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The Bahamas may be renowned for its superlative beaches and swanky resorts, but let us tell you, the island is so much more than just another pretty beach destination. Sure, you can spend your vacay relaxing by the pool or on the sand, but for those who crave a little more adventure, there are so many unique things to do and see beyond your resort’s grounds. For all the travelers who love trying new things, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do in the Bahamas that will take your holiday experience from average to amazing.
1. Swimming with Pigs on Pig Beach, Exuma:
Can you imagine hanging out on a quiet island with a bunch of swimming pigs? Sounds a bit wild, right? Well, that’s exactly what you get at Pig Beach in the Exuma Cays, Bahamas. Hop on a boat, head over there and you’ll find yourself greeted by some of the friendliest pigs you’ll ever meet – ones who love a good swim! Picture yourself splashing about in the water with these playful piggies. Now that’s an experience you don’t get every day!
2. Conch Shell Diving in Andros:
Conch is a delicacy in the Bahamas, and Andros Island is where to get it straight from the source. The island has even earned the moniker of “Conch Capital of the Bahamas”. Here you join local guides on a journey through the clear waters and dive for your own conch shells. Afterwards, they’ll teach you how to prepare your freshly caught conch in the traditional Bahamian style. This just might be the freshest conch salad you’ll ever taste.
3. Swimming with Sharks in Bimini:
Looking to get your adrenaline pumping? Get up close and personal with a shiver of sharks in Bimini. Yes, you heard us right—a group of sharks is actually called a shiver. Bimini is the westernmost island of the Bahamas and a gathering place for hammerhead sharks. Experienced local guides here can take you on a shark diving expedition where you can safely swim with these beautiful creatures.
4. Exploring the Lucayan National Park Caves, Grand Bahama Island:
Want to explore one of the longest underwater cave systems in the world? Make your way to Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahama Island, where an underground maze of limestone caves awaits. You can stroll the boardwalks through the mangroves and descend stairs to viewing platforms in the caves that are cool, calm and dotted with stalactite and stalagmite formations. The highlight of the park is Gold Rock Beach, where you can emerge from the caves to relax on a secluded shoreline.
5. Visit the Swimming Pigs of Big Major Cay, Exuma:
We already mentioned Pig Beach, but there is another lesser known island in the Exuma Cays that is also home to a playful group of swimming pigs. Known as the “Swimming Pigs of Big Major Cay,” these friendly creatures are just as fascinating as their cousins on Pig Beach.
Take a boat tour to the island, feed the pigs, and capture some fab Insta shots as the pigs swim and frolic in the sparkling waters.
6. Explore the Thunderball Grotto, Staniel Cay:
If you’re a fan of the James Bond movies, you won’t want to miss the chance to visit the Thunderball Grotto, which you’ll probably instantly recognize from “Thunderball’. This natural cave system is located near Staniel Cay and it’s an incredible place to do some snorkeling. Dive into the warm waters and you’ll find an underwater world teeming with colorful fish, coral reefs, and other interesting marine creatures in the chambers of this unique cave.
7. Experience the Andros Barrier Reef, Andros Island:
The Andros Barrier Reef is a divers dream. This is the third-largest coral reef system in the world, so it should come as no surprise that the waters contain an incredible diversity of marine life. Think brilliantly colored coral formations, all manner of tropical fish and even shipwrecks from bygone eras. The dive sites are suitable for both experienced divers and beginners, so everyone can experience the beauty of this stunning reef.
8. Discover the Glass Window Bridge, Eleuthera:
The name ‘Glass Window Bridge’ might make you think of a man-made attraction over the water, but in fact this unique natural wonder is a strip of rock between the Atlantic Ocean and the Bight of Eleuthera. On one side you have dark blue, choppy waters, and on the other an expanse of calm, turquoise water. There’s nowhere else quite like it in the Caribbean, or the world for that matter.
9. Visit the Hermitage, Cat Island:
For a spiritual experience, head to Cat Island and visit the Hermitage, a charming hilltop monastery. Perched atop Mount Alvernia, the highest point in the Bahamas, this stone structure was built by Father Jerome, a Catholic priest, as a place of solitude and prayer. Climb the stone steps to reach the whitewashed stone walls of the Hermitage and enjoy panoramic views of Cat Island’s spectacular landscapes.
10. Sail to the Exuma Land and Sea Park, Exuma:
If you think the beaches and ocean views outside your resort are exquisite, wait until you soak up the scenery in the Exuma Land and Sea Park. This protected marine reserve features over 176 square miles of coral reefs, blue holes, and secluded beaches. Set off on a sailing adventure to this sanctuary to swim and snorkel with the thriving marine life or simply relax in The Bahamas’ oldest national park.
