Welcome to my blog on the Bahamas! My name is Savanna and I was born and raised in Minnesota. I then moved to Washington, D.C. to attend college at George Mason University where I still have one year left until I graduate. I have always loved to travel, thanks to my parents who took me on my first overseas flight to the Bahamas when I was two months old.
But it wasn’t until I spent the summer of 2019 traveling around Europe with my best friend that I realized how traveling was my true passion in life. That trip to Europe made me realize there are so many beautiful things in the world that I have yet to discover, and it made me want to discover them all! I later got into travel blogging which is a different story altogether.
I have always admired photography. After taking a photography class in high school, I realized it was a big hobby of mine. To begin with, I started with landscape and wildlife photography and when I became more advanced I created an Instagram account to showcase and sell my work. Soon I realized I wasn’t getting much traction and then I saw these influencers making travel their full-time job – and so I wanted to do that.
So I transitioned my photography account into a blog and Instagram (@slc_travels). This page now showcases my travels and provides tips. I love traveling around the world and sharing this passion with others, and I have found that blogging is the perfect outlet for that. One place that I have been fortunate enough to visit on a regular basis is the Bahamas – these islands are incredible and they need to be at the top of every bucket list!
Why the Bahamas are so Special
Picture a destination with endless pristine white sand beaches – where you can go island hopping from one island/cay to the next, swim in crystal clear waters and listen to the sound of swaying palm trees in the breeze. There is no better place in the world to visit than the Bahamas!
This country situated within the Lucayan Archipelago of the West Indies is home to more than 700 islands and 2,400 cays – many uninhabited and untouched by human development. I have been visiting these islands for a few years now and I still get blown away by their paradisiacal beauty.
My parents have been going to the Bahamas since the 1980’s. They fell in love with the islands so much that they brought a home and got married there. So my first international flight was to the Bahamas. My family and I visited at least once a year – which has added up to 20 trips for me there.
There are so many things I love about these islands: the pristine beaches, warm-hearted people and rich culture. To me, it’s one of the most beautiful and relaxing places on earth, and it’s the perfect destination to take a relaxing vacation. If you haven’t already, you simply have to visit for yourself.
Favorite Place in the Bahamas: Treasure Cay
My favorite place in the Bahamas is Treasure Cay, Abaco. This is where my parents’ home is located and where I have been going since I was two months old. So for these reasons it holds a very special place in my heart. Of course, I have been to other islands in the Bahamas too, but Treasure Cay will always be my favorite because of our family connection.
It’s also known for having one of the best beaches in the Bahamas, and honestly it’s the most pristine and beautiful beach that I have ever seen! Another thing I love about this island in particular is it’s off-the-beaten-path and is unknown to the majority of tourists. If you want to experience the real, beautiful Bahamas then this is the place to visit on your vacation!
5 Best Islands in the Bahamas
- The Abaco Islands: These islands showcase the pure beauty of the Bahamas. Imagine pristine beaches, historic towns and rich culture!
- Eleuthera: You have everything here from luxury resorts to untouched places – and don’t forget the Pink Sands Beach of Harbour Island!
- Grand Bahama: This island holds the second largest city in the Bahamas, Freeport. It’s also home to Lucayan National Park which has a range of stunning beaches and a spectacular system of caves.
- The Exumas: Visit Compass Cay where you can swim with sharks!
- New Providence: A popular island among people who want to visit the touristy side of the Bahamas – Nassau and Paradise Island are here with their large resorts. This island is definitely a must-see at some point for travelers to experience that more touristy side of the Bahamas.
5 Best Beaches in the Bahamas
- Treasure Cay Beach, Abacos: You will experience nothing like it on your travels around the world! It has crystal clear turquoise waters, the softest white sand and you might be the only person at this beach!
- Tahiti Beach, Abacos: Picture-perfect secluded beach with sandbars.
- Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island: It’s all in the name – pink sand!
- Cape Santa Maria Beach, Long Island: With beautiful sunsets, this beach is known as one of the most romantic in the Bahamas.
