1. The Exumas

There is a reason why you will find the The Exumas at the top of every list of best destinations in the Bahamas. Comprising over 365 cays and islands, the Exumas offer a diverse and picturesque cruising ground. Known for their pristine white-sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters, these islands provide an ideal setting for yachting enthusiasts.

Geographically situated in the central part of the Bahamas, the Exumas are divided into three main areas: Great Exuma, Little Exuma, and the Exuma Cays. Great Exuma serves as the gateway, with its capital, George Town, offering essential services and facilities. Little Exuma, connected by a bridge, provides a quieter retreat with stunning beaches and untouched landscapes. The Exuma Cays, a stretch of smaller islands and cays, offer some of the most exquisite and secluded spots in the region.

Exuma Bahamas Yacht Charter
The Exumas, Bahamas
The famous plane wreck at Norman's Cay. The WWII-era plane belonged to Pablo Escobar's drug cartel. It was thought to be carrying cocaine when it landed in the water, just shy of the runway in 1980. Nowadays the wreck is a popular snorkeling site.
The famous swimming pigs of the Bahamas are a unique and popular attraction. Found on Big Major Cay in the Exuma Cays, these feral pigs have become a beloved part of the region's charm. Visitors can enjoy the surreal experience of watching and interacting with these friendly pigs as they swim in the crystal-clear waters, creating a one-of-a-kind encounter that has captured the hearts of many.
  • The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, a protected marine reserve, showcases vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life, making it a haven for snorkeling and dive charters. Staniel Cay, within the Exumas, is renowned for the swimming pigs at Big Major Cay and the captivating Thunderball Grotto, a unique underwater cave system featured in the James Bond films.
  • Cruising through the Exumas unveils a spectrum of anchorages, each offering its own unique charm. Highbourne Cay, Staniel Cay, and Warderick Wells are among the popular stops, providing essential services, picturesque beaches, and opportunities to interact with the friendly local communities.
  • Visitors to the Exumas can relish the laid back vibe of island life while enjoying world-class amenities. From upscale resorts to charming beachside cottages, accommodations cater to diverse preferences. This is also a good place to sample the local cuisine featuring fresh seafood and an excellent selection of fruity cocktails.
A Bahamian Island Iguana from the Exuma Land and Sea Park.

2. Eleuthera Island

Eleuthera Island, located about 50nm east of Nassau, ranks high on the list of premier charter destination in the Bahamas, offering a range of unique attractions for yacht charterers. Renowned for its pristine pink sand beaches, particularly on the eastern Atlantic side, Eleuthera offer some of the most visually striking coastlines in the region. (The unique pink color is attributed to the presence of foraminifera shells mixed with the sand.)

One of the island’s notable landmarks is the Glass Window Bridge, a natural bridge that seperates the dark blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean from the calm turquoise of the Exuma Sound. This wonderful geological formation provides a picturesque setting with a captivating contrast between the two bodies of water.

For those seeking world-class fishing experiences, Eleuthera proves to be an ideal destination. The island’s waters are abundant with various species, including bonefish, tarpon, and marlin, attracting anglers from around the world. The versatility of fishing options, from flats to deep-sea, contributes to Eleuthera’s reputation as one of the worlds best fishing destination.

Off Eleuthera’s Northern shores, the shallow waters give way to steep drop-offs, with depths of over 3000 meters, where you will find the really big fish such as the Marlins. It is on this exact island that the world’s largest Marlin was caught in 1993. If you plan to do a luxury fishing yacht charter, this is a must visit destination.

Eleuthera on the right-hand side (aerial view)
The Eleuthera land bridge, also known as the Glass Window Bridge, is a natural limestone arch that spans across Queen's Highway, connecting the northern and southern parts of Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas. The bridge provides a striking visual contrast between the dark blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the calm turquoise waters of the Exuma Sound on the other.
The Eleuthera land bridge, also known as the Glass Window Bridge, is a natural limestone arch that spans across Queen's Highway, connecting the northern and southern parts of Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas. The bridge provides a striking visual contrast between the dark blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the calm turquoise waters of the Exuma Sound on the other.

3. Berry Islands

The Berry Islands, situated to the northwest of Nassau between the Great Bahama Bank to the west and the Tongue of the Ocean to the east. The Berry Islands are part of the Out Islands (also known as the Family Islands) of the Bahamas, known for their natural beauty, tranquility, and appeal to those seeking a more secluded and exclusive island experience.

With over 30 islands and numerous cays, the Berry Islands provide an extensive playground for yacht charterers, well worth the slight detour. This is also a good stepping stone for those planning a yacht charter route reaching the Bimini Islands further to the west.

The Berry Islands also offer exceptional opportunities for water activities, including snorkeling, diving, and sport fishing. The rich marine life and vibrant coral reefs make exploring the underwater world a highlight of any yacht charter in this region. The fortunate location of the Berry Islands, nestled between the Great Bahama Bank and the Tongue of the Ocean, ensures easy access to both shallow and deep-sea exploration.

Coco Cay Bahamas Berry Islands Yacht Charter
Berry Islands, Coco Cay
  • The largest island in the Berry Islands, Great Harbour Cay, serves as a central hub with an airport, marina facilities, and a golf course, adding amenities to the natural beauty of the islands.
  • The Berry Islands have a historical past, with evidence of Lucayan Indian settlements dating back to the pre-Columbian era. The islands were also frequented by pirates and privateers during the colonial period.
  • The Berry Islands are surrounded by several blue holes, underwater sinkholes that can reach considerable depths. These geological formations are of interest to divers exploring the mysteries of the ocean floor.

