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Are you from or visiting Florida? Have you ever wondered what tropical island you could escape to without traveling too far from home?
Well, wonder no more friend! Here is the mainlander’s guide to visiting Bimini, where all your questions will be answered!
Is Bimini Worth Visiting?
Bimini is one of the many beautiful islands of the Bahamas. Full of history and beautiful beaches, it is definitely worth checking out for a quick getaway!
In 1493, Ponce de Leon joined Christopher Columbus on his second expedition to the Americas. One way or another, Ponce de Leon found himself exploring the unexplored Bimini sometime in 1513.
Fast forward a few centuries, the great writer Earnest Hemmingway found his way to Bimini in 1935. Inspired by the island, he was able to write many books during his time there, such as “The Old Man and The Sea”, and “To Have and Have Not”.
Not only does Bimini have such a historic past, but it is also called the big game fishing capital of the world. With great catches in the Gulf Stream, it’s a fisherman’s paradise!
How Much Does it Cost to Travel to Bimini?
As with most things cost-related, the answer is, it depends.
Here are a few things to factor in when planning for your trip:
- How many days will you spend there?
- What activities do you want to do?
- How many people will be going with you? Are they old enough to split the costs with?
- What will you eat?
- What resort will you stay at?
- How will you travel (to and from)?
- Will you be buying souvenirs?
Generally speaking, for a family of four taking an overnight trip to the island, it might cost around $1300. *This is just an estimate. The actual price will vary.
How Do I Get to Bimini? How Long is it to Get There From Florida?
Did you know that Bimini is generally only 2 hours from the Florