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25 Things to Do in the Bahamas & Places to Visit 

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There’s no place like the Bahamas when you’re in the mood to relax on white sand beaches amid cool Caribbean sea breezes.

While the Bahamas is technically made up of no less than 700 islands, only about 30 are inhabited, which can help narrow trip itinerary options down a tad. If you’re planning a Bahamas trip but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. 

Get ready for the ultimate Bahamas breakdown as we clue you in on the most fun things to do in the Bahamas. Whether you’re a first-time visitor looking for the hottest tourist destinations on the islands or a seasoned veteran searching for hidden gems, we’ll point you in the right direction. 

We’ll even give you some insider tips and answer common questions about what to expect, what to do, where to eat, and even where to stay in the Bahamas. So dust off your suitcase, grab your shades, and slap on some sunscreen as we head on an epic Bahamas adventure!

TL;DR

Want to cut right to the chase? Here are some top highlights of the best things to do in the Bahamas.

  • Most significant landmark – The Queen’s Staircase (Nassau)
  • Best park – Lucayan National Park (Great Bahama Island)
  • Free activity – Pink Sands Beach (Harbour Island)
  • Activity for kids – Aquaventure at Atlantis (Paradise Island)
  • Activity for adults – Tours of John Watling’s rum distillery (Nassau)
  • Place to eat – Fish Fry (Nassau)
  • Nightlife – Live music at Count Basie Square (Freeport)
  • Place to stay – The five hotels that make up the Atlantis Resort (Paradise Island)

Things to Do in the Bahamas

1. Explore the Epic Resorts of Paradise Island

The Coral Hotel at Atlantis Resort aerial view with Nassau downtown at the background on Paradise Island, Bahamas
Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock

Paradise Island is located just off the northeastern shore of New Providence Island and, while technically an island in its own right, is often considered a part of the greater Nassau Bahamas area. This is where you’ll find a variety of massive resorts, many of which are considered destinations in themselves.

Among the most iconic is the Atlantis Bahamas, which features five hotels built around the Aquaventure water park, incredible marine habitat attractions, casinos, and plenty of great entertainment venues. If you’re looking for something less flashy but no less posh, check out The Ocean Club by the Four Seasons, which offers everything from free bikes and beach gear rentals to limos, spa days, and babysitting services.

It’s even possible to find solid budget rentals on Paradise Island, like the Bay View Suites, if you want to save money on lodging. Overall, Paradise Island is like the Caribbean version of the best parts of Vegas, but without the oppressive heat or notorious sketchiness.

The upside of staying on Paradise Island is that you’ll never have an issue finding plenty of things to do. Spend your days floating along the lazy river at the Atlantis water park, go on a glass-bottom boat tour, or check out the spas at the local resorts.

If you’re looking for an all-inclusive Bahamas experience with plenty of opportunities to sip umbrella drinks by the pool, then Paradise Island is definitely worth looking into.

If you’re out to escape the crowds, however, it may not be your dream destination. But rest assured, we’ve got plenty of great off-the-grid spots for you coming up later on.

See Related: Best Dutch Caribbean Islands to Visit

2. Spend a Day at Aquaventure Water Park

Water Slide, Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis Paradise Island, Nassau
xabi_kls / Shutterstock.com

Address: One Casino Drive, Suite 42, Paradise Island, Bahamas

Even if you don’t choose to stay at the Atlantis Resort, it’s definitely worth booking a day pass for its epic 141-acre Aquaventure water park. Regarding water parks, Aquaventure has plenty to offer, with 14 distinct pools, beaches, and 20+ swimming areas.

Get your adrenaline pumping as you take on The Abyss, a 200-foot water slide with a 50-foot plunge. Experiencing the fun of the legendary Mayan Temple slide or the thrill of waterslide rollercoasters like The Falls or The Surge.

Set out on a mile-long river rapids adventure with plenty of twists, turns, and drops of up to seven feet. Or soak up the sun on five miles of pristine white sand beaches.

