Travelers looking for the best beaches, island-hopping, diving, and partying will love the Bahamas. But if you’re after adventure, delicious cuisine, and unique experiences, Mexico takes the lead.
Between the two, there’s never a bad decision. But it all depends on what you’re craving for.
You might think the Bahamas is mostly beaches and islands, but that’s only scratching the surface.
The Bahamas can be as laid-back as spending a day in unspoiled nature at Long Island. It can also be as adventurous as swimming with reef sharks in Compass Cay or alongside cheerful pigs on Exumas Island.
Some will say it’s a paradise for divers and snorkelers. Others will argue it’s a tropical destination full of endless island-hopping options. You might even hear some say it’s a haven for fishing and water sports.
So, which is true about the Bahamas? It’s actually… all of the above. Plus, a lively nightlife, shopping, sunny weather, and just enough entertainment around town to keep you from having a dull vacation.
What Makes the Bahamas Unique?
Each Island Offers Its Own Slice of Paradise
Paradise is subjective to everyone’s eyes. And the Bahamas has 700 islands to fit your version of what paradise should look like.
Enter Kamalame Cay – a private island resort located in Andros Island often regarded as the “True Bahamas.” This unspoiled, secluded island is a private retreat available to families, couples, and friends. It also boasts several awards and is a Conde Nast Traveler Gold List resort.
Fowl Cay, another island located in Exumas, is even more exclusive and boasts beaches with the bluest, clearest waters. Plus, guests staying at Fowl Cay get unlimited access to power boats, so you’re free to explore the several cays around Exumas.
CocoCay is a popular stop for cruise ships, and it’s not hard to see why. The waters here are stunning, and you also have the chance of riding the tallest waterslide in North America.
Beaches aside, Harbour Island is a colorful town that brings back the best childhood memories. Mostly, the town feels like a candy store. And with so many golf carts roaming the streets, it’s a friendly atmosphere for families and kids to spend their time in.
Eleuthera is another beautiful island in the Bahamas, just close to Harbour Island. Known for its pink-sand beaches, Eleuthera is a strip of paradise best described in one word: liberating.
From private beach islands to colorful towns and pink-sand beaches, the Bahamas is truly a destination befitting paradise.
Swimming Pigs, Reef Sharks, and Sea Lions
Pigs in the Bahamas aren’t your average mud-loving mammal. These stout-bodied, short-legged cuties fancy the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas so much they actually swim in them. Found only in Exumas, swimming pigs are the main attraction of the island, and taking a selfie is a worthy memory.
For an even more exciting animal-loving experience, visit the sea lions at Blue Lagoon Island. Warm, friendly, and intimate are some of the best ways to describe these gorgeous sea animals. Considered the “puppies of the sea,” sea lions are extremely playful, not to mention, wacky and funny too.
You’ll also get to watch them dance and perform acrobatic water tricks. Just before the show ends, you can meet sea lions up close and they’ll give you a heart-warming hug or kiss.
Now, wait. There’s more. Swimming with reef sharks at Compass Cay is another bucket list experience. Even kids will enjoy it. And don’t worry, these reef sharks are harmless. Think of them as the pet sharks of the Bahamas. In fact, the locals even named them. There’s Woody, Herman, Ross, Lefty, Chunky, and much more.
Accommodations to Suit Every Budget
Whether you’re traveling on a budget or looking for a luxurious place to stay, the Bahamas isn’t limited to just world-class resorts. You don’t need to spend top dollar to enjoy a trip to the Bahamas, and even several all-inclusive resorts offer great bang-for-buck deals.
Some of these include Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach, Melia Nassau Beach, and Stella Maris Resort Club. You might’ve also heard that Paradise Island in the Bahamas comes out to be quite pricey. But in truth, Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island is one example of a resort in the area that offers excellent bang for your buck.
Plus, Hotel Riu is right across one of the best beaches in the Bahamas: Cabbage Beach. And if that’s not enough, there’s a water park in the area too!
