The courtyard of popular and prosperous, known for being the initial anchorage of Christopher Columbus, sandy white beaches, snorkeling and cruises, luxury living, Bahama mama cocktail, and uniquely, the wondrous swimming pigs, to anyone looking to travel to a total package destination, Bahamas is the place to be. With a booming travel-based economy, located within the Lucayan archipelago, the Commonwealth of Bahamas is overflowing with some of the best tourist attractions in the world.
There are plenty of things to do in the Bahamas. A lot of mainstream major attractions, mostly including cruise ships, private charter yards, fishing, Carole King snorkeling, and other things to do on the beach. But the thing is, most people already know all of that. If you are one of those tourists who is actively looking for hidden gems, unique attractions, local specialties, background history, the story behind the historical sites, then let me introduce to you some of the most unusual attractions of the Bahamas.
Popular places to visit in the Bahamas
1. Meet the Swimming Pigs
Nothing says Unusual like an island ruled by pigs. I mess with you not, you can look it up. Famously known as the big beach and big major Cay Bahamas in Paradise Region, there is an island inhabited solely by pigs. There are increasingly outrageous myths and folk tales surrounding that island. Some say a drunken sailor, in preparation for his next meal, left the pigs on the island and then, later on, forgot about them. Some even say they are a result of a shipwreck nearby. Well, no matter the truth behind the stories, the fact of the matter is, that they do rule the island at present and tourists flock to this area, understandably so.
Some try to feed the pigs, click pictures with them and admire one of the most unusual things perhaps any travel destination can offer. If you do visit the area, do try not to feed the pigs by throwing food at the beach. Some time ago, 10 of the pigs were discovered deceased and investigators theorized that while trying to eat the small quantities of food on the Sandy beach thrown by the tourists, the pigs might have ingested large amounts of sand over time.
An oversight like that caused their death, so kindly do be careful about that. There are a few ways to get here. You can choose to take a short flight from Nassau to Stanley Cay. Perhaps even one from Lauderdale to Stanley Cay is from the USA to directly charge a city which is nearby. Bear in mind that if you do choose to take a long tour from Nassau on a boat, even when perfectly safe, it may usually last 8 to 9 hours of travel. This is not recommended for people with delicate medical conditions. Some might be averse to speed travel and infants, pregnant women, or those with seasickness should also avoid longer sea travel.
2. Visit the Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas
A blue hole is a chasm on the ocean floor, going much deeper than the surrounding area. When seen from above, it appears to be a deeper shade of blue, as if a hole has been drilled open randomly in the ocean, which is not that far off from the truth. If you are fond of visiting unusual places, then this is a good choice. One of the most interesting features about this blowhole is that it’s at least twice as deep as the usual blue holes around the globe. It was measured to be 202 meters deep. Sometimes there are even divers who wish to challenge the depths of the hole, trying to create world records.
3. Nurse sharks at Compass Cay
Sharks used to be just another mysterious critter of the sea, before Spielberg’s movie dedicated itself to displaying the horrors that can be. On the docks of a private island in the compass, nurse sharks are fed by the local workers and they have been almost tamed by the routine feeding. Which eventually has led to tourists coming to this place to take pictures of these creatures. The dorsal fins, one of the characteristic features associated with sharks and their large shape, give them an appearance similar to one of the most dangerous predators of these. These are surprisingly tame, swimming around the docks and not harassing anyone.
But do be aware that sometimes instincts can kick in, like one time, a model was attacked and left with minor injuries while taking pictures with them. It is quite an unusual activity and yet some visitors to foreign places find it thrilling, and what better way to get trending on your social media? Of course, it is by showing yourself daring enough to take pictures with them.
4. The blue hole caves underwater
This one is quite an unusual attraction for visitors both foreign and local. Located in the blue whole of Andros I, Bahamas, these underwater bohemian caves are seemingly full of secrets because they cannot be accessed by most; the credit goes to its highly uninhabitable environment. The only visitors that can truly explore some of it are either highly skilled divers or robotic machines guided from up above, that can work in this extreme environment for scientific research.
Scientists, working on collecting data from extreme environments, to act as a model of planets with uninhabitable conditions, of possible extraterrestrial life forms, are perhaps some of the only people that can invest in venturing into these depths with the help of extremely skilled divers or futuristic technology. The environment is unusually lacking in oxygen, devoid of sunlight, and perhaps some uniquely dangerous microorganisms too.
To sum it all up, it is not a place normal tourists can or should explore, but it is still an attraction, as people are attracted to mystery. It is an unexplored Pandora’s box, perhaps full of secrets for archaeologists and scientists to research. Time will tell.
5. Bimini road near North Bimini Island, Bahamas
Have you heard of the tale of Atlantis? It’s a name famously associated with an old Greek legend. It is said, in one day, the city of Atlantis was submerged below water completely, disappearing along with all its glory and riches, some 11,000 years ago. Although most claim these stories to be just myths, some dreamers and seekers still search for the supposedly lost civilization, hoping to get immortalized by their discovery. Back in 1960, one of the divers found a kind of trail leading along the ocean floor, appearing to be a residue of an ancient ruin, perhaps the top of a wall or a man-made road.