Throughout the day, you’ll also enjoy access to Aquaventure’s collection of unique marine habitats and exhibits, plenty of casual or fine dining options, and the shops at Marina Village. You can even venture inside and try your luck at the Atlantis Casino.

3. Go for a Thrilling Cabbage Beach Adventure

View of Cabbage beach in Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas
Giongi63 / Adobe Stock

Located on the north shore of Paradise Island, Cabbage Beach is a great place for thrill seekers and watersports enthusiasts. While gorgeous, Cabbage Beach isn’t necessarily the most serene beach in the Bahamas because it tends to attract plenty of crowds.

But you will find plenty of great venues if you’re looking to rent a jet ski –  even if you have no idea how to ride a jet ski. Check out this jet ski adventure, which includes instructions and even the option to ride with an instructor. 

Thrill seekers might even consider a parasailing adventure over the turquoise waters of Cabbage Beach. Can’t decide which activity to choose?

Rest assured, you can find tours that combine both and more. Sign up for an ultimate package that includes jet skiing, parasailing, and even a ride on a banana boat!

See Related: Best Beaches on St. Thomas for Snorkelling

4. Soak Up the New Providence Island Sun in Nassau

Nassau historic downtown and Nassau Port, Nassau, New Providence Island, Bahamas
Wangkun Jia / Adobe Stock

The island of New Providence is home to Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas, as well as its largest. When in doubt, Nassau, Bahamas, tends to make for a great home base for any vacation due to the many attractions and tours based there.

If you’re looking to enjoy watersports while in the Bahamas, Cable Beach has you covered. There, you’ll find everything from jet-ski rentals to glass bottom and banana boat rides and snorkeling adventures. The beach is also lined with great little daiquiri stands, shops, and cafes, making it a nice place for a full day of fun in the sun.

You’ll find plenty of great vacation rentals in Nassau, from this Cozy Apartment near the Fish Fry and Cable Beach to this charming 5-bedroom waterfront beach house near Prince George Wharf.

There are also plenty of nice mid-range hotel options like Marley Resort & Spa or Ocean West Boutique Hotel, which also offers a private beach.

Embrace the island spirit with a Rum and Reggae tour, or visit John Watling’s distillery for a small-batch rum tour. Often featured as part of local historical highlight tours, John Watling’s distillery is housed in the historic Buena Vista Estate, founded in 1789.

5. Sip Coconut Cocktails on Junkanoo Beach

Tiki bars with thatched roofing at Junkanoo Beach, Bahamas
RaksyBH / Shutterstock.com

East of Cable Beach, closer to downtown Nassau, you’ll find Junkanoo Beach, where you can relax and watch massive cruise ships coming in at the nearby Prince George Wharf. Rent a kayak, paddle board, or inflatable before venturing into the beautiful water, or start a volleyball game as you work on your tan.

When you’re ready for a break, be sure to head over to Tiki Bikini Hut for some lunch. A true Junkanoo Beach staple, Tiki Bikini Hut offers everything from beach food to cocktails in coconuts.

Find out why locals are such huge fans of Junkanoo (and even make your costume) when you sign up for a Junkanoo Extravaganza experience. While in the area, it’s also worth heading down to the Nassau Straw Market to haggle for great souvenirs like hand-woven hats and bags, shell jewelry, and other Bahamian crafts.

There are plenty of great lodging choices in the Junkanoo Beach area, including the 5-star Margaritaville Beach Resort Nassau. Or stay at the iconic Graycliff Hotel, which is worth stopping by even if you aren’t a guest.

Housed in a restored 18th-century mansion, the Graycliff features two amazing restaurants and its own on-site Chocolatier, where you can make your own chocolate. The hotel also boasts a cigar company, where you can take a cigar rolling lesson or kick back and enjoy cigars and rum.

