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The 15 Best Beaches in the Bahamas [2023]

Amar Hussain's image
Amar Hussain
Amar Hussain's image

Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

776 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

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Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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When you close your eyes and think about an ideal tropical beach day, the islands of the Bahamas are probably the first things that come to mind. With its lush greenery, white sand, and bright water, it’s hard to think of a better place to relax and enjoy the sun. However, the Bahamas are made up of over 700 islands. Even though only 30 of them are inhabited, that’s still a huge selection to choose from when planning your vacation.

Whether you’re planning a family vacation or heading off on your honeymoon, there’s a spot for you to enjoy in the Bahamas.

Map of the 15 Best Beaches in the Bahamas

The 15 Best Beaches in the Bahamas

1. Arawak Cay, Paradise Island

Arawak Cay
Image Credit: James St. John via Flickr (license)

The beach at Arawak Cay is one of the most luxurious spots on Paradise Island. Though it’s located near multiple resorts and golf clubs, this shore doesn’t get too crowded, so you can have a quiet day enjoying the sun.

There aren’t many on-site entertainment or activity options, though, so this beach is often recommended more to adult travelers than families with small children. Though the water is gentle and shallow, if you have kids who are pros at making their own fun, this could still be an ideal spot for you.

Though the beach feels hidden away, you’re not far from amenities like eateries and restrooms, meaning you can enjoy a whole day at the shore. The beach is named after the indigenous people who once inhabited this part of the Bahamas, so the location is also steeply rooted in the country’s history.

2. Barbary Beach, Grand Bahama

Six Senses Grand Bahama
Image Credit: Six Senses Grand Bahama

Barbary Beach is one of the Bahamas’ most picturesque spots. It’s lined with soft, bright white sand, which contrasts with its bright blue water and lush greenery, making it the quintessential tropical destination.

Since this part of Grand Bahama is a little off the beaten path, the beach is relatively secluded, which means you don’t have to worry much about crowds while you visit. That only adds to the peaceful ambiance you’ll find here no matter when you come.

Barbary is particularly known for the seashells you can find washed on shore. While many coasts around the world have 1 or 2 types of shells in general, this part of the Caribbean has a wide variety you can hunt for.

3. Cabbage Beach, Paradise Island

Cabbage Beach
Image Credit: Anthony Bringas via Unsplash

Though Cabbage Beach is near resorts, rest assured that this part of the coast is publicly accessible to everyone without any entry fee requirements. In fact, it’s one of the most popular beach spots around Nassau.

Since this shore is so beloved, locals and tourists alike work hard to keep it clean and pristine. You won’t find any litter around, and the sand is well-maintained. So it’s easy and comfortable to walk on.

Speaking of Cabbage Beach’s sand, it’s white and fine-grained, making it velvety soft. The water here is also inviting. It’s bright blue and clear, meaning snorkeling gives you a great opportunity to check out the fish and plant life beneath the surface. Even on busy days, the sand doesn’t tend to get kicked up enough to make the sea seem murky.

Hot Tip:

Since the tides are gentle here, too, it’s also a family-friendly vacation spot.

4. Cable Beach, New Providence

Cable Beach
Image Credit: TravelingOtter via Flickr (license)

Spanning over 2.5 miles, Cable Beach is one of the most idyllic places in the entire Caribbean. Located near downtown Nassau, Cable Beach is particularly popular among locals. The beach is split into 2 sections. The first is a private beach that’s accessible to guests of the nearby resorts or people who purchase a day pass. The other is completely open to the public.

The private beach, found to the right side of the shore, is usually calmer and doesn’t have as many visitors. The left side of the coast, though, is a little more lively, especially on weekends. Both are great options that will allow you to enjoy the sand and sun for hours.

Cable Beach is also a great place to do your souvenir shopping before your trip is done. Multiple local shops are open daily, selling both beachy essentials and gift items.

5. Churchill Beach, Grand Bahama

Viva Fortuna Beach by Wyndham A Trademark All Inclusive
Image Credit: Viva Fortuna Beach by Wyndham, A Trademark All Inclusive

Churchill Beach is routinely voted as one of the best beaches in the Bahamas. The beach stretches for nearly 7 miles, so there’s plenty of room to spread out. Since there are palms dotting the sand, there’s even some natural shade, though you’ll likely want to bring plenty of sunscreen anyway.

Since the beach is so large, you won’t notice the crowds as much, which is good, because Churchill can get busy. That’s especially true during the high season, which runs from December through April.

