There are few places on earth as beautiful or relaxing as the Bahamas and they are just fifty miles east of Miami. With a tropical Paradise right next door it’s little wonder that so many Americans make their way from Miami to Bahamas each year.
The Bahamas Archipelago extends across 100,000 square miles of ocean. It boasts more than 2,000 miles of pristine coastline, offering visitors plenty of options when it comes to a trip to the Bahamas.
Miami to Bahamas Day Trip – How to Get There
If you’re planning a day trip to the Bahamas, you’ll have to get an early start and plan your transport carefully. The least expensive way to get from Miami to Bahamas is by ferry.
Bimini is the closest island to Miami and you can get there within two hours. This will leave you with six or seven hours to explore and enjoy the laidback atmosphere on the island before you travel back.
If you want to make the best of your day trip to Bahamas flying to an island closest to one of the Bahamas must-see tourist attractions.
Best Beaches in Traverse City – 10 Awesome Traverse City Beaches
Miami to Bahamas Ferry Day Trip
The ferry to Bimini and Freeport is the cheapest way to get to the Bahamas. The ferry from Florida to Bahamas leaves from Fort Lauderdale every Wednesday to Sunday. It takes about two hours to get to Bimini by ferry, the first port of call. From Bimini the ferry moves on to Freetown. It takes another half hour to reach the busiest port in the Bahamas.
The round-trip costs around $198 before tax. Prices change throughout the year so you will have to check the cost and availability when you plan your Bahamas excursions.
You can choose to use the ferry via Bimini or directly to Freeport. The indirect ferry trip will, of course, cost you additional time. Arrange for the ferry company to pick you up at your Miami hotel and you’ll drive by coach to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale to board the ferry.
Most trips land at around 11 am and depart again at 6 pm. So, you have plenty of time to enjoy the sparkling beaches and coastal resorts on the islands.
Miami to Bahamas Cruise
Cruise ships have recently reopened following the forced closure due to Covid-19. Sailing is one of the best ways to see the beautiful Caribbean in all its dazzling glory. Because cruise lines are reopening many of them offer reduced rates at this time.
Still, if you’re planning on taking a cruise, you’ll need more than a day. The shortest cruise from Miami to Bahamas is a weekend cruise. Pack your bags and leave your troubles behind.
Cruises depart from Miami and Fort Lauderdale. You’ll be treated to onboard luxuries. Let the cruise staff take care of everything from your cocktails to your massage, delicious meals, and poolside comforts. A weekend of cruising could cost as little as $119 per person sharing.
Miami to Bahamas Flight Routes | Options | Flight Time
If you can’t wait to step into the warm clear waters of the Caribbean, a plane will get you to the islands faster than any other means of transport. This will leave you with plenty of time to enjoy the gorgeous white beaches, markets, and bars.
A commercial flight will get you from Miami to Bahamas in about an hour. The following airlines all fly to Nassau
- Bahamas Air
- American Airlines
- Frontier Airlines
The first flight departs at 09.28 am and the last flight returns at 7.10 pm.
Though prices vary considerably depending on when you book and the season, you can expect to pay between $200 and $300 for a round trip.
If you’re keen to avoid terminal queues, you can charter a flight from Miami to Bahamas. You’ll pay at least $4,500 to charter a private jet that seats five.
Miami to Bahamas Car Ferry
While it is possible to take your car from Miami to Bahamas by car ferry, it isn’t practical. It is costly and you would also have to insure, register and license the car in the Bahamas before you could use it. You would also have to pay import duties and the process takes ten days.
There are plenty of car rental companies in the Bahamas so it is best to rent a car at the airport or catch a taxi from the harbor.
How To Get To Bora Bora From Anywhere In The World
Miami to Bahamas by Boat
Because of its proximity to Florida, it is possible to travel from Miami to Bahamas by boat. If you choose to go by boat, you may face some challenges. There are no navigation tools and the water has many sharp reefs. If you hire a slow boat, the trip will take you the better part of a day.
If you’re planning a day trip from Miami to Bahama’s it is far better to book a ferry trip and island hop in the Bahamas using a chartered boat or a tour boat option. There are plenty available and many of the operators include snorkeling and fishing options as part of the package deal.
Miami to Bahamas Day Tours
Miami to Bahamas day tours have become increasingly popular. It’s little wonder since these beautiful tropical islands offer a quick step away from the stresses of daily life. Here clear blue waters lap 2,000 miles of isolated sandy beaches. Beneath the water, marine playgrounds teem with vibrant colors and diverse marine life.
Because of their proximity, it is best to take a day tour to either Bimini or Grand Bahama.
Bahama’s Air Tours also offers day tours to Exuma, Paradise Island, and the out islands of the Bahamas.
Plan a half-day cruise to the remote beaches on Rose Island or take a three-mile boat ride to Blue Lagoon Island.