4. Nassau & Paradise Island

Nassau and Paradise Island, the core of the Bahamas archipelago, must definitely be included in the top 10 charter destinations in the Bahamas, offering a perfect blend of ultimate luxury and pristine tropical beauty.

Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas, is located on New Providence Island and serves as the gateway to the archipelago. This is where you will most likely fly in, and so be the launching place of your great charter exploration in the Bahamas.

Paradise Island, connected by two bridges to Nassau, complements the experience with upscale resorts, such as the famouse Atlantis Hotel, and other high-end luxury attractions that makes this stand out as one of the most extravagant destinations in the world. This is the ideal place to both start and end a luxury yacht charter in the Bahamas.

Nassau, The Bahamas
Atlantis hotel at Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas.
  • Atlantis Paradise Island: A highlight of Paradise Island is the iconic Atlantis resort. This sprawling complex features extravagant water parks, world-class dining options, and a casino. Charter guests can enjoy access to the resort’s exclusive facilities and experiences.
  • Gourmet Dining: Culinary enthusiasts will appreciate the diverse and upscale dining options in Nassau and Paradise Island. From fine dining restaurants with panoramic ocean views to beachfront eateries serving freshly caught seafood, the islands offer a gastronomic journey for those with refined tastes.
  • First-Class Golfing: Golfers can enjoy world-class courses set against stunning tropical backdrops. Several upscale resorts on Paradise Island offer exclusive access to championship golf courses designed by renowned architects.
  • Spa and Wellness Retreats: Indulge in pampering experiences at luxury spas scattered across Nassau and Paradise Island. These wellness retreats provide a serene escape, offering a range of rejuvenating treatments and relaxation facilities.
  • Cultural Exploration: Nassau’s rich cultural heritage is reflected in its historical sites, museums, and vibrant local markets. Charter guests can immerse themselves in the Bahamian culture, exploring colonial architecture and engaging with the local arts scene.
  • Nightlife Extravaganza: As the sun sets, Nassau and Paradise Island come alive with a sophisticated nightlife scene. Exclusive lounges, beachfront bars, and upscale nightclubs offer a refined atmosphere for those seeking entertainment after hours.
A tourist woman in a white summer dress and holding a drink walks along a tropical beach with turquoise sea and palm trees
Paradise Island is approximately 3 miles long, and its beaches span the entire coastline, providing visitors with several miles of stunning sandy shores to explore and enjoy.

5. Abaco Islands

The Abaco Islands stretch over 120 miles and include Great Abaco and Little Abaco as the main islands. But the archipelago also encompasses numerous smaller cays and islets, each offering its own unique character.

The Abaco Islands earn their spot among the Bahamas’ top 5 destinations with their diverse landscapes, iconic landmarks like the Elbow Cay Lighthouse, and the cultural richness of settlements such as New Plymouth.

The allure of Treasure Cay Beach, consistently ranked among the world’s best beaches, coupled with Abaco National Park‘s natural beauty, makes this the perfect destination for any sun-seeker or nature enthusiast.

White beach on Abaco Island
Abaco Island
  • Marsh Harbour: As the largest town on the island, Marsh Harbour serves as the commercial and transportation hub. The town has an airport, making it a common entry point for visitors arriving by air. Located in Marsh Harbour, the Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Habor Marina offers world-class amenities for boaters and visitors. It serves as a popular base for exploring the Abacos.
  • Abaco National Park: Covering an expansive 20,500 acres, Abaco National Park is a protected area on the mainland of Great Abaco. It encompasses diverse ecosystems, including pine forests and mangroves, and provides habitat for various bird species, including the endangered Bahama Parrot.
  • Elbow Cay Lighthouse: Located on Elbow Cay, the iconic candy-striped lighthouse in Hope Town is one of the last manually operated kerosene-burning lighthouses in the world. It stands as a historic landmark and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Red and white candy cane striped lighthouse on Elbow Cay, Abaco, Bahamas, Hope Town. Storage shed with small boat are in the foreground. Copy space available in the clear blue sky
The Iconic Red and white candy-cane striped lighthouse on Elbow Cay, Abaco Island, Bahamas, Hope Town.
Boats on anchor at Hope Town, Abaco Island
  • Treasure Cay: Renowned for its stunning beach, Treasure Cay boasts 3.5 miles of powdery white sand and clear turquoise waters. The beach consistently ranks among the world’s best and is a popular destination for water activities.
  • Green Turtle Cay: This cay is known for its laid-back atmosphere and well-preserved colonial architecture. The settlement of New Plymouth showcases charming pastel-colored buildings, and the Albert Lowe Museum provides insight into the island’s maritime history.
  • Man-O-War Cay: Man-O-War Cay in the Bahamas is renowned for its traditional boat-building heritage. The island has a long-standing reputation for skilled craftsmen who construct wooden boats using traditional techniques passed down through generations. This boat-building tradition is an integral part of the island’s cultural identity.

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Embarking on a luxury fishing yacht charter is the ideal way to explore the 700 Islands of the Bahamas. Renowned for its world-class fishing facilities and exclusive marine life, the Bahamas ranks among the world’s premier fishing charter destinations. Most of the fishing in the Bahamas archipelago consists of fly fishingbone fishingbottom fishing, and deep-sea fishing which would also include the major, exciting pelagic trophies such as marlin, mahi mahi, wahoo, barracuda, and tuna.

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