The Bahamas is a country made up of 700 islands, so it can be hard to decide which one is right for your next vacation. Do you want to relax on a secluded beach or party it up in the capital city? Do you want to spend your days snorkeling and scuba diving or exploring ancient ruins?
No matter what kind of vacation you're looking for, there's an island in the Bahamas that's perfect for you. Here is a rundown of some of the most popular islands in the Bahamas so that you can make an informed decision about where to spend your next winter getaway.
1. Grand Bahama Island: perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling
If you're looking for a laid-back island experience, Grand Bahama Island is the place for you. This island is home to some of the best beaches in the Bahamas, as well as world-class golfing and fishing.
There's also a variety of dining and shopping options, so you'll never be bored. And if you're travelling with kids, they'll love spending time at the dolphin encounters and water parks.
How to get to Grand Bahama Island:
Those looking to visit Grand Bahama Island have a few different travel options available. The first is to fly into Grand Bahama International Airport, which is located in the city of Freeport.
The second option is to take a cruise to the island from Florida or other ports in the Caribbean. And finally, visitors can take a ferry from Nassau, which takes about 2.5 hours. No matter how you choose to get there, Grand Bahama Island is a beautiful and welcoming place to visit.
Best beach on Grand Bahama Island: Gold Rock Beach
This secluded spot is known for its clear turquoise waters and soft white sand. Visitors can find a number of small private coves to relax in, or they can explore the coral reefs surrounding the island. There are also a few beach bars and restaurants, making it easy to spend a day in the sun. Gold Rock Beach is also an excellent spot for swimming, snorkelling, and kayaking for those looking for a more active vacation.
Insider tip about Grand Bahama Island:
Make sure to visit the Lucayan National Park, which is home to one of the world's largest underwater cave systems.
Best places to stay:
($$$) - The Grand Lucayan Resort
($$) - Dolphin Cove
($) - The Pelican Bay Hotel
2. New Providence Island: perfect for history lovers and city slickers
If you're looking for a more action-packed vacation, New Providence Island is the place for you. This island is home to the city of Nassau, which is full of nightlife and activities. There are also various historical sites to explore, as well as beaches for swimming, snorkelling, and scuba diving.
Best things to do in Nassau:
● Experience Paradise Island for gambling at the casino or water park fun
● Visit the 18th-century John Watling’s Distillery for a free tour
● Swim with dolphins at Blue Lagoon Island
● Explore Fort Fincastle and see the views of the city
● Go on a glass-bottom boat tour to see the colorful fish and coral reefs
● Shop for souvenirs at the Straw Market
● Visit the Queen's Staircase, a 100-meter staircase that was carved into the limestone cliffs by enslaved people in the 18th century
Insider tip about New Providence Island:
Nassau can be quite crowded, so make sure to visit some of the quieter beaches on the island, such as Love Beach or Saunders Beach, if you're looking for a more relaxing vacation.
Best places to stay on New Providence Island:
($$$$) - Rosewood Baha Mar
($$$) - The Island House
($$) - The Royal At Atlantis
3. Exuma Islands: perfect for luxury seekers
For a truly unique Bahamian experience, head to the Exuma Islands. This chain of over 365 islands is known for its crystal-clear waters, which are perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
The Exumas are also home to a variety of wildlife, including wild iguanas, turtles, and flamingos. Don't miss the chance to visit Thunderball grotto, an underground cave made famous by the James Bond movie of the same name.
How to get to the Exuma Islands:
The Exuma Islands are located in the Bahamas, about 140 kilometres southeast of Nassau. There are two main ways to get to the Exumas: by boat or by plane. Boats can be chartered from a number of ports in Florida, and there are also regular ferries that run from Nassau.
The other way to get to the Exumas is by plane. There are daily flights from Nassau, and a number of private charters also operate to the islands. The flight time from Nassau is around 45 minutes, so it is possible to visit the Exumas for just a day trip if you wish.
Best beach to visit in the Exumas: Sand Dollar Beach on Stocking Island
This secluded beach is only accessible by boat, making it the perfect spot to escape the crowds. The soft white sand and turquoise waters make it a popular place for swimming and relaxing.
Insider tip about the Exumas:
Make sure to visit Big Major Cay, also known as Pig Beach, where you can swim with the Instagram-famous swimming pigs. You can also snorkel with sharks at Compass Cay or feed stingrays at Black Point.
Best places to stay:
($$$) - Grand Isle Resort And Residences
($$) - Kahari Resort
($) - Sandals Emerald Bay (for couples only)
4. Eleuthera Island: perfect for nature lovers and beach bums
Eleuthera Island is a long and narrow island known for its dramatic coastline and pink sand beaches. Eleuthera Island is perfect for those who want to get away from it all. This secluded island is known for its unspoiled beaches and lush landscapes. There's also a variety of activities to enjoy, such as hiking, biking, and kayaking.
How to get to Eleuthera Island:
While it may seem like a remote paradise, there are actually several ways to get to Eleuthera. The most common way to travel to Eleuthera is by plane. The island has two small airports, one in North Eleuthera and one in Governors Harbour.
