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Visiting the Bahamas: A Guide to the Islands

Visiting the Bahamas: A Guide to the Islands | CosmosMariners.com

Nestled less than a hundred miles off the coast of Florida, the Bahamas are a playground of crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, and beautiful resorts. While it might be easy to clump all of the islands together, each actually has its own personality and unique offerings. 

If you’re thinking about vacationing in the Bahamas, it’s essential to pick the right islands for the trip that you want. While there are 700 islands in the chain, only about 30 are inhabited. Here’s a quick overview of the major islands you’re most likely to visit on a jaunt to the Bahamas!

Paradise Island, located right next to Nassau, is worth a visit, even if it’s only to walk around the grounds. Since it was built in 1998, people from all over the world have flocked to the Atlantis resort’s water parks, fancy hotel suites, dining, aquariums, and water sports. Check out the more than 30 restaurants, 20 pools, and 3,400 rooms! 

Visiting the Bahamas: A Guide to the Islands | CosmosMariners.com


Head to Andros Island for a taste of what the unexplored Bahamas are like: laid back and incredibly scenic. I had the opportunity to explore Andros during a college study abroad session, and the island was unforgettable. With only 6,000 people spread out on the largest of the Bahamian islands, you get all of the beaches, snorkeling (on the world’s third largest barrier reef!), and fishing practically to yourself for a fraction of what you’d pay on Nassau. Visit the Androsian fabric factory for a glimpse at how this iconic local fabric is still made by hand, visit Morgan’s cave to see if you’ll be the one to find some pirate gold, or listen to the oral history of a village that remained a secret from the world for over a hundred years. 

Visiting the Bahamas: A Guide to the Islands | CosmosMariners.com


Grand Bahama Island, where Freeport is located, is another popular cruise port. With golfing, casinos, nightclubs, and parasailing on the island, it’s one of the two major settlements in the Bahamas (with the other being Nassau). Still, even with the large number of annual visitors, you’ll be able to find some quiet time in the Lucayan National Park and Gold Rock Beach. And if you’re visiting in mid-April, do not miss the Junkanoo Carnival—with the colorful costumes, upbeat music, and dazzling parades, it’s the perfect way to immerse yourself into the cultural of the Bahamas. 

The capital of the island nation, Nassau is probably best known as one of the busiest cruise ports in the Atlantic. As soon as you step off of the boat, your senses will be overloaded: you’ll have people calling to you to get your hair braided, the smell of fried conch wafting out of nearby restaurants, and the sun sparkling on the blue waters. 

Visiting the Bahamas: A Guide to the Islands | CosmosMariners.com


The Exumas, a portion of the Bahamas' out islands (so called since they're away from the hustle and bustle of Nassau and Grand Bahama Island) is another excellent place to discover your own private breach or perfect snorkeling spot. Dive down into the waters to examine the stromatolites, the world's oldest known macrofossils. Relax on the island's longest beach, the Tropic of Cancer Beach, which was named after its geographic coordinates. But winning out for cuteness in the island's offerings are the island's acclaimed swimming pigs. They swim out to boats that moor nearby and are tame enough to feed and swim near--you'd better have a treat or two handy to share!

Visiting the Bahamas: A Guide to the Islands | CosmosMariners.com


You're not seeing things: the sand on Eleuthera is actually pink! The island is over 100 miles long, but is only a mile wide in some places, so you have a very high likelihood of finding a beach all to yourself. Choose from the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Atlantic on the other--no matter where you decide to settle for your vacation, you'll love the peace and quiet.

No matter where you visit in the Bahamas, make sure you grab a Goombay Punch (a sugary sweet pineapple-coconut soft drink) and some fried conch before you head to the local beach to relax!

Visiting the Bahamas: A Guide to the Islands | CosmosMariners.com


Have you been to the Bahamas? Which is your favorite island?