Bahamas Or Barbados: An Honest Comparison To Help You Decide!

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Last updated on July 10, 2023 by Wandering our World

When it comes to dream getaways, the Bahamas and Barbados are two destinations that sit top of bucket lists around the world. Both of these Caribbean paradises can offer amazing experiences, especially if you’re looking for sun, sea, and sand.

But choosing the right island is an extremely important decision because these two destinations actually provide very different vacations…

For example, if you’re looking for more of an adventure, great nightlife, and postcard perfect beaches, then the Bahamas could be the better choice. This nation has a huge variety of beaches, and so many island hopping adventures.

In contrast, much smaller Barbados is better suited to tourists who wish to have all the sights and tourist hot-spots in close reach. It tends to be the more affordable destination too. 

However that’s just the beginning when it comes to how the Bahamas and Barbados differ…

Luckily as we know them both well, we compare them below and show you exactly what each has to offer.

We look at which has the better beaches, what activities you can do in each, how the nightlife compares, which is cheaper and much more. All so you can make the right vacation decision!


  1. A Quick Overview & Comparison
  2. Which Has The Better Beaches & Landscape?
  3. Which Has The Better Culture & Cultural Excursions?
  4. Which Is Better For Nightlife?
  5. Which Is Better For Couples & Honeymoons?
  6. Where You Should Stay According To Your Budget
  7. Which Is Better For A Family Vacation?
  8. Which Is Better For Snorkeling & Diving?
  9. Which Has The Better Food?
  10. Which Is Safer?
  11. Which Is Cheaper?
  12. Which Is The Better Choice?
An infographic pitting the Bahamas vs Barbados and showing some of the key differences that will be discovered later in the article.

Bahamas vs Barbados: A Quick Overview & Comparison

For tourists looking to sunbathe and swim, the Bahamas and its hundreds of beautiful islands seem the natural choice.

The Bahamas is huge compared to Barbados, and there are countless islands and beaches to discover. Therefore if you’re wanting a holiday where you can explore and island hop, then the Bahamas may suit you better than Barbados.

In fact Barbados has 60 miles of coastline in comparison to the Bahamas’ 3,542!

There is a tourist vibe in both though. So it’s not uncommon to get harassed by street sellers trying to hawk their goods to sun-seekers on the most popular beaches in each destination.

But Barbados does have an upper hand when it comes to infrastructure. This island is very easy to get around, and cheap to travel around too.

In theory that means you can get from beach to beach, town to town, in Barbados a lot easier than in the Bahamas.

Buses are cheap and easy to get between resorts, which is another big plus point. In fact that is one of the reasons Barbados makes our list of five cheapest Caribbean islands.

We look at the natural scenery and beaches in each destination in more detail next. Before moving on to the sights, culture, nightlife, food and lots more!

Amazing views of Rose Island Bahamas Beach Roberts

Which Has The Better Beaches & Landscape?

The Bahamas: The Beaches & Landscape

Prepare to be spoiled for choice when it comes to beaches in the Bahamas. That’s thanks to countless sandy bays and coves spread across 655,000 square kilometers!

In fact when it comes to beaches, we believe the Bahamas has better choices than Barbados.

The Bahamas has many uninhabited islands with swaying palm trees and soft white sand. But it also has busy beaches with a party vibe and lots of action.

Simply put, this is a nation which probably has the most diverse beaches in the Caribbean, and therefore something for every beach lover.

One of our favorites beaches is Greenwood Beach on Cat Island. This long sandy stretch is far less touristy than other beaches.

In many ways this is where the Bahamas shines over Barbados. Here it is still possible to find beaches to enjoy in peace and quiet. Whereas in the much smaller Barbados, it’s hard to find a beach that isn’t very touristy.

That said, beaches on the most popular islands in the Bahamas are also very tourist orientated. So to find your own slice of (quiet) paradise you do have to go off the beaten track.

Iconic and popular beaches such as Pig Beach on Big Major Cay are a must visit too.

