TRAVELGUIDE · Bahamas (on a budget)

What are the Bahamas?

The Bahamas actually consist of 700 islands. The most well known destinations are their capital Nassau, Freeport and also of course the breathtakingly beautiful Exumas. Then there is a couple of private islands that famous people and some not so famous but very rich people have bought for a couple of millions. There is a lot of white sand, crystal clear turquoise shimmering water and the locals are incredibly friendly. Some of the islands are inhabited by animals only. Legend has is that a couple of pigs where on their way to the slaughterhouse on a ship. The ship sank and that’s the story of how pig beach was created.

If you are looking for absolute peace and the most marvelous beaches you’ve ever seen, if you love nature and being close to various kinds of animals this is the place to go. It is also kind of romantic so you might want to take a date.

Which island to choose?

I can’t tell you that. Nassau and freeport are very close to Miami and can be reached by boat. Hence there is quite a lot of tourism going on there, which is why we decided to take a plane to the Exumas, a more deserted island with very few hotels.

How is the weather?

The weather is actually not as hot as one would expect. Mostly around 26 degrees Celsius. There can also be rainy and stormy days in between so make sure to bring a jacket.

How to get there?

Depending on where you located it might make sense to take a direkt flight to Miami, where you could also stay for a couple of days and then hop on a boat or another short one-hour flight to get to the Bahamas. There are airports in Nassau, Freeport (Grand Bahamas)  and Georgetown (Exumas). Or take a private jet if you can, something that also seems to be quite a common thing there.

Where to stay?

You can choose to stay in a hotel resort, wich are beautiful and usually have a private beach. However, they are also very expensive. We booked a relatively cheap airbnb apartment. On a sidenote, you are most likely going to need a car in order to get around since on the Exuma’s there is no real public transportation other than (boat) taxis. Since it is part of the Commonwealth, which means it was  formerly enslaved by the British Empire, you are going to be driving on the left hand side and because it is close to the US there will be no gear, but rather automatic cars.

How expensive is it?

Going to the Bahamas won’t be as cheap as visiting Thailand for example. However, there are ways to make it affordable. Choose a private apartment with your own kitchen over a hotel and avoid eating out too often, since it’s really expensive.

What to eat?

As a vegan this was a real challenge. Since we did not stay in a hotel, we had to rely on the local supermarkets. There were two. And since the sea was stormy fresh fruits and vegetables were mostly out of stock. I think I gained a couple of pounds on  my peanut butter jelly toast diet. We also cooked some curry in between (you have to try the peas in coconut milk). If you are a meat eater you might like the local cuisine, which entails a lot of chicken and barbecue style food. Another local specialty is the con salad. However, for any vegan or vegetarian it’s not ideal. Make sure to drink a Bahama Mama – a super tasty tropical rum cocktail.

What to see and do?

Really, on the Bahamas you just have to open your eyes since everything looks stunning. But of course you should check out the many beaches, most of them are completely empty so you can easily pretend you found your own private beach. Or you might wann go swim with the piggies and give the iguanas a little stroke. You can hire your own boat or go on a guided tour. Also there is beautiful underwater world and since the water is so clear you can see many amazing fishes or even turtles and sharks. Don’t forget to hop on a boat at Georgetown government dock and hang out at Chat’n Chill bar at Stocking island. The most chilled place ever.

The Bahamas are also where parts of the James Bond movies where shot and in the 80ies a lot of drugs were smuggled. In between a couple of smaller islands you can find the sand bench, where Kesha and Pit Bull filmed their music video. Many photoshoots with  hot-ass supermodels took place here and my boyfriend swears Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes stepped out of the boat next to us when we were about to leave (thanks, fate).

Why do I have to go?

If you’re not convinced by now, you probably shouldn’t.

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