For the budget traveler, affordability isn’t hard to come by in the Bahamas. Breezes Resort & Spa, Sandyport Beach Resort, Ocean Reef Yacht Club & Resort, and Peace and Plenty Resort. These are all affordable hotels and resorts that cost under $300 a night.
And what do you get in return? Stunning ocean views, spacious rooms, an outdoor pool, and access to several tourist attractions in the area.
If it’s luxury you’re after, the Cove Eleuthera, Atlantis, Hilton, and Cape Santa Maria are great options. Overall, the Bahamas is more than just a treasure trove of the luxury you see on the surface. And the vast variety of accommodations makes it one of the best things to love about the island.
A Haven for Diving and Snorkeling
There’s a reason why the Bahamas is a top choice for snorkelers and divers. Underwater marine life in the Bahamas is a spectacular sight. And dive sites are abundantly scattered throughout its many islands– more than 19 in total.
Dean’s Blue Hole, the world’s 2nd largest blue hole in the world is a popular dive spot thrill-seekers will absolutely love. With a depth of 202 meters (663 feet), this free diving experience is more than just a quick deep dive into the ocean. Right around the lip of the blue hole you’ll find a ton of marine life, schools of fish, manta rays, and turtles.
You can also go wreck-diving at The Henry Ford Wreck located in Biminis. If it’s reef diving or snorkeling you’re after, head to any of the islands in the Abacos. For a combination of underwater and cave diving, visit the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.
And if you simply can’t get enough of blue holes, there’s the Lost Blue Hole located in New Providence. On Andros Island, there are also several inland blue holes too. One of which is a crater dive.
Last but not least, Shark Rodeo – located in New Providence – is one of the most famous dive sites in the Bahamas. Its main attraction? Swimming with 100 sharks at once. This is an easy dive, by the way. And tourists can even feed the sharks!
Whether you’re in Nassau, New Providence, Bimini Island, Grand Bahama, or Cat Island, there are several dive sites to explore. And if you’re looking for more than just inland adventure, there’s no shortage of underwater activities on this Caribbean island.
One of the Clearest Waters in the World
Millions of tourists flock to the Bahamas year-round. Surely, beaches, resorts, and underwater adventure happen to be at the top of the list of reasons why. But here’s yet another reason why visiting the Bahamas is worth it: it has one of the clearest waters in the world.
So clear that even NASA astronaut Scott Kelly said the Bahamas is the most beautiful place from space. Imagine that. Being able to clearly see sapphire blue waters and colors so clear it rivals the beauty of the sun.
But where exactly can you find these tantalizing waters in the Bahamas? It’s on the same island where you’ll find swimming pigs: Exumas Island. Beaches are beaches, but how many can say they’ve been able to swim in the most beautiful place from outer space?
Now, don’t take this the wrong way. Despite the Exumas having one of the clearest waters in the world, it’s only one jewel in the treasure box of gems in the Bahamas. Make no mistake, some of the world’s best beaches are found in the Bahamas.
The waters in the Bahamas are as inviting as they are refreshing. And once you’ve had your fill of taking a dip in one of the clearest waters, don’t miss out on the other stunning beaches on the island. Some of these include:
- Tahiti Beach
- Shelling Beach
- Stocking Island
- Cabbage Beach
- Pink Sands Beach
- Treasure Cay Beach
- Great Cuana Cay Beach
- Cape Santa Maria Beach
There’s a long list of reasons why Mexico is worth visiting. Millions call Mexico their home, and a hundred million more flock to the city every year.
The country has enough beaches for the casual and laid-back traveler. A gastronomic cuisine so varied every food trip corner feels like an adventure. Deserts, canyons, and volcanoes for those with a heart for outdoor life. History so rich you’d stop and wonder in awe – from ancient ruins to colorful towns. And Mexican hospitality so warm and empathetic that it’s hard to believe all the ‘bad hombres’ stories you read in the news.
