Home to gorgeous beaches, historic attractions and vibrant coral reefs, the Bahamas is the quintessential Caribbean holiday getaway. You can soak up the island’s tropical ambiance on a variety of outdoor adventures, whether it’s exploring national parks or relaxing on pink-hued shorelines. From rugged hiking trails to spectacular snorkeling spots, here is a list of the best things to do in the Bahamas.
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Admire the natural beauty of Pink Sands Beach
Found on the east coast of Harbour Island, the shoreline at Pink Sands Beach glows in a soft color of pink. Creating a postcard-perfect Caribbean landscape, it features gentle surf that is ideal for swimming that is protected from the rolling waves of the Atlantic by a coral reef. The beach is dotted with resorts where you can lounge on the soft sand or take a walk along the three miles of picturesque shore.
Explore Blue Holes National Park
Located on Andros, Blue Holes National Park boasts 33,000 acres of land that is filled with blue holes and freshwater reservoirs. You can discover elaborate underwater caves that are perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving, which have formed from its limestone bedrock being exposed to the elements over thousands of years. Here you can admire unique cave fish not seen anywhere else in the world and spot endemic birds including Bahama Oriole and Great Lizard Cuckoo.
See the swimming pigs at Big Major Cay
A once-in-a-lifetime experience, swimming with the pigs at Pig Beach, the southernmost beach on Big Major Cay is a must. Located in the Exuma Cays, you can pull up a boat and meet the only local residents that call this island home. While no one seems to know for certain how the pigs first arrived in the Bahamas, they’ve since become celebrities and often paddle out into the waves to greet you.
Go scuba diving at Andros Barrier Reef
The third largest barrier reef and third largest living organism in the world, Andros Barrier Reef measures a whopping 190 miles long. Underwater adventures reveal a large variety of marine fish, where you’ll have the chance to observe over 164 species of fish and coral. Up to 6,000 feet deep on the ocean side, it’s known for its deep-water sponges, red snapper and manta rays that can reach up to 23 feet in length. The Bahamas is also home to five of the world’s seven sea turtle species.
Take the family to Pirates of Nassau Interactive Museum
If you’re traveling with the kids, spend the afternoon exploring the Pirates of Nassau Interactive Museum. Learn about the “Golden Age of Piracy” in the Bahamas that lasted from 1690 to 1720, which boasted the largest concentration of pirates on any Caribbean island. You can see what types of weapons that pirates used during this time and hear unique stories of pirate legends, then hop aboard a replica of the pirate ship “Revenge”.
Sample rum at John Watling’s Distillery
A perfect break from outdoor adventures, head to the John Watling’s Distillery built on the spacious Buena Vista Estate in Nassau. Dating back to 1789, it offers a taste of old Bahamas. Take a tour of the distillery and sample some of the small-batch, barrel-aged rums, from the pale amber and Buena Vista five-year aged varieties. No worries if you’re not a rum fan, as they’ve also got other spirits, including a gin infused with plants from Andros.
Browse the Straw Market for the Perfect Souvenir
When its time to pick up a souvenir from your time in the Bahamas, head to the Straw Market to browse an array of local handicrafts. The famous market is located on Bay Street and is lined with local vendors selling anything from t-shirts and wood carvings to beaded necklaces and island-themed souvenirs. It’s hard to resist to the hand-woven straw hats, bags, dolls and conch shell jewelry found at a bargain price.
Visit Gold Rock Beach in Lucayan National Park
Located just 25 miles from Freeport, Lucayan National Park is home to Gold Rock Beach, which features turquoise waters and golden sand that will please any nature lover. The secluded beach is the perfect place for families and couples to get away from it all, where you can enjoy its on-site amenities including BBQ pits and picnic tables. The 40-acre oasis of mangrove, palm and pine trees, the national park also appeared in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.
Admire the Queen’s Staircase
Locally known as the 66 steps, the Queen’s Staircase is a historic staircase that spans 102 feet. Connecting Fort Fincastle to downtown Nassau, sit back and appreciate the labor it took for slaves to carve the 600-foot-tall staircase out of solid limestone. Dating back to 1793, it took more than 16 years to complete and was named in honor of Queen Victoria. The historic site makes a great photo op and a slice of Bahamian history. Marvel at the cascading water falling on the side of the steps, then climb to the top to travel onward to the Water Tower or Fort Fincastle landmarks.
Sail The Abaco Islands
Sitting in the north of the Bahamas, the Abaco Islands are protected by one of the world’s largest barrier reefs. It’s here that you’ll discover six national parks, including Pelican Cays Land & Sea Park, Fowl Cays National Reserve and Abaco National Park being the most popular getaways. It’s considered a boating and sailing paradise, where you’ll find championship golf courses on Treasure Cay, a candy-striped lighthouse on Hope Town and charming colonial towns on Green Turtle and Elbow Cays.
See the Glass Window Bridge
For one of the most unique views in the Bahamas, travel to Eleuthera to see one of the country’s most famous landmarks. Known as the Glass Bottom Bridge, it connects the north and south points of the island while offering spectacular views of the Atlantic and Caribbean waters. The stark contrast of the two sides makes for a perfect postcard photo op, where you can sit and admire its unique views.