The 7 Best Out Islands of the Bahamas

The Out Islands

 Courtesy of Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

As the capital of the Bahamas, Nassau is undoubtedly the most convenient location to call home when visiting the island nation. But there's more to explore than just New Providence during your stay. Swimming with pigs may be all the rage nowadays, but there are a variety of lesser-known excursions to experience on a day trip to the Out Islands. Whether it's a jeep tour in Freeport or a nature walk in the wilderness of Cat Island, here are the seven best day trips for your next vacation in the Bahamas.

01 of 07

Harbour Island

Harbour Island

Courtesy of Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

 

Address
Harbour Island, The Bahamas

You may recognize our first destination as the ritzy locale for the opening scene of "China Rich Girlfriend," the sequel to "Crazy Rich Asians." Take a day trip to "Briland"—as locals and regular visitors alike call it—and explore the coral coastline of this infinitely Instagram-worthy island. Go ahead, see how the other half lives. (You're welcome in advance for the triple-digit likes.) Best of all? Aside from the transportation cost, such world-class sunbathing remains blissfully free of charge.

Getting There: Book a reservation via Bahamas Ferries for the two-hour and 45-minute boat ride from Nassau to Harbour Island.

Travel Tip: Make a reservation at Sip Sip, the original outpost of the iconic Bahamian culinary establishment, which recently opened another outpost on Paradise Island.

02 of 07

Inagua

Inagua

Courtesy of Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

 

Address
Inagua Islands, The Bahamas

Trade coral sand beaches for neon pink wildlife in Inagua Island, the southernmost island in the entire Bahamian archipelago. Harbour Island may be world-renowned for its people-watching, but Inagua is better known for its feathered inhabitants. Wildlife aficionados should beeline straight to Great Inagua Island to tour the birding capital of the Bahamas. Home to the nation's largest bird sanctuary, almost half of the island is preserved by Inagua National Park: It truly is a haven for flamingos, pelicans, and native Bahama parrots.

Travel Tips: Be sure to check out the flock of West Indian Flamingos at the National Park on Great Inagua Island, which is home to over 80,000 supremely decorative—not to mention amusing—members of the species. 

Getting There: Book a Bahamasair flight from Nassau to Matthew Town, Inagua for the fastest arrival time.

03 of 07

Cat Island

Cat Island

 Courtesy of Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

Address
Cat Island, The Bahamas

Despite what the name suggests, Cat Island is not abounding in creatures of the feline persuasion. But cat lovers needn't despair—this pristine oasis in the Caribbean offers plenty of opportunities to engage in the antisocial behavior notoriously favored by strays and house cats alike. Go ahead and enjoy the solitude of this lesser-populated family island. Nassau is rightfully celebrated for its cosmopolitan charms, but that's all the more reason to treat yourself to a peaceful moment of solitude on vacation.

Travel Tips: Walk the one highway down this largely undiscovered island and appreciate the Bahamian homes intermingled with ancient ruins dotting the side of the road.

Getting There: Book a flight from Nassau to Arthurs Town, Cat Island, via Pineappleair.

04 of 07

Bimini

Bimini

  Courtesy of Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

Address
Bimini, The Bahamas

Get ready for unmitigated tropical adventure. Thanks to its nautical distance from nearby Nassau, the Bahamian island of Bimini is a go-to destination for both thrill-seekers and wilderness lovers. Don't believe us? Ernest Hemingway himself was known to be an avid sportsman while living on the island. But we suggest trading in the marlin fishing for swimming with sharks. Why be an old man safe within your boat at sea when you can free dive with a pack of mercifully satiated Hammerhead sharks? Even Papa, surely, would have approved.

Travel Tips: We recommend Bimini Scuba Center for all of your shark-centered needs when on the island. For the truly adventurous, the Tiger Shark off-island expedition will be held this coming May through July. Better start working up to that confidence now.

Getting There: Book a Bahamasair flight from Nassau to Bimini.

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Spanish Wells

Spanish Wells

  Courtesy of Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

Address
St. George's Cay, Spanish Wells, The Bahamas

For travelers really looking to get off the beaten path, look no further than Spanish Wells, a tiny town in St. George’s Cay. Though the area is close to Harbour Island in Eleuthera, the two destinations could not feel further apart in ambiance. Book a Harbour Safari in Spanish Wells to enjoy the swimming pigs that are far less exposed (and overly excitable) than their cousins, who are busy frolicking nearby with Instagram influencers in the Exumas.

Travel Tips: Take advantage of the remoteness of your destination with a sandbar lunch before cruising past the famous Glass Window Bridge, which connects the northern and southern parts of Eleuthera. 

Getting There: Book a reservation via Bahamas Ferries for the two-hour and 10-minute boat ride from Nassau to Spanish Wells.

06 of 07

Freeport

Freeport

  Courtesy of Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

Address
Freeport, The Bahamas

Sign up for a Jeep tour around the picturesque island of Freeport. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be disembarking from a cruise ship to line up said opportunity. And you won’t want to miss this chance to see the island on wheels (the narrow, sandy roads along the island are reminiscent of the winding seaside highways of the Florida Keys). Though cruising in a four-wheel drive may seem less exciting than swimming with sharks, the comfort level is markedly higher—and the anxiety level far lower. You are on vacation, after all. 

Travel Tips: The Bahamas Jeep Safari tours are approximately five hours in length and provide the perfect opportunity to explore the island on your day trip. 

Getting There: Book a 30-minute flight from Nassau to Rock Sound, Governor’s Harbour or North Eleuthera Airport via either Southern Air, Bahamasair, or Pineappleair.

07 of 07

Exuma Cays

Exuma

  Courtesy of Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

Address
Pig Beach, The Bahamas

Of course, you might think that no trip to the Bahamas is complete without swimming with Exuma Cays's legendary pigs. So if you're looking for an excursion that’s sure to be a crowd-favorite, be sure to visit these adorable aquatic creatures.

Travel Tip: If you want to have an immersive experience, make it a full-day adventure by booking a boat ride via Powerboat Adventures from Nassau to Exuma.

Getting there: As is to be expected with the country’s most popular attraction, there’s no shortage of options. You can fly from Nassau to Staniel Cay in the Exumas via Bahamas Air Tour. Or, book a 40-minute flight from Nassau to George Town in Exuma via Bahamasair.

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The 7 Best Out Islands of the Bahamas