Mexico is a beautiful country overall. And if you’re thinking about visiting, here are several reasons to convince you of its diversity.
What Makes Mexico Unique?
There’s Something for Every Traveler, From Jungles and Mountains to Beaches and Lagoons
It’s no secret that Mexico is indeed one of the best places to visit if you’re after a taste of ancient Mesoamerican history. Archaeological sites like Chichen Itza and Teotihuacan are some of the country’s main sightseeing wonders.
This includes exploring monuments of pre-Hispanic civilizations, pyramids, and even Maya temples. However, Mexico’s ancient cultural heritage and deep-rooted history are just one of the many sights to see.
Volcanoes such as the Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl are also popular attractions in the country. In fact, Mexico has more than 10 volcanoes for tourists to explore. Some of them even have hiking trails so you can get an up close view of a volcano’s grand natural beauty.
Travelers looking for a unique adventure experience can go on a hiking and swimming excursion through Rio Secreto. An underground cave system filled with thousands of stalagmites and stalactites. This underwater cave is so beautiful and stunning it may very well be considered one of the great wonders of the world.
That’s not all.
Mexico is home to acres of natural beauty so vast that there are dozens of national parks, canyons, and lagoons waiting to be explored.
Nevado de Toluca National Park has a wealth of hiking trails perfect for the avid outdoor enthusiast. Sumidero Canyon National Park offers breathtaking scenery and a chance to witness its deep gorge on a guided boat trip. And National Park Grutas de Cacahuamilpa for having the largest underground cave systems in the world.
Plus, travelers can still explore Mexico’s freshwater lakes, deserts, and wildlife-rich jungles. Something for every traveler indeed.
Mexico’s culinary scene is the stuff of legend. Known as one of the world’s most popular cuisines, Mexican food is compelling, diverse, and undoubtedly delicious. So, prepare yourself. A taco in Mexico is nothing like a taco elsewhere.
But also, Mexico isn’t just tacos. There are also chilaquiles, which are fried tortilla chips topped with cheese, meat, salsa, and oh-so-heavenly sour cream. Tortas if you’re looking to try an authentic Mexican sandwich. Tostadas for seafood lovers – fried tortillas topped with ceviche (fresh seafood).
These are just some of the many Mexican dishes you’ll get to try. It’s also worth visiting Oaxaca, which is the culinary capital of Mexico. There, you’ll get to try mole – a traditional sauce served in most Mexican restaurants alongside chicken and rice.
Did you know? Mexico also has its own version of pizza, known as tlayuda. For sweet tooths, you won’t be able to stop yourself from craving a marquesita once you’ve had a bite. These crispy crepes are popular sweet delicacies filled with cheese and Nutella.
Overall, there’s no denying that Mexico is a gastronomic delight that any traveler will love.
Mexico Is Home to Some of the Best Beaches in the World
There are over 500 beaches in Mexico, so there’s really no shortage of options to choose from. Overwhelming as that may be, there are several that should not be missed. If you’re thinking beautiful white sands, clear blue waters, and swaying palm trees, Mexico’s beaches have all that to offer and more.
Here are some of the best you’ll find in the country:
Arguably one of the best beaches in all of Mexico, Playa Paraiso is the definition of ultimate relaxation and chill. Tourists are also welcome to snorkel and dive in the area – a popular activity for even the locals.
Playa Paraiso is so beautiful that even day-trippers visit the beach simply to adore and appreciate the area. The mix of white sand and turquoise waters is so inviting you’d jump right in even if you didn’t bring swim attire. But if you prefer not to, you can also lounge in the sand, soak up the sun, or chill at the beach bar in the area.
For a more secluded and exclusive experience, Isla Holbox is somewhat of a hidden beach in Mexico. If it’s a peaceful retreat you’re after, make sure to add Isla Holbox to your itinerary. Plus, this is the place to be if you’re looking for a gorgeous sunset view by the beach.