See Related: Places Similar to the Maldives to Visit

6. Explore the Top Museums of New Providence

The Pirates of Nassau museum is a major tourist attraction on the island
Vintagepix / Shutterstock.com

While you could easily spend an entire Bahamas vacation relaxing on the beach and sipping your souvenirs from John Watling’s distillery, Nassau has plenty of cultural attractions worth exploring. Right across from John Watling’s distillery, you’ll find the Gallery of the Bahamas, a national art gallery dedicated to Bahamian art, culture, and history.

Housed in a historic 19th-century home right on the corner of West and West Hill Streets, the national art gallery features permanent and revolving exhibitions.

If you walk a little further down West Hill Street, you’ll also find the Bahamas Heritage Museum, where you can sign up for a guided tour to learn about the museum’s historical artifacts and costumes.

Then, of course, there’s the Pirates of Nassau Museum, which chronicles the days when the city served as a notorious pirate haven. Top off your visit to the museum with a Pirate Jeep Adventure, where you’ll have a chance to check out sites from the golden age of piracy all over the city.

Downtown Nassau is also a great place to find deals on budget hotels. Check out choices like Towne Hotel to Holiday Inn Express if you’re looking for reasonable lodging in the city’s heart.

7. Uncover Nassau’s Rich History Throughout the City

Lighthouse in Nassau, Bahamas
Ruth P. Peterkin / Adobe Stock

While you can learn plenty about the history of the Bahamas in the many great museums in Nassau, you’ll also find plenty of historical sites throughout the city. There are so many to explore that it’s definitely not a bad idea to look into one of the many guided historical tours you’ll find in the area.

One of the most famous sites on the island is Fort Fincastle, home to the famous Queen’s Staircase aka the 66 steps. Carved out of solid limestone in the late 1700s, the Queen’s Staircase was later named after Britain’s beloved Queen Victoria, who ruled from 1837 – 1901.

Fort Fincastle tends to be a staple on area tours, including this fun option that incorporates wine and rum tasting. Enjoy a walking tour of Downtown Nassau or even design a private custom tour to sites like Fort Charlotte, built in 1788, and Paradise Island’s Versailles Gardens, a beautiful multi-terraced landscape.

If you’re up for a trip to the island’s west side, be sure to check out Clifton Heritage National Park (sometimes referred to as Clifton Heritage Site). A guided tour of the site is a great way to learn about the impact that a variety of different cultures had on the island’s history.

8. Explore Bonefish Pond National Park

Trail in Bonefish Pond National Park
Bonefish Pond National Park / TripAdvisor

Address: Cowpen Rd, Nassau, Bahamas

On the south shores of New Providence, you’ll discover a nice gem that visitors often overlook. The 1,235-acre Bonefish Pond National Park features a gorgeous tidal mangrove ecosystem home to many unique birds and marine life species.

You’ll find plenty of great trails in the park, as well as a boardwalk that makes for a great birdwatching spot. If you want to see more of what the park has to offer, then consider signing up for a guided kayaking adventure.

Don’t worry if you’re not an experienced kayaker, as the tour begins with a demonstration of the art of kayaking. Your guide will then lead you through the park’s waterways as they fill you in on all the plants and animals that call Bonefish Pond home.

If you want to infuse your vacation with more eco-friendly fun, consider looking into an eco-glass-bottom boat tour from Paradise Island. Or hop aboard this Flintstones-style Pedal Crawler to take in sites like the Queen’s Staircase, Graycliff Chocolatier, and more!

9. Escape the Crowds With a Retreat to Pearl Island

Aerial view on the Pearl Island in Nassau, Bahamas with blue sea around during sunny day
pablopicasso / Shutterstock

Staying in Nassau doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be forced to share the beaches with hordes of other tourists throughout your entire trip. If you find yourself in need of a day of peace, then consider booking a private cabana on Pearl Island.

Located just a 15 – 20 minute ferry ride from the bustling ports of Nassau, Pearl Island is a small private island that makes for a perfect escape. Aside from its lighthouse, the island is mostly just one big lounge area with cabanas, a bar & restaurant, and stunning beaches.

