Bahamas as a Travel Destination
Last Updated May 12th, 2020
Nassau Bahamas Guide | Discover The Bahamas
Why the Bahamas is the best?
Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas has been the commercial center of the country ever since the 18th century. Being the largest and one of the busiest hubs, the city is the perfect amalgamation of vintage and modern infrastructure.
On one hand it boasts of modern golf courses, resorts and casinos that will lure any luxury loving self.
Then on the other hand, the royal architecture and beautifully preserved churches add an old world charm to it.
After braving invasions of pirates, Spanish, British and American forces before the eighteenth century, Nassau is now the quintessential representation of what Bahamas is famous for.
Though one the smallest Islands in Bahamas, the city will pleasantly surprise with the number of things it nurtures within the small space. Beaches, luxury hotels, parks, museums, you name it and you will find it.
Culture and Climate
What to know before traveling to the Bahamas?
The first thing that will strike you once you step foot in Nassau is the burst of colors! The sight of blue water, luscious green trees, brick buildings with bright red windows and graphic wall art will instantly brighten your spirit.
Pink, yellow, peach, blue and red colored houses will greet you on the shores. Even the parliament building is painted pink, and the law officers still wear full white wigs!
It is this very natural beauty combined with lot of playfulness and quirkiness that has earned Nassau a spot in everyone’s must-visit-once list.
When should you not go to the Bahamas?
The climate is semi-tropical and best during spring and fall. It is breezy and warm around that time. Be prepared for heavy rainfall during June and November. March & April are the peak months where you can grab amazing deals, discounts and offers on travel and stay.
Locals are warm and friendly and are a fun loving lot. They love music, arts and crafts. You would notice the culture to be heavily inspired from the British, African and Spanish cultures, as it is reflected in every art form of theirs.
Getting in and around
Is Bahamas part of USA?
US citizens do not require special visa to enter Bahamas but non-US citizens do need to apply for a visa. On arrival everyone has to sign an immigration form and have to declare their luggage
You will get several taxi cabs and shuttle vans outside the building that can take to your final destination. Fares are fixed (you can check the rate card) but they are subject to change.
By Ship – A desired stopover of cruise ships sailing to the Bahamas is Nassau. Many tourists step into this city via ship or boat.
Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney Cruise, and Norwegian Cruise Lines are some of the many popular cruises that dock at Nassau. Ships dock in Prince George Wharf that is situated below Paradise Island and near downtown Nassau.
Getting Around Town
Is Bahamas safe to travel 2020?
Nassau is a very crowded and busy city with various modes of transport. You can easily find taxis, buses (locally identified as jitneys), rental scooters and rental cars.
Taxis are the most reliable mode of transport to move around the city. It is advisable not to drive yourself, especially if it’s your first trip.
First familiarize yourself with the local driving style and roads, and then attempt to drive around the city. Remember that in Nassau it is left-hand drive, the way it is in UK.
The Pirate Museum – As mentioned earlier,, pirates and Nassau have a long history. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that there is a museum dedicated to pirates to showcase the history.
Once you enter the museum you will be greeted by huge ships accompanied with background music and light show. All in all a thrilling experience.
Nassau Public Library and Museum – Besides the remarkable octagonal shape, another interesting thing about this library is that it used to be a jail once.
The entire place has been revamped and the cells that once kept prisoner’s captive are now lined with books and museum artifacts.
Pompey Museum – Named after the slave Pompey, the place has an interesting past. It was a place where slave auctions were once conducted.
Now it has been transformed in to a museum that displays local history and culture. It specifically paints the picture of slave culture and the history of liberation in the Bahamas.
Exploring the Bahamas
When you think of the Bahamas, you immediately think of its beautiful stretches of beaches. Therefore, upon arriving in the country, one’s first instinct is to hit the beaches right away.
The Grand Bahama Island is without a doubt the most popular island destination in the Bahamas because of its caves and cays, reefs and white-sands beaches.
If you wish to see the country’s best example of its ecosystems, then the Grand Bahama Island is where you should certainly go.
The Lucayan National Park in the Grand Bahama Island showcases all of the archipelago’s 6 types of ecosystems.
You can go inside the island’s famous limestone cave – considered as among the longest underwater caves of its type in the world, or you can loll by the beach and enjoy the view.
For water sports, you can go diving, snorkeling or sailing.
If you wish to swim with dolphins, head to Nassau where you will find Paradise Island. Within Paradise Island is Blue Lagoon Island, a private island that offers close encounters with dolphins in their natural habitat.
You and the kids will definitely enjoy swimming with the dolphins and playing with the sea lions.
After your encounter with the dolphins and the sea lions, why not get to meet some more animals but this time, on land?