It’s famous not for the turquoise-hued waters, but the pigs that swim here! Visiting this uninhabited Bahamian island can be expensive though.(Recommended: The Best Island in the Bahamas For You).

A more accessible, and equally iconic beach, is Gold Rock Beach in Grand Bahama.

Regarded as one of the best swimming spots – and beaches in the Caribbean – the sunsets here are unparalleled. In fact it’s the sunset reflecting off a nearby cay that gives this beach its name.

The Bahamas also have some of the world’s best diving spots in arguably the world’s clearest water. And with 340 days of sun a year, there’s rarely a day when scuba diving and snorkeling isn’t possible.

Exumas Cays Land and Sea Park is probably the best snorkeling experience in the country. There you can see a huge variety of colorful sea-life. A great underwater camera – such as this one – is a must.

Although the Bahamas lacks mountains and rainforests, it’s not all beaches and coral reefs. There are forests to be explored in northern Bahamas, especially on Grand Bahama and Andros. However, this country is definitely suited more to a sun-seeker, than an adventure-seeker.

Recommended: Are There Snakes in the Bahamas

In general the Bahamas is that picture-perfect Caribbean holiday many people are looking for. Thanks in part to its upmarket hotels, and beach-side bars set on stunning coasts. But all of that comes with a price. So you’ll find beachside hotels, restaurants, and tourist excursions will cost more in the Bahamas than in Barbados.

drone bird view of exuma in the bahamas. summer vaction

Barbados: The Beaches & Landscape

Smaller Barbados is perfect for sun, sea, and sand, but the island can be easily explored within a week. That makes it perfect for a short holiday, whereas the Bahamas may be suited to a longer one.

For great beaches in Barbados, make your way to Oistins and Miami Beach for fantastic swimming waters and one of the best sunsets in the Caribbean.

However, the beaches in Barbados can get busy with tourists. And it’s definitely harder to find a secluded beach here than it is in much larger Bahamas.

You can find turquoise water and golden sandy beaches up and down Barbados though.

One of our favorites is Bottom Bay. It’s not a great swimming spot, but it’s secluded, romantic, and with swaying palm trees there’s a real deserted island feel.Beautiful beacheslike this areoneof the reasonsBarbados madeourlistof the best Caribbean islands for couples!

Barbados’ teeming sea-life can also be viewed when out and about swimming and snorkeling. Bell Buoy Reef, near Accra Beach is the perfect place to spot angel fish and parrot fish.

While at Carlise Bay Marine Park you can dive among numerous ship wrecks that have been taken over by colorful fish, nurse sharks, and manta rays! Some of the best reefs to explore in Barbados can be found in this.

All in all, Barbados is perfect for the sunseeker looking for pretty beaches on an island that is easy to navigate and one that tends to be cheaper than the Bahamas too.

Which Has The Better Culture & Cultural Excursions?

Along with the natural scenery on offer, both the Bahamas and Barbados have a wealth of attractions and cultural experiences worth checking out.

Barbados has no casinos though, as they are illegal. So if you want to try your hand at blackjack, the Bahamas is the place to be.

Where Barbados does excel, in comparison to the Bahamas, is its Caribbean vibe. The island feels far more authentic and local than the Bahamas, which has become overly developed and ‘Americanized’ in recent years.

Below we look at the cultural highlights in each destination, so you can see which will suit your vacation preferences the most!

The Bahamas: The Culture

The Bahamas is a fascinating mix of culture, with African, British and American influences.

In fact with its close proximity to the U.S., and the many cruise ships that visit, there’s no doubt there’s a very ‘American’ feel to the Bahamas. That’s not so true for Barbados, which definitely feels more ‘Caribbean’.

That’s had a knock-on effect when it comes to nightlife too. You can find plenty of places to party all night in the Bahamas – such as on Paradise Island and Nassau. Whereas Barbados in general has a more laid-back nightlife, thanks in part to the Caribbean vibe that remains on the island.

However despite the American fast food restaurants and chain hotels, the Bahamas still has lots of culture on offer.

The vibrant rhythmic national music of the Bahamas, Goombay, was created as a way for slaves to pass down traditions and customs. Goombay continues to this day, and is a staple of fun summer festivals in the country.

