How to Take a day trip from Miami to the Bahamas

Girl on Grand Bahama Island. Sitting on chair on sand, in front of blue sea.

Believe it or not, you can take a day trip from Miami to the Bahamas! There are two ways to do it: by boat or by plane. Both options offer short transportation times and affordable transit costs, making a day trip to the Bahamas an excellent choice for those on a tight schedule or budget. Personally, I prefer taking the Balearia Bahamas Express ferry to visit Grand Bahama Island, and I’ll explain why in a bit.

Now, you might be wondering why I would suggest a day trip instead of a longer stay in the Bahamas. Well, it really comes down to time and budget constraints. For some travelers, a day trip is a great way to experience the islands without breaking the bank. You won’t have to worry about expenses like checked baggage or hotel accommodations. So, if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to explore the Bahamas, a day trip might just be the perfect solution for you.

Option 1: Day Trip from Miami to the Bahamas by Boat

using the Miami ferry to go on a day trip from Miami to the Bahamas

Taking a day trip from Miami to the Bahamas is an experience you won’t forget, and in my opinion, the best way to do it is by boat. I recommend the Balearia Bahamas Express. It’s the best ferry to take from Miami to the Bahamas; it offers affordable tickets, quick and comfortable transportation, and frequent departures. I took the Balearia Ferry from Miami to the Bahamas for a day-trip myself, and I wanted to share some helpful information about the experience.

  1. What islands can I visit if I go to the Bahamas by boat? You can access every island in the Bahamas via boat. However, if you’re looking to go on a day-trip, then the two most accessible islands by boat in the Bahamas are Grand Bahama Island and Bimini Island.

  2. How long is the trip to Grand Bahama Island from Miami by boat? Grand Bahama Island is about 197 miles off the coast of Miami, and it takes about 3 hours each way to get there by boat.

  3. How long is the trip to Bimini Island from Miami by boat?: Bimini is 57 miles from Miami by ferry, and, takes about 2 hours each way to get there.

  4. How frequent are the departures to/from Miami and Grand Bahama Island on the Balearia Express? Departure times may vary, but when I went, the boats departed and arrived every 2 hours. I was able to leave Miami at 7 AM and then take a boat from the Bahamas back to Miami at 7 PM.

  5. Is the Balearia Express comfortable? Yes, the Balearia Express is extremely comfortable. You can walk around, stretch your feet, eat in a cafe, and stand on the boat deck and take in the views.

  6. What are the benefits of taking a boat to Miami instead of flying there? The boat ride is a better experience than flying. On the boat, you’re able to look at the ocean while transporting there, eat at the cafe, stretch around and walk.

  7. How much does it cost to take the Balearia Express to Miami? Ticket costs vary based on date, time, and season, but when I went, I paid $90 total for a round-trip ticket.

Option 2: Day Trip to From Miami to the Bahamas by Plane

Miami to the Bahamas by Plane
If you’re planning to fly from Miami to the Bahamas, here’s what you need to know. Flights depart from both Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Miami International Airport (MIA) daily. To help make your trip smoother, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about flying from Miami to the Bahamas.
 
  1. Which airport should I fly from in Miami to get to the Bahamas? FLL and MIA are both great options, but I recommend choosing the one closest to your accommodation to save on transportation time.

  2. Which islands can I fly to in the Bahamas from Miami? The most popular islands to visit for a day-trip are Freeport and Nassau.

  3. What is the average flight time from Miami to the Bahamas? It varies based on your destination, but usually ranges from 30 minutes to one hour each way.

  4. What are the advantages of flying to the Bahamas from Miami instead of taking a boat? Flight times are short and you can access different islands that are too far to reach by boat for a day-trip.

  5. What are the disadvantages of flying to the Bahamas from Miami instead of taking a boat? Flights can be more expensive, and you’ll need to arrive at the airport early to go through security.

  6. How can I find cheap flights from Miami to the Bahamas? Skyscanner.com is my go-to tool for finding affordable flights. Tuesdays are a good day to check for deals since airlines often reset their prices on this day. Flying on off-peak travel days like Tuesdays and Thursdays can also save you money.

