If you’re looking for paradise, then the best islands in the Bahamas are about to deliver.

If you didn’t know, there are 700 cays on the islands… SEVEN HUNDRED! So how do you choose which island is the best? Well, I’m not quite sure you can, but I’m gonna take a crack at it.

Loads of people head to Nassau, especially on cruise ships—bleh! Oh, sorry, did I say that out loud? Don’t get me wrong, Nassau is great, but how much can you actually see in 12 hours off the boat…

If you just want to take a picture with a sting ray, sip a Bahama mama, and then head back to the ship, be my guest but the rest of us are going to swim with nurse sharks, see pigs on a beach, and hang out on pink beaches.

Oh, I have you interested. (it was the pigs, right?) I’ve picked out my top 9 BEST islands in the Bahamas, and I’m pumped to share them with you. The Caribbean has always been hot, but the Bahamas is blazing right now, so get ready to pack your bags and book a flight because this guide has some major inspo!

The Bahamas in May
Welcome to the Bahamas!

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    Best Islands the Bahamas

    The Bahamas aren’t often “traveled.” You’re likely heading here for a week-long vacay, so I’ve got to make the most of this list. Get ready for some island hopping on the best Bahamian islands.

    1. Harbour Island

    Harbour Island is the land of pink sand beaches, golf carts (the main form of transportation), and a heavy dose of old-school charm with its colorful streets. The island is only 3 miles long and half a mile wide, and boy is it a show-off!

    Bahamas Harbour Island

    I recommend seeking out a charming beach house, where you can wake up to the gentle sound of waves and enjoy breathtaking sunsets in the evening.

    • Why visit: A smaller island with stunningly blue waters that give you that true, hidden paradise feel. And pink beaches!!
    • When to visit: April and May
    • How to get there: There aren’t any big ship ports here. Take a ferry from Nassau or Eleuthera to Harbour Island.

    The pink sand on Harbour Island has become the newest IG fad. I mean, did you even go to the Bahamas if you didn’t see the pink beach? It’s one of my favorite beaches in all of the islands to be at for sunset. My favorite hotel on the island is Coral Sands Hotel because it’s literally on the pink sands beach!

    The pastel sand lay against the shimmering blue waters, while the sky turns purple and pink. There are some serious mermaid vibes on Harbour Island.

    2. Bimini Island

    Bimini Island is just a short ferry ride away from Florida, as it’s less than 50 miles from Miami. Yeah, holy smokes! You could kick off your journey with a trip to Miami, then set course for the beautiful Bimini Island. If you live in Miami, EVEN BETTER! You could make this a monthly trip.

    Bahamas Bimini
    Each Bahamas island is a little piece of paradise.
    • Why visit: It’s extremely easy to get to, and the tiny island has some of the most beautiful resorts in the Bahamas.
    • When to visit: April-June
    • How to get there: Take a flight from the US or Nassau, or hop on a fast ferry from Florida.

    If you only have a weekend to check out the Bahamas, Bimini is my favorite island to get to. The ferry will dock, and you’ll immediately be picked up by a golf cart and taken to your resort.

    You’ll go from the US to being on a Caribbean island, drink in hand, in less than 2 hours. I literally don’t think I could ask for more on a random weekend in May.

    3. Cat Island

    If you’re looking for that local Caribbean flair, then you have to check out Cat Island. It brings all the Bahamian vibes and is full of culture. The island has a population of about 1,500 people and is among the best islands in the Caribbean.

    Bahamas Cat Island
    Somewhere colorful?

    There aren’t any big hotels or cruise ports, so you’ll find yourself among a few others who decided to skip the tourist traps and just enjoy the stunning ocean waters.

    • Why visit: You won’t find local island vibes like the ones on Cat Island anywhere else in the Bahamas.
    • When to visit: January-May are the best months to avoid rainfall and have sunny days.
    • How to get there: Sky Bahamas operates two daily 40-minute flights from Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport to the small airport in New Bight using twin-engine turboprop airplanes.

    Cat Island is definitely off the beaten path and is perfect for those who want to relax on the beach and enjoy a sunny holiday under a palm tree.

    But if you’re big into diving, you can also check out the Spanish battleship that sank in the late 1800s off of Cat Island. It’s right off the coastline and offers a really cool exploration dive.

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    4. Andros Island

    Andros Island is the biggest island in the Bahamas. I honestly had never even heard of it until I inquired about the best diving spots in Nassau. And without fail, everyone kept pointing me to Andros Island.

    Bahamas Andros Island
    Bahamas mode on.

    This place is a diver’s dream. It’s home to the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world, and you’ll instantly feel at home in the water. You’ll be able to explore inland blue holes, shallow reefs, and walls plunging into the deep blue.

    • Why visit: Andros has the best diving and fishing in the Bahamas
    • When to visit: February-May
    • How to get there: There are direct flights from Ft. Lauderdale, or you can catch a flight from Nassau.

    Along with diving, Andros is also the best place in the Bahamas to go fly-fishing. The island is known for its bonefish, and you’ll have a great chance of catching one!

    5. Nassau Island

    Nassau is undoubtedly the most popular tourist destination in the Bahamas. You’ll find luxury hotels, casinos, and all-inclusive resorts here. It’s also where loads of cruise ships stop on their Caribbean routes.

    Love Beach, Nassau 1

    Although I’m usually one to skip big tourist destinations, I have to remember places aren’t popular for no reason. And that’s Nassau!

    It’s the liveliest and busiest island in the Bahamas, with plenty of activities and things to do and great places to stay. My personal favorite hotel is Margaritaville Beach Resort – the hotel is super clean and comfortable and the view from my room was just surreal.

