With the lure of a tropical metropolis and the ease of a utopian islet, Paradise Island is a world of aquatic wonders. From the grove of Casuarina trees on ubiquitous beaches to the glowing reefs of every possible color, a different adventure awaits here every moment. A unique blend of 21st-century glamor – that some would even say hedonistic – and captivating old-world charm of The Bahamas invites vacationers to this ultimate holiday destination.
Before World War II, the island was a private estate of the Swedish entrepreneur Axel Wenner-Gren. Then known as Hog Island, it was bought by Huntington Hartford who named it Paradise Island in 1959. It is currently owned by Sol Kerzner – a South African businessman.
Things to Do in Paradise Island
Bask in the beauty of beaches and swim in pristine waters, shop at chic boutiques, taste fresh seafood, enroll in a Yoga ashram, or hedge your bets in the casinos, the island has enough round-the-clock activities to make your holidays memorable.
Beaches – With a perfect amalgam of sun, sand, and sea with around 80ºF water temperatures, powdery-white stretches of Paradise Beach, Casuarina Beach, and Colonial Beach host incredible array of water activities. Embark on underwater adventures to explore colorful coral reefs teeming with fish or just plant your umbrella and soak up the sights of open sea.
Atlantis Resort – This iconic resort is the reason enough to plan a vacation in The Bahamas. From private golf courses and orgy-sized pools to a huge water park and walk-in aquarium, it has got it all. Enjoy thrilling water slides and a mile-long river ride on fast rapids in one of the biggest water parks in the Caribbean. Head to the Dolphin Cay for a little face-to-nose time with dolphins or admire the spectacular marine life in Atlantis Waterscape – the largest open-air aquarium in the world.
Outdoor Thrills – Board a catamaran to test your angling skills with fly-fishing or take a snorkeling expedition and encounter legendary shipwrecks. Make a birdie in exclusive golf clubs or just map the island with a rewarding bicycle ride. Other adventures in the region include: kite-boarding, kayaking, deep-sea fishing, birdwatching, island boat tours, and wildlife excursions.
Shopping – From stylish boutiques on the Paradise Island to Bahamian stores and markets on the Bay Street in Nassau, it’s hard not to be enticed by duty-free shopping. Stroll down the Bay Street where locals sell everything from hand-woven straw hats to genuine Havana cigars, and handmade Bahamian gifts, crafts, jewelry, souvenirs and more.
Nightlife – When the sun sinks, things heat up on the island. For adventures after dark, enjoy a glass of sparkling wine or share a quiet nightcap. Attend live music at happening bars, dance until dawn to the rhythms of Calypso and Soca music, and try your luck at Blackjack in casinos.
Junkanoo – Plan your trip accordingly as it is the biggest event in the Bahamian calendar. This street parade, celebrating freedom and life, is held on Boxing Day (26 December) and again on New Year’s Day. Choreographed dances, lavish costumes, and Caribbean music resemble the celebrations of Rio Carnival.
Tours – Take expertly guided tours to art museums and delve into history by joining a cultural tour of Nassau. Joining a sightseeing tour on foot is the best way to indulge in the niceties of island culture. Visit Victorian-era buildings, historical landmarks, and botanical gardens.
Fort Charlotte, National Art Museum, Pirates of Nassau, Big Pond, and Prince George Wharf.
Paradise Island Map
This arch-shaped island is located just off the shore of Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas, in North Atlantic Ocean. Nassau sits on the northeastern edge of New Providence Island.
How to Reach?
By Air – Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS), 10 miles from the island, is the largest international gateway into The Bahamas. It is served by flights to and from the United States, Canada, Panama, and the United Kingdom. Jitney minibuses are the most common mode of transport from airports to hotels.
By Sea – To reach Paradise Island, water taxi services are available from downtown Nassau as an alternative to expensive cabs. Paradise Island Ferry Terminal is located between the two bridges that connect the island with Nassau. Water taxis and yacht charter companies offer a range of private-crewed charters for groups and families in and around the island. Nassau Bahamas Cruise Terminal at Prince George Wharf is one of the busiest cruise ship ports in the Caribbean.
Pamper yourself with luxury suites and tailored spa at The Cove Atlantis, One&Only Ocean Club, The Reef Atlantis, and Royal Towers. For mid-range accommodations, Hotel Comfort Suites, Riu Palace Paradise Island, Paradise Harbour Club, and Harborside Resort are good options. Budget travelers should check out Towne Hotel and Red Carpet Inn.
From elegant bistros to casual surf-and-turf spots, the island offers a broad mix of restaurants. On intimate candlelight dinners, awaken your taste buds with fresh seafood and quality gourmet dishes. For fine dining and delectable European cuisine, try Café Martinique, Carmine’s, Dune Restaurant, and Blue Lagoon Seafood Restaurant. While Nobu serves Japanese cuisine, Chop Stix is known for contemporary Chinese cuisine.
Best Time to Visit
As the weather remains consistent throughout the year, there is really no bad time to visit The Bahamas. To avoid crowd and expensive accommodations, travel in the off-season between May and November.
Facts about Paradise Island
- The island is 3 mile long and ½ mile wide. It covers an area of 685 acres.
- The Bridge Suite in the Royal Towers, is among the most expensive hotel rooms in the world at over $27,000 per night.
Things to Remember
- Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, hats, and provisions.
- Budget travelers may want to cross over the bridge into downtown Nassau to find cheaper restaurants and accommodations.
- Bahamas offer visa-free visits with up to three months of stay to citizens of some countries.
Image Credit: PROCraig StanfillPublished On: Thursday, December 24th, 2015