Dive Into Grand Bahama
Grand Bahama boasts plenty for you to do. You can explore one of the world’s largest underwater cave systems, hike through three national parks or visit the friendy dolphins at the UNEXSO dolphin/diving marina. Not that you have to stay outdoors to enjoy Grand Bahama. Its many luxurious resorts, shopping options and activities give you the best of both worlds. Do and see it all in one of the most complete vacation destinations you can find in the Bahamas.
Grand Bahama Island Overview
Mapping Out the Bahamas
With over 700 islands and 2,000 cays sprinkled across the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, the Bahamas can be kind of confusing without a guide. Lucky for you, we've got you covered. The most popular islands you've probably heard of are New Providence, home to Nassau and Paradise Island, and Grand Bahama Island. However, there are numerous other small islands that make up the Bahamas, and they're typically known as the Out Islands. These beautiful, more pristine islands are true gems in the Caribbean. The most popular tourist region in the Out Islands is the Abacos, but whether you stay on the mainlands or adventure to the Out Islands, you'll love every minute in the Bahamas.
Horseback Riding on the Beach
Ever dreamed of riding a seahorse? Okay, maybe you can’t do that here, but you can ride a horse by the sea! If you're craving both an exciting and family-friendly eco-tour in Grand Bahama, then horseback riding by the beach is perfect for you. It's a great bonding activity for families and a romantic experience for couples. Ride along the gorgeous, powdery white-sand and even splash a little in the crystal water as your well-trained horse gently plunges into the turquoise sea for a land-and-sea adventure.
Dance the Night Away at Count Basie Square
Hang out with the locals and listen to live music while strolling past restaurants, perusing trinket shops and hopping the bars in this happening square. Named after the famous jazz entertainer, Count Basie Square is an open-air gathering area constantly buzzing with activity like limbo dancing and festivals. You'll vibe to tropical beats played by local bands and clap your hands to calypso. This is the place you want to be for a real Bahamian experience.
Port Lucaya Marketplace
What’s a vacation without a little shopping? Stroll through one of the Caribbean’s largest straw markets and get your shop on!
Get your hair braided or try your hand at bargaining with street vendors to find a special treasure to take home. You'll get to browse over 80 specialty stores housed in the pastel-colored buildings of this 12-acre shopping complex. When you get hungry, there are also outdoor and indoor bars, cafes and restaurants.
Take home some hand-crafted Bahamian-made jewelry, woodcarvings or native handicrafts, or just take home the memories of a great day by the water.
Fishing Enthusiasts Unite
Sail out into those sparkling clear waters and cast your line into the open blue sea. Strap yourself in and get ready to reel in incredible fish like Marlin, Barracuda, Yellowfin Tuna and more! Grand Bahama Island is considered one of the premier destinations in the world for sport fishing. In fact, fishing enthusiasts worldwide flock to the island every year to go for the gold in annual competitions and catch the big one in seasonal fishing expeditions. Whether you want to go deep-sea fishing, fly-fishing, or reef fishing, you can do it here.
Swim with the Sharks & Dolphins at UNEXSO
Dolphins or sharks? Day dive or night dive? Whatever you prefer, UNEXSO offers all of these water experiences and more. You'll love it here because there are different activity levels for everyone, from complete beginner to seasoned pro. Plus, these water adventures put an emphasis on conservation. For example, you can swim and interact with the dolphins in their open-ocean environment instead of in a pool. The only trouble you’ll have here is deciding which activity you want to do first.
Grand Bahama Quick Facts
Currency: US dollar
Electricity: 120 volts AC; American appliances are fully compatible
Passport/Immigration: All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport when traveling to and from the Bahamas.
Drinking Water: Water is safe for drinking.
Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time (UTC/GMT -4 hours)
Peak Season: December to May
Tips & Transportation
Mingle with the Locals at Rooster's Bar
Once you have a beer by the beach, Grand Bahama will feel just like home. Where's the best place to have one? Well, about a 15-minute drive west from Port Lucaya, you can find an amazing off-the-beaten-path bar where all the locals seem to know each other by name: Rooster's Bar. This place is known for its great live music, filling drinks and a simple yet delicious menu of Bahamian treats.
Go on a Sunday Drive at the West End
While you're in the Bahamas, there's nothing you'll want more than the sun on your shoulder and the wind in your hair. The best place to do that is in the West End of Grand Bahama. There you'll find several quaint villages of pastel-colored island houses lining the coast. They all have memorable and colorful names like Hawksbill Creek. For a real glimpse of local life, try to visit the fish market along the harbor there and get some fresh fish from the local fisherman as they bring their boats in.
Explore the Island by Scooter
What's the best way to see all of Grand Bahama Island? On a scooter, of course! Once you arrive on Grand Bahama, you'll notice that there are stands all along the roads of Freeport and Lucaya where you can rent a scooter for next to nothing. Also, you can usually rent one from your hotel. If you get the chance, definitely try it out. Most of Grand Bahama is flat with well-paved roads – perfect for travel by scooter.
Lunch Like a Local at Geneva's
You've got to try authentic Bahamian food at least once while you're in the Bahamas. If you're in Grand Bahama, then the best spot to find a non-touristy restaurant with real Bahamian food, the kind that the locals eat, is at Geneva's. You'll love Geneva's because it's family-owned, and the Monroe family takes pride in cooking the old-fashioned way. Make sure to try some conch – order it stewed, cracked, fried or in chowder.
Take in a Show at Regency Theater
You're not on Broadway, but that doesn't mean you can't take in a show! For a great, affordable theater experience, just check out the Regency Theater. You see, the Freeport Players’ Guild and the Grand Bahama players both use the small Regency Theater to rehearse! If you're lucky, you could see a Broadway show like Mamma Mia or a contemporary work by Bahamian and Caribbean playwrights for as low as $10.
Flights land in Grand Bahama – Freeport (FPO), a public airport serving the island of Grand Bahama.
Immigration & Customs
All immigration forms are usually supplied by the airlines. When entering the Bahamas, visitors must complete and sign an immigration form. A portion of this card (returned to you by the immigration official clearing you for entrance) is required to exit the Bahamas. Don't lose this tiny, "check stub size", immigration document!
Grand Bahama Island is one of the few Caribbean destinations that provides pre-clearance for U.S. Customs and Immigration services, allowing flights from Grand Bahama to enter the United States as domestic flights and bypass the normal U.S. Customs and Immigration clearance encountered on most returns from an international destination. Please allow an extra hour for check-in during peak hours.
Getting to Your Hotel
CheapCaribbean.com has partnered with Nexus Tours as our premier transportation company in Grand Bahama. They’ll provide you with safe, comfortable and professional transportation, from the airport to your resort, and back.
After you clear customs and exit the terminal building at the airport. Look for the Nexus Representative holding an Amstar/Cheap Caribbean.com sign. The representative will then escort you to their van for your transfer to the hotel.
Getting Around Grand Bahama
Making transport arrangements with our tour operator is the safest bet. If you need to grab a taxi, ask your hotel to request one for you. Ferries are also available among the islands.