What may appear to be a shallow bay of turquoise waters is actually a lagoon surrounded by postcard-perfect sand. Playa Balandra is jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, and drop-dead gorgeous all at the same time.
It’s slightly farther from the tourist trail, making it somewhat off the beaten path. But as offbeat as this beach may be, Playa Balandra is an excellent spot for snorkeling. The area in itself is so beautiful you’d wish you could spend the night here. It is truly one of the best beaches in Mexico.
Playa Delfines is a local favorite, and it’s not hard to see why. Powdery sand, blue-green waters, and a quiet atmosphere. The vibe at Playa Delfines stands out compared to other beaches in Cancun. Plus, it’s one of the rare surfing spots around town as well.
There aren’t a lot of hotels near Playa Delfines, which might be the reason why locals love it too. Put simply, fewer hotels in the area means this beach is quieter, quainter, and certainly more peaceful.
What makes Playa Maroma stand out among the 500 beaches in Mexico? For starters, you’ll see every shade of blue in Playa Maroma’s waters. From cerulean to electric blue. Second, it was voted as one of the best beaches in the world by Discovery Channel and the Travel Channel.
Third, you’ll find spectacular coral reefs perfect for snorkeling. Lastly, Playa Maroma is home to one of the best overwater bungalows in Mexico. Romance. Relaxation. And underwater adventure. There’s no doubt about it. Playa Maroma deserves its rightful place as one of Mexico’s best beaches.
Traveling to Mexico isn’t expensive. Even the transportation systems are affordable. Not to mention, getting around is easy thanks to its bus system. Aside from buses, you can also take trams, trains, and Uber, which are also all affordable.
Flights, accommodations, and even food are inexpensive, making Mexico a low-cost destination overall. This includes internal flights within Mexico. Hotel-wise, you can choose from a wide variety of accommodations. From 5-star luxury resorts to budget hotels, finding a good deal isn’t hard.
Food is also quite affordable. If you’re eating at a fancy restaurant, you’re bound to spend more, of course. But the beauty of Mexico is that eating the best food isn’t limited to restaurant and Michelin-quality dining. At a local taqueria or street food cart, tacos cost less than a dollar. Even a tostada and burrito are cheap.
Despite having a limited budget, you can still experience a whole breadth of what Mexico has to offer. From tours and transportation to food and accommodation. Eating at palapas is also quite cheap, but more expensive than a local stand, of course. Mainly because most palapas serve freshly caught seafood, so prices are expected to have a slightly higher bump.
For one of the most inexpensive and delicious local specialties, head to any of Mexico’s local markets. Not only will you be able to find excellent food here, but it’s also a great place to go shopping. The best souvenirs are found in local markets, and the colorful handmade crafts are definitely worth bringing home.
Warm and Friendly Locals
Mexicans may not always get the best press, but a trip to the city will prove how warm, friendly, and accommodating they are.
If it’s one thing you’ll notice among many locals, it’s that they’re always willing to help. Whether you’re asking for directions, where to eat, or any advice to aid you on your trip. Don’t speak Spanish? Don’t worry about it. Mexicans aren’t the type to snub someone who doesn’t share the same common tongue.
And considering the millions of tourists who visit every year, they’ve grown fond and accustomed to it too. This means Mexicans still go out of their way to assist anyone in need of help. Even if that means escorting you to the nearest bus station or asking their grandson for advice on how to get around.
Mexico is truly a warm and welcoming city, so tourists will feel safe while exploring.
Mexico or Bahamas – Which Is Better?
Mexico and the Bahamas are popular tourist destinations that are similar in some ways but also have clear differences.
Mexico is better to visit if you’re looking for a low-cost destination, excellent food, and a ton of activities to do. You get the most bang for your buck traveling to Mexico. Not to mention, a whole lot of sightseeing. From volcanoes and mountainous landscapes to breathtaking canyons & lagoons.
Overall, Mexico is for active travelers who want more adventure than they do relaxation. That said, there are still plenty of options if you want to relax around the city.
