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The Ultimate Nassau Bahamas Travel Guide (From A Local’s Point of View)

tourism of nassau bahamas

If you’re thinking of traveling to Nassau in The Bahamas, here’s a local’s guide to Nassau, Bahamas. Whether it’s crystal clear waters, relaxation, culture, authentic Bahamian food; here’s everything you need to know to start planning your trip.

What To Know Before Traveling To Nassau Bahamas

First off, Nassau is ONE island in an archipelago of over 700 islands, rocks and cays and if your discovery of The Bahamas starts there, that definitely shouldn’t be the end all be all. When flying to Nassau, the best airport is LPIA (Lynden Pindling International Airport) which offers both international and inter island transportation. The best time to travel would depend on the traveler but peak season usually starts around the winter months until the end of Spring break and off season starts during the spring/summer months more particularly around hurricane season.

The ideal length of stay can vary but I recommend a long weekend into a week (4-7 days) OR  you can definitely consider including Nassau as a stop if you’re on a Caribbean cruise.

Other things to note, currency used is 1:1 with the USD dollar (not a US territory) and you should also budget for VAT (value added tax) which is around 10% or greater.  I would recommend budgeting spending $50-100 dollars a day depending on your itinerary.

tourism of nassau bahamas

Where To Stay in Nassau, Bahamas

If you’re looking for a more luxury stay, check out the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar or SLS Baha Mar, The Island House and Ocean’s Club, Four Seasons. Budget friendly choices are Comfort Suites Paradise Island which offers a day pass per guest to Atlantis. Other budget friendly options are CourtYard By Marriott, Holiday Inn and more. For all inclusive resorts, check out the newly reopened Sandals Royal Bahamian, Breezes Resort & Spa, Warwick Paradise Island and Hotel RIU Paradise Island.

tourism of nassau bahamas

List of Hotels in Nassau, Bahamas (click names for links)

  • Comfort Suites Paradise Island
  • CourtYard By Marriott
  • Graycliff Hotel
  • Goldwynn Resort & Residences
  • Breezes Resort & Spa (all inclusive)
  • Colony Club Inn & Suites
  • SandyPort Beach Resort
  • The Island House
  • Grand Hyatt Baha Mar
  • SLS Baha Mar
  • Ocean Club, Four Seasons
  • Sandals Royal Bahamian (all inclusive)
  • Harbourside at Atlantis
  • The Cove at Atlantis
  • The Reef at Atlantis
  • The Coral at Atlantis
  • The Royal at Atlantis
  • MargaritaVille Resort
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites 
  • Compass Point Resorts
  • RIU Palace Paradise Island
  • Warwick Paradise Island (all inclusive)
  • A Stone’s ThrowAway
  • Orange Hill Beach Inn Hotel

tourism of nassau bahamas

If you opt for AirBnB’s, a few locations that are close to the beach and in reasonable distance to downtown Nassau are:

  • Downtown Nassau
  • Baha Mar Blvd
  • Cable Beach
  • Orange Hill Beach
  • Nirvana Beach
  • Saunders Beach
  • Paradise Island

tourism of nassau bahamas

Transportation

Getting around Nassau is as easy as renting a car, scooter or hailing a taxi. Public transport is available in the form of jitneys/buses that run from about sunrise to sunset; bus fare is under $2 USD.  You can find updated taxi fares HERE . 

Where To Eat in Nassau, Bahamas

So in the sense of authentic Bahamian food, you most often have to leave the resort but there are some resorts that have Bahamian restaurants attached to them (i.e. Comfort Suites and Crusoe’s Restaurant). The most popular Bahamian delicacy is CONCH that’s prepared in many different ways . One of the most central, tourist friendly areas to find Bahamian food is Arawak Cay/Fish Fry area . Some of my favorite stalls/restaurants to eat at are:

  • Deep Creek Restaurant

tourism of nassau bahamas

For authentic Bahamian breakfast, The Cricket Club (across the street from Arawak Cay) is a popular spot for locals (try different types of souse, boiled fish, stewed fish) and there’s always Nesbitts which serves my favorite hangover remedy/breakfast food:  sheep tongue souse with a side of Johnny cake. For conch salad, Arawak Cay is a popular spot but another one of my favorites is Dino’s Gourmet Conch Stand which is a little further down West Bay Street. For lunch, dinner; one of my favorites is Crusoe’s Restaurant over Paradise Island.

@bahamianista if you got a hangover, this will cure it for ya 😋 #souse #bahamianfood #caribbeantiktok #bahamianrestaurant #thingstodointhebahamas ♬ Bahamian Music – Sunshine Steel

Nightlife & Things To Do 

In terms of bars and nightlife, Covid restrictions are easing according to local news outlets to allow for more outdoor events but nightlife is definitely buzzing over Paradise Island and in the hotels. Some recommended spots are:

  • Sky Bar Baha Mar
  • Bond Night Club
  • Monkey Bar (Baha Mar)
  • Jazz Bar (Baha Mar)
  • The Pub (Downtown Nassau)
  • Senor Frogs

tourism of nassau bahamas

Subscribe to PinPoint Bahamas’ weekly newsletter where they outline varied events, festivals and things to do in Nassau, Bahamas.

Cultural Events, Festivals In The Bahamas

Important dates to remember would include both national Junkanoo parades held on Boxing Day (December 26th) and New Years Day. There’s also Bahamas Carnival as well.

tourism of nassau bahamas

My favorite beaches involve very little to no people and usually that can mean a beach further away from the resorts and bustling downtown Nassau, Bahamas. My top 3 are definitely Nirvana Beach, Orange Hill Beach and Love Beach but here’s a list of a few others.

  • Goodman’s Bay
  • Cabbage Beach (over Paradise Island)
  • Saunder’s Beach
  • South Beach (when tide is low)

tourism of nassau bahamas

Things To Do and See in Nassau, Bahamas

From tours to cultural sights and attractions , there’s a good amount of things to do in Nassau. Some of my favorites include going to see the famous swimming pigs in Exuma , boat trips to Rose Island or Pearl Island , food tours.

Historical Sites

  • Pompey & Parliament Square
  • Nassau Public Library
  • Straw Market
  • The Queen’s Staircase
  • Fort Charlotte, Fort Montague, Fort Fincastle
  • The Cloisters (Paradise Island)

Also check out this list of free and inexpensive things to do in Nassau Bahamas. 

What To Pack // Packing Essentials

When packing, it really depends on the time of year you’re going to visit Nassau. During the winter months, it’s advisable to travel with a sweater or two, long denim because the weather can often mimic South Florida weather and that means when there’s a cold front it’s sometimes dipping into the low 60s. However during Spring, summer months, its definitely hotter (upwards to the 90’s Fahrenheit). You definitely need sunscreen, a good pair of shades, a hat, durable shoes/sandals ( my favorite are Teva’s ) and  a fun waterproof electronic is necessary for underwater and beach pics like the Insta360 OneX2.

tourism of nassau bahamas

For any other tips regarding traveling to Nassau, Bahamas or for assistance with itineraries, check out my planning service below.

tourism of nassau bahamas

Happy planning!

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Eduardo Bringas

Thanks for the guide! It is very useful and nice! After COVID me and family need vacation in some lovely place like Bahamas!!!!

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Bahamianista

No problem!

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Pola Damonte / Getty Images

Nassau is the capital and largest city of the Bahamas and one of the top destinations in the Caribbean, so you know lots is going on here to amuse and entertain island visitors. The city blends all of the best aspects of a Caribbean adventure and you can truly experience it all in Nassau, from crystalline beaches to its rich history. Whether you're looking for something to keep the kids entertained or for an enriching cultural experience, you can find it all in Nassau. 

Try New Flavors With Tru Bahamian Food Tours

Learn about the history, the culture, and, of course, the gastronomy of the Bahamas with Tru Bahamian Food Tours . The cuisine of the islands comes from a tasty blend of influences from the Caribbean, the U.S. South, Africa, and the U.K. There's a lot more to sample than just seafood and jerk chicken, and relying on a local expert is the best way to make sure you're choosing the most authentic— and most delicious —eateries during your stay.

The most popular tour offered is the Bites of Nassau Food and Cultural Tour , a three-hour experience that brings guests to six different locations in Nassau, all of which are locally owned by small-business owners. Your guide will explain Bahamian history and point out the neighborhood street art in between bites, which include deep-fried conch (pronounced "konk"), steamed chicken with peas and rice, and a tropical rum cocktail.

Experience Local Wildlife at Ardastra Gardens

These gardens started as a breeding ground to rebuild the endangered flamingo population in the Bahamas, but today Ardastra Gardens and Wildlife Conservation Centre is the only zoo in the entire country. The park is still best known for its resident pink flamingoes, but you can see over 130 species of wildlife around the premises, including wildcats, native rodents, and all types of tropical birds. Hand-feeding the lories is always a family favorite, but the daily flamingo parade is the highlight attraction as the birds march and turn in unison and on command.

Apart from the animals, you can also see some of the most dramatic foliage in the Caribbean at Ardastra. Vibrantly colored flowers are in bloom all year long, protected from the harsh sun thanks to the overhanging canopy of the mango trees. Ardastra is first and foremost a conversation center, so you can be assured that your visit is supporting the local flora and fauna.

Climb the Queen's Staircase

Michael Runkel / Getty Images

Climb the 66 steps connecting Fort Fincastle to downtown Nassau and you'll be moved by the sweat and labor it took slaves to carve the Queen's Staircase out of solid limestone. Built between 1793 and 1794, the stairs were later named in honor of Queen Victoria.

The stairs make a great photo op and of course provide access to historic  Fort Fincastle , which sits on the highest point of New Providence Island, Bennett's Hill. The fort is open daily for guided tours, but don't forget to tip your guides.

Go to Graycliff for Chocolate, Cigars, and More

Don't let the  Graycliff Hotel and Restaurant's  name fool you. There's a heck of a lot more going on here than just rooms and food. Sure, the accommodations in, and around, this historic colonial mansion are great and it's a real step back in time when you enter the hotel, but this Nassau attraction is so much more than just an inn and restaurant. Even if you aren't a guest of the hotel, you'll want to add this hotspot to your itinerary.

The Garzaroli family has transformed this hillside location in downtown Nassau into a virtual entertainment complex, complete with a chocolatier where you can sample and even make fine chocolate treats, and a cigar company where stogies are rolled by hand on-site and can be paired with rum tastings. There's also a pizzeria and a Bahamian heritage museum on the premises, and don't forget to ask for a tour of the Graycliff's amazing wine cellar , stuffed with more than 250,000 bottles.

Sample Rum at John Watling's Distillery

Nothing is more Caribbean than going to visit a local rum factory. Just steps away from the Graycliff Hotel and the iconically pink Government House, John Watling's Distillery  is set on the spacious Buena Vista Estate. Founded in 1789, it's a taste of the old Bahamas in the heart of Nassau. Speaking of tasting, you can sample Watling's small-batch barrel-aged rums, which come in single-barrel, "pale" (white), amber, and "Buena Vista" five-year aged varieties.

The distillery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and tours to see how the rum is produced are completely free. But don't leave your wallet at home because you won't be able to leave without stopping in the distillery bar to try some of this local rum yourself. After all, you are on vacation, so feel free to indulge a little.

Take a Dive Trip at Stuart's Cove

Joi Ito / Wikimedia Foundation / CC by 2.0

The  Stuart's Cove  dive operation is located on the less-visited southwest side of New Providence Island, in a cozy cove that continually bustles with activity. Beginners get diving lessons while experienced divers suit up for open-water adventures—the latter including the opportunity to dive with wild sharks. Other options include snorkeling and SNUBA (a cross between snorkeling and SCUBA) .

Get Your Fish On at Arawak Cay

This  collection of eclectic beachside restaurants, huts, and bars  can be a little touristy as far as Caribbean fish fries go, but locals still turn out for fresh fish and conch fritters, cold Kalik beer, and music and dancing every night of the week. It's one of the best places on the island to try freshly caught seafood while paying a fraction of the price of what you would pay in upscale hotel restaurants. To snack as the locals do, Arawak Cay is an unbeatable location with several different options to try. For fresh fish off the boat with an even more authentic local vibe, try Potter's Cay under the Paradise Island Bridge.

Browse the Straw Market for the Perfect Souvenir

Walter Bibikow / Getty Images

Bahamians have been selling local handicrafts to Nassau visitors for decades, borrowing skills from the original craft to create baskets for carrying fruit and other goods. The tradition continues to this day at the Nassau Straw Market , relocated from its historic home a few years ago following a fire to a new building on Bay Street. These days, it's much more than baskets for sale—you'll also find t-shirts, wood carvings, beaded necklaces, and every type of island-themed souvenir imaginable.

As with many tourist markets, several stalls sell items that are mass-produced and imported from abroad. Shop around before you make a purchase and ask vendors if their goods are locally made, so you can support Bahamian business and also get an authentic handicraft.

Take a Day Trip to Rose Island

The laid-back Bahamas Out Islands (also know as the Family Islands) are a whole different experience than urban Nassau, and instant serenity can be found via a quick speedboat trip to Rose Island. This near neighbor isn't much more than a glorified sandbar, but there's just enough seclusion, beach, and shade to make for a perfect day-trip.  Sandy Toes  will get you there, serve you lunch and a welcome drink, and provide snorkeling gear. If you fall in love with Rose Island, ask about an overnight stay!

Shiver Your Timbers at the Pirates of Nassau Museum

Juliet Coombe / Getty Images

It may look like a tourist trap from the outside, but the  Pirates of Nassau Museum does an excellent job of telling the swashbuckling, sordid, and seductive tale of pirate history in the Caribbean. Nassau was a notorious pirate haven in the early 18th century, and the interactive exhibits at the museum transport you back to the year 1716, the heyday of the "Republic of Pirates."

Expect interactive exhibits, dioramas, displays of authentic pirate booty, and of course an exit through the gift shop. You'll also get a chance to lock your kids in the brigs—that alone could be worth the admission price.

Play at the Aquaventure Waterpark at the Atlantis Resort

There may be newer waterparks in the Caribbean, but Atlantis'  Aquaventure is still number one in our books for its cool Lost World theming and incredible aquariums, some of which you jet through on the park's waterslides. The most popular attraction at the park is the Mayan Temple waterslide, which includes a 60-foot drop and sends riders hurdling through an underwater tube surrounded by sharks. If you want something less thrilling, Dolphin Cay lets visitors splash around with dolphins or sea lions.

The easiest way to play is to stay at any of the Atlantis resort properties. The second easiest (and cheapest) is to get a room at the  Comfort Suites Paradise Island , right across the street, which also gives you access to all Atlantis amenities. A limited number of  day passes  to the waterpark also are available for Nassau visitors or cruise ship arrivals who aren't staying at Atlantis.

Go to the Beach, of Course!

Nassau has so many distractions you can sometimes forget that you came down here to relax on the beach . Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island and Cable Beach on New Providence Island are the best known, but you can also check out Junkanoo Beach in downtown Nassau for a lively beach scene that's close to the cruise port. 

Love Beach has a true beach-bar vibe at Nirvana, and Saunders Beach, just to the west of downtown Nassau, is where to go for some local flavor. Check out the food stands on weekends, set up as fundraisers for local charities.

Want a side of history with your beach drinks? Fort Montagu, built in 1741, sits at the end of Montagu Beach and it's the oldest fortification on the island. For supreme privacy, consider Yamacraw Hill Beach on the east end of New Providence Island (few tourists ever find this secluded spot). "Jaws: The Revenge" was a critically-panned movie, but the one good thing about it was that it included scenes shot on Jaws Beach, a quiet stretch of sand next to Nassau's Clifton Heritage Park.

Nassau Paradise Island. "History of Nassau's Pirates: The End of the Golden Age." Retrieved March 31, 2021

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travelingmitch

The Ultimate Self-Guided Walking Tour of Nassau, Bahamas: Explore the Capital of the Bahamas By Foot

Many tourists arrive in Nassau and only see a small portion of it (especially if they’re driving). This is all about helping you create the perfect walking tour of Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas which is ripe for a self-guided walking tour. Here’s everything you need to know about each location, and where to go when you’re exploring Bahamas’ capital by foot.

tourism of nassau bahamas

Bri and I at Parliament Square in Nassau.