It’s the perfect place to enjoy a day of uncrowded snorkeling through the incredible coral reefs just off the shore. Snorkelers of all experience levels are invited to sign up for a full-day snorkeling adventure, complete with instruction from certified instructors.

You’ll see plenty of breathtaking marine life along your journey, including Parrot Fish, Moray Eels, Lionfish, Trumpet Fish, and more.

Even if you don’t want to hit the water, you’ll quickly discover that Pearl Island is an awesome place to lounge in the sun, sip a few cocktails, and enjoy the luxury of doing nothing.

10. Meet the Bahamas’ Famous Swimming Pigs 

Swimming pigs at Big major Cay, Pig Beach, Bahamas
Birthe / Adobe Stock

There’s an island in the Exumas that’s technically named Big Major Cay, but that many people now refer to simply as “Pig Island.” The uninhabited island is home to Pig Beach, where a group of mysterious pigs has used their love of swimming to launch themselves to global celebrity status.

Some say the pigs were left on the island by a group of long-forgotten sailors or they swam to its shores from a nearby shipwreck. While the pigs remain tight-lipped about their origins, no one can deny that they’re all the justification you need for an excursion to the island.

Your visit to Pig Beach should leave you with plenty of great selfies, as the pigs are total hams (no pun intended) and love interacting with tourists. Snap a few shots along the surf with a sea-loving oinker or pose with piglets in the sand.

While Pig Beach is where you’ll find the OG swimming pigs of the Bahamas, another batch of nine pigs has since cropped up on Rose Island, which is well worth a visit in its own right. Unlike their feral Pig Beach counterparts, the piggies of Rose Island are domesticated but no less adorable.

Rose Island is also a stunning snorkeling destination, with crystal clear water and vibrant tropical fish. You can also opt for a snorkeling tour that combines a trip to Rose Island with other popular destinations, such as Green Cay, where you can swim with a large population of sea turtles as well as piggies!

11. Experience the Pink Sand Beaches of Harbour Island & Eleuthera Island

Paradise beach at Eleuthera island, Bahamas. Turquoise color of water in the ocean
Studio Barcelona / Adobe Stock

Harbour Island (aka Harbor Island for anyone in the U.S.) and Eleuthera Island are among the most popular “Out Islands” in the Bahamas. Out Islands are pretty much any islands in the Bahamas that don’t happen to be New Providence, Paradise Island, or Grand Bahama Island.

You can find plenty of unique destinations, such as Harbour Island’s Pink Sands Beach, where you’ll find miles of incredible pink sand beaches. While Out Islands tours are available from Nassau, these smaller islands are also great places to base your trip if you want to escape the crowds.

Harbour Island offers next-level lodging options like the Pink Sands Resort, set right along three beautiful miles of Pink Sands Beach, and Valentine’s Resort and Marina, located in historic Dunmore Town. Take a five-minute water taxi to Eleuthera Island, where you’ll find even more picture-perfect pink sand and adventure.

Be sure to stop by the Glass Window Bridge, one of Eleuthera’s most stunning natural wonders. The Glass Window Bridge is a piece of land that separates the dark waters of the Atlantic Ocean on one side from the crystal clear waters of the Bight of Eleuthera, making for a remarkable comparison.

Go cliff-jumping into Eleuthera’s Saphire Blue Hole or go with a once-in-a-lifetime VIP private boat tour. Rest assured, you’ll have no problems finding plenty of great nightlife options in the area, especially if you sign up for a Harbour Island pub crawl.

See Related: Best Black Sand Beaches

12. Enjoy an All-Inclusive Adult-Only Getaway

Aerial view at Warwick Paradise Island
Warwick Paradise Island / Booking.com

Don’t get us wrong, the Bahamas has plenty of great family-friendly activities to offer. But if you’re looking for more of a honeymoon vibe, then it’s worth looking into the Bahamas’ top all-inclusive adult-only resorts.

Paradise Island is home to several great choices, including Warwick Paradise Island, which offers all-inclusive plans that include meals and beverages at the resort’s five restaurants and two bars. You’ll also enjoy entertainment, activities, and plenty of sun at the resort’s pools or private harbor.

