Bahamas vs. Barbados

Warm weather, silky soft sand, clear water, superb food and drinks, and endless activities to keep you busy and lively. This sounds like the paradise of anyone’s dreams. That’s exactly what Bahamas and Barbados offer. Because of how similar they seem at first, choosing where to go between the two is a difficult decision to make. After all, these are two of the most popular vacation destinations in the Caribbean.
Bahamas vs. Barbados

Table of Contents

Regardless of whether you choose Bahamas or Barbados, you can expect to be in a picture-perfect and dreamlike location.

The Bahamas is a tropical hotspot. If you talk to anyone who dreams of going to a tropical destination, they will know (and want to visit) the Bahamas. It’s known as one of the best destinations in the world. The Bahamas showcases pure natural beauty packed in 700 islands. You have a place to go to every time you visit.

Barbados, on the other hand, boasts a culinary scene that anyone will want to keep coming back to. Their rich culture and history are made evident by the natural wonders everywhere on the island. It’s a great and thrilling place to be.


Seven hundred islands of golden beach, clear waters, rum, and warm weather are what you’ll experience to its fullest when you visit the Bahamas. All of this is enough reason for an individual to want to see the archipelago.

However, beyond the Caribbean vibes that you can immerse in, the Bahamas offers more. The Bahamas offers delicious and fresh food, and rich culture and history. You also won’t miss creating new experiences teeming with life and excitement.

Although it’s one of the most expensive countries in the Caribbean, it’s definitely more than worth it. Everything you spend on this beautiful archipelago will turn into unforgettable memories. There’s not a day in the Bahamas that won’t take your breath away.

What Makes Bahamas Unique?

700 Islands to Explore

Imagine exploring 700 islands. It will be hard to figure out where you should start. Although many of the islands or cays in the Bahamas are uninhabited, a lot of the islands in the Bahamas have something unique to offer to tourists.

The archipelago stretches 100,000 square miles (258,988 sq. km.). This lets you know that there’s a lot to traverse in this beautiful destination. Because of the many islands, the Bahamas is best explored by boat. You can also opt for a yacht ride if you have sailing experience. You should never miss the beauty of the Bahamas’ 700 islands.

Here are some of the best islands to visit in the Bahamas:

Paradise Island

Paradise Island is the epitome of luxury in the Bahamas. This island is one of the most extravagant islands in the Bahamas. Casinos, couture boutiques, and luxurious villas are everywhere.

Paradise Island (formerly Hog Island) is most popular for Atlantis resort, the island’s centerpiece. This resort showcases water park rides, high-class restaurants, a walk-in aquarium, and casinos.

There is an abundance of breathtaking attractions in Paradise Island, from gardens to beaches to coves. The beautiful attractions and the luxurious resort make Paradise Island an ideal place for families with kids. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind why Paradise Island is deemed one of the best islands to visit in the Bahamas.

New Providence

If you live for all the action and adventure, New Providence is the main island you should visit in the Bahamas. New Providence is where most tourists travel, so it’s deemed the main commercial hub of the archipelago.

You will find the capital of the Bahamas, Nassau, in New Providence. Because of this, you can expect New Providence to be lively and vibrant. The city is popular for its casinos, restaurants, and attractions.

Some people are also drawn to New Providence because of the rich culture and history that it shares with tourists. It’s no wonder that this is the case because New Providence is home to 70% of the total population of the Bahamas.


Experience tropical life like a local in Andros. National parks and mangroves surround Andros, which consists of three main islands.

If you’re looking to enjoy the Bahamas without the buzz of the more popular islands like New Providence, Andros is the perfect place for you. Andros is one of the best and largest unexplored islands in the Bahamas.

The National parks in Andros will give you a glimpse of mangroves and underwater caves that are not to be missed. In Andros, you will also see the Andros Barrier, which is one of the largest reef systems in the whole world.

Cat Island

Despite the Bahamas being one of the most popular Caribbean destinations, it’s still home to some islands that seem untouched by tourism. Cat Island is one of those untouched islands. Tourists come to Cat Island to enjoy a quiet and relaxing time.