Bahamas boat tours will run you around several of the islands from two hours to half a day. It’s a wonderful way to see the area and you can take time out to snorkel, swim or fish.
The shallow waters around the islands offer brilliant snorkeling adventures and many of the boat tours include this in their program. Sunn Odyssey Divers in the Grand Bahamas Island is just such a company.
What to Do in the Bahamas
The Bahamas is all about relaxing and enjoying what nature has to offer. Here you’ll find warm and isolated beaches, huge underwater caves, or bustling resorts serving haute cuisine, and exquisite cocktails. You choose your holiday to suit your needs.
The Bahamas boasts the world’s third-biggest coral reef. Combine this with visibility of up to 200 feet and warm tropical waters. It’s easy to understand why this is one of the world’s foremost diving destinations. Diving options include reef diving, cave diving, and shark diving. The area also boasts one of earth’s biggest and most prolific fishing grounds. Boats and yachts you’ll find aplenty.
If arts, crafts, and colonial architecture are more to your taste. You will also find plenty to see in the charming towns and villages of the Bahamas.
What to Do in Bimini
Bimini is the closest island to the US mainland. It is comprised of three islands and was a favorite holiday destination for Ernest Hemingway. It’s where he wrote the “Old Man and the Sea”.
The fishing around the Bimini islands is fantastic and many fishermen travel from Miami to Bimini by boat to spend the day fishing.
Plan your visit from April to November. The summer months are very hot and humid. Rent a bicycle or golf cart to get around the island and explore.
Book a boat excursion and join spotted dolphins, southern stingrays, and hammerhead sharks at play in their own habitat.
Alternatively, go snorkeling in the wreck of the SS Sapona. The ship went down in a hurricane in 1926. Parts of the wreck are visible above the water but by diving, you can examine the inner workings and colorful tropical fish that now live in it.
Best Beaches in Cancun – 10 Best Cancun Beaches to Visit
Grand Bahama is the most popular of the islands. The main city, Freeport, is only 110 miles from Miami, a hop and a skip away. So, it’s a great choice for a Miami to Bahamas day trip. Both Freeport and the Garden City of Lucaya offer visitors plenty of restaurants, shops, and bars
Yet, it is the long, sunny beaches that attract tourists. Choose to relax on the beach or hike through the jungle in the beautiful Lucayan National Park.
The forty-acre park has one of the longest underwater cave systems in the world. the six-mile-long limestone caves teem with wildlife in an ecosystem like no other. Dives into the cave system will cost you between $140 and $175 per person. You need a permit and a qualified diver must accompany you.
The diverse landscapes of the National Park include golden beaches, gumbo limbo forests, and mangrove swamps complete with lookout platforms. Gold Rock Beach in the park featured in the movie, “Pirates of the Caribbean.
Hire a kayak or take a tour in a glass-bottomed boat to peer into the clear Caribbean waters and marvel at the colorful marine life below.
Want a closer view? Consider snorkeling. If you’re trained, SCUBA is also great fun.
Cross the bridge to Paradise Island and use the sprawling Atlantis resort facilities. Here you will find a golf course, a casino, and plenty of restaurants serving delicious food.
You may want to spend the day at the 141-acre Aquaventure Water Park. Besides the waterslides and lazy river, the park also sports the world’s biggest open-air marine space filled with masses of marine wildlife. Entry costs $90. Children cost $50.
Alternatively, take a peaceful walk through the Versailles Gardens. These truly spectacular gardens combine Italian sculpture and architecture with the tropical plant life endemic to the Bahamas.
What to Do in Bahamas Nassau
Located on the island of New Providence, Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas and its largest city. The city is known for its crafts and folk art. Indeed, UNESCO has allowed Nassau to join the Creative Cities Network as a result.
If you plan a day trip from Miami to Nassau, you’ll have to catch a plane. The distance is such that a boat would take too long for a day trip. The city has miles of beautiful sandy beaches and some vibrant coral reefs.
If you’re interested in colonial buildings, you’ll find plenty of well-preserved cathedrals, fortresses, and family homes.
If you’re here to see the beaches, take some time out at Cable Beach, the most popular beach in New Providence. Here clear blue water laps the soft white sands which stretch for more than two miles into the distance. The beach is lined with restaurants, bars, and shops that rent out marine sports equipment.
Looking for some peace and quiet? Take a trip to the Clifton Heritage National Park on the east of New Providence Island. The Park has miles of lovely walking trails. It also has several historical features including ruins left by indigenous people that once lived on the island. There is also an old slave bell.
Best Time to Visit Guatemala | By Season & Month
Islands / Island Hopping
There are more than 700 islands in the Bahamas so island hopping is a lot of fun. A day trip from Miami to Bahamas is perhaps not ideal for island hopping. It will take you more than one day to really appreciate the diversity of nature in this island wonderland.