The Heritage Museum of the Bahamas in Nassau is a good place to visit to find out more about the history of the Bahamas.

There’s no doubt that the Bahamas is also a country synonymous with having a good time, so if you fancy a flutter then head to Paradise Island. Here you can try your hand at the casinos, and grab a beach-side cocktail at one of its high-market resorts.

For something a bit more historical then visit Fort Charlotte, which sits on a hill overlooking Nassau. This 18th century fort will introduce you to what the Bahamas was like when piracy was rampant a few centuries ago.

The drone aerial view of downtown district of Nassau city and port , Bahamas. Chen

Barbados: The Culture

With a mix of West African and British influences, Barbados is a fascinating country with a rich blend of Caribbean traditions and a culture that emerged out of plantation slavery economy.

Historic Bridgetown is where you should head if you want to learn about the colonial past in Barbados.

A walking tour will introduce you to the country’s tumultuous past, and the colonial relics and architecture that still stand today. You can also tour St Nicholas Abbey, a Jacobean plantation house.

As with many countries that were colonized by the British, cricket quickly became the national sport and a way to beat the occupiers on the playing field! Take a trip to Kensington Oval Barbados to watch a game.

Barbados also has one of the oldest horse race tracks in the world, the Garrison Savannah. Situated just outside of Bridgetown, locals and tourists mix on race day as excitement builds. In fact a visit here is on our list of the best things to do in Barbados!

Which is Better for Nightlife?

The Bahamas: The Nightlife

The Bahamas definitely has an advantage regarding lively nightlife, thanks in part to the influx of cruise ship passengers and the many major resorts in the country.

Subsequently, there is often a party vibe in some areas of every inhabited island. Plus as the larger island, there are more entertainment spots to choose from in the Bahamas than in Barbados.  

Most of the after-dark action in the Bahamas occurs around tourist hotspots like Nassau, Freeport and Paradise Island.

Casual bars, beach bars, nightclubs with DJs and casinos define entertainment in these areas, as well as in the country’s high-end resorts. 

However, you can both dance till the sun rises or enjoy a quiet evening with a refined drink in a resort when vacationing here. Whatever your ideal nightlife is, the Bahamas has it.

For an exciting clubbing experience, Xscape Lounge & Nightclub, Club Waterloo, Bahama Boom Beach Club and Aura (Atlantis) are your best options.

On the other hand, Big John’s Bar and Grill, Grabbers Bed Bar and Grill and Nipper’s Beach Bar and Grill should top your list of chilled-out bars to visit in the Bahamas.

And if you are looking to hit up a casino, the Atlantis Casino in Nassau is your best bet. This establishment is stretched out over a 7-acre lagoon and offers state-of-the-art machines and gaming tables. 

DJ spinning decks at a bar

Barbados: The Nightlife

Barbados’ nightlife is quieter and more chilled out compared to the Bahamas, but you’ll still find plenty of entertainment if you are in the mood for partying. And being a small island, you can effortlessly move from one area to another, experiencing as many nightspots as you want – that’s a big advantage. 

Nightclubs, beach bars, rum bars and live entertainment spots characterizes the nightlife here. 

You’ll find the best entertainment areas on the south coast at St. Lawrence Gap – a mile-long strip with plenty of clubs, bars and restaurants. 

When there, you’ll likely hear Oistins Fish Fry mentioned. This is a laid-back affair that happens every Friday night, featuring lots of mouth-watering fish and seafood; all prepared right in front of you! The atmosphere is fun and it really is a must-do evening experience. 

For something more wild, go to Harbor Lights on Carlisle Bay Beach, south of Bridgetown, to party until dawn. It’s an open-air beachfront club that plays pulsating Caribbean and international tunes.

This club is also known for its Beach Extravaganza Dinner Show, which features local entertainment, including acrobatics, fire eaters, stilt-men, bands and much more.

On the west coast, Holetown is the entertainment hub, with the 1st and 2nd streets hosting a vast selection of bars and nightclubs. Red Door Lounge, The Mews, West Bar and John Moore’s Bar are some of the spots you should check out there.

