Turquoise waters, soft sand, and thousands of islands & cays. Yup, I’m talking about the Bahamas! More specifically: the best places to visit in the Bahamas!
I’ve divided these 30 places into five different categories: animal encounters, islands & cays, natural wonders, man-made beauty, and beaches!
Read on to see which 30 spots are the best and most beautiful places to visit in the Bahamas!
Iguanas, nurse sharks, and pigs, oh my! These unique animal experiences make these islands some of the best places to visit in the Bahamas!
1. Iguanas at Allen Cay
Allen Cay has a population of 1,500…iguanas!
The reptiles, once thought to be extinct due to local hunting, crawl all over the small crescent-shaped island.
Though their population has grown, hurricanes and poaching have begun to threaten their population once more. Fewer than 100 people visit the island so you can come see them for yourself in relative privacy.
Fun fact: there are also iguanas living on Leaf Cay which was once owned by Nicholas Cage!
2. Nurse sharks at Compass Cay
Nurse sharks can grow up to 14 feet long and with the word shark in their name they can come across as scary. However, they look much scarier than they are, and swimming with them in Compass Cay is a must!
Compass Cay is teeming with the marine creatures who have become accustomed to human visitors to their underwater habitat. Float in the water and take a quick snap with your camera as they swim around you.
And now is where I admit that I was too afraid to swim with the sharks! I used a bit of Photoshop magic to originally create this photo for my Instagram 🙂 I combined photos I took of the nurse sharks at Compass Cay with a photo of me floating! But this is actually the type of photo you can get at Compass Cay!
3. Pig Beach on Big Major Cay
One of the most exciting, and cutest, things to do in the Bahamas is swimming with the piggies. That’s right, save the fishes for another day and take a dip in the shallow turquoise waters of Big Major Cay with some of the island’s inhabitants!
Nearly 25 pigs and piglets call Pig Beach home. They love to swim in the water after a long day of laying in the sun!
You can take a guided tour to the beach or hang out on the sand on your own and take a gander at the portly piglets.
This is one of my favorite Bahamas experiences- so unique! Definitely one of the best places to visit in the Bahamas.
The only downside is that sometimes- rarely, but sometimes- the pigs bite and can leave a bruise! So just be careful!
4. Stingray City in Great Harbour Cay
A safe and fun way to make friends with a stingray!
At Pirate’s Way in Great Harbour Cay, you will find Stingray City: a shallow water oasis. Here you can have a personal meet and greet with the flat-bodied fish.
Alternatively, you can book a snorkeling tour with stingrays. You’ll get an opportunity to feed and swim with the rays in a safe environment.
5. Tiger Beach, Grand Bahama
No, not the massive land cats; we’re talking about tiger sharks.
At the West End of Grand Bahama Island, you will find Tiger Beach where divers pose with their new fanged friends. It’s not advisable to dive on your own, for obvious reasons, so make sure to only go below when you have an expert in your midst.
The photos will be out of this world!
Islands & Cays
Can you believe that 700 islands and 2,400 cays comprise the Bahamas? But don’t worry, I’ve narrowed down the ones that are the best places to visit in the Bahamas!
6. The Exumas
Made up of over 365 islands, this region encompasses quite a few of the items on this list! (365 islands… you could go to a new island every day for a year!)
I think that the Exumas deserve their own spot on this list because of their sheer beauty!
The best way to vacation in the Exumas is to charter a boat or sail from cay to cay.
7. Norman’s Cay
A great spot for partying and laying on the sandy beach, the island has a bit of a famous past.
Formerly used as an island in the transshipment of cocaine by the Medellin Cartel, it was popularized in the movie Blow starring Johnny Depp. The island was also to be used as the location of the doomed Fyre Festival.
Fortunately, the island’s complex history hasn’t affected tourism. Nowadays, the cay is a popular spot for divers to visit the wreckage of a warplane off its coast.
8. Andros Island
The largest of the islands in the Bahamas, Andros is full of untouched natural treasures! With very little development, Andros has some of the wildest beaches and scenic trails in the Caribbean.
