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The Bahamas aren’t just a popular vacation destination. This exquisite tropical paradise offers up some of the best locations to settle down and live in. Whether you’re looking for safety, a waterfront property, or a city-based condominium, The Bahamas has is all.
There are endless reasons to move to The Bahamas: from great tax incentives (like its tax neutral status) to the near perfect tropical weather, you’ll fall in love with everything The Bahamas offers.
About The Bahamas
The Bahamas are located about 60 miles off the coast of South Florida. Around 700 islands make up The Bahamas, with around 29 of them being inhabited. This stunning tropical oasis has a vibrant population that is warm and welcoming, with a bustling economy driven by tourism, with finance and international banking fast behind. Retail, agricultural and fishery also help to boost the local economy.
Living in The Bahamas allows for a distinct lifestyle you won’t find anywhere else, offering:
- Year round tropical weather
- Stable real estate market
- Low taxes and other great tax incentives
- Breathtaking beaches
- Abundant outdoor activities
- International airports with a number of direct flights
- Advanced and specialized healthcare
- Incredible private and international schools
Often moving to a new location can seem overwhelming, but relocating to The Bahamas offers so many fantastic benefits you can’t find anywhere else that making the move is worth it.
A skilled and knowledgeable expert at Better Homes and Garden MCR Bahamas can help you find exactly what you’re looking for and help make the relocation process feel like a walk in paradise.
Best Islands to Live in The Bahamas
You might have stumbled upon Paradise Island when scrolling through social media and didn’t even realize. This popular spot was formerly called “hog island” because of its past population of wild hogs–but don’t let its former nickname fool you.
Paradise Island is a stunning island just off the shore of Nassau. It’s well known for the iconic Atlantis resort, based on the mythical and legendary City of Atlantis. You won’t find a shortage of activities to indulge in on Paradise Island. As a popular tourist destination, you will find a great deal of wonderful recreational activities, fabulous restaurants, and a lively community that embodies the Bahamian way of life.
But, Paradise Island is also a popular place for people to live in The Bahamas for those who appreciate the amenities offered to tourists.
- Outstanding restaurants and nightlife
- Lush golf courses and day-time activities
- Close proximity to New Providence
- Great shopping
Best for: Those who love golf, enjoy eco-tours, and a great social scene with other international travelers
As one of the most populous islands in The Bahamas, New Providence has so much to offer. With its beautifully mild climate, warm winters and sparkling crystal blue waters you will be amazed by everything New Providence has to provide.
Agriculture and fishing make up the bulk of the local economy as well as exporting rum to the international market. And as a populous area, you’re more likely to find more job availability opposed to smaller areas around the islands.
Having a larger community offers up different living options as well. Finding a great condominium in New Providence might be something to consider so that you don’t have to worry about certain traditional home owner’s matters. Instead you can focus on enjoying all the beauty of New Providence.
- Bustling economy due to tourism
- Close proximity to major hospitals and colleges
- Accessible to Lynden Pindling International Airport
Best for: Those who prefer a bigger city yet enjoy a relaxed lifestyle
Known as the boating capital of The Bahamas, The Abacos are a boat enthusiast’s dream come true. If you’re looking for adventure, The Abacos are home to The Catacombs, a magnificent diving site that any seasoned or amateur diver will enjoy.
You can check out the famous Elbow Reef Lighthouse and learn about the rich history that The Abacos holds. It’s also home to six national parks: Abaco National Park, Black Sound Cay National Reserve, Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park, Walker’s Cay National Park, Fowl Cays National Park, Tilloo Cay National Reserve.
- Seventeen marinas throughout the area
- A boating fuel credit
- A number of wonderful outdoor activities
Best for: People looking for a safe and populated island without the heavy tourism seen on other islands.
Safest Places to Live in The Bahamas
Nassau, New Providence
As the capital and the largest city in The Bahamas, Nassau is the heart of the islands. This makes it one of the most populous, but also safest places to live, with easy access to transportation, healthcare, and a large community.
Originally called Charles Towne, Nassau is another location just filled with rich history and culture. You can experience this history by exploring one of the three major historic forts as well as Government House, the Angelican Christ Church, Nassau Public Library, and the beautiful government buildings around Parliament Square. Being able to immerse yourself in this rich history is truly an experience!
Heading towards the eastern end of the harbor, you can find the marine gardens. Here you are able to board glass-bottom boats to get a glimpse of the underwater ecosystem. And because of its relatively consistent temperatures, Nassau is an ideal spot for those that enjoy temperate weather.
- Major hospitals
- Major colleges/universities
- Island metropolis
Best for: Those who prefer a more metropolis location
Albany, New Providence
If you want to experience the height of luxury, Albany, New Providence can give you just that. This luxury resort community was founded by Tiger Woods, the Travistock Group, and Ernie Els with the intention of providing a safe and luxurious community.
You’ll be wowed by the 18-hole championship golf course, a sure selling point for any golf lover. Reach out to Mario Carey, President & CEO of MCR Bahamas today to learn about the buying opportunities in Albany.
