If you’ve ever dreamed of a balmy, Caribbean vacation, Nassau in the Bahamas was probably one of the top places you pictured. This idyllic Caribbean island has the giant mega-resort of Atlantis, plenty of gorgeous beaches, and tons of marine life.
While many cruise ships will stop in Nassau, you can go there on your own and stay for as long as you would like. Understanding when to travel to Nassau is the first step in ensuring that your beachy vacation is a success.
Unfortunately, this part of the world does experience some hurricanes, and there are a few things to be aware of before you book those plane tickets.
Fortunately for you, our travel experts have created this guide to help you make the most out of your amazing Nassau adventure. Let us be your guide!
Why You Should Visit Nassau
Nassau is one of the most idyllic places on earth, with balmy tropical temperatures that are perfect all year round. So if you need a little extra sun in your life and want to work on your base tan, this is the best place to go.
Even Nassau nights are relatively temperate and balmy, and the temperature barely dips below 70 degrees. Additionally, this tropical paradise has tons of beautiful beaches and exceptional snorkeling.
There are even some areas to go diving. With plenty of coral reefs and abundant marine life, Nassau is an excellent place to go for families or couples to learn more about our underwater world. The fun isn’t just under the waves, though.
There are plenty of things to do in Nassau on dry land, like hiking and horseback riding. You can also take chocolate tours, or visit Atlantis, Nassau’s premier resort. Plus, the food and drinks are excellent, the people are lovely, and it’s easy to get around.
Overall Best Time to Visit Nassau
Since Nassau is tropical, many people like to visit in winter. You’ll still be able to swim, enjoy nature, and bask on the beach in December, January, and February.
Temperatures during these months range between mid-60s to low 80s. Also, travelers during these months will avoid hurricane season. Since winter is peak season in Nassau, expect to spend more money on accommodations and excursions in general.
If you want to save money and don’t mind braving possible hurricanes and rain, you can travel from June to November, when it’s cheapest to go to Nassau due to more extreme weather.
The temperature during this period ranges from high 60s and low 70s to low 90s. The shoulder season between winter and hurricane season is also a decent time to go, although the summer weather can be scorching.
Assess what you want to do while in Nassau and plan your trip accordingly. For example, those who want to do more outdoor activities and don’t mind splurging might wish to travel during Nassau’s busier, but arguably better, winter months.
Cheapest Time to Visit Nassau
Summer and hurricane season are the two cheapest times to travel to Nassau. Spring shoulder season can be equally as inexpensive if you book ahead.
The only thing you need to watch out for, aside from the weather, is construction. Since winter is Nassau’s top season to travel, many hotels and resorts will conduct regular construction or renovations during this time, so it could be a little noisier on the island.
But, on the other hand, you could get an excellent deal at a hotel and cheap airfare. You’ll also enjoy balmy temperatures in the high 70s or low 80s during the day.
Weighing the costs and benefits of traveling at a particular time is essential for any vacation. However, if saving a lot of money is most important to you, the downside to traveling during the rainy season or summer might be the price you’re willing to pay.
Least Busy Time to Visit Nassau
Similarly, hurricane season and summer are the least busy times to visit Nassau and are ideal for those looking to avoid crowds.
If you decide to visit during this time, remember to think up some indoor activities to supplement your beach time. Since you might not get to be outdoors as much as you want due to rain or too-hot temperatures, it’s good to have alternatives.
Summer temperatures rarely break 100 degrees, but can get up to 90 during the day. You’ll avoid an influx of local tourists and also have to deal with fewer cruise ships. The perk is having plenty of attractions in Nassau all to yourself.
Since you’ll save money on accommodations during this time, you may want to splurge on your hotel room and ensure that you get a room with air conditioning. Also, take advantage of discounted meals at restaurants and reduced fares for places like Atlantis.
Worst Time to Visit Nassau
What constitutes the worst time to visit Nassau comes down to your personal preference. If you hate crowds and don’t mind dealing with potentially bad weather, head to Nassau during the summer or hurricane season.
If it’s not raining, you can expect temperatures in the 80s or 90s during the day. Winter is best for you if you’d prefer balmy temperatures and nearly-guaranteed beach weather.
If you decide to travel during hurricane season or summer, keep a few things in mind to ensure that you’ll have a good trip and avoid any accidents. Carry sunscreen with you, even if the weather doesn’t look sunny.