11. Visit the Breathtaking Blue Holes, Andros Island:
You can’t come to The Bahamas and not experience the famous blue holes on Andros Island. These unique sinkholes were created thousands of years ago and they contain freshwater that creates ethereal shades of blue. Many of the blue holes contain stalagmite and stalactite formations, and some even have ancient artifacts hidden in the depths. For diving and snorkeling, the blue holes can’t be beat!
12. Discover the Bimini Road, Bimini:
Ever wondered where exactly the lost city of Atlantis is located? Many believe that it could be off the coast of Bimini thanks to the intriguing rock formation known as Bimini Road. In fact, the underwater feature is often called ‘The Road to Atlantis’. The limestone blocks certainly look like they could have been manmade, which leads some to believe it’s the remnants of an ancient road, although no one knows for sure. Dive it yourself to see what secrets they hold.
13. Horseback Riding on the Beaches, Nassau:
Nothing says Caribbean holiday like horseback riding along a sandy beach. In Nassau you can take guided horseback tours where you and your trusty steed can trot through the shallow waters, feeling the sea breeze on your face as you admire the sublime coastal scenery. It’s one of the top activities in the Bahamas where you can connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of the Bahamas from a different perspective.
14. Visit the Garden of the Groves, Grand Bahama Island:
Speaking of nature, Garden of the Groves offers a botanical paradise replete with lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, tranquil ponds and fluttering butterflies. Unsurprisingly, it’s very popular for weddings and special events, but you can also come here for a picnic or simply to escape to a garden oasis where you can stroll among tropical flowers and native wildlife and let all your stress slip away.
15. Attend the Junkanoo Festival, Nassau:
If you’re lucky enough to be in the Bahamas while the Junkanoo Festival is taking place, you’re in for a real treat. This colorful celebration of Bahamian culture takes place on Boxing Day, New Years Day and several Saturdays throughout the summer. Expect hopping street parades with eye-popping costumes, pulsating rhythms, and delicious Bahamian drinks and cuisine. The festival kicks off on Bay Street in Nassau, as well as some of the outer islands.
16. Discover the Lighthouse Beach, Eleuthera:
If you can only visit a few beaches in The Bahamas, Lighthouse Beach should be at the top of your list. Nestled underneath a huge rock formation, this secluded beach is known for its pink-hued sand. Explore the nearby cliffs, take a leisurely walk along the powdery beach, or venture into the water where gentle waves from the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean meet.
17. Kayak through the Mangroves, Abaco Islands:
Need a break from the manmade world of your resort? Picture yourself on a kayak, weaving through the amazing mangrove forests of the Abaco Islands. One moment you can be gliding past the roots of the mangroves, and the next you’ll be spotting bright flashes of fish in the water or exotic birds flitting overhead. Look closely and you may even see a baby shark gliding alongside you.
18. Climb the Queens Staircase
The Queen’s Staircase is one of the most visited spots in The Bahamas, and it’s easy to see why. This historic landmark in Nassau features 66 limestone steps that were hand-carved by slaves using only rudimentary tools. It was built to create a direct route from Fort Fincastle to Nassau City below. Today the staircase is surrounded by tropical foliage, a trickling waterfall and natural rock formations. It’s a beautiful spot to contemplate Nassau’s history.
19. Fort Montagu
Take a step back in time at Fort Montagu. Construction began in 1741, making it one of the oldest forts in The Bahamas. Back in the day, Fort Montagu stood guard over the eastern gateway to Nassau Harbor. Its job? Keeping the city safe from sea attacks. You can still feel that old guardian spirit as you explore its grounds. Roam around the fort and you’ll find old cannons, as well as Instagram-worthy views of Nassau Harbor.
20. Visit The Bahamas Rum Cake Factory
Got a sweet tooth? Next time you’re in the Bahamas, head straight for the Bahamas Rum Cake Factory in downtown Nassau. It’s a little slice of heaven where you can see, smell, and taste the magic as they whip up their famous rum cakes. Go on a guided tour, learn the craft of cake-making, and get your hands on some samples. From classic original to pineapple and coconut, these cakes are soaked in a luscious, slightly boozy rum glaze. It’s the perfect treat to bring home—if it makes it that far!
21. Take a Food Tour
Foodies wondering what to do in the Bahamas absolutely have to try one of the island’s culinary adventures. The food scene here offers a tantalizing mix of local and international, and the best way to dive in is on a food tour. There are plenty to choose from including the Nassau Food Tasting and Cultural Walking Tour, Tru Bahamian Food Tour, and Bites of Nassau Food Tasting and Cultural Walking Tour. There’s a feast of options, so get ready to eat your way through the Bahamas!