In Nassau, there is the Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre. Located in Western New Providence, this tourist hotspot is home to the island’s famous marching flamingos. The flamingos are trained and “march” to the orders of their trainer during a show.
After your close-up with the flamingos, explore the zoo where you will see various animals, reptiles and birds.
Museums, landmarks and shops are also worth a visit in Nassau.
The Grand Bahama Island meanwhile is the perfect spot for bird watching. Bird enthusiasts will have a field day watching both resident and migratory birds.
Among the resident birds are barn owl, great blue heron, mangrove cuckoo and blue-gray gnatcatcher.
Migratory birds include a variety of warblers and orioles plus Eastern kingbird and Pectoral sandpiper.
You may also come across some of Bahamas’ endemic birds such as the Bahama swallow, Bahama yellowthroat and the Bahama woodstar.
What is Bahamas Junkanoo carnival?
Junkanoo is the most popular festival in the archipelago. It’s a parade of sorts where locals and tourists shimmy to the beat of the bongos of Calypso music, with good helpings of Soca and Rake & Scrape music for good measure.
The festival takes place twice per year, in most towns in the Bahamas. Junkanoo is enjoyed every Boxing Day which is the day after Christmas Day and New Year’s.
In the Grand Bahama Island however, Junkanoo is also celebrated during summer.
Colorful and elaborate costumes and dances that tell a story are only some of the highlights of the festival. The start of the festival is signaled by lively street dancing that starts at about two in the morning and lasts up to ten of the same morning.
You’ve Cable Beach, Dolphin Experience, Port Lucaya Marketplace, Junkanoo Nightlife, Cabbage Beach and Lucayan National Park etc. that will eat-up your entire vacation period in entertainment. Get rejuvenated in the Bahamas.
— VR Experts (@VRPExperts) August 12, 2018
What are the most popular things to do in Bahamas with kids?
Whether you love beaches or gardens, Nassau has it all. Atlantis, is a luxurious resort and one of the major attractions of the city. Guests can chose to stay here or make use of the Aqua venture Water Park at a nominal fee.
The Retreat Garden National Park that spreads over 11 acres houses over 175 various species of palm trees. Other places of interest are Junkanoo Beach, Dolphin encounter on Blue Lagoon Island, and Mario’s Bowling and Entertainment Palace.
Dining and Shopping
Fancy souvenirs for your loved ones can be picked from Straw Market and Bay Street. You can take your pick from colorful clothes, jewels, local artifacts and artwork.
Visitors have a choice of fine dining, casual eateries or buffets. Tourist’s can also head to the numerous shacks on the shores for the most delectable local food. It is affordable, authentic and amazingly delicious. For a glimpse of local fresh produce and fish, Potters’ Cay is the place to visit. You can dig into some of the freshest seafood delicacies here, like conch, shrimp and lobster, all prepared in local Bahamian style.
Paradise Island and Cable Beach is the place to be to enjoy night life in Nassau. Green Parrot, Senor Frogs, The Flamingo Café, Hammerheads Bar & Grille offer a great mix of lively music, entertainment, food and drinks.
For those who wish to try their luck at a Casino the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort and Wyndham Nassau Resort are the place to head to. The lively casinos here can keep you occupied the whole night.
Nassau is an ideal place for anyone who loves excitement, activity and energy. The people of Nassau celebrate good food and life. In the face of modernization, Nassau holds on its own through its rich, diverse and unique culture.
Travel Tips and Stories
Boating Holidays – The Relaxing Way to See the World
Forget cramped airline seats, taxi queues and hordes of tourists – savvy travellers know that the hottest trend is to see the world by boat and set off for adventures on the high seas.
Travel the World in Comfort and in Style
How do you sail to the Bahamas?
While air travel has ruled the travel roost for the last couple of decades, the travel industry is now seeing a surge in popularity for sea and river cruises, boat charters and other water-based holidays. While slashed rate air travel on no-frills aircraft has made jumping on board a plane almost as common as catching a bus, the environmentally-conscious have long been concerned about the environmental impact of so much carbon-guzzling air travel and have begun to look to rail and water-based travel as a greener way to get around.
In addition, many customers are increasingly frustrated with airlines’ strict luggage rules and hidden charges and are looking for a way to travel that lets them feel a little less like a sardine in a can and a little more like a valued customer.
Boat travel allows passengers to relax and let the cabin crew take the strain, while avoiding airport queues, plane delays and all the other discomforts frequently associated with rail travel.
