The Ultimate Jetset Guide to the Bahamas

Is there anything more dreamy than jet-setting to a beautiful island? Then a Bahamas trip is what you need. Imagine sipping a tropical cocktail on powdery-white sands, diving into impossibly-clear waters, and lounging luxuriously as the sunset lights up the sky in pink and orange hues. Whether you’re looking forward to the resorts of Nassau and Paradise Island, the understated-chic-beach-town vibes of Harbour Island, the serene waters of Eleuthera and the Exumas, or the remote off-the-map dream of the Abacos, the Bahamas offers the ultimate tropical beach experience for any traveler. But where do you begin on planning a trip to the Bahamas? And which island of the Bahamas is right for you (and your group!). Here is my ultimate Jetset guide to the Bahamas – and where to stay and what to do when you go!

Nassau, Paradise Island

Nassau is the vibrant heart of the Bahamas that’s definitely full of energy and rich in culture. As the capital area, it combines colonial charm with modern luxury, and has some of the best gourmet dining, upscale shopping, and lively nightlife!!! Whether you’re exploring the historic streets, diving into turquoise waters, or lounging at a world-class resort, Nassau is definitely a best place to get that ultimate Bahamas island experience.

How to Get to Nassau / Paradise Island

By Air

The most convenient way to reach Nassau is by flying into Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS), the largest airport in the Bahamas, located just about 16 kilometers west of Nassau. This airport welcomes numerous international flights daily from major cities in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Airlines such as American Airlines, Delta, United, and British Airways offer regular service, ensuring Nassau is only a flight away.

By Sea

For those who prefer a more scenic route, traveling by sea is another fabulous option. Nassau is a favorite stop for many cruise lines. Cruise ships frequently dock at Prince George Wharf in downtown Nassau, where travelers can disembark to explore the city and its surroundings. For a more personalized travel experience, consider booking a spot on smaller charter yachts or even renting a private boat, if you’re feeling adventurous.

By Private Plane

For luxury travelers, chartering a private plane might be the preferred choice. Private flights can be arranged to land at Nassau International Airport, offering flexibility and privacy.

Inter-Island Travel

Once you arrive in Nassau, getting to Paradise Island is straightforward. Paradise Island is connected to Nassau by two bridges, making it easily accessible by taxi or bus. Alternatively, you can enjoy a short water taxi ride from Nassau to Paradise Island, which provides a beautiful view of the harbor.

Where to Stay in Nassau / Paradise Island

Four Seasons Ocean Club

Famous for its iconic James Bond filming location and majestic colonial architecture, the Four Seasons Ocean Club has that sophisticated tropical elegance vibe made for a Bond film. You’ll find FS Ocean Club to have super luxe rooms and amazing panoramic ocean views. The resort’s highlights include Versailles-inspired gardens, an 18-hole golf course designed by Tom Weiskopf, and a Balinese-style spa. 

Photos courtesy of Four Seasons Ocean Club

Baha Mar

The resort area of Baha Mar on paradise island features 4 resorts to choose from, all a part of the “Baha Mar” umbrella. This area of paradise island is great for groups and families, especially. Baha Mar is more than just a resort – it’s a mini-metropolis of vacation with over 40 restaurants and bars, the Caribbean’s largest casino, and a stunning array of pools that cater to both family fun and serene solitude. It’s kind of like being on a cruise ship on land, in the best way. The pools are GORGEOUS (and there are aquariums and waterslides galore), and there’s always something fun to do. But which resort in Baha Mar is right for you?

 

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar

Situated in the bustling Baha Mar resort complex, the Grand Hyatt will be the best bang for your buck in Baha Mar. Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, located in Nassau, offers 6 outdoor pools, a private beach area as well as a spa and wellness center, and access to all the other Baha Mar resorts as well (with the exception of Rosewood, which doesn’t allow outside guests). The Grand Hyatt is the most popular Baha Mar hotel for families, and the most budget-friendly of the three hotels in Baha Mar.

 

Photos courtesy of Grand Hyatt Baha Mar

 

SLS Baha Mar

Step into the SLS Baha Mar and enter a world where luxury meets whimsy. Known for its lively atmosphere and impeccable design, this hotel is hip, young and great for groups of friends (or bachelorette parties!). While you’ll definitely find young adults here, we stayed with a baby at the SLS and had a great time!

Photos courtesy of SLS Baha Mar

 

Rosewood Baha Mar

For those who want luxury and seclusion in Baha Mar, Rosewood Baha Mar is the best of the best option. This beachfront sanctuary is famous for its understated elegance, personalized service, and beautiful, dreamy secluded pools (closed to guests of other hotels). Each suite and villa is beautiful, and no trip is complete with a stop at The Sense, A Rosewood Spa – oasis of calm, making it the perfect place to unwind after a day in the sun.

 

Photos courtesy of Rosewood Baha Mar

Harbour Island

Harbour Island, famously nicknamed “Briland” by locals and loved for its laid-back luxury and super-soft pink-hued sand beaches. This tiny island off the coast of Eleuthera is a popular spot for the rich and famous (this is where Taylor and Travis vacationed in the Bahamas!), known for charming pastel-colored cottages, quaint streets, and a welcoming, relaxed vibe. It’s the perfect escape for those seeking a serene and luxurious stay in the Bahamas.

How to Get to Harbour Island

By Air to Eleuthera

The first step to getting to Harbour Island is flying into Eleuthera, one of the main islands of the Bahamas. There are three airports on Eleuthera: North Eleuthera Airport (ELH), Governor’s Harbour Airport (GHB), and Rock Sound Airport (RSD). North Eleuthera Airport is the closest to Harbour Island, with daily direct flights from major cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Nassau. Airlines such as Bahamasair, Silver Airways, and American Airlines provide convenient options.

By Boat from Eleuthera to Harbour Island

Once you land in North Eleuthera, the next leg of your journey is a short, scenic boat ride. The most common method is to take a water taxi from the dock near North Eleuthera Airport to Harbour Island. The trip is quick, lasting about 10 minutes, and offers a splendid view of the clear, blue waters that make the Bahamas famous.

From Nassau by Boat

Alternatively, you can start your journey in Nassau and take a ferry directly to Harbour Island. This route is serviced by Bahamas Ferries, which offers a scheduled service that is both enjoyable and scenic, though it takes longer—about two hours.

Private Boat Charters

For those looking for a more tailored travel experience, private boat charters are available. These can be arranged from Nassau or any of the Eleuthera airports and provide a personalized trip across the beautiful Bahamian waters to Harbour Island.

 

It’s important to plan and check schedules in advance, especially for the boat rides, as they can vary by season and weather conditions. Also, consider staying overnight in Nassau or on Eleuthera if your flight arrives late to avoid missing the last boat to Harbour Island.

Where to Stay in Harbour Island

The Dunmore Hotel

The Dunmore Beach Hotel is a luxurious coastal boutique gem of a hotel that is a DREAM. Enjoy the famous pink sand beach, relax in one of their chic pools, or sip on their to-die-for pina coladas. And with its lush gardens, ultra-aesthetic bar and restaurant (best dinner on the island!), and tennis courts, The Dunmore gives you endless ways to both relax and play in style.

Pink Sands Hotel

This iconic hotel on Harbour Island is spread across 20 acres of tropical gardens and offers private access to the famous pink sand beach. The cottages here have a rustic-island-yet-refined charm, and are so cute, chic and beautifully decorated! Grab a bite at the Blue Bar where delicious bites come with breathtaking ocean views. Pink Sands is a VIBE. 

The Best Luxury Villas to Rent on Harbour Island

For those who love a bit of privacy or are traveling with a large group, renting a villa on Harbour Island is the way to go! Imagine having a beachfront home all to yourself, complete with a gym, a beachfront deck, or even a dreamy private pool to swim in. Check out these perfect VRBO villas where you can live like a local but with all the pampering of a jetseter! Think stunning views, exclusive amenities, and all the space you need to relax in total privacy!!

This Ultra-Luxury Oceanfront Villa with Pool

Exterior

Just steps from the beach, this sleek and modern villa is true paradise. Complete with a 55 ft. pool, a gym, a theater, spacious outdoor living areas, and a chef-ready kitchen. Includes 8 spacious rooms and a master suite perfect for large groups or families. 

The Beacon Hill Estate

This ultra, ultra luxury villa on Harbour Island – the Beacon Hill Estate is what dreams are made of. With direct beach access and a layout that encourages indoor-outdoor living, the best trip ever is guaranteed.

Aerial view

Eleuthera 

Eleuthera, compared to the other islands, has this understated charm. Stretching 110 miles long but just a mile wide, this sliver of paradise has amazing coastlines, secluded coves, and an array of hidden beaches waiting to be discovered! Known for its friendly locals and farm-to-table dining, Eleuthera offers a quieter alternative to its more bustling Bahamian counterparts, making it an ideal spot for peaceful relaxation and natural exploration.

How to Get to Eleuthera 

By Air

Flying directly to Eleuthera is the most convenient way to reach the island since it has three airports: North Eleuthera Airport (ELH), Governor’s Harbour Airport (GHB), and Rock Sound Airport (RSD). North Eleuthera is popular for those heading to Harbour Island or Spanish Wells, while Governor’s Harbour and Rock Sound serve the central and southern parts of the island, respectively. Direct flights are available from major cities such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Atlanta. Airlines like American Airlines, Delta, and Silver Airways offer regular flights, particularly to North Eleuthera and Governor’s Harbour. If traveling from Nassau, daily flights are available to all three airports on Eleuthera, provided by Bahamas Air and Southern Air Charter. This is a quick and efficient way to hop over from the capital. You can also charter a private plane for that ultra luxe experience. This can be arranged to any of the three airports in Eleuthera, allowing you to tailor your travel schedule to your specific needs.

By Sea

Another scenic option to reach Eleuthera is by sea. You can travel by ferry services from Nassau to various points on Eleuthera, including Governor’s Harbour and Harbour Island. Traveling by ferry is a relaxing way to travel if you want to add amazing views along the way!! Although this can take a few hours, it’s a good choice if you’re not in a rush and want to enjoy the voyage. If you prefer a more personalized journey, chartering a private boat is also another option. This can be arranged from Nassau and other neighboring islands. It’s an excellent choice for those looking to enjoy a leisurely trip across the beautiful Bahamian waters.

When planning your trip, it’s important to consider the schedules for both flights and ferries as they can vary, especially outside of peak travel seasons. Also, weather conditions can occasionally affect travel, particularly by sea, so it’s wise to check forecasts and confirmations in advance.

 

Where to Stay in Eleuthera 

The Cove Eleuthera
Nestled between two coves, this resort is a gem for those seeking tranquility fused with luxury. The Cove offers minimalist design that complements the natural beauty surrounding it. Activities like paddleboarding, snorkeling, and kayaking are readily available, and the Infinity Bar is the go-to spot for a cocktail as the sun sets.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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French Leave Resort
This resort is a glimpse into the old-world charm of the Bahamas with its Bahamian villas. The French Leave Resort is like a picturesque, quaint villa with it’s famous marina views. The best of all is the privacy and peace the resort offers! 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by French Leave Resort (@frenchleaveresort)

 

The Abacos 

The Abacos, a beautiful archipelago in the northern Bahamas, is known for its spectacular sailing waters, quaint colonial towns, and laid-back island vibe. It’s composed of Great Abaco, Little Abaco, and several smaller cays, this destination is a favorite among boaters, fishermen, and beachgoers. Here’s how you can travel to The Abacos:

How to Get to The Abacos

By Air

The primary gateway to The Abacos is via air travel to one of its two main airports. Marsh Harbour Airport (MHH) is the larger of the two and is a central hub for the region. It has multiple daily flights from major cities in Florida such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando, and is operated by airlines like Bahamasair, Silver Airways, and American Airlines. There are also flights from Nassau with Bahamasair and Western Air. You can also travel via Treasure Cay Airport (TCB) that’s located in the northern part of Great Abaco, this airport is smaller but very convenient if you’re staying near Treasure Cay or the northern cays. It also handles flights from Florida and Nassau. For those seeking a more exclusive and flexible travel option, chartering a private plane to either Marsh Harbour or Treasure Cay is another great choice. As this allows you to set your own flight schedule and enjoy a hassle-free journey.

By Sea

The Abacos are also accessible by sea, which is a popular option given the area’s rich boating culture. Regular ferry services run between Nassau and Marsh Harbour that offers beautiful views of the Bahamian waters and is ideal for those not in a hurry. You can also rent a private boat or charter a yacht from Florida or Nassau for a more personalized and flexible journey to The Abacos. This is a great way to explore the many cays and secluded beaches!!

 

When planning your trip, consider the schedules and frequencies of flights and ferries, as they can vary seasonally and may be limited during off-peak times. Also consider weather conditions as The Abacos are in a region that can be affected by seasonal weather, including hurricanes. It’s wise to monitor weather forecasts and plan accordingly, especially if you’re planning to travel by sea.

Where to Stay in The Abacos

La Pagerie in Carriacou 

Located in Carriacou, La Pagerie offers a quiet and exclusive retreat perfect for those seeking a secluded vacation.  This area features the nicest and most secluded beach on the island, Anse La Roche. The villa features stylish, airy interiors with three spacious bedrooms, each offering stunning views of the turquoise Caribbean waters. Modern amenities including a fully equipped kitchen, high-speed internet, and a private pool. Just steps away from sandy beaches, La Pagerie combines luxury and privacy, making it an ideal choice for a peaceful getaway.

