So we just got back from spending four nights in the Bahamas, specifically Paradise Island. For some context, Paradise Island is where Atlantis is. We didn’t stay there but I feel like most people are familiar with Atlantis and we were about a 10 minute walk from there. Anyway! In the blog I wanted to recap where we did stay, and what we did, along with a few other things I wish I would have known before traveling there.
For starters, the reason we were in the Bahamas was to take Stephen’s mom on a trip! Stephen has been wanting to treat her to a vacation for a little while now, and so we planned this trip with that being the intention. She wanted to go somewhere tropical, so after doing a bunch of research in terms of pricing, COVID requirements, time we could take off, etc. the Bahamas seemed like the best bet. We were able to find an Airbnb that was super reasonably priced (unlike anything else in the Bahamas apparently but more on that later). The Airbnb was also super convenient location wise – it was only a 10 minute walk to the Atlantis and to Marina Village (where there are a lot of shops and restaurants). And I will say, in my opinion, location is/was the probably most important thing. The Airbnb itself was not fancy by any means but it was close to the main “attractions” and it was clean. Plus, for the price (when we went it was $220/night), you really can’t beat that considering what hotels like The Atlantis and BahaMar cost per night.
As far as what we did – on Friday we purchased day passes to Atlantis and spent the majority of the day there. If you aren’t a guest there, you can have access to their restaurants and casino, but without being a guest or having a day pass you will not have access to their pools, water attractions, beach, etc. You can get the day pass ahead of time or the day of. We purchased our ones for Friday ahead of time and they were $190 per person. Again, this just gets you access to the pools and the other outdoor areas but nothing else is included in that. The next day, we did a Food Tasting and Culture Walking Tour which I definitely recommend. Our tour guide, Will, was super knowledgeable, the food was great, and it was a great way to walk around downtown Nassau. The last full day, Sunday, we wanted to do an excursion but we had to get COVID tests before flying out on Monday sooo we were kind of limited in terms of the times we could sign up for things. That being said, after we got back from our COVID tests (around 11am), we were trying to debate what to do on our last day. We thought of going to the beach (a free activity lol) but the issue is there aren’t chairs and umbrellas you can rent and the waves were so rough they weren’t allowing people in the water. So needless to say baking under the sun on just beach towel for hours didn’t sound too appealing. We ended up going back to the Atlantis (which this time was $250 per person I guess because it was over the weekend?) and despite being pretty expensive, Atlantis is a nice spot to relax for the day. I personally wouldn’t have wanted to stay there for what it costs, and not that the day passes were cheap, but the excursions aren’t cheap either. So it kind of felt like you were going to spend the money either way. Plus, I did go down a few water slides and the lazy river after a few Bahama Mama drinks so that was fun haha.
As far as meals go, Marina Village (right next to the Atlantis) is a great spot to check out. Tons of restaurants (and shops) but definitely make reservations ahead of time. We waited until that weekend to make reservations so we only could grab a spot at Carmine’s one night. I’ve eaten at Carmine’s once before in NYC – and I really like it! It’s Italian and family style so great if you’re in a group of 4 people or more. One of the other nights we ate at a restaurant at the Atlantis called “Olives” which was pretty good! For lunches we typically just snacked on stuff by the pool (at the Atlantis) and the other day we had the food tasting tour. We also went to the grocery store when we first got there so we did breakfast and snacks at the Airbnb.
So a few things to note about the Bahamas. Regarding the cost – when I first booked this trip, I thought it was going to be somewhat budget friendly considering what I found our Airbnb for, but oh was I wrong! Live and learn I guess lol. I will start by saying since the Bahamas imports everything, everything is expensive (it was honestly more expensive than Hawaii). The first day we were there and we bought groceries, and a small carton of half & half (not organic) was $9. NINE DOLLARS. And every dinner we had out, the cheapest entree was usually mid $30s. So with drinks, tip, etc. most dinners were $300+ for four people. And based off prices of the Atlantis tickets and excursions in general – you’re not saving money on things you can do during the day. All that to say, if you’re looking for a more affordable vacation spot (like I was), I probably wouldn’t recommend the Bahamas. The beaches were gorgeous and the trip in general was a lot of fun but I felt like it was expensive for what you get in return. I also may feel that way because I’m not really a beach person so I would have rather spent that amount of money traveling somewhere else. But just in general, know that it is pretty expensive and if you’re looking for a more budget friendly trip, don’t make my mistake! Here is your warning lol.
As far as COVID goes, as of April 2022, you have to apply for a travel visa which includes having a negative COVID test no more than 3 days prior to your flight. We also had to fill in some other information via our airline through an app called “Verifly” but I think this can vary depending on what airline you fly. And then when you leave the Bahamas, you have to take a COVID test one day before your departure (you can find locations through your travel visa) to make sure you test negative before entering back into the US. Overall, it was a pretty simple process but just something to note if you are planning on visiting.
If you have any other questions regarding out trip, feel tree to drop them below! xx