Despite being more relaxed compared to other islands, Cat Island is able to give tourists the chance to experience adventures. Cat Island is home to the Bahamas’ highest point, Mount Alvernia. Tourists can come to the mountain to hike and enjoy the view.

Cat Island is also known to have mythical sea creatures living in some of its sites, such as Mermaid Hole and Boiling Hole.

Abundant Culture and History

The Bahamas boasts a unique culture that evolved over time and across generations. The colorful culture and style of the Bahamas roots from African descent, mixed with some British and American influences.

The history, art, and culture of the Bahamas are deeply important to the Bahamians. They celebrate their rich culture and are more than happy to share it with the millions of tourists visiting each year.

Here are some notable pieces of Bahamian culture and history:

Pirate History

A big part of Bahamian history is the Golden Age of Piracy. This Golden Age lasted around thirty years, from the 1600s to the 1700s. This was the time when pirates had a flourishing economy in the Bahamas. Because of the boom in the economy, the pirates of the Bahamas were able to recruit more pirates, Blackbeard was one of the most famous of them.

There are several locations in the Bahamas where you can dive into this rich pirate history. The Fort Fincastle and the Queen’s Staircase are some attractions relating to this pirate history. Fort Fincastle in Nassau was built to protect the island from pirates.

Christopher Columbus

The Bahamas is said to be one of the first places that Christopher Columbus set foot in. When Christopher Columbus set foot in the Bahamas, the native Taino people were already there. Over the years after Christopher Columbus arrived, the Taino people slowly disappeared from the island.

Junkanoo Festival

Junkanoo Festival is one of the biggest parties in the Bahamas. It’s held annually during Christmas and New Year’s and is Bahamian’s own version of a Carnival celebration. Colorful costumes and high-spirited dances are what this celebration is all about.

Participants of the lively celebration spend months preparing for it. It really is a big deal in the Bahamas. It’s so big that you have to book your flight six months in advance if you want to experience this unique and memorable celebration.

Exhilarating Activities

People know the Bahamas because of its gorgeous beaches and luxurious resorts. But, beyond all that, there are many exhilarating activities you can try. Water activities and sports in the archipelago are something that you must not miss in your visit to the Bahamas.

Diving and snorkeling are two activities that are best done in the Bahamas. Tourists desiring some underwater fun can get everything they ask for here.

Cave diving is also another water activity that will give you the experience of a lifetime. The Bahamas is one of the best places to cave dive, and that should be all you need to want to do it.

Because the Bahamas is filled with marine life, it’s also a great place for sportfishing. The Bahamas is home to the best place in the world to try sportfishing. It’s an experience that you shouldn’t miss, especially if you’re one to enjoy some fishing expedition.

Mouth-Watering Food

Your taste buds will dive into a new experience in the Bahamas. Authentic Bahamian food is a mixture of South American, African, and European influences. This mixture leaves you wanting more every time you try their delicious cuisine.

There’s a lot in the Bahamas that you should try. Never leave the island without trying everything at least once. The restaurants specialize in fresh seafood that will make your mouth water. The conch salad and rock lobster are some dishes that you should definitely try.

Another must-try in the Bahamas is the Bahama Mama Cocktail. It’s the Bahamian’s signature cocktail with coconut rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, and grenadine. It’s best to drink this signature cocktail while lazing around the beach. It’s popular for good reason.

Inspiring Sceneries

The Bahamas is a haven for beach lovers and adventure-seekers. The biggest draw of the destination is the inspiring sceneries that will catch your attention wherever you go. All 700 islands of the Bahamas have something that will take your breath away.

Many parts of the Bahamas are protected, so you’re assured that you’re seeing nature at its best. From the clear turquoise waters to the spectacular forests, there’s really nothing more you can ask for from the Bahamas.


A truly tropical escape is what Barbados is. The main draw of Barbados is its captivating, picture-perfect beaches. It’s the culture, natural wonders, and delectable cuisine that stand out. These are what make tourists want to immerse themselves in Barbados more.

