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Bahamas help - 4 day vacation with Husband to RELAX!

Bahamas help - 4 day vacation with Husband to RELAX!

Oct 28th, 2013, 11:48 AM
  #1  
rsn
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 133
Bahamas help - 4 day vacation with Husband to RELAX!

Hi there,

I've used Fodors forums for previous trips and have always found everyone's comments so helpful! I'm hoping that I can get some guidance for an upcoming trip I am planning for my husband and I.

We are in our mid/early thirties, both work like crazy, we have a 2.5 year old and another on the way. We are looking to get away, just the two of us (sorry, kiddo) before life gets even crazier. We have 4 days (Wednesday to Sunday) in early December.

We've neve been to the Bahamas and the more I research the more it looks great. We are coming from Toronto, Ontario, so it's only a 2.5 hour flight to Miami. The problem is, I'm just not sure exactly where to start. There are something like 800 islands and I'm not sure where we would want to go and if it matters all that much.

Here's what we are looking for: relaxing on the beach, not "too touristy", spa, some hiking or cycling around the island, some snorkling (unfortunately I can't go scuba diving this trip), good food, and just a laid back environment. We aren't into dressing up for dinners and prefer to lounge around and enjoy. We also don't care at all about nightlife. Dinner on the beach and then maybe a walk? Perfection. We don't really have a budget, but would prefer to spend $500 per night or less. Obviously don't want to spend more than we have to.

I think somewhere like Atlantis would be too touristy/busy for us. I've been looking at hotels on Abaco (Hope Town Harbour Lounge), The Rock House on Harbour Island, Small Hope Bay Lodge, The Cove on Eleuthera also looks nice.

Help please! I'm so overwhelmed!! Thanks so much!!
rsn is offline  
Oct 28th, 2013, 02:58 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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I think Jarbour Island would be terrific for you, really a nice first start to Out Islands. A couple of points though:

Not really hiking islands in Bahamas (unless you count walking endless beaches)

No real snorkeling except in Andros, which you can't combine easily with others.

If Rock House is in your budget, Harbour Island is awesome.
blamona is offline  
Oct 28th, 2013, 02:59 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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What airline from Toronto? Does Air Canada fly into Great Exuma from there (I think it might)?
ishkribbl is offline  
Oct 28th, 2013, 05:35 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Along with the idea of Harbour Island like Blamona suggested, you might want to look into the out islands tourist board offer of "two fly free from Nassau"- the participating hotel on HI is Valentines
http://www.valentinesresort.com/Resort.php
ishkribbl is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 06:03 AM
  #5  
rsn
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Thanks all!

Air Canada flies direct to and from Nassau on the dates we want, and at a very low-ish price. (Prices for flights in and out of Toronto are always more expensive, in my experience). We were going to then look into how to get to the island we decide to go to.

I'm a little bit confused about something - Do you stay at your own hotel for your whole trip? Or are there places close by to go to different restaurants for dinner, etc?

And no snorkeling? Really? Every hotel I look at boasts snorkeling and fishing. My Husband is really into that kind of stuff and I want to make sure there's enough to "do". We would want some sort of "activity" as opposed to just sitting on the beach all day every day. (Although we do want to relax as well).
rsn is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 06:20 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Eluethera has a little bit of snorkeling. you take a small water taxi (15 minutes) from Harbour Island then meet up either rental car or hire a tour taxi through Eluethera, as it's a long island (4 hours from 1 end to another) You can fish between them too.

San Salvador has Club Med on a spectacular beach, has great snorkeling. Good island to bike around, but not much more. Food at that Club Med is beyond excellent. CM has activities. Fly into Ft. Lauderdale, then CM package includes flight from FLL.

Andros great snorkel, little else

Bimini great fishing, little else

Abacos and Exumas are terrific sailing grounds, terrific beaches, not much snorkel. Good for Bonefishing.

Harbour island is a great little town to walk around with restaurants, etc. A lot of celebrities go there and there's a chance of a photo shoot going on. (Sports Illustrated) Transport around in golf cart or walking, small island.
blamona is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 06:47 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Hi:

Here's a helpful link for you to plan your Bahamas vacation to the Bahamas Out Islands: http://www.myoutislands.com/
toll free number for The Bahamas Tourist Office in Toronto is
800 667 3777.
https://www.facebook.com/TravelBahamas
twitter/VisitTheBahamas
Enjoy your trip & take advantage of our $250 instant air credit offer!
Bahamas11 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 06:52 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Airlines: In addition to Air Canada, Sunwing and West Jet fly to The Bahamas (George Town Exuma and Nassau).
Bahamas11 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 07:17 AM
  #9  
rsn
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Bahamas11 - thank you, I already checked the out island's website, and I found it really helpful.

Harbour Island sounds amazing! And I wouldn't mind taking a boat to Eleuthra for a day of snorkeling.

Someone also recommended Sunrise Beach Villas on Paradise Island. I can get there direct from Toronto (I think) and it's less busy than some of the larger hotels, but close enough to Atlantis to do some activities and go to the restuarants.