Multiracial friends having fun dancing together outdoor at beach party - Soft focus on left girl face

Which Is Better For Couples & Honeymoons?

Both nations are great destinations for couples and honeymooners. After all, nothing beats a getaway with soft white sand under your feet, crystal blue waters, warm sun on your face, fantastic food on your plate, and a cocktail in hand. And these two places offer it all!

However, Barbados will likely offer you a more authentic Caribbean feel compared to the Bahamas, which may be ideal if you are looking for an intimate Caribbean vibe for your honeymoon.

In contrast, the Bahamas is somewhat ‘Americanized’ due to its closeness to the U.S. and the crowds of cruise visitors. 

But this is also something of an advantage for the Bahamas because it’s easily accessible if you’re coming from the U.S. Being the nearest Caribbean destination to the U.S., it means you’ll likely spend less time getting there and more time enjoying activities and relaxing. 

On top of that, the beaches and resorts in the Bahamas are arguably more photogenic than their Barbadian counterparts, and some of the activities you can do are very romantic and perfect for a dream honeymoon.

We look at both destinations in more detail below, showing you why they may suit your vacation:

Full length shot of an affectionate young couple sharing an intimate moment at the beach

Barbados: Couples & Honeymoons

Besides the authentic Caribbean vibe, Barbados truly has something for every type of couple as the activities range from relaxing to adventurous. 

For example, you’ll find history, museums, endless shopping and plenty of dining in larger cities like the capital, Bridgetown.

And being the birthplace of rum, make sure you enjoy some delicious drinks there too. Take a tour of the renowned Mount Gay Distillery and perhaps even take a mixology class with your partner – now there’s a fun couples activity!

The beaches are also varied, making hopping around them good fun as you’ll find everything from rocky coastline with roaring Atlantic waves to pristine and calm white sand beaches.

And the best part is all of those beaches are open to the public, including those at the front of resorts! So you can find the perfect, romantic beach just for you and your partner without being worried about a hotel security guard telling you to leave.

The only downside of visiting Barbados is that you may need to create a detailed itinerary for your holiday. That’s because there’s less all-inclusive resorts on the island which will just sort out all the tours and excursions for you.

That’s not to say you can’t find great all-inclusive resorts there, but Barbados is best experienced outside of the resorts.

romantic couple in love sitting together on rope swing at sunset beach, silhouettes of young man and woman on holidays or honeymoon

The Bahamas: Couples & Honeymoons

The Bahamas is loaded with romantic escapes and experiences perfectly suited for couples.

This archipelago has more to offer besides all-inclusive resorts too. You’ll find isolated islands for a very romantic experience (and finding your own ‘private island’ in Bahamas is something you can’t really do in smaller Barbados), but you can still visit the touristy Nassau and Paradise Island for fun shopping, fine dining and a vibrant nightlife.

And if you and your partner love diving together, you’ll want to check out the six-mile underground cave system at the Lucayan National Park alongside the wrecks and reefs of the country (more on those later!).

But if you prefer being above water, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is a popular kayaking spot you should check out. 

However a romantic getaway in the Bahamas is not complete unless you go on a catamaran cruise – and with so many islands to visit, it’s easy to find gorgeous places to visit.

Explore the best of the archipelago with your partner, from hidden treasures like Fort Fincastle to exotic Dolphin Cay. And you can ramp up the romance level by taking a sunset cruise!

However if you’re planning a Bahamian honeymoon there are a couple of things to be aware of. For example, the popular tourist spots can be quite crowded.

And if you want a quiet, romantic resort experience then make sure you choose an adults-only resort or accommodation on a more remote island. That’s because some resorts can be quite popular with families and be a little loud and chaotic! 

It’s also worth noting that a honeymoon trip to the Bahamas can be very costly during certain months of the year – much more so than Barbados. Traveling during the off-season can save you money, but there’s the chance your trip could be disrupted by a hurricane or tropical storm.

