The Berry Islands

15 Best Islands to Visit in the Bahamas

Your daydreams of relaxing on an unspoiled white-sand beach might not be as far from reality as you think. After all, some of the islands of the Bahamas are just mere minutes from the eastern coast of the United States. Boasting some of the most pristine beaches in the Caribbean, they’re much more easily-accessible of a destination than most travelers realize. Among the 30 inhabited islands of the Bahamas, these are the 15 most impressive island destinations to consider for the vacation you’ve been daydreaming of.


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The closest point in the Bahamas to the mainland United States, Bimini is just over 55 miles east of Miami, making it an easy day trip destination with plenty to love. Bimini is actually a small chain of islands, including North Bimini, East Bimini, and South Bimini islands as well as smaller islands and minor cays. Scuba dive or snorkel at the wreck of the SS Sapona, or visit the mysterious Bimini Road; you’ll soon see why the likes of Ernest Hemingway famously frequented the island, drawing inspiration from its crystal-clear waters and abundant game fish.

Andros Island

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Located just west of Nassau, the unspoiled Andros Island is a haven for eco-tourism, boasting vast expanses of wilderness, pristine beaches, and diverse ecosystems that include stunning underwater caves and the impressive Andros Barrier Reef. Check in at Caerula Mar Club on the adjacent South Andros Island for your stay; with just five private villas and 18 suites mere steps from the shoreline, it’s an exclusive boutique resort with plenty to do for those craving outdoor adventure – or just a beach vacation in laidback luxury.

Great Exuma Island

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Home to the city of Georgetown, the island of Great Exuma offers convenience – with direct flights from U.S. cities – alongside gorgeous beaches and marine jewels that range from crystal-clear waters and secluded coves to vibrant coral reefs. The island also offers luxurious accommodations, world-class dining, and access to nearby, more remote cays.

Little Exuma Island

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Little Exuma Island, in contrast, offers a much more serene escape than its busier neighbor, though it is connected to Great Exuma by a short bridge, making for easy convenience to the archipelago’s largest city of Georgetown. Visitors can enjoy plenty of beautiful beaches including Tropic of Cancer Beach, as well as visiting the famous Pig Beach on Big Major Cay north of Great Exuma Island.


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Beautiful Eleuthera has long been a favorite Bahamian island with visitors, both for its convenience – multiple airports! endless resorts! – and its stunning scenery. The charming settlements of Harbour Island and Governor’s Harbour offer beautiful architecture and great local cuisine, but the most memorable features of the island tend to be natural gems like pink sand beaches, caves, and dramatic rock formations.

New Providence Island

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Many visitors simply pass through New Providence Island – home to Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas – on their way to less bustling spots, or even nearby Paradise Island with Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas. However, travelers who stick around will find the island has beautiful colonial architecture, vibrant markets, and historical landmarks in addition to plenty of great resorts and hotels for your stay.

Paradise Island

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Connected to New Providence Island and the capital city of Nassau by two bridges, Paradise Island lives up to its name as home to the famous Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas. An expansive water park, marine habitat, and thrilling slides are just the start of the attractions at this mega-resort, home to an astonishing 3,805 rooms and suites.

Grand Bahama Island

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Grand Bahama Island is home to Freeport, one of the most important cruise ports in the Bahamas, though it offers plenty for those flying in and sticking around. The city offers great dining and shopping, while areas like Lucayan National Park showcase the island’s natural beauty, including lush forests, underground caves, and powdery fine beaches.

The Abaco Islands

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The Abaco Islands are a paradise for boaters, fishermen, and nature enthusiasts, offering a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. While the islands were devastated by the powerful Hurricane Dorian in 2019, they’ve built back incredibly and now boast everything from small, affordable apartment rentals to luxurious resorts for travelers to choose from.

Long Island

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Long Island offers a tranquil retreat away from the crowds, with its dramatic cliffs, secluded beaches, and charming local communities. One of the most fascinating attractions on the island is Dean’s Blue Hole, the third deepest blue hole in the world, and relatively easily accessible, even from cliff diving from the shoreline.

Cat Island

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Little-visited Cat Island remains a hidden gem of the Bahamas, known for its untouched beauty, rich history, and welcoming locals. Highlights include beautiful beaches like Fernandez Bay, and the memorable hike to the top of Mount Alvernia to visit the Hermitage, the highest point in the Bahamas.

Half Moon Cay

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The islands of the Bahamas are peppered with an increasing number of private islands owned by the cruise ship companies that sail across the Caribbean and are constantly on the lookout for new destinations for passengers itching for beautiful beaches. Half Moon Cay is one of those islands, first purchased by Holland America Line and now owned and operated by Carnival Cruise Line. Visitors here can enjoy every imaginable beach day activity and pass time under the sun, making it a popular stop on any Carnival itinerary in the Caribbean.


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If you’re looking for a truly undisturbed paradise in the Bahamas that has still to be barely touched by tourism, Inagua is it. Inagua is not a singular island but rather the southernmost district of the Bahamas and is known for its vast wilderness areas and diverse bird population, including the flamingos of Inagua National Park.

Long Cay

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Originally known as “Fortune Island,” when it was explored by none other than Christopher Columbus, Long Cay is now known as a relatively off-the-beaten-path island in the Bahamas for travelers looking for an unplugged, laidback escape. Its remote location and unspoiled landscapes make it the perfect destination for travelers seeking a peaceful retreat.

The Berry Islands

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The beloved if little-visited Berry Islands, a chain of about thirty pristine islands and islets southwest of the Abacos, offer a tranquil escape from the crowds with secluded beaches, crystal-clear waters, and pristine natural landscapes. Visitors can relax on secluded beaches, explore underwater caves and shipwrecks while diving or snorkeling, or enjoy the islands’ world-class fishing. This island chain is also home to Coco Cay, the private island owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises.

carley rojas avila

Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual New York-based travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Explorers Away and Home to Havana. Carley is an expert on all things Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba, having lived and worked in four different countries in the region. Her writing has appeared on the Associated Press wires and in Travel + Leisure, Yahoo, MSN, Euronews, The Weather Channel, and more. When she's not writing about her travels, find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.