSD and are an estimate, prone to change.
Bahamas Vacation – Estimated Total Cost of Flight and Hotel, Based on Type of Vacation
|Top vacation (Flight+Hotel)||$845|
|Family vacation (Flight+Hotel)||$771|
|Romantic vacation (Flight+Hotel)||$909|
|Luxury vacation (Flight+Hotel)||$1,573|
|Budget vacation (Flight+Hotel)||$388|
*The Prices mentioned above are in USD and are prone to change
How to Stay Safe on a Bahamas Vacation – The Ultimate Travel Guide for a Bahamas Vacation in 2023
Even though the Bahamas is a safe place, there are certain areas of Nassau that you should not travel to alone. When night falls, avoid the city’s “over the hill”, especially if you are traveling alone. Make sure to follow some common sense precautions while you are there. Do not leave your valuables out in the open and if you are renting a vehicle make sure not to leave anything in it overnight as break-ins can occur. In case of an emergency call 911 or 919 for assistance. Also purchase good travel insurance before leaving for the Bahamas as it will cover you for injuries, theft, illness, and cancellations.
Book Now, a Bahamas Vacation
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