The Bahamas really is a dream destination for those who would love to live the island life. Did you know that there are just about 700 islands there and only 30 of them are inhabited? That leaves you with 630 uninhabited islands that you can explore. Imagine that!! The pride and joy of the Bahamas would most probably be Nassau with its historic buildings, iconic beaches and wild hinterland locations like the “paradisiacal Eleuthera” or the “Lucayan National Park”.
However, if you really want to get a feel for the Bahamas, you might want to go a little further away from civilization and try exploring the Out Islands. Each one of these far-flung gems has a unique personality and a host of things to do and attractions to see that will keep you bubbling with excitement while getting the most glorious of tans.
Bahamas Bucket List: 10 Best Things to do and Top Attractions on the Islands
Assuming that you can summon the strength to snap out of that extremely relaxing state of mind that those white sandy beaches and that beautiful weather brings when you visit the Bahamas, here are some things you can do to take in as much of this tropical paradise as possible:
1. ✧ Plunge into Dean’s Blue Hole
What is a Blue Hole? A “Blue Hole” is a sinkhole that is not only filled with water but has a submerged entrance found beneath the surface. While there many blue holes in the world, Dean’s Blue Hole stands out because it is the deepest known to man. At 663 feet (202 meters), Dean’s Blue Hole is just west of Clarence Town on Long Island and on good days, the water is so clear that you can see up to 115 feet. It is a wonderful site for divers willing to test their mettle.
You can book a tour to Dean’s Blue Hole at Exuma Water Sports.
2. ✦ See the Swimming Pigs
Somewhere out there in the Outer Exuma Islands is Big Major Cay, a small island ruled by pigs—that’s right, actual pigs! It is in fact one of the biggest attractions on this island. The pigs will swim out to your boat as you approach the island and depending on how friendly they are on the day they will hang around, swim with you guys and have some of your lunch as well.
If you are pressed for time, there is a closer piggy island called White Bay. I booked the half-day tour there with Exuma Water Sports and it was GREAT! For the full day tour that includes a nurse shark swim check out this tour: Famous Swimming Pigs Tour Bahamas – Full Day Powerboat to Exuma from Nassau
The swimming pigs tend to come out to play when the midday sun cools down a bit. There are myths and stories of how the swimming pigs of the Bahamas got there. Some people believe that they survived a shipwreck while others think that they were left there by pirates who intended them to be a future meal but never came back. Whatever the case, they are interesting swimming companions and one of the top things to do in the Bahamas.
3. ✧ Walk the Pink Sands Beach on Harbor Island
You hear people talk of sunbathing on pristine white sandy beaches around the world but have you ever been to a pink sandy beach? In the Bahamas, you have both options. There are the white sand beaches that are very much a dime a dozen here and then there are the rare pink sandy beaches. The most famous is Pink Sands Beach that can be found on Harbor Island. This is three miles of picture perfect pink sand fading off into aqua blue waters. This phenomenal pink color comes from a micro-organism called foraminifera and minuscule pieces of coral and shells that are washed ashore. You really must see it to believe it!
4. ✧ Stay at Club Med on Columbus Isle
If you are looking for pure luxury, pristine white sand beaches and world-class scuba diving, Club Med Columbus Isle definitely delivers. The secluded, all-inclusive resort is tucked away on the island of San Salvador far from the bustle of tourists.
Here are just a few reasons why you should strongly consider holidays in the Bahamas with Club Med on Columbus Isle:
- It has a gorgeous white sand beach that stretches along Bonefish Bay
- The bungalows are each painted a different color of the rainbow and have quaint wraparound porches
- The superior Spa is absolutely rejuvenating with many services to choose from
From the service to the cuisine and even the setting at Club Med on Columbus Isle…everything is just world class. It will make your Bahamas visit absolutely relaxing and luxurious.
5. ✦ Ride in a Personal Underwater Sub
Apart from the 700 islands, the Bahamas has about 2,400 cays (coral reefs). These reefs are home to some of the most colorful and spectacular marine life known to man. One of the most unique ways to explore some of these reefs is in a personal underwater Sub, which looks like a moped with a helmet.
Your underwater experience will begin with a quick lesson on how to pilot a submarine. You will then head out to one of the amazing coral reefs to feed the fish, explore the living coral and take beautiful pictures/videos of the underwater world of the Bahamas. You can book your underwater SUB here and don’t forget to bring your GoPro so you can get photos like these:
6. ✧ Explore Lucayan National Park
Lucayan National Park is a little out of place in a land riddled with white sandy beaches (and some pink ones). However, this 40-acre jungle makes for the perfect getaway for birdwatchers who still want to enjoy the island life. The wild and beautiful landscape has mangrove swamps, beaches, boardwalks and pine forests that play host to some incredible creatures. It is also home to some of the longest underwater cave systems in the world.
7. ✦ Eat the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay
While there are plenty of fine dining opportunities in all the high-end resorts on the islands, if you want to have one of the most authentic culinary experiences then you should really try out the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay, a short walking distance from the Western Esplanade of Nassau. Here you will find a cluster of shacks that whip up some of the best traditional Bahamian fish fry. If you go on a Sunday, you will also get the chance to be entertained by wonderful local bands and some gracious poetry readings on the pavements around the fish fry joints.
8. ✦ Eat Conch
Pronounced “conk”, this savory sea snail might seem bizarre to many tourists but it’s actually a local delicacy in the the Bahamas (and you can easily get some at Arawak Cay!). The traditional way to eat it is in a “conch salad” where it is served raw with onions, sweet peppers and citrus juices. If, however, you are not too sure about eating raw snail then you can try the “cracked” version that is fried and buttered or the curried version. I ate one straight from the sea!
9. ✦ Ride the Leap of Faith Water Slide at the Atlantis
Imagine riding an almost vertical water slide through a shark-infested tank!! Yes, at the 141-acre Atlantis Aquaventure waterpark, you will get to do just that and more. There are several waterslides on premise, but it is the sheer drop of the “Leap of Faith” that is the most thrilling.
10. ✧ Snorkel (or Scuba Dive) Andros Great Barrier Reef
Submerged shipwrecks, underwater blue holes and the third largest barrier reef in the world make the waters around Andros Great Barrier Reef some of the best and most scenic to scuba dive in. The underwater blue holes are home to some of the most colorful trumpetfish, parrotfish and speckled scorpionfish in these seas. Here you will undoubtedly find the most beautiful array of marine life for your amazement.
From swimming pigs to pink beaches, kaleidoscopic marine life, coral reefs and the world’s deepest blue holes, the Bahamas has far more to offer than just 700 beach riddled islands and aqua blue waters. Although, truth be told, those have to top the list as some of the most motivating reasons to visit.
More fun, adventurous and highly rated tours in or leaving from Nassau: