Private Islands picture
Private Islands
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Details

Beaches, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Swimming/Pools Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.0scorecard
  • 3.5Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Whether you cruise or fly to the Bahamas, chances are you'll visit at least one private island during your stay. A few feature boutique resorts like Kamalame Cay and Fowl Cay Resort, while others (think: Blue Lagoon Island) offer activities like Segway tours and swimming with dolphins. Meanwhile, those who arrive by cruise ship via Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line or Royal Caribbean International have access to their cruise line's private island. Each offers water sports equipment rentals, eco-tours, cabanas and more (for a fee).

Past visitors appreciated the various activities available at Blue Lagoon Island, especially the dolphin encounters. However, some cited poor service at the gift shop and bemoaned the no camera policy enforced at each animal experience. Travelers also praised cruise-affiliated private islands like Castaway Cay (Disney), CocoCay (Royal Caribbean) and Half Moon Cay (Carnival). Many described CocoCay as "paradise" and Half Moon Cay as "beautiful," while Disney cruisers said Castaway Cay was the highlight of their vacations.

Castaway Cay sits by Great Abaco, the largest island in The Abacos; CocoCay is next to Norwegian's Great Stirrup Cay in The Berry Islands; and Half Moon Cay can be found between Cat Island and Eleuthera. Each island is free to visit when traveling to the Bahamas with its affiliated cruise line, but extra charges apply for shore excursions and food, drinks and gifts purchased on-site.

If you do not choose to cruise to the Bahamas or stay at a private island resort, you can spend a day at Blue Lagoon Island. All activities on the island cost $49 to $249 per person. Rates include round-trip boat transfers between Paradise Island (which is about 2 miles away) and the property. To find out more, check out Blue Lagoon Island's website.

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Bahamas Beaches
Bahamas Boat Tours
Type
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#1 Bahamas Beaches

The Bahamas' year-round warm weather makes it a prime spot for a relaxing vacation in the sun, and some of the islands' best places to unwind can be found overlooking the country's clear blue waters. Available beaches on the Bahamas' 700 islands range from water sports-focused sands at mega-resorts like Atlantis, Paradise Island to quiet sanctuaries on private islands. Some are great locales for snorkeling or horseback riding, while others are best suited for lounging with a drink.

Gold Rock Beach in Lucayan National Park (which was featured in two "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies), Pink Sand Beach on Harbour Island (named for its stunning blush shoreline) and the beaches on The Exumas' Stocking Island (where you can swim and feed stingrays) are many travelers' favorite stretches of sand.

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