The Bahamas is the very definition of an island paradise. Set in the Lucayan Archipelago, the Bahamas boasts more than 700 islands and 2,400 cays – giving travelers endless choice when it comes to island hopping. But with that variety comes a dilemma, what islands are best? In this article, we will be introducing the best island to visit in the Bahamas – Pearl Island.
Just imagine arriving on a teeny-tiny island for the day with all of life’s most enjoyable luxuries at your doorstep: white sand beaches, swaying palm trees, crystal-clear waters, coral reefs teeming with colorful fish, beautiful cabanas with ocean views and an iconic lighthouse. Pearl Island lives up to its name of being a little pearl of an island shining brightly in the Bahamas.
One of the biggest features of this island is that it’s only a short boat ride from Nassau. Whether you are a solo traveler looking to escape the city life of the capital or a couple looking to cozy up in a luxurious cabana for a day of romantic fun – Pearl Island is the destination for you! The island can also cater for cruise guests who have free time while in Paradise Island.
Pearl Island limits the number of guests that can visit at any given time, so privacy is felt to the maximum. Even if you don’t have your own cabana, there are still plenty of spots where you will be able to relax in a secluded setting. And if you want to mix and mingle with other travelers? Well, what better place to do so than on an intimate island paradise!
Beach Escape + Snorkel Adventure vs All-Inclusive Private Cabana
Pearl Island offers a package called the Beach Escape. You can visit the island for a full day for $84 USD per person (or $99 USD per person with the snorkel adventure included) and enjoy everything the island has to offer. Round-trip ferry tickets are included in the price and so is a traditional Bahamian lunch with delicious BBQ chicken, fish, salads and drinks.
The other option which takes your experience to the next level is booking one of the Private Cabanas. This includes everything in the Beach Escape with the added benefit of a private cabana, personal server and lunch served at your cabana. With stunning views of the ocean from your cabana, you will be able to relax throughout the day and enjoy some epic activities.
The only other way to experience the island is by booking Special Events where you have access to the entire property for things like a wedding ceremony, corporate retreat or 50th birthday celebration. But for most travelers the two packages mentioned above – Beach Escape or Private Cabanas – will be perfectly suited to fit with their itinerary in the Bahamas.
Best Island in the Bahamas? 10 Reasons Why
1. Happiness is Everywhere
As soon as you step foot on Pearl Island you will be greeted with warm smiles and rum punch – first impressions don’t get any better than that! The staff on the island are very friendly and hospitable, and they have that infectious Bahamian happiness that you can’t help but emulate. For a day of joy there is no better island to visit in the Bahamas than Pearl Island.
2. Lighthouse Magic
The lighthouse is a defining feature of the island. You can climb up the two/three story lighthouse and take a tour with magical views at the top looking out over the island and surrounding shimmering waters. It’s a fantastic place to shoot photos, especially as the sun is beginning to set over the island. If you want one iconic photo of Pearl Island then this is it!
3. Cozy Up in a Cabana
The cabanas at Pearl Island are fantastic for enjoying some champagne in the shade as you take a wee break in between activities. It’s nice to cozy up with ocean views. These cabanas are well suited for couples who want to share some romantic time in 100% privacy or families who would like to make a base for the day and come and go as they please.
4. Perfect White Sand Beaches
The Bahamas is home to the best white sand beaches on earth and Pearl Island is certainly no different. Head to one of the two white sand beaches here to enjoy the classic beach activities of sunbathing and swimming. If you are feeling more adventurous you can use one of the kayaks or stand-up paddle boards to go exploring around the island at your own pleasure.
5. Guided Snorkeling Adventures
Snorkeling tours on Pearl Island are suited for everyone – no matter if this is your first time or 100th! A team of certified instructors and guides will take you to explore a colorful underwater world. The list of colorful fish that you can see on a snorkeling trip at the nearby coral reef is impressive: parrot fish, trumpet fish, porcupine fish, lionfish, sand divers and more.
6. The Wildlife is Amazing
The wildlife of Pearl Island doesn’t just stop at the schools of colorful fish you see while snorkeling. Back on land you are likely to come across Antillian nighthawks, curly-tailed lizards and hermit crabs. Capturing these fascinating little creatures will be a real treat for all the wildlife photographers out there – and for the amateur iPhone photographers too.
7. Kayaking & Paddle Boarding
These complimentary rentals will give you the chance to get out on the water for a bit of paddling around the island to gain new views and enjoy a workout. If you have never tried stand-up paddle boarding, for example, then the day trip to Pearl Island might be a great place to try it. Everything takes some practice but you will be up and running in no time!
8. BBQ Chicken Goodness
As noon rolls around you will begin to smell that open-air BBQ goodness drift from one side of the island to the other. Lunch is a highlight in itself with a delicious plate of authentic Bahamian BBQ chicken breast, golden fish filet, coleslaw, and peas ‘n rice served with your choice of beverages. The bars here sell sodas, beers and cocktails – so you will never go thirsty.
9. Fun for all the Family
Families will love Pearl Island. Adults can relax in the cabanas with a few drinks while the kids play at the beach, and have fun on the water mats and trampoline. To most kids who visit, Pearl Island is like a playground where they can be free range kids again with the supervision of their parents. But don’t worry – the island doesn’t lose its adult sophistication.
10. Best Sunsets in the Bahamas
After a day of sunshine, snorkeling and soaking up the vibe, the sun will set on the day and it will be time to head back on the boat to Nassau. There is no better way to cap off a day on Pearl Island than admiring a gorgeous Bahamian sunset! The colors are spectacular and with a few clouds added into the mix you will finish the day with a masterpiece in the sky.