Sandals also has a great couples-only resort in Nassau with a private beach, spa, sports facilities, and many other amenities. If you’re looking for a great deal, then try Riu Palace an adults-only Paradise Island resort with plenty of value for the price.

See Related: Cheap Honeymoon Travel Ideas

13. Swim with the Dolphins on Blue Lagoon Island 

Aerial view of Blue Lagoon Island, Bahamas
Dolphins / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Blue Lagoon Island, aka Salt Cay, is a private island home to some of the best dolphin encounters in the entire Bahamas. Located just three miles from Nassau, Blue Lagoon Island can be reached via a short ride on the ferry.

Be aware that Blue Lagoon Island is quite small, so you won’t find any roads there – but you’ll have no problems finding a great segway tour. The Lagoon doesn’t tend to offer booking through third-party sites, so it’s best to book dolphin encounters directly through their website.

You’ll also discover that the Lagoon offers visitors the chance to go on a stingray adventure, snorkel with sharks, or interact with sea lions. Aside from plenty of cool marine life activities, Blue Lagoon Island now offers a sip-and-paint option with plenty of tropical drinks to help summon up your inner artist.

14. Head to the Fish Fry for Authentic Island Eats 

Side view of a restaurant and bar at the Fish Fry in George Town, Bahamas
RaksyBH / Shutterstock.com

Want to enjoy one of the most authentic culinary experiences in the Bahamas? Of course, you do, and there’s no better place to do it than in Nassau’s Arawak Cay or the “Fish Fry,” as it’s lovingly known by locals.

Fish Fry offers a selection of colorful food booths, where vendors cook everything from Bahamian conch salad to fried fish. Fish Fry also features a storytelling porch, a Bahamian rock oven, and a small stage for concerts and other special events.

Once you’re thoroughly addicted to Bahamian cuisine, you’ll find it worthwhile to take an island food tour highlighting the island’s best culinary delights. You’ll quickly discover culinary tours are incredibly popular in Nassau and often incorporate brews and history or rum-tasting tours.

If you don’t happen to find yourself on New Providence Island, rest assured that the popularity of the food tour doesn’t end there. Head over to GrumMa’s House Cultural Center in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island to find local food tours and Bahamian bush tea & pastry experiences.

See Related: Best Restaurants in Jamaica

15. Go Next-Level Shopping at Port Lucaya Marketplace

Port Lucaya Marketplace
Phil Friar / Shutterstock.com

Address: Sea Horse Rd, Freeport, Bahamas

While New Providence Island has plenty to offer, don’t overlook Grand Bahama Island, just 50 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from Florida’s east coast. In Freeport, you’ll find Port Lucaya Marketplace, the Bahamas’ largest open-air shopping, entertainment, and dining spot.

The marketplace features plenty of duty-free shops where you can get tax-free deals on a variety of different goods. There are also two straw markets where you can haggle for straw palm bags and hats, as well as a craft center that’s perfect for picking up souvenirs.

Port Lucaya Marketplace also features lots of great Bahamian restaurants, drink stands, and live Bahamian music in Count Basie Square.

Port Lucaya Marketplace is included as part of plenty of great tours, some featuring highlights like the Garden of the Groves. You can even find tours that include a conch fritters cooking lesson.

See Related: World’s Cheapest Shopping Destinations

16. See the Sites in Freeport

Skyline of Freeport City in the Bahamas
TOimages / Adobe Stock

As the largest city in Grand Bahama, Freeport is certainly not a bad choice for a primary destination. You’ll find excellent lodging options like Pelican Bay Hotel and Ocean Reef Yacht Club & Resort.

Experience the best that Grand Bahama has to offer with a private Freeport highlights tour, complete with a chance to swim with turtles in crystal clear waters. You might even consider signing up for a PADI scuba diving course, where you can swim to a depth of up to 40 feet in the Atlantic Ocean with a certified instructor.