- Gated community
- Great golfing experiences
Best for: Those who prefer to live within a gated community with luxury amenities
If you’re looking for something a bit slower paced but still wanting to enjoy the beauty and history of The Bahamas, Eleuthera might be a place to consider. These splendid islands stand out for its spectacular pink sand beaches and quiet island living.
Like many parts of The Bahamas, you’ll get to enjoy the crystal blue waters as well as lush, exotic vegetation that makes this tropical paradise the perfect picturesque location to settle down in.
Eleuthera is Greek for “freedom” which is exactly what you’ll experience here. The freedoms of enjoying a safe and quiet life with all the beauty mother nature has to offer.
- Quiet, away from tourists and crowds
- Wonderful areas to explore
Best for: Those who prefer privacy without seclusion
Best Cities to Live in The Bahamas
Nassau, New Providence
Like we mentioned above, the capital Nassau offers some of the best real estate in The Bahamas. Better Homes and Gardens MCR Bahama Group can assist you in finding the perfect home in this tropical haven. From waterfront properties to stunning condominiums, a trustworthy agent can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
Best for: Those who prefer a more metropolis location with the benefits of a relaxed island lifestyle
Arawak Cay, New Providence
While Arawak Cay is not a city–it’s within Nassau, New Providence–it’s a great part of the city to live in. This vibrant precinct is referred to by the locals as the Fish Fry because of the wonderful variety of restaurants and eateries. Arawak Cay truly captures the essence of island living with the charming beachfront shacks, traditional island cuisine and a welcoming community that anyone can fall in love with.
If you’re a foodie who loves seafood, Arawak Cay is the place for you. Known for their fried conch, Arawak Cay also has a wide array of different dishes that they are popular for like grilled lobster tail and grilled shrimp. If you take a stroll around town, you’ll find local residents outside playing a casual game of dominos or hear traditional junkanoo music being played in the town center.
- Authentic Bahamian restaurants
- Welcoming local community
Best for: People who appreciate both the city and beach life, and love exploring new cultures in a vibrant community
Freeport, Grand Bahama
As the second largest city in The Bahamas, Freeport in Grand Bahama has so much to offer. Freeport provides the best of both worlds, mixing the old with the new. Plus, you get the benefits of living in a larger city but at a smaller population compared to a city like Nassau. It also holds the island’s international airport which makes it easier to travel.
Because of its close proximity to Florida, residents generally pay less for shipping costs since it’s the island’s main shipping hub. You’ll find The Port Lucaya Marketplace, the largest open air market where you’ll be able to experience several duty-free shops, a variety of restaurants and bars and a mixture of specialty stores.
You’ll also get to experience the best mother nature has to offer at places like Lucayan National Park. Lucayan National Park is best known for its underwater caves and one of the few places that lets visitors tour them.
A hike around Lucayan National Park will allow you to discover the serene flora and fauna that makes Freeport truly magnificent. Plus, the second highest number of native birds can be found in Freeport, making it a bird watchers dream.
- Location of main cruise port of the Grand Bahamas
- Location of major Grand Bahama airport, Grand Bahama International Airport
- 80 miles away from Palm Beach, Florida
Best for: Those who want a mixture of the “big” city and “smaller” city life with lots of nature to explore
Most Popular Places for Expats to Live in The Bahamas
Lyford Cay, Nassau
Lyford Cay is a private gated community named after Captain William Lyford Jr.; it’s also referred to as Simms Cay. Lyford Cay holds a prestigious name because of the famous residents that currently, as well as formerly, lived there. Notable residents include Sean Connery and the Bacardi Family. But don’t be intimidated by the famous names because people from all over the world come to Lyford Cay to enjoy the beauty of the island and have a good time.
Lyford Cay embodies luxury and high class, as well as relaxed charm and vibrant elegance. It gives off an old-world vibe but still manages to be unassuming. Residents of Lyford Cay come to the area to get away from more tourist-heavy areas of The Bahamas.
Within the community, you’ll find the Lyford Cay International School which was founded in 1962. This private school offers an international baccalaureate program for grades pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
Aside from the Lyford Cay International School, you’ll find several other fantastic schools right outside of the community such as Windsor, known for its Cambridge curriculum, and St. Andrews International Schools which also offers an international baccalaureate program.
- Great international schools and education programs
- Abundance of amenities in the exclusive Lyford Cay Club
- A luxurious but laid back environment
Best for: Those looking for country club style living and outstanding education opportunities
Nassau, New Providence
Yes, Nassau gets three designations on this list! Living in Nassau gives you the chance to experience everything this beautiful oasis has to offer, and expats take full advantage. There are a vast number of historic sites to visit, like the beautifully restored Villa Doyle as well as the Pirates of Nassau Museum.
Best for: Those who prefer a more metropolis location with other expats combined with the benefits of a relaxed island lifestyle
Freeport, Grand Bahama
The vast variety of natural activities that Freeport has to offer makes it an ideal location for those who like to stay active, and you see many expats ready to get a mortgage to purchase a Freeport home.