Barbados is charming. You cannot deny yourself the dreamlike experience that the island offers. You can go any way you like. If you want to be laidback and relaxed, Barbados will do just that for you. However, look beyond the comfort of the island, and you’ll find yourself with a lively nightlife and thrilling social scene. There’s plenty to see and do. The picturesque beaches are only the start.

What Makes Barbados Unique?

Entertaining Water Sports

Barbados is the best island to enjoy different watersports, depending on your liking. The island’s positioning between the Atlantic and Caribbean means that clear waters and coral reef surround it. This makes it a great destination to dive into watersports.

Here are some of the best watersports to do in Barbados:


Any seasoned windsurfer will tell you that Barbados is the best place to windsurf! The winds are consistently steady, and the waves are decent enough for a safe windsurfing setting. Even though Barbados is the favorite place of seasoned windsurfers, there are plenty of beautiful spots for beginners, too.


Barbados is like a dream for a scuba diver. There are over 200 underwater wrecks that litter the island. This means that there’s a lot to explore, each one having a unique feature. Barbados is home to diving sites that are just overflowing with marine wildlife. No scuba experience in Barbados is uneventful; you can be assured that much.


The consistent winds of Barbados make it the ideal location to sail. Many charter companies give different services. These services range from customized personal sailing activities to a fully crewed day cruise.

Even if you’re not an experienced sailor, Barbados offers year-round sailing courses. Whether you’re experienced or a budding sailor, Barbados is a great place to be.

Breathtaking Beaches

People immediately think of the soft sands and clear blue waters when you say Barbados. This is without any good reason. The more than 80 beaches of Barbados are all breathtaking — like they came out of a postcard.

The best thing about the beaches in Barbados is that each one offers something unique. There’s a lot of variety between the coasts. If you want peace and quiet, you have it. If you want to have exciting nightlife, there’s a place for it. There’s a Barbados beach for every kind of traveler.

Here are some beaches you must not miss in Barbados:

Accra Beach

Accra Beach is calm and adventure mixed into one destination. This is exactly why it’s not a big surprise that it’s one of the most popular beaches on the island. It’s one of the widest stretches of soft sand in Barbados.

The waves are fine and consistent. The winds are comforting and cool. It’s a great place for different water activities. Any adventure you seek, you can find in Accra Beach. It also offers a unique sense of calm to tourists. The beach offers a relaxed atmosphere where you can lay down and unwind, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Dover Beach

If all you ever want to do in Barbados is relax, it’s completely fine. Dover Beach will welcome you with open arms.

Dover Beach is warm all year round, and there are no big waves. It’s the perfect definition of a tranquil and calm beach. The beach is also littered with stalls that sell almost anything you’re looking for. If you’re up to watch some sports, there’s also a playing field across the street.

If you’re looking for a place that will give you a great glimpse of local life without being too busy, go to Dover Beach.

Archers Bay

People looking to avoid crowds should visit Archers Bay at least once. You won’t see anything in Archers Bay other than the breathtaking view and wildlife amongst the trees.

If you opt to visit Archers Bay, don’t look for any facilities or accommodation because you won’t find one. It’s a great place to just sit down and admire the beautiful nature around you.

The Rum!

Any rum lover will enjoy Barbados because it’s the home of the oldest rum in the world. It’s practically the birthplace of rum.

The sweet rum of Barbados always completes any Barbados experience. No holiday, celebration, or trip to Barbados is complete without its rum. There are more than a thousand rum shops all over the island, so you have no excuse at all to miss this great drink.

The rum of Barbados isn’t just any drink. It comes with a rich history and flavor, one you will not be able to forget even when you’ve long left the island.

Local Hospitality

Barbados is one of the best places to go to in the Caribbean because it’s deemed the safest. The Bajan people are more than happy to welcome tourists, and they will even share a piece of their culture with you.

