The Bahamas is an archipelago of coral reefs scattered in the Caribbean Sea. With Nassau as its capital, the island of New Providence is a low-lying land bordered by long sandy and coral beaches for those who love a heavenly atmosphere. As an economic, cultural and tourist center, I invite you to discover an enchanting corner of the planet and to taste the pleasures of the tropical climate.

Travel tips for Nassau in the Bahamas

Atlantis Bahamas Hotel, at Paradise Island in Nassau

1. Relax on the most beautiful beaches in the world

Jaws Beach is a wild beach where you can relax, swim in the warm and transparent waters and snorkel. This free beach is a rarity as it is so much monopolized by luxury hotels.

More south of Nassau, Cable Beach is the most famous with 3 kilometers of pearly sand framed by a multitude of upscale resorts, some of which are installed with their feet in the water. Golf course, casinos, restaurants, I think this is the place to go to find entertainment at all hours.

2. Have fun in a leisure paradise

For a day of fun and excitement, head to Atlantis Paradise Island. This colossal club has a state-of-the-art water park with 10 water slides, a massive casino, more than a dozen pools and twice as many restaurants, an 18-hole golf course and a marina to accommodate luxury yachts.

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3. Meet the locals for an immersive experience

For 30 years, the Bahamas has had a program based on free and voluntary service. People to People allows travelers to meet a local willing to share an activity. These men and women, proud of their culture, express their love for their country. In order to know the places frequented by the locals or the most photogenic spots at sunset, I think that there is nothing better than talking to Bahamians themselves.

4. Buy Made in Bahamas

Local crafts are on display between the rum stalls and colorful souvenirs at Straw Market. The regional specialty is straw basketry, a popular material with which Nassovians weave bags, baskets and hats. Others specialize in woodcarving, coconut carving or batik, a fabric on which designs are printed by using hot wax.

5. Savor a cuisine between land and sea

Arawak Cay, a popular area of Nassau, is home to some of the best restaurants serving fish and shellfish, such as the conch, which is housed in a large shell. Its firm white flesh requires time to prepare. It is necessary to start by tenderizing it for a long time, then to salt it and finally to cut it in dices.

It is used in a number of recipes such as conch consommé, a thick soup made with tomatoes, carrots and thyme or a fresh salad sprinkled with lime and coriander, but I assure you that there are many others. And to finish the meal, coconut bread, pumpkin fritters or Johnny cake, a flour bread baked in a pan that takes its name from the English word journey, the sailors used to take it with them during their sea voyages.

6. Visit the forts

In 1741, the English built a series of forts to defend the city from the Spanish. Fort Montagu is the most famous, and if you visit it quickly, it is a particularly beautiful and quiet place to watch the sunrise.

Fort Charlotte, named after Queen Saharia Charlotte, wife of George III, is the largest defensive building on the island built on a hill overlooking the harbor. With its moat, dungeons, underground passages and 42 cannons, its mission was to protect the western entrance to the bay.

The most amazing of the three is called Fort Fincastle. Situated on high ground, it was built by hundreds of slaves who, in addition, cut a road with pickaxes to gain quick access to the building. Shaped like a boat, the fort has a monumental 30-meter staircase named the Queen’s Staircase in honor of Victoria who in 1837 signed a declaration to abolish slavery.

You may also want to read Bahamas: Why I never want to go back to this “fake” Paradise?

7. Learn about the history of slavery

Housed in a colorful house built in 1760 that once held a slave market, the Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation tells the painful story of slavery in an informative way. Through a series of exhibits and artifacts, visitors learn about the name Pompey, leader of the revolt at Rolle Plantation in the Exumas.

8. Put on the pirate costume

Interactive and fun, this museum tells the story of piracy in the Bahamas, an ideal refuge for all the outlaw buccaneers who crisscrossed the Caribbean in search of ships to rob. The guided tour begins in the reconstructed lair of an 18th century ship. Along the way, the visitor discovers objects that belonged to famous pirates of the region, including Benjamin Hornigold, Calico Jack and Blackbeard.

9. Meet the distillers

If you’re a rum fan, I recommend a visit to the John Watling Distillery, also known as Spirit of The Bahamas. The history of the production of this distillery founded in 1789 is told from the entrance hall, then towards the storerooms, where more than 1000 barrels are stored. The visit ends in the area dedicated to the tasting of the three products of the distillery, a Pale for cocktails, a 3 year old Amber and the 5 year old Buena Vista, appreciated by American stars.

10. Walk through a primeval forest

Primeval Forest National Park is one of the Bahamas’ national parks. Remarkably preserved, this 2-hectare primeval forest is a fascinating place to discover. Surrounded by towering pines, walkers stroll along walkways, climb steps and cross bridges to admire spectacular chasms, unique caverns that can reach depths of over 9 meters.

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