Are The Bahamas in the Caribbean?

Are The Bahamas in the Caribbean? The answer is not as straightforward as one might think. Let’s cover the answer before we move on to the details.

The Bahamas is a beautiful island nation located in the Caribbean region of North America.

The country is made up of over 700 islands and cays and is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant culture.

Is The Bahamas in the Caribbean?

Credit to Bahamas Tourist Office

Geographically speaking, The Bahamas is located north of the Greater Antilles and southeast of Florida, in the North Atlantic Ocean.

This means that the Bahamian islands are not technically in the Caribbean Sea.

However, culturally and politically speaking, The Bahamas is considered part of the Caribbean region.

The nation shares a history of colonization, slavery, and independence with many other Caribbean nations.

Apart from that, It is also a member of CARICOM, the Caribbean Community, whose goal is to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members.

So, at the end of the day, whether you call The Bahamas a Caribbean destination or not depends entirely on your perspective.

Either way, you can enjoy the country’s stunning beaches, coral reefs, and welcoming people.

The Caribbean Islands Region

The Greater Antilles

Grand Cayman Island
Grand Cayman Island – photo from Canva

The Greater Antilles are a group of large islands and small that form the northern boundary of the Caribbean Sea.

The countries included in the Greater Antilles are Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and the Cayman Islands

The region has a combined area of about 207,000 square miles (536,000 sq km) and a population of over 38 million people, which makes up about 6% of Latin America’s total population. 

The Greater Antilles have a rich history and diverse culture, influenced by indigenous peoples, European colonizers, African slaves, and Asian immigrants. 

Each island in the region has its own unique culture, history, and attractions. You can explore Havana’s colonial architecture and vibrant nightlife in Cuba; enjoy the beaches and mountains of Haiti and the Dominican Republic on Hispaniola; enjoy the reggae music and jerk chicken in Jamaica; or experience the mix of Spanish, African, and American influences in Puerto Rico.

The Lesser Antilles

The Lesser Antilles consist of three smaller island groups: the Windward Islands to the south, the Leeward Islands to the north, and the Leeward Antilles to the west.

Each group has its own distinct features and attractions.

The Lesser Antilles also offers a variety of activities for every taste and budget. You can snorkel or scuba dive among colorful fish and coral formations; hike or bike through scenic trails; visit historical sites and museums; or relax on white sand beaches with turquoise waters.

You can enjoy lush rainforests, waterfalls, and hot springs on islands like Dominica, St. Lucia, and Grenada; admire the colonial architecture and cultural diversity on islands like Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Martin; or explore arid landscapes and coral reefs on islands like Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao.

Aruba Island at sunset
Aruba Island at sunset – photo from Canva

Lucayan Archipelago (The Bahamas)

The Lucayan Archipelago is named after the original native people who lived there before the arrival of Europeans.

The Lucayans were a branch of the Taínos, who inhabited most of the Caribbean islands.

They were skilled fishermen, farmers, and artisans who had a peaceful and harmonious society.

This island group consists of two countries: The Bahamas and the British Territory of Turks and Caicos Islands.

Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands aerial view – photo from Canva

They are located in the Atlantic Ocean, east of Florida, and north of Cuba.

The Bahamas is a Commonwealth nation with over 700 islands and cays. It is famous for its pink sand beaches, coral reefs, and marine life.

You can swim with dolphins, sharks, or pigs; explore historic forts and pirate museums; or enjoy some rum and conch fritters at a local bar.

The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory with over 40 islands and cays.

It is known for its white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and world-class diving sites that let visitors (and locals) snorkel with turtles, rays, and whales. 

What is CARICOM?

CARICOM, or the Caribbean Community, is a regional organization that brings together countries in the Caribbean to promote cooperation and economic development.

It was established in 1973 and currently has 20 member states, out of which 15 are permanent members and 5 are associate members.

One of the main goals of CARICOM is to create a single market and economy among its member states (not unlike the EU), which would make it easier for goods and services to be traded between countries.

This would also help to boost economic growth and create more jobs in the region. CARICOM works to promote social and cultural integration among its member states.

The organization has also been involved in a number of initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable development, including efforts to address climate change and protect the environment. 

Are The Bahamas part of the USA?

Is The Bahamas in the Caribbean? Bahamas location on the map
Photo from Canva

If you look at the map, The Bahamas is very close to Florida. That’s why a lot of people assume that it’s part of the USA.

However, The Bahamas is not a part of the United States. It is an independent country located just off Florida’s coast.

It is also a popular travel destination, known for its white sand beaches and crystal clear waters.