Set Your Own Travel Agenda
sailing holidays are ideal for travellers who like to avoid the crowds and set their own travel agendas. Whether on board a luxury motor yacht or simple sailing yacht, this type of travel allows passengers to decide exactly where they want to go and when and how much time they would like to spend in each destination. Holidays on yachts and other charter boats are popular ways to travel beautiful regions such as the Mediterranean and Caribbean, the South Pacific and Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
While travel by boat has traditionally been associated with either skilled and experienced adventure travellers or millionaire yacht owners, the advent of charter boat travel has opened up these holidays to a wider range of travellers than ever before. There are boats to suit all manner of traveller, from large groups of friends to couples and families and the simpler boat models can be surprisingly affordable.
In addition, boat travel scores major brownie points among those with an eye on their carbon footprint, being a great deal more eco-friendly than taking to the skies.
The Hottest New Travel Trend
What Bahamas known for?
Clued-up travellers know that holidaying by boat is the hottest trend in travel right now and while 2012 was a big year for the water travel industry, 2013 looks set to be bigger still.
The increasing range of type of boat and tour available means that more travellers than ever are considering boat travel and the opportunity to set your own travel agenda and see the world in comfort and style are enticing savvy holiday makers away from the airlines and onto the open seas.
Secrets of Traveling on a Budget in the BahamasVacationing on a budget is a great way to make the most of your vacation time and savings. If you’re not sure how to vacation on the money you have available, there are lots of ways to do it. Here are just a few secrets you can use to make your vacation more affordable without missing out on the fun.
Set a Budget First
The first step to vacationing on a budget is to actually set a budget. Far too many people set out to start paying for their vacation with only a vague idea of how much they have to spend. This is a great way to overspend on your vacation, though! Before you start planning, sit down and figure out exactly what you can afford to spend on your vacation.
It also helps to outline a rough budget for how much you’d like to spend on airfare, accommodations, food, shopping, and activities. This helps you prioritize. For instance, if you want to eat at really nice restaurants on your vacation, you might splurge in the food category and cut back a bit on your accommodations. Making a budget helps you see what’s most important to you so that you can put more of your hard-earned dollars towards the most important parts of your vacation.
Use Airfare Tricks
If you’re flying for your vacation, learn as much as you can about online airfare tricks. Sites like Expedia and Travelocity are popular, but one even better option is Kayak.com. This site compares airfares from all the other top airfare comparison sites, so you know you’ll find the best deal. Plus, it has a flexible departure and arrival dates option that can let you see just how much cheaper it would be to leave on a Monday than on a Sunday. You can also opt to see if it’s cheaper to fly out of or into nearby airports.
Sites like Kayak will also track airfares for you. Sign up for at least one or two airfare trackers to see when it will be cheapest for you to buy your plane tickets. In general, you want to get them at least a month out, but not much more than five months. Between these times is when you’ll get the best airfare, but an online tracker can let you know as soon as fares drop so you can snap up the cheapest tickets easily.
If you don’t mind signing up for promotional deals, some airline credit cards offer include baggage perks and a free flight after your first purchase — though keep an eye on the annual fee.
Check Out Social Couponing Sites
Social couponing sites like LivingSocial and Groupon can score you deals that are helpful for vacation as well as in your hometown. Both of these major social couponing sites now have travel sections where you can get steep discounts on hotel and resort stays, usually combined with meals and entertainment packages, too. Even if you don’t use the travel sections, though, you should sign up to receive daily emails about the deals in your vacation destination city. You might land some great deals for local attractions, restaurants, and spas that you can use to save big while you’re on vacation. Since most coupons have far-out expiration dates, you can just save up a handful of coupons to use on your vacation.
Spend Only Cash
The best way to stick to your vacation budget when it comes to variable expenses like food, shopping, and entertainment is to just spend cash. Pull out all the cash you’re going to spend on your vacation before you go, and keep it somewhere safe. If you’re concerned about possibly losing some of your cash, get traveler’s checks, which can be replaced if you lose them at some point. Having cash lets you see just how much is left in your budget, so you can make smarter spending decisions without having to sit down with your receipts to track your budget at the end of every day.
Use Your Credit Card for Certain Expenses
While it’s smart to use cash for your variable expenses, It’s smart to use your credit card to book major portions of your travel expenses – such as your plane tickets and rental car. Check out with your credit card company, but several credit cards offer at least some amount of travel insurance built in when you use your credit card to purchase 100% of your plane tickets or rental car fees. Also, it’s a good idea to carry a credit card with you for emergencies. Just make sure you define what counts as an “emergency” beforehand. (No, running out of spending money just before you find a great sale at a local outlet mall does not count as an emergency situation!)
These tips will help you save on your vacation so that you can afford to vacation on a budget. By following these easy tips, you can get more out of your vacation without spending a fortune!
Post by Angella Grey, the marketing manager at The Vacation Rentals Experts – an online and offline digital marketing agency that creates marketing solutions for vacation rentals, holiday homes and brands.
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