Happy, young couple in white summer clothes enjoying their vacation on a tropical beach

Where You Should Stay According To Your Budget


Budget: With gorgeous sea views from your room’s balcony, and a wonderful outdoor pool for relaxing in, the three-star OceanBlue Resort is a fantastic budget option for those who want to have some luxury but without damaging their bank balance. See photos and rates!

Luxury: It’s hard to find somewhere more relaxing than the five-star St Peter’s Bay Luxury Resort. Their gorgeous villas and penthouse apartments have uninterrupted sea views, hot tubs and direct beach access.

Couple that with the stunning outdoor pool and world-class service and you’ve got a holiday you’ll never forget. See photos and rates!


Budget: Pineapple Fields Resort Eleuthera is worth checking out if you’re looking for a relaxing getaway that still has fun activities like parasailing or jet skiing on your doorstep.

Located on the stunning Eleuthera Island, there’s an outdoor pool and the beach is just a a short walk away. Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve is a short distance from Pineapple Fields too, while Governor’s Harbour is just 4 kilometres away. And all of that at a budget Bahamas price. See photos and rates!

Luxury: The gorgeous French Leave Resort has all the facilities you’d want alongside world-class service, but it’s the stunning sea views and outdoor infinity pool that really makes this resort worth staying at.

Located directly on a pristine beach, you’ll be treated to some of the best sunsets in the Bahamas when staying. Its luxury and romance all rolled into one. See photos and rates!

Which Is Better For A Family Vacation?

Deciding which destination is better for a family vacation can be challenging, especially as both offer plenty of exciting opportunities for kids.

So deciding which is better will ultimately depend on your family’s preferences.

In general though, the Bahamas has more kid-friendly beaches and fun family-friendly activities. On the other hand, Barbados offers a more laid-back, quieter vacation alongside warmer weather. 

So, if you are looking for an action-packed vacation with kids, then the Bahamas is likely the better choice. But if you want to enjoy time with your family in a quieter environment, Barbados could be for you. 

Below we look at the highlights for a family vacation in both destinations, so you can see which one you’d prefer!

Happy family - mother, kid in snorkeling mask dive underwater, explore tropical fishes in coral reef sea pool. Travel active lifestyle, beach adventure, swimming activity on summer holiday with child. Raro

The Bahamas: Family Vacation

The islands of the Bahamas are incredibly popular for family vacations, with each offering its own unique experience.

For family-friendly beaches, our top recommendations include:

  • Cable Beach in Nassau
  • Pig Beach in Exuma
  • Pink Sand Beach on Harbor Island
  • Jolly Hall Beach in George Town and
  • Gold Rock Beach in Grand Bahama

As for fun, kid-friendly activities in the Bahamas, the list is endless!

Some of our favorites include the Aquaventure Water Park on Paradise island. This 141-acre water park provides a Disney-like experience with plenty of water slides, pools, rides, activities and attractions. 

And just a short ride from the water park is the Pirates of Nassau Museum, which is the perfect place for your family to learn about the colorful past of the Bahamas which used to be a hub for pirates. Your little ones will be fascinated with the interactive displays and activities aboard replica pirate ships.

A trip to the Graycliff Chocolatier is a must while on Paradise Island too. You’ll all have a fantastic time learning how chocolate is made and making your own sweet treats.

And if your kids love animals, head to Ardastra Gardens and Wildlife Conservation, where they can interact with over 130 species of animals, including many colorful birds. 

Away from Paradise Island, you can go on an adventure with your kids in the Exumas, exploring its cays which number over 365!

Or embark on a jeep safari on Grand Bahama, touring the jungle landscape of the Lucayan National Park. And on Bimini Island, check out the Shark House and the Dolphin Lab alongside taking snorkeling tours. 

As you can see, the Bahamas can’t really be beaten when it comes to fun activities for children. Plus this nation is famous for its many kid-friendly resorts too.

Family on beach at sunset

Barbados: Family Vacation

Barbados has an excellent reputation for being a friendly and welcoming nation, all of which creates a fantastic atmosphere for families.