The bustling old town of Nassau on New Providence Island is packed with things to see and do. Occasional spots of traffic can make it harder to get around by car or taxi, but a self-guided walking tour suffers from no such pitfall.

With such an incredible climate, some locals even believe that the best way to experience The Bahamas is on foot - with your feet in the sand and the cool breeze at your back.

Rich in both history and beauty, Nassau is an ideal locale for your own unforgettable walking tour. Descending from one of the highest points on the island, you’ll pass a historic fortress, a thriving marketplace, and plenty of other points of architectural interest. 

A Brief History of Nassau

tourism of nassau bahamas

There’s always something going on in Nassau!

Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas, has a rich and diverse history. It was originally inhabited by the Lucayan people , an Arawakan-speaking indigenous group. In 1492, the ever contentious Christopher Columbus made his first landfall in the New World on the island of San Salvador, which is part of the Bahamas. This event ultimately marked the beginning of European exploration and colonization in the region.

During the 17th century, Nassau became a notorious hub for pirates due to its strategic location and the abundance of trade routes passing through the area. It was a base for legendary pirates like Blackbeard and Calico Jack, who used the island as a safe haven and operated in the surrounding waters.

In the early 18th century, the British claimed control over the Bahamas , including Nassau, and began to suppress piracy in the region. Nassau evolved into a British colonial outpost and a centre for trade and commerce in the Caribbean.

During the 20th century, Nassau experienced significant growth and modernization, becoming a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and historical sites. It also played a role in global events, hosting meetings like the 1942 "Conference of Allied War Leaders" during World War II.

Today, Nassau remains a key economic and cultural centere in the Bahamas, attracting tourists from around the world to its stunning beaches, diverse marine life, and historical landmarks. It’s worth mentioning here that the country gained governmental independence in 1973, and we were lucky to visit when they were celebrating 50 years of independence.

*This post may contain affiliate links. This means that we may receive a small commission for sharing some of our heartfelt and honest recommendations, at no additional cost to you.

Explore Nassau Bahamas By Foot!

Check out fort fincastle.

tourism of nassau bahamas

The imposing Fort Fincastle.

We start our expedition off with much gusto, arriving first at the imposing Fort Fincastle. Time your visit on Wednesday or Friday to catch the historic re-enactments at 11:30 a.m. concluding with the noon gun.

The fort was constructed in 1793 from local limestone by the Governor who named it after one of his lesser titles. The fort, whimsically shaped like a boat, was equipped with half a dozen guns to protect the town from pirates. However, none of the guns was ever fired in anger.

It’s located on Bennet’s Hill, Prison Lane, and is open daily, with guided tours between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Walk Down the Queen’s Staircase

tourism of nassau bahamas

The Queen’s Staircase is a can’t miss spot in Nassau!

Descend from the fort to the town by stairs carved out of solid limestone rock and finished in 1794 to create an escape route from the fort above. The staircase was eventually named to honour Queen Victoria, many years after completion.

Water cascades down the side of the stairs to a pool below, where a walkway goes between high stone walls, tropical plants and trees, keeping the area cool. Originally 66 steps, one was paved over when the lower pathway was covered in asphalt.

You’ll find it on Elizabeth Avenue, and it’s always open.

Set Eyes on The Supreme Court of the Bahamas

This grand Neo-Georgian-style building built in 1921 is worth a look for its handsome design. It is similar to the Central Public Building to the north. Due to a serious break-in a decade ago, the building is no longer open to the public. The exterior remains impressive, rendered in a gentle pink - a quintessentially Bahamian aesthetic.

It’s located on Bank Lane, and you can get some great view of the outside, but note that it’s not currently open to the public.

Spend a Moment in Parliament Square

tourism of nassau bahamas

The pink facade that you’ll find in Parliament Square!

This elegant public space off Easy Bay Street is always busy, surrounded by impressive public buildings including the Parliament of The Bahamas, which was constructed in 1815 and - as you might now predict - is a pleasing pink!

If you happen to visit on a day in which the House is in session, you can even watch the government at work via the visitor’s gallery.

Take a Look at Queen Victoria’s Statue

You’ll find this off Parliament Street, and it’s one of many statues around the British Commonwealth dedicated to the Queen, who ruled an Empire between 1837 and her death in 1901.

This statue was dedicated in 1905 and makes a great backdrop for a photo op . It sits in front of the Bahamian Senate Building.

Head Into the Nassau Straw Market

tourism of nassau bahamas

The world famous Nassau Straw Market.

If, at this point of the tour, the Caribbean sun is beginning to take its toll, take a detour to this world-famous straw market, where visitors can buy handmade hats, baskets and bags locally made from straw.

The tradition of straw weaving dates back to the days when Bahamians made straw fish traps and baskets to carry fruit. Conch shell jewelry, wood carvings, gifts and souvenirs are also available in profusion. Currently, about half of the 300 pre-pandemic vendors have returned and opened their stalls.

It’s located on West Bay Street and is open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Make Time for the Pompey Museum

The Museum of Emancipation and Slavery is housed in a 1760s original arcaded building. It is still distinguishable by the pair of Corinthian columns in front, along with its traditional colonial pink colour.

Originally, it was used as a market from which commodities of all kinds were sold which, sadly, included human beings. The museum, which opened in 1992, is named for Pompey, an enslaved man who raised a revolt against unfair plantation conditions.

Changing exhibits and multimedia kiosks are packed with content and relics of slavery. In 2018, a powerful mural was added to the building highlighting events in Bahamian history.

If you started early in the morning, this might be a good time to stop for lunch, head into a cafe for a cup of coffee, or grab a beer at a local bar or brewery.

Learn About the Pirates of Nassau

tourism of nassau bahamas

The pirate history here is like nowhere else.

Although the age of piracy was violent in the extreme between 1690 and 1720, this interactive exhibit is entirely suitable for all ages.

Visitors get to dress and act like pirates of old and board a pirate ship as part of the fun experience. Exhibits feature artifacts from the Golden Age of Piracy. Piracy souvenirs are available in the gift shop.

It’s located on George Street, and is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Understand the Role of the Loyalists at the Balcony House Museum

Following the American War of Independence, a group of Loyalists arrived in Nassau. This gem of a building, distinguished by the long balcony which gives it its name, was built around this time and is now considered the oldest wooden residential building in The Bahamas . In 1994, after an extensive restoration, it opened as a free museum, featuring fascinating period artifacts, stately furnishings and unique objects.

Snap a Photo of the Government House

This colonial building, rendered in a powerful pink, is located on a 10-acre estate on Mount Fitzwilliam. The property dates back to 1737, although the present building was constructed in 1932. It continues as the home of the Governor General of The Bahamas.

Visitors admire its stunning façade and enjoy breathtaking views of neighbouring Paradise Island.

You will find the Government House on East Hill Street, and you can check out the exterior from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pop Into the Heritage Museum of the Bahamas

Guided tours take visitors through the extensive collection which includes prehistoric fossils, pirate-era pieces, artifacts from the days of slavery, and other items that belonged to the Royal Air Force, and the Duke of Windsor. A 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite is a highlight of this once-private collection of curious.

This museum is located on West Hill Street, and it’s open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Get Your Culture Fix at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas

tourism of nassau bahamas

The striking National Art Gallery of the Bahamas. Photo Credit: The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation

The Gallery occupies the historic Villa Doyle, a colonial-era home built in 1860. As t he country’s leading art institution , the Gallery collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets historic and contemporary Bahamian art with a constantly changing series of exhibitions.

This museum is also located on West Hill Street, and it’s open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Wrap Your Head around the Wonders of the educulture Junkanoo Museum

Once simply a celebration of newfound freedom, Junkanoo has blossomed into an exuberant, colourful parade accompanied by the lively beat of drums, cowbells, horns and whistles.

Established in the museum founder’s childhood home, exhibits tell the history of Junkanoo and feature costume pieces, traditional fabrics and music. Visitors can make colourful masks and dance to Bahamian music.

Also on West Hill Street, it’s open from Monday to Friday, 9am - 3pm.

Grab a Beverage at John Watling’s Distillery

tourism of nassau bahamas

John Watling's Distllery. Photo Credit: The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation

The graceful mansion at the heart of the Buena Vista Estate was developed in 1789, enjoying a serene view over the bustling harbour below.

The estate passed through many owners and years of both change and neglect, including time as a restaurant and hotel. One owner was responsible for saving the flocks of Caribbean flamingoes now found throughout the islands and developed the extensive gardens with their ancient trees as a bird sanctuary. Then in 2013, after a major restoration, John Watling’s Distillery opened, named for a 17th-century buccaneer.

Visitors can enjoy a free tour of the facility, with shopping and signature Bahamian cocktails in the tavern.

You can find this distillery on the Buena Vista Estate on Delancy Street, and it’s open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Want To Be a Part of A Guided Tour?

If self-guided tours of Nassau aren’t your preferred route, we’d recommend considering these three tours:

Cultural Walking Tour of Downtown Nassau Attractions

Nassau Bites and Sites Food & Cultural Tour

Nassau: Rum Tastings and Culinary Walking Tour

Looking for a Place to Spend the Night in Nassau?

We hope you enjoyed your nassau walking tour.

If you’ve ended your self-guided walking tour of the old town of Nassau with a colourful cocktail at Buena Vista Estate, then you will indeed be a happy traveller, knowing that your walk back into town is all downhill!

This concludes your walking tour of The Bahamas’ capital city of Nassau. Take it as slow or fast as you please: these locales are all relatively close together, giving you the freedom to do as many (or as few) as you like in a day and spread them out over the duration of your vacation.

We want to thank Jesson+CO for their press release on The Bahamas , which has inspired this article.

Inside the Travel Lab

21 Secret Things to do in Nassau – Your Bahamas Itinerary

March 21, 2023

Nassau Bahamas 3 Day Itinerary Cover Image

Discover secret things to do in Nassau, Bahamas, with a bright and bold serving of culture in the sun. Build your three day Nassau itinerary and fill it full of colour, character and cuisine.

Bahamas - Nassau - Abigail King travel writer on beach

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Alternative Things to do in Nassau, Bahamas

Why you should visit nassau, bahamas.

Just a short flight from Miami, the clear waters and soft sands of the Bahamas attract plenty of beach loving visitors. But the islands themselves contain hidden history, warm hospitality, striking art and more besides. 

As the capital of the Bahamas and frequent cruise port stop, Nassau on Providence Island has all the bling you’d expect: casinos, world-beating restaurants, shopping centres and the like.

But you’ll also find plenty of secret things to do in Nassau, from dining with locals to chatting with artists. We even talk about those swimming pigs with sun lotion. 

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Bahamas - Nassau - Watling Distillery Exterior with Abigail King

The Best Time to Visit Nassau, Bahamas

The best time to visit Nassau is between November and April, although that is the peak season when costs will be higher. The hurricane season runs between June and November.

What to Know Before You Go

I’d highly recommend splitting your time between Nassau and one of the outer islands, like Green Turtle Cay , where the pace of life is completely different.

Nassau has more in common with the US than any other Caribbean island I’ve visited and you can expect plenty of stag and hen/ bachelor and bachelorette parties at certain hotels and venues.

Disclosure  – I visited the Bahamas as a guest of the Bahamas Tourism Board. As ever, as always, I kept the right to write what I like. Otherwise there’s just no point! If you book or buy through any of the links on this page, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Cheers! Right, let’s get on with it! Secret things to do in Nassau await!

Nassau and the Bahamas: Background

The earliest known inhabitants of today’s Bahamas were the Lucayans, an Arawakan-speaking people with links to South America and the neighbouring Caribbean Islands.

However, written and recorded history begins with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, who named the islands San Salvador, before heading further west on his first “voyage of discovery.” 

By 1648, the first European settlement began and by the 18th century, the notorious triangular slave trade was in full flow: kidnapping people from western Africa and forcing them to work on the land in the Bahamas. 

Bahamas - Nassau - Pirate Republic Pirate

The Pirate Republic

The history books show plenty of struggles between the various European governments at the time – at one point, they all gave up and stepped away. This ushered in the era of pirates and privateers, a Blackbeard reality tougher than the movies make out. 

While Britain lost the American War of Independence, it somehow gained the Bahamas in the process and a group of loyalists to the American-British cause set up a new settlement in New Plymouth in the Abacos. You can still visit today and feel as though you’re in a slice of Caribbean New England.

Elsewhere, the historic architecture is predominantly Victorian British, while the modern malls and gas stations have an All-American vibe. 

But the Bahamas have their own identity, of course. And you can step on and off the standard tourist trails and start to uncover the depth behind the Bahamas with these secret things to do in Nassau.

Bahamas - Nassau - Baha Mar-Popcorn Bicycle

Where to Stay in Nassau: Baha Mar

Baha Mar i s a vast complex of three hotels in one. And, truthfully, as a lover of  boutique hideaways, I probably wouldn’t have chosen it myself.

However, the place won me over with its rich cultural touches, like the art gallery and hidden walkways in the gardens. If you’re looking for loud casinos and rows of sun-loungers, you can find those too. But you’ll also find an understated elegance and an astonishing array of excellent restaurants and bars all in one place.

Staying at Baha Mar makes life easy when it comes to airport transfers and dining and so it’s perfect for travel with young children. Once checked in and freshened up, you can always leave the resort to find the secret things to do in Nassau.

  • Check prices and availability for the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar here.

Nassau Bahamas Best Attractions

Secret Things to do in Nassau, Bahamas

Your 3 day nassau itinerary.

I’ve designed this Nassau itinerary to form part of a week long trip, with half your time in Nassau and the other half elsewhere in the Bahamas. 

If you’re visiting Nassau from a cruise ship, pick one day from this itinerary, unless you have more time on shore. 

Bahamas - Nassau - Baha Mar Signpost

Day One – Arrive in Nassau

Most international flights arrive in Nassau Lynden Pindling International Airport. If staying at the Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar, there will be a seamless transfer waiting for you (and possibly a singing pirate.) If not, arrange transport to your hotel or vacation rental.

Alternatively, if you’re wondering what to do in Nassau on your cruise, then focus on day two of this itinerary as that’s likely all you’ll have time for. Most cruises disembark onto Bay Street near the Straw market if that helps you to plan your route.

  • If you’d rather a pre-booked transfer, then you can book on your mobile with Get Your Guide here and cancel up to 24 hours in advance.

Bahamas - Nassau - Pirate with Craft Beer tasting tray

Day Two – Rum, Crafts & History

If staying at Baha Mar, today’s the today to soak up the faux-French beauty of Café Madeleine, with fresh croissants and hot coffee for breakfast.

Then, to explore Nassau, it helps to have a driver but you can take individual taxis or book yourself onto a tour or excursion. 

I’ve given a rough overview of times but these clearly aren’t rigid. In the Caribbean, perhaps more than anywhere else in the world, it’s OK to go slow.

Bahamas - Nassau - Bahama Hand Prints and Staff

Bahama Hand Prints

Bahamian designed and made, the line of clothing and accessories at Bahama Hand Prints brings a sense of joy to its showroom. Be prepared for gorgeous colours in bright, enticing linen with links to the sea and the local community.

You’ll find it at the foot of the Paradise Island Bridge in the Island Traders Building. The shop is open on most days but if you’re lucky, you can take a tour of the small factory on weekdays and see how the prints are made. 

Bahamas - Nassau - Watling Distillery with Guide and Rum

John Watling’s Distillery

If 11 o’clock is too early for rum for you then never fear, the John Watling’s Distillery is an historical attraction more than anything else. 

Imagine tropical gardens and century-old black olive trees and you’ll have an idea about the Buena Vista Estate in Downtown Nassau. 

To give you a sense of time, the John Watling’s Distillery began construction in the same year that George Washington became the first President of the United States in 1789. 

Guided tours take visitors around the house, showing antiques and prints that date back more than 300 years. There is also, of course, the chance to try the distillery rum.

As a poignant reminder of the years of brutality that took place, you can see a 200-year-old water well, carved out of the solid limestone by enslaved people. 

A visit here is not one of the most unique things to do in the Bahamas but it is a kind of hidden treasure. Beneath the well-oiled visitor machine, you’ll find heart amid the history (although that could be the rum talking…hic!)