Bajan people are some of the most hospitable, warm, and friendly people in the Caribbean. They have a great sense of fun, and they definitely know how to party. You can always come up to a local if you’re looking for adventure. They will be helpful, and you’re assured that they’re willing to party with you.

Crop Over Festival

The Crop Over Festival is Barbados’ own version of a carnival celebration. It’s the biggest party in Barbados. If you’re visiting Barbados anywhere from June to August, the festivities are something you shouldn’t miss.

The Crop Over Festival started as a celebration of the last sugar harvest of the island. Over the years, it has slowly evolved into a big party that locals give a lot of their efforts into.

In addition to the parties lasting all day and night, the Crop Over Festival is concluded with the Grand Kadooment. On this day, Masquerade bands perform with their awe-inspiring costumes. Vibrant colors and loud music is all over Barbados on this special day.

What Is Better – Barbados or Bahamas?

Both Barbados and Bahamas offer something unique to travelers looking to experience the Caribbean in all its glory. Both destinations showcase beautiful beaches and a vibrant atmosphere.

However, between the two, it’s clear that the Bahamas has more to show its visitors. But the cost of enjoying the seemingly perfect destination matches everything it has to offer.

Barbados boasts some of the most stunning beaches in the world. There is no doubt about that. This destination is the perfect destination for a relaxing tropical getaway.

There’s something special about dipping your toes in the sand of Barbados while sipping on your delicious rum. The overall atmosphere of the island is warm and friendly. You will feel right at home.

Barbados is perfect for individuals looking to enjoy a vacation away from the buzz of the city. It’s the ideal destination of winding down. Every now and then, tourists can also enjoy thrilling parties and activities on the island.

On the other hand, the Bahamas is the perfect destination for a luxurious Caribbean trip. In the Bahamas, there’s something to enjoy for every type of visitor. Everything in the Bahamas is in abundance: from festivities to delicious food to breathtaking views. When you visit the Bahamas, there’s really nothing more you can ask for.

In this way, it’s not hard to say that the Bahamas deserves your full attention, but Barbados is a place that’s wonderful to discover, too. It’s now a matter of what kind of experience you’re looking for. Do you want to experience luxury in all its glory? Or do you want to slow down and feel the warmth of the sun and the atmosphere around you?


Is Barbados Safer Than Bahamas?

Barbados is known to be one of the safest islands in the Caribbean, both for locals and tourists. The Bahamas is generally safe, but some people already expect some robberies to happen because of its luxurious nature. The majority of crimes occur in the more populated areas of the Bahamas, such as Nassau, so it’s best to always be cautious around these areas.

No matter how safe a destination is, it’s best to take extra measures to ensure that you and your belongings are safe as a tourist. There’s nothing wrong to err on the side of caution. Be more cautious and vigilant. This way, you can enjoy the tropical getaway that you’ve always dreamed of.

Is Barbados in the Bahamas?

Barbados is not in the Bahamas. In fact, the two locations are very far away from each other. The only wait to travel from one place to the other is through a plane ride that will take at least 3 hours.

Where Is Barbados Compared to Bahamas?

Barbados is an independent island in the British Commonwealth, while the Bahamas is in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies. Barbados is located to the southeast of the Bahamas. The two locations are approximately 1,420 miles (2,285 kilometers) away from each other.

Is Barbados Near the Bahamas?

The two destinations are not even remotely near each other. It takes more than 3 hours to get from one location to the other. The only way to travel from Barbados to the Bahamas is through a plane ride, so the two destinations aren’t very accessible to each other.

If you’re planning to have a Caribbean tour including the two locations, be prepared to take a flight that will travel more than a thousand miles.

Is Bahamas Bigger Than Barbados?

Compared to Barbados, the Bahamas is enormous. The Bahamas, with all its 700 islands, is 32 times as big as Barbados, which means it really has more to showcase than the smaller island nation.

Barbados is approximately 162 sq. mi. (430 sq. km.) while the Bahamas is about 5,395 sq. mi. (13,880 sq. km). There’s really a significant difference between the size of the two destinations.