As the capital of the Bahamas, Nassau is undoubtedly the most convenient location to call home when visiting the island nation. But don't think of yourself as landlocked in New Providence for the duration of 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 outer islands. Whether it's a jeep tour in Freeport or a nature walk in the wilderness of Cat Island, here are the best day trips for your next vacation in the Bahamas. Read on and prepare for your next Bahamian adventure.
You may recognize this destination as the ritzy locale for the opening scene of "China Rich Girlfriend"—the sequel to the novel "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, and see how the other half lives. 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 2-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 location on Paradise Island.)
Trade coral sand beaches for neon pink wildlife on 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. Great Inagua is the birding capital of the Bahamas. Almost half of the island is preserved by Inagua National Park, creating a haven for flamingoes, pelicans, and the native Bahama parrot. The third-largest island in the Bahamas, Great Inagua Island is also home to the nation's largest bird sanctuary. Wildlife-aficionados should beeline straight to Great Inagua Island once they arrive for the day.
Getting There: Book a Bahamasair flight from Nassau to Matthew Town, Inagua for the fastest arrival time.
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 members of the species.
Despite what the name suggests, Cat Island is not a haven for creatures of the feline persuasion. Instead this lesser-populated island is the perfect place for some quiet alone time. 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.
Getting There: Book a flight from Nassau to Arthurs Town, Cat Island, via Pineappleair.
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.
Thanks to its nautical distance from nearby Nassau, the Bahamian island of Bimini is a veritable haven for thrill-seekers and wilderness-lovers. Ernest Hemingway was even known to be an avid sportsman while living on the island, though we suggest trading in the marlin fishing for swimming with sharks.
Getting There: Book a Bahamasair flight from Nassau to Bimini.
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.
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 nearby 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 company swimming pigs that are far less overexposed (and overly-excitable) than their cousins, who are busy frolicking with Instagram influencers on an island nearby.
Getting There: Book a reservation via Bahamas Ferries for the 2-hour and 10-minute boat ride from Nassau to Spanish Wells.
Travel Tips: Take advantage of the remoteness of your destination with a sandbar lunch, and a cruise by the famous Glass Window Bridge, which connects the Northern and Southern parts of Eleuthera.
There's no better way to see the picturesque island of Freeport than on a jeep tour. The narrow, sandy roads along the island is 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.
Travel Tips: The Bahamas Jeep Safari tours are approximately 5 hours in length and provide the perfect opportunity to explore the island on your day trip.
No list of Bahamian day trips would be complete without the Exuma Cays on it. The activities included in the day trips up until now may not be as omnipresent on your Instagram feed, but they are no less exhilarating—offering a taste of life in the so-called “family islands” of the Bahamian archipelago. But if you’re looking for an excursion that’s sure to be a crowd-favorite, look no further than these legendarily aquatic pigs. Just be careful when swimming with them; they are wild pigs and will bite!
Travel Tip: If you’re looking for an immersive experience, make it a full-day adventure by booking a boat ride via Powerboat Adventures from Nassau to Exuma.