Despite their proximity, Miami and the Bahamas are separate worlds. The Bahamas are only 110 miles off the southern coast of Florida, a spring and a step away from the sunny, metropolitan city of Miami. The Bahamas, an archipelago state, is recognized for its tropical temperature, great seafood, and some of the world’s most beautiful (and largely undisturbed) beaches. Travelers can take advantage of this proximity by taking a one- or two-day boat or aircraft trip from Miami to the Bahamas. As a result, a trip to the Sunshine State can also represent an exquisite escape to tropical splendor.
Transport Options From Miami to the Bahamas
It takes just a short time to get from slick Miami to the relaxed and rustic Bahamas. This makes day travel from Miami to the Bahamas easy.
1. Travel By Air
Aside from the airport hassles, flying to the Bahamas can be a faster way to get there. If you want to go further out than Freeport and to the Out Islands in just one or two days, this is a good option. Bahamas Air Tours provides one-day excursions from Miami that allow you to island hop by boat after you get to your destination due to the reduced travel time. These package offerings can be an excellent way to see Green Turtle Cay, Manjack Cay (with its stingrays and sharks), and No Name Cay all in one day!
This tour company also offers snorkeling in the James Bond Thunderball Grotto, viewing sand bars, and spotting amazing wildlife on a one-day adventure from Miami. On request, private charter plane tours for small groups are available.
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2. Travel By Boat
A variety of companies exist that can arrange a day trip from Miami to the Bahamas via boat, with Freeport in New Providence being the most sought-after destination port. Opting for this method of travel has its advantages, as many cruise options provide top-notch onboard services and even luxurious perks.
More so, among the most popular service providers for one-day trips to Freeport is Balearia Caribbean. Using their services allows for a three-hour and twenty-minute journey from Fort Lauderdale (a 35-minute drive from Miami) to Grand Bahama. On the boat, passengers can enjoy amenities such as a café, duty-free shopping, a bar serving signature cocktails, and access to WiFi.
Viator also offers a one-day trip to Freeport, which includes a shuttle coach from either Miami Beach or your downtown hotel to Fort Lauderdale. This option allows for a sea crossing in just two hours and thirty minutes. Onboard amenities for this excursion include the previously mentioned offerings as well as a casino.
For those who have more time and desire to venture further, the Carnival Cruise Line provides two- or three-day cruises to Nassau from both Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Finally, for a tranquil and serene experience, the FRS Caribbean ferry can transport travelers from Miami to the Out Island of Bimini in just two hours.
What is the Cost of Transportation From Miami to the Bahamas?
Typically, ferry cruises present a more budget-friendly alternative. They frequently transport passengers both to and from Freeport, Grand Bahamas, from Miami, at an approximate cost of 100 dollars each way. For instance, Viator provides one-day expeditions to and from Freeport starting at around 160 dollars.
Balearia Caribbean Ferry usually charges approximately 99 dollars per way for transportation between Miami and Freeport, with return included. Certain cruises, particularly those spanning two days, often feature a complimentary meal within the package. Nevertheless, it is advisable to verify whether you are responsible for covering your own food and accommodations overnight, which is usually the case.
The trips offered by Bahamas Air Tours are typically pricier, although they generally include all expenses. Prices for these tours range from approximately 500 to 1,000 dollars. This fee covers not only air travel to and from Miami, but also entrance to all attractions, boat excursions, inter-island travel, bottled water, and a local guide. (However, the cost of food and beverages is not included.)
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Things to Do in the Bahamas
Below is a list of the things to do in the Bahamas when you take a day trip to Miami
1. Spend Some Time at the Beach
If all you do on Grand Bahama Island is relax on the beach, you’ve had a wonderful trip. This may very well be the only activity you do on your day trip to the Bahamas, and it would be a day well spent. There are various beaches to select from on the island, but some of the best are Gold Rock Beach, Taino Beach, and Fortune Beach. If a beach is near a resort, you can pay the resort a nominal charge for a “day pass” to use their facilities (pool, etc.) and relax on the beachfront.