 

 

Photos from La Pagerie VRBO

Tatou House in Crochu 

This Caribbean modern oceanfront villa is so chic!! It’s a contemporary two-bedroom villa located in the quiet shores of Cabier Beach that has this airy open-plan living with breathtaking ocean and mountain views! It comes with a beautiful kitchen, spacious terrace, and swimming pool. Ideal for romantic or family getaways, Tatou House is great for secluded vacations in the stunning landscape of Crochu away from the usual tourist trails.

Photos from Tatou House VRBO

Tivigny Villa in Calivigny

This secluded coastal villa features three luxurious bedrooms, each with its own en suite bathroom and balcony, an open-plan living area, and a private outdoor space with a gated pool and BBQ grill. Enjoy exclusive access to a private dock equipped with kayaks, a sailboat, and a motorized dinghy. Ideal for a serene getaway, Tivigny Villa offers the perfect retreat to disconnect and relax in privacy.

  

Photos from Trivigny Villa VRBO

 

Tranquility Beach Cottage

This private, two-bedroom cottage offers an idyllic escape with breathtaking ocean views, a spacious deck, and immediate beach access. Located in the peaceful Bahama Palm Shores community, just a 30-minute drive from Marsh Harbour, it’s the perfect retreat for those looking to unwind in a tranquil setting. Enjoy the simple pleasures of seaside living with all the comforts of home in this serene Bahamian haven.

Photos from Tranquility Beach VRBO

 

The Abaco Club on Winding Bay

A mix of tropical living and luxury, The Abaco Club is a private club where you can either rent a vacation home or become one of the fortunate few to own one. Known for its world-class golf course and spa, this club offers exclusivity at its best.

Photos courtesy of Abaco Club

The Exumas

The Exumas, a stunning chain of 365 islands and cays in the Bahamas, are renowned for their sapphire-blue waters, secluded sandbars, and the world-famous swimming pigs. Whether you’re an adventurer, a yachter, or simply seeking a tranquil paradise, reaching The Exumas is definitely an exciting journey.

How to Get to The Exumas

By Air

The most direct way to reach The Exumas is by air, with two main airports serving the region. The Exuma International Airport (GGT) in George Town on Great Exuma is the primary entry point. It accommodates international flights from major cities such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, and Toronto, with airlines like American Airlines, Delta, Air Canada, and Bahamasair. There are also daily flights from Nassau via Bahamasair and Sky Bahamas, making it a quick hop from the capital. You can also travel via the Staniel Cay Airport (TYM), although smaller, serves those heading directly to the mid-Exumas, including the popular Staniel Cay and the surrounding cays. This airport is primarily reached by charter flights from Nassau. Another convenient yet exclusive way to reach The Exumas is by chartering a private plane. This is a great way if you want to maximize your vacation time. Private charters can be arranged from Nassau or Florida, landing at either of the main airports in The Exumas.

By Sea

Like all the other islands of the Bahamas, The Exumas are also a boater’s paradise, so getting there by boat is a popular choice! Many visitors like to explore The Exumas by renting or chartering a private boat from Nassau. Great if you want a flexible itinerary, and you want to visit multiple islands and hidden coves along the way! You can also travel by regular ferry services that run from Nassau to various points in The Exumas, including George Town. 

Don’t forget to check the schedules and availability of flights and ferries as they can vary depending on the season. Advance bookings are recommended, especially during peak tourist seasons. The best time to visit The Exumas is during the dry season from November to April. Also, if you plan to travel by boat, always keep an eye on the weather conditions, as the region can experience rough seas!!! Especially outside of the peak season.

What Makes The Exumas Special

The Exumas are an absolute dream for travelers looking for that perfect blend of unspoiled natural beauty, unique wildlife, and luxurious island living!!  Here’s why this stunning archipelago in the Bahamas stands out as a top-tier destination:

The Most Amazing Beaches

Imagine the most crystal-clear, aqua-blue waters you’ve ever seen—that’s the Exumas!! This chain of 365 islands is famous for its jaw-droppingly beautiful beaches, including stretches of soft pink sand that contrast magnificently with the most vibrant turquoise sea. The region also offers spectacular underwater caves and thriving coral reefs, definitely a paradise for snorkelers and divers. 

