With more than 700 islands and 2,000 cays to choose from, all with crystal clear azure waters and pristine beaches, deciding where to visit in The Bahamas can feel like a near-impossible task. Each island has it's own distinct personality and attractions, so we've rounded up some of our favourites, as well as the activities and accommodation you shouldn't miss when visiting.
With more than 70% of the whole population of The Bahamas living in New Providence, it is home to many charms as well as rich history. In fact, you can visit three celebrated villages which maintain the traditional African heritage of those who settled here in the 1800s.
New Providence Island is also home to the capital city of the Bahamas, Nassau, which dominates the island. A highlight for many explorers travelling to Nassau is the sights found just off the coast. You can swim or dive to the world’s largest underwater statue, Ocean Atlas, standing at 18-feet, which is based on a local Bahamian girl.
Cable Beach is also a popular spot in Nassau, with white sands and calm water; perfect for swimming and snorkelling in. The luxury resort of Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is located on this beach and offers a great place to stay, with six outdoor swimming pools and a private area on the beach for its guests.
Part of Exuma, a district of the multiple islands here, Great Exuma is a prime destination spot. It is home to Georgetown, which is full of colonial history, as well as The Government Administration Building and the harbour, both of which are considered interesting visitor attractions.
Ideal for more active travellers, Lake Victoria can be found here, too, where boating and yachting are popular. The many hidden caves and coves around the island also make for exciting snorkelling and diving excursions. Hooper’s Bay is the best place to go to spot green sea turtles swimming alongside you.
The Tropic of Cancer Beach runs through the island, ensuring a tropical and sunny climate; perfect for a beach holiday. For travellers looking for an all-inclusive luxury hotel, Sandals Emerald Bay is an excellent place to stay. Try Shirley’s for traditional Bahamian cuisine and seafood.
Classed as an archipelago, Andros is the largest of all the islands in the Bahamas; yet, it is one of the least populated. It is made up of hundreds of small islets and boasts a number of natural attractions. Scuba divers love to explore Andros Barrier Reef, alongside the blue holes here, while anglers come in hordes for the bonefishing.
The remote nature of this island means a lack of resort-style areas, so staying here presents a truly relaxing getaway, however, it offers less choice than other islands for places to stay. Try Tiamo Resort at South Andros Island, for an idyllic holiday. As it’s only accessible by boat or seaplane, you can unwind in this remote location and enjoy the private beach just steps away from your room.
Grand Bahama is the northernmost island of the Bahamas. With six ecosystems colliding on one island, you’ll find beaches and reef-lined coves as well as mangrove swamps and pine trees. A visit to Lucayan National Park will see you explore an underwater cave system and discover vast wildlife, as well as luscious flora and fauna. Plus, Deadman’s Reef is wildly popular for snorkelling.
Make your way to the city of Freeport and find a lively centre with plenty of options for shopping, eating and drinking throughout the day, as well as into the evening. Visit Port Lucaya Marketplace, which offers over 40 shops and boutiques. This market hub is also home to many food establishments serving traditional cuisine, including Daddy Brown’s Conch Stand. The nearby Pelican Bay Hotel offers guests modern accommodation in a convenient location, with tropical-style rooms and three swimming pools.
Harbour Island is a hidden gem of The Bahamas, being just three miles long and half a mile wide. Visitors can fly to the neighbouring island of North Eleuthera and then take a water taxi to the island. Once you’re there, you’ll use golf carts to get around.
The island can be summed up as one long stretch of glorious coral-coloured sandy beach, which features a small town. You’ll find pastel-coloured cottages dotted around, as well as small boutique hotels like The Ocean View Club, a family-run hotel with an excellent restaurant, just seconds away from Pink Sands Beach.
Aside from swimming in the crystal-clear water, popular activities here include horseback rides along the beaches, boat trips and snorkelling expeditions. Or, you could simply wander through the quiet streets of Dunmore town, past the picturesque, British colonial houses.