Understandably, this caused mayhem in the media. Sending a lot of publicity to the local area, speculation, and speculation by researchers and tourists, trying to find validation and hoping against hope that perhaps that ancient Greek legend was all true after all. Alas, it was found that it was formed over time naturally. With no evidence of tool use. Despite knowing the truth, tourists still visit this place that was once a famous place, expected to be related to Atlantis, the lost city of legend.
6. An accessible plane wreck to visit underwater in the Bahamas
You must have seen movies with scenes of the plane wreck in the depths of the ocean floor being researched by experts. The problem with that scene is those sites are usually deep down the ocean floor. Highly inaccessible to normal tourists because of the pressure. As you go down the ocean depths, the pressure increases and eventually becomes unbearable for those untrained. Only highly skilled experts in scuba diving visit those places with proper equipment, and with the help of modern technology.
What makes this place unusually unique is its accessibility. As with most such places, this site is kind of a home to a lot of local fauna. You can find nurse sharks resting under it. The main reason perhaps for tourists to visit this site is to take pictures for their social media profiles and create some memories that can be truly conversation starter worthy.
7. The world’s largest underwater sculpture; Ocean Atlas
You might have seen sculptures and statues aplenty in your travels or in your hometown, some ancient, some modern. There’s a wide range of artwork present globally. Have you seen a sculpture specially designed for the ocean floor? Created with pH-neutral elements and stainless steel, placed some feet below the ocean surface, its theme is based on the legend of Atlas, which carries the weight of the whole world on its back. Designed and created by Jason Decaires Taylor, the aim of this masterpiece was to boost the coral reef generation and discourage the over-exploitation of ocean resources in the area.
Tourists can book snorkeling tours to visit and admire the unique structure.
8. The famous Glass Window Bridge of the Bahamas
Separating the thunderous waves of the Atlantic from the bite of Eleuthera, the glass window bridge is known as one of the narrowest places on earth. If the name sounds a bit unusual for a bridge separating two giant water bodies, it is because of an inspiration of an artist in 1885 called Winslow Homer, who created his painting, modeled after seeing the narrowest place on earth and named it the glass window. Since then, the place has been a lot of because of the cyclones it had to face and other natural events. Finally, there is little left of the bridge that was. It has been renovated many times and yet it is still not like it was back then.
Although that may be the case, this place is still famous among tourists for its incredibly scenic views, separating the waves of the Atlantic Ocean that may sometimes ride over the narrow bridge meeting the Bight of Eleuthera.
9. The lighthouse of great Isaac Cay in the Bahamas
Located on top of a huge coral head, the historical lighthouse was constructed to keep the ships from getting lost, after many continuous cases of merchant ship disappearances in the area. Yes, we are talking about the infamous Bermuda Triangle, known for the myths and legends related to the long history of mysterious disappearances in the area. The lighthouse was built to be a guiding light, a silent sentinel, but unfortunately, it only served as a quiet witness to the disappearances.
The place is connected with a lot of macabre stories, one such story being of an accident, when a ship struck the cat itself, losing all of its mariners, except a baby. It is said that the mother of the child (the grey lady) haunts the place to this date.
10. Divers hang out on SS Sapona
Although you’ll find hidden gems whenever you travel wherever you tell some sites are so uniquely unusual that only after knowing the background related to such places do you still understand their specialty. SS Dapona was a streamer built during the war, but before she could serve in the war, the war ended, so it had to be sold for a very cheap price. The then buyer of the streamer used it for storing alcohol and had dreams of turning that place into a nightclub on water floating and partying at the same time.
It was a glorious dream, but unfortunately, it remained so, just a dream. Before the dream could be realized, it got into an accident. The streamer sold for scrap truly turned into one. And fast-forwarding to now, it is a playground of divers in the area. You could say a hang-out place, for both the local sea creatures and divers roam around this place.
11. The Mermaid and the Piano, Bahamas
Some of the islands in the Bahamas are privately owned. One such owner is David Copperfield. He had Jason DeCaires Taylor create an artwork as a surprise for the divers and guests going snorkeling around the area of his privately owned island. The artwork is a sculpture of a mermaid and a small piano. A true piece of beauty, sitting on the ocean floor, 10 to 15 feet below the surface, waiting for adventurers to come to visit. Confounded yet? Don’t worry, some of these unusual attractions have that effect on everyone.
Before you plan your visit to any of the places, it will be better if you contact the local guides or touring companies in the Bahamas. Do some research online, about the timing, costs, and whether or not they are open or accessible at that time, in that season. Some of the things listed above are not even accessible to tourists, but the point of this list, the knowledge about the unusual attractions, is to truly get to know the place you are going to spend your time in. Leaping from one famous attraction to another popular shop is not the only way to travel.
If you truly want to know the place you visit, then feeling, experiencing the cultural values, traditions, background, the history of the place is the way to go. No better way to do that than discovering the hidden gems. Planning is good and all, but now is the time to explore.
So, go on now. It is time, Happy Travels!