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On September 1st, 2019 The Abacos and Grand Bahama Island have been hit by hurricane Dorian with a indomitable fury which left his trace like no others. And yet, there is no time for mourning. There are 14 spectacular islands of the 16 inhabited that escaped from the storm rage and are shining bright, waiting for you with open arms and eager to showing off their beauty.
Visiting the Bahamas right now is the best way to help them raising from that tragic natural catastrophe and getting them back to their splendor.
700 islands and thousands of cays spread out over about 500 miles of turquoise water in the Atlantic ocean, starting just 50 miles southeast of the coast of Florida.
A natural paradise, that makes it a very much targeted destination for honeymooners, family reunions and couples escapes alike.
Beautiful hotels, a vibrant culture, pristine beaches, watersport activities, including amazing diving, delicious food it’s just a few of all the things to do in the Bahamas.
You need to see it to believe it. I was lucky to represent a tourist company that would send me to the Bahamas for work.
Oh yas!! I had the privilege to explore many different islands stay in some of the most spectacular hotels, taste the savory local cuisine, with its spicy creole flavors, dance under a million stars at the local rhythm, swim in those turquoise waters and explore the local culture.
There is so much to see and enjoy in the Bahamas. And I will tell you all about it in a minute.
When you see such beauty, you tend to believe that it must be imperishable, as if protected by a sort of divine will. Just like a beautiful picture that never changes.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
On September 1st, 2019, Hurricane Dorian hit with no mercy and completely destroyed two of the beautiful Bahamian islands, The Abacos and Grand Bahama Island, leaving 70.000 people homeless, not to mention casualties and loss of life. It was one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record to hit land, packing top sustained winds of 185 miles per hour (298 kph) and the worse natural catastrophe that has ever happened before in the Bahamas.
It’s a tragedy that the Caribbean can expect the hurricane season every year, but never totally prepared for.
Only 2 of the many islands have been hit by hurricane Dorian, though.
There are 14 main islands within the heavenly archipelago that have been untouched and cynical though it might seem to say these islands are waiting for you with open arms, eager to show you their treasures.
It’s heart-warming to see how many people are concerned and willing to help and reconstruct the affected region and how many are asking how they can contribute.
Well, if there is one easy thing to do, it is just travel to the Bahamas. The authorities and aid agencies are already working on site and helping the victims to recover some normal life.
But the Bahamas live mainly on tourism and if you want to contribute financially you can make a donation through www.bahamasredcross/donate or simply keep their main industry flourishing, just by continuing to visit and enjoy their amazing region.
Contributing to the economy of the country you will bring the resources necessary to support the action needed to restore The Abacos and Grand Bahama Island to their original beauty.
As simple as that.
So don’t let the recent tragedy stop you. Go visit the Bahamas! Enjoy its treasures and contribute to the rebuilding of the Abacos and Grand Bahamas.
If you want to know what are the best spots and how to enjoy it fully, just continue reading.
HOW TO GET TO THE BAHAMAS AND MOVE AROUND
GETTING TO THE BAHAMAS AND MOVING AROUND BY AIR
Local and international airlines connect Miami and to many of the islands although the best served is the main one, Nassau and Paradise Islands.
American Airlines, Delta and British Airways are the main international airlines that connect the Bahamas with the rest of the world. Direct flights to and from Miami, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, NYC, and London would connect everywhere. The most frequented airport in the Bahamas is Nassau although smaller airports in some of the out-island serve also as international airports connecting The Bahamas to Miami, Huston and other few international destinations, making your trip to the islands smooth and easy.
To connect between the islands has never been so easy now. If you use this interactive map, just select the island you want to travel to, and it will show you the available airlines that operate there. If you want to travel by Ferry see here below.
MOVING AROUND THE BAHAMAS BY FERRY
Once in Nassau, you can spend a few days here in one of the spectacular hotels, such as the unique Atlantis, or the New Baha Mar, with its three hotel brands (among which my favorite, the Rosewood), but you should also explore the so-called out islands, smaller and less populated and definitely more exclusive, quieter and so full of culture and beauty. You can either reach them by ferry or by small planes. Depending on how you feel more comfortable. Please note that the ferry connects also between the outer islands, not only from Nassau.
MOVING AROUND NASSAU
Nassau and Paradise Island are the most populated and developed and they have local mini busses called jitneys at 1.50 BSD that can certainly help those who travel on a budget to move around but they stop running at 6pm, after which time you will need to rely on the expensive but safe Taxi service. I have had great conversations with nice and very talkative taxi drivers, including one who wanted to convert my colleagues and myself into his religious faith. That was quite a talk 🙂 . Also if you want to move from Paradise Island to Nassau, which are normally connected by a bridge, the water-taxi across the harbour is also very popular and runs every hour for 6 BSD.
THE BAHAMAS ON A LIVEABOARD
If you are fond of diving you should definitely consider the option of a dive cruise and explore the underwater world of the 5th largest barrier reef between the islands of Andros Nassau and The Exumas.
BAHAMAS HOLIDAYS: THINGS TO DO IN THE BAHAMIAN ISLANDS
The list of things to do in the Bahamas can be endless. Here I wanted to include the most exclusive and fun activities.
