This article originally appeared in Delta Air Lines’ 2012 Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America Travel Guide. It has been extracted from its original format. To read the full travel guide, visit the digital edition.
Though visitors fly into the small town of Freeport, the most prominent part of Grand Bahama Island is the Grand Lucayan resort. The resort puts everything vacationers need just outside their hotel doors—a beautiful beach, swimming pools, a handful of restaurants, and plenty of shopping options at the nearby Port Lucaya Marketplace, from traditional souvenirs to clothing, jewelry and local crafts. Port Lucaya also comes alive at night, attracting revelers to its bars and its nightly stage shows. The Treasure Bay Casino entices gamers with 35,000 sq. ft. of slots and table games, while the nearby UNEXSO complex offers live dolphin encounters. Venture away from the resort, however, and you’ll discover a wealth of natural attractions. Beneath its waters lies one of the world’s largest underwater cave systems, ideal for experienced divers with special permits, while beginner divers can opt for more user-friendly reefs. Grand Bahama Island is also home to three national parks, including the Bahamas National Trust Rand Nature Centre, home to a wide variety of bird species including the endangered Bahama parrot and a 2,000-ft. walking and hiking trail; Lucayan National Park, where visitors can explore two large caves that make up part of its expansive system of caverns; and Peterson’s Cay National Park, an offshore island that’s surrounded by thriving coral reefs, making it perfect for snorkelers and divers. Grand Bahama’s early history lives on here, too, in the form of settlements like Pinder’s Point and Russell Town, founded by former slaves in the mid-1800s. Even the golf courses here showcase Grand Bahama’s natural beauty. The Reef Golf Course gives golfers a glimpse of the island’s picturesque lakes at 13 of its 18 holes, while the Lucayan Golf Course challenges players with dense tropical foliage.
- Best time to visit:
November to May
- Fun fact:
Kalik, the local beer of The Bahamas, takes its name from the sound of the cowbell, a common instrument in the traditional music of the islands
- Getting there:
Delta flies from Atlanta to Freeport
- Entry documents:
Bahamian dollar; U.S. currency is widely accepted
- Must-try local food:
Bahamian Rock lobster
- Best buys:
Duty-free designer clothing and accessories, local handicrafts
- Information please:
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism—bahamas.com