There are direct flights to Eleuthera from several major airports, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Nassau. Another option is to take a ferry from Nassau. The ride takes about two hours, and there are several ferries a day.
Best beach on Eleuthera Island: Glass Beach (also known as Surfer’s Beach)
This beach gets its name from the shards of glass that line the shore. The glass is actually from the bottles that were thrown into the sea during the prohibition era. Today, the beach is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing.
Insider tip about Eleuthera Island:
The Bahamas best kept secret is Lighthouse Beach, a gorgeous secluded beach perfect for snorkelling. Here the pink sands meets the gorgeous Caribbean blue. You can also explore the caves at Hatchet Bay or try out diving at Cape Eleuthera. Make sure to visit the Queen's Bath, a natural pool that's fed by the ocean. The pool is surrounded by cliffs, making it the perfect place to take a dip.
Best places to stay:
($$$) - The Cove Eleuthera
($$) - Cape Eleuthera Resort
($) - Mika’s Resort
5. Andros island: perfect for hikers and nature-lovers
Andros Island is the largest island in the Bahamas and is known for its sprawling landscapes and pristine beaches. This is an ideal destination for those who want to spend their days exploring, as there are a variety of hiking and biking trails.
Andros Island is home to one of the largest coral reefs in the world, so it's a great place to go snorkeling and scuba diving. Andros Island is also known as the “The Land of the Giants” for its very large numbers of big fish, so don't forget to bring your rods to go bone fishing!
How to get to Andros Island:
While it is not the easiest island to get to, the effort is well worth it. Andros is accessible by plane or boat from Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. There are several small airports on the island, as well as a few marinas.
Best things to do in Andros Island:
● Go bone fishing: Andros Island is one of the best places in the world to go bone fishing.
● Explore the jungle: There are a number of hiking and biking trails that wind through the island's lush landscapes.
● Visit the Andros Barrier Reef: This is the third largest coral reefs in the world and home to a variety of colorful fish.
Insider tip about Andros Island:
Make sure to visit the Blue Holes, which are underground caves home to various marine life.
Best places to stay:
($$$) - Small Hope Bay Lodge
($$) - Andros Beach Club
($) - Mangrove Cay Lodge
6. Cat Island: perfect for history buffs and birdwatchers
Cat Island, home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, is a small island with a big personality. This secluded island is known for its friendly locals, laid-back atmosphere and its eight-mile pink sand beach.
And if you're looking for a truly unique experience, be sure to visit the Hermitage, an 18th-century monastery that's been turned into a museum. Cat Island is also a great place for birdwatching, as it's home to a variety of rare and endangered birds.
How to get to Cat Island:
There are two main ways to get to Cat Island: by plane or by ferry. From Nassau, you can book a flight to Arthur's Town, which is the capital of Cat Island. The flight time is approximately 45 minutes. If you are traveling by ferry, you can catch a ride from Nassau or from one of the other islands in the chain. The ferry ride takes between two and three hours.
Best spot on Cat Island: Fernandez Bay
This beach is known for its clear turquoise waters and white sand beaches. It's the perfect place to relax and soak up the Bahamian sun.
Insider tip about Cat Island:
Make sure to visit Mount Alvernia Franciscan Monastery. You can also go hiking to see the ruins of the 18th-century British fort.
Best places to stay:
($$$) - Rollezz Villas Beach Resort
($$) - Fernandez Bay Village
($) - Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort
7. Abaco Islands: perfect for boaters and fishermen
The Abaco Islands are a group of islands that offer something for everyone. Whether you want to enjoy the beaches, go fishing, or explore the area's history, you'll find it all on these islands.
And if you're travelling with kids, they'll love getting up close and personal with the Abaco Island Sanctuary turtles.
How to get to the Abaco Islands:
Flights from Nassau usually land in Treasure Cay, which is on the island of Great Abaco. From there, it is a short boat ride to the other islands in the chain. Otherwise, there are several daily flights from major US cities that fly to Marsh Harbour's Leonard M. Thompson International Airport (MHH). During certain times of the year, it’s also possible to travel to the Abacos by ferry from Nassau.
Best things to do on the Abaco Islands:
● Go fishing: The Abaco Islands are a popular destination for both deep-sea and fly fishing.
● Visit the Hope Town Lighthouse, which is one of the oldest lighthouses in the Bahamas.
● Go snorkelling or diving: There are a number of reefs and shipwrecks to explore in the waters around the Abaco Islands.
Insider tip about the Abaco Islands:
Make sure to visit the Abaco Island Turtle Sanctuary, which is home to a variety of turtles. You can also go hiking or biking through the island's national park.
Best places to stay:
($$$) - Firefly Sunset Resort
($$) - Abaco Club on Winding Bay
($) - Pelican Beach Villas
Live the Castaway dream in the Bahamas
The Bahamas are made up of more than 700 islands, so you're sure to find the perfect one for your next winter getaway. With its white sand beaches, clear waters, and warm weather, the Bahamas is a popular destination for those looking to escape the cold. And with so many islands to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect spot for your next vacation.
So, what are you waiting for?
Start planning your trip to the Bahamas today, and remember to contact a soNomad agent for your travel insurance needs!