Set out on an electric bike tour or escape the city with a kayak adventure in a remote turtle park. For a look at life in Grand Bahama from a local’s point of view, sign up for the Mamma Gal Native Experience where you’ll get plenty of great insights into Bahamian history and culture.

Want to get a taste of what life in the Bahamas feels like? Forgo the hotel in favor of this bargain Luxury Villa right on the beach in Grand Bahama, with convenient access to Lucayan National Park and Freeport.

17. Explore the Beauty of Lucayan National Park 

View of Lucayan National Park in the Bahamas
Albo / Adobe Stock

About a half hour’s drive east of Freeport, you’ll find Lucayan National Park, a stunning 40-acre national park boasting one of the world’s longest charted underwater cave systems. The park also features a prime example of nearly every natural habitat imaginable, from pine forests and mangrove creeks to pristine beaches and coral reefs.

It’s worth signing up for a guided tour to ensure you experience the best Lucayan National Park has to offer. Explore the national park trails, swim through caves such as Ben’s Cave and Burial Mound, and experience the beauty of Gold Rock Beach.

While there is no actual gold on Gold Rock Beach, the shoreline is so beautiful that it was used as one of the filming locations in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Nature lovers will also want to add the nearby Garden of the Groves to their trip itinerary.

While Nassau’s Versailles Gardens are beautiful, Garden of the Groves blows them out of the metaphorical water. The lush 12-acre paradise also serves as an official wildlife habitat for macaws, iguanas, and brilliantly colored butterflies.

Explore the garden’s gorgeous landscapes, sparkling waterfalls, and limestone labyrinth before stopping by the petting zoo to meet the resident pigmy goats and pot-bellied pigs.

If you want to spend a day exploring the most beautiful sites of Grand Bahama, it’s possible to find sightseeing tours that incorporate trips to Lucayan National Park and Garden of the Groves into a unique day trip.

18. Dive or Snorkel Around the Andros Barrier Reef

Aerial view of Andros Barrier Reef
alina_danilova / Shutterstock

While Andros Island is actually the largest island in the Bahamas, it’s not the most widely known, probably due to its population of fewer than 8,000 people. Among divers and other outdoor lovers, however, Andros is one of the Bahama’s best-kept secrets.

Off the island’s eastern shore lies the 190-mile-long Andros Barrier Reef, which ranges third in the world’s largest barrier reefs and living organisms. Often described as an underwater rainforest, the reef offers one of the world’s most stunning scuba diving or snorkeling venues.

Below the waves, you’ll meet over 160 species of fish and coral, from colorful parrotfish and queen triggerfish to blue marlin, moray eels, and manta rays. The otherworldly landscape is also home to many shipwrecks, underwater blue holes, and other incredible underwater attractions to explore.

While Andros Island is a magical destination, lodging can be pricey at popular destinations like Tiamo Resort or The Cay House. However, it is possible to find more moderately priced options at hotels like Nathan’s Lodge or by renting out a beach hut or vacation cottage.

19. Take a Cruise to Castaway Cay or Half Moon Cay

View of Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas
Norm / Adobe Stock

There’s good and bad news regarding Castaway Cay and Half and Little San Salvador Island, aka Half Moon Cay. While both are awesome, they are also only accessible via cruises.

Castaway Cay is a private island owned by Disney, while Half Moon Cay is owned by Carnival Cruise Lines. But if you plan to visit the Bahamas via cruise ship, then both destinations are well worth looking into!

Castaway Cay offers tons of fun with both family and adult-only beaches, a snorkeling lagoon, boat rentals, and plenty of other fun activities. If you set sail for Half Moon Bay, you’ll have the opportunity to choose from activities like a stingray adventure, horseback riding, eco-biking, and kayaking.

If you’re looking for an all-inclusive way to visit the Bahamas, then cruises are definitely worth considering. Many also include a peek at Bahamian hotspots like Nassau, which can provide a nice intro if you plan to book a longer trip later.

See Related: All aboard the Queen Mary 2!