    • Why visit: There is never a boring day in Nassau. The island pops up with activities and parties
    • When to visit: I highly recommend the end of January or March. This will help you miss the rush of Christmas holidaymakers and the US spring break.
    • How to get there: Fly in directly from the US. Take a cruise from Miami.

    Spend the day swimming with stingrays at one of the cays or visiting historical sites such as Fort Charlotte and Queen’s Staircase.

    If you’re feeling lucky, you can walk to Paradise Island and check out the Atlantis Resort for a day of gambling and waterpark fun. I’m sure you’ve seen the slide at Atlantis that goes through an aquarium with sharks swimming all around you. (Don’t worry, there is glass between you.)

    6. Eleuthera Island

    I’m a traveler that can only handle so much artificial fun – you know, the touristy stuff they set up just to make money. I love to feel like I’m visiting an island where people actually live, stay with locals, and actually immerse myself in their culture.

    Bahamas Eleuthera Island
    Do you need some Vitamin Sea?

    That’s why Eleuthera Island is one of my absolute favorite islands in the Bahamas! But I mean this—it’s truly not for everyone.

    • Why visit: It’s a laid-back, authentic island with stunning pink sand beaches and friendly locals.
    • When to visit: April-June
    • How to get there: Take a direct flight from major US cities or a quick flight from Nassau.

    Don’t get me wrong, Eleuthera is definitely still touristy, and plenty of people head to the island every day. But it doesn’t have the luxurious build-up you’ll find in Nassau. The island has 110 miles of pristine white beaches, meaning if you want to find your little slice of heaven, you can!

    On Sundays, locals gather for a huge cookout of freshly caught at the governor’s house. This is definitely my favorite way to get some local food and hang out like I belong on the island.

    7. Abacos Island

    Abacos Island is my favorite island in the Bahamas for a couple’s trip. It’s filled with things for girly pops and the MEN. (Imagine me saying this in my deepest, gruffest voice; I also may have flexed my muscles…)

    Bahamas Abacos Island
    Abacos Island is one of the best islands in the Bahamas.

    A few years ago, my girlfriends and I would send the boys out on their deep sea fishing boat while we went to the different places to catch a tan and enjoy drinks on the beach.

    • Why visit: Great for those sailing around the Caribbean and wanting to do some deep sea fishing.
    • When to visit: April-June
    • How to get there: Fly in directly from the US or catch a flight from Nassau.

    And then, in the evenings, we would all gather together and head out on sunset sailing trips before cooking up the catches of the day. Abacos is one of the best places in the Caribbean for boating, so make sure to take advantage of that!

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    8. The Exumas

    Exuma Island is definitely one of the most popular islands in the Bahamas. It consists of over 365 different cays, and they’re all gorgeous! When the tides are low, you can walk out on multiple sandbars in between the crystal clear waters.

    Bahamas The Exumas
    Kite surfing time!
    • Why visit: It’s the best island to charter a boat and explore different cays like Pig Island and Staniel Cay, home to the nurse sharks!
    • When to visit: March and April are best to avoid large crowds
    • How to get there: You can take a short 30-minute flight from Nassau to Great Exuma or charter a boat from nearby islands.

    The Exumas are full of picture-perfect beaches, colorful island streets, and yummy food. (The conch burgers are out of this world.)

    But I tell everyone that’s headed to the Exumas that you have to charter a boat, it’s not the most budget-friendly thing, but it’s the best way to see some of the unique places in the Bahamas.

    Swim with hundreds of nurse sharks in Staniel Cay, don’t worry, they’re bottom feeders. And, of course, my absolute favorite, Pig Island!

    This uninhabited island is a must-do in the Bahamas! It’s home to a group of friendly swimming pigs who love to greet tourists and even swim alongside them. They are the cutest little things, and how random to just swim with pigs, haha!

    9. Grand Bahama Island

    For a family-friendly island in the Bahamas, head to Grand Bahama. The island is full of water activities that your kids will love. You can swim with dolphins and get up close and personal with stingrays.

    Grand Bahama Island
    These guys don’t hurt, do they?

    And for those who are much more daring than me, you can go diving at Tiger Beach, where you have the likelihood of seeing some huge tiger sharks and great hammerheads.

    • Why visit: If you want to swim with some of the most amazing sea creatures, Grand Bahama is the best island for you.
    • When to visit: October-May is the best time to visit for diving. You’ll have visibility up to 100 feet.
    • How to get there: Fly in or jump on the fast ferry for 2.5 hours from Ft. Lauderdale.

    When you’re not swimming with your new friends in the sea, make sure to explore Lucayan National Park.

    This incredible park is home to one of the world’s largest underwater cave systems. It’s one of the coolest things I saw in the Bahamas, and that’s coming from someone who swam with the pigs!

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    Final Thoughts on the Best Islands in the Bahamas

    As I mentioned in the beginning, out of the 700 cays, how does one even begin to choose the best island in the Bahamas? But after writing this, I’m itching to discover more of them.

    The Bahamas is truly a slice of paradise, and no matter which island you end up on, you’ll be surrounded by the bluest waters and white sandy beaches, and life will feel so much sweeter.

    But somehow, there’s one island I keep coming back to, and I’m not sure if any of the others will top it. And that’s the Exumas.

    I know it’s an extremely popular island in the Bahamas, but with over 300 days, you can easily find yourself a private little beach. So I think I’ll keep grabbing my conch burgers, my rum punch, and sunscreen and head to the Exumas for now! I hope to see you there. 😉

    Is Bahamas Safe to Visit
    Let’s catch up in the Bahamas!
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