Suggested Activities to do on Grand Bahama Island

Girl in the blue sea on Grand Bahama Island

When it comes to Grand Bahama Island, there are countless activities to choose from. Even if you only have a day to explore the island, you can still make the most of your trip by picking 1-2 must-see sites. Here are some of my top recommendations for activities on Grand Bahama Island:

  1. Spend some time at the beach: If you do nothing but relax on the beach at Grand Bahama Island, then you’ve had a successful trip. This could very well be the only activity that you participate in during your day trip to the Bahamas, and that would be a day well spent. There are several beaches to choose from on the Island, but some of the highest-rated beaches are Gold Rock BeachTaino Beach, and Fortune Beach. If a beach is next to a resort, then you can pay the resort a small fee for a “day pass” in order to use their facilities (pool, etc.) and sit on the beachfront.

  2. Lucaya Marketplace: Located in Port Lucaya, The Lucaya Marketplace is a great place to visit in order to experience the culture of Grand Bahama Island. The marketplace features rows of shops that sell local hand-made goods and foods. There are a few great restaurants located near the marketplace that are worth checking out, too.

  3. Lucayan National Park: Lucayan National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations on Grand Bahama Island. A few scenes from Jurassic Park filmed in the park. Visitors can snorkel along the underwater cave system or simply walk around and enjoy.

  4. Garden of the Groves: This is a beautiful garden on the island. Here, you can view diverse wildlife and have lunch in the middle of the landscape.

  5. Swim with dolphins, Flamingos & pigs!: Grand Bahama Island offers opportunities to experience the Caribbean with lots of wildlife; including, dolphins, flamingos, and pigs. The pig swim is perhaps the most unique, ad what you might see several Instagram pictures of when researching the island.

Suggested Activities to do on Bimini Island

Another island to consider visiting on a day trip from Miami to the Bahamas is Bimini. It’s a bit closer than Grand Bahama Island and has plenty to offer visitors in terms of culture, history, and natural beauty. Here are some of the best things to do on a day trip to Bimini Island:

  1. Visit Sapona: A concrete ship constructed by Henry Ford during World War I, currently rests as an upright wreck in 14 feet of water.

  2. Explore the Bimini Shark Lab: This research facility is dedicated to studying the behavior and biology of sharks. You can take a tour and learn about the different species of sharks that inhabit the waters around Bimini.

  3. Checkout the Dolphin House Museum: a unique and fascinating attraction created by local artist and historian, Ashley Saunders.

  4. Go Scuba Diving: Bimini, Bahamas offers divers the opportunity to explore vibrant coral reefs, encounter diverse marine life, and discover fascinating underwater wrecks. There are many reefs to check out on Bimini, including the famous Rainbow Reef.

  5. Spend the Day at Radio Beacha stunning, crescent-shaped beach with crystal-clear waters and soft white sand that offers visitors the perfect spot to relax and soak up the tropical sun.

Miami is such a fun city and one of the best party cities in the USA, but it’s also worth exploring the nearby day trips. One of the coolest things I’ve done is to go on a day trip to the Bahamas, and I was amazed at how accessible it was from the United States. It was surreal to wake up in one country, spend the day in another, and be back in the USA by nightfall.

If you’re planning a day trip to the Bahamas from Miami, I highly recommend taking the ferry to get the full experience, just as I did. If you have any questions, comments, or additional suggestions for readers, please feel free to drop them in the comments below.

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9 thoughts on “How to Take a day trip from Miami to the Bahamas”

        1. I suggest checking with the embassy or the ferry company that you plan on taking. However, per the Balearia website you do need a passport. They state: “*Note that Birth Certificates, Photo I. D, and naturalization documents ( Naturalization certificate) will no longer be accepted* Only PASSPORTS will be accepted for international travel. This applies to our day trip and overnight packages.”

          Page here for reference: https://helpcenter.baleariacaribbean.com/hc/en-us/articles/7749063057053-USA-Citizens-Overnight-Daytrip

  1. I flew with Bahamas Island Travel and did a Day Trip. They flew us into Staniel Cay and we played with Pigs, swam with sharks, went snorkeling where James Bond was and on a sunken airplane, and did a bunch more stops! Instead of spending hours on a boat, they flew us on a private jet for a great price! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! check them out!
    BAHAMAS ISLAND TRAVEL DAY TRIP!

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