The best things to do in The Bahamas are spread across the country’s 16 main islands, as well as several islets and crays. Besides obviously stunning beaches, this island nation also offers the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world, an abundance of untouched nature, and unique biodiversity. If that doesn’t convince you, then the rumoured ‘315 days of sunshine each year’ should do the trick. Round up all these alluring features and you have a truly escapism-worthy destination.

    Naturally, the nation’s hub is the capital Nassau, on the island of New Providence, where most people live and where most usually visit. The Out Islands – all the Bahamian islands apart from New Providence and Grand Bahama – are the most remote and unspoilt. Below are some of the best things to do among these pockets of beauty.

    What are the best things to do in The Bahamas?

    1

    Pink Sands Beach

    Sunbathe on pink-tinted sand

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget
    • Unusual

    Pink Sands Beach on the charming Harbour Island is undoubtedly gorgeous. But don’t be fooled by the over-filtered snaps flooding over Instagram. The beach features a unique mix of coral, broken shells, miniature rocks and calcium carbonate which cause speckles of pink fragments to mix with normal-colored sand. 

    Caught at the right time of day and depending on how the sun falls, the entire beach can glow pink, making for a truly sensational contrast with the blue water. Head to the beach early or in the later part of the day to avoid the crowds. There is no public transportation to get here, so you’ll have to drive or walk (about a 7-minute drive north from Dunmore Town).

    Location: Harbour Island, The Bahamas

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    2

    Bahamas’ best casinos

    Splash the cash in style

    Nassau remains the king of casinos in the Caribbean – the flagship Atlantis Resort is one of the good reasons. But other resorts such as Baha Mar, also on Nassau, are giving resorts and casinos a run for their money. Baha Mar’s sparkling casino has an impressive 100,000 sq ft of gambling space with a high-end, Vegas feel, and the Atlantis Casino follows close behind at 60,000 sq ft. 

    Both casinos have superb sportsbooks and offer a mixture of high energy and luxury, with the Baha Mar also looking out at gorgeous views of the ocean. Get stuck into the glamorous gambling life in these grandiose settings and make sure to look out for special events and tournaments.

    3

    Lucayan National Park

    Immerse yourself in wild and beautiful landscapes

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History
    • Adventure

    Lucayan National Park comprises 40 acres of lush, thriving nature, and stands out among the 2 other parks found on the island. This treasured national park contains one of the largest underwater cave systems in the world, with 2 caves — Ben’s Cave and Burial Mound Cave — accessible to visitors via a short footpath. 

    History buffs will be intrigued to hear that bones of the island’s earliest inhabitants, the Lucayans, were found in Burial Mound Cave in 1986. Home to all 6 of The Bahamas’ vegetation zones, the park unsurprisingly hosts several enchanting mangrove trails, which spill out onto the secluded and magical Gold Rock Beach. Watch out for cheeky raccoons, who will steal your food at any chance they can get.

    Location: Grand Bahama Highway, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm

    Phone: +1 242 352 5438

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    photo by katiebordner (CC BY 2.0) modified

    4

    Tropic Of Cancer Beach

    Experience stunning landscapes and serene surroundings

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget

    Tropic of Cancer Beach offers a getaway that's among the most iconic in the Bahamas, with gorgeous landscapes, clear waters, endless stretches of sand, and quiet surroundings. This beach is about 20 minutes by car from Great Exuma and is a secluded stretch of sand and surf that tends to be a quiet and serene place even when crowded. You won't find many shops or restaurants around here, so be sure to pack your snacks, food, and other requirements.

    Tropic of Cancer Beach is just about 9 minutes from William's Town to the northeast along the Queen's Highway. It's an ideal option for those who want to retreat from the hustle and bustle of local attractions and just chill out.

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    5

    Dean’s Blue Hole

    Swim in the 2nd deepest hole known to man

    • Budget
    • Adventure
    • Unusual

    Descending to a depth of 202 meters, Dean’s Blue Hole is one of the deepest known marine caverns, found in a bay west of Clarence Town on Long Island. A blue hole is the name given to sinkholes that are submerged in water and have entrances beneath the surface.