You can use domestic flights to get from one island to another. Where the islands are relatively close a boating or sailing trip is also a lot of fun and you’ll get to see marine life up close and personal.
Known as a great fishing and sailing destination, the Abacos has something for everyone. Here you’ll find quaint colonial villages, great shops and restaurants, and championship golf courses.
The main island Great Abaco is easy to get to as it has, not one, but two international airports. The Abacos group of islands spans 120 miles and has several cays accessible by boat or ferry.
Take some time out to visit pretty Hope Town on Elbow Cay or spot Northern Bahamian Rock Iguanas on the Bitter Guano Cay. These fascinating creatures have walked the earth for more than three million years.
Blue Lagoon Island
Lounge in colorful hammocks in the shade of a coconut palm. Sip your cocktail while you contemplate the exquisite beach and lagoon.
The lagoon was once a salt marsh. Today it is filled with sparkling blue water lined by soft white beaches. Here you can sign up for an eco-tour, swim with dolphins, or dive with the stingrays that live in the ocean around the island.
Activities And Attractions On The Maldives
Find your way to the pink beaches of Harbor Island. Accessed by water taxi from Nassau, you can make your way past the pastel-shaded Georgian buildings and onto the Pink Sand Beach.
The beach gets its pretty hue from microscopic organisms that live in the sea. The Pink Sand Beach is 50 to 100 feet wide and three miles long. It will cost you $60 to rent a golf cart for the day. It’s how everyone gets around on the island.
Cross the soft sands and find beneath the warm turquoise waters a whole world of life and color amongst the coral reefs. Here too you will find the world’s biggest underwater sculpture and a prop from an old James Bond movie.
Make your way from Harbor Island to the nearby island of Eleuthera. The name means freedom. The most notable structure on the island is a glass-windowed bridge connecting the north of the island to the south. The window allows you to contrast the rough deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean with the calm and turquoise waters of the Caribbean. It’s quite surreal.
You’ve no doubt heard of the Exuma pigs that inhabit Big Major Cay, colloquially named Pig Island. Why not take a boat to the island and swim with the pigs and their offspring? Thousands of tourists come to the island each year for just this.
The island has a number of hotels, resorts, and restaurants, and some great cave diving. Swim with nurse sharks at Compass Cay. These sharks aren’t aggressive but diving with them can give you quite an adrenalin rush.
Take a walk along the sandbar at Pipe Creek Cay. It is only visible at low tide but the walk will take you deep into the clear blue hues of this beautiful sea.
This island is a different kind of special. Here you can climb up Como Hill, the country’s highest point. Visit a medieval monastery or explore old plantations and slave ruins.
If you’re a sun lover, head for the eight miles of pristine beach that surround the island
Haven for diving, boating, and fishing Long Island is home to the world’s second deepest blue hole, Dean’s Blue Hole. This diving paradise hosts the annual International Free Diving Competition.
The island also hosts the Long Island Regatta in June each year.
Here you will also find the oldest church in the Bahamas, Saint Mary’s Catholic Church.
Surfing in Nicaragua | Best Surfing Spots & Towns
How Long Does the Ferry Ride Take from Miami to Bahamas?
The ferry sails to Bimini and Freeport. How long it takes will depend on your destination. The trip to Bimini takes two hours and the direct trip to Freeport takes two and a half hours.
Is Bahamas Part of the US?
The Bahamas is not part of the US. It was once a British colony but it got its independence in 1973. Now it is an independent country within the Commonwealth.
Do You Have to Have a Passport to Go to Bahamas?
As a US citizen, you do not need a visa for travel of up to 90 days but you will have to present your US passport. The passport must have at least two blank pages to enter the country. You will also need proof of departure. Your return ticket will serve as such. Your passport must be valid for at least three months after your date of departure.
All visitors to the Bahamas must be fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to the visit to avoid a negative COVID-19 test. All travelers including children must apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa. Those who have not been vaccinated will need a negative Covid-19 test within five days of the visit.
How Far is Bahamas from Miami by Car?
You can’t drive from Miami to Bahamas since it involves covering some distance over water. You can, however, drive to Port Everglades and take a ferry to Bimini or Freeport. There is also a car ferry but it takes more than 16 hours to cross the water and it is very expensive.
There are also all kinds of requirements like registration, customs duties, and insurance that you will have to take care of before you can put the car on the road.
Is There a Car Ferry from Miami to Bahamas?
There is a car ferry from Miami to the Bahamas, but it is expensive and takes time to export a vehicle to another country. This is only worth doing if you are moving to the Bahamas or plan to spend a long time in the country.
Start Planning Your Trip to the Bahamas
Start planning your Bahamas excursion now. With the world reopening for tourism, there has never been a better time to plan that getaway to some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. What are you waiting for?