The road less travelled in the Bahamas

Posted by - November 28, 2016 | Category: Contributing Author

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 IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons

The Bahamas is one of the most visited holiday destinations in the world. As a consequence it’s tough getting a balance between visiting the run-of-the-mill tourist traps that appear on, and are subsequently ticked off, the world and his dogs’ wish list – and the authentic sites and experiences that tend to get ignored. A list like this is always going to be subjective but here are 5 alternative ways to experience the “real” Bahamas that otherwise may have passed you by.

Dolphin House

This self-proclaimed most unique and artistic structure on Bimini is a weird but wonderful mix of museum, art gallery, sculpture and home. Local visionary artist Ashley Saunders built this spectacular abode himself, and uses his beach-combed finds and practically anything he can get his hands on to decorate both the interior and exterior. Beside the art however, the convivial host is always happy to share his encyclopaedic knowledge of the islands with his visitors, giving a vivid, graphic and above all else, interesting and local perspective that you won’t find in guide books.

Dive, Dive, Dive

1024px Carlos Leder Airplane Wreck Inside

 IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons

The islands boast some of the best diving on the planet, but also some of the most unusual. A perfect example is located no more than half a mile from Staniel Cay Yacht Club.  The wreckage of a perfectly preserved plane sits in 6 feet of clear water, giving a unique diving experience and one that can be enjoyed even by newbie divers. For those looking for something slightly more daring, there is the spectacular Thunderball Grotto nearby, featured in not one but two James Bond Films. The islands are also famous for its sink holes – or blue holes which sound a whole lot more pleasant. Taking one of the better tours is the best way to visit these incredible natural wonders of the world.

Blue Skies, Green Baize

PCA2015 Tournament Room Neil Stoddart

 IMAGE SOURCE: GambleGeek

Being such a popular tourist destination, especially one that is relatively accessible, the Bahamas finds itself on many world tours for various different activities. One such that may have passed you by is the PokerStars Championship that rolls into town in early January. In addition to the poker, the PCA (or PokerStars Caribbean Adventure as it’s also known locally) is a whole culture of entertainment and a great way to get into this ever popular pastime and observe the big-shot players in a stunning setting.

Junkano

Junkanoo Festival Nassau 2

IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons 

To witness the Bahamas, and the Bahamians doing what Bahamians do best, you really should pull out all the stops to visit when one of the three Junkanoo nights take place. This all singing, all dancing parade is held on December 26th, New Year’s Day and again in the summer. All the islands take part, with the biggest and brashest parties taking place around Bay Street in Nassau.

Food Tours

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IMAGE SOURCE: YouTube

Food is not just the way to a man’s heart, it is also a very good way to discover the beating heart behind a nation and its culture. And why not throw in some drinking as well when you’re about it? There is no shortage of places to try out the gorgeous and unique local fare. The Tru Bahamian Food Tours combine culinary wonders with architectural and cultural delights in a walking and tasting tour of downtown Nassau, while rum or craft beer lovers are catered for by tours of John Watling’s Distillery and the Pirate Republic Brewing Company respectively.

Like with anywhere, the act of discovery is a delight in itself, and one that more often than not leads to another equally fascinating treasure. The best way to really experience the Bahamas is to take the locals’ advice, immerse yourself in the rhythm of the islands and go with the flow.

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