Bahamian Wanderlust: A Virtual Tour of the Bahamas
Updated: Jun 13, 2020
Dive into the beautiful, captivating islands.
By: Karina Wilson
Picture this: you’re relaxing in a lounge chair with your toes in the sand; a cool breeze is blowing and the crystal-clear blue water washes up on the shore. You've taken a vacation in the Islands of the Bahamas, not literally of course, but figuratively. “How?” you might ask. Virtually of course!
Bahamas.com makes it possible for aspiring tourists to visit the country without leaving the comfort of their homes.
Exuma is a district of the Bahamas containing 365 islands, also known as cays.
This secluded island is accessible by boat from Elizabeth Harbour. It is home to beautiful white-sand beaches. It is a tourist attraction full of undersea caves and coral gardens divers and snorkelers to explore. Additionally, Stromatolites, the oldest known macro-fossils are located along the beaches. A family-friendly resort to stay at on Stocking Island is the Kahari Resort (formerly Lumina Point Resort and Spa).
Famously known for its wildlife, Pig Island is a must-go destination for travelers visiting the Bahamas. It is located on Big Major Cay within Exuma. On Pig Island you can: pet a stingray, take pictures with the pigs, feed Bahamian rock iguanas, eat at Staniel Cay and lounge on blowhole beach.
Tropic of Cancer Beach
Also known as Pelican Beach, Tropic of Cancer Beach intersects the Tropic of Cancer. The white-sand beach is known for being difficult to find, which is why the area is so serene. Santanna’s Bar and Grill is a popular seafood restaurant the many locals recommend.
The northernmost island is well-known for its many beaches. Resorts, coves, beaches and swamps take up an abundance of the Grand Bahamas.
The Port Lucaya Marina is home to the very popular Port Lucaya Marketplace. It is the largest shopping center in the Bahamas. With over forty stores and sixteen restaurants, the marketplace will be a full-day experience.
Gold Rock Beach/Lucayan National Park
Gold Rock beach is a part of Lucayan National Park. It is protected by the Bahamas National Park. The “welcome mat” occurs when at low tide all that the eye can see is the shoreline. Visitors are welcome to use all the amenities: picnic tables, BBQ pits and benches. Lucayan National Park is predominately known for its large underwater cave.
Taino Beach is home to Pirates Cove Zipline & Water which holds an oceanfront bar & grill, banana boats and floating bouncy slides! Additionally, Taino beach park is a popular tourist attraction for families. There are various resorts that cater to any and every person’s needs!
Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, is the heart of the country. It is the most popular tourist attraction of all the islands and it is home to the famous Atlantis resort.
Arawak Cay Beach
Arawak Cay is the place to go for fresh, local Caribbean food. Its nickname is “Fish Fry,” due to the various eateries. Vendors sell traditional Bahamian dishes, fried fish and conch salads. Curious on where to stay? There are many hotels located on the cay.
The Baha Mar is an extravagant casino and resort located within Nassau. The Baha Mar’s website provides a virtual 360 map of the entire property. The $4.2 billion dollar hotel has a golf course, championship racquet club, a convention center, fine dining, clubbing and much more to offer.
Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge
Named after the Oscar-winning actor Sir Sidney Poitier. The 1,930-foot long bridge leads to the famed Nassau Harbor. Additionally, there is a pedestrian sidewalk for those who prefer to travel on foot.
Paradise Island is the exact home of the Atlantis Resort. It is a popular spot for tourists due to the white-sand beaches and other various activities. Two bridges lead to-and-from the Nassau Harbour.
Last, but not least the cruise terminal. Nassau is a central port for many cruise lines. Whether it be Royal Caribbean or Carnival you can find almost any ship in the port. The cruise terminal has been under constant renovation to remain on par with standards. The terminal leads cruise-goers right into the heart of Nassau.
An Islander’s View
I am lucky enough to have personal relations with a Bahamian man: my older brother Reggie Wilson. He has dual-citizenship with the United States of America and the Bahamas. Reggie previously played on the Bahamas National Rugby team.
On encouraging people to visit the country Reggie said, “Definitely go check it out, the food is great, the straw market is amazing, the music is exciting and there are plentiful amounts of resorts and casinos.”
A great time to visit if you want a cultural experience is during Junkanoo. Junkanoo is a rich, cultural street parade that occurs during multiple holidays (Boxing Day and New Year’s day). The festival is of African origin and consists of cowbells, extravagant costumes, and masks in reference to the “unknown people.” Reggie expressed that Junkanoo is, “[An] immersive experience, crowds are dancing in the bleachers, while the scene is full of a lot of imagery - encourage people to checkout Junkanoo during the holiday season.”
He reiterated that basically, the entirety of the Bahamas is on the beach in the middle of crystal-clear Caribbean waters.
“If you don’t want to travel far, but you still want to have a great time —the Bahamas are a great place to go” - Reggie Wilson.
Overall, the Islands of the Bahamas are most definitely a place you want to put on a bucket-list!
During my freshman year of high school, I was lucky enough to go on a Carnival cruise to the Bahamas. We went on a catamaran, visited downtown Nassau, went scuba diving, visited local restaurants and so much more.
I highly recommend that you visit the Islands of the Bahamas as soon as you can. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic causes that dream to be impossible at the moment, but I encourage you to visit the virtual tour on Bahamas.com!