The archipelago was once a favorite with loyalists and pirates, but now it’s one of the swankiest travel destinations frequented by thousands of travelers every year.

What language do they speak in The Bahamas?

If you are planning to visit this beautiful island nation, you might be wondering what language they speak there.

After all, communication is an important part of any travel experience.

Well, you will be happy to know (assuming you can read this) that English is the official language of The Bahamas and is widely spoken by most of the population.

The English spoken in The Bahamas is known as Bahamian English, which is a product of British English coupled with rich linguistic influences rooted in the African languages of the slave trade.

Bahamian English has its own unique vocabulary and dialect that reflects the culture and history of the Bahamian people. However, for official and educational purposes, standard British English is used.

This means that you should have no problem understanding signs, documents, media productions, or transactions inside The Bahamas.

waterfront houses in Nassau, Bahamas
Waterfront houses in Nassau, Bahamas – photo from Canva

Is The Bahamas worth visiting?

The Bahamas is one of the easiest places in the world to travel to. It’s conveniently accessible by air and sea from many major cities in North America and Europe.

But is it worth visiting?

If you’re looking for a tropical paradise with stunning beaches, friendly people, and diverse attractions, then The Bahamas is definitely worth visiting.

It is a country of over 700 islands and cays, each with its own unique charm and beauty.

The Bahamas is also home to some of the world’s best dive sites, fishing spots, and national parks.

You can dive into crystal-clear waters and see colorful coral reefs, shipwrecks, blue holes, and marine life.

You can also visit one of the many national parks that protect the natural beauty and biodiversity of the country.

But The Bahamas is not only a place of natural wonders but also a place of rich culture and history.

You can learn about the Bahamian heritage through its music, art, cuisine, festivals, and people-to-people program.

You can also visit historical landmarks such as forts, lighthouses, museums, and churches.

Short answer? Definitely worth visiting!

What is the best month to visit The Bahamas?

sandy beach lined with palm trees in the Bahamas
Sandy beach lined with palm trees in the Bahamas – photo from Canva

It depends on what you are looking for. If you want to enjoy the peak season with comfortable temperatures, sunny skies, and lots of activities, then mid-December to mid-April is your best bet.

However, the country is packed with tourists during this season who are also looking to take advantage of the perfect conditions to have a good time.

As such, the prices for flights and accommodations will also be much higher during these months.

If you want to avoid the crowds and save money on hotels and flights, then late April to early December might be a better option.

Just be aware of the rainy season and the hurricane season that run from May to November.

How to get to The Bahamas?

At this point, you might be all psyched up and wondering how you can get to The Bahamas pronto.

The good news is that getting to The Bahamas is easier than you think. Whether you prefer flying or sailing, there are options aplenty.

The Bahamas has 5 international airports welcoming regularly scheduled flights from around the world.

The main gateway is Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS), which offers direct flights from major cities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Latin America.

Once you arrive in Nassau, you can take a short flight or ferry ride to dozens of Out Islands (also known as The Family Islands).

If you love cruising, you can also get to The Bahamas by sea. Several cruise lines offer itineraries that include stops at Nassau or one of their private islands in The Bahamas.

Alternatively, you can charter a private boat or yacht and explore the islands at your own pace.

How to get around The Bahamas?

Once you’re in The Bahamas, there are plenty of options to suit your budget and preferences, depending on where you want to go and what you want to see.

One of the most convenient ways to island-hop is by plane. There are several domestic airlines that offer flights between popular destinations such as Nassau, Freeport, Eleuthera, and Exuma.

Scenic sea view from the coast of Eleuthera
Scenic sea view from the coast of Eleuthera – photo from Canva

You can also rent a car if you want more freedom and flexibility to explore the islands at your own pace.

Just remember to drive on the left side of the road!

Many people also use taxis, which can be cheaper than renting a car if you’re staying at a resort and only venturing out occasionally.

Taxis have fixed rates for most routes, so make sure you agree on the fare before you hop in.

Lastly, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also travel by boat, ferry, or water taxi.

Boats and ferries have scheduled rides throughout the day and can give you a scenic view of the Bahamas’ stunning coastline.

How many islands are in The Bahamas?

There are nearly 700 coral islands that made up The Bahamas. However, only around 30 of the islands are inhabited. Here below I am going to list the most popular ones.

View of Bahamas Islands
View of Bahamas Islands – photo from Canva

✔️ New Providence Island (Nassau)

New Providence Island is the most populous island and vibrant island in the Bahamas, having the capital city of Nassau located on its shores.