Bahamas - Nassau - Wild Thyme Restaurant Conch Fritters and Cocktail

12:00   pm       Lunch at Wild Thyme

For a beautiful place for a bite to eat, head to Wild Thyme, a restaurant with a sense of humour. Run by Lucia and Alex, Wild Thyme opened in 2017 and combines fresh organic food with cakes baked every day in house. 

It’s light, airy and I’d suggest you eat outside in the fragrant south-west facing garden.  Plus, if you can’t make it here for lunch, they also serve breakfast and dinner as well. Take your time, though. Nothing here runs fast!

Bahamas - Nassau - Pirate Republic Craft Beer and Pirate

Pirate Republic Craft Beer Brewing Company

Pirate Republic is the first and only craft brewery in The Bahamas. What began with a homemade 5-gallon brewing system in a kitchen became one of the best secret things to do in Nassau.

Inside, you’ll find talking pirates and enthusiastic owners. Take your time studying the ins and outs of the brewing process on the tour – or else just order a tasting line-up and chat with the pirates.

Bahamas - Nassau - Straw Market

The Straw Market

You’ll find straw markets across the islands of the Bahamas, especially in the Family Islands, Paradise Island and Cable Beach, but the Straw Market in Nassau is one of the biggest and best organised. Weaving with straw is one of the oldest industries in the Bahamas. Straw weaving is considered one of the country’s oldest industries and you can find crafts and souvenirs to take home here.

Expect to bargain, though, and bargain hard. This isn’t a place where people enjoy browsers and photographers. 

Nassau Bahamas Things to Do Collage

Fort Fincastle  

Fort Fincastle is another one of those secret things to do in Nassau that links to pirates. Built on Bennet’s Hill, the fort was constructed from cut limestone in 1793 and its cloudy grey appearance was designed to protect Nassau and her harbour. 

Governor John Murray oversaw the project, an unusual design in the shape of a paddle-wheel steamer. 

If you’re visiting from Europe and running short on time, I’d recommend skipping the fort to make sure you leave time for the rest. 

The Queen’s Staircase

The Queen’s Staircase, hewn out of limestone rock by 600 enslaved people between 1793 and 1794, connects Fort Fincastle to Nassau city and some believe it formed an escape route.

The nickname comes from Queen Victoria, who reigned as the head of the British Empire between 1837 and 1901, and notably during the abolition of the slave trade in 1807. Perhaps coincidentally, the 66 steps correspond with the number of years she reigned.

Bahamas - Nassau - People to People Evening with food

Dinner: The People-to-People Experience 

Ah, this surely has to be one of the best things to do in Nassau! It is the absolute tonic to over-processed tourism and synthetic malls with plastic, packaged tat!

So, what is it? 

Well, it’s the chance to meet locals and have dinner in their home as a sign of hospitality. 

“Bahamians love any excuse for a party,” says one ambassador, and that;s the kind of thinking I love.

We met Mr and Mrs Lightbourne in their home, surrounded by lush tropical gardens, chirruping night crickets and starlight.

Henry, 67, showed us photos of his daughter and told tales about how his aunt had met the queen. 

We ate conch salad appetisers (a kind of ceviche in a shot glass) and garden salad with grilled lobster, fried grouper and coleslaw, peas and rice.

“We have a lot of influences from the Deep South,” said Henry. “After a lot of people fled to the Bahamas after the war.”

In between courses, we walk through the garden of fresh coriander, pineapple, coconut, spearmint, mulberry and spring onions.

And then the finale: guava cake and a Bahamian coconut duff.

Deeee-licious.

The People to People Project

The People to People project is run by the Bahamas Tourist Office and is completely free as a way to promote understanding and connection between locals and visitors. 

Or in other words: the real meaning of travel.

Bahamas - Nassau - Baha Mar - ABigail King

Day Three – Art, Education and Beaches

Even if you’re not staying in one of Baha Mar Grand Hyatt’s 1800 rooms, it’s worth visiting either here or Atlantis Paradise Island to witness the scale of ambition when it comes to hotel design here. These are villages, rather than hotels, with restaurants and cultural offerings to match.

Baha Mar has two offerings among many that I’d like to highlight for this list of secret things to do in Nassau: the activities for children and the Current Art Gallery. 

Bahamas - Nassau - Baha Mar-Current Gallery Artist and Art Works

Local Art Gallery: The Current

The Current Gallery & Art Centre is one of my favourite secret things to do in Nassau, Bahamas. It’s one of the best hidden gems, if you’ll excuse the cliché. 

The Current runs artist residence programmes, provides a performing arts space, hosts art exhibitions where guests can chat with artists and has a permanent and variable art collection throughout the gallery and three hotels. 

And it focuses on local art and artists, encouraging both tradition and innovation.

As you can probably tell, I loved it!

Bahamas - Nassau - Baha Mar-Festival Art work

The Kids’ Club

Now, I’ve seen many a kids club in my time as a travel writer but nothing that comes close to this. The Baha Mar Kids club offers cooking lessons, art lessons and marine biology exploration with starfish, flamingoes and more. There’s an aviary and a conservation and education centre and movie theatre. I mean, seriously! This is better than my entire childhood!

Dinner at Carna

Dario Cecchini, the world-famous butcher from Tuscany, believes that good butchery can make meat-eating sustainable. When cooked properly, nothing is wasted and everything is delicious: a premise he has championed since he took over his father’s family business in Italy in 1976. 

These days, he converts a steakhouse into a poetic, gastronomic feast in Carna and I can honestly say it’s the best steak I’ve ever tasted.

Bahamas - Nassau - Sandy Toes Sign post

Day Four: Day trip to Rose Island & Swimming with Pigs

Hey! So, first off, let’s talk about swimming pigs. If you haven’t heard of it before, it doesn’t take long to realise that this a thing in the Bahamas.

Pink-snouted photos in turquoise water fill the airport arrivals hall and immigration queue – and every Nassau itinerary after that.

Yet the practice is not without its controversies, as most animal-related events are. 

The most popular place to swim with pigs is in Exuma on Pig Beach , not Nassau. But, you can take a day trip to Rose Island with Sandy Toes and swim with pigs there. 

I had a chat with the owners and the staff who work there and the pigs (Babe, Wilbur, Pumba, Larry, Mo, Ginger, Pepper and Spice) do seem to be very well looked after. The team apply sunscreen to the pigs and take care of their nutrition and health with regular vet visits and so on. They also limit the number of visitors who swim with the pigs at any one time and ask guests to treat them very gently. 

If you’re having trouble imagining how all this works, it happens like this: 

Bahamas - Nassau - Sandy Toes Excursion to Rose Island

The Sandy Toes Excursion

Sandy Toes take a boat full of around 40 people from Paradise Island Ferry Terminal to Rose Island, where there’s a private beach with space for everyone. The boat journey takes around 25 minutes and there’s quite a party vibe with fruit punch and youthful enthusiasm. 

Once there, people spend the day on the beach and in the surf, with a BBQ and toilets provided. 

If you want, in groups of around 10, you can meet the pigs on the sand. If they go in the surf to swim, you can join them, but if they don’t, the staff won’t force them.

In the end, I decided against it. Pigs are pretty big and not all that toilet trained! It’s one of the first times in life I didn’t try something just to see what it was like, and you can make of that what you will!

Bahamas - Nassau - Baha Mar-Hot Dog Stand

Cocktails and Canapes

If you’re heading back to Baha Mar, don’t miss the sunset at the fabulous open-air Sky Bar.  I’d also recommend dinner at Shuang Ba, which serves high end Chinese cuisine fused with fresh Bahamian produce.

Think braised “black-gold” abalone and Chaozhou-style dumplings in ornate, darkwood-and-scarlet booths. Keep an eye out for the central marble masterpiece, too. It was quite the operation to bring it here from China!

Abigail King looking out to see in Bahamas Green Turtle Cay

Day Five: head to the other islands

If I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I would really recommend spending time on the other islands in the Bahamas. Nassau is really well connected and you’ll discover a whole new view of life in this part of the Caribbean. 

I travelled to the Abacos and you can check out the account of Green Turtle Cay here. Other popular spots are Blue Lagoon Island, Eleuthera, Long Island and Cat Island.

Nassau Bahamas Travel Guide

More time in Nassau? Some more ideas…

Clifton heritage national park.

Through cliffs, dunes and rocky coastlines, the walking trails of Clifton Heritage National Park introduce visitors to more than just stunning landscapes. Here you’ll find heritage and education about three different groups of people who profoundly influenced the history of the Bahamas: the Lucayans, Loyalists and Africans.

Non-touristy things to doi n Nassau Bahamas at a Glance

Explore Nassau off the beaten path and go where locals go in Nassau.

  • Enjoy dinner and conversation with the People to People experience. 
  • Visit the Bahama Hand Prints company.
  • Take in an exhibition and talk to local artists at The Current.

Junkanoo Beach and the Western Esplanade

Junkanoo Beach (also know as the Western Esplanade) merges into Arawak Cay and Long Wharf, the closest beaches to the cruise ship dock. As a result, it’s fair to say that the area receives its fair share of partygoers when the cruise ships are in town. 

But the rest of the time, you can also find locals with their families, horse rides and pony rides and the sight of those might ships heading in to dock. 

Free things to do in Nassau Bahamas

  • Visit the Nassau Straw Market.
  • Head to Junkanoo Beach. 
  • Visit the Bahama Hand Prints company

Anywhere not to go?

Fish fry and over the hill.

It’s a matter of opinion, but the US travel advisory says this at the time of publication:

“Exercise caution in the area known as “Over the Hill” (south of Shirley Street) and the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay in Nassau, especially at night.”

Bahamas - Nassau - Baha Mar-Cucumber Salad and Nachos

Walking Tours in Nassau

It’s reasonably straightforward to visit all of the top attractions in Nassau by either walking or taking a taxi.

But sometimes walking tours bring life to a destination. 

  • Here is a 90 minute walking tour from Nassau with Viator

In Summary: Secret Things to do in Nassau, Bahamas

Everyone knows that the Bahamas are beautiful. But this collection of secret things to do in Nassau brings out the traditions, history and modern-day life of this extraordinary capital city. And the Bahamas itinerary helps you to organise your time.

 Enjoy your trip to the Bahamas!

Nassau Bahamas 3 Day Itinerary Cover Image

More About Travel in the Caribbean

  • Brilliant things to do in Tortola, British Virgin Islands
  • Bring Barbados home with grandma’s Bajan Recipes
  • The Truth About Slavery in Barbados
  • Should you go inside a Bri-Bri Village in Costa Rica?
  • The Shocking Story of Green Turtle Cay for Americans
  • What are the best things to do in Nassau to avoid the crowds?
  • The best Caribbean islands for solo female travel.
  • What to pack for the Dominican Republic
  • The best food in the Dominican Republic
  • Why you should travel to the Dominican Republic with kids

7 Continents 1 Passport

15 Best Things to Do in Nassau Bahamas: Tours & Activities Included

Discover what to do in Nassau, a city founded in 1670 by British noblemen who brought British settlers with them to New Providence, and has become the capital of the Bahamas and a top travel destination.

Nestled in the Caribbean Sea and surrounded by white sand beaches and crystal blue waters, the city is a paradise for anyone looking for a sunny tropical escape.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach day, exploring vibrant coral reefs, a history lesson, or enjoying the laid-back Caribbean vibes, there are plenty of activities in Nassau that will keep you busy and entertained.

On my 3-day trip to the Bahamas , I went exploring not only its capital, but also Paradise Island and Exuma, where I went swimming with the famous pigs on Pig Beach , and with sharks on Compass Cay.

From visiting historical fortresses to browsing bustling markets, snorkelling and exploring historic sites, here’s a guide to the 15 best things to do in Nassau.

A man walking on a cemented platform on Junkanoo Beach, Nassau, Bahamas

Table of Contents

Planning a Trip to Nassau

Where is nassau.

Nassau, originally called Charles Town, is the capital city of the Bahamas located on New Providence island.

The Best Time to Visit The Bahamas

The Bahamas can be visited all year round with temperatures ranging from 21C (70F) in the winter and 26-32C (80-90F) during the summer.

But there are two things to consider:

  • The hurricane season lasts from June to November.
  • The months with the most rainfall are May and June.

So, I would say that the best time to visit the Bahamas is from December to April. I went in July and the weather was good.

Where to Stay

I stayed at Coco Plum Resorts Bahamas and I don’t recommend it. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Nassau, or even on Paradise Island (the island just across New Providence), my suggestions are:

Nassau : 💰💰 Hillcrest 💰💰💰💰 Sandyport Beach Resort 💰💰💰💰💰 Margaritaville Beach Resort Nassau and Grand Hyatt Baha Mar

Paradise Island : 💰💰  Comfort Suites 💰💰💰💰 Warwick Paradise Island 💰💰💰💰💰 The Royal at Atlantis and The Ocean Club

The view of the Caribbean Sea, Paradise Island, Atlantis Hotel and the marina village

15 Best Things to Do in Nassau, Bahamas

1 – cable beach.

Cable Beach is one of Nassau’s most popular destinations and home to several resorts and luxury hotels.

With miles of white sand beaches, it’s the perfect place for sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and doing a variety of watersports activities.

It’s also close to shopping malls, casinos, beachside bars and restaurants offering both local and international cuisine, making it an ideal destination for an action-packed night out or a weekend getaway.

Cable Beach, Nassau, Bahamas

2 – Straw Market & Downtown Nassau

Whether you’re visiting the Bahamas from a Caribbean Cruise or spending a few days in the city, you can’t miss the downtown as it’s one of the best things to do in Nassau near the Bahamas port.

The heart of the city boasts striking historic architecture from the colonial period, duty-free shops, fascinating museums, modern murals, and impressive monuments. 

You can spend a half day exploring Downtown Nassau and taking in all its sights and sounds. Start off your visit at the Straw Market where you’ll find everything from handcrafted souvenirs made from straw to locally made jewellery and clothing.

Then head down Bay Street—the main thoroughfare—for more sightseeing and shopping opportunities plus restaurants serving delicious Bahamian cuisine such as conch fritters or cracked conch with coleslaw.

A man wearing a beige hat, sunglasses, a white top and blue shorts shopping at Straw Market, Nassau, Bahamas

3 – Junkanoo Beach

If you’re looking for a nice beach in the Downtown area, Junkanoo, also known as Western Esplanade Beach, is the place to go!

This popular family-oriented beach located about 1mi (20min walk) away from the Cruise Ship Terminal is one of the most visited beaches in the Bahamas and attracts locals and tourists alike.

There are changing rooms, shower stalls, sunbeds and umbrellas for hire, Wi-fi, cafes, restaurants, etc. You can spend a half day basking in the sun, swimming in its warm waters, snorkelling and even experiencing horseback and pony rides.

Junkanoo Beach, Nassau, The Bahamas

4 – Heritage Museum of The Bahamas

For those interested in learning more about Bahamian culture and history, the Heritage Museum of The Bahamas is worth a visit!

It showcases artefacts from over 300 years of Bahamian history dating back to 1658 when English settlers first arrived on these shores! You will find colonial furniture pieces, pottery items and paintings depicting local scenes and landscapes.

The museum also hosts various workshops throughout the year where visitors can learn how to create their own traditional Bahamian crafts like basket weaving or wood carving.

5 – The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas

Housed in the historic Villa Doyle, a colonial-era home from 1860, the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas is another museum in Downtown Nassau to put on your list.

It features a permanent collection on the ground floor, which includes paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptural works dating from the turn of the 20th century to modern times. And hosts temporary exhibitions on the first floor.

The NAGB is open from Tuesday to Sunday and costs 10 Bahamian dollars. Free admissions for children under 12 years old.

6 – Prince George Wharf/Festival Place

This bustling and bright-coloured waterfront area is a must-see if you’re visiting Nassau!

Home to numerous shops selling souvenirs from The Bahamas as well as art galleries showcasing art from all over the Caribbean region. Here you’ll find everything from designer boutiques to local artisan stalls selling handmade items such as jewellery and souvenirs.

