With more than 700 islands and 2,000 cays making up the archipelago of the Bahamas, there’s no shortage of pristine beaches to be enjoyed while vacationing in this Caribbean paradise. Bahamian beaches are ranked among the best in the world, though there remain even more to be discovered. In fact, only 31 of the country’s islands are inhabited, resulting in endless beaches left to be explored. From the pink sand coastline of Harbour Island to the rocky shores of Sandy Point in San Salvador, here are the eight best beaches in the Bahamas.
Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island
If it’s beautiful beaches you’re after, look no further than Harbour Island, located just north of Eleuthera. Though the island is pricy to book an overnight stay, you needn’t spend like a member of the jet-set to reap the social media rewards that inevitably accompany any photograph of this tiny yet picturesque island in the Caribbean. And nowhere is the vivid natural beauty of Harbour Island more on display than at Pink Sands Beach. So, whether you’re splurging for an extended vacation on the island, or just visiting for the day from New Providence, this is one seaside destination that shouldn’t be missed.
Treasure Cay Beach, North Abaco
Forget Exuma. Who can handle those crowds—even, and especially, if they come with all the Instagram pressure? That being said, it’s not hard to imagine why swimming with companions of the porcine variety could provide endless amusement—not to mention priceless photo-opportunities. The Abaco islands offer a less crowded opportunity to bond with our fellow water-loving animals. Head to Treasure Cay Beach, on North Abaco instead, where the chance to swim with pigs is only a 15-minute boat ride away to Name Cay via Bahamas Adventure Tours.
Cabbage Beach, Nassau, Paradise Island
Don't let the decidedly unappetizing name fool you—this beach on Nassau's paradise island would be better described as a whirl of Cotton Candy rather than a drab ball of cabbage. But better to under-promise and underdeliver in this scenario. One visit will have you convinced you've transported to another universe entirely, an island in Paradise to be exact. On the plus side, intergalactic travel has never been more accessible. Located in New Providence, the beach is easily accessible from the nation's capital, Nassau.
Snorkel Beach, Nassau
For our next shoreline, we're staying on the island of New Providence, but relocating to Snorkel Beach instead. Home to the Clifton Heritage National Park, this beach is ideal for snorkeling underwater for buried treasure, or, in this scenario, for observing meticulously erected underwater sculptures.
Another plus? It’s close to another seaside attraction in Nassau, Jaws Beach, where scenes from the iconic horror film were filmed. Let your imagination run wild from the safety of the shore—though, luckily, there are fewer great whites to contend with in the tropics than the coast of Martha's Vineyard.
Cape Santa Maria Beach, Long Island
From a beach that is the site of a global phenomenon (Jaws, of course) to one that is decidedly a locals secret, our next choice takes us to the idyllic shores of Cape Santa Maria Beach in the Bahamian Out island of Long Island. Curious visitors don’t have to commit to a vacation entirely off the grid, however. Long Island is easily accessible from Nassau via a 40-minute flight on either Southern Air or Bahamasair.
Sandy Point Beach, San Salvador
From one undiscovered coastal paradise to another: our next choice brings us to the pristine out island of San Salvador. Thanks to biannual currents carrying sand from the west to the east, Sandy point beach is an ever-changing delight to the senses. The waves form pools of water up to eight feet deep, providing optimal snorkeling conditions sure to appeal to the active traveler.
Swain’s Cay Beach, Mangrove Cay, Andros Islands
Speaking of active travelers, our next destination on Andros island is sure to appeal to the wilderness explorer, boasting excellent bonefishing and other opportunities to venture into the wild of the tropics. Swains Cay Beach on Mangrove Cay ensures the more lackadaisical traveler won’t be disappointed by the voyage either. The view is divine and best enjoyed beneath one of the ancient palms dotting the coast—rum punch optional (but always recommended).
True Blue Beach, Crooked Island
Our last beach is a true blue seaside miracle—or, at the very least, a True Blue beach located in the town of True Blue, on Crooked Island. True Blue Beach is, as the name suggests, heartbreakingly pristine. Go into the wild in this lesser-populated island by walking uninterrupted stretches of undisturbed coastline. But that’s not all. Why bother swimming with pigs when you can sunbathe with flamingos? The wild flamingo population that makes its home base on Great Inagua Island is known to stop by the Crooked Island coast occasionally, as well. Fingers crossed your beach day is spent accompanied by some feathered friends.