The island was a hub for piracy and was home to infamous pirates like Blackbeard and Calico Jack.

Later, in the 18th century, New Providence became a British colony and played a key role in the American Revolutionary War.

Nassau, being the capital city, is a vibrant hub of activity, with colorful colonial architecture, lively markets, and a vibrant nightlife scene.

Visitors can explore historic landmarks like Fort Charlotte and the Queen’s Staircase, or take a stroll through the beautiful Botanical Gardens.

You can also enjoy the stunning beaches and coral reefs of Cable Beach and Paradise Island, or visit the wildlife conservation centers and national parks.

New Providence Island offers a mix of Bahamian and British flavors, with plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

✔️ The Exumas

Exuma Island beach, Bahamas
Exuma Island beach, Bahamas – photo from Canva

The Exumas are a paradise of 365 islands and cays in the Bahamas, where you can enjoy world-class diving, sailing, fishing, and snorkeling.

The islands were originally inhabited by the Lucayan Indians and later became a base for pirates who used the archipelago as a hiding spot.

In the 18th century, the islands became a British colony and were primarily used for farming and fishing.

If you are looking for an unforgettable island getaway, you should visit the Exumas.

You can swim with pigs at Big Major Cay, snorkel in Thunderball Grotto (which was also used in the filming of two Bond movies), explore the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, or relax on one of the many pristine beaches.

You can also enjoy delicious seafood, local rum, and live music at various restaurants and bars.

There are plenty of opportunities to find a secluded beach, a luxury resort, a historic site, or a local flavor in The Exumas.

It’s an ideal destination for anyone who loves sun, sand, sea, and adventure.

✔️ Grand Bahama Island

Grand Bahama Island is a tropical paradise just 60 miles east of Florida. It is the third largest island in the Bahamas, with a rich history and culture.

It was first inhabited by the Siboney Indians, who lived off the sea and left behind shells and jewelry as evidence of their presence.

Later, the Lucayans (also called Arawaks) settled on the island and developed an advanced political and social structure.

The island got its name from the Spanish, who named it “Gran Bajamar” or “great shallows” because of its treacherous reefs.

For centuries, it was largely ignored by the Spanish and other colonial powers, except for occasional visits by pirates and wreckers who plundered ships that ran aground on the reefs.

Freeport beach, Grand Bahama Island
Freeport beach, Grand Bahama Island – photo from Canva

Today, Grand Bahama Island is a popular destination for tourists who want to experience its natural beauty, cultural diversity, modern amenities, and vibrant events.

Some of the most popular ones are Junkanoo, a colorful street parade with costumes and drums, and Grand Bahama Regatta, which is a sailing competition that features traditional wooden sloops.

There are also historical sites such as Ben’s Cave, a limestone cavern that was once a refuge for runaway slaves, or Deadman’s Reef, a popular snorkeling spot that also holds archaeological significance.

Harbour Island

Harbour Island is a small island located in the Bahamas, known for its stunning pink sand beaches, laid-back atmosphere, and charming colonial architecture.

It is known for its magnificent pink sand beaches, brilliant blue waters, and a laidback atmosphere. 

The island was originally inhabited by Arawak, one of only two tribes of the Lucayan Indians.

It is also one of the oldest of the Bahamian settlements, and once served as the capital of The Bahamas.

Here, visitors can explore the island’s charming colonial architecture, including the famous pastel-colored houses and buildings that line the streets of Dunmore Town, visit the infamous Pink Sand Beach, which gets its distinctive color from the crushed shells of microscopic marine creatures, and enjoy some fresh island flavors at one of the many restaurants and bars that offer local cuisine and drinks.

✔️ Paradise Island

Lighthouse on Paradise Island
Lighthouse on Paradise Island – photo from Canva

Originally known as Hog Island, this island was renamed in the 1960s to reflect its growing reputation as a paradise for vacationers.

It was then further developed in the 1990s by the resort magnate Sol Kerzner, who built the now-iconic Atlantis Resort and Casino on the island, turning it into a world-class destination.

With its white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, sunny weather, and famously luxurious resorts and spas, the island offers the perfect setting for a relaxing and rejuvenating vacation.

For those looking for adventure, there are plenty of opportunities for deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, and exploring the island’s stunning natural beauty.

With its perfect combination of natural beauty, luxury, and history, Paradise Island truly lives up to its name as a paradise on earth.

✔️ Eleuthera

Eleuthera island is a historic and scenic island in The Bahamas that was founded in 1648 by a group of Puritans, known as the Eleutheran Adventurers, who sailed to this island from Bermuda to seek religious freedom. 

