New Providence Bahamas is one of the most popular tourist destinations, mostly frequented by the rich and the wealthy from around the globe.
Then again, this is not to say that regular folks like you and me cannot enjoy the beautiful sceneries and pristine beaches of the island.
One can go backpacking or stay in a budget hotel when in New Providence and still have a wonderful experience.
So, what does New Providence really offer?
New Providence Bahamas
The island of New Providence is home to 70% of the country’s overall inhabitants. It is also considered the most crowded in the whole archipelago.
Situated on this island is the Bahamas’ capital city of Nassau. This is where the executive, judiciary, and legislative branches of the government reside.
As the country’s primary commercial center, New Providence has more than 400 financial institutions throughout the island.
Two-thirds of the annual tourists in the Bahamas stay on this most populated island.
The island’s name came from a governor’s gratitude to Divine Providence when he survived a shipwreck back in the 17th century.
They added the word New, later on, to distinguish it from Old Providence, which is a pirate’s fortress outside British Honduras.
Several British forts were set up after the official establishment of New Providence in the latter part of the 17th century.
As a Tourist Destination
It was in the late 19th century when New Providence started advertising the island as a health resort.
Its mild climate and modern, luxurious facilities made it conducive for recovery. Communication is not an issue as most natives speak English fluently.
New Providence island became a full-fledged vacation destination by most Americans during the late 1920s.
Various tourist facilities emerged, including a dedicated harbor for visitors from cruise ships, as hotels offered gambling as an attraction.
Things To Do on Your Stay
The New Providence Island may be small, but you will never run out of things to do and activities to enjoy.
It’s a perfect vacation destination for those looking for non-stop fun and adventure. You can be sure that every dollar spent is worth it.
Let’s look at some of the popular activities and famous attractions on the island.
1. Biking Tours
Tourists and visitors have various options for this activity, depending on their preference. Let’s take a brief look at these options.
Nassau Historical Guided Bike Tour
This guided bike tour is perfect for small groups and first-time visitors. It usually lasts for four and a half hours.
Downtown Nassau Cultural Bike Tour
This guided tour in Downtown Nassau exposes you to the beauty of Bahamian architecture. Here, you’re sure to be mesmerized by stunning murals and colorful buildings on Bay Street.
Bahama Life Cultural Scenic Tour
This unique tour will bring you historical locations on the island while onboard the luxury Tour Bike.
It can carry 15 passengers who will taste the delicious and savory Bahamian-styled dish in a pineapple bowl.
Private Luxury Tour Bike Rental
This all-inclusive private tour is perfect for 10 to 15 passengers as they celebrate special occasions like birthdays, weddings, and the likes.
Enjoy great music, alcoholic beverages, tasty Bahamian appetizers, and finger foods as you pedal along the island’s streets amidst wonderful sceneries.
2. Walking Tours
If you are not into cycling, the island also offers walking tours to various local spots. Here are your many options:
Nassau Historical Walking Tour
This walking tour is perfect for first-time visitors. You will learn about Nassau’s best parts, the history of the Bahamas, and its culture.
Nassau’s Dilly Dally Walking Tour
In this tour, you will walk around Downtown Nassau with a local guide and discover Bahamian architecture.
You will also visit the Straw Market to see the beautiful creations of the local vendors.
Historical Nassau Walking Tour
This guided walking tour will let you see historical places in Nassau, especially the Queen’s Staircase.
Included in this tour is a sumptuous lunch of Bahamian classics at a family-owned eatery.
Nassau Food and Cultural Walking Tour
If you wish to learn the history of Nassau’s downtown district, don’t forget to join this tour.
You’d take in Nassau’s wonders while delving in Bahamian cuisine in locally-endorsed eateries and contemporary restaurants.
Nassau Food and Rum Walking Tour
This walking tour is ideal for guests with limited time to spare.
It will inform you of the rum-making history of the Bahamas. You will also get a taste of authentic Caribbean rum.
Bi-Lingual Walking Tour
This walking tour is specially arranged for the island’s Latin guests, allowing them to understand the Bahamian culture in their own language.
Self-Guided Audio Tour of Nassau
If you want to explore the island at your own pace and time, there’s an audio file that you can download to your smartphone as a guide.
3. Nature and Wildlife
Nature lovers and those who love to commune with wildlife have these following selections perfect for their New Providence tour.
Segway Safari Tour in Blue Lagoon
Your guide will lead the way to the most appealing tourist spots on the island onboard your Segway.
Look out for dolphins, sea lions, sharks, and stingrays while you’re at it. The tour ends with a barbecue buffet lunch inside a dining pavilion.
Nassau Private Nature Charter
This two-hour private tour on board a rented boat allows you to explore mangrove forests rich in animal life and native plants.
Swimming Pigs and Spanish Wells
If a fun day for you means dipping in crystal-clear waters with swimming pigs and turtles, this tour is for you. You can also relax on the shores of Spanish Wells as you grab food and drinks.
Private Full-Day Tour
In this private tour, your guide will bring you to Exuma.
You can spend your day with the swimming pigs, enjoy a clean and white sandbar, see the local wild iguanas, and snorkel at a sunken plane wreck.
4. 4WD Tours
If you want to explore Nassau faster and in comfort, you can try various 4WD tours with your group.
Nassau Shore Excursion
In this excursion, you will be riding a climate-controlled van as you learn more about the capital city.
A sampling of the classic Bahamian dessert, local chocolate, and alcoholic beverage is part of the tour.
Funky Nassau Jeep Adventure
Here, you will tour the island in a limo-style jeep, either in the morning or afternoon. You’d also get a chance to taste the island’s famous rum and tea, as well as visit historic forts.
