The Bahamas consist of 700 islands and 2400 cays, mostly uninhabited. The limited human expansion on the islands means that a lot of the landscapes you are going to see there will be designed by nature.
There is something so pure about untouched pieces of nature today. I highly recommend leaving behind the fast paced world and slowly working your way through the Bahamas. There’s something soothing about experiencing natural beauty like in the Bahamas.
Outdoors-lovers will have an amazing time discovering the Bahamas’ wildlife. After a brief flight from the states and a stop at one of the Bahamas’ delicious restaurants, you will find yourself full of awe at the coral reefs, sub-tropical forests and hidden coves. You will be delighted to see how natural ecosystems grow and work together to sustain themselves without human intervention.
If you dream of spending your holidays exploring natural sites in the Bahamas like me, I’m sharing some of the best spots in the Bahamas.
Take Pictures at the Pink Sand Beach
It sounded unreal to me too, when I first heard of the Pink Sand beach. Nature does things well, but pink, really? The sand does have a pale pink color and we can thank foraminiferas (a single-celled planktonic animal with a perforated chalky shell) for this Instagram picture-perfect sight. They are microscopic coral insects with a red and pink shell and live in the reef. What gives the pink color to the sand is their remains, brought by the waves on to the beach.
You will not be able to stop smiling when your first discover the beach. The pink color becomes brighter as you walked towards the ocean, probably because the sand was wet. For an explosion of pink, I would recommend staying there until sunset, as the sky turns into shades of pink, red and purple. It’s one of the most memorable moments of our trip.
Swim in the Reef off Andros Island
If you love scuba diving, the Andros coral reef needs to be on your itinerary. It’s a beautiful area with a rich marine life. The clear water gave me the chance to swim and discover so many beautiful fishes, corals, and algae. I felt (almost) ashamed of my lack of knowledge of this marine life.
It was one of my favorite days of the entire holiday and I hope to go back and swim in Andros coral reef one day. I had an interesting conversation on the beach with locals about marine life, human and climate impacts on the reef and why it’s important to swim around the corals without touching them. Andros coral reef is one of the best-preserved reefs in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, the warming of the ocean has severely damaged this ecosystem; corals are really sensitive to temperature change and can only stand moderate temperature-water. I hear a lot about the impact of climate change, but experiencing it first-hand was very impactful.
Bird Watch at Abaco Islands
This is a great activity for animal-lovers. They always love discovering new things and are naturally attracted to animals. Although you can watch birds all over Abaco Islands, Abaco National Park is the place where you can observe a wider variety of indigenous species. The park is a nesting place for 1000 Bahama Parrots, local endangered birds. Bahama Parrots are colorful birds, with a green body, a white head and a red chest. Vulnerable to wild predators and bird trafficking, the government created this park to protect the species.
The park is about 20,500 acres so prepare to spend at least a day here. It felt so relaxing to spend time surrounded by giant pine trees. I played hide and seek with Bahama Parrots, had lunch with other tourists and took loads of pictures in the patches of green.
Green Turtle Cay
As the name mentions, this island is home to green turtles and is only accessible by boat. There are plenty of tours organized to take you to the area where they are. It was amazing to see them in their natural habitats. They swim elegantly, like a piece of emerald floating in the lagoon. The tour guide explained to us that green turtles are also an endangered species.
On our way back, we also found pigs swimming in the ocean. It took me a few minutes to adjust; since when do pigs swim in a lagoon? The story says that they arrived in the Bahamas from Florida and populated this island. We later discovered that one part of the island was named “Piggyville”, where you can find pigs of all sizes running around the beach. It was mind-boggling!
Leaon Levy Plant Native Reserve
This is a great place to discover the indigenous plant species of the Bahamas! I am a plant-lover and always enjoy learning about them. The reserve is converted into a great hiking trail that takes you to freshwater wetlands, a weather station, and a diversity of plants from poisonous to medicinal species. So watch out!
This site was the “least natural” visit I did. After swimming with turtles and looking for birds, having paths available to me was a bit less exciting. One of the consequences of going to a man-made natural site… But I did learn a lot about plant medicine and the healing power of nature.
Glass Window Bridge
This was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. The glass window bridge sits on top of a thin stone layer that connects two narrow strips of Eleuthera Island. When you stand on it, you have the dark blue waves of the Atlantic ocean crashing on your right. On your left, you see the quiet blue-green water of the Bight of Eleuthera. I still can’t believe that two different waters have been separated by a thin bridge of stone for thousands of years.
I didn’t stay long because of the strong waves from the Atlantic. I was wet very quickly and I was advised to be careful with the heavy swell. Make sure you check the weather before you go, but do include a visit to the glass window bridge in your itinerary.
The Bahamas was a fantastic gateway in nature. From bird-watching to scuba diving with green turtles, reefs, walking in a mangrove forest and even swimming with pigs, I had such a blast! Although the Bahamas are known for great resorts and a relaxed gateway, I think that the island is so vibrant it would be a shame not to see the remote corners of the archipelagos.