“You spent 5 days lying on a beach drinking rum?”
~Curse of the Black Pearl
Why, of course! Located just off the coast of Florida, the island chain of the Bahamas not only provides travelers with the aforementioned rum and nice, sandy beaches, but a number of other attractions as well. Though, of course, if sipping tropical drinks and hanging out near the surf is all you want to do during your visit, you’re in good company. In case you want to do a little more than drink from a coconut under an umbrella on the beach, here are a few other suggestions to add to your Bahamas Itinerary.
Marine Habitat at Atlantis, Paradise Island
This aquarium is a family-friendly place geared towards those with young kids. Swimming with the dolphins, seeing the sea lion show, and going on the shark slide are but a few activities that can be found here. The Dig portion of this site is quite often suggested as a must see feature by those who have been. There are tunnels built below some of the viewing habitats to allow visitors to see the fish more clearly, stingrays, and sharks. Depending on your budget, the aquarium can be a bit on the pricey side. It is recommended that visitors wishing to save money purchase a day pass rather than an all-inclusive ticket.
Christ Church Cathedral in Nassau, New Providence Island
If historical places are your forte, check out this church which was built in the 1670s and completely restored about thirty years ago. It features new mahogany pews in the same style as the original ones, stone memorials in the walls, and a colorful interior. The church’s website contains all manner of interesting facts, so be sure to check it out prior to visiting. Like most of the beaches, this place is free for a visit. However, donations are greatly appreciated.
Thunderball Grotto, Staniel Cay
This place is famous for being featured in two James Bond movies. Snorkeling here is a popular activity, but this grotto is a place that is not advisable for beginner or poor swimmers due to the occasionally fierce currents. Less fierce currents and more fish can be found here at low tides. Be sure to bring breadcrumbs if you come, so that you can feed the fish.
The Hermitage, Cat Island
Hiking up the steep Mt. Alvernia to the monastery at the summit will burn off some calories and give those hardy enough to make the climb a gorgeous view. Turning at the police station gives those eager to make the trek a slight shortcut. Bees and wasps can be problematic at times so remember to bring bug spray.
Just checking Trip Advisor brings up an extensive list of highly recommended cays, lagoons and beaches just waiting to be explored. And to be honest, that’s what you’re here for isn’t it? Top picks include Gold Rock Beach at Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahama Island, Pink Sands Beach on Harbour Island and Cable Beach, which is located near Nassau on New Providence Island.
Having Nassau located nearby makes Cable Beach good for families. This destination not only has all the amenities but also provides visitors with soft sand and clear water for excellent snorkeling.
The Pink Sand Beach is much quieter, but a quick stroll down the sands will provide beach goers with a small selection of places to eat.
Those journeying out to Gold Rock Beach will have to pay a park entrance fee ($5 each for everyone over the age of 12) and will need to bring their own food, unless they plan to make the hike to High Rock. Composting toilets are present at the beach but no other facilities are offered. Those who wish for a secluded place and don’t mind self-catering are quite content to swim here.
In the words of Jack Sparrow: “Welcome to the Caribbean, love.”
Do you have any other suggestions to add to your Bahamas Itinerary?