Combined Sightseeing Tour
This combined sightseeing tour lets you visit famous spots and historic caves riding an air-conditioned coach. You also get a chance to snorkel in Nirvana Beach.
Jeep or Buggy Tour
You can drive along the streets of the island on the Can-Am Commander 1000 XT jeep. Four passengers can comfortably sit in the buggy as you cruise the coastline.
Island Jeep Tour
Visit the top historical and cultural sights of the city in an open-air Jeep for two hours. You can choose from a morning or an afternoon tour.
Island Buggy Tour
Choose between an ATV, Buggy, or Jeep when you take this tour. This experience will allow you to enjoy an off-road adventure as you visit the island’s beaches and main roads.
For a guided exploration of the island’s top attractions while driving an ATV or riding on the back of one, take this ATV tour.
Clifton National Park Tour
Hop on an ATV and let a guide lead you to historical spots and movie filming locations. You can also go snorkeling to see the underwater sculpture Bahamas is known for.
The Bahamas is famous for its beaches, and each one offers a different attraction and experience. Here are the top 10 most visited beaches on the island.
- Cable Beach
- Jaws Beach
- Arawak Cay
- Cabbage Beach
- Love Beaches
- Junkanoo Beach
- Saunders Beach
- Paradise Beach
- Goodman’s Bay
- Caves Beach
Places To Stay
Knowing the perfect accommodation when vacationing in New Providence allows you to plan your stay better. Here’s a rundown of the best places to stay on the island.
1. Sandyport Beach Resort
If you are looking for a peaceful place to stay in, this quiet retreat is perfect for relaxation, surrounded by the tropical landscape.
The resort is within the Sandyport Marina Village, three miles away from the airport and a few minutes distance from Cable Beach.
2. Rosewood Baha Mar
Rosewood Baha Mar is located on the pristine sands of Cable Beach within the Baha Mar haven. Enjoy memorable moments from its offering of land and sea leisure activities.
3. The Island House
This 30-room boutique hotel is the third-best Bahamian resort on the island. Aside from its rooms and suites, it also offers private beach access and rental apartments.
4. Bell at the Airport
If you are looking for a specialty lodging house, Bell at the Airport is the number choice among travelers.
The accommodation includes Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV, living room, kitchenette, and a private bathroom.
5. Breezes Resort and Spa Bahamas
Perfectly situated on Cable Beach, this all-inclusive resort offers everything you need from food, comfortable bedrooms, powerful internet connections, fun activities, and more.
6. Grand Hyatt Baha Mar
Another place to stay on Cable Beach is the breathtaking beach resort of Grand Hyatt Baha Mar.
It has balconies overlooking the beach, pools, spa, golf course, and the largest casino you will find in the Caribbean.
7. Ocean West Boutique Hotel
This newest 10-room luxury hotel is the number one option for bed-and-breakfast inns on the island.
It is an exclusive resort with private access limited to guests only. Its above-sea-level location offers breathtaking views of the western district of New Providence.
8. Colony Club Inn and Suites
Colony Club Inn and Suites has 42 units amid a beautiful garden setting with an outdoor swimming pool.
It is situated near a bus stop for easy mobility to local beaches, supermarkets, and tourist spots.
9. A Stone’s Throw Away
This Bahamian bed-and-breakfast offers on-site dining and an outdoor swimming pool with a waterfall. Each spacious room has wooden floors and ceilings and a private balcony.
10. Hibiscus Inn Hotel
This hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with private balconies. It also provides free Wi-Fi and an all-day room and front desk service.
Tourist Attractions in New Providence
There are several tourist spots that you can visit while staying in New Providence. You will learn about its history from the locals or your tour guide.
Make sure to check and visit these fascinating places on the island.
1. Queen’s Staircase
This 102 feet staircase has 65 steps and is the most visited place on the island. This attraction is a big part of Bahamian cultural history.
Slaves have carved out these steps from solid limestone during the latter part of the 17th century.
The name was given to honor Queen Victoria’s reign and her assistance to abolish slavery in the Bahamas.
2. Fort Charlotte
Fort Charlotte is the largest one in Nassau on top of a hillside overlooking the city capital’s harbor. It was built in preparation for a battle that never happened during the late 18th century.
There are available guides who can help you navigate all the fort’s historic features, though you will also find lots of lights and signages to guide you in your exploration.
3. Arawak Cay
Arawak Cay is a seafood paradise offering the authentic taste of Nassau. Aside from a wide variety of fish, you will also find traditional Bahamian fare.
One of the most popular offerings is the conch salad. They also fry crispy conch fritters when there’s an order.
This waterfront attraction serves frosty beer and other potent alcoholic beverages perfect for a nightcap.
4. Rose Island
Rose Island has uninhabited white sand enveloped in crystal-blue waters embodying the typical tropical dream.
You can order a refreshing drink from the single beachfront bar, sunbathe in your private corner, or swim in its sparkling ocean.
5. Fort Fincastle
Situated on top of Bennet’s Hill is the massive Fort Fincastle. It has impressive brick walls with peeking canons visible over the top.
This 126 feet tall fort was constructed in 1793 by the island’s governor Lord Dunmore to protect the island.
Presently, tourists can go to the top and explore the cannons. It also offers a magnificent panoramic view of the ocean.
Undoubtedly, the island of New Providence Bahamas should be part of your bucket list.
From all the fun activities we have enumerated to the famous attractions on the island, you will surely enjoy your vacation.
Here are additional fun facts about the Bahamas.