There are also plenty of cafes serving up traditional Bahamian food such as conch fritters or stewed chicken alongside live music performances from local bands playing everything from reggae to jazz – creating an exciting atmosphere that can’t be missed!

People walking around the colourful Prince George Wharf/Festival Place, Nassau, Bahamas

7 – Cabbage Beach

Located on Paradise Island near Atlantis Resort & Casino, Cabbage Beach is another great beach destination in Nassau.

This stunning stretch of sand offers crystal-clear turquoise warm waters perfect for swimming, snorkelling, and other activities like windsurfing or kite surfing.

It’s also close enough to downtown Nassau, and you can easily access it via taxi or bus for a full day out.

Cabbage Beach, Paradise Island, Bahamas

8 – Atlantis Hotel

While on Paradise Island you shouldn’t miss the chance to visit the most well-known hotel in the Bahamas.

This ocean-themed resort built around Aquaventure, a 141-acre waterscape, offers family-friendly experiences and activities to please everyone. From over 20 swimming areas featuring distinctly unique pools, to animal encounters, fine dining, nightclubs, a world-class casino and much more.

Visiting Atlantis Hotel is one of the best things to do in Nassau for families and even if you aren’t a guest, you can enjoy some of its facilities and buy a day pass .

Atlantis Hotel, Paradise Island, the Bahamas

9 – The Swimming Pigs

While in Nassau, why not go swimming with pigs?

You can go swimming with these highly intelligent and social animals on five different islands in the Bahamas: Pearl Island , Rose Island , Grand Bahama, Harbour Island and Pig Island .

My suggestion is to go to the original Pig Beach, in Exuma, a stunning archipelago comprising 365 islands. I had a lot of fun swimming with pigs and sharks , feeding iguanas, snorkelling at Thunderball Grotto, etc.

There are several Swimming with Pigs Tours departing from Nassau. I recommend this one with flight included or this one by powerboat . Book your tour online in advance.

A man in the water playing with a pig on Pig Beach, Bahamas

  • Further read: Where to Swim with Pigs in the Bahamas

10 – Rum Distilleries

Visiting a rum distillery is one of the most unique things to do in Nassau, Bahamas. If you are into this classical Caribbean spirit and are a history buffer, you should not miss it.

My recommendation is to visit the famous John Watling’s Distillery, which is located just outside of Downtown Nassau and produces high-quality rum using traditional methods passed down through generations.

After touring their superb facilities, you can sample some of their products in their tasting room before heading out into town with your bottle of fine Bahamian rum!

11 – Fort Fincastle & Fort Montagu

These two fortresses were built in the 1700s as part of Britain’s attempt at defending its colonies from Spanish invasion.

They are now open for visitors who wish to explore the ruins, learn about their history, or simply admire the views from atop their walls.

While both forts can be visited within a short ride from Nassau city center, Fort Fincastle also offers spectacular views over the city skyline and harbour from its hilltop location.

Fort Fincastle, Nassau, Bahamas

12 – Queen’s Staircase

Next to Fort Fincastle is another unusual attraction in Nassau, Queen’s Staircase, carved by slaves into solid limestone rock during colonial times.

This impressive feat earned its name when Queen Victoria ascended these stairs during her 1837 visit to the islands. It remains an important symbol of freedom today and is a must-see when visiting Nassau Bahamas.

13 – Water sports

With miles of white sand beaches with crystal-clear warm turquoise water, there is no reason not to engage in some sort of water activities in Nassau!

You can go parasailing over Cabbage Beach , kayaking at Junkanoo Beach , experience Nassau’s Sea life on board a glass bottom boat (banana boat and snorkelling included), ride a jet ski , enjoy a sunset dinner cruise , etc.

a person kayaking at Junkanoo Beach, Nassau, Bahamas.jpeg

14 – Junkanoo Festival

If you’re visiting the Bahamas during the holiday season, you can’t miss Junkanoo, a joyous Bahamian celebration that is replicated nowhere in the world!

Junkanoo, one of the Caribbean’s most spirited carnivals, has been celebrated for over 200 years. The wonderful parade is followed by colourful costumes, exuberant dance routines, a steady beat of whistles, cowbells, horns, and goatskin drums and overly happy people.

You can watch this celebration of Bahamian culture and history on Boxing Day, as well as on New Year’s Day, Independence Day (10 th of July), and every Saturday in July. The largest Junkanoo celebration is on Bay Street, in downtown Nassau, but Bahamians across the 16 islands celebrate this joyful tradition.

Dancers in traditional costumes at the Junkanoo Festival in Nassau, the Bahamas

15 – Blue Lagoon Island

If you’re looking for a more adventurous day trip from Nassau, Blue Lagoon Island is the perfect spot!

This private island offers secluded powdery white with crystal clear water and coral reefs, surrounded by lush vegetation where you can swim with dolphins or sea lions or take part in other interactive animal encounters.

There are also plenty of sun loungers available for those who want to relax with a cold beer or cocktail in hand and soak up some rays.

A small dock extends off a beach on Blue Lagoon Island in the Bahamas. The turquoise water of the Caribbean is warm and inviting to the thousands of tourists who flock to the Bahamas every year. The island is home to beautiful and relaxing beaches, water sports, and other activities.

Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, you will find it all in Nassau!

No matter what kind of experience you’re after during your stay here – relaxing on Cabbage Beach, visiting the Heritage Museum of The Bahamas or exploring Downtown Nassau, this trip will leave lasting memories that will bring you back.

So, pack your bags and come explore all that this beautiful Caribbean paradise has to offer.

Safe travel and have fun in Nassau.

Don’t forget to save these pins for later 😉

15 Best Things to Do in Nassau Bahamas: Tours & Activities Included 1

  • Book Your Flight Find deals on airlines on my favorite search engine: Skyscanner . Be sure to read my How to find cheap flights article.
  • Rent A Car Rental Cars is a great site for comparing car prices to find the best deal.
  • Book Accommodation Booking.com is my favorite hotel search engine. But Hotels.com and Hilton Hotels have very interesting reward programs.
  • Protect Your Trip Don’t forget travel insurance! I always use World Nomads  for short-term trips and SafetyWing for long-term ones. Find out why Travel Insurance: Much More Than a Precaution, a Necessity .
  • Book Tours in Advance Book unforgettable experiences and skip-the-line tickets with GetYourGuide or Viator .
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What To Do When Traveling To Nassau, Bahamas

As the bustling capital city of The Bahamas, Nassau offers an idyllic blend of urban excitement, historic and cultural attractions, diverse restaurants and bars, and natural beauty in the form of white-sand beaches with a glistening turquoise ocean. Located on New Providence island, Nassau also boasts many of the best all-inclusive resorts in The Bahamas, as well as fantastic shopping opportunities and epic nightlife in the city’s nightclubs.

What’s more, the place is also well-connected to other Bahamian islands and a wide range of incredible tourist activities and attractions, ranging from island hopping and swimming with those adorable Bahamas pigs to fishing, sailing, snorkeling, and scuba diving on some of the best reefs in the Caribbean. With so much going on in this island paradise, it's an essential destination for any Bahamas travel guide , but holidaymakers may feel baffled by all the attractions and tourist activities in Nassau.

Fortunately, for those unsure how to spend a vacation in Nassau, this in-depth guide to the Bahamian capital city answers all questions travelers may ever need to ask. From the ideal time to visit Nassau and what there is to do and see to the top beaches, hotels, and restaurants — and more — welcome to the ultimate guide to the capital of The Bahamas!

Related 12 Things To Do In San Salvador: Complete Guide To This Unique Hidden Gem In The Bahamas

UPDATE: 2023/09/17 18:16 EST BY DYLAN MYERS

Sandy beaches, blue skies, luxury resorts, and colorful cuisine are just a few of the endless offers when visiting Nassau, Bahamas, making it every vacationer's dream destination. This update refreshed the Nassau travel guide, expanding on fascinating things to do such as scuba diving to underwater sculpture parks, wandering through the 'Versailles of the Bahamas,' discovering historical forts and attractions, and so much more. Wanderlusters should read on to find all the info to bolster their ultimate Nassau, Bahamas travel guide.

Top Things To Do

Aside from the quintessential Bahamas vacation experience of spending the whole day at Nassau's most beautiful beaches , tourists will find a plethora of other activities and attractions with which to fill the rest of their getaway.

From relaxing to adventurous, there’s something amazing in and around Nassau for every type of traveler to experience.

For beach bums seeking further shores, stomach-growling foodies, curious history buffs, and binocular-and-camera-wielding wildlife enthusiasts, these are some of the best attractions in Nassau.

1 Visit Nassau's Beaches

Granted, there are around 17 picture-perfect paradise beaches in this part of the Bahamas, all of which are unique and beautiful in their own way.

However, with their powdery sands, vibrant blue ocean, and paradisiacal atmosphere, these five shores are notable tourist favorites, consistently ranking high among the top beaches in Nassau for visitors seeking sublime samples of sun, sand, and sea.

Junkanoo Beach

Junkanoo Festival in The Bahamas is one of the nation’s most energized parties, taking place around the new year annually. If visitors miss the event, Junkanoo Beach is the next best thing.

  • This entertaining beach always has something going on, which is excellent for the more eccentric beach bums seeking fun flair during their day by the sea — but not so ideal for folks in search of peace and quiet.

Visitors falling into the former category will have the time of their lives at this sunny spot, with its lively atmosphere and entertainment roster, as well as plenty of nearby places to grab excellent grub.

Cabbage Beach

No, there aren’t cabbages growing on this sunny shore, but there is almost every kind of water sport imaginable.

As one of the most popular beaches in The Bahamas (which enjoys a convenient location near Nassau Harbor), Cabbage promises a boatload of fun, from water-skiing and parasailing to jet-skiing, snorkeling, and so much more.

With all that water fun comes hungry bellies, and fortunately for calorie-starved beach bunnies, this spot boasts a lot of restaurants, bars, and shops.

Related: Big Major Cay In The Bahamas Is Where You Can Swim With Pigs, And Here’s What You Can Expect

Cable Beach

Cable Beach is always cited as one of the best beaches in Nassau. Clean shorelines, impeccable sand, and crystal-clear water make this beach a top-rated spot among residents and visitors alike.

Its tropical beauty isn’t the sole reason for its popularity, though; this beach is effortlessly close to many of the most upmarket resorts in the Bahamas, with the likes of Sandals Royal Bahamian, one of the most affordable Sandals Resorts , only a stone’s throw away.

Unsurprisingly, one of the world’s most romantic destinations features a lovely seaside spot with a name like 'Love Beach’.

Loved-up couples and honeymooners are known to kindle their romance and enjoy quality time together on this beautiful beach, with its pretty and private ambiance resulting from its superb location away from downtown Nassau’s popular beaches.

Jaws Beach earned its name after it appeared in the iconic Hollywood blockbuster movie Jaws . Given its fame, it can see a few more people than other beaches.

However, seeing what this legendary stretch of sand is like in real life, not on the big screen, is always a top activity in Nassau.

While it was a dramatic spot in the film, in reality, it’s another stunning Bahamas beach worthy of Instagram pics.

Related: 10 Best Things To Do In Or Near Freeport, Bahamas

2 Swim With The Pigs In Nassau

There are many reasons to choose Exuma over Nassau , and swimming with pigs is one of them. Even though this activity is synonymous with Exuma, it still remains one of the best attractions Nassau has to offer its guests, as it’s still within reasonable proximity to the capital.

One of the closest pig-swimming options for those staying in Nassau is the Sandy Toes experience on the famous Rose Island on Exuma.

A true bucket list item, the famous swimming pigs of The Bahamas are absolutely adorable, melting the hearts of visitors with their hilarious personalities and cute piggy antics.

  • These creatures are indeed curious and full of awe for visitors, eagerly swimming up to arriving boats as people come to spend the day with these four-legged pink-and-brown-hued swimming island-dwellers.

Related: From Nassau To Exuma: Travel Options To Pig Beach

Many pigs even hang around humans on the beach and in the water in the hopes they’ll receive food gifts, which many Bahamas pig tour operators will recommend people bring.

The trip to see the Exuma pigs is also convenient; visitors take a powerboat from Nassau to the Exumas — a journey that takes only about an hour and a half each way.

  • Recommended Tour: Morning Pig Encounter - Pigs can’t fly, but they do swim!
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Cost: From $199 USD per adult

Book this tour

3 Visit The Atlantis Marine Habitat

The Atlantis Paradise Island is also home to the world’s largest open-air marine habitat. This enormous aquarium houses 14 lagoons, eight million gallons of ocean water, and over 50,000 aquatic creatures in over 250 marine species.

The establishment also showcases daily scheduled marine life feeds, which visitors can watch. Check out the Marine Habitat page on the Atlantis Bahamas website for more information.

Day passes are available for tourists who want to enjoy all the attractions and offers at Atlantis but aren't staying at the on-site resort.

  • Day pass prices: Vary by date and season
  • Hours: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

4 Book A Food Tour Of Nassau

Food tours in Nassau are the ultimate activity for foodies! Many are available, but top-rated favorites include the Bites of Nassau Food & Cultural Walking Tour , which combines food and drink with art, history, and culture.

Don’t forget about the Downtown Nassau guided walking food tour, Sites & Tastes of Downtown Nassau , enabling visitors to eat as the local people do and see plenty of sights along the way.

5 Book A Rum Tour Of Nassau

To complement a Nassau food tour, a rum-tasting experience makes the perfect pairing. The Rum-Runner’s Passage is a top rum tour in Nassau, taking participants on a journey through a time when The Bahamas’ pirate-plundering and rum-running dominated the islands.

In addition, John Watling’s Distillery offers a popular tasting tour, granting an insight into the Buena Vista Estate and its barrel-aged rum, which guests are welcome to sample.

  • Recommended Tour: Nassau Food Tasting and Cultural Walking Tour
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Cost: From $87 USD per adult

6 Go Snorkeling And Scuba Diving In Nassau

Nassau is in no short supply of snorkeling and scuba operators, with whom beginners and seasoned divers can explore some of the best dive sites in The Bahamas.

With its calm, clear, and shallow sites, Nassau (and The Bahamas in its entirety) is one of the world's best places for beginners to learn to scuba dive .

Some snorkel and dive centers in Nassau have been around longer than others and have thus achieved a solid reputation among residents and tourists — one being Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas , which offers scuba diving trips, dive courses, snorkeling tours, snuba, and even epic Nassau shark diving.

Located on the southwest side of New Providence Island, Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas originally opened up shop in 1978. Since then, the operation has become Nassau’s leading full-service dive center and provider of water-based activities.

Related: Can You Dive Dean’s Blue Hole? Not Without Knowing This

As such, if exploring the best dive sites Nassau Bahamas has to offer (not forgetting others nearby, such as the famous Tiger Beach — one of the world's top shark dive sites !), Stuart Cove is the dive and snorkel king to choose.

  • Recommended Tour: Land and Sea Sightseeing Tour from Nassau
  • Cost: From $149.99 USD per adult

7 Charter A Boat Tour In Nassau

Booking a private boat tour in Nassau is the ultimate experience if funds are no concern. From fishing trips and beach exploration to snorkeling escapades, exploring Nassau by charter boat is one of the island’s finer things.

Among the chartered boat trip operators is First Strike Charters , which offers numerous excursions ranging from adventurous to relaxing.

  • Recommended Tour: 007 Morning Half-Day Boat Charter - Rose Island
  • Cost: From $132 USD per adult

8 Go Island Hopping In Nassau

Scheduled and private island hopping tours in Nassau are available, many of which cater to all budgets, too. Numerous stunning islands with breathtaking beaches, superb snorkeling, and extraordinary encounters with marine life draw island hoppers into booking such a trip.

Noteworthy spots include:

  • Rose Island: gorgeous sandy beaches and transparent waters, a quiet, more private island deemed among The Bahamas’ Out Islands’.
  • Blue Lagoon Island: jaw-dropping private island accessible from Nassau. Thanks to its eco-friendliness, the island’s beaches are famed for being immaculate and untouched, where dolphins and turtle sightings just off the coast are a common occurrence.