The Peterson Cay National Park is an excellent place to visit for bird watching as it’s recognized as an “Important Bird Area” due to its large number of Bridled Terns. The Rand Nature Centre is also a popular attraction to take in the wondrous natural beauty that Freeport has to offer amongst expats from all over the world.
Best for: Those who want a mixture of the “big” city and “smaller” city life with other expats
The Cheapest Places to Live in The Bahamas
While “cheap” may not be the best way to describe these locations, here are some more affordable places to live in The Bahamas.
The Exumas might be one of the most well-known spots of The Bahamas. Split into three different areas–eGreat Exuma, Little Exuma, and the Exuma Cays–each location offers something a bit distinct from one another. Great Exuma and Little Exuma are more attributed to that relaxed, carefree island lifestyle while the Exuma Cays are more associated with luxury private homes and tropical elegance.
The capital of The Exumas is Georgetown, where you will find the Exuma International Airport that offers regular direct flights to Florida, Atlanta and Toronto.
- The Exuma International Airport with regular direct flights
- Property values remain steady
- Spectacular scenery and activities
Best for: Those who want to be close to an international airport; enjoy a variety of activities
Less than 2 miles off the coast of Eleuthera Island, you will find Harbour Island. This small island is best known for its stunning beaches and its hard packed pink sand. You won’t get this kind of beach experience anywhere else!
Again, like many other locations in The Bahamas, Harbour Island has a vast history that dates back to the 1700s. You can see this history through the beautiful architecture and vibrant communities throughout Harbour Island.
Harbour Island offers golf cart rentals making exploring and navigating the island easy. As you discover more of the island you will see just how much Harbour Island has to offer. From horseback riding to diving and fishing, Harbor Island is ideal for those who want to set up roots surrounded by all the beauty nature has to offer.
- Cars are not necessary to get around Harbour Island
- Smaller Island, so perfect for those who want a more a smaller community feel
- Close proximity to Eleuthera Island
Best for: Those who want a more secluded experience that still offers lots of activities
The unpretentious and laid-back Cat Island is perfect for those who want to live a true island lifestyle. Some call Cat Island one of the best-kept secrets of The Bahamas, but we’re letting it out!
Getting its name from pirate Arthur Catt, you’ll find a small community that embraces island living and exploring. Cat Island has the highest mountain point in The Bahamas. So if taking weekly hikes is up your alley, Cat Island is the perfect place for you to settle down.
While the beach activities are a bit more relaxed, you’ll just get wonderful opportunities to soak up the sun, fish, and dive. Diving is a popular activity in Cat Island and many divers go out to explore the sunken Spanish Battleships.
- Small community
- No large resorts
- Elevation for great ocean views
Best for: Those who prefer a smaller community and less tourist traffic
Most Remote Island to Live in The Bahamas
As the largest island in the Exuma chain, Great Exuma has larger hotels and resorts as well as the Exuma International Airport. Don’t be fooled by the larger hotels and resorts, Great Exuma still offers a quieter, more relaxed environment.
Relocating to Great Exuma is like living the perfect tropical vacation everyday minus the crowds! You get to experience secluded beaches with little to no crowds, a more rustic way of living and an overall laid back way of life.
Best for: Those who enjoy a more quiet community on a remote island
You are in for some truly breathtaking experience in Long Island. Long Island offers one of a kind deep sea fishing as well as bottom and reef fishing. The true gem of Long Island is Dean’s Blue Hole which is the second deepest blue hole in the world! The annual International Free Diving Competition takes place here.
Because of the year round tropical weather, you can experience the best fishing any time of year!
- Some of the best fishing in The Bahamas
- Beautiful natural parks
Best for: Those who love fishing with less crowds; exploring the crystal blue waters
Aside from assorted boating opportunities that make Abaco popular, it’s also a great spot for those that want to get away.
Best for: Those who want amenities with also getting away from tourist traffic
Bottom Line for Picking the Best Place to Live in The Bahamas
Overall, The Bahamas offers some of the best locations to relocate if you’re looking to immerse yourself in a true tropical paradise. The rich history, culture, and friendly people of The Bahamas make for a welcoming new home, whether you’re looking for the most affordable place to live, the safest place to live, the best place to live for expats–or all three!
Be sure to check out available immigration information when considering moving to The Bahamas because knowing the laws and what is offered will have great benefits for you. For example, home owners and investors that spend more than $750,000 on a property could be granted expedited consideration for permanent residency.
Plus, setting up residency in The Bahamas allows you the opportunity to visit the many wonderful places around the island. Living in a paradise that so many people vacation allows you to explore the wonders of The Bahamas that tourists rarely get the chance to experience. With around 700 islands, there’s definitely a lot to see and explore!
But don’t have to feel like you’re in a rush to experience everything! The laidback, relaxed lifestyle of these beautiful islands takes away the pressure of having to “go-go-go”.