    This natural wonder is a sight to behold with its deep blue, contrasting gorgeously with the bright aqua hues circling it. Wade in the shallow waters to the edge of the blue hole and safely swim across the 35-meter-wide hole, where you’ll find many professional free-divers attempting to break or set world records. For a bit of fun of your own, climb the bay’s surrounding the cliffs and get a whiff of adrenaline by jumping off into the sea.

    Location: Long Island, The Bahamas

    Phone: +1 242 565 6425

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    6

    Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve

    Capture images of important local flora

    • Photo
    • Couples
    • Families
    • Adventure

    The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve lets you capture images of flowers and greenery unlike any you've ever seen, with guided nature walks among mangrove-lined trails. You can see local orchids, woodlands, wetlands, and learn all about the importance of these plants to the local ecology. You'll also take a walk through a medicinal plant trail to learn about the medical uses that many of these plants have had from ancient times through today.

    This national park is located on Eleuthera, just 5 minutes up the coast from North Palmetto Point. The wealth of plant life here makes it an ideal addition to just about any social media feed.

    Location: Banks Rd, Governor's Harbour, Bahamas

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 242-332-3831

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    7

    Big Major Cay

    Share your lunch with a herd of swimming pigs

    • Families
    • Adventure
    • Unusual

    Known worldwide for being undeniably adorable, the Bahamian swimming pigs have garnered an almost celebrity-like fame. These curious little creatures can be found on their very own island on Big Major Cay in the Exuma chain, swimming about and minding their own business. 

    They tend to surface when they’re peckish or fancy a good head rub, with many swimming up to boats to steal snacks or to indulge in some behind-the-ear scratching. A few dive centres offer trips to this cay as well as No Name Cay in Abaco, where a rapidly expanding herd of piggies now reside. Remember these are wild animals, so be respectful and do not pick up piglets.

    Location: Pig Beach, The Exumas, The Bahamas

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    8

    Andros Barrier Reef

    Check out the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Adventure

    The Andros Barrier Reef is approximately 305 km long, so you can only imagine the riot of life that can be found here. Starting at roughly 2 meters below sea level, the reef plunges into the Tongue of the Ocean, which plummets almost 2,000 meters downwards. The reef can be found running parallel to the east coast of Andros island. 

    There are excellent dive spots all along the reef – from shallow reefs teeming with colorful sea life, to shipwrecks and even oceanic blue holes. Don’t be surprised to find some of the most vivid displays of sea life here: trumpetfish, parrotfish and speckled scorpionfish along blue holes, large schools of red snapper, or the famed deepwater sponges.

    Location: Andros Island, The Bahamas

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    9

    Pirates of Nassau Museum

    Learn about the island nations’ ties to piracy

    • Families
    • History

    The Pirates of Nassau Museum documents the city’s history as an 18th-century pirate base, with a captivating replica pirate ship, aptly named Revenge, and exhibits on pirate life. From the moment you see the museum, you’ll be faced with pirates left, right, and center. 

    The ship is to scale, immersing you in pirate life as you walk through its deck and look around its nooks and crannies. Animatronic pirates and interactive exhibits on topics from marooning to pirate Hall-of-Famers. One’s thing for sure here, kids and parents will both come away with a hop in their step and more knowledge on what pirates were really like back in those mysterious times.

    Location: King and George Street, Nassau, The Bahamas

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm, Sundays from 9 am to 2 pm

    Phone: +1 242 356 3759

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    photo by JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    10

    Arawak Cay on Nassau Island

    Taste local food from the popular ‘Fish Fry’ row

    • Food
    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget

    Arawak Cay, also known as ‘Fish Fry’, is popular for its local eateries on West Bay Street, which is about 15 minutes’ drive from downtown Nassau. All along this bustling street, you’ll find a cluster of shacks that whip up some of the best traditional Bahamian food – from the famous conch variations to the obligatory fried fish. 

    Make sure to try the delicious tropical conch salad, which includes sweet slices of mango and pineapple. In this authentic atmosphere that is visited by both locals and travelers, you’ll find the sumptuous wafts of seafood and spices and happy mouths chomping away. On Sundays, local bands pitch up for some quality entertainment, often accompanied by poetry readings.

    Location: Arawak Cay, New Providence, The Bahamas

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    Sophia Macpherson | Contributing Writer

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