- Gold Rock Beach, Grand Bahama: For being so close to one of the major cities in the Bahamas (Freeport), this beach is absolutely stunning! This is mostly due to the fact that it’s part of the Lucayan National Park and is protected by the Bahamas National Trust.
Swimming with Pigs on No Name Cay
One of the main attractions of the Bahamas is swimming with pigs. However, there is definitely a best way to do this. I recommend doing it (I have done it three times) but opting for the least touristy version. There are two islands in the Bahamas that have swimming pigs: one is in the Exumas (the touristy one) and the other is on No Name Cay in the Abacos.
The only downside is that this island is only accessible via boat. You can rent a boat for the day for $150 from the mainland and go there or take one of the many tours that locals provide from the mainland of Abaco. This one is much better than the one in the Exumas (in my opinion) because it’s less touristy, it’s a better beach, and now they have a beautiful beach bar and grill (Big O’s) that makes it the perfect mid-day excursion.
Accommodation Options on the Islands
It depends on the type of traveler you are for accommodation, but overall I recommend staying in vacation homes. There are endless ones to choose from in the Bahamas, and being that my parents own a rental property down there, I personally like to support other families.
You can find them on Airbnb, Tripadvisor and Vrbo. One rental property I love are the Beach Villas in Treasure Cay. There are tons of small villas within a minutes walk from the beach and it’s such a lovely community.
If you are the luxurious type, the Bahamas definitely has options for you as well. All of the big resorts, such as Baha Mar, Four Seasons and Atlantis are located on Paradise Island or Nassau. A lot of people like Atlantis, as it’s a resort where you can take a waterslide through a giant tank of sharks!
People, Culture & Food of the Bahamas
Personally, I have spent a lot of time on the islands and have really gotten the chance to immerse myself in the culture. My family and I have made many friends in the Bahamas throughout the years, and I can say first-hand that the Bahamians are some of the nicest people in the world.
They are easy-going, welcoming and friendly! Being that tourism makes up over 50% of the economy, they are also so happy to help any tourist in any way! The culture is another amazing thing about the Bahamas. The history of the islands is incredible, dating back to when pirates would hide out in the coves (my favorite old pirate cove is Pete’s Pub).
Their culture is a mix of African and English/American influences, which has developed into a unique and colorful style of expression. An example of this is Junkanoo. Junkanoo is an annual parade in the Bahamas that takes place on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. The locals wear colorful costumes and parade through the streets with beautiful colors and sounds.
The biggest parade in the Bahamas happens annually in Nassau, but a lot of the outer islands have parades on those days as well. I have been to the Junkanoo festival multiple times on Green Turtle Cay which was epic!
The food is another unique aspect about the Bahamas. Being located on islands in the Caribbean, seafood is the main type of dish/cuisine on offer. If you like seafood, you will love the Bahamas and you need to try Conch and Grouper while you are there! Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t eat seafood. But even for me there are things to eat such as pizza and salads.
My Best Experiences in the Bahamas
My favorite times in the Bahamas have been meeting people and having family time. Spending time together is always special. In Treasure Cay, every Wednesday there would be a ‘pizza night’ at the local bar/restaurant (The Tipsy Seagull) that everyone in town would go to. This was my favorite day of the week because everyone comes together: friends, family, locals and tourists. It was so much fun and everyone was happy!
My favorite activity that we would always do was renting a boat and going island hopping. You have to do this during your time there, it’s the best! The Bahamas is made up of over 700 islands, so you could find and explore an uninhabited island right next to the most populated island.
You can usually rent a small boat for around $200/day depending on the island you stay on and I feel this is something you should definitely save money to do. If you aren’t comfortable renting a boat, there are many tours throughout the islands where a local can take you island hopping as well.
Need to Know Before you Go
- Tipping is customary
- Cars drive on the left hand side of the road!
- It’s more expensive than the US – groceries and food are expensive.
- Hurricane season is June to November, so I recommend going from December to April when the humidity is low.
- The US dollar is widely accepted – it equals the exact same as the Bahamian dollar and they are both interchangeable there.
- If traveling to outer islands (not Nassau), bring groceries! We usually bring a cooler of food with us because it’s much cheaper that way.