The Bahamas are comprised of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean. Of those, only 30 are inhabited. Millions of tourists flock to this Caribbean paradise every year. With nearly 40% of The Bahamas national GDP being generated by tourism, it’s no surprise that Bahamians are incredibly welcoming and friendly. Also of note, it’s illegal to beg in The Bahamas, which is a relief for tourists.
If you’re planning a trip to Nassau, Bahamas, I have an excellent 6-day itinerary for you below. Pro tip, the exchange rate with USD is one-to-one and there is no need to get Bahamian currency. In our experience, credit cards and USD currency were excepted everywhere.
Check into your hotel, and familiarize yourself with the area. I highly recommend the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. With a 100,000 square foot casino, seven pools, and gorgeous landscaping, this is an oasis of wonder and delight. Just read the fine print. There are daily resort fees, which cover internet, water, use of kayaks, paddle boards, and other aquatic equipment, and use of all the pools on the premises. There is also a VAT tax on everything (somewhere between 7-13%). The VAT extends beyond Baha Mar though. Gratuity is still expected. So expect to pay about 30% more than any listed menu price.
If you need to stock up on any groceries, snacks, drinks, etc., find a local grocery store and stock your mini-fridge on day one. Unpack your backs and explore the local area. In the case of Baha Mar, you’ll be in gorgeous Cable Beach. We used the first day to utilize the free kayaks and paddled around sea turtles right in front of the resort beach.
For dinner, check out The Swimming Pig. Then get some gelato at Café Madeleine on site.
Take the bus for $1.25 into downtown Nassau, where all the cruise ships dock. We used the bus throughout our Nassau stay and felt as if we were living like locals. People on the bus were generally really friendly and enjoyed conversing.
Grab lunch at The Bearded Clam—try the conch like everyone says, and get some coconut shrimp! They also have some fun cocktails with souvenir cups.
Head on over to John Watling’s Distillery for some Bahamian rum drinks, and learn about the distillation and bottling process. We were able to walk from downtown.
Continue your walk to Fort Charlotte for a lesson in history. Entrance is $5 and includes a ~30 min guided tour.
If you don’t mind walking, keep it going on back towards downtown to Junkanoo Beach. On the beach is a fantastic little spot called Tiki Bikini Hut. The staff were very friendly in our experience. The owner’s name is Byron and if your name happens to also be Byron, you might just get a free drink. Once you’re ready to head out of downtown, the bus is $1.25 both ways and stops running around 6 pm.
Head downtown to Lukka Kairi for excellent Caribbean fare with an impeccable view. If you enjoy reading about history, there is a small nearby slavery museum. The Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation charges about $3.00 for entry.
Walk over to the Queen’s Staircase for a history lesson, gorgeous pictures, and some exercise.
For lunch/dinner, eat AMAZING Neapolitan style pizza and gelato from Giotto Cafe.
After unwinding by the pools and swim-up bar at Baha Mar, head to BOND nightclub. Entry is free before midnight for hotel guests, but men MUST wear pants. Two drinks will cost you about $35. No, that’s not a typo!
Get ready for a life changing adventure with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas! I did Snuba, which is like a bridge between snorkeling and scuba diving. Now I feel ready to scuba dive—something I never thought I’d want to do. We also had the chance to swim with Caribbean reef sharks while they fed on the ocean floor. No matter what adventure you choose, you will have the experience of a lifetime with Stuart Cove’s!
Our fourth day happened to be Sunday. So we ended the day with Football bets, free drinks at the casino, and hours of roulette.
Start your day with some more free aquatic activities in front of the hotel. Though I have to say, snorkeling doesn’t bring much excitement after the awesome Snuba experience from day four! We also took a free boat from the end of the Baha Mar pier over to Balmoral Island. I would strongly advise against doing that. We thought the service was terrible, drinks were even more expensive than at the resort, and the ocean front wasn’t nearly as nice as Baha Mar. Save your time and skip Balmoral Island.
Head downtown to the Pirate’s of Nassau Museum! It was so much cooler than I ever would have expected. It was very interactive, informative, and entertaining. Adult admission is $13.50, and I believe it’s worth every penny.
For lunch, we went to Pirates Pub next door and received a discount with our museum wristbands. You could just as easily stop by the Fish Fry, which is an area with a bunch of food stands. It’s about halfway between downtown and Baha Mar.
Clifton Heritage National Park is home to Ocean Atlas, the largest underwater sculpture in the world. Fortunately, our day trip with Stuart Cove’s covered this dive site, so we skipped our tour at Clifton. However, the park offers a variety of land and sea tours.
Make sure you visit the Straw Market for a variety of souvenirs before you leave the island. I was able to find some gorgeous wooden sculptures, as well as some cute long-sleeved tees.
We spent out last hour playing a bit of roulette in the casino before heading to the airport.
Enjoy your trip to paradise!!!