…A tale of the Bahamas
Embarking on a surreal escape to the Bahamas, where turquoise waters meet powdery white sands, has left an indelible mark on my soul. As the sun gracefully descended below the horizon, casting a vibrant palette across the sky, the rich history and vibrant culture of this enchanting archipelago unfolded before my eyes.
The journey into the tropical haven of the Bahamas commenced on September 30, 2023, when my husband and I decided to break free from the routine and immerse ourselves in a dreamy vacation. For five blissful days, we left behind work, family responsibilities, and stress, revisiting the concept of an exclusive couple-only retreat. Our last such escapade was in 2018 when we explored the south of France, a prelude to our family life.
Setting off from Heathrow Airport in London, we landed at Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau after a 9-hour flight. The surreal feeling of living a dream enveloped me as I stepped into this captivating place. The warmth and hospitality of the airport staff, coupled with the smooth immigration process in an almost empty airport, set the tone for a magical stay. In less than 20 minutes, we retrieved our luggage and stepped into the Bahamian paradise.
Baha Mar Resort: The Grand Hyatt Hotel at Baha Mar became my sanctuary during this unforgettable escapade. Nestled in Nassau, the capital city of The Bahamas, Baha Mar is a sprawling resort complex on New Providence Island, boasting multiple hotels, casinos, restaurants, and more. Located on Cable Beach, it provided the perfect backdrop for the best five days of my life. From playing blackjack at the casino to shopping, reveling at the Bond night club and Sky bar, swimming in the pristine beach and pools, exploring the expansive Baha Bay water park, to indulging in the diverse dining options – every moment was a symphony of luxury and joy. The rhythmic beats of Junkanoo and the tantalizing aroma of freshly caught seafood added a cultural and culinary layer to this heavenly experience.
Atlantis Paradise Island: On day 3, we ventured to the renowned Atlantis Paradise Island, a haven of resorts and water parks located just off the coast of Nassau. Surrounded by docked cruise ships, Atlantis is famous for its Aquaventure water park and expansive marine habitat. Beneath the surface, I discovered coral gardens teeming with vibrant fish, graceful sea turtles gliding effortlessly, and majestic dolphins playfully dancing in the azure depths.
The Ocean Club: Day 4 treated us to a stay at The Ocean Club, a Four Seasons resort. With a backdrop of blue ocean views on a sunny day, we savoured bottomless mimosas, the tunes of a live band playing old-school classics, and a delightful array of local and international delicacies at the Ocean Club Sunday buffet.
Exploring Nassau: The capital city of the Bahamas, Nassau, offers a mix of colonial architecture, colourful buildings, and historical sites. Highlights included the Queen’s Staircase, Fort Charlotte, and the Pirates Museum. The bustling Straw Market was a treasure trove for local crafts and souvenirs, including the famous Bahamian Rum cake.
Travel Tips for Nigerian Passport Holders: For Nigerian passport holders venturing to the Bahamas, certain guidelines are crucial to note:
Visa Requirements: Nigerians need a visa to enter the Bahamas. I obtained a single-entry Bahamas electronic visa through the Bahamian consulate website, a process that involved submitting personal information, travel details, a police character certificate, a scanned copy of the passport data page, a medical report, hotel booking, flight reservation, bank statement, and proof of yellow fever vaccination. The visa fee, approximately $100, was paid using a dollar card, and the e-visa arrived in my email after a two-week processing period.
Currency: The official currency in the Bahamas is the Bahamian Dollar (BSD), but the US dollar is widely accepted.
Travel Time: Flying from London Heathrow to Nassau took approximately 9 hours and 30 minutes. Nassau is in the Eastern Time Zone (ET), while Lagos, Nigeria, is in the West Africa Time Zone (WAT), resulting in a time difference of 6 hours.
Let the Bahamas be the canvas of your dream vacation, where memories intertwine with sunsets painting the sky in hues of pink and orange. Embrace the undeniable allure of this earthly paradise, allowing it to inspire new horizons, broaden perspectives, and ignite the fire within your soul.