Family-friendly beaches also abound here. Some of our favorites include:

  • Accra/Rockley Beach
  • Enterprise/Miami Beach
  • Silver Sands Beach
  • Crane Beach and
  • Surfers Point

This tiny island is also surprisingly good at keeping children of all ages entertained.

Harrison’s Cave is one of Barbados’ best areas and it’s a must-visit with kids. Tram tours take you underneath the surface into an extensive system of limestone caverns with breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites. There are also streams, deep pools of crystal clear water and a waterfall!

Exploring the underwater world off the coast with a submarine should also be on your bucket list. Atlantis Submarine Barbados offers such experiences with 90-minute tours, and kids who are 3ft tall and above are allowed on board!

A great alternative for smaller children are glass-bottomed boat tours as those are suitable for all ages. While sitting on board you can observe everything underneath the boat, from schools of fish and turtles to shipwrecks. Older children will usually get a chance to snorkel on these tours too.

And for animal lovers, a trip to the Barbados Wildlife Reserve offers a chance for your kids to interact with many species.

This reserve is a haven for green monkeys, birds, deer, raccoons, mara and reptiles. It is not a zoo as the animals run free rather than live in cages (except for snakes), giving children a chance to see animals in their natural habitat.

And if you only have a few days in Barbados, going on an island safari is a great way to explore most of the sights at once. That includes rainforests, coves, cliffs and blue holes. These tours are usually suitable for 5-year-olds and above.

So Barbados has plenty to keep kids entertained too. Though the activities are typically a little less adventurous than what you get on the Bahamas.

A close up shot of a Barbados Green Monkey holding her baby. ODoherty

Which Is Better For Snorkeling & Diving?

Both destinations are excellent for snorkeling and diving because of their superb diving conditions. The waters are warm and comfortable throughout the year, and the visibility is exceptional.

These islands also offer a bit of everything, catering to all levels of divers.

However, the Bahamas tends to provide a better diving experience than Barbados. Its sheer size offers a wider variety of dives, and the water visibility is often up to 200ft, much better than in Barbados.

The Bahamas is also home to the world’s third largest barrier reef, and to top that, it offers some of the most intimate big marine animal encounters too!

Below we look at the snorkeling and diving highlights in both destinations so you can make up your own mind…

Scuba diver in a wet suit explores a wreck while holding a spear gun in one hand and camera in another with a school of fish in foreground.

The Bahamas: Snorkeling & Diving

Diving in the Bahamas is very special experience.

Diving varies depending on the island you are on. The waters in Bimini boast a wide selection of sea life, while San Salvador has wrecks, underwater caves and walls.

The Harbor and Eleuthera islands offer thrilling drift dives, and the Exumas have a splendid combination of shallow reefs and vertical walls.

And the Abacos’ pristine reefs offer relatively shallow sites for novice divers, while on Andros you’ll find wrecks and blue holes.

The waters of New Providence offer drop-offs near the shore, historical shipwrecks, caverns, and intriguing shark diving, while Grand Bahama provides the opportunity to dive with dolphins. 

Simply put there’s just so many different types of diving and snorkeling opportunities in the Bahamas that every island has something different and special to offer.

Here’s a quick run-down of some of the types of diving you can expect, and the best place to go for them!

Type of DivingTop Dive Sites
ShipwrecksHMS Conqueror (Rum Cay), James Bond Wrecks (Nassau), S.S Sapona (Bimini), Comberbach (Long Island)
ReefsVictory Reef (Bimini), Devil’s Backbone (Eleuthera), Vicky’s Reef (San Salvador), AmberJack Reef (Exumas)
WallsAndros Wall (Andros), Bimini Wall (Bimini), Hole in the Wall (San Salvador) Conception Island Wall (Long Island)
Blue HolesThe Lost Blue (Nassau), The Crater (Andros), Dean’s Blue Hole (Long Island)
Caves Ben’s Cave (Freeport), Coral Caverns ( The Abacos), Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park (The Abacos)
Shark DivingShark Rodeo (The Abacos), Tiger Beach (Freeport), Shark Buoy (Nassau), The Oceanic Whitetips (Cat Island)
A woman paddleboarding around the wreckage of a plane that landed in the water off of Norman's Cay in 1980. Life Traveling

Barbados: Snorkeling & Diving

Barbados may not be as exciting for snorkeling and diving compared to the Bahamas, but it’s still among the leading dive destinations in the Caribbean.