You can visit the Blue Holes National Park for free to take a dip in its freshwater pools. Here you’ll also see some of the most interesting rock formations on the island.
The closest island to Florida’s coast, just 50 miles away, is Bimini.
The island’s close proximity to the United States served as a prohibition-era port for contraband rum!
Today, you can visit its natural freshwater springs, beaches, and the 1,500-foot underwater Bimini Road, which has been mythologized as a remnant of the Lost City of Atlantis.
10. Blue Lagoon Island
Crystal clear water and one of the best beaches in the Bahamas are only 3 miles from Nassau.
Blue Lagoon Island, also known as Salt Cay, isn’t quite secluded, but it is certainly private. Seemingly floating on turquoise blue water, the island was popular with 19th-century pirates and privateers. They would use the lagoon for its salt deposits to preserve food on their journeys!
Today, the island hosts a dolphinarium and water sports excursions from its shores.
11. Elbow Cay
Elbow Cay in the Abaco Islands is 8 miles of pristine beaches culminating in Tahiti Beach at its southern tip.
Yachts bob in the crystal clear waters near the red and white striped Elbow Reef Lighthouse. The lighthouse offers beautiful views of the landscape and sea from its observation platform.
12. Great Harbour Cay
Great Harbour Cay is tiny as far as island sizes are concerned; only 7.5 miles long and a hair shorter than 3 miles wide. Yet it is the largest of the Berry Islands and nearly half of it is all sandy beaches!
There’s plenty to do at Great Harbour Cay and the rest of the Berry Islands chain. Beyond soaking in the sun, you can explore caverns and watch dolphins and manatees swim in the harbor.
13. Green Turtle Cay
Having taken serious damage from Hurricane Dorian, Green Turtle Cay is springing back quickly!
The island boasts some of the best scuba and snorkeling in the entire Bahamas and boat rentals are widely available for some time on the open sea.
Plenty of delicious Bahamian meals can be had at the island’s many haunts, just ask a local!
14. Treasure Cay
While Great Abaco recovers from the destruction of Hurricane Dorian, Treasure Cay and its beaches remain oases in the middle of the island.
The area is lined with beautiful beaches, including sandy Leeward Beach at the very tip of the cay. The area also boasts of a major golf course for a bit of sporty R&R.
The Bahamas is filled with natural beauty! Check out these natural wonders that I consider some of the best places to visit in the Bahamas.
15. Exuma Cays Land and Sea National Park
This national park is the first and one of the most successful land and sea parks in the world!
Officials declared the park to be a no-take reserve, prohibiting fishing here. Great news, too, as that means marine life can thrive unhindered.
Scuba is very popular here and rewards divers with magical scenes of sea turtles and tropical fish swimming down underwater coral reef roadways.
16. Dean’s Blue Hole, Long Island
Don’t be fooled by the calm deep blue waters in the bay.
Below the surface of the water, Dean’s Blue Hole drops an impressive 663 feet. Fun fact: that makes it the second deepest blue hole in the world!
The blue hole opens up to a massive cavern, the mouth of which has a 330-foot diameter and is extremely popular with divers.
17. Lucayan National Park
Lucayan National Park is 40-acres of pristine Bahamian nature!
The park is the location of Gold Rock Beach as well as arguably the largest underwater cave system in the entire world.
You can spend an entire day exploring the park’s caverns and walking the boardwalks that cut through the island’s lush greenery.
18. Sandbars in the Exumas
The sandbars in the Exumas are an otherworldly sight!
Stretching for miles, the small islands are wisps of sand in the middle of the ocean and are a fantastic opportunity for some incredible photos.
Wear bright yellow or red and stand on the slivers of white sands with nothing but shades of blue water around you.
19. Thunderball Grotto
You may have seen Thunderball Grotto in two of the more famous James Bond films: Thunderball and Never Say Never Again.
You can snorkel or scuba through an underwater tunnel into the submerged entrance and peek above the light blue water at the rocky sunroof above!
My friend Angie jumped from the hole up top but I was not quite as adventurous! I was content with snorkeling down below.
There is quite a bit of man-made beauty in the Bahamas as well! These are some of the best places to visit in the Bahamas if you want to see some cool man-made spots!