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2. Indulge in Bahamian Cuisine
The Bahamas offers a variety of local cuisine. This includes savory seafood and tropical fruits, making it an ideal destination for visitors. Arawak Cay in Nassau, known as “The Fish Fry,” is a hub of local eateries offering fresh seafood concoctions like conch fritters and grilled lobster tails. For Bahamian comfort food, the iconic pea and rice dish is a must-try, often served with grilled or fried fish.
More so, the national dish, conch salad, is a must-try if you love seafood. It is made from fresh conch, diced vegetables, lime juice, and a hint of spicy pepper. Potter’s Cay Fish Market in Nassau offers conch salad stalls.
If you’re a dessert enthusiast, Bahamian desserts like guava duff are a must-try. It features a sweet dough filled with guava paste and rolled into a log. This traditional dessert is boiled or steamed to perfection, providing a warm, gooey, and delicious treat. These dishes are available at local bakeries and dessert shops across the islands. The Bahamian cuisine will surely make your day trip to the Bahamas from Miami.
3. Visit Lucayan National Park
Situated on Grand Bahama Island, Lucayan National Park stands as a captivating and highly frequented tourist spot. Within its premises, a number of scenes from the famous blockbuster Jurassic Park were majestically captured. Individuals venturing here have the delightful opportunity to partake in snorkeling escapades along the mesmerizing underwater cave system, as well as indulge in peaceful strolls for pure enjoyment.
4. Explore Lucaya Marketplace
Situated in the charming port of Lucaya lies the Lucaya Marketplace, an ideal destination for immersing oneself in the vibrant culture of Grand Bahama Island. This bustling marketplace boasts an array of shops where one can find a diverse range of locally crafted goods and delectable foods. Additionally, in close proximity to the marketplace, there are several exceptional restaurants that are highly recommended for exploration.
5. Go Scuba Diving
Divers are presented with the chance to explore lively coral reefs, come across a variety of sea creatures, and uncover intriguing sunken vessels in Bimini, Bahamas. On Bimini, numerous reefs await exploration, with the renowned Rainbow Reef being one of them.
6. Explore Nassau Harbor
Nassau is a popular destination for tourists, with the Queen’s Staircase being a must-see attraction. This limestone staircase, carved by slaves in the late 18th century, offers a breathtaking view of the city from its top.
If you love history, Fort Charlotte is a must-see, with its 18th-century fortress showcasing Nassau’s colonial past. You can explore the fort’s rooms, tunnels, and cannons, and take a stroll along its ramparts to admire the stunning views of Nassau Harbor.
Also, Cable Beach, located near the city center, offers pristine beaches with powdery white sands and turquoise waters, perfect for relaxing and water sports.
7. Swim with Flamingos, Dolphins, and Pigs
Opportunities to explore the Caribbean with an abundance of wildlife, such as dolphins, flamingos, and pigs, are presented by Grand Bahama Island. Among them, the pig swim stands out as an exceptionally distinct encounter, which you will likely come across numerous Instagram posts of while delving into the island.
FAQs on Day Trip to the Bahamas From Miami
Do I need a passport to visit the Bahamas?
Yes, a valid passport is required for traveling to the Bahamas from Miami.
Are there any visa requirements for the Bahamas?
U.S. citizens do not need a visa for stays up to 90 days, but it’s always best to check the latest requirements before traveling.
Can I use U.S. dollars in the Bahamas?
Yes, U.S. dollars are widely accepted in the Bahamas. However, having some local currency (Bahamian dollars) can be handy for smaller transactions.
What should I pack for a day trip to the Bahamas?
Essentials include sunscreen, beachwear, comfortable shoes, a hat, and your passport.
Is it possible to extend my day trip and stay overnight in the Bahamas?
Some day trip options allow for overnight stays, but it’s important to confirm this with the tour operator in advance.