20. Get Off the Grid in Long Island

Dean's Blue Hole, Long Island Bahamas
marksn.media / Adobe Stock

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning your private tropical island, Long Island, Bahamas, may be the next best alternative. Located a little over 160 miles southeast of New Providence, Long Island has a population of around 3,000 but is known as one of the most scenic islands in the Bahamas.

Enjoy the beauty of a private beach at Stella Maris Resort or the catamaran and bike rentals at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas. Long Island even offers the chance to stay in this Beautiful Cottage with your cove.

Regardless of where you stay, you’ll feel like you’ve found paradise, especially if you’re into fishing. Bonefishing, fly fishing, reef fishing, and almost any other type of fishing imaginable are all popular local sports.

Long Island also offers great deep-sea fishing opportunities, particularly on the east shore. You’ll find everything from Wahoo and Rainbow Runners to Blue Marlin and Mahi-Mahi there.

Snorkelers and divers will discover a breathtaking underwater world of coral reefs, shipwrecks, and underwater blue holes at the countless dive sites around the island. If there’s one site you can’t miss, it’s Dean’s Blue Hole, the second deepest blue hole in the world.

21. Go Island Hopping Through the Exuma Cays

Colorful houses at Exuma Cays, Bahamas
HappyAlex / Adobe Stocks

The Exuma Cays are a region of the Bahamas with 365 stunning islands and cays with white sandy beaches, sapphire waters, and incredible scenery. It’s well worth taking an island-hopping boat tour to snorkel around Pablo Escabar’s sunken plane in Norman’s Cay or swim with friendly (yes, we’re sure) nurse sharks at Compass Cay.

Other Exuma tours include trips to sites like Thunderball Grotto, where several James Bond movies were filmed (including the namesake, Thunderball), and Guana Cay, with its famous iguana population. Whether you’re looking for a full-day Exuma experience or a half-day tour, plenty of great options are available.

If there’s one site you don’t want to miss, it’s Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. The sea park is a 176-square-mile marine reserve that offers visitors a glimpse of nature at its finest. You’ll find plenty of white-sand beaches, swaying palm trees, hiking trails, and spectacular coral reefs there.

If you want to infuse your vacation with natural beauty, booking a great getaway in the Exumas is possible. Check out Embrace Resort in Staniel Cay or enjoy your beachfront villa on Great Exuma, like this one featured on HGTV’s “Bahamas Life!”.

22. Explore the Underwater Worlds of Stocking Island

The drone aerial view of Stocking Island, Great Exuma, Bahamas
Brookgardener / Shutterstock

If you find yourself near Georgetown in Great Exuma, be sure to book a boat at Elizabeth Harbour for a trek over to Stocking Island. Known for its pristine white sand beaches, blue holes, and coral gardens, Stocking Island is a playground for the senses.

Plenty of incredible snorkeling and diving spots teeming with marine life, including the famous Jacques Cousteau Mystery Cave. Cousteau put red dye in the underwater cave to see how far out it went and was astounded to discover it was two miles long.

Spend a day checking out the island’s beautiful sand dunes and nature trails, or enjoy the serenity of the uncrowded beaches. Stop by Chat ‘N’ Chill, Stocking Island’s resident grub hub, to enjoy legendary Bahamian cuisine.

If you decide to stay awhile, you’ll find several gorgeous off-the-grid resorts on Stocking Island, such as the Kahari Resort, which features its private beach. Saint Francis Resort is also a great choice for an all-inclusive experience.

See Related: Best All-inclusive Resorts with No Passport Needed!

23. Take a Trek to the Bimini Islands

Aerial view of Bimini Islands, Bahamas
Romello Bentley / Shutterstock

Looking to get a taste of the Bahamas during your next Florida vacation? It’s possible when you book a ferry from Miami or Fort Lauderdale to the Bimini islands, located just 50 miles east of Miami.

