The Bahamas are comprised of over 700 islands and cays. You’ve probably already heard of some of the islands, such as: New Providence (Nassau), Paradise Island and Grand Bahama. Here you’ll find large resorts, casinos, nightclubs and shopping.
But look beyond the hustle and bustle of the Bahamas’ more touristic islands and you’ll find a more pristine and authentic way of life amid the clear, calm waters. There is perhaps no better example than the Exumas, which make up more than half of the country’s 700 islands. Grand Isle Resort & Spa sets the standard of luxury not just in Exuma, but also for the entire country, making it an ideal choice for those seeking both luxury and cultural authenticity.
Here are some of the best islands to consider that are off the beaten track.
ISOLATED FISHING & DIVING ISLANDS
Walker’s Cay is located in the Northern Abaco region of the Bahamas and is all about saltwater fishing. Reel in a big catch from a charter boat, and then kick back in a quiet hotel room or private cottage in the evening listening to the lapping waves.
North Bimini was Ernest Hemingway’s choice for fishing, and diving is brilliant here too. It has got the retro feeling of a fishing village where locals and sports fishermen swap sea stories of the big one that got away and the even bigger one that didn’t.
ISLANDS FOR TRADITIONAL BAHAMIAN CULTURE
Cat Island is the stuff of legends where you will encounter Obeah voodoo still being practiced. There are rumors of mythical sea beasts living in caves around Mount Alvernia, the highest point on the island. You can also explore the ruins of a hermitage built on the summit by its architect Father Jerome.
If you want to experience true rustic Bahamian living, like visitors did in the 1970s before the tourist boom, head to Crooked Island. You’ll find some friendly inhabitants and no commercialism; instead there’s a simple, self-sufficient community with some great snorkeling off the sandy shores.
ISLANDS FOR ROMANCE AND NATURE LOVERS
The Exumas are some of the best water in the Bahamas, due in part to the 365 islands all in a row. Many of these islands are protected and the ones with accommodations offer an extraordinary combination of luxury, sustainability and serenity.
Grand Isle Resort & Spa, on the main island of Exuma, offers luxury and tranquility. However, the rustic, old-island feel is not far away, should you wish to venture into the capital city of George Town. Along the way, head down any of the rocky side trails and you will be presented with an isolated beach.
Most people who stay on Exuma also head out on boats to take in the other islands. While some of these islands are privately owned, it won’t be difficult to find a spot of land that is completely isolated. This experience in itself is a form of luxury that money simply can’t buy.
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