These settlers were the ones who named the island “Eleutheria”, after the Greek word for freedom.

A little more recently, the island was also home to British Loyalists who fled the American Revolution and tried to establish plantations here.

As you can imagine, the island is chock full of history. You can also explore the charming settlements that dot the island, each with its own history and character.

You can visit landmarks like Preacher’s Cave, where the first settlers took refuge; Glass Window Bridge, where you can see the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other; or Hatchet Bay Cave, the most extensive cave system in Eleuthera where you can see ancient rock formations.

Natural baths of Eleuthera island, Bahamas
Natural baths of Eleuthera island, Bahamas – photo from Canva

✔️ Long Island

Long Island is a scenic island in the Bahamas that is known for its quiet and serene atmosphere, perfect for getting away from the hustle and bustle of life.

The island has a rich history that dates back to the pre-Columbian era when it was inhabited by the Lucayan Arawaks who called it Yuma.

It was later visited by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to the New World in 1492, who renamed it Fernandina (after King Ferdinand).

The island is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. It boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Bahamas, with soft white sand and turquoise water.

It is also home to Dean’s Blue Hole, which is the world’s second-deepest underwater sinkhole and a popular spot for diving and snorkeling.

Andros Island

Andros Island is the largest island of The Bahamas and the fifth-largest in the Caribbean, having an area greater than all the other 700 Bahamian islands combined.

It is known for its natural beauty and abundant marine life. 

Andros has a rich history, with evidence of early settlements dating back to the Lucayan Indians, who were the first inhabitants of the island.

Later, the island was a hub for the pirate trade and played a key role in the American Civil War.

Today, Andros is a popular destination for eco-tourism and outdoor recreation, with pristine beaches, coral reefs, and wetlands that are home to a variety of wildlife.

It boasts the world’s third-largest barrier reef and lagoon system, which stretches for over 124 miles along its eastern coast.

The reef is home to diverse marine life, including colorful corals, tropical fish, turtles, sharks, dolphins, and rays.

There’s also an extensive network of freshwater blue holes and underwater caves here that attract divers from around the world.

✔️ The Abaco Islands

Abaco Island in the summertime
Abaco Island in the summertime – photo from Canva

The Abaco Islands are a chain of islands and cays that span 120 miles in the northern Bahamas.

They are known as the boating capital of The Bahamas, as well as a fishing and sailing paradise.

The islands are a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by adventurous travelers.

From the picturesque beaches and crystal-clear waters to the vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs, the Abaco Islands are a paradise for beach lovers, water sports enthusiasts, and nature explorers alike.

You can explore charming colonial towns, such as Hope Town and New Plymouth, where you can see colorful cottages, lighthouses, museums, and art galleries.

You can also enjoy world-class golf courses, such as Treasure Cay Golf Club and Winding Bay Golf Club.

And of course, you can indulge in various water activities, such as snorkeling, diving, kayaking, sailing, and swimming with pigs on No Name Cay!

✔️ Bimini

Bimini beach, Bahamas
Bimini beach, Bahamas – photo from Canva

Located just 50 miles east of Miami, the Bimini Islands consist of three main islands, North Bimini, South Bimini, and East Bimini, as well as several smaller cays.

The islands are known as the “Sport Fishing Capital of the World” because of their abundant marine life and variety of fishing opportunities.

The islands offer a range of activities for travelers of all interests, from world-class fishing and boating to diving and snorkeling in crystal-clear waters.

You can enjoy activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, boating, kayaking, swimming with dolphins, exploring shipwrecks, visiting museums and landmarks, tasting local cuisine, and more.

You can also experience the mystical properties of some of these sites, such as The Bimini Road, which is said to be part of an ancient civilization, or even Atlantis. 

The Bimini Islands are also known for their laid-back island vibe, with charming local communities and colorful cultural festivals throughout the year.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the islands’ history and culture by visiting local museums, galleries, and historical sites, or by simply relaxing on the beach and taking in the breathtaking scenery.

Best Things to Do in The Bahamas

1. Swim with the pigs on Rose Island

Located just a short boat ride from Nassau in the Bahamas, Rose Island is home to a group of friendly pigs that love to swim and interact with visitors.

These adorable animals have become a popular attraction in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. 

Visitors can wade into the shallow water and swim alongside the pigs as they paddle around, or feed them treats from the shore.