The Bahamas is better to visit if you’re looking for a quick beach escape, decent nightlife, and love island-hopping overall. With so many islands, the Bahamas offers variety when it comes to unique beach experiences. From swimming with pigs to staying at exclusive and luxurious private resorts. Plus, a jaw-dropping beachfront.
If you’re fond of diving, snorkeling, and island-hopping, the Bahamas is the better option for you. With the clearest waters in the world, there’s no doubt you’ll spend more of your time in the water than on land.
When it comes to activities to do and nightlife, Mexico wins by a mile. Just exploring Mexico city alone gives tourists a ton of things to do. And that doesn’t include visiting other parts of Mexico like Oaxaca, Chiapas, Sierra Madre Occidental, Yucatan, and more.
The Bahamas also offers a lot of activities for tourists overall, and families will also enjoy their time around the city.
However, for the truly adventurous and those who want an active trip, Mexico is the better option.
As for nightlife, the Bahamas has its fair share of party scenes, but Mexico after all is the birthplace of tequila. Not to mention, mariachi music and bands add to Mexico’s already lively atmosphere.
Is Mexico or the Bahamas Safer?
Mexico and the Bahamas are safe places to visit. When staying in touristy areas, it’s even safer. That said, no place is truly safe and it always pays to use common travel sense. While petty theft is common in both destinations, this simply means you shouldn’t leave your valuables unattended.
Just as you would back home, exercising precautions is also important. For instance, being mindful of your surroundings or refraining from bringing large amounts of cash. In both Mexico and the Bahamas, don’t wander off into any dark or empty streets. And if you want extra safety while exploring the city, take an Uber especially if you’re traveling with kids.
Which Is Cheaper – Mexico or Bahamas?
Mexico is cheaper than the Bahamas when it comes to food, flights, and accommodations. That said, this isn’t to say you can’t visit the Bahamas if you’re on a budget. There are several hotels and resorts that offer great bang-for-buck deals. This also includes food expenses.
In Mexico, though, it’s easier to find inexpensive meals and even fine dining restaurants offer a good bargain. For example, it’s not common to find a fine dining meal for two that costs 1,800 MXN (USD 90) with tax. That’s great value there.
Transportation is also cheap in Mexico since there are various ways to get around the city – be it trams, subway, buses, or Uber. Granted, Uber is slightly more expensive but it’s safer to use compared to the subway and ideal if you want to avoid large crowds.
Lastly, flights to and from Mexico are more affordable than traveling to the Bahamas. Both destinations are easy to travel to from the US but flight expenses for Mexico are relatively cheaper. If you want to take internal flights within Mexico and visit other regions, it’s also cheaper.
However, this can easily eat your budget as well if you’re not careful. In the Bahamas, exploring the other islands usually requires boarding a ferry or water taxi, and costs are cheaper. Distances are also much shorter in between islands, so being able to island-hop to two or three islands in a day is very doable.
Bahamas vs. Mexico for All Inclusive
The Bahamas offers a wealth of all-inclusive resorts, and Mexico offers twice the variety considering it’s larger in size too. Between the two, neither is better than the other. Both offer grand and luxurious all-inclusive options.
Plus, both destinations provide plenty of choices for luxurious, midrange, and budget travelers. Spending your vacation in an all-inclusive resort in either the Bahamas or Mexico is a win-win situation.
There is one distinction to note, though. Although both cater to a wide range of travelers, Mexico has more options. And this also means it has more budget-friendly all-inclusive hotels for tourists. In that regard, if you’re looking for a wider diversity of all-inclusive options, Mexico might be the better option for you.
Bahamas vs. Mexico for Cruise
There’s no wrong answer here. If it’s your first time boarding a cruise to either destination, both have something unique and fun to offer. For those who are visiting the Bahamas or Mexico for the second time, it’s mostly a question of what you plan to do when the ship docks in port.
