Paradise Island Bahamas slide

Nassau Bahamas: Travel Guide to Once Famous pirate Republic

Nassau Bahamas on your mind ? I have compiled a travelogue for you. A tropical holiday in the Caribbean sounds wonderful to most. Throw in the swashbuckling and very real world of pirates into the mix and you have a truly fantastic holiday in store for you. Nassau was an infamous city on New Providence Island in the Bahamas which was governed by pirates. You would think that I am joking. Watched one too many films. But no, this little corner of the Caribbean was genuinely established and governed by pirates in the 1600’s. If you are a fan of pirates and enjoy Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean or Starz’ Black Sails you will certainly find Nassau Bahamas interesting and much more.

Now Nassau is a tourist’s paradise, the clear blue water, sandy beaches and tropical climate are just a few things that make Nassau such an exciting location to vacation. Not only is there the bustling city of Nassau but also, connected by a bridge, there is Paradise Island which is where you will find the famous Atlantis Resort also known as the Pink Palace as well as a whole host of things to do which truly is reminiscent of the small island’s name. You might have chosen to vacation here. But what is there to do? I have compiled a list of several leisure activities you might find suits your needs and tastes. This Nassau Bahamas Travel guide only covers a few of the activities you might see but I hope that it helps set you on the path for a fantastic holiday.

Aquaventure Atlantis

Mayan Slide into Shark Lagoon
 Credit: www.honeymoonguide.com.au

Are you ready for 20 million gallons of fun? Look no further. The Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island owns a water park called Aquaventure Atlantis. The best part is that you do not have to be a guest of the resort to have access to the water park. Simply buying a day pass will allow you to experience all the fun Aquaventure Atlantis Has to offer. The waterpark has many different activities within the park some of which are:

 

  • Eleven Pools 
  • A Mile Long River With Rapids & Wave Surges
  • Water Slides
  • Access to Paradise Beach

You could easily spend a whole day here, simply having fun in the sun and enjoying all it has to offer. What sets this water park apart from others you might ask? Well, some of the slides like the Mayan Temple which is six storeys high plunges its rider into a shark lagoon.

Over all Aquaventure Atlantis has a lot it can offer you and more than a day’s worth of fun for a reasonable fee. 

Underwater Adventures

You might want to spend a day or two exploring what lies beneath the sea. If you enjoy marine life and want to see what wonders lay in the oceans or reef. There are plenty of options for you to consider. From scuba diving all the way to people who cannot swim, there is something for everyone. This travel guide for Nassau Bahamas has so much to offer. There are a plethora of things to so and a few ways to do them. For example, exploring what lies beneath the waves. 

Scuba

The first and most obvious way to explore the ocean is to go scuba diving. The marine life the refs have to offer would be easily viewable. But observing the creatures of the sea might not be enough for you, luckily Nassau has several shipwrecks you can explore. Perhaps you would like to experience close encounters with sharks and feed them. There are facilities which offer all of these tastes and more. However scuba diving is not something you can rush into. Before you can dive you must have had instruction on how everything works and have a certificate or licence to do this activity. For this reason I would plan wisely before committing to this type of underwater exploration and adventure. 

Snuba

Snuba is very similar to scuba diving however it requires no certification or experience to take part in. Basically this type of diving is a hybrid of snorkelling and scuba, the air tank will be on a raft and monitored by a guide. There will also be a series of lines leading to the tank so you can breath underwater for an extended amount of time and get relatively deep. Before you dive a divemaster will talk you through the equipment and safety precautions so the whole experience should be safe for any who dare. The only requirement to snuba dive is to be able to swim. So if this suits you and is something you would like to experience, there are a handful of companies which will facilitate you in Nassau.

Sub Mini Submarine

Sub Mini Submarine
Credit: www.pinterest.co.uk

Maybe Scuba or snuba are not good enough for you. How does a ride in a self propelled sub mini submarine sound? This device will take you about 15 feet under the sea and allows you to

 travel at 2 knots per hour. The Sub mini submarine is a fun way to spend your time on Nassau. You will be taken out by a guide who will lead the way and of course keep you all safe while you have fun. However there are safety parameters and restrictions which go hand in hand with this activity. There are age,  height, weight, and medical restrictions which may exclude you from this particular activity. A few of these restrictions might be:

  • Those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian
  • Guests Must be Over 5ft
  • Minimum Age is 12
  • Pregnant guests Cannot Participate
  • Asthma Sufferers Cannot Participate
  • Epilepsy Sufferers Cannot Participate

These are just some of the restrictions in place, so please be diligent and research all the things that could cause a friend or family member to be excluded from this activity. But as a whole taking a ride on these ‘submarine scooters’ is definitely something to consider when you’re deciding what to do on any given day. 

Glass Bottom Boat

If you are hesitant to do any of the above or maybe you cannot swim, there is still something for you. Take a ride on a glass bottom boat, there are many tour companies which offer this service such as Sunshine Cruises which offers the boat ride, tours and snorkelling. A glass bottom boat is exactly what it sounds like, a boat with a transparent bottom so that you can see all the wonders of the reef without getting wet yourself. So you see, there is plenty you can do to experience the diverse and wonderful marine life in Nassau Bahamas. If this kind of activity takes you fancy or you simply want to experience it for the first time. Take a dive if you so desire.

Experience the Wildlife of Nassau

If you are an animal lover, there are plenty of options for you. Some are quite far away from the bustling life of Nassau and Paradise Island, while others are closer to home. There are many ways you can interact or just observe the various gems Nassau has to offer. I have taken the liberty of finding a few for you to consider. 