The sun in the Bahamas can be intense, even when it doesn’t seem like it, and you risk getting sun poisoning or bad burns if you don’t wear it. Also, carry travel insurance, especially in hurricane season.
American travelers who want to can register with STEP and stay apprised of any unpleasant situations or problems coming down the road.
Things to Consider
If you head to Nassau via cruise ship, most everything will be taken care of for you, but if you go on your own, you will need to keep some things in mind.
These important things to consider will help you maximize your trip, avoid dicey situations and have a great time:
- You need at least two blank passport pages for your visa stamp
- Make sure you try all of the cuisines, even if it seems strange, as Nassau is an underrated culinary destination
- Food prices tend to be higher than those in the United States, especially if you’re dining on Western fare
- There’s a mandatory gratuity on every bill
- Check out Atlantis resort for a full day of adventure at the waterpark
Additionally, if you decide to see Atlantis, plan on spending at least half the day there. In addition to the vast waterpark, there’s also a massive aquarium and several interactive exhibits.
Dining is available at Atlantis, too, although you’ll undoubtedly pay resort prices for it. Americans can get a visa on arrival in Nassau, which is suitable for three months of travel.
You must have six months of validity on your passport and at least two blank pages. Even though you need two blank pages, the visa stamp only takes up part of one. You’ll get both an entry and exit stamp.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s understandable to have questions when going overseas, and Nassau is no exception. These frequently asked questions should help you understand what to expect the minute you step off the airplane and how to be a gracious guest to your Bahamian hosts.
Social media groups and meetups are great places to get additional information about traveling to the Bahamas. You can also talk to locals about the do’s and don’ts of traveling in Nassau and make up your mind.
Is there a lot of shopping in Nassau?
Rest assured; you’ll be able to get all of your souvenirs in Nassau. There’s both high-end and budget shopping right around every corner. For the most extensive selection, head towards Nassau’s cruise ship dock.
You’ll find high-end shops and local vendors there at Nassau’s Festival Place. Bay Street is another beautiful shopping area in Nassau, and you can even pick up some of the country’s famous rum cakes there.
But, of course, the best way to get a handle on Nassau is to take a day and wander through some of the city’s smaller streets, keeping your eyes peeled for local stalls.
What language do people speak in Nassau?
In Nassau and the Bahamas, in general, people speak English. So even if you go outside traditional tourist areas, you can still expect to hear almost exclusively English. This is very helpful if you’re traveling alone and want to book excursions.
What is the local currency in Nassau?
You’ll use Bahamian dollars in Nassau, although some larger retailers might even accept United States currency. Since Nassau is one of the most popular cruise ship stops, many merchants expect and are okay with American dollars.
Since the Bahamian dollar and the American dollar are almost identical to each other, you don’t need to do a complicated currency transaction in your mind.
You can also get Bahamian dollars all over the island. Use trusted ATMs affiliated with banks, and always withdraw your money in well-lit places, preferably during the day.
Will I need an adapter when I’m in Nassau?
You don’t need an adapter, but you might need a surge protector in Nassau. The sockets are identical to those you would find in the United States, but occasionally the currents can be a little bit different.
Most major electronics, like laptops, come with surge protectors, so generally, you don’t have to worry about it.
If you’re unsure, or you want to be on the safe side, why not pick up a surge protector before you go? If you’re traveling from Europe, a North American converter or universal plug will enable you to charge devices in Nassau and the Bahamas.
How easy is it to get around Nassau?
Most people who visit the Bahamas use public buses, although you can also charter drivers or personal vans. Buses are relatively inexpensive, but you can expect to pay a lot more for private services.
Since most people speak English in the Bahamas, there’s no language barrier, so you can easily travel even to remote places. If you’re traveling via cruise ship and book your excursion on board, the cruise ship will take you to and from your destination.
While some people prefer to book less expensive tours when they arrive at a destination, there’s always the chance that it could run over and the cruise will leave without you.
So, When Should You Visit Nassau?
The best time to visit Nassau depends on what you’re looking to do and if you want to capitalize on budget accommodations.
For example, people who want fun in the sun and don’t want to spend any of their vacations dealing with rain should visit during the winter when it’s more expensive but arguably better.
On the other hand, if you want to save some money on this trip, head to Nassau during the hurricane season or sweltering summer for great deals on virtually everything on the island.
So, with so much to see and do and no technical bad time to do, what are you waiting for — book your trip to the Bahamas today!