There’s also plenty of space to curate virtually any sort of beach day. You can find quiet areas where you can relax and listen to the waves, but there are also places where you can surf or go diving. You don’t have to worry about running out of food or water either since the beach has multiple refreshment vendors.

6. Coco Plum Beach, Great Exuma

Swings in the water of Coco Plum beach in Great Exuma
Image Credit: Giongi63 via Adobe Stock

Coco Plum Beach is a tranquil stretch of the past that’s perfect for a day of relaxation. While considered part of the Great Exuma Island’s territory, this little beach is actually just off the coast on the narrow stretch of land known as Stocking Island. So, you have to take a 5-minute boat ride to get here.

That slight extra effort it takes to arrive on this coast helps keep crowd levels down. It’s possible that you might find the beach virtually deserted when you arrive. The beach’s waters are shallow and clear, making them great for wading or going for a relaxing swim. You can even bring children here because the current is practically non-existent.

If the tide is low enough, you can even walk to the surrounding barrier islands for some extra exploration. These areas are uninhabited, though, so make sure you collect your belongings before you leave.

7. Great Guana Cay, Great Abaco

Great Guana Cay Great Abaco
Image Credit: Killian77 via Flickr (license)

Great Guana Cay is, technically, its own island, but its small size and location let it fall under Great Abaco’s territory. With a population of less than 200, this long 7-mile island is a secluded beachy paradise that’s perfect for tourists who want to relax and unwind.

Guana’s main beach, also called Atlantic Beach, is over 5 miles of soft, white sand, with a few other shores elsewhere on the islet. Some even have pinkish sand grains. If you’re interested in snorkeling, this is a good place to see how you like it. Just off the coast, there’s a small coral reef you can explore.

One of the best things about Great Guana Cay is how natural it is. Since land is limited, not much development has occurred on the island.

8. Junkanoo Beach, New Providence

Junkanoo Beach
Image Credit: Will rock your world. via Flickr (license)

Located just a 15-minute walk away from the island’s cruise terminal, Junkanoo Beach is a popular spot for tourists.

If you’re a fan of lively beach atmospheres, this is the spot for you. With visitors coming in every day, there’s never a dull moment, so it’s a great place to make friends. The beach’s popularity is for a good reason, too. The water here is still and clean, so people of all ages and swimming levels can freely splash around without any worries.

Due to the wide variety of tourists, Junkanoo is also prepared to offer a variety of water activities. In addition to swimming, you can kayak, snorkel, or even paddleboard. You’ll also be able to find amenities, like food, water, or changing facilities nearby. However, this might not be the right place for you if you want somewhere to unwind in peace and quiet.

9. Love Beach, New Providence

Love Beach Bahamas
Image Credit: John W via Flickr (license)

Love Beach is a 40-acre stretch of white sand and blue water. True to its name, this shore is great for couples who want to relax while on a romantic getaway.

Known for its quiet atmosphere, you can lay out on the sand and work on your tan without a care in the world. Just make sure you apply plenty of sunscreen first, so you don’t get a sunburn since much of the beach lacks natural shade.

However, you can still make your trip to this part of the island an adventurous one. The beach is protected by a coral reef, which you can explore on a snorkeling excursion. Since the water around the sand is quite shallow and deepens gradually with no current, you can also go for a long walk to fully explore the area.

10. Peterson Cay National Park, Grand Bahama

Peterson Cay National Park Grand Bahama
Image Credit: Jeff Nyveen via Flickr (license)

Though Peterson Cay National Park is a small beach, it’s considered a natural wonder among locals. That’s largely due to the coral reefs right off the beach’s shore.

The cay is located on the lee shore on a small island that’s often completely devoid of people. For that reason, the local wildlife is able to thrive. In fact, you can get a close look at both the dry land and underwater animals that call this area home.

Bird watching is a popular way to pass the time on the sand since different species like to hunt for fish and other bugs and seeds. You can even see crabs scurrying on shore. Though remember not to touch, pick up, or move them. Alternatively, you can grab a snorkel and explore the lively reef ecosystem that’s protected by the park.

11. Pink Sand Beach, Harbour Island

Pink Sand Beach Harbour Island
Image Credit: Mike’s Birds via Flickr (license)

As its name would lead you to believe, Pink Sand Beach is famous for the pink grains that line its coast. This shore’s bright hue comes from microscopic coral organisms that wash up on shore. The end result is a one-of-a-kind color that makes this beach worthy of a spot on anyone’s travel bucket list.

Don’t worry about the color staining your towels or bathing suit, though. You can lay out and catch up on your sunbathing in peace. The sand is very fine as well, giving it a nice cushion that’s very comfortable to lay out on.