20. Atlantis Paradise Island
Easily reached via a bridge connecting it to Nassau, Paradise Island has been a popular destination for Hollywood film sets and tourists alike.
The island is the location of Atlantis Paradise Island Resort, sporting casinos, shopping, dolphin cay, and the large hotel structure known as Royal Towers.
Two tall red buildings connected by a bridge that holds one of the most expensive suites in the world at $25,000 per night!
For more options for where to stay on Nassau, search the map below!
21. Fort Fincastle
The prime way to protect Nassau against marauding pirates, Fort Fincastle has stood on top of Bennet’s Hill since 1793.
The fort is shaped like a paddle-wheel steamer and, today, offers visitors an opportunity to learn of the history of the Bahamas via free guided tours, though donations are appreciated!
22. Glass Window Bridge
The contrast between the navy blue Atlantic Ocean and the Bight of Eleuthera is separated by a narrow 30-foot stretch of road known as Glass Window Bridge.
The narrow bridge replaced a rock formation that stood as a natural arch connecting the two pieces of land together in years past.
More than just a crossing, it is a reminder of the destructive power of the region’s hurricanes and the beautiful diversity of nature laying on either side of its edges.
Your adventure in the Bahamas will likely start in the country’s capital, Nassau.
The downtown area is a great hub from which to explore the entire city and escape the resorts!
Be sure to visit the Queen’s Staircase, a 65 step staircase leading away from Fort Fincastle. High walls and tropical plants surround the limestone walkway, making it the perfect place for a quick portrait.
24. Ocean Atlas, Nassau
Sixteen feet below the surface of the sea stands the Ocean Atlas sculpture.
The record-breaking modern take on the Greek Atlas stands vigilant on the ocean floor and promotes the growth of coral!
25. Parliament Square
Located in central Nassau, the pastel pink color of the buildings that line the periphery of Parliament Square is hard to miss.
Built in the late 1700s, the plaza is the country’s seat of power and home to the Senate, House of Assembly, and Supreme Court of the Bahamas!
This is a list of the best places to visit in the Bahamas, so of course, I had to add beaches to the list!
26. Coco Plum Beach, Great Exuma, the Exumas
Coco Plum Beach is one of the most pristine white-sand beaches in the Bahamas.
Perfect for a day-time picnic, the sand is known to be covered in sand dollars during low tide.
Swings built just off the beach in the turquoise water are a great spot to snap a photo and truly feel part of the tropical paradise!
27. Gold Rock Beach
Known as Grand Bahama Island’s welcome mat, the beach is a secluded paradise that reveals its beauty in low tide.
When the water recedes, it uncovers almost 75 additional yards of sand!
It’s no surprise that this beach has been chosen as a filming location for two Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
28. Greenwood Beach, Cat Island
If you are looking for a Bahamian island on which to unwind, further from the crowds, you might find respite at Greenwood Beach on Cat Island.
Named for the pirate and not the friendly feline, the island is fairly remote and can only be accessed by ferry!
The place is popular with divers who often explore shipwrecks off its coast and beach lovers who are drawn to its pink sands.
29. Joulter Cay Beach, Andros
Joulter Cay is the premier fly fishing destination in the Bahamas due to the proximity of shallow and deep water.
While nobody calls this place home, the area is rich in fish and is known as an important bird area, which is music to the ears of ornithologists!
30. Pink Sand Beach, Harbour Island, Eleuthera
Harbour Island has become world-famous for its spectacular pink sand!
Stretching nearly three miles, Pink Sand Beach is a pastel wonderland that offers exceptional photo opportunities at sunset, when the Bahamian sky turns light shades of purple, pink, and blue!
It’s clearly one of the best places to visit in the Bahamas for its sheer beauty!
I hope you can see just how neat the Bahamas can be! These are by far some of the best places to visit in the Bahamas, but I’m sure there are more!
If you know of some that didn’t make my list, please let me know in the comments! I’d love to check them out the next time I’m in the Bahamas!
And if you’re looking for more tropical vacation ideas, here are a few articles you might enjoy:
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