Are you planning to spend your time on beaches? Shopping? Exploring? Go on a short-day excursion? A cruise to Mexico offers more variety hands down, from beaches to exploring historical ruins and even casual partying/drinking. The Bahamas offers more when it comes to beaches, visiting private islands, and when it comes to activities for kids.
Is the Bahamas Part of Mexico?
The Bahamas is not part of Mexico and is an independent country. The Bahamas used to be a British colony but gained its independence in 1973.
Is the Bahamas Near Mexico?
The Bahamas is near Mexico considering both countries are located in the southern portion of North America. However, the Bahamas is located in the southeastern portion.
Bahamas to Mexico Distance
The distance from the Bahamas to Mexico is 1,446.4 miles (2,327 km). Note though that this is a straight line distance and not the average distance if you were to take a plane between both destinations.
Can You Go to the Bahamas From Mexico?
You can go to the Bahamas from Mexico. The quickest way is via plane but costs are a lot higher if you take a flight between either destination.
Another alternative is to board a cruise that includes the Bahamas and Mexico as part of the itinerary. For the Bahamas, cruise ships typically dock in Nassau. In Mexico, there are several ports like Cozumel, Yucatan, Puerto Costa Maya, etc…
A cruise itinerary that includes the Bahamas and Mexico is usually offered by Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruises.
Celebrity Cruises offers a 7-night cruise itinerary that includes the Bahamas, Mexico, and Grand Cayman. The ship docks from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Royal Caribbean also offers a similar cruise itinerary but without Grand Cayman.
Cruise itineraries vary every month and season. Generally, though, a cruise itinerary that includes both the Bahamas and Mexico will usually be a 6- or 7-night cruise. In some cases, it may even be longer.
How Long Does It Take to Get to the Bahamas From Mexico?
Given the straight line distance and best-case scenario, a flight from the Bahamas to Mexico takes 3 hours and 24 minutes. However, this isn’t always the case. On average, a flight between both destinations takes 6 hours.
Can You Fly From Mexico to Bahamas?
You can fly from Mexico to the Bahamas and the cheapest average price is usually USD 354. Of course, travel rates always vary depending on the season, time of booking, and during holidays. In some cases, you may even get a good rate of USD 250. Worst case, prices can be upwards of USD 750.
Are There Direct Flights From Mexico to Bahamas?
There are no direct flights from Mexico to the Bahamas. Flights from Mexico to the Bahamas will always have at least one stopover. Stopovers can be as short as one hour or as long as 21 hours. This, in turn, affects the overall flight time from Mexico to the Bahamas.
Mexico to Bahamas Flight Time
Flight times from Mexico to the Bahamas vary. Best-case scenario, the total flight time from Mexico to the Bahamas would be seven hours. Worst case, a flight can last as long as 33 hours. Overall, this depends on the route and the stopover destination. Some stopovers last between two to six hours, and a few last between 12 to 21 hours long.
Is It Cheaper to Fly to Mexico or the Bahamas?
Both Mexico and the Bahamas are affordable destinations to fly to. However, it also depends on where you’re flying from. For example, if you’re flying from Florida to the Bahamas, then it’s much cheaper.
But if you’re flying from anywhere on the US West Coast, Mexico is cheaper. This includes other destinations in Mexico like Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, or Mazatlan.
Mexico to Bahamas by Ferry
There are no ferries that travel from Mexico to the Bahamas. Even though both destinations are fairly near each other, there’s still a considerable distance to cover. The ferries in the Bahamas also only travel to and from the surrounding islands.
It’s a different story if you’re traveling from Florida for example, which is only 50 miles (80.5 km) from the Bahamas. You could even take a medium-sized boat from Florida and visit the Bahamas.
If you want to travel from Mexico to the Bahamas by ferry, your best option is via a cruise ship. You can go for the 7-night cruise that includes both Mexico and the Bahamas as part of the itinerary. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises offer this type of cruise itinerary. Feel free to ask other cruise lines like Carnival, for example, if they offer the same or a similar route.