You’ll find nearby shacks where you can buy any necessities you might need, but other than that, this is a relatively quiet spot where you can have a relaxing beach day. Though, if you’re someone who loves parties and meeting new people, it might be a little lackluster.

12. Rose Island Beach, Paradise Island

Rose Island Beach
Image Credit: Jenni Konrad via Flickr (license)

Located just a few miles from Paradise Island, Rose Island is a small, nearly-deserted strip of land that’s gained popularity as a beach haven.

This coastal spot doesn’t have any official residents, and it doesn’t even have roads, making it the perfect natural place to have a day by the water. Though you can visit the island on your own, there are no regular ferries, so it’s recommended you take an organized excursion to ensure you make it back to Paradise’s shores at the end of your day.

The type of experience you’ll have will depend on the crowd levels for a particular day. When not many people are visiting, Rose Island tends to be quiet and relaxing, offering outdoor activities like snorkeling. During the height of the tourist season, from December to April, don’t be surprised to find parties on the sand.

13. Cape Santa Maria, Long Island

Cape Santa Maria
Image Credit: Cape Santa Maria

Cape Santa Maria is pretty close to the picture-perfect representation of a Bahamas beach destination. With clear, bright blue water and soft white sand, it’s a tropical paradise that looks like it belongs on a billboard. The palm trees that line the beach just add to its tropical appeal.

Though it’s known for being one of the best beaches in the country, this beloved spot doesn’t usually get too crowded. So, if you’re looking for a place to have a peaceful vacation, this might be a spot to consider.

Though the water here is a little too calm for surfing, you can still swim or dive in the shallow water. If you’re up for something a little different, you can even rent tackle gear and go fishing.

Hot Tip:

Bonefishing, in particular, is a popular pastime for locals and tourists alike.

14. Surfer’s Beach, Eleuthera

Surfers Beach
Image Credit: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

Surfer’s Beach is a bit of a well-kept secret in the surfing community. Many coastal stretches in the Bahamas have water that’s too shallow or calm to go out on board, so this shore is particularly special.

October through April provides the most favorable weather conditions for waves, but you’ll see people out on the water at all times of the year. Not much development has cropped up near this beach, so it’s managed to fly under the radar of a lot of tourists and even some locals. So, crowd levels are usually very low.

If you’re a social butterfly, that might mean this isn’t the shore for you. However, if you like to fully absorb the sights and sounds of the coast, you can’t do much better than spending a day in the sun at this Eleuthera spot.

15. Tropic Of Cancer Beach, Little Exuma

Tropic Of Cancer Beach
Image Credit: Venture Minimalists via Flickr (license)

Also known as Pelican Beach, Little Exuma’s Tropic of Cancer is the longest shore on the island. Its wide landscape that’s free of structures distracting from the vista makes it also one of the most scenic places on all the islands in the Bahamas.

In fact, most people who come to the Exuma islands have a picture of this very beach in their heads since it’s pretty close to the ideal Caribbean destination. Tropic of Cancer is part of a protected cove that keeps its blue water calm and safe to swim in. Though even if there are more waves, the sea near the shore is quite shallow, so you can still wade peacefully.

This beach is primarily geared toward visitors who want to relax, so don’t expect any big parties or adventure excursions to take place on the shores.

Final Thoughts

When planning a beach vacation, it’s hard to go wrong visiting the Bahamas. From busy beaches with a vibrant social life to more secluded places where you can enjoy the sand and sun, there’s a coast for virtually everyone on these islands. Hopefully, this list has helped you narrow down your options so you can plan your own Bahamian getaway.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do the Bahamas have sandy beaches?

The Bahaman Islands have plenty of sandy beaches. While you’ll most often encounter wide expanses of tan or golden grains, finding white sand beaches is also incredibly common. However, you might encounter some pebbly patches when enjoying a walk on the shore.

Is it safe to swim in the sea in the Bahamas?

Since many people go to the Bahamas to swim in the area’s tropical turquoise waters, many of the islands’ beaches are perfectly swimmable. Dangerous areas will usually be marked, but you can also ask locals if you’re unsure about a particular shore.

What months can you swim in the Bahamas?

You can swim in the sea around the Bahamas at any time of the year since the water here doesn’t typically get very cold. However, for maximum comfort, aim to visit between December and May. Tropical storms are also less frequent then.

What part of the Bahamas is the prettiest?

It’s hard to go wrong visiting any part of the Bahamas because all of the islands have something to offer. The Eleuthera islands are the most natural, though, so they’re best able to showcase the area’s pristine and innate tropical beauty.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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