To be honest, i would prefer to stay away from a busy hotel like Atlantis, but for some reason my husband is into it, so I thought that would give us best of both worlds? But, in truth, I would prefer a smaller and more local feel, which I think is what Harbour Island would give us.
rsn is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 09:17 AM
  #10  
rsn
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Also, any reviews of Sky Beach club on Eleuthra? It looks great, and I understand that we could take the water taxi to Harbour Island to experience both.

After thinking about it for a little bit, I don't think I'm into Paradise Island/Atlantis at all for this trip. I would definetely go one day, but with my kid. For this trip, looking for more laid back and relaxing.
rsn is offline  
Oct 31st, 2013, 06:13 AM
  #11  
rsn
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Okay, am I crazy for wanting to travel to Harbour Island when we only have from Thursday to Sunday for our trip? We arrive in Nassau at noon on Thursday and our flight leaves from Nassau at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Am I crazy?
rsn is offline  
Nov 5th, 2013, 05:36 PM
  #12  
 
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you seem to have a lot of traveling time for a little time in the islands but if you are ok with that then I most definitely would rather be on Harbour Island than on New Providence or in Nassau. Go for it, have a nice visit and see if it is somewhere you would like to return for a longer visit. Just my opinion.
Any way you can squeeze in an extra day or two??
ishkribbl is offline  
Nov 6th, 2013, 06:57 AM
  #13  
 
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<> When we stayed on Paradise Island, we took tours with Stuart Cove including snorkelling trips right on Nassau harbour. If you scuba dive there are some very famous wrecks to see or even some that are shallow enough for snorkelling. There were plenty of fish to see. For a short trip I would think staying in New Providence or Paradise Island might be more convenient. It's only 3 nights that you are going. The One& Only Ocean Club is gorgeous but not in budget.
Odin is offline  
Nov 6th, 2013, 06:16 PM
  #14  
 
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It has been a few years since we actually stayed on HI (at Romora Bay), have visited since then on a day trip from Eleuthera, but we took a snorkeling boat trip to the Devil's Backbone area, I think- it was not far and the reef was shallow and interesting. check with Valentine's for snorkeling trips. Have a great time!
ishkribbl is offline  
Feb 9th, 2014, 12:30 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2008
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I too am planning a trip to the Bahamas for a week. This is great information, we too are not looking to busy hotel, want to snorkel, have beers and listen to music... Can you island hop by boat?
Broncett is offline  
Feb 9th, 2014, 06:50 PM
  #16  
 
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Broncett- by "island hopping" if you mean spending the day on the water and day tripping to other cays for lunch or sightseeing, then I would say that the Abaco chain in the Bahamas is the one good spot for that IF you are comfortable renting a boat and exploring. If not, then you can still do some island hopping via ferry in the Abacos.
Alternately, you can rent a boat on Great Exuma and get out on the water there to see Elizabeth Harbour and Stocking Island.
ishkribbl is offline  
Feb 10th, 2014, 02:20 AM
  #17  
 
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Most people when asking about island hoping usually mean between "grouping " of islands with another, or even between different island countries. Is this what Bronchett means?

For example, if you mean hopping between Abacos and Exumas, nit going to happen without backtrack to either Nassau or Fla.

If meaning between countries, such as Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, ir Bahamas with Dominican Republic, again not going to happen between countries.

Many people think there are ferries linking the different island countries, and that's not the case.

However, if meaning within a grouping, it can be done.

Ex. In Abacos you can hop around Elbow Cay, Treasure Cay, Ghuana Cay

In Exumas you can hop around some if the different Cays, but actually hard to hop between Staniel and Great Exuma

Harbour island, Spanish Wells and Eleuthera are doable

Might combine Cat and Long, but requires flight

From Nassau there's a couple, you can day trip to Northern Exumas or Harbour Island.

But there's no regular ferry system between the groupings themselves, so combos still require flights (without having to go back to Fla) and definitely no ferries between countries.
blamona is offline  
Feb 10th, 2014, 08:30 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 45
Thank you... yeah.. I meant hoping within Bahama Islands, in St. Thomas we hired a capt and he took us on a pub crawl thru the BVI's.. had a blast. Prob flying into Nassua from NJ. And yes I was thinking ferrying around, so thats not happening. This is why I love these discussions. ok Abaco's seems to be the Island I need to focus on.

Again.. THANK YOU...
Broncett is offline  
Feb 14th, 2014, 10:55 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
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Yes, The Abacos will for perfectly. Laid back and very relaxing.

Have you used a speedboat before? huge advantage as this is the cheapest place in the world (and very safe) to rent, its about $600 a week which is silly cheap.

Bit confused why Blamona posts that there is no snorkeling there. We spent day after day, snorkeling right off the beaches of Elbow Cay, seeing turtles, rays, sharks and dolphins. Really healthy abundant coral reefs. It may not be the top level of say Queensland but it is safe fun.

Without a boat it makes much sense to rent a house or staynear Hopetown. Firefly resort has really good reviews but is a little further out. It is easy to rent bikes with child trailers and there are paved roads from White Sound (Firefly) to Hopetown.

I can't emphasise enough how much we have fallen in love with Hopetown, bit like Cape Cod crossed with the Caribbean.
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