The Bahamas ranks as the 57th most popular tourist destination in the world. So should you visit it? Probably not just because what awaits you are only beaches with perfect strips of white sand beach that overlap with dreamy blue seawater.
Though it doesn’t have a lot of iconic cities, the Bahamas has all the beaches that you’re looking for. For this reason, it relies on its beaches to attracts tourists from all over the globe. Yet, the Bahamas can still cater to you if you’re looking for variety since it has other types of attractions that allow for recreation and promote Bahamian culture.
If you’re planning to go to the Bahamas, allocate a budget for these top-rated attractions:
• Little San Salvador Island
• Pig Beach
• Castaway Cay
• Pirates of Nassau Museum
• Paradise Island
• Dolphin Cay Atlantis
• National Art Gallery of Bahamas
• Lucayan National Park
• Harbor Island
• Taino Beach
• Walker Cay
• Bay Street
Little San Salvador Island
Little San Salvador Island is closely linked to the history of the Bahamas. Before British colonizers came, Little San Salvador was a popular fishing ground for the Arawak. After Britain took control in 1670, Little San Salvador Island became the settlement for pirates who wish to turn a new leaf.
The lagoon waters of Little San Salvador Island, which thin strips of white sand beach caress, are very popular with tourists. Such thin strips of white sand beaches are pleasing and relaxing due to the growth of Agave trees. Moreover, a recreation of traditional Arawak huts stands on them. You can use these for picture taking or as a beach cottage if you don’t have a parasol with you.
The average water temperature rests at 26 degrees Fahrenheit, and this allows for a hearty swim.
Since Little San Salvador’s water temperature is warm, it serves as an ideal ground for stingrays. Guided stingray tours include actual contact with the stingrays, educational talks about their behavior, picture taking, and feeding.
Holland America Line, the company that oversees the development of Little San Salvador as a tourist location, also promotes the preservation of waterfowls on the island for tourism purposes.
Yes, that’s right, there’s a beach in the Bahamas that serves as a natural habitat for pigs — Pig Beach. Go to this island because it might change the way you think about pork.
Exuma pig roams the face of Pig Beach. They beguile tourists with their unique speckled hides and adorable disposition. About 25 of them live in the islands, and they don’t fear contact with human beings. These pigs are always ready to share your food, take photos or swim with you.
At the same time, stray dogs and goats live alongside the pigs. However, they’re not as numerous. Bring a lot of food because feeding the pigs, goats, and dogs is one of the highlights of Pig beach. Ideal food to bring for the pigs, goats, and dogs are crackers, apples, green veggies, and animal treats.
No law punishes the feeding of the animals in Pig beach. However, the tour guides will, nevertheless, suggest that you don’t give them since doing otherwise might harm them.
Pig beach prohibits business operations within its vicinity. This is to provide the most optimal conditions for the pigs. Simply put, bring all that you need before coming. Also, there are no bathrooms around, so be sure to take care of business at the hotel.
The Disney Cruise is one of the most anticipated cruising attractions in the Bahamas. It offers holistic recreation onboard consisting of musicals, recreational swimming pools, and musicals.
But Disney Cruise doesn’t only provide you with fun on the deck of its ships. With it, you will also gain access to Bahamas’ seaside Disneyland — the Castaway Cay.
So why is it a seaside Disneyland? Castaway Cay is a beach that Walt Disney temporarily owns. According to sources, Walt Disney has the right to do business on this island until 2096.
Before becoming a tourist location, Castaway Cay was once a hot spot for drug smugglers. This is due to the old airstrip within it.
Though it looks very lively now with all the huts, pools, restaurants, and other recreational amenities present, there’s still a lot for Walt Disney to do in the future. Castaway Cay area measures 1,000 acres in total. However, the company only managed to develop 55 acres.
Aside from swimming and sunbathing, activities for you in Castaway cay are banana boat riding, kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, open-air dining, recreational swimming ( Walt Disney divided Castaway cay into 9 swimming areas), shopping, massage sessions, and kiddie dance parties.
Pirates of Nassau Museum
Tales of pirates are part of the culture in the Bahamas. Hidden treasures, bloody raids, and astounding naval battles are some of the topics that you’ll commonly hear.
Backing these tails objects that pirates once owned. You’ll find many of these in the Bahamas. And to see lots of pirate artifacts in one go, visit the Pirates of Nassau Museum.
The Pirates of Nassau Museum looks like a theme park. It resembles a shady pirate town where a pirate ship is waiting at the dock.
Though it doesn’t look like an authentic museum, the exhibits are impressive. Items for you to see our flintlock pistols, cutlasses, swords, flags, astrolabes, etc. All of these date back to the Golden Era of Pirates.
Aside from the main gallery, there are also dedicated sections that feature education exhibits about Black Beard, Woods Rogers, Anne Bonny, and Mary Read.
But the fun doesn’t end at Pirates of Nassau Museum with viewing the exhibits only. There’s also the built-in restaurant and club. The built-in restaurant serves you pirate-themed dishes. On the other hand, the clubs provide parties for small crowds.
Paradise Island offers the most extravagant vacation in the Bahamas. It offers opportunities for recreation such as cruising, clubbing, fine dining, and gambling. With that said, you can say that Paradise Island is Bahamas’ Las Vegas.
