New Providence

Travel Guide Caribbean Bahamas New Providence



Tire swing beach scene on New Providence Island

Tire swing beach scene on New Providence Island

© stevedana

New Providence is one of the main islands of the Bahamas and also one of the busiest, including the capital Nassau, and contains over 70% of the population of the Bahamas. Paradise Island, although a separate island, is connected to New Providence by bridge.

New Providence functions as the main commercial hub of the Bahamas. It is also home to more than 400 banks and trust companies, and its hotels and port account for more than two thirds of the four million-plus tourists who visit the Bahamas annually. Other settlements on New Providence include Grants Town, Bain Town, Fox Hill, Adelaide, Yamacraw, South Beach, Coral Harbour, Lyford Cay, Sea Breeze, Centreville, The Grove (South) and The Grove (West Bay), Cable Beach, Delaporte, Gambier, and Love Beach.






Sights and Activities

  • Bacardi Distillery
  • Paradise Island – Atlantis it's also called, off the coast of Nassau.



Events and Festivals


This fun, cultural event is on par with Carnival in Rio, with lots of costumes and parades in the streets. It takes place in Nassau, on New Providence Island, between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, with the latter having the best of it. Expect lots of color and noise (Junkanoo music), African customs, and gaudy outfits. There is also a smaller Junkanoo festival in June/July.

Independence Day

The Bahamas celebrates their national day on July 10, when the country was ceded from Great Britain in 1973. The day features all sorts of parties and events countrywide, including beach festivities, parades, and fireworks. All islands get in on the party, with special attention on Nassau and Freeport, as well as the hotels of Paradise Island.

Emancipation Day

Bahamians mark the abolition of slavery in 1834 on August 1. The day is a public holiday across the islands, though events span a whole week. It is best experienced in the former slave village of Fox Hill Village, Nassau, and in Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera Island.

International Beer Festival

Fancy swilling the best of Bahamian and some international beers? The Olde Town Mall in Sandyport (at the western end of Cable Beach, Nassau) has many beers available from the UK, America, and Asia, as well as from the Bahamas. It takes place over a weekend towards the end of September, but the downer is it only runs from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m..

Discovery Day

Many countries celebrate the exploits of Christopher Columbus, who discovered the New World. In the Bahamas, he is said to have landed on San Salvador on October 12, 1492; a pretty island to the east of Cat Island. This day is marked on a Friday or Monday in mid-October, and is also referred to as Columbus Day.

Bahamas Film Festival

Movies, documentaries, and animation by Bahamian film producers are shown at Nassau’s Galleria Cinemas during the Bahamas Film Festival. It takes place over a few days in early December and can be a cultural experience featuring educational programs and open and closing galas.




New Providence has a pleasantly warm but humid climate. Compared to Caribbean islands more to the south, there are some differences regarding temperatures, mainly because it is somewhat colder during the wintermonths of November to April. Generally though, temperatures are high, with summer maximum temperatures averaging around 30 °C and minimum temperatures around 24 °C. During the wintermonths temperatures are about 5 °C lower. The rainy season lasts from May to October, with September and October being the wettest months. This is also the time (especially from August to October) when hurricanes are a possibility.



Getting There

By Plane

Bahamasair is the national airline of the Bahamas and is based at Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) near the capital Nassau. It doesn't have that many international services, but at least Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Providenciales and Havana are served. Several airlines offer flights mainly to the United States and Canada as well as several islands in the Caribbean. British Airways has flights to and from London, as well as the Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands. Other airlines serving the airport are Air Canada (Toronto and Montreal), American Airlines (Dallas), Cubana (Havana), Copa Airlines (Panama City), and Air Jamaica (Kingston).

Bahamsair and several smaller airlines serve many domestic destinations, including Marsh Harbour, Abraham's Bay, Arthur's Town, Cockburn Town, Colonel Hill, Deadman's Cay, Freeport, George Town, Governor's Harbour, Matthew Town, North Eleuthera, Rock Sound, Spring Point, The Bight, Treasure Cay, Great Harbour Cay, Rum Cay, Black Point, Farmer's Car, Staniel Cay, Chub Cay, Colonel Hill, Deadman's Cay, Stella Maris, Andros Town, Bimini, Congo Town, Mangrove Cay and San Andros.

By Boat

Bahamas Ferries has car and passenger services from the capital Nassau to destinations on Eleuthera, Exumas, Andros and Abacos. Fast daily ferry services travel between Nassau and most of the main islands. The main connections are:

  • Nassau to Abacos - about 4 hours between Sandy Point, Great Abaco and Nassau
  • Nassau to Eleuthera - two-hour run from Potter’s Cay in Nassau to Harbour Island. It also runs a ferry from Potter’s Cay to Governor’s Harbour
  • Nassau to Exumas - Departs the Bahamas Ferriesdock at Potter’s Cay for the overnight journey to the Exumas. The scheduled 12-hour trip can stretch closer to 14 depending on the weather.
  • Nassau to Andros - There’s a two-hour ferry run by Bahamas Ferries from Nassau to Fresh Creek on Andros

Other services with Bahamas Ferries include Cat Island - Nassau, Driggs Hill - Nassau, Current - Nassau, George Town - Nassau and Spanish Wells - Nassau. The latter leaves Nassau at 8:00am and arrives in Spanish Wells around 10:00am, and is often advertised as a possible daytrip as well.

To add, there are watertaxis between Nassau and Paradise Island regularly making the crossings. Several other offshore islands and their neighboring cays are served by private water taxis. Also, there are about 20 mailboats serving many islands, including the Outer Islands further away to the south and southeast. Although less comfortable, they are a great but slow alternative to the normal ferries and watertaxis.


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This is version 9. Last edited at 9:51 on Aug 27, 18 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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