The Bahamas “The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself.” -Wallace Stevens

The Bahamas is a medley of vibrant culture, unspoiled reefs, and shimmering turquoise water. With roughly 700 unique islands and cays to explore, the Bahamas offers some of the best cruising, swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing in the world.

Bimini

Bimini is the westernmost district of the Bahamas and commonly the first stop on a passage from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas. This beautiful location is said to be Ernest Hemingway’s muse for his novel “The Old Man and the Sea”. In Bimini, yachts tend to dock at the Resorts World Bimini Marina, where nearby you can scuba dive with hammerhead sharks and book excursions to swim with wild dolphins. Whether you would prefer spending the afternoon in air-conditioned casinos sipping on Dark and Stormys, swimming in rooftop infinity pools, learning about the island’s indigenous plants and animals on a nature trail or cruising through the crystal-clear waters, Bimini has it all.

Nearby is a concrete shipwreck that was formerly built to transport troops in WW2, and then used as a bombing target for training U.S fighter planes. Now the shipwreck serves as an incredible snorkeling spot, filled with colorful fish and beautiful coral reefs.

The Exumas

The island chain known as the Exumas is one of the most popular yachting destinations in the Bahamas for good reason. Cruising in The Exumas feels like existing in a giant aquarium. The water simply could not be bluer or clearer. Nurse sharks hover lazily on the bottom of the sea, clearly visible from the surface. Colorful tropical fish and vibrant coral reefs abound and make for some of the most amazing snorkeling imaginable.

Pig Beach lies in an uninhabited island on Big Major Cay. Currently, this utterly Instagram-able location is home to plump, pink, pigs, and piglets. Accustomed to frequent visitors, the pigs will swim out to you in hopes of a treat. Tenders and yachts with a low draft can easily anchor close by for a unique swimming experience with the gentle wild hogs.

After a swim with pigs, cruise to the nearby Thunderball grotto which was showcased in the James Bond 007 film “Thunderball”. Unlike the yacht that was featured in the film and sunk off the coast of Miami, a powerful Intrepid can cut through the wake comfortably at top speeds and bring you to this idyllic location in style. Climb the rocky cave and jump through the open hole in the roof into refreshing transparent water with an array of colorful exotic fish.

Nearby, 10 miles off of Norman’s Cay is a sunken plane wreck. Allegedly this coral-covered wreck was one of Pablo Escobar’s drug-smuggling planes from the 1970s.

After your swim, cruise towards Staniel Cay Yacht Club and cool down with a cold beverage and a fresh conch salad. This quaint restaurant has long been a staple of the Bahamas experience. With candy-colored bungalows decorating the area and docile nurse sharks swimming right up to the dock, Staniel Cay is a favorite amongst boat owners.

If you are tired after your swim and full of Staniel Cay yacht clubs local rice and peas, head over to Warderwick Wells where you can easily moor your yacht and witness the astounding skeleton of a 53’ Sperm Whale. With a motto of “take only photographs- leave only footprints” the trails are untouched and the reefs are unspoiled in this his Exuma Land and Sea National park.

The Abacos

The island of Great Guana Cay is home to Bakers Bay, a prestigious island only accessible by boat, seaplane or helicopter. Bakers Bay Golf and Ocean Club is a full-service deep-water marina and village that has dockage for yachts up to 250 feet in length. This “family island” is equipped with a gym, hot tubs, a golf course with 18 championship holes and a market within the marina village. Two prominent bars include Nipper’s beach bar and grill and Grabbers Bar & Grill. With Nipper’s offering pig roasts and colorful décor, and Grabbers supplying unmatched coastal views from the pool or dining area, both are hot spots frequented by the Hollywood elite. The debate over which bar serves the best rum punch is a hotly contested one. You’ll probably need to go back and sample both many times before you can make your decision.

Andros

Andros is the largest and least developed of all the Bahamian islands. The Eastern side of Andros is accessible by boat with limited marinas. The marina at Kamalme Cay in North Andros offers eight yacht slips and is edged by great barrier reefs and deserted beaches. Revel in the only overwater spa in the Bahamas and a completely private off-the-grid experience.

Andros is an offbeat destination with some of the largest bonefish and best saltwater fly-fishing in the world. This bonefish mecca is recommended between October-November and March-May. With lodges, Cays, Creeks, and Resorts sprinkled through this tropical paradise you will never get bored.

Nassau

Nassau offers a myriad of outdoor activities on both land and sea. With dockage in Hurricane Hole, Bay Street Marina, Nassau Yacht Haven Marina, and inside of Atlantis, there are plenty of options to choose from. If you’re interested in a more local experience, enjoy a freshly prepared conch salad with a cold Kalik under the bridge connecting Nassau to Paradise Island. On the other end of the spectrum, the new Baha Mar resort offers unsurpassed luxury with rooftop clubs and savory culinary restaurants.

Tucked into the south side of Nassau, is a luxury resort community called Albany. Albany’s marina accommodates vessels as large as 300 feet and has world-class facilities. Exercise at the fully-equipped fitness center, complete with a 25-meter lap pool, kickboxing ring, and classes ranging from pilates to spinning. Relax in plush private cabanas by refreshing pools or go down a pair of winding waterslides at Treasure Island.

Eleuthera

Eleuthera is home to a plethora of beautiful marinas and anchorages. Perfect for a romantic getaway or family holiday, Eleuthera offers miles of stunning coastlines. Inland of Green Turtle Cay there is much to discover, with impeccable sculpture gardens and museums. Spearfish in the Spanish Wells or savor the flavors at divine restaurants overlooking pink sand beaches in Harbor Island.