Related 15 Adults-Only All-Inclusive Resorts In The Bahamas Worth Every Penny

9 Discover The Best Water Parks In Nassau

Waterparks in Nassau are perfect for a family day out chock-full of excitement. In particular, Aquaventure Water Park on Paradise Island is among the most popular, where water slides, pools, and a lazy river await some fun under the sun.

  • Prices: Day pass rates vary by date and season
  • Hours: Daily, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Baha Bay Waterpark Nassau is also worthy of a visit; this beachfront water facility boasts everything kids and young-at-heart grown-ups could dream of from a water adventure, including a lazy river, a wave pool, water slides, a surf simulator, young child and toddler pool zones, and even an elite beach club.

  • Prices: Day passes from $160 per adult, $65 per child
  • Hours: Daily, 10 AM - 6 PM

10 Visit The Top Historical Attractions In Nassau

With all the best Paradise Island beaches, top Nassau restaurants, water activities, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences out of the way, it’s time to take a trip down memory lane and discover the historic sites in and around the Bahamian capital.

For those looking for unique things to do on Paradise Island, but who are tired of beaches, water parks, and island tours, the Bahamian island boasts a long and eventful history spanning many centuries, making visiting Nassau’s historical landmarks an enriching day itinerary.

From colonial times to pirating stories of the Caribbean, the following historic sites in Nassau are fascinating and will provide visitors with a glimpse into the country’s hefty history.

Find the best historical attractions when visiting Nassau below:

11 Witness The Queen’s Staircase & Fort Fincastle

The Queen’s Staircase — often referred to as ‘the 66 Steps’ — is held up by an interesting story. The stairs were carved out of solid limestone by slaves between 1793 and 1794, crafted to serve as a direct route to Nassau city from Fort Fincastle.

According to rumors and historical accounts, Queen Victoria of Britain once walked the steps, which were named in her honor.

Today, visitors can see the staircase and take photos of the site, where the encompassing vegetation creates a scenic backdrop.

At the top of the Queen’s Staircase is Fort Fincastle — indeed, one of the most impressive old forts in Nassau out of the main three, which also features replica canons.

  • Built in 1793, the stronghold was erected by a former governor of The Bahamas, Lord Dunmore.
  • Situated on Bennett’s Hill — the highest point in Nassau — the vistas from Fort Fincastle a worth the trip alone.

Related: Snorkel From The Beach In The Bahamas At This Beautiful Cove

12 Explore Fort Charlotte

Sitting on 100 acres of land, Nassau’s Fort Charlotte was built in 1788 and houses all sorts of medieval features people normally only read about in history books and fantasy novels.

Think cannons, tunnels, and dungeons — which visitors get to see in real life — and this place delivers some impressive photo ops.

Hiring a local guide is a great way to visit Fort Charlotte when traveling to Nassau, and a guide can help ensure the grounds are open for exploring.

13 Montagu Beach & Fort

This is a public beach with a beautiful surrounding area full of things to do and see. The historic Fort Montagu is definitely worth a visit and costs around $2 or so per person for admission.

Once visitors have explored the fort, the nearby fish market is a fantastic (and tasty) experience, where fresh conch salads and droves of live conch are available for purchase.

  • Fort Montagu Entrance: $2 per person
  • Note: Cash only

Enjoy easy and free parking just outside Fort Montagu.

Related: This Bahamas Island Has Been Confirmed The Safest As Of 2022

14 Waltz Through Parliament Square In Nassau

Parliament Square in The Bahamas is, quite possibly, one of the country’s most famous areas. Dotted with numerous of the island’s recognizable pink and white government buildings, this part of Nassau, with its Georgian architecture dating back to 1815, is indeed beautiful to the eyes.

Facilities of note include:

  • House of Assembly
  • Office of the Leader of the Opposition
  • Bahamas Supreme Court

Nassau’s Parliament Square is also home to a historical (and sizable) statue of Queen Victoria.

15 Discover The Beauty Of The ‘Versailles Gardens’ In Nassau

As mentioned earlier, The Versailles Gardens is a unique medieval garden and one of the best things to do on Paradise Island , if not the most interesting thing to do in The Bahamas, overflowing with rich flora and fauna and deep-rooted in history.

Also referred to as ‘the Paradise Island Cloisters’, this spectacular place is compared to the Versailles Gardens in Paris. The site’s twelfth-century monastery also sits within the ground, which guests are also welcome to explore.

Most visitors can wander Nassau's Versailles Gardens in anywhere from ten to twenty minutes, and it's an excellent stop for a stroll or snapping some lovely photos.

16 Visit The Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation

Located in Pompey Square in Downtown Nassau, the Pompey Museum may be small, but it contains a wealth of interesting exhibits and information on the country’s past, making it a great resource for people hoping to learn more about The Bahamas’ history.

  • Hours: Monday - Wednesday, Friday & Saturday 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM | Thursday, 9:30 AM - 1 PM | Closed Sundays
  • Entrance: $3 per adult
  • Location : Bay Street, in front of George Street

17 Check Out Clifton Heritage Park

Clifton Heritage Park in the Bahamas is a supreme choice for learning about the history and culture of the country while experiencing first-hand what made the place as it is today.

History, culture, nature, and beauty abound, possibly rendering the park one of the unique attractions in The Bahamas for visitors looking to learn about much of the country in one place.

The terrain comprises rocks, wetlands, and white sandy beaches, as well as the impressive ancient architecture of the Lucayan people, who were the very first inhabitants of The Bahamian Islands.

Even snorkeling is on the cards at this park; in fact, with its giant underwater sculptures (seriously, bring a camera), Clifton Heritage Park may be one of the best places to snorkel in the Bahamas in terms of uniqueness.

  • Snorkeling Tours: $90 per person
  • Duration: 45 minutes to one hour

18 Explore Bay Street In Downtown Nassau

Bay Street is one of the best places in Nassau for markets, architecture, and people-watching. Many local markets hustle and bustle, while the old buildings invite some beautiful photo opportunities.

Visitors will also find a few good spots to eat and enjoy a drink, too, with the above-mentioned Biggity being one of them.

Bay Street is about 6.5 miles long but is one of the few streets in Nassau with proper sidewalks bordering the street, making for a great stroll to take in all the colorful Bahamian chaos and shopping.

19 Shiver Ye Timbers At The Pirates of Nassau Museum

The pirate history of The Bahamas is always a topic of interest, even among folks not so history-inclined. Given The Bahamas once had the largest crop of pirates in the Caribbean, one of the most fascinating ways to learn about the islands’ illustrious pirating past is to check out the Pirates of Nassau Museum .

  • Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM | Saturdays & Sundays, 9 AM - 3 PM
  • Price: $14 per adult

Treasure troves of remarkable exhibitions and displays are housed within the establishment, divulging the fascinating stories of the country’s illegal maritime affairs that once posed huge problems for the Caribbean.

Guests can explore the site by themselves or enjoy a guided tour from an animated pirate, and when they’re done, they can check out the gift shop for some pirate-themed booty.

Related: What’s At The Bottom Of Dean’s Blue Hole? & More Answers

20 The Best Time to Visit Nassau, Bahamas

  • Best Time to Go to Nassau: November to April (peak tourist season, but the best weather)
  • Nassau Hurricane Season: June through November

Similar to many tropical islands in this portion of the planet, the summer is warm and humid and can see rainfall — albeit sporadic, mostly. Typically, hurricane season in Nassau runs from July to October, while the high tourist season spans from November to April.

Related: How To Plan The Best Bahamas Cruise, During The Best Month To Do It

Peak season usually sees the best weather in the Bahamas, with the sunniest, clearest skies and less chance of rain. It’s also windier during this time, making the tropical heat a little more bearable, thanks to a cooling breeze.

However, as with most peak tourist seasons, flights and hotel prices soar, and crowds are much denser.

12 Things To Do In George Town: Complete Guide To Exuma's Hidden Gem

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tourism of nassau bahamas

22 Top-Rated Things to Do in the Bahamas

From gorgeous beaches to expansive golf courses, must-visit historic attractions and bustling marketplaces, the Bahamas offer a wide array of vacation experiences. Nassau is the top destination among the 700 islands of the Bahamas, 30 of which are

  • All Things To Do

tourism of nassau bahamas

Aquaventure at Atlantis, Paradise Island (Paradise Island) Aquaventure at Atlantis, Paradise Island (Paradise Island)

Spread across a good chunk of Paradise Island, the Atlantis, Paradise Island resort complex is home to top-notch accommodations, a casino, a golf course and multiple restaurants. But the property's most impressive features are undoubtedly its water-focused amenities. In addition to offering 11 swimming pools and 5 miles of white sand beaches, Atlantis touts a 141-acre water park called Aquaventure, where you'll find a lazy river, a Mayan-themed water playground and more than eight waterslides. The resort also boasts the world's largest open-air marine habitat filled with sharks, rays, barracudas, eels and more.

Atlantis' marine habitat and water park were a hit with previous visitors, although some caution that the property is only worth stopping at if you're staying on-site, since day passes start at $250 per adult (ages 12 and older) and $190 for children ages 4 to 11 (prices vary by season). Popular attractions at the water park include the lazy river and the 60-foot Leap of Faith waterslide. At the marine habitat, travelers enjoyed watching various aquatic animals swim by, especially at the Predator Lagoon aquarium. Meanwhile, the Dig is an imagined archeological expedition to the lost city of Atlantis that visitors can walk through.

tourism of nassau bahamas

Blue Lagoon Island Blue Lagoon Island

If you aren't up for shelling out money for a day pass to Atlantis , consider Blue Lagoon Island (also known as Salt Cay) as an option. Located just across the water from Paradise Island, about 3 miles northwest of Nassau, Blue Lagoon Island offers plenty of opportunities for rest, relaxation and fun in the sun. Upon your arrival, you'll be greeted with white sand, turquoise waters and plenty of eye-catching tropical foliage throughout, including native coconut palm trees.

While here, visitors can lounge on the relaxing shoreline of Salt Cay, doze off in a hammock under the palm trees, take a dip in the lagoon, rent water sports equipment or meet one or more of the island's animal inhabitants. You can do the latter either on an eco-nature tour or sign up to swim with dolphins, snorkel with sharks and stingrays and have an encounter with resident sea lions.

tourism of nassau bahamas

Cable Beach (Nassau) Cable Beach (Nassau) free

If you're staying in Nassau and want to explore shorelines outside of your resort, chances are you will wind up at Cable Beach. Cable Beach is not only one of the most popular beaches on New Providence Island, but it's also one of the most popular in all of the inhabited Bahamas islands. There are several reasons for this. First, it's convenient: Cable Beach is about 6 miles west of downtown Nassau and it is awash with amenities, including chairs and umbrellas, and water sports rental equipment, as well as restaurants and bars thanks to its close proximity to hotels and the bustling West Bay Street. Amenities aside, Cable Beach is also downright beautiful. The sand is white, the water is clear and turquoise, and the beach stretches for more than 2 miles, leaving a good chunk of space for you to find a spot in the sand. Plus, the water is very calm and largely absent of waves, making it an excellent option for families.

Recent visitors called the beach beautiful and relaxing, with one traveler saying it looked "like a postcard." Travelers reported spending hours just soaking up the sun on this shoreline, and many of those who chose to snorkel were delighted at the fish and manta rays they saw. Some were pleased to find that the beach itself, despite its popularity and close proximity to hotels, notably the Sandals Royal Bahamian , wasn't super crowded. However, the activity from surrounding hotels did bother some visitors. Some said that the frequent Jet Ski and boating rentals can be quite loud and that the Jet Skis specifically have a habit of getting too close to the swimming area of the shore.

tourism of nassau bahamas

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Clifton Heritage National Park (Nassau) Clifton Heritage National Park (Nassau)

This Nassau national park offers an excellent blend of historical information and outdoor activities. Located on the easternmost tip of New Providence Island, Clifton Heritage National Park features beaches, snorkeling opportunities, important cultural ruins and lush walking trails. The popular Jaws Beach is part of this park, which (as you might have guessed) gets its name from the 1987 movie, "Jaws: The Revenge," which filmed some scenes here. As for snorkeling, this national park is home to coral reefs and the Sir Nicholas Nuttall Coral Reef Sculpture Garden, which features the world's largest underwater sculpture, called Ocean Atlas. Another major highlight here are the ruins left behind from previous civilizations, including a village where Lucayans (indigenous Bahamians) lived, as well as slave quarters when the site was a plantation in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Many recent visitors enjoyed their tours of the park as well as the friendly and knowledgeable guides. Those who went on the snorkeling tour were pleased with the amount of marine life they encountered and the fact that visitors can get their pictures taken while snorkeling. Others on the history tour were impressed with the guides' in-depth knowledge as well as their storytelling skills, with one traveler saying their particular guide "made the stories come alive."

tourism of nassau bahamas

Bahamas Diving & Snorkeling Bahamas Diving & Snorkeling

Beneath the surface of the Bahamas' waters lie a plethora of reefs, underwater caves and sinkholes teeming with aquatic animals, such as stingrays, sea turtles, dolphins, sharks and giant grouper. As such, it's hardly surprising that visitors flock to the Bahamas to snorkel or dive. Many local beaches, resorts and private islands have shallow areas that are ideal for snorkeling, while islands like New Providence, Grand Bahama, Andros and The Abacos feature world-renowned dive sites, such as the 6,000-foot-deep Tongue of the Ocean (between Andros and New Providence) and the James Bond Wrecks (near New Providence Island).

Many boat tours (such as ones offered by Island Time Charters and Exuma Water Sports ) include snorkeling in their itineraries. For diving, past visitors suggest signing up for excursions with companies like Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas (on New Providence Island) and Sunn Odyssey Divers (on Grand Bahama Island). Each company offers knowledgeable and friendly guides, according to previous divers.

tourism of nassau bahamas

Junkanoo Beach (Nassau) Junkanoo Beach (Nassau) free

Popular with both tourists and locals, Junkanoo Beach sits within walking distance of the Nassau cruise port and attracts passengers who prefer walking to a beach to paying for a tour; it's also a lively weekend cookout spot for Bahamian families. College students also flock here from nearby resorts, giving the downtown Nassau strand its nickname, "Spring Break Beach."

Adjacent to the new Margaritaville Beach Resort Nassau (which opened in 2021) and attractions like the Pirates of Nassau museum and Nassau's historic Straw Market, the beach is perfect for travelers who like to have plenty of drink, dining and off-beach options to combine with a morning or afternoon by the shore: the beach is dotted with beach bars – some little more than shacks – with swing-style seats serving beer, rum drinks and other refreshments.

tourism of nassau bahamas

John Watling's Distillery (Nassau) John Watling's Distillery (Nassau) free

If you need a break from snorkeling, boating or beach lounging, consider touring New Providence Island's John Watling's Distillery. This distillery is famous for its locally distilled rum, which you can sample and see being produced during a tour. Other spirits, such as a vodka filtered with pink sand from Eleuthera, are also made on-site. The guided tour is about 15 minutes long, and after you can head to the on-site pub to enjoy a cocktail. There's also a gift shop on-site selling merchandise and bottles.

Visitors who decided to take a tour of the property certainly enjoyed their time here, making it an excellent activity for those who need a break from the sand and the sun. Many enjoyed learning the history of the distillery and found the drinks offered at the tasting and served at the bar to be delicious. Reviewers were particularly pleased with the free pina colada tasting that's offered at the start of the tour.

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Lucayan National Park (Grand Bahama Island) Lucayan National Park (Grand Bahama Island)

There are three national parks on Grand Bahama Island, but this is the definitive favorite. A 40-acre spread of mangrove, palm and pine trees, Lucayan National Park also contains the impressive Gold Rock Beach (which appears in two of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies), as well as the Burial Mound Cave (where the remains of indigenous Lucayans were discovered in 1986) and Ben's Cave. Both caves are part of one of the world's longest underwater limestone cave systems.Recent visitors enjoyed Lucayan National Park's sights, especially the beach. Many travelers were smitten with Gold Rock Beach, commenting on the clear waters, lack of crowds and overall beautiful setting. Some visitors recommended kayaking through the mangroves as another way to fully immerse yourself and enjoy the park. Meanwhile, avid divers can go diving at Ben's Cave via operators like Sunn Odyssey Divers and Calabash Eco Adventures . No food or beverage concessions are available within the park, but restrooms can be found by the entrance. To get to the property, plan on driving and parking at the beach's parking lot. Visit Lucayan National Park's website to learn more.