Some ferries even allow you to stay for up to seven days before completing your round trip back, making it possible to enjoy the best of Florida and the Bahamas all in one trip. While touring South Bimini, you can visit Ponce de León’s fabled Fountain of Youth, which the explorer sailed to Bimini to locate in the 1500s.

While he never managed to find the fountain, the journey led to his consolation discoveries of Florida and the Gulf Stream. South Bimini is also home to the gorgeous Radio Beach, where crystal-clear waters are lined with beautiful white sand.

If you have the time, it’s worth looking into tours of both North and South Bimini, which combine conch demonstrations with stops like the Bimini Craft Center and the Bimini Biological Station. You’ll also visit the incredible Dolphin House, a spectacular three-story ocean-themed museum built entirely from recycled materials.

Divers can’t miss a swim to the Stones of Atlantis, a mysterious ancient rock formation that some claim was once part of the fabled lost city. If you book a stay in the Bimini Islands, you’ll find several wonderful resort options, such as Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina and the trendy Hilton at Resorts World Bimini.

See Related: The Florida Keys in a Day | Key West Day Trip Ideas

24. Experience the Colonial Charm of the Abaco Islands

Aerial view of the harbour and lighthouse in Hope Town on Elbow Cay off the island of Abaco, Bahamas
pics721 / Shutterstock

Known as the “boating capital of the Bahamas,” the Abacos is a 120-mile chain of islands and cays east of Grand Bahama. Among the most popular spots in the Abacos is Elbow Cay’s Hope Town, originally populated in 1785 by British loyalists who became less popular in the newly established United States.

Upon arriving in Elbow Cay, you’ll be greeted by the famous Elbow Reef lighthouse, the world’s last operational kerosine-fueled lighthouse. Hope Town still oozes with colonial charm, as the residents have done an outstanding job preserving its history.

It’s definitely worth looking into vacation rentals in the area, such as this historic Hope Town cottage or this incredible Bahamian cottage and guest house combo. Be sure to visit the Wyannie Malone Historical Museum for a deeper dive into the island’s heritage.

As a boater’s paradise, the Abacos is home to plenty of great sailing charters and yachting services, so you’ll have no shortage of options for hitting the waves.

Divers and snorkelers will find plenty of underwater beauty to explore throughout the Great Abaco Barrier Reef, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world.

25. Explore Camping & Houseboat Options

Aerail view of Cable Beach, Nassau, Bahamas
Steve Azer / Adobe Stock

If you’ve always dreamed of drifting off to sleep under the stars to the sound of Caribbean waves, then we’ve got good news, but with an important footnote. It’s important to know that camping can be tricky in the Bahamas because local laws technically forbid foreigners from setting up camp on public lands or beaches.

The good news is, while it’s not advised to pitch your tent on Cable Beach, there are several great private campgrounds throughout the Bahamas. If you’re heading to New Providence Island, check out this private campground near Fort Montagu.

It offers a classic beach camping experience right on the beach, complete with tents and ‘smores. Enjoy snorkeling or kayaking in the crystal clear waters, hiking through the surrounding landscape, and gazing at the stars.

Looking for something a little less rustic? The Atlantis Resort now offers a cool
glamping experience called Marine Life Camping Adventures. While it’s more a 12-hour dusk-to-dawn experience than a full-on glamping trip, it does come with plenty of unique perks.

You will enjoy spending the night in your luxury beachside tent, kayaking with dolphins, and a twilight snorkel at the Ruins Lagoon. Before you return to your tent for ‘smores by the fire, you’ll also enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour full of sea turtles and other marine life.

Keep in mind that the Bahamas also presents several other unique options. You could always opt to rent a catamaran (with a captain included in the price) or check out this one-of-a-kind floating house, ideal for beach access and stargazing.

See Related: Best Caribbean Overwater Bungalows

FAQ

What’s the best Bahamas Island for first-time visitors?

If you’re visiting the Bahamas for the first time, we would definitely recommend staying in the Nassau/Paradise Island area. Nassau is home to plenty of great attractions and one of the easiest places to find day trips or transportation to the other islands.

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