02 October 2017
Wondering what there is to see and do in The Bahamas and Nassau Paradise Island? With an interesting colonial history, beautiful beaches and stunning areas of natural beauty, there’s something for everyone.
As Travel Counsellor Lizzie says, "there’s so much more to the Bahamas than chilling on a beach. Explore a little and you’ll find some hidden gems in the form of friendly, welcoming locals, a fabulous cultural heritage and some stunning architecture."
And, as the East Coast of the USA is only around 4 hours' flying time from The Bahamas, Travel Counsellor Jennifer suggests adding in a break in America too, "combining New York or Miami or both with the Bahamas would be just a fabulous combination!"
Read on for a few things to add to your Bahamas to-do list...
Marvel at the jaw-droppingly beautiful beaches
For sparkling blue waters and dazzling white sands head to Cable Beach, Cabbage Beach, and Sandy Toes Beach (on Rose Island).
Travel Counsellor Lizzie visited The Bahamas in September 2016, staying in the Royal Towers at the Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel, and exploring all over the islands: "We visited Rose Island on the famous Sandy Toes excursion. This is one of the most popular and best loved day trips in the Bahamas and I can see why. A short boat trip took us to this beautiful island with the most amazing beaches."
Swim with piggies on Pig Beach
Pigs on a tropical paradise? It might seem strange but adorable and sociable swimming pigs live on Big Major’s Cay in The Exumas. And they swim up to boats so that you can feed them! Travel Counsellor Donna swam with the pigs on her trip to The Bahamas: "We caught a boat and after a 30-minute ride, we reached them and what a completely bizarre thing to see, pigs of all sizes swimming up to the boat. We all got in the sea and waded over to the island with the pigs swimming amongst us trying to eat the food we were giving and then they were on the island with us. It was such a wonderful thing to do."
It’s thought the piggies might have been left by a group of sailors or swam to the uninhabited island of Big Major’s Cay from a nearby shipwreck.
Wander through The Straw Market
Trading straw is one of the country’s oldest industries and this bustling market is filled with stalls selling beautiful handwoven souvenirs, as well as other mementoes from The Bahamas.
Lace up your hiking boots and head into the wilderness
The Islands of The Bahamas (there are 700 islands, cays and islets) have 25 national parks and conservation areas, cared for by the Bahamas National Trust.
Among the incredible natural wonders, you’ll find one of the world’s longest underwater cave systems (pictured above, Lucayan National Park) and the largest private collection of palms in the Western Hemisphere.
Spot over 100 species of birds
If you’re a keen birdwatcher, head to Harrold and Wilson Ponds National Park. This 250-acre wetland is home to more than 100 bird species. Among the birds to add to your ‘to-find’ list? Egrets, ibises, and the endangered Bahama Swallow.
And don't miss spotting the colourful Bahama Parrot in Abaco National Park. There are only about 3,000 of this endangered species left in the wild, and Abaco National Park is one of the places to spot this adorable little feathered friend.
Step back in time to the 1850s
Learn about life on The Bahamas from years past at The Heritage Museum of The Bahamas. Nestled inside Mountbatten House on Nassau, which was built ca. 1850, this fascinating museum is filled with artifacts and documents that tell the history of The Bahamas.
Gaze at the pink buildings in Parliament Square
Built in 1815, the colonial government buildings here are a delightful shade of flamingo pink!
There’s also a statue of Queen Victoria (erected in 1905 from funds donated by the public) and the Supreme Court has occupied one of the buildings here since 1921.
Spy sea turtles, flamingos and sailfish
Wildlife-lovers should keep an eye out for sea turtles and dolphins, while fishing fanatics will love sport fishing for marlin and sailfish, bone fishing, and reef fishing in the crystal clear waters.
Birdwatchers can delight in spotting both native birds such as the nuthatcher, and in autumn and winter, migratory birds, as warblers and other feathered friends make The Bahamas home. And, of course, flamingos!
Get into the carnival spirit at Junkanoo
During the Christmas period, the dazzling Junkanoo carnival takes place. It’s a blend of a carnival with a masquerade ball, with pulsating music and dancers in spectacular costumes parading through the street.
Walk the plank, matey!
Gather up your swashbucklers young and old and wander over to the Pirates of Nassau Museum. Dedicated to all things pirate, this wax museum will entertain both adults and children. Expect battle shows, pirate history, and weapons!
Taste your way across the islands…
Discover the moreish delights of this West Indies paradise with a Bahamian Food Tour. Sample the tastes of the islands or book onto a cooking class so that you can cook up some of your favourite dishes when you get home!
Wondering what else you could see and do in The Bahamas? Get in touch with your Travel Counsellor to find out more and plan your tailor-made trip!