That’s because this island promises a lot to see underwater, from an incredible assortment of marine species to abundant coral and artificial reefs. 

The island also boasts about 200 wrecks that have developed into remarkable artificial reefs over time. Wreck diving in Barbados is also diverse and easily accessible (often more so than in the Bahamas), making it the Caribbean’s wreck diving capital. 

Many divers flock to Carlisle Bay for wreck diving, and you should too.

This bay hosts six sunken vessels, the most popular being the Bajan Queen. But the Marine Park on the sheltered side of the bay offers the best spot for beginner divers to experience wreck diving on the island. 

Other famous Barbados wrecks that you should visit include the SS Stavronikita, Pamir and Friars Crag. The Pamir, in particular, is perfect for beginner divers due to its shallow depth.

The Cement Plant Pier on the north coast is another spot you should visit because it’s not every day you’ll get to dive among the ruins of a cement factory!

The pier’s thick columns are now home to a wide selection of sea life. Look out for frogfish, long-snout seahorses, scorpionfish, gurnards and lobsters when there. 

For diving among prowling sea predators, Barracuda Junction delivers precisely that. As the name suggests, this reef is home to large schools of barracuda, who hunt the great depths for food.

This site is best for drift diving, which is usually done between 65-80 ft, even though its maximum depth is about 150 ft. 

girl in snorkeling mask dive underwater with tropical fishes in coral reef sea pool.

Which Has The Better Food?

Both countries will provide a treat for your taste buds, with cuisine focused around seafood.

The Bahamas: The Food

As a nation made up of numerous islands, it’s no surprise that Bahamian cuisine is focused around seafood. So if you are a seafood lover, this is the island nation for you!

Fried conch (aka cracked conch) is a popular dish served in a variety of ways – look out for it on menus. Baked crab is another very popular dish. It’s made up of crab meat, bread crumbs and egg, all baked within the crab shell itself.

However as the Bahamas is such a popular tourist destination – particularly with cruise ships – you’ll find plenty of international food, American chain restaurants and familiar fast food places too. Which may be a plus point for some.

As for what to drink, you can’t say no to coconut water in the Bahamas! You also have to try Switcha – this is like Bahamas’ version of of lemonade, albeit it’s made with limes.

Want something a little stronger? The beers made by the Bahamian Brewery are definitely worth trying, as are the delicious rum cocktails served up and down the archipelago. The Yellow Bird is a favorite rum cocktail of many Bahamians.

Barbados: The Food

As you’d expect, fish features heavily in Barbadian cuisine too, and fried flying fish is one of the national dishes of Barbados! Give that a taste for a foodie story to take home with you.

However with such a mix of cultures here, you’l find that the cuisine scene in the Bahamas is influenced by West African, British, and even Indian tastes.

With that being the case, popular dishes include chicken curry, barbecued pig tails and even Macaroni pies!

And just like many islands up and down the Caribbean, rum is the drink of choice in Barbados.

Luckily for visitors, Barbadians know how to make some fantastic rum too! Get yourself along to Mount Gay Rum Distillery for a tour and some free tasters.

Which Is Safer?

Both are safe destinations, but in general it may be safer to visit Barbados than the Bahamas.

Barbados has a reputation for being amongst the safest islands in the Caribbean for solo and family travelers, with the U.S. Department of State listing it as a Level 1 destination at the time of writing. 

That doesn’t mean there are no issues in Barbados. However tourists are rarely bothered, and establishments that serve tourists often operate in walled compounds and/or have high-security surveillance. Police and patrols are also heavier in locations visited by tourists. 

However, in rare circumstances pick-pocketing and purse-snatching have happened in areas visited by tourists. 

