Are Bermuda and the Bahamas in the Caribbean?

Similarities and Differences Between the Travel Spots

Royal Naval Dockyard Keep with Commissioner's House, Bermuda.

Dougall_Photography / Getty Images

Often you will see Bermuda and the Bahamas grouped in with Caribbean islands; however, the two distinctive travel destinations are not actually in the Caribbean Sea.

Both travel hotspots are located in the North Atlantic Ocean. The confusion about where Bermuda and the Bahamas are located started with travel marketing brochures and websites that put all the region's islands in one list when marketing to consumers.

The Caribbean Sea

The Caribbean Sea region is mainly situated on the Caribbean plate. The area comprises more than 700 islands, islets, reefs, and cays. It is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America. Both the Bahamas and Bermuda are to the north of the Caribbean Sea meaning they are not geographically considered Caribbean islands.

Proximity to the U.S.

Bermuda is roughly at the same latitude as Savannah, Georgia, about 650 miles east of the United States' East Coast. The Bahamas sit just off the coast of southern Florida (about 50 miles southeast) and are scattered south toward Cuba and Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic).

Similarities Between Bermuda and the Bahamas

Besides being confused as Caribbean islands, there are a few other commonalities between the two. Both Bermuda and the Bahamas are located within the mysterious Bermuda Triangle. Roughly speaking, Bermuda marks the upper point, Puerto Rico is the eastern point, and Florida is the western point of the triangle. The Bahamas are just inside the Bermuda triangle, close to Florida. Both are also loyal to the British crown. Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory while the Bahamas are a Commonwealth realm.

Travel Costs

Bermuda is considered more of an upscale outpost, making it more in line with Martha's Vineyard or the Hamptons than Freeport or Nassau in the Bahamas. It is often pricier to travel and stay in Bermuda. Due to its more northern location, the island gets quite cool in the wintertime, therefore, the vacation season there is shorter than in the Bahamas.

Though Bermudians seem more buttoned-up, do not let the Bermuda shorts fool you. The island's residents still like to have a good time. The island's most famous bar, the Swizzle Inn, promises that you'll "swizzle in and stumble out." 

Number of Islands

Bermuda is only one island while the Bahamas are comprised of more than 700 islands, only 30 of which are inhabited. Bermuda covers 20.5 square miles (53.2 square kilometers. The largest island of the Bahamas, Andros, covers 1,328 square miles (3,439 square kilometers). Bahamians tout their sports fishing, international resorts, and local Junkanoo (Carnival) celebrations as major tourism draws. Junkanoo is a traditional Afro-Bahamian street parade of 'rushing,' music, dance, and art held in Nassau (and a few of the other islands) every Boxing Day and New Year's Day. Junkanoo is also used to celebrate other holidays and events such as Emancipation Day.

The Beaches

A notable aspect of the beaches of both destinations is the difference in the sand. Around the world, Bermuda is known for its gorgeous pink sand beaches. This hue is no trick of the eye. It is the result of the shells of a tiny organism called the red foraminifera, which has a red coloring that mixes with the white sand by way of the waves.

You will find some pink sand in The Bahamas, however, it is only on the Bahamian out islands of Eleuthera and Harbour Island. Otherwise, the sand is usually tan colored throughout the Bahamas, though the beaches are still beautiful.

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