When it comes to beaches, activities, and adventures, the Bahamas has nearby Caribbean countries beat. With thousands of uninhabited cays sprinkled across crystal-blue ocean, every boat ride between the islands is a chance to discover hidden coves, tropical oasis, and some of the world’s most diverse ecosystems.
From island hopping to driving across the narrowest place on Earth, here’s our updated list of the top 10 things to do in the Bahamas in 2019:
Just try and avoid the beach in the Bahamas — it can’t be done. With stunning beaches surrounding the country’s more than 700 islands, islets, and cays, the Bahamas is where you’ll find spectacular white-sand beaches like Gold Rock Beach, Radio Beach, Tahiti Beach, Cabbage Beach, Treasure Cay Beach, and many more. Despite their popularity, the beaches are never too crowded, and the waters are usually calm and gentle for water sports.
The Bahamas is also famous for its Pink Sand Beach on Harbour Island, which covers more than 5km of the coast in coral sands and is considered by The Travel Channel to be one of the best beaches in the world.
With hundreds of islands scattered across the Caribbean Sea, the only way to get around the Bahamas is by water taxis, powerboats, yachts, or seaplanes. Not only is island hopping essential for visiting every part of the country, but it’s also an eye-opening experience. Go from the culturally-rich urban centre of Nassau in New Providence Island to the ecological gardens and natural parks on Grand Bahama. If you hope to sneak away to more barefoot, bohemian beaches, try venturing out further to Exuma, Eleuthera, or Cat Island.
With islands encircled by gentle waters, corals, and barrier reefs, water activities like snorkelling and diving are popular among travellers hoping to get up close to Bahamas’ thriving marine ecosystem. If you plan on exploring the country’s rich underwater world, including shipwrecks and plane wrecks, try signing up with local dive operators. Some will take you out to The Andros Barrier Reef, the third largest reef system in the world, or let you descend one of the many blue holes (vertical sea caves) found all around the Bahamas.
To set foot on the massive Atlantis resort complex on Paradise Island is a bit like entering a small island country. This sprawling all-inclusive playground comes with a 141-acre Aquaventure water park, a Mayan-themed water playground, 11 swimming pools, casinos, restaurants, golf courses, and a marine habitat filled with sharks. Although visiting the Aquaventure is strictly reserved for resort guests, you can still book day passes online and spend the day plunging down its vertical waterslides at warp speed.
Swim with pigs
At Staniel Cay in Exuma, you’ll find an uninhabited island colonized by more a dozen pigs. No one is quite sure where the curly-tailed denizens of Pig Beach came from, but travellers flock to the island for a chance to swim in the crystal-clear waters with them or watch them paddle toward their boats for a stick of carrot. Besides having names, the pigs coexist peacefully with the island’s rock iguanas, goats, and a handful of stray cats.
Climb the Queen’s Staircase
Also known as the 66 steps, the Queen’s Staircase was carved from a single limestone rock by roughly 600 slaves in the late 1700s. British colonist commissioned the steps as a way of connecting the highest point on the island, Fort Fincastle, to Nassau. Standing at 102 feet tall, the staircase leads to the water tower and fortress, where soldiers stood sentry to watch for incoming pirates. Now, visitors can hike up this historic landmark and pose for photos by the waterfall cascading from its side.
Drive across Glass Window Bridge
Known as the “narrowest place on Earth,” this part natural and part human-made rock bridge in northern Eleuthera connects Gregory Town and Lower Bogue with a single highway. Measuring 30-ft at its narrowest, Glass Window Bridge straddles both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea on either side of the island. Spanning across rocky terrains, broken cliffs, and jagged coast, the road enjoys both dramatic scenery and two drastically different ocean coastline vistas.
Eco-adventure in Lucayan National Park
At 40-acres, Lucayan National Park encompasses six ecosystems and contains the largest underwater systems in the world. A biodiverse playground for eco-adventurers, Lucayan teems with indigenous wildlife, mangroves, and nature trails. You can easily navigate the park on an elevated wooden boardwalk that leads to tropical forests, pines, and mouths of deep caves. Eventually, the passageway leads to Gold Rock Creek, a more than 10-km long underground freshwater spring, where you can kayak and snorkel in the azure waters. Nearby, you’ll find a pristine, white-sand beach that runs along the forest and reveals warm tide pools that are perfect for diving into from the shallows.
Try some conch
More than a decorative knickknack on the mantle, the flesh of a pink Queen Conch seashell makes a mean salad. The conch, considered to be Bahamas’ national dish, has white, rubbery flesh that’s also a versatile ingredient in making seafood dishes like ceviche, coconut chowder, and fried fritters. While in the Bahamas, you’ll find many of these unique conch recipes at local restaurants. Try ordering a cracked conch with rice and fried plantains; they pair nicely with a bottle of Kalik or Sands beer.
Dive into a Blue Hole
Vertical sea caves, or blue holes, are found throughout the Bahamas. Whether in the middle of an island or off the shore of an uninhabited cay, these underwater caverns plunge deep below sea level with winding passages that form natural habitats for marine wildlife. While exploring the recesses of a blue hole, you’ll uncover ancient rock formations, fossils, colourful corals, and reef fishes. Try diving into some of the most famous caves in the area, including Dean’s Blue Hole, Blue Holes National Park on Andros Island, and Hoffman’s Cay Blue Hole in the Berry Islands. You can also jump off a nearby cliff into one of these holes for the ultimate adrenaline rush.
Can’t wait to see why the Bahamas is considered by many to be the ultimate vacation destination? Ask one of our Expert Travellers today about Better Beach Bahamas for your exclusive getaway, visit us in-store or call 1-877-967-5302 for more!