The U.S. Department of State even advises exercising standard precautions and steering clear of high-risk areas such as Wellington and Nelson streets during the nighttime, and Crab Hill at all times. You should also avoid untrustworthy night-time party cruises. 

On the other hand, the Bahamas tends to report higher crime levels than Barbados, with the U.S. Department of State listing it as a Level 2 destination

While most issues mainly occur in remote areas, some tourists have been targeted in the past in Freeport and the Nassau Islands, including at cruise ports and resorts. 

While rare, the Bahamas has also had reports of safety issues regarding women, with cases even occurring on beaches, cruise ships, in and around hotels, in casinos and when taking jet ski rides. 

Food and drink spiking has also occurred in the past. Therefore, you should never leave your drinks unattended.

Precautions to observe when on holiday in a new place include:

  • Avoid solo trips to empty beaches.
  • Don’t walk alone at night.
  • Always remain vigilant of your surroundings, including areas believed to be safe.
  • Keep your valuables out of sight.
  • Only answer the door when you know who it is.

It’s also important to note that water activities are sometimes poorly controlled in the Bahamas. Many watercraft operators are unregistered and may have poorly maintained equipment.

There have been cases of people being injured while using jet skis and other water equipment carelessly. 

Hence, it’s advisable not to rent independently operated equipment; instead, use those owned by registered companies. 

Another major safety concern in the Bahamas is tropical storms and hurricanes which may occur from June to November.

So, if you’re looking to travel during the Atlantic hurricane season, check with the local authorities and follow local media and other sources like the National Emergency Management Agency.

Barbados, on the other hand, lies just outside the hurricane belt. So it usually escapes severe storms and hurricanes.

In fact, at the time of writing, the country hasn’t been hit with a major hurricane since 1955, when it experienced Hurricane Janet. Therefore it is generally safe to visit Barbados at any time of the year.

Drone aerial view of anchored sailing yacht in emerald Caribbean sea, Stocking Island, Great Exuma, Bahamas. Chen

Which Is Cheaper?

Caribbean destinations usually carry a hefty price tag, but some are more affordable than others. On that note, Barbados is quite expensive to visit but is still cheaper than the Bahamas. 

Thankfully it is still possible to visit both of these islands on a budget though – if you take the time to shop around that is.

Usually, flights and accommodations will take up most of your budget. So, the better deal you can find, the more money you can spend on activities!

Take time to compare flight costs for different airports and airlines – don’t just book the first flight you find. Or better still, talk to a travel agent. And if you can, travel during the low season and book economy class.

Regarding accommodation, a hostel may be a great budget-friendly option if traveling solo. But with a family, consider taking an Airbnb or a cheap hotel. 

Other travel costs include food, getting around and excursions. And while they may seem small compared to flights and accommodation, they accumulate quickly.

A great way to eat affordably is by making your own food. And if you want to eat out, stick to street food and local restaurants – avoid beachside restaurants as they will have higher costs due to the location.

To get around, using local transport is a great inexpensive option. In that regard Barbados is very handy as there’s great public transport available.

Beautiful sunset over the sea with a view at palms on the white beach on a Caribbean island of Barbados

The Bahamas Or Barbados: Which Is The Better Choice?

Both the Bahamas and Barbados make excellent holiday destinations, and both have gorgeous beaches and vibrant cultures.

However if you’re looking for more of an adventure, great nightlife, and postcard perfect beaches, then Bahamas could be the better choice. This nation has a huge variety of beaches, and so many island hopping adventures.

Traveling around the Bahamas can be expensive though. Especially if you want to visit some of the most beautiful islands, many of which are uninhabited. The Bahamas is also one of the most expensive Caribbean destinations when it comes to hotel accommodation too.

Being much smaller, Barbados is better suited to tourists who wish to have all the sights and tourist hot-spots in close reach. It’s cheaper than the Bahamas as well, and has a more Caribbean feel to it, in comparison to ‘Americanized’ Bahamas.


  • Wandering our World

    Hi and welcome to Wandering our World! This article was written by one of the Wandering our World team - a team of travel enthusiasts who live around the globe.