This national park sits less than 20 miles northeast of downtown Freeport and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Pig Beach (Great Exuma) Pig Beach (Great Exuma)

U.S. News Travel Insider Tip: Staying in Nassau, but still want to see some pigs? A second population of swimming pigs has been established on Rose Island – a 25-minute boat ride as opposed to the combination flight and boat excursion needed to reach Pig Beach in the Exumas. – Robert Curley

Pig Beach is easily one of the quirkiest and most unforgettable attractions in the Bahamas. This beach isn't just randomly named Pig Beach, it's actually named for the small population of pigs that call this beach home. Yes, the pigs live here, take dips in the ocean and are known to be friendly to the locals and travelers who make the trek to this uninhabited island. If you're wondering how the pigs got here, no one truly knows. They aren't native to the Bahamas and are believed to have been left behind either by a sailor or a shipwreck.

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Pink Sands Beach (Harbour Island) Pink Sands Beach (Harbour Island) free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Harbour Island isn't the only place you can find a pink sand beach in the Bahamas; Eleuthera’s Surfer Beach and Lighthouse Beach also have pink-hued sand. – Robert Curley

The Bahamas is full of unique travel offerings, including feeding beach pigs and the ability to drive between two different bodies of water (Eleuthera Island sits between the Atlantic Ocean and the shallows protected by the Grand Bahama Bank). Another exceptional experience you can enjoy in the Bahamas is sinking your toes into a beach with pink sand . This Harbour Island beach with its rose-hued shoreline makes for a truly dreamy seaside landscape. The pink sand, believe it or not, comes from single-cell organisms called Foraminifera. These microscopic creatures live in various parts of the ocean and when they die, the waves carry their pinkish shells onto the shore and they become integrated with the sand, along with leftover pieces of coral.

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Dean's Blue Hole (Clarence Town) Dean's Blue Hole (Clarence Town) free

A water-filled natural limestone cavern, Dean's Blue Hole plunges 663 feet below ground level on Long Island, part of a string of Bahamian islands south of Nassau and New Providence Island. Surrounded by cliffs on three sides that form a natural amphitheater, the blue hole is also fringed by a white sand beach and opens onto a shallow lagoon. It's a beautiful sight whether viewed from the beach, the water, the cliffs or on a guided dive into its cobalt depths. Some daredevils also jump from the cliffs into the blue hole.

Dean's Blue Hole is the second deepest sinkhole in the world and the deepest one filled with salt water. A habitat for a variety of fish, the sinkhole can be traversed by even novice swimmers and snorkelers, who benefit from visibility of up to approximately 100 feet and mild waves. Scuba diving and free diving into the cavern is possible with the aid of expert guides. Although the opening of the sinkhole is about 100 feet in diameter at the surface, the cavern opens to more than 300 feet as divers descend.

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The Glass Window Bridge (Eleuthera) The Glass Window Bridge (Eleuthera) free

For one of the most unique views in the Bahamas, travel along Queen's Highway to The Glass Window Bridge. This strip of land and road – which connects Eleuthera's Gregory Town and Lower Bogue – measures just 30 feet wide at its narrowest point. On its northern side, you'll see the rough, deep blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and on the southern side, you'll get views of the calm, turquoise-green waters of the Bight of Eleuthera.

According to previous visitors, the stark contrast between The Glass Window Bridge's two sides makes for "beautiful" and "truly amazing" views. You can see both sides without leaving your car, but to make the most of your time at the bridge, many recommend getting out of your vehicle to climb up onto the rocks that surround the area. To do so safely, wear shoes with a good grip, and take your time traversing the sharp rocks. You'll also want to be mindful of passing cars.

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Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (Eleuthera) Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (Eleuthera)

Named for Leon Levy, a Bahamian with an interest in Eleuthera's plant life, this lush oasis is filled with beautiful flora, ranging from orchids and mangroves to palm trees and cactuses, to name a few. All can be viewed from the miles of trails that weave throughout the 30-acre national park. Some of the trails include The Mangrove Boardwalk, which takes visitors through a mangrove forest that features all four mangrove species found in the Bahamas, and the Medicinal Plant Trail, a pathway that showcases plants used to treat various ailments.

Recent visitors found the nature center to be beautiful and enjoyed taking in the various flora on hikes. Others were delighted with how well maintained the grounds were, especially the informative signage, and how kind, friendly and knowledgeable the on-site staff were. Some did note that insects are present in the area and say visitors should utilize bug spray or (if weather permits) wear long sleeves and pants.

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Half Day - Pigs, Turtles, Snorkel & Lunch

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Bahamas Boat Tours Bahamas Boat Tours

Though you'll find many ways to spend your time on shore, one of the best ways to take advantage of all the Bahamas has to offer is to go on a boat tour. Chartering a boat will give you the chance to try a variety of activities, including diving and snorkeling, fishing and swimming with wild pigs . Many excursions also offer access to private islands , where you can lounge on pristine sands after savoring a picnic lunch on the beach.

Recent travelers raved about the sailing excursions offered in the Bahamas, describing their experiences as "incredible," "fantastic" and "awesome." However, a few cautioned that charter prices are steep, so plan your budget accordingly. Boat operators recommended by previous visitors include Island Time Charters and Bahama Boat Tours (for Nassau/New Providence Island) and Exuma Water Sports (for The Exumas).

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Graycliff Hotel & Restaurant (Nassau) Graycliff Hotel & Restaurant (Nassau)

U.S. News Insider Tip: Combine a visit to Graycliff with stops at the nearby John Watling's Distillery and the historic Queen's Staircase , all located "up the hill" from Bay Street and the Nassau waterfront. – Robert Curley

Built high on a Nassau hillside as a pirate's residence in 1740, Graycliff is by far the most historic hotel on New Paradise Island that also houses a fine dining restaurant, a Byzantine wine cellar stuffed with more than a quarter of a million bottles, and a variety of activities, including chocolate-making classes, cigar tastings and a local history museum.

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Baha Mar (Nassau) Baha Mar (Nassau)

This 1,000-acre, billion-dollar resort complex opened in 2017 and has transformed Nassau’s Cable Beach area, adding a trio of luxury beachfront resorts, a massive casino, dozens of dining and entertainment options, an artists' commune and – most recently – a water park that rivals the scale and scope of Atlantis ' Aquaventure.

Visitors looking for an overnight stay can choose from rooms and suites at Grand Hyatt , Rosewood and SLS branded hotels, but Baha Mar also offers plenty to do and see for those visiting for the day (or evening). The Baha Mar casino is the largest in the Caribbean, a light-filled space that defies casino conventions with large windows overlooking the resort grounds and the ocean. The casino has 18 different types of table games, more than 1,000 slot machines and live sports betting.

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Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre (Nassau) Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre (Nassau)

Flowers and flamingos are among the chief attractions of this botanical garden in the heart of Nassau. Founded by Jamaican horticulturalist Hedley Edwards in 1937, the Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre is a lush oasis of tropical trees, plants and flowers as well as home to 135 animals, including the Caribbean flamingos. In addition to walking through the gardens, visitors can enjoy daily flamingo shows and presentations by zookeepers.

Past visitors say Ardastra Gardens is a fun attraction for families and nice to visit on a cloudy or rainy day when the beach isn't an option. Some visitors complained that the zoo was small and the animal enclosures seemed cramped.

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Arawak Cay Arawak Cay free

A popular nightlife destination in downtown Nassau, Arawak Cay is within walking distance of the cruise port and offers a lively taste of Bahamian culture, music, food and drink. Known to locals as the "Fish Fry," the food shacks and dining establishments at Arawak Cay do indeed sell a variety of fried fish; local favorites include fried whole red snapper and conch fritters. The complex also has a stage for live music performances. Tourists are generally here every night Arawak Cay is open, whereas locals are more likely to show up on Sunday nights.

Arawak Cay isn't a natural cay, or small island: it was created with sand dredged from Nassau Harbour in 1969 and has been a popular gathering place pretty much ever since. In addition to live bands, costumed local Junkanoo troupes occasionally show up to practice their carnival-style marches and music to the delight of visitors. Kalik beer, served at nearly every restaurant in Arawak Cay, is a locally made lager that gets its name from the "click click" sounds made by Junkanoo bands.

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Staniel Cay Staniel Cay free

A small island that's part of the Bahamian "Sister Islands," Staniel Cay is located in the Exumas about 75 miles south of Nassau and is best known as the location of the Thunderball Grotto , a swimmable sea cave, and the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, a popular stopover for boaters in the Bahamas.

Founded by loyalists fleeing the American colonies during the Revolutionary War against Great Britain, the small village on Staniel Cay has less than 200 year-round residents and includes a handful of businesses mostly catering to visitors, including a small number of local restaurants.

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Thunderball Grotto Thunderball Grotto free

Never say never again when asked if you've been to Thunderball Grotto – this top snorkeling and scuba diving destination reached Hollywood fame for its appearance in two James Bond flicks ("Thunderball" and "Never Say Never Again"). The intricate, underwater maze located on Staniel Cay is enclosed by sky-high cave ceilings with holes just big enough to let the sun shine through and reflect off the water.

Experienced snorkelers will have no problem navigating the ins and outs of Thunderball Grotto, but many travelers recommend that novice snorkelers plan an outing during low tide. Recent snorkelers advise experienced snorkelers to avoid the crowds in the first room and instead paddle into in one of the secondary rooms.

tourism of nassau bahamas

Rose Island Rose Island

Rose Island is a popular daytrip destination for visitors to Nassau and Paradise Island who want to combine the experience of a private island beach getaway with a stay in the Bahamian capital. Just 25 minutes from Nassau/Paradise Island by boat, Rose Island has beautiful beaches, a few rough shelters and hammocks, and is mostly deserted except for the visitors who arrive daily for a few hours of sunning and snorkeling.

The most popular way to get to Rose Island is on a catamaran operated by Sandy Toes , a charter boat company located in Nassau's Potters Cay. In addition to full-day charters, the company can arrange for overnight stays at a private villa on the island. The company has also installed a population of pigs on Rose Island and runs excursions for Nassau visitors who have heard of the famous swimming pigs of the Exumas , but don't want to make the longer trip to see the original herd of hogs. A visit to the swimming pigs is included with Sandy Toes' full-day trips to Rose Island.

tourism of nassau bahamas

Queen's Staircase (Nassau) Queen's Staircase (Nassau) free

Occasionally referred to as the 66 steps (though only 65 are visible), this historic staircase spans 102 feet. It was carved out of limestone by roughly 600 enslaved people in the late 1700s as a way for the British (who colonized the Bahamas) to connect Bennet Hill's Fort Fincastle to the capital city of Nassau. The staircase took more than 16 years to complete and was named for Queen Victoria, who ruled over the region for 64 years and was responsible for abolishing slavery in the country.

Reviews from recent travelers are mixed. Some visited the stairs as part of an organized tour, and found the history of this site to be fascinating, calling the stairs and surrounding jungle-like vegetation "beautiful." However, others warn of aggressive locals at the top and bottom of the stairs soliciting visitors for tips in exchange for a tour of the area. What's more, many cautioned that the stairs can get slippery when wet, and reported seeing rats at the bottom of the stairs. All in all, reviewers say this is a quick stop, not a must-see while in the Bahamas.

tourism of nassau bahamas

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PlanetWare.com

15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in the Bahamas

Written by Becca Blond and Karen Hastings Updated Jan 19, 2024 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

When beach lovers dream of the perfect stretch of powdery sand, lapped by seas in sublime shades of blue, they're probably dreaming of the Bahamas. Encompassing 700 islands and more than 2,000 small cays sprinkled across the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, this tropical paradise lies only 80 kilometers from Florida at its closest point, and it's packed with attractions to keep visitors happily entertained.

Turquoise waters in the Bahamas

Once a haven for pirates and Loyalists, the islands are now a playground for the rich and famous, and anyone who enjoys world-class fishing, boating, diving, snorkeling, and sailing. With so many things to do in the Bahamas, no wonder it's such a popular place to visit.

Nassau, the nation's capital, on New Providence Island , attracts the most tourists. This bustling cruise port is a mix of mega resorts, shops, restaurants, and entertainment complexes. Grand Bahama follows in second place.

The other Bahamas islands, affectionately called the Out Islands , cluster into groups, and each has its own distinct character and charm. Slung like pearls across the shallow Bahama Banks, the Abacos and Exumas offer some of the world's best waters for boating and sailing. Sleepy fishing villages and secluded beaches dot these peaceful islands, and flourishing coral reefs rim many of their shores. Be sure to rent snorkeling gear while you're here.

The other islands offer fun activities for discerning travelers. From the big game fishing of Bimini and the pink-sand beaches of Harbour Island, to bonefishing, regattas, and uncrowded outer cays, it's hard to beat the Bahamas. For those visiting around the New Year, don't miss the throbbing drums and kaleidoscopic costumes of Junkanoo, the nation's most popular festival.

Plan your sightseeing and find out more about the best places to visit in these idyllic islands with our list of the top attractions in the Bahamas.

1. Atlantis Paradise Island

3. exuma cays land and sea park, 4. harbour island, 5. eleuthera island, 6. grand bahama island, 7. diving and fishing on andros island, 8. treasure cay beach, great abaco island, 9. lucayan national park on grand bahama island, 10. cable beach in nassau, 11. elbow cay, 12. green turtle cay, 13. big-game fishing in the biminis, 14. long island, 15. blue lagoon island, the bahamas - climate chart.

Atlantis Paradise Island

Dominating the skyline on Paradise Island, this splashy, salmon-pink resort evocatively recreates the legend of Atlantis in a luxury hotel, entertainment complex, aquarium, and water park. It's one of the top resorts in the Bahamas.

Guests at the hotel score free entry into the popular 141-acre Aquaventure . Spending a day at this whimsical waterscape is one of the most popular things to do in Paradise Island. Whiz down high-speed slides like the Leap of Faith, splash around in more than 20 swimming areas, or lie back and relax as you cruise along the Lazy River Ride.

In the marine habitat at Atlantis Bahamas, hammerhead sharks and swordfish swim through sparkling open-air pools. You'll also find plenty of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues here. The fantasy sea theme continues throughout all the Atlantic attractions, capturing the imagination of young and old alike.

Address: 1 Casino Drive, Paradise Island

Official site: www.atlantis.com

Nassau

One of the most popular cruise ship ports in the Caribbean, Nassau, Bahamas still manages to charm visitors, despite the crowds of camera-toting tourists.

When it comes to things to do in Nassau , you'll find plenty of options. Bask on the white sands of Cable Beach ; explore the shops, restaurants, museums, and candy-colored colonial buildings of downtown and Bay Street ; and shop for souvenirs at the Nassau Straw Market.

It is worth climbing the 66 steps, known as the Queen's Staircase , to the top of Fort Fincastle. From the top, you will find yourself surrounding by lush tropical foliage and some of the best views of Nassau and the sparkling blue sea surrounding it. Allegedly built on the orders of Queen Victoria in the late 1700s, the staircase is carved from solid limestone. Today it is a historic landmark and one of the city's top tourist attractions.

A short catamaran ride away from Nassau, animal lovers can come face to face with dolphins on a day trip to Blue Lagoon Island , and Ardastra Gardens, Zoo, and Conservation Center is a fun place to visit for families, with endangered and threatened species amid four acres of tropical gardens.

Paradise Island , home to the perennially popular Atlantis resort, shimmers on the horizon about five kilometers offshore from Nassau.

Beautiful beach in the Exuma Cays

Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park has some of the most striking seascapes in the Bahamas. Luminous water in shades of electric blue merges with bone-white sand, creating a dazzling backdrop for a range of water sports.

Located in the remote eastern edge of the Bahamas, the park is a no-take-zone and marine protected area, the first of its kind in the Caribbean. The area is popular with divers and boaters, who come here for the quality anchorages, abundant marine life, and crystal-clear waters. On a good day, divers and snorkelers can enjoy 30-meter-plus visibility.

Most people visit this underwater attraction on private boats or live-aboard dive charters. No fishing or shelling is permitted within the park boundaries.

