6 Things Nobody Tells You About the Bahamas
How quiet the beaches are
The beaches of the Bahamas are incredible – that’s no secret at all. But did you know that most of them are totally crowd-free? There are so many beaches in the Bahamas, that only a handful ever get busy at all – and you never have to travel far to find your very own stretch of sandy paradise.
Nassau is by far the busiest island: you won’t find much serenity there, so move on to Eleuthera, Abaco or Andros instead. Head to the beaches on the Caribbean side of the islands (west-facing beaches) for sugary sands and calm waters, while the Atlantic side (east-facing) is big on drama: think rolling waves, gusty winds and shipwrecks.
That the sand is actually pink
The brochures are lying to you: those beautiful sandy beaches aren’t white after all… they’re pink! Tiny pieces of coral give the grains their rosy hue, and some beaches are pinker than others. Pink Sands beach on Harbour Island lives spectacularly up to its name.
How easy it is to get around
Driving is a doddle in the Bahamas: car hire is simple to arrange, and the roads on most islands are completely crowd-free. Cars drive on the left, so it’s just like being at home – except with a few more palm trees.
It’s easy to travel between the islands on small planes (even the smallest ones have their own airstrips), and there are a few ferry services too. Flying is far quicker though, and if you’re lucky you might have the whole plane to yourself – a private flight, without the sky-high price tag!
That it has a big problem with plastic
The beaches on the Atlantic side of the Bahamas are plagued by plastic: debris from cruise liners and freight ships washes up on the sand daily. Bottles, toothbrushes, flip flops, fridges… These items have usually fallen or been tossed from boats out in the Atlantic, with the Bahamians having to clear up the mess.
It’s a shocking sight, and the battle against it is never-ending – but you can help. If you find yourself on a beach that’s affected, simply pick up a few bits and bobs and pop them in a bin at your hotel. The local people – and the local wildlife – will thank you.
How wild it is
Wildlife is king in the Bahamas: not your jaw-dropping Big Five kind of wildlife, but fascinating nonetheless: land crabs scuttle from the forest to the beach to lay their eggs, turtles wallow in the shallows, and sea birds swoop for dinner in the mangroves.
The Bahamas even has its own National Trust, which has protected the islands’ wildest corners since 1959. Head to one of its 13 national parks to learn about the endemic plants and fruit trees, and find out more about the animals that call these islands home.
That it’s more adventurous than you might think
Your sunlounger sure looks comfy, but you don’t want to stay there all day do you? The Bahamas’ smooth Caribbean waters are ideal for kayaking, SUP and snorkelling, while the wilder Atlantic beaches were made for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Thought the Bahamas was just a fly-and-flop kind of place? Think again. This is an island-hopping, dolphin-watching, scuba-diving, forest-hiking kind of place. You have been warned!