It’s a unique and unforgettable experience that’s perfect for families, couples, and solo travelers alike.

little piglet in water at beach
Photo from Canva

2. Drive an ATV to tour Nassau

If you’re looking for an adventurous way to explore Nassau and Paradise Island, why not try driving an ATV?

You can drive your own ATV or ride as a passenger with a guide who will show you the highlights of the city and the beach. 

You’ll see historic landmarks like the Queen’s Staircase, Fort Charlotte, and John Watling’s Distillery, as well as enjoy some scenic views of the ocean and the caves.

Along the way, you’ll also get to taste some local delicacies like rum cake and conch salad. 

3. Enjoy a cruise to Rose Island

Rose Island is a private island that offers pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and colorful coral reefs.

You can snorkel with green turtles and tropical fish at Green Cay, play beach volleyball or kayak on the shore, or just lounge on a hammock and soak up the sun.

Several tour operators offer cruises to Rose Island, complete with snorkeling gear, beach chairs, and refreshments.

Along the way, visitors can soak up the sun and admire the stunning views. Once you arrive, you can relax on the island’s pristine beaches, snorkel or dive in the nearby reefs, or take part in water sports like kayaking, paddle boarding, and jet skiing. 

4. Go snorkeling in the private Pearl Island

snorkeling in the Bahamas
Photo from Canva

If you’re fond of snorkeling, or just want to try, going snorkeling on Pearl Island is an experience not to be missed.

This stunning island boasts pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and some of the most breathtaking coral reefs in the Caribbean. 

Visitors can take a guided snorkeling tour and explore the vibrant marine life and colorful coral formations, or simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun.

The island also offers a range of other activities, including kayaking, paddle boarding, and beach volleyball.

You will be amazed by the beauty and diversity of the marine life that inhabits this underwater world.

5. Go on a half-day bus tour to learn about the history and food of Nassau

Going on a tour to learn about the history and food of Nassau is a great way to experience the local culture and cuisine of this vibrant city.

There are many tour providers offering their services in the area, so you won’t be lacking in options. 

The tours include stops at historic landmarks such as Fort Charlotte and the Queen’s Staircase, as well as local foodie hotspots where you can savor local recipes.

You’ll be able to sample a variety of Bahamian dishes, like conch fritters, johnnycakes, and fried fish while learning about the island’s rich culinary history.

Some tours also offer opportunities to meet local artisans and craftsmen and purchase authentic Bahamian souvenirs.  

Are the Bahamas in the Caribbean? Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 12 Caribbean countries?

There are 13 sovereign island nations in the Caribbean. These nations are Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica, and The Bahamas.

What country owns the Bahamas?

Technically, King Charles “owns” the Bahamas, as the current Bahamian monarch and the nation’s head of state. However, the Bahamas is an independent kingdom of its own, like Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.

Are The Bahamas cheap?

The answer depends on what you are looking for and where you are coming from, as cheap is a relative term.

In general, though, the cost of living in The Bahamas is generally higher than in many other countries, and this can extend to prices for food, accommodation, and activities.

Tourist areas such as Nassau and Paradise Island tend to be the most expensive, with prices for dining, shopping, and entertainment aimed toward tourists.

However, there are ways to save money while visiting The Bahamas. One option is to stay in more affordable accommodations, such as guesthouses or vacation rentals outside of the main tourist areas.

Another is to dine at local restaurants or street vendors, rather than exclusively eating at expensive restaurants.

How safe are The Bahamas?

The Bahamas is quite a safe destination for tourists, with a low crime rate compared to other Caribbean countries. However, petty crime still takes place, albeit rarely; so visitors should still exercise caution and take steps to ensure their safety.

Common precautions include avoiding isolated areas, not carrying large sums of cash, keeping your valuables secure in a safe, and being aware of your surroundings. I also recommend that you use reputable taxi services and not walk alone at night. Overall, with some common-sense precautions, visitors can enjoy a safe and enjoyable trip to The Bahamas.

Are The Bahamas in the Caribbean? Final Thoughts

So, is the Bahamas in the Caribbean Sea/Islands? In short, the answer depends on how you define the Caribbean.

Technically, The Bahamas is not in the Caribbean Sea; culturally and politically, The Bahamas is often considered part of the Caribbean region, as it shares a common history with the rest of the Caribbean islands. 

The country is also a member of CARICOM, short for Caribbean Community, which is an organization of Caribbean countries to promote regional cooperation and to form an economic alliance.

Regardless of its geographical location, The Bahamas remains a popular and beloved vacation spot for travelers around the world.

Its turquoise waters, stunning scenery, and warm hospitality make it a top destination for anyone looking to escape to a tropical paradise.