The Exuma Cays are also beautiful. Some are home to movie stars, such as Johnny Depp and David Copperfield, while others are home to exclusive resorts.

If you want to swim with docile nurse sharks, you'll want to head to Compass Cay . Nurse sharks, which can grow to be about 10 feet long, are generally docile. The sharks at Compass Cay are also accustomed to humans.

The gorgeous turquoise water surrounding Compass Cay is also home to some great snorkeling and diving, filled with vibrant coral and all shades of tropical fish and marine life. Kayaking and SUP boarding are other ways to explore the sea around here.

Staniel Cay's swimming pigs

Great Exuma, the largest of the Exumas, Little Exuma , and Staniel Cay are popular with boaters, who come here to enjoy the convivial restaurants. Don't miss Staniel Cay's famous swimming pigs and Thunderball Cave, featured in the namesake James Bond film. Part of an underwater cave system running between Staniel Cay and Pig Island, the cave's interior features a large open amphitheater accessed via a tunnel system. It is filled with brightly-hued fish and coral. Streaks of sunlight illuminate pockets of water through openings in the rocks, making it sparkle. It's best to explore Thunderball on an organized tour as the fast-changing tides can make it dangerous for swimmers and snorkelers. During high tide, the cave is only accessible to scuba divers.

Harbour Island

Pretty Harbour Island sits northeast of its big sister, Eleuthera and has long been a hideaway for the rich and famous. Affectionately known by the locals as "Briland," it's one of the oldest settlements in the Bahamas, as well as the site of the first Bahamian parliament.

English Loyalists settled here in the 1700s, and their cute pastel-hued cottages evoke a bygone era in Dunmore Town , the island's only settlement, where golf carts rule the narrow streets.

But Harbour Island offers more than cute cottages and a rich history. Its picturesque pink-sand beaches are among the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean , and its chic resorts lure discerning travelers from around the world. Popular things to do include diving, snorkeling, fishing, and sunbathing along the rosy-hued shores.

Harbour Island is a fun day trip out of Nassau on the Bahamas Fast Ferries Catamaran.

Rainbow Beach on Eleuthera Island

Just a 5-minute ferry ride from Harbor Island, Eleuthera is a wild natural beauty. Although the first Bahamian Parliament was based in Rock Sound on the isle, the 100-mile-long Eleuthera today is a sleepy place, mostly void of tourist development.

You'll want to check out the Glass Window Bridge . It is a natural arch bridge with a narrow opening that creates a window (for which it got its name). Through it, you have views of the deep blue Atlantic Ocean on one side and the turquoise Caribbean Sea on the other. The contrast in colors is breathtaking.

Pay a visit to Queen's Bath , about a mile south of Glass Window Bridge, at low tide. Comprised of a collection of natural pools cut into the rocks, when the tide is out, the pools are delightfully warm and filled just enough to soak in.

Other Eleuthera must-sees include renting an SUV to explore its 150 beaches. The lack of tourists means that these stretches of soft white sand backed by turquoise sea remain pristine and are often empty. Some of the top beaches include Lighthouse Beach , Double Bay Beach, and Twin Coves Beach.

Locals refer to these beaches as elusive because they are not easy to reach. You'll need to drive off-road to find them, and some like stunning Lighthouse Beach also include a 2-mile hike (downhill on the way in, uphill on the way out).

Fishing, diving, and snorkeling trips can also be arranged from Eleuthera. The island is home to about 45 shipwrecks and dive sites are found around them. The Devil's Backbone, on the island's northern coast, is Eleuthera's most famous wreck dive area. Here you can dive amid three ships layered atop one another. The reef is pristine and you'll find numerous fish species.

Governor's Harbour is the island's only town and home to a handful of restaurants. Come on Friday night to join locals for the Fish Fry, which also involves music and dancing. Bahamian fare (more than fish) is cooked al fresco as the setting sun sets the sky a glow.

Lucaya Beach on Grand Bahama Island

The northernmost of the Bahamian islands, Grand Bahama Island is a popular destination for package tourists and cruise ships. The capital, Freeport, is the second biggest city in the Bahamas, though Port Lucaya has now replaced it as the tourist hub for attractions like shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Port Lucaya Marketplace sells jewelry and straw goods, as well as other souvenirs, and the marina is a social hot spot for tourists and boaters.

Despite the island's large all-inclusive resorts and hotels, it's still possible to escape the crowds. Grand Bahama is home to one of the world's longest underwater cave systems .

You can also wander the lush plantings of Garden of the Groves , and nature lovers can spot many native bird species in the three national parks or book a dolphin close encounter.

In 2019, Hurricane Dorian slammed Grand Bahama as a category 5 storm, but most of the island's top tourist attractions are now back up and running.

Coral and fish on Andros Island

The Bahamas' largest landmass, Andros is a haven for anglers and divers. The island is home to the third largest barrier reef in the world , as well as many freshwater blue holes and underwater caves, creating an underwater wonderland for those who love to explore under the sea. Be sure to bring or rent snorkel equipment, so you can view this attraction up close.

Fly fishing is also big here – Andros is often called the bonefishing capital of the world , thanks to its ideal habitats for this prized catch. The island's vast wetlands create channels that are prime fishing and boating areas.

Andros also has the largest protected area in the Bahamas, with five national parks . Nature lovers will appreciate the rich bird life in the mud flats, mangrove swamps, and forests, as well as the island's eco-resorts.

Is shopping more your style? Stop by Androsia Hand Made Batik Factory , where you can buy brightly colored fabrics featuring bold Bahamian motifs.

Aerial view of Treasure Cay and its stunning beach

Skirting the eastern shore of Great Abaco, Treasure Cay Beach is often voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. This spectacular stretch of flour-soft sand and aqua water wows visitors who come here to bask on its creamy, crescent-shaped shore.

The beach lies in the upscale resort community of Treasure Cay, which hosts one of the most popular fishing tournaments in the Bahamas.

In 2019, Category 5 Hurricane Dorian devastated Great Abaco Island, including Treasure Cay. Check for the status of tourist amenities here before you visit, as they've had trouble recovering from the hit.

Wooden walkway in Lucayan National Park

There's nothing quite like Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahama Island. One of three national parks on the island, its luscious 40 acres are best known for hosting the " world's longest charted underwater cave systems ." Over six miles of tunnels can be found here.

While one is closed to the public, both Ben's Cave and Burial Mound Cave are accessible via wooden platforms and walkways. Swimming isn't permitted here, but diving is sometimes allowed with a permit. As is suggested by its name, remains of the Lucayans, the island's first settlers, were found in Burial Mound Cave. Both caves are home to various cave dwellers, such as bats.

All six of the Bahamian vegetative zones exist within the park's boundaries. From mangroves to palm and pine forests to coral reefs, you're in for an eco-friendly treat. The pristine and secluded Gold Rock Beach is a must if you're a fan of quiet beaches.

Official site: https://bnt.bs/explore/grand-bahama/lucayan-national-park/

Cable Beach in Nassau

It's easy to see why Cable Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the Bahamas. Located on New Providence Island, nearly six miles west of Nassau's downtown, this vast expanse of silky soft sand calls to weary travelers looking to unwind.

If your idea of a quiet day by the ocean includes parking yourself in a beach chair and not moving, you're in luck. You can rent one on-site, as well as an umbrella, and spend the entire day watching others play in the surf.

If you're a more adventurous type, there are plenty of ways to join in the fun. Over two miles of white sand are at your disposal for pickup games of volleyball or sandcastle building competitions. The calm waves at this locale make it an ideal beach for families, and water sports rentals are easy to find, which means you can be snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, or kayaking in no time.

While you won't find facilities on-site, there are plenty of nearby hotels and restaurants. In fact, the beach is lined with high-end resorts.

Elbow Cay

Elbow Cay in the Abacos exudes all the charm of a New England-style fishing village. It sits just across the sheltered Sea of Abaco from the boating hub of Marsh Harbour,

Colorful cottages line the main streets of Hope Town, the island's principal settlement, and the center of town is off-limits to vehicles, lending a relaxed, village feel.

Famous for its candy-striped lighthouse, Hope Town is home to a thriving expatriate community who appreciate the island's pretty palm-lined beaches; proximity to Marsh Harbour , the nation's third largest town; and excellent boating opportunities.

Wyannie Malone Historical Museum is a must, and nearby Guana Cay and the Tilloo Cay Reserve , an 11-acre bird habitat, are popular day trips. Hope Town also boasts a well-developed marina.

Elbow Cay was also hit by Hurricane Dorian in September, 2019. Check for the status of attractions and accommodations before your visit.

A ferry runs regularly to Elbow Cay from Marsh Harbour.

Green Turtle Cay

Strolling the streets of Green Turtle Cay in the Abacos feels like stepping back in time to the old Bahamas. East of Great Abaco, this peaceful, five-kilometer-long island is a much-loved hideaway for serenity seekers.

Golf carts are the main mode of transport in the tiny settlement of New Plymouth, a sleepy village of picket-fenced pastel cottages, sprinkled with a few small shops and museums.

Fishing boats bob in the harbor, and visitors can watch the locals haul in their catch of crawfish and conch. Bonefishing is also one of the popular things to do here.

The island's beautiful reef-fringed beaches and crystal-clear waters offer excellent swimming, diving, snorkeling, and boating opportunities.

In 2019, category 5 Hurricane Dorian devastated this island. Locals are still working hard, years later, to reopen attractions. But the real charm of this island is the people and the stunning reefs and beaches – and they are ready and waiting for visitors.

One of the island's top resorts, the Green Turtle Club Resort & Marina , has been revamped. It is a relaxing spot to rest your head, and lies a mere 10-minute walk from some of the island's best beaches.

Green Turtle Cay is a 10-minute ferry ride from Treasure Cay on Great Abaco Island.

Mahi Mahi caught off Bimini

Bimini is known as the " Big Game Fishing Capital of The Bahamas ," and for good reason. The island hosts popular deep-sea fishing tournaments from March to September, and its proximity to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream lures a dazzling diversity of marine life, including everything from marlin to mahi-mahi and manta rays.

Bimini also once lured the likes of Ernest Hemingway with the promise of big catches. He spent several summers in Bimini, fishing and finding inspiration for his novels The Old Man and the Sea and Islands in the Stream .

The fishhook-shaped cluster of islands includes North Bimini, South Bimini, and numerous cays extending south from Pigeon Cay to South Cat Cay. Bimini Island is the closest of the islands to the United States, lying approximately 88 kilometers east of Miami, Florida.

Bimini's fish-rich waters also offer excellent opportunities for diving and snorkeling. Besides the popular shark and dolphin dives, highlights include Rainbow Reef, Sapona Wreck, and Victory Reef.

Cape Santa Maria Beach on Long Island

One of the most beautiful islands in the Bahamas, Long Island lies a little off the beaten path, in the southern half of the archipelago. If you love untouched nature, you'll love Long Island, and this is an optimal place for a romantic couples' vacation.

Almost 130 kilometers long and no more than seven kilometers wide, the island is a land of contrasts, with sandy beaches on the west coast and steep, rocky cliffs along the east.

Long Island is a haven for fishing, diving, and boating. Beach lovers can also bask on its many beautiful, unspoiled pink- and white-sand beaches. The island is also home to Dean's Blue Hole , the deepest known saltwater blue hole in the world .

The Long Island Regatta takes place at Salt Pond in the summer.

Access to the island is mainly by air or ferry service from Nassau.

Blue Lagoon Island

Dolphin encounters, sea lions, inflatable fun parks, a beautiful white-sand beach - you'll find all this and more on Blue Lagoon Island. A visit to this attraction-packed private island, also known as Salt Cay, is one of the most popular things to do in the Bahamas on a cruise. It's only about five kilometers by boat from Nassau.

This is a great spot to hang out with the entire family. Kids will love swimming in the turquoise water, playing on the inflatable water park, and kayaking in the lagoon.

Parents can relax under swaying palms on a double hammock, and animal lovers will enjoy the sea lion and dolphin encounters. A delicious grilled lunch and tropical drinks top off all the fun.

Official site: http://www.bahamasbluelagoon.com/

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Economic activities associated with the tourism industry increased significantly during the period 2019-2023, according to a recently released Bahamas National Statistical Institute report. FILE

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BNSI report: Accommodations and food services up $700 mil. in 2023

Chester Robards

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter

  • Author email
  • Jul 11, 2024
  • 11 mins ago

The Bahamas National Statistical Institute (BNSI) recently released a report which examined gross domestic product (GDP) by island, that shows between 2019 – the country’s previous tourism banner year – and 2023, when tourism records were broken, economic activities associated with the tourism industry increased significantly, with the accommodations and foods services segment going from $1.1 billion in 2019 in 2019 to $1.8 billion in 2023.

“The annual GDP trends for New Providence show unmatched levels in 2023 when compared to any other year within the published series,” the report states.

“Economic activity in the capital increased by 11 percent when compared to the previous year, with industries connected to the tourism sector contributing the lion’s share of this increase. Accommodation and food services showed an increase of $436 million, and the arts, other services and household employment, and extraterritorial organizations sector increased by $208 million.

“In 2023, New Providence represented 77 percent of the overall economy of The Bahamas. For Grand Bahama, which has had a hard time growing its tourism segment after a series of hurricanes retarded the island’s growth, when 2019 and 2023 are compared, Grand Bahama showed a decrease in its accommodations and foods services segment, going from $52.5 million in 2019, to $46.4 million last year,” said the report.

Grand Bahama did, though, experience an increase in its biggest economic segment, wholesale and retail trade, motor vehicle repairs and transport and storage, when 2019 and 2023 are compared. That segment moved from $284 million in 2019 to 304 million in 2023.

“Grand Bahama’s GDP for 2023 increased marginally when compared to the previous year,” the report states.

“The wholesale and retail trade, motor vehicle repairs, transport and storage industry increased by $47 million, while the arts, other services, household employment, and extraterritorial organizations sector grew by $12 million.

“These increases abated the waning of a few Industries that previously bolstered the Grand Bahamian economy. In 2023, Grand Bahama represented 10.8 percent of the overall GDP of The Bahamas.”

The report explains that of the nine years of data covered, 2023 was the year with the highest GDP.

The Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation revealed at the end of last year that the country’s tourism sector grew from more than seven million visitors in 2019, to more than nine million people in 2023.

The BNSI report shows that for Abaco, which suffered a blow by Hurricane Dorian in 2019, the economy suffered a decline of 43 percent in that year.

Abaco’s economy grew nominally in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its height – likely thanks to reconstruction on the island after Dorian – though it did not enter the positive range in that year.

The island showed positive growth again in 2021 and 2022, of 63 percent and 39 percent respectively, as The Bahamas came out of lockdown conditions.

The report puts the island’s GDP at 4.2 percent in 2023.

The report does show a sharp decline in the real estate segment of Abaco’s economy from 2018 onward.

“The GDP of Abaco for 2023 showed an increase of $20 million over 2022,” the report states.

“The economy of Abaco indicated that it is recovering in spite of the twin disasters of Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Abaco is still recovering from the damage to its infrastructure, the majority of the industries reported gains slightly above 2022.

“Abaco remains the third largest economy in The Bahamas in 2023, representing 3.5 percent of the total GDP of The Bahamas.”

According to the report, Grand Bahama has seen an increase in the real estate segment, growing from $251 million in 2019 to $305 million in 2023.

For Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island and Inagua, the largest economic segment remains mining and quarrying, manufacturing, electricity and gas, water supply and sewerage, and construction. The size of that sector was $98 milllion last year, slumping in the years between 2023 and 2015, when it was $85 million.

Cat Island, San Salvador and Rum Cay have seen a decrease in their accommodation and food services, arts, other services, household employment, extraterritorial organizations segment between 2017, dropping from $34 million in that year to $11 million in 2023.

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Local Events

tourism of nassau bahamas

Family, friends of Chicago woman who disappeared during Bahamas yoga retreat hold press conference

F amily and friends of Taylor Casey , the Chicago woman who disappeared last month while attending a yoga retreat in the Bahamas, are set to hold a press conference downtown Thursday morning as they continue to press for answers from authorities.

