Bahamas coastline overview
The islands that make up the Bahamas are centrally located between Florida, Cuba, and Turks and Caicos. Most of the islands in the Bahamas are long, flat coral reef formations and though there are hundreds of islands making up the region, only a small portion of them attract tourists. New Providence Island is home to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, and is where you’ll find the world-famous Atlantis resort. Other locations that are a must see by land or boat include Grand Bahama Island (which is best known for its amazing underwater cave systems), and Abacos and Andros Islands, both of which are home to breath-taking, world class beaches.
Fun fact – some say the name “Bahamas” actually comes from Spanish, and it roughly translates to mean “shallow water.” However, other’s argue that this is a folk etymology. Regardless, take heed to this fact.
Best time to visit Bahamas marinas by boat
Though temperatures in the Bahamas are amazing year-round, the best time to pack up your boat and book your visit is from December to April. During these winter months you’ll experience comfortable daytime temps in the high 70s to low 80s and clear skies, making this an ideal time for snorkeling or diving, lounging on pristine Bahamian beaches and exploring outdoor oases like Lucayan National Park and The Glass Window Bridge.
Additionally, for those looking for a bit more excitement, Junkanoo Winter Festival – a vibrant street celebration featuring music, dancing, and colorful costumes representing the Akan culture of the Bahamas – takes place on Boxing Day (December 26) and also on New Year's Day (January 1).
That said, the islands do fall right in the hurricane belt, so if you’re thinking of booking your trip between June and November, you may want to watch the weather closely before setting sail. Most of these months also fall within the region's rainy season, which can leave you with fewer days spent enjoying the islands' outdoor activities and more time exploring local restaurants and spas to get some relaxation in.
Some fun things to do in the Bahamas
The Queen's Staircase
Looking to get your steps in while on vacation? Head over to The Queen's Staircase, commonly referred to as the “66 steps.” Located in the Fort Fincastle Historic Complex in Nassau, the 102-foot staircase was carved by approximately 600 slaves, who used pickaxes and hand tools to cut their way through solid limestone. The entire staircase took over 16 years to complete and was later named in honor of Queen Victoria.
Pigs don’t fly in the Bahamas, but they sure can swim! At Pig Beach – one of the most unique attractions in the Bahamas - people can swim and play with the over 20 pigs that call the island home. Some say the pigs were left by a group of sailors who planned to come back and eat them, while others say the pigs swam over from a shipwreck. Wherever they came from, the pigs have quickly become a must-see attraction (and are even cuter in person)!
If you don’t want to take your own boat to Pig Beach, you can book a trip with one of the many local tour guides. Exuma Water Sports is a highly rated tour operator that offers half-day and full-day pigs tours, ranging in price from $168 per person for a half-day excursion and $350 per person for a full-day trip.
Lucayan National Park
Lace up your walking shoes and get ready to explore! Established in 1982 and now the 2nd most visited national park in The Bahamas, Lucayan National Park on the island of Grand Bahamas protects one of the world’s longest charted underwater cave systems. But it’s not just the underwater caves that make this park fascinating – it’s also home to an amazing combination of pine forests, mangroves, creeks, coral reefs, and the world-famous Gold Rock Beach. For nature lovers, plan to get lost in the magic of this forest for hours on end.
Dunmore Town & Pink Sands Beach
Dunmore Town, Harbour Island is located near Eleuthera Island and has the distinction of being the first capital of the Bahamas in the 1900s. While no longer the capital, the town has a very New England feel to it, with cozy cottage homes, tree-lined streets and a quiet, relaxed beach vibe to it.