Top Reasons Why You Should Go Sailing in the Bahamas

A sailing trip through the Bahamas is the best way to see this idyllic archipelago
A sailing trip through the Bahamas is the best way to see this idyllic archipelago | © Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
Sadie Whitelocks

Blessed with balmy weather, postcard-perfect scenery and azure waters, the Bahamas is a paradisiacal place to go sailing. The ​archipelago is made up of around 700 islands and more than 2,000 cays. Without a boat, it’s impossible to see it in all its glory. Here, Culture Trip reveals why you should book a sailing holiday around the Bahamas.

Never sailed before? Don’t worry. Culture Trip’s eight-day sailing adventure around the Bahamas includes a fully qualified skipper and crew, so you can kick back on deck and relax.

Soak up the winter sun

Looking for somewhere to escape those cold Northern Hemisphere winters? The Caribbean serves up great temperatures all year round, but the best time to go to the Bahamas is from November through to April, as there’s less rain. Sailing through the region will give you the perfect opportunity to top up your tan. Be sure to stock up on sunscreen and make use of the bimini (lightweight deck cover), since the wind can disguise the sun’s wrath. Avoid hurricane season in the Bahamas, which is from June to November.

Enjoy year-round balmy weather in the Bahamas

Spot dolphins and sharks

Feel like you’re in your own nature documentary while sailing through the Bahamas, with an abundance of wildlife to see in crystal-clear waters along the way. The string of islands is home to several species of dolphin, including the Atlantic spotted and the bottlenose. The Bahamas is also considered one of the best places in the world to dive with sharks: tigers, hammerheads and oceanic whitetips are among the pack. Some of the best spots for diving include Exuma Cays, Grand Bahama Island and Eleuthera Island.

The Bahamas is considered one of the best places in the world to dive with sharks

Get prime access to the swimming pigs

The swimming pigs on Big Major Cay, also known as Pig Beach, in the Exumas, have become one of the prime attractions in the Bahamas. The buoyant hogs certainly make for an unusual sight. Arriving on your own private boat means you’ll be able to see these characterful creatures from a different perspective and tip up at the location before the crowds descend.

The wild swimming pigs of Big Major Cay have become quite the attraction in the Bahamas

Access pristine beaches

If you’re looking for the ultimate Instagrammable beach, then the Bahamas is the place to be, with white sands fringing the littering of islands and cays. Sailing the Bahamas means you can dip into these heavenly spots at your leisure. If you’ve stopped at a more remote beach with no facilities, simply hop back to the boat for supplies or rustle up a picnic.

The Bahamas abounds in pristine white-sand beaches

Sip cocktails in top beach bars

Bar-hopping by boat is surely the way to go in the Bahamas, with your home-away-from-home just a short tender away. Recommendations include Nipper’s Beach Bar and Grill on Great Guana Cay for its party vibe and punchy cocktails, and Chat ‘N’ Chill on Stocking Island, which opened its doors in 1998 specifically for sailors, and whose rules stipulate “no shoes allowed.”

Nipper’s Beach Bar and Grill is known for its party vibe and punchy cocktails

Dock in top marinas and yacht clubs

The Bahamas boasts some of the best marinas and yacht clubs in the Caribbean, with state-of-the-art facilities and exceptional service. Nassau Yacht Club was awarded Platinum status for 2021 by the Club Leaders Forum and hailed as one of the most exclusive yacht clubs in the world. The club, which was founded in 1931, overlooks the eastern part of Nassau Harbour and Montagu Bay. If you are a YCA (Yachting Club of America) member or a member of a reciprocating yacht club, you can gain access. Alternatively, there are dozens of world-class marinas in the Bahamas to choose from.

The Bahamas has some of best equipped marinas in the Caribbean

Unwind in a tropical paradise

Relaxation is the word of the day in the Bahamas; everything runs on island time. After touching down on the archipelago, you’ll quickly feel the strains of everyday life wash away. Sailing the Bahamas only enhances this feeling. After all, there’s nothing more soothing than being on the water, with the sound of the ocean lapping against the hull to lull you to sleep. You’ll quickly forget what day it is.

Sample local cuisine

As you’re cruising the Bahamas, you’ll have the opportunity to dip into a spread of beachside restaurants to taste the delicious local cuisine. It might just inspire you to try your hand at rustling up a recipe or two. Must-try dishes during your sailing excursion include spiny lobster from Anegada, rum cake, and fried plantain, which makes for an ideal onboard snack.

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