"My child has been missing for almost 3 weeks," Casey's mother, Collette Seymour said in a press release . "My family, friends, and I are distraught! I am pleading with everyone to call your elected officials and demand the FBI lead this investigation and bring her home safe and sound.”

Casey, set to turn 42 Thursday, was last seen the evening of June 19 at the  Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat , on Paradise Island in Nassau, where she was completing a yoga certification course. She was reported missing June 20 after retreat employees that said Casey "did not attend morning classes."

Five days after she was reported missing by police, organizers of the yoga program posted a message to Facebook about the disappearance.

"A participant from our yoga certification program, Taylor Casey is missing,"  The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat posted to Facebook . "She was last seen at the retreat late on the evening of June 19th."

Several days later, a contingent including Seymore traveled to the Bahamas to meet with local officials and program leaders. The trip left Seymore with more questions than answers, as Seymore described her experience as " unsettling," "disturbing" and "infuriating ."

In an interview in NBC Chicago, Seymore said something sounded "off" in her daughter's voice when the two spoke the day before Casey disappeared.

“I got an eerie feeling after hanging up the phone with my child,” Seymore said. “And I sensed through the phone that something was wrong.”

Seymore also raised concerns about the integrity of the case, saying her daughter, a transgender woman of color, isn't receiving the proper investigation or attention because of who Casey is.

“ I just feel like they are hiding something, covering up something, and they separated, isolated my child,” Seymore said. “My child was the only African American in the instructor’s class.”

Thursday's press conference, scheduled for 8:30 a.m., comes days after the Royal Bahamas Police Force provided an update on their investigation.

Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander said searches using divers and submersible drone technology were conducted near the area Casey's cell phone had been found, but that no new evidence had been discovered.

"They came up negative with additional information," Fernander said, adding that officers, canines and marines were continuing to search the area.

Fernander noted that the force was also investigating another missing persons case involving Devon Issacs, a local 17-year-old boy who disappeared more than seven weeks ago.

"That is a concern for us," Fernander said. "No kind of indication, no calls came in that they had any sighting of him."

Both investigations come as Michael Johnson, Chief Supt. of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, on July 5 was placed on "garden leave" following recent social media circulation of "voice notes" involving Johnson.

"The Royal Bahamas police force has a proud history of service," Fernander said during the update. "Unfortunately, there may be instances where individuals fall short of our standards of integrity. This is painful, especially if found within senior ranks, nobody, and I repeat, nobody is above the law."

What is the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat?

The retreat, on Paradise Island in Nassau, is described as a "vibrant yoga ashram offering vacations, courses, and teacher trainings as well as cleanses, detox programs, healing arts trainings, family programs, kirtan and more," according to the group's Facebook page.

Visitors are able to rent a variety of accommodations when staying at the Ashram, including rooms, huts and tents, the  group's website showed .

Earlier this year, the retreat was featured as part of a " Wellness Retreats & Destination Spas " guide from Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow's luxury brand and website.

Earlier in July, the Ashram issued the following statement:

" All of us are distraught over Taylor’s disappearance, and our hearts go out to her family and friends.. With that in mind, I wish to advise you that we did our best to provide Taylor’s mother and friends with support and comfort while they were in the Bahamas last week. We met with them along with the police and the representatives of the US embassy on two occasions – once at police headquarters and once at the ashram. Taylor’s family and friends stayed at the ashram for many hours after the end of the official meeting to collect her belongings and speak with Taylor’s teachers, fellow students and administrators.

To be clear, the police advised us that while we can encourage community members to speak with them, it must be their choice. So we announced their presence to Taylor’s classmates and teachers and invited anyone wanting to meet with them to come forward.  Many of our community members chose to speak with them and the ashram did not intervene in terms of what individuals said.  They were encouraged to speak freely.  Any perceived hesitancy could have been due to their own grieving processes. 

At the end of the afternoon, Taylor’s mother and friends thanked us profusely for our help. "

July 5, the program posted an updated message to their Facebook page.

U.S. Travel Advisory issued for The Bahamas

In January, the U.S. issued a " Level 2" Travel Advisory for the Bahamas , warning that travelers should "exercise increased caution in The Bahamas due to crime."

"The majority of crime occurs on New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) islands," the advisory said. "Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults, occur in both tourist and non-tourist areas. Be vigilant when staying at short-term vacation rental properties where private security companies do not have a presence. "

The Nassau Guardian  said Director General of Tourism Latia Duncombe addressed the travel advisory last month.

“The destination is safe and we have to make sure visitors do feel safe when they visit the Bahamas," Duncombe said. "Whenever there is an odd occurrence, it does increase concern and we want to make sure we address it in a very measured way.”

Family, friends of Chicago woman who disappeared during Bahamas yoga retreat hold press conference

NBC Chicago

Royal Bahamas Police Supt. placed on leave amid investigation into Chicago woman's disappearance at yoga retreat

The announcement comes as the royal bahamas police force investigates several cases of missing persons, including a woman from chicago who disappeared during a yoga retreat on paradise island in nassau, by nbc chicago staff • published july 9, 2024 • updated 6 mins ago.

Editor's Note: The latest update can be found here . Our original story continues below.

The Chief Superintendent of the Royal Bahamas Police Force has been placed on "garden leave," officials announced , raising questions about the integrity of the organization as an investigations into missing persons cases in Bahamas continue, including one involving a Chicago woman who disappeared while attending a yoga retreat on the island.

📺 24/7 Chicago news stream: Watch NBC 5 free wherever you are

According to a July 5 bulletin from the police force, Michael Johnson, Chief Superintendent and Officer-in-Charge-of the Criminal Investigation Department, agreed to garden leave -- a policy similar to paid leave -- following recent social media circulation of "voice notes" involving Johnson.

The bulletin noted that Chief Superintendent Anthon Rahming will assume Johnson's responsibilities as the investigation continues.

tourism of nassau bahamas

Bahamas authorities find phone of Chicago woman who disappeared during yoga retreat

Mom of chicago woman missing from bahamas yoga retreat details ‘unsettling' visit to island, cpd issues missing person alert days after woman disappeared at bahamas yoga retreat.

During a press conference held by police July 8, officials elaborated on the investigating into Johnson, saying the voice notes raised "serious concerns." Officials also acknowledged the case had impacted trustworthiness in the police force.

"The Royal Bahamas police force has a proud history of service," Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander said during the update. "Unfortunately, there may be instances where individuals fall short of our standards of integrity. This is painful, especially if found within senior ranks, nobody, and I repeat, nobody is above the law."

"...We understand fully that this case affect public trust. And confidence," Fernander went on to say. "We have made efforts to address this, but assertions like the present case set us back."

Officials during the update also commented on the investigation into Taylor Casey, of Chicago, who disappeared while attending a yoga retreat on Paradise Island in Nassau last month. Fernander said searches using divers and submersible drone technology were conducted near the area Casey's phone had been found, but that no new evidence had been discovered.

"They came up negative with additional information," Fernander said, adding that officers, canines and marines were continuing to search the area.

Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.

Fernander noted that the force was also investigating another missing persons case involving Devon Issacs, a local 17-year-old boy who disappeared more than seven weeks ago.

"That is a concern for us," Fernander said. "No kind of indication, no calls came in that they had any sighting of him."

When Taylor Casey was reported missing

Casey was attending a  Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat  in Paradise Island in Nassau when she disappeared, according to officials. Organizers of the program say Casey's disappearance was discovered on June 20 "when she did not attend morning classes."

On June 25, five days after Casey, 41, was reported missing by police, organizers of the yoga program posted a message to Facebook about the disappearance.

"A participant from our yoga certification program, Taylor Casey is missing," The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat posted on Facebook last week . "She was last seen at the retreat late on the evening of June 19th."

The statement, also emailed to NBC Chicago, went on to request that anyone with information on Casey's whereabouts contact local police.

"The Ashram is working with authorities in their investigation." the statement said. "Your assistance is greatly appreciated."

A similar message was emailed on June 27 to yoga retreat attendees.

"We advised Taylor's family, the US embassy and the police of the situation at the end of the day on June 20, and we continue to collaborate with everyone involved," the email obtained by NBC Chicago read in part. "At the same time, please rest assured that your safety and security is our top priority and that appropriate measures are in place to ensure your well-being."

Shortly after Casey was reported missing, a group of family and friends traveled to the Bahamas to meet with local officials and organizers of the yoga retreat.

Casey's mom, Collete Seymore, released a statement after returning from the trip, describing her experience as "unsettling," "disturbing" and "infuriating."

What is the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat?

The retreat, on Paradise Island in Nassau, is described as a "vibrant yoga ashram offering vacations, courses, and teacher trainings as well as cleanses, detox programs, healing arts trainings, family programs, kirtan and more," according to the group's Facebook page.

Visitors are able to rent a variety of accommodations when staying at the Ashram, including rooms, huts and tents, the group's website showed .

Earlier this year, the retreat was featured as part of a " Wellness Retreats & Destination Spas " guide from Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow's luxury brand and website.

The retreat issued the following statement Tuesday evening:

" All of us are distraught over Taylor’s disappearance, and our hearts go out to her family and friends.. With that in mind, I wish to advise you that we did our best to provide Taylor’s mother and friends with support and comfort while they were in the Bahamas last week. We met with them along with the police and the representatives of the US embassy on two occasions – once at police headquarters and once at the ashram. Taylor’s family and friends stayed at the ashram for many hours after the end of the official meeting to collect her belongings and speak with Taylor’s teachers, fellow students and administrators.

To be clear, the police advised us that while we can encourage community members to speak with them, it must be their choice. So we announced their presence to Taylor’s classmates and teachers and invited anyone wanting to meet with them to come forward.  Many of our community members chose to speak with them and the ashram did not intervene in terms of what individuals said.  They were encouraged to speak freely.  Any perceived hesitancy could have been due to their own grieving processes. 

At the end of the afternoon, Taylor’s mother and friends thanked us profusely for our help. "

U.S. Travel Advisory issued for The Bahamas

In January, the U.S. issued a " Level 2" Travel Advisory for the Bahamas , warning that travelers should "exercise increased caution in The Bahamas due to crime."

"The majority of crime occurs on New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) islands," the advisory said. "Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults, occur in both tourist and non-tourist areas. Be vigilant when staying at short-term vacation rental properties where private security companies do not have a presence. "

The Nassau Guardian said Director General of Tourism Latia Duncombe addressed the travel advisory last month.

“The destination is safe and we have to make sure visitors do feel safe when they visit the Bahamas," Duncombe said. "Whenever there is an odd occurrence, it does increase concern and we want to make sure we address it in a very measured way.”

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Bahamas police chief involved in probe of missing Chicago yogi suspended over voice note scandal

The voice notes allegedly include chief superintendent michael johnson neogtiating with a local gang leader to drop an investigation, article bookmarked.

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

The Royal Bahamas Police Force's Chief Superintendent was placed on "garden leave" amid an investigation into several missing persons cases, including that of a Chicago woman who disappeared during a yoga retreat.

Chief Supt Michael Johnson, the Officer-in-Charge of the force’s Criminal Investigation Department, agreed to a paid leave of absence on July 5 after "voice notes" involving him, unrelated to the searches. began circulating on social media .

The five leaked voice notes allegedly feature Johnson negotiating an arrangement for the police to drop an investigation into a gang leader who was killed in May, according to Tribune242 .

RBPF officials later told reporters that the voice notes had raised "serious concerns" for the force and damaged its public image.

"The Royal Bahamas police force has a proud history of service," Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander said, per NBC5 . "Unfortunately, there may be instances where individuals fall short of our standards of integrity. This is painful, especially if found within senior ranks, nobody, and I repeat, nobody is above the law."

Taylor Casey, 41, disappeared on June 20 after traveling from her home in Chicago to the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas

He noted that the situation had impacted "public trust" and "confidence" in the police.

The blow to the department comes as the Bahamian police continue to investigate several missing persons cases, including that of Taylor Casey , the American woman who disappeared while attending the yoga retreat.

Casey was last seen at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat on Nassau’s Paradise Island late in the evening of June 19.

In an update, Fernander said that searches using divers and submersible drones had been conducted in the area where Casey's phone was found, but said it had uncovered no new evidence.

Casey's mother, Colette Seymore, traveled to the Bahamas to meet with police, US Embassy officials, and the members of the yoga retreat where her daughter had been staying.

Taylor Casey, 41, disappeared on June 20 after traveling from her home in Chicago to the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas

“I had to return home without her. This is every mother’s worst nightmare,” she said in a statement after her trip. “I felt an urgent need to return because without [US] government support, we may never find out what happened to my Taylor.”

She wants the FBI to take over the investigation, stating a dissatisfaction with the Bahamian search.

The police department is also investigating the case of Devon Issacs, a local 17-year-old who disappeared almost two months ago.

The US issued a travel advisory for the Bahamas back in January, raising it to a "Level 2." US officials warn prospective visitors that they should "exercise increased caution in The Bahamas due to crime."

"Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults, occur in both tourist and non-tourist areas. Be vigilant when staying at short-term vacation rental properties where private security companies do not have a presence," the warning advises.

Last month, Latia Duncombe, the Director General of Tourism, addressed the warning and assured travelers the destination was safe.

“The destination is safe and we have to make sure visitors do feel safe when they visit the Bahamas," Duncombe said. "Whenever there is an odd occurrence, it does increase concern and we want to make sure we address it in a very measured way.”

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    Discover the best attractions in the Bahamas, from pristine beaches and coral reefs to historic forts and national parks.

  20. Nassau, Bahamas

    Nassau ( / ˈnæsɔː / NASS-aw) is the capital and largest city of The Bahamas. It is located on the island of New Providence, which had a population of 246,329 in 2010, or just over 70% of the entire population of The Bahamas. [2] As of April 2023, the preliminary results of the 2022 census of the Bahamas reported a population of 296,522 for ...

  21. The Bahamas Visitors Guide

    The islands of the Bahamas offer a serene environment perfect for a relaxing tropical vacation. With over 700 islands, visitors have access to gorgeous beaches, clear waters, and an abundant marine life. In Nassau, explore the natural pools of the Bahamas on a breathtaking Ocean Safari, a unique underwater adventure. The Exumas offers a chance to swim with pigs in the crystal-clear waters and ...

  22. Nassau Printable Tourist Map

    Get the free printable map of Nassau Printable Tourist Map or create your own tourist map. See the best attraction in Nassau Printable Tourist Map.

  23. American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) Names The Bahamas Ministry

    NASSAU, Bahamas, 8 July 2024 - The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation has been honored as International Destination Partner of the Year by the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA).

  24. Nassau Cruise Port to Build $35 Million Water Park

    Maura called the Nassau Cruise Port "the largest tourism gateway in The Bahamas." The Nassau Cruise Port has hosted "approximately 800,000 more cruise passenger arrivals than the same period in 2019" in the first six months of this year, and more than 500,000 over 2023 during the same period, Maura said. ...

  25. Nassau Cruise Port to Build $35 Million Water Park

    Nassau Cruise Port in the Bahamas will develop a new water park filled with family-oriented activities. It is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2025.

  26. BNSI report: Accommodations and food services up $700 mil. in 2023

    The Bahamas National Statistical Institute (BNSI) recently released a report which examined gross domestic product (GDP) by island, that shows between 2019 - the country's previous tourism banner year -

  27. Maps of Nassau Paradise Island

    Maps of Nassau Paradise Island. Getting around Paradise is pleasantly easy! Use our maps of Nassau Paradise Island to see the locations of our hotels and resorts, as well as The Bahamas' best beaches, important landmarks, and points of interest.

  28. Family, friends of Chicago woman who disappeared during Bahamas ...

    The Nassau Guardian said Director General of Tourism Latia Duncombe addressed the travel advisory last month. "The destination is safe and we have to make sure visitors do feel safe when they ...

  29. Royal Bahamas Police Supt. placed on leave amid investigation into

    The Nassau Guardian said Director General of Tourism Latia Duncombe addressed the travel advisory last month. "The destination is safe and we have to make sure visitors do feel safe when they ...

  30. Bahamas police chief involved in probe of missing Chicago yogi

    The Royal Bahamas Police Force's Chief Superintendent was placed on "garden leave" amid an investigation into several missing persons cases, including that of a Chicago woman who disappeared ...