Tourists love Paradise Island because it’s very safe. The company the oversees its development, Atlantis, works hand-in-hand closely with the Bahamas government to prevent petty crimes from happening.
The Atlantis resort is the primary reason why you should visit Paradise Island. For swimming on the beach gives you three options; Cove Beach, Atlantis Beach, and Paradise Lagoon. If you don’t want to walk just for swimming, then the 11 pools are there to accommodate your needs.
Paradise Island offers scenic views of the nearby Nassau city. Go to the 14th-century French cloister to experience this. Its beautiful columns that overlook the harbor that separates Nassau and Paradise Island serve as great subjects for souvenir photos.
Dolphin Cay Atlantis
The Bahamas takes pride in its dolphin population. There’s always a chance for you to see this no matter which beach in the Bahamas you decide to visit. Even so, if you wish to see and spend time with them closely, prioritize going to the Dolphin Cay.
Dolphin Cay is a marine reservation area in Paradise Island. It’s owned by the same company that manages the Atlantis resort and hotel.
Don’t miss the Dolphin swimming tours that Dolphin cay provides. This is a swimming snorkeling session that allows you to spend time with Dolphins in shallow water. With that said, you don’t need any diving certificates to avail yourself of it.
Aside from dolphins, you may also spend time with sea lions in Dolphin Cay. Compared to dolphins, spending time with them have stricter protocols. Nevertheless, being with them is fun. Activities are petting, swimming, and feeding the sea lions.
National Art Gallery of the Bahamas
To see the artistic heritage of the Bahamas, go to the National Art Gallery. You won’t have trouble finding this. Just go to the city of Nassau and look for that classic British villa with a beautiful balcony and a well-tended front garden.
In the meantime, most of the exhibits in the NAG consist of photos, paintings, portraits, and drawings. Subjects that they tackle pertain to the political, cultural, and social issues in the Bahamas.
Appreciating the exhibits isn’t hard because a tour guide will accompany you. Guided tours are available from 10 a.m–5 p.m, Monday–Saturday.
If you want to buy souvenirs, the National Art Gallery is the place to go because it sells unique items ranging from printed t-shirts, bags, ballpen cases, figurines, portraits, and many more. Note that the artists working for NAG crafted these.
Lucayan National Park
So which place in the Bahamas provides holistic exploration and swimming at the beach? The place that you might want to visit if you’re looking for such is the Lucayan National Park.
Lucayan National Park spans 16 acres. Within it are beaches, picnic locations, and caves. Overseeing the development and maintenance of this national park is the Bahamas National Trust.
The best location for swimming and picnicking in the Lucayan National Park is Gold Rock beach. It impresses you with its fine white sand where trees grow that cast shade.
Explore the underwater cave system of the Lucayan National Park that extends up to 9.7 kilometers. With a tour guide, take a look at its rock formations and bizarre aquatic animals.
Lucayan National Park is also home to thick beaked vireos, Bahama swallows, and olive capped warblers. To see these, prioritize following the trails that lead to the Gold Rock Creek that’s north of Gold Rock Beach.
If you’re looking for the most unique attraction in the Bahamas, then that would be Harbor Island. Harbor Island’s coast strikes you in awe with its pink coastline.
Also, numerous coral reefs are present underneath the cerulean waters that surround this island. The pink coloration of its coast might come from these.
Every sunset, the pink coast of Harbor island shines in pale orange. That’s why short walks before the evening arrive is a popular activity.
To make afternoon walks more practical, you need to have a destination in mind. And one destination for you is the nearby Dunmore town, which is on the south.
You will like Dunmore Town because it has numerous traditional British villas. It’s also a hotspot for local restaurants that specialize in Bahamian dishes such as cracked conch, souse, and baked crabs.
For watersports, Taino Beach doesn’t disappoint. Its signature characteristic is its very tranquil water condition. On this beach, it seems that waves are nonexistent. For this reason, activities such as parasailing, boating, kayaking, and jet skiing are very safe.
The wide and flat surface of Taino beach serves well for beach volleyball. Moreover, the fine dunes cast picturesque shadows in the afternoon.
Taino Beach is also home to cheap hotels that offer what feels like 5-star accommodation to guests. Hotels near this beach have their own swimming pools that host simple gatherings.
Since 2004, Walker Cay didn’t pick up much on tourism. It became a deserted island from being a bustling sport fishing destination.
However, though it’s now a lonely island, Walker Cay still deserves your visit. Walker Cay is where you should go uninterrupted snorkeling and walks.
Explore this island, and you will find old hotels, houses, and other establishments that the old settlers abandoned. There’s even an old marina where you can spend time for yourself.
As for snorkeling, the fish population has long recovered since the anglers stopped visiting. Underwater wildlife for you to see in Walker’s Cay are stingrays, dolphins, sharks, and colorful fishes.
So where do you go night shopping in the Bahamas? Set your eyes on the goods from Bay Street’s shops. This is a shopping district that stares at one of Nassau’s harbors.
Bay street feels like a 90’s movie. This is due to the traditional Bahamian buildings where the cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops operate.
Not far from Bay Street is the Straw Market. Straw market is where you’ll find a mix of authentic and knock-off Bahamian souvenirs. Shopping here will test your skills as a buyer.