Iconic Wildlife Adventures

One of the most Instagram-worthy experiences in the Exumas has to be swimming with the famed pigs at Big Major Cay. These adorable pigs aren’t shy about paddling out to greet you as you splash into their crystal-clear waters. And let’s not forget the friendly nurse sharks at Compass Cay, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for close-up encounters that make for unforgettable stories.

Ultimate Privacy

With 365 islands and cays, you can find your own private slice of paradise every day of the year in the Exumas. The beaches here are literally footprint free!!! Many of these spots are only accessible by boat, offering the ultimate in seclusion and serenity—perfect for that romantic getaway or a peaceful retreat from the world.

A Sailing Heaven

The Exumas are a sailor’s dream. The waters here are not only stunning but also teeming with amazing marinas. 

Amazing Luxe Resorts and Cozy Hideaways

Whether you’re after the luxe experience of a private island resort or the charm of a beachfront cottage, the Exumas have it all. High-end resorts like Sandals Emerald Bay offer not just luxurious accommodations but also amenities like a championship golf course. For those preferring intimate settings, chic and equally luxe boutique hotels are also available in the island.

Where to Stay in The Exumas – The Best Villas to Rent

The Sandbar Luxury Oceanfront Home  

This stunning property features five bedrooms, a spacious kitchen, and living areas perfect for socializing. Step outside to enjoy an infinity pool, hot tub, and a private sandy beach ideal for family gatherings or groups. Whether it’s lounging by the pool, enjoying watersports, or simply soaking in the breathtaking ocean views, The Sandbar offers a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure with THE BEST views!!

Shades of Blue 

 

Step into Shades of Blue, a stunning beachfront getaway where every room offers beautiful ocean views. This special retreat features a master suite with both indoor and outdoor showers, perfect for enjoying the fresh sea air. It’s an ideal spot for large families or groups, with extra bedrooms and a fun games loft. It has 8 bedrooms and can sleep up to 20. It’s that spacious!! The home’s design includes walls that slide open, blending indoor comfort with the great outdoors. Outside, you can relax by the infinity pool, soak in the spa, or grill up a feast on the BBQ island, all while savoring your own private slice of the beach.

 

Villa Exuma

Pool

   

If you want twin villas, with each boasting its own infinity pool and private dock, this spot in tranquil Hartswell is for you!!! The place is ideal for big families or groups of up to 20 guests!! Enjoy king-sized bedrooms, large eating areas, and fun water activities. Add a private butler service to make your stay extra special, all just a quick drive from George Town and top local dining. Villa Exuma is where memorable vacations are made!

What to Do in The Exumas 

Swim with the Famous Pigs – A trip to The Exumas wouldn’t be complete without visiting the adorable swimming pigs at Big Major Cay. Splash around with these charming creatures and snap some unforgettable photos!

 

 

Snorkel at Thunderball Grotto – Explore this stunning underwater cave best known for being in not just one, but two James Bond films! The grotto is a must-see for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. 

Discover Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park – This protected area is the first land and sea park and is home to the second largest coral barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere.

 

 

Feed the Stingrays at Stocking Island – Head to Chat ‘N’ Chill Beach Bar and have fun feeding the friendly stingrays right from the shore while enjoying a fresh conch salad!! 

Wander the Sandbars of Pipe Creek – Rent a boat and cruise through Pipe Creek to find its shifting sandbars and enjoy a quick beach picnic or a lazy afternoon soaking up the sun.

Lounge on Tropic of Cancer Beach – This is the longest beach on Little Exuma, famed for its powdery sand and crystal-clear waters and one of the beach beaches in the Bahamas!

Charter a Boat for a Day of Island Hopping – Hire a boat and tailor your own adventure across The Exumas’ many islets and secluded spots that’s great for exploring.

 

What to Pack for a Trip to the Bahamas

Lack of Color Sunnydip Fray Boater Hat in Seagrass

 

RUMER Amalfi Mini Dress in FloralLuli Fama Palm Breeze Tank Mini Dress in Multicolor 

 

 Enza Costa Tiered Maxi Skirt in White

 

 

The Peyton Starfish Pouch Top-Handle Bag 0

A vacation to the Bahamas serves up a fun blend of beauty, adventure, and luxury. If you’re planning to visit Bahamas anytime soon, remember to book your accommodations early, especially if you’re planning to visit during the peak winter months when things book up way in advance!!!!! 

 

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Christina is a leading luxury lifestyle and travel blogger with over 2 million readers. Follow her on instagram @jetsetchristina.

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