1.Spend a day in the Atlantis Paradise Island
Not my favorite place but it’s worth mentioning since this is considered the best among the Bahamas family resorts. As a matter of fact Aquaventure waterpark is great for amusing the whole family, more like a theme park than a hotel and kids love it, even the older ones, especially for the casino and the Nobu restaurant.
2. Enjoy the spectacular white and pink sand beaches
Sunbath on the white sand on the legendary three sister beach in The Exumas and swim in the pristine turquoise waters. This is one of the countless spectacular beaches of the Bahamas, boasting the clearest water on earth and pink or powder white sand.
3. Spend a day in the water on a boat tour.
Be it a motorboat or sailing boat they will take you around the spectacular cays and send banks or snorkeling through the spectacular coral reefs. If you ask your hotel front desk staff they will certainly organize it for you.
4. Go diving
If you love diving, The Bahamas is home of some of the best spots in the Caribbean and the 5th biggest coral reef of the world.
5. Join the local Fish fry
Throughout the islands the “Fish Fry” is where locals and tourists alike gather together and enjoy a delicious island-style fried fish to the sound of local rhythm and chefs showing off their cooking skills.
6. Visit the Inagua National Park
The Park is the site of the largest breeding colony of West Indian Flamingos in the world. This national bird of The Bahamas now numbers approximately 50,000 on Inagua after having made a forty-year journey back from the edge of extinction.
7. Dance at the Junkanoo!
Every year, on Boxing night and New Year’s Eve locals celebrate life and freedom with this spectacular cultural event, parading with amazing colorful costumes and masks, musicians playing the drums, horns, cowbells and scrapers. It’s a festival that everybody looks forward to and tourists surely don’t want to miss if they happen to be there at that time.
8. Spend a couple of days in Harbour Island
I fell in love with this cute little corner of paradise that seemed unreal, created for a movie scene maybe. A marina and one road lined by immaculate houses like the one you had for your dolls. delicious restaurant and dreamlike beaches. One of them is the world famous pink sand beach. And it’s really pink due to the fragments of coral formations on the beach that give it that pinkish hue. To get to Harbour Island you will need to either fly to Eleuthera and then take a ferry or take a ferry from Nassau.
9. Splurge in one of the most amazing luxury resorts in the Bahamas.
I will talk in the next paragraph about where to stay in the Bahamas, but if I need to pick one it would be the Pink Sands Resort. I had the fortune to visit this property although I didn’t get so lucky to stay there. However I could tell it would have been exactly my perfect spot. Beside the beauty of the hotel, and the very spacious and private rooms, its location on the spectacular pink sand beach makes it unbeatable.
10. Renew your vows a the Grand Isle Resort & Spa in The Exumas
The Grand Isle Resort & Spa is another of the spectacular resorts in the Bahamas, located right on the pristine Emerald Bay beach and adjacent to the 18-hole championship golf course designed by legendary PGA pro Greg Norman, for great golfing and postcards views.
11. Try out your surfing skills
Eleuthera’s Surfer’s Beach, just two miles south of Gregory Town, is where southwest winds blow breakers in from the Atlantic.
Sandy Point in San Salvador and Bimini Sands Resort & Marina at Port Royal, South Bimini offer spectacular Kite surf settings.
12. Take a plunge in the past with a visit in the Versailles gardens
The Versailles Gardens and Cloisters is a must if you are staying in Nassau and Paradise Island. It is a spectacular garden home of the remains of historical buildings and old cloisters. It’s owned by and located adjacent to the Ocean Club Hotel, a spectacular Four Seasons Resort, on the eastern side of Paradise Island, about 15 minutes by foot from the Atlantis Hotel. Entrance is free and open to the public.
13. Swim with pigs
When you think of pigs, you normally associate with dirt, as they love to lay in the mud, but this is not the case for the pigs in the Bahamas. They actually swim in the pristine waters and you can visit them, the little ones are happy to have a selfie taken with you. This is not a practice that would hurt them so although I don’t like to promote activities with animals I believe in this case they are treated with much love and respect. Wouldn’t it be so much fun? Check out the video below or know more here.
WHERE TO STAY IN THE BAHAMAS
There are many hotel options in the Bahamas from elegant boutique hotel or luxury resorts to cute and cheap hostels. Whatever you are looking for you will find it here. You just need to know what to want and what to pick.
Here below I am going to give you a few suggestions on the hotels in the Bahamas but it will be followed by a more detailed list for each island.
Atlantis Paradise Island Nassau – a huge complex situated on the coast of Paradise Island spread along 5 miles of white sand beach compehensive of 5 hotels of different price range, a waterpark, uncountable bars and restaurants, a casino and shops.
The Ocean Club – a Four Seasons Resort, Nassau – Elegant and exclusive a Four Season brand synonymous with excellence.
Pink Sands Resort Harbour Island – Sophisticated and yet simple elegance – a blissful retreat on a spectacular beach.
Baha Sea Backpackers – A cute small property right on the tourquise water with spectacular personalized service. Here you can find either typical Hostel bunkbeds and private rooms.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO TO THE BAHAMAS
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The truth is that the Bahamas are “open” and ready to welcome you all year round. However, June through November, is the official hurricane season and August through October there is likely to be more rain than the rest of the year. And in the winter, say January through March, nights can be a little chilly, which is very refreshing after days spent in the sun. For this reason the peak season is considered from mid-December to mid-April with the best climate ever, although the water temperatures are a little cooler.