Bahamas Travel Guide

The Bahamas, officially known as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a country within the Lucayan Archipelago of the West Indies in the Caribbean. The Bahamas are comprised of 700 islands; all of which contain crystal clear water and stunning landscape. During a trip to the Bahamas, you will experience a strong and vibrant culture & rich hospitality from the locals.

Country Guide
Know Before You Go

Language

Bahamian English is the official language of the Bahamas. A secondary language spoken is Haitian Creole, which is spoken by about 25% of the population.

When to Visit

The weather is great year-round in the Bahamas and it’s a great year-round destination. That said, the Bahamas experience hurricane season from June 1 to November 30, so it’s best to visit outside of this time frame. The peak months to visit the Bahamas are from December to April.

Currency & Payment

The official currency of the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar, which is equivalent in value to the U.S. dollar. Both U.S. and Bahamian dollars are accepted in the Bahamas. Credit cards are also widely accepted as a form of payment in areas with heavy tourist activity.

Transportation

The type of transportation offered in the Bahamas varies depending on what island you are staying on. In general, it is wise to take transportation that’s organized in advance by a trusted company or your accommodation. Most islands offer public Jitney’s that take visitors from the airport or port of entry to their resort. Public cabs are also a safe method of transportation. Be sure to verify that a public cab is licensed before you get in.

What to Pack

Here’s a list of suggested items to pack for the Bahamas…in addition to what you’d automatically think to bring. 

 

  • Sunscreen: The sun is strong in the Bahamas so be sure to bring sunscreen with a high SPF. 

  • Snorkeling gear: If you’d like to go snorkeling, bring some Fins, mask, and a snorkel…bringing these items can help you avoid high rental costs there. 

  • Power adaptor: Electrical outlets in The Bahamas are 60 cycles / 120 volts which is compatible with all USA and Canadian devices. If coming from elsewhere, you will need a two-pin flat adapter and a 220-volt converter.

  • Small backpack: If you’d like to go hiking or on an excursion, bring a small backpack.

  • Waterproof bag: Bring a waterproof bag with you for boat rides, etc. 

  • Travel towel: If you’re not staying at a resort then bring a travel towel with you to avoid high rental fees or buying one on the island.

Experiences

Here’s a list of some top things to experience in the Bahamas. 

  1. Visit the Atlantis Resort in Nassau, Bahamas: This resort is worth a trip to the Bahamas in and of itself. There are so many attractions here that you’d never have to leave. Some of the coolest things to do here are lay beachside (obviously), visit an aquarium, and slide down a water slide – which passes through a tank of live sharks!

  2. Swim with…pigs:  Big Major Cay island is home to pigs that love swimming on a beach, appropriately called Pig Beach. The beach is open to tourists and it’s possible to swim with them. 

  3. Go snorkeling: The water in the Bahamas is so clear that you can see straight down to the bottom and there are lots of cool multi-colored reefs and marine life to explore. 

  4. Swim with sharks: If you’re feeling adventurous, then you can swim with the Sharks in the Bahamas. The most popular place to do this is on a small chain of islands called the Exumas, where visitors can swim with nurf sharks. 

  5. Jump in owls hole: Owl hole is located on Freeport island. It’s a beautiful inland hole that visitors can jump into (it’s a long jump!) and then explore. There are owls inside the cave below that sleep during the day and come awake at night.  

  6. Swim with the dolphins: There are many dolphins in the Bahamas and many opportunities to swim with them if you’d like. 

  7. Go to the pink sand beach: There’s a beach with pink sand in Harbour Island in the Bahamas and it’s just as dreamy as you’d expect. 

  8. Lucayan national park: A national park in Grand Bahama, the Bahamas. There’s a large, cool cave here that can be explored by boat. 

  9. Port Lucaya Marketplace: Located in Freeport, this marketplace captures the essence of the Bahamas through locally made crafts that are available for purchase.

  10. Visit the Flamingos: The Flamingo is the national bird of the Bahamas and can be seen in many places, including at the flamingo encounter in Ardastra Gardens.

Fast Facts

Here are some facts about the Bahamas that you may have not already known!

  1. The pink sand of Pink Sands Beach comes from Foraminifera, a microscopic marine animal with a bright pink or red shell.
  2. The Bahamas is one of the best places in the world for cave diving. During the glacial period, limestone formed, which ended up cutting hundreds of systems of vertical and horizontal caves that are now below the islands…and the perfect place for divers. 
  3. Nassau Island was a popular spot for pirates in the Caribbean in the 18th century! (no, not the movie…this was real life!)
  4. The name “Bahamas” comes from the Spanish words “baja mar”, which means shallow water or sea.
  5. The Bahamas is made up of over 700 islands.
  6. There are over 120 plant species in the Bahamas. 
  7.  The Bahamas gained its independence from the United Kingdom in1973, after 325 years of British rule. 
  8. Dean’s Blue Whole is the deepest blue hole in the world…and it’s in the Bahamas!
  9. The highest point in the Bahamas is ‘Mount’ Alvernia on Cat Island and it’s only 63m (207 feet) above sea level
  10. It’s one of 11 countries in the world with the word “The” in its official name.
Budget Suggestions

Here’s a look at what you might spend on the basics during a trip to the Bahamas. Costs may fluctuate based on the island that you visit or the time of year that you go. This estimate is based on what it might cost to go on a trip to Nassau, the Bahamas for reference.

Item

Budget Travel

Mid-Range

High End

Notes

Accommodation

$45 – $60/Night (Hostel or shared room in an Airbnb)

$75 – $125/Night 

(Airbnb or budget hotel)

$150 – $300/night (Hotel)

Staying in a hostel is possible but there are very few available. A shared room in an Airbnb is a good money saver.

Food

$6 – $20/pp/meal
(Local Food)

$15 – $30/pp/meal
(average restaurant)

$45-$100/pp/meal
(high-end restaurant)

If staying in a resort, meal costs will be much higher. Resorts offer meal plans that can help keep costs down if you don’t want to leave your resort. Costs vary per resort.

Alcohol

$4-$6
(Beer & Wine)

$6 – $14
(Cocktails, Fine Wines, etc.)

Explore from Home

Due to COVID-19, it’s not as possible to travel freely. Because of this, I wanted to share some resources for experiencing the country virtually. 

  1. Tour Sandals resort and the surrounding beaches here

  2. Check out this drone footage of the Bahamas in 4K

  3. Take a virtual 360 tour of the Bahamas on their official site