Voyage to Exuma

Are you up for a bit of sailing? Yes? Well then a day trip to Exuma is just the ticket.  This leisure activity can be expensive because it is an 89 mile voyage to Exuma’s major cay but the trip is well worth it. Once you land on the island you will be greeted with the variety of wildlife it has to offer. You might see some indigenous iguana, nurse sharks in the cay and of course the famous swimming pigs. This would be a great way to spend the day, with the sandy beaches and the local wildlife. But that is not all. Exuma is a photographer’s paradise. The island is beautiful and a great place to take a selfie or simply photograph your surroundings. Not to mention this island was a filming location for Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean.    

If you are willing to pay the price and travel the distance this is certainly something you should consider doing. Not only do you get to see a stunning island but also experience the Caribbean outside of Nassau. 

Dolphin & Seal Encounters

Getting up close and personal with some of the marine and wildlife the Caribbean has to offer might be something you have always dreamed of. Playing with dolphins or seals  is definitely something that most people dream of experiencing. There might be some controversy surrounding the use of these creatures in this way. Others think that it is educational and if the animals are well cared for, the pros outweigh the cons. Personally I think that if the animals are well cared for, have plenty of space and are not abused they can be fantastic tools to teach people about them. The interactive experience is not only informative but also surreal and fun at the same time. There are plenty of places which offer similar experiences, some examples might be:

At the end of the day it is up to you whether you agree with this kind of activity and whether it sits right with you. Do your homework, find a place that suits your needs and fits in your price range. Have fun out there.

Ardastra Garden Zoo & Conservation Centre 

Entrance to Ardastra Gardens & Zoo
   Credit: www.pinterest.co.uk

Home to about 300 different animals, the Ardastra Garden Zoo & Conservation Centre is certainly somewhere you can whittle away the hours. With plenty to learn about so many creatures both indigenous and alien to the Caribbean, you will have plenty to see. 

What makes this zoo unique is that some of the animals may share pathways with you, allowing you to get close and personal with some of them. Not only that but the zoo schedules feeding times for its lorikeets and allows guests to take part when they do take place.  Along with the zoo there are botanical gardens just over the road, so if you have the time you can merge your visit and do both on the same day. The zoo is open daily from 9AM to 5PM so you will have plenty of time to lie in and explore the various creatures and vegetation that only Nassau can offer. 

Navigating Nassau’s Beaches

Obviously since you are in the Caribbean, you will want to spend time swimming in the crystal clear ocean and enjoy the sandy beaches it has to offer. There are plenty of options on New Providence Island and Paradise Island and I am here to point out a few which might work for you. There are so many beaches on this island so I have found a few that might suit you in this Nassau Bahamas travel guide.

Cabbage Beach

This is one of the most popular beaches, the white sandy beaches and aquamarine ocean views are undoubtedly some of the best on Nassau Bahamas. It is so popular that several of the biggest resorts are built along this wide scratch of beach and with the clear water and palm trees who could blame them. Along the 2 miles of coastlines there are many tiki structures which offer shade and refreshments should you need them and of course there are rentable jet skis and floats should that tickle your fancy. The only downside is that this beach is, as I mentioned very popular and as such can be crowded.

Jaws Beach

Jaws Beach - Nassau Bahamas
                  Credit: www.tripadvisor.com

Once used as a filming location for the ‘Jaws’ movie, this beach will have you taking photos and enjoying your time right off the bat. It is promoted as an off the beaten track beach but pulls a few people interested in its cinematic beauty. Jaws beach is a top rated beach and is loved by locals and tourists alike. 

Caves Beach

One of the more secluded beaches, the caves beach got its name from the limestone caves along its edge. History suggests that they once provided shelter for the native Indians and even now they do come in handy in rainy weather. This beach is perfect for relaxing and exploring and sometimes offers local tour guides who would be happy to take you around and tell you about what has happened around the caves beach.

Montagu Beach

Located near Fort Montagu, one of Nassau’s oldest forts. Montagu beach is a smaller beach and can get busy. But is not as crowded as beaches like Cabbage Beach or Cable Beach. Some caution is required when swimming here as there is boat traffic between Paradise Island and Nassau. So you would be wise to stay in the designated areas. 

Travel Guide for History Buffs

As someone who enjoys delving into the history of the places I visit. I can appreciate a list of places to go. Rife with its own history both famous and infamous, Nassau has plenty of fantastic and cool places you can visit

The Queen’s Staircase

Originally built with 66 steps in honour of Queen Victoria’s reign. The aptly named queen’s staircase is both stunning and historically relevant. The staircase was carved out of the same limestone walls that surround it by slaves in the 1800’s. This is one of the most popular stops in Nassau and why wouldn’t it be. The lush vegetation and water cascades give the staircase an almost fantasy vibe. It is important to note that this location is popular for both residents and tourists. So be careful about your timing or expect crowds to be around you when you go.

Forts of Nassau

There are also plenty of forts to check out, some like Fort Charlotte are said to be haunted. While others like Fort Fincastle and Fort Montagu have seen cannon fire in their day. Some of these forts have replica cannons  you can pivot and move as they would have when they were needed. Which really immerses you in what you are learning about each location’s history. 

I will not ruin the surprise of what you can learn at each location. But with a little adventuring you could find out plenty of facts and secrets on your trip.

This Nassau Bahamas travel guide should start you off on your Caribbean adventures. There are a lot of things you can do in Nassau. I could write an article twice this length and there would be more still. But I hope the few things I have listed can be of use for you. Plan your vacation well and feel free to utilize the list I have made for you. Have a fantastic day and remember to have fun wherever you go.

Leave a Reply