The Bahamas, a picture-perfect country filled with soft sand, blue oceans, and palm trees galore. The Bahamas are a cluster of 700 islands that range from uninhabited to areas packed with tourist and resorts. One of the most popular islands of the Bahamas is New Providence, which has the popular destination of Nassau on it.
While the Bahamas are friendly to Americans, English is a native language for them, there are a few things you shouldn’t do while visiting, but there are also a variety of amazing experiences you should try as well. Here are twelve tips on the do’s and don’ts of the Bahamas.
1. Don’t spend all your time at the beach
It may seem like that best and only thing to do, but the Bahamas are filled with a lot more than snorkeling and sunbathing. Hop in a cab and check out downtown Nassau or find a local food tour that will take you around the city and show you historical landmarks and all the best places to eat.
2. Do try the conch
Conch is extremely popular in the Bahamas, and most of their dishes are made with this shellfish. Although the sound of conch might send a shiver down your spine, don’t be so quick to judge. Fried conch is to die for, and you will regret not trying it while visiting.
3. Don’t forget to bring cash with you
The Bahamian dollar is the same as a US dollar, so make sure you have money on you when traveling around the resort, city, or restaurants. Even if you’re staying at an all-inclusive, it is nice to leave a tip for the staff, plus there are a lot of cool street vendors that only take cash.
4. Do snorkel on a reef
Although snorkeling around your resort is fun and you can see a variety of sea life, going out on a charter boat to a reef makes the snorkeling experience even more special. These charters will take you to specific reefs that are known to have turtles, stingrays, and more exotic sea life. They stay in the water with you to make sure you’re safe, and some even provide drinks for you.
5. Don’t walk around alone at night
Not to be a downer on your vacation, but once the sun goes down in paradise, the crime goes up. Make sure if you’re walking around at night to have someone with you, be aware of your surroundings, and try to stay in a populated area, like around music venues or nightclubs.
6. Do haggle on prices
In the Bahamas you can haggle prices, especially in you’re in the Straw Market or taking a taxi ride. Give your haggling skills a try and see if you can whittle the price down a little, but make sure you are making a fair offer for whatever you are purchasing.
7. Don’t go during hurricane season
Depending on how you feel about rain, the season you go can make or break your trip. Hurricane season in the Bahamas runs from June to November but typically peaks August through October. Usually, you’re in the clear from anything destructive, but it can often rain and after the rain the humidity skyrockets.
8. Do explore a deserted island
Most resorts and travel companies will offer tours for islands are surrounding the mainland and mostly deserted. These tours typically include a meal and drinks, plus snorkeling. Rose Island is one of the most popular island destinations, and the packages are reasonably priced.
9. Don’t drive on the right side of the road
If you decide to pass up an Uber or taxi in the Bahamas, know that cars drive on the opposite side of the road then in America. In the Bahamas, the cars drive on the left side of the road, and most of the streets are filled with roundabouts or one-lane roads, so make sure you’re comfortable with their driving laws before getting behind the wheel.
10. Do swim with dolphins
Swimming with dolphins is an experience you’re not going to want to miss out on. The Bahamas are the perfect place to experience this once-in-a-lifetime event. Head over to Blue Lagoon Island; it is known as one of the top family attractions in the Bahamas, and the area is home to one of the best dolphins encounter the island has to offer, plus it’s affordable.
11. Don’t rent the watersport equipment
Watersports are always a little dangerous and a “do at your own risk” thing, but it can be a bit more dangerous in the Bahamas. Watersports in the Bahamas aren’t regulated like they are in the States, so the jet ski you’re getting might not be the safest thing to drive around the ocean, plus the staff might not correctly train you on how to use them. Just be cautious when you are out looking for an adventure and if you’re gut doesn’t feel right; then you should probably skip it.
12. Do visit Lucayan National Park
The Lucayan National Park is a paradise to anyone who loves exploring. This 40-acre park is situated on the southern coast of the Grand Bahamas and is filled with mangroves, swamps, and beaches. The pine forest offers the perfect area for bird watchers and the under-water caves located at the heart of the island is ideal for thrill-seekers. The caves are also considered the longest and most extensive of their kind on the planet! Visitors can also view sleeping bats and jungle creatures, plus you get an educational lesson on the unique eco-system that is supported by the environment.
The Bahamas are a paradise, and with these tips, you will know just how to spend your vacation doing all the right activities that you won’t forget!