A One Stop Guide to Visiting the Bahamas

the bahamas travel guide

The Bahamas is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Located in the Lucayan Archipelago of the West Indies and over 700 islands and cays, the Bahamas is known for its turquoise blue ocean views and pristine white sand beaches.

This tropical beauty and fantastic weather make it a prime spot as one of the most relaxing destinations for holidays, but there’s even more to this picturesque string of islands. Whether you are seeking out secluded beaches, walking trails, diving spots or historic landmarks, get ready to be awestruck by the beauty and sights of the Bahamas.

Bahamas Travel Guide

Welcome to the Bahamas Island Bahamas travel guide
Welcome to the Bahamas Island

The Bahamas is a popular tourist destination and had over 7.25 million foreign visitor arrivals in 2019. Asides from its picture-perfect coastlines, the Bahamas holds an intriguing history of pirates and is the site of Columbus’s first landfall in the Americas.

The Bahamas offers a plethora of modern and historical attractions, some of the most popular in its capital in Nassau. The bustling cruise port boasts a mix of mega-resorts, restaurants and entertainment spots. The more peaceful islands, including Bahama Banks, the Abacos and Exumas, offer some of the world’s best waters for boating and sailing, with beautiful coral reefs rimming their shores. There’s something for everyone from the pink sand beaches of Harbour islands, regattas in Long Island, bonefishing in Andros, and big fish gaming in Bimini.

The Bahamian charm makes it a must-visit for anyone who loves to travel, whether for relaxing or a deep-dive into fun activities.

Fast Facts on The Bahamas

  • Language: English is spoken everywhere in the Bahamas— no worries about communication.
  • Time Zone: The Bahamas operates on Eastern Standard Time (EST) and observes Daylight Savings Time
  • Currency: The Bahamian Dollar is on par with the US dollar. As such, you will not need to exchange. Visa cards, MasterCard, American Express are also accepted in Nassau, it’s capital.
  • Travel Details: It is best to obtain your return ticket as you may be required to show proof of return before entering the Bahamas.
  • Sales Tax is set at 12%

Bahamas Travel Restrictions

Pig and seagull in crystal clear water in the Bahamas Bahamas travel guide
Pig and seagull in crystal clear water in the Bahamas

Can you travel to the Bahamas right now? Yes, but there are a few things to sort through and keep in mind before packing for your trip. Here’s helpful information on covid restrictions and travelling to the Bahamas

When To Travel

A wonderful beach in the summer on the Bahamas Bahamas travel guide
A wonderful beach in the summer on the Bahamas

The never-ending warm weather makes the Bahamas a destination to explore. But when is the best time to visit the Bahamas? It all depends on your style, budget and the itinerary of events you have planned.

  • High Season

Mid-December to April is the peak time for visiting the Bahamas. Tourists seeking to escape the harsh winter come in as daytime temperatures are comfortable. Also, winter brings in exciting marine species, including hammerhead and tiger sharks, to wildlife watchers and divers. However, hotel rates are reflective of this attraction and are on the higher side in peak season. Be sure to book your visit several months in advance.

  • Shoulder Season

Shoulder season comes with a less populated crowd and discounted hotel rates; as such, Mid-April to June is promising to party-goers and spring breakers as it is prime time for beach parties and mingling.

  • Low Season

August to November holds the most pocket-friendly deals for budget travellers. Rates for flights, hotels and resorts dip in response to the lesser inflow of tourists. Some people might consider the increase in rain and humidity a deterrent, but up to 50 per cent cuts in hotel rates are enough reason not to mind occasional showers.

Attractions to Not Miss Out

The Bahamas is packed with beautiful sights, exciting things to do and one-of-a-kind experiences. The islands clear waters, sun-soaked beaches and fresh seafood call for lounging and relaxing, but there is more fun. We recommend taking a boating trip to discover the idyllic islands.

  • Atlantis Paradise Island
Atlantis Resort Bahamas travel guide
Atlantis Resort

This breathtaking resort recreates the legendary Atlantis in a fantasy sea-themed luxury hotel, water park, aquarium and entertainment centre. The whimsical waterscape provides fun activities like high-speed corkscrew underwater tube slides, splashing around, and wildlife watching. Guests at Atlantis are allowed free entry to the 141-acre Aquaventure.

  • Nassau
Aerial view of Nassau, the Bahamas Bahamas travel guide
Aerial view of Nassau, the Bahamas

Nassau, the capital city, remains one of the most popular cruise ship ports in the Caribbean. The white sands of Cable Beach are lovely to bask in, Bay Street and downtown Nassau have shops, restaurants, museums and bright coloured buildings waiting to be explored, and the local straw market is a perfect place to shop for souvenirs.

  • Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Center
Ardastra Gardens & Wildlife Conservation Centre | Photo via ardastra.com Bahamas travel guide
Ardastra Gardens & Wildlife Conservation Centre | Photo via ardastra.com

A short boat ride from Nassau, the Ardastra centre is the only zoo in the Bahamas and consists of four acres of tropical gardens and is a prime spot for family visits and animal lovers. Your daytime itinerary will be more exciting playing with dolphins and other rarely-encountered species like pink flamingos, parrots, rabbits, and Madagascar lemurs.

  • Exuma Cays Land & Sea Parks
The pig swimming in the Exuma cays Bahamas travel guide
The pig swimming in the Exuma cays

Boasting white sands luminous waters in electric blue, the Exuma cays is one most striking seascapes in the Bahamas. The park is famous for water sports, divers and boaters and protects the abundant marine life of the Exumas. You can snorkel above coral reefs and catch Staniel Cay’s swimming pigs and Thunderball Grotto, featured in the James Bond movie.

  • Harbour Island
Beautiful beach at Bahamas Harbour island Bahamas travel guide
Beautiful beach at Bahamas Harbour island

The breathtaking pink-sand beaches of harbour island are some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Pastel-hued cottages in Dunmore town tell tales of the 1700s and is the island’s only settlement.

  • Andros Island
The emerald waters of Andros Island Bahamas travel guide
The emerald waters of Andros Island

An underwater wonderland and a haven for divers, Andros is home to the world’s third-largest barrier reef and a host of freshwater blue holes and underwater caves. Its wetlands also make it prime fishing and boating areas, and for this, fly fishing is a big affair in Andros and is regarded as the bonefishing capital of the world. Nature lovers will find the island’s eco-resorts and national parks a sanctuary.

  • The Great Abaco
Aerial view of the harbour, lighthouse and beach in Hope Town on Elbow Cay off the island of Abaco, Bahamas. Bahamas travel guide
Aerial view of the harbour, lighthouse and beach in Hope Town on Elbow Cay off the island of Abaco, Bahamas

Comprising the more popular Treasure Cay, Elbow Cay, Green Turtle Cay and smaller barrier cays, the Abaco is a stretching coastline known for accommodating locals, serenity and national parks. With loads of attractions, including an interactive Bahamas Pig Tour and the historic lighthouse in Hope Town, the Abaco islands are excellent for sightseeing, boating, swimming and snorkelling.

The Bahamas is packed with exciting places, ready to be explored. Visiting around the New Year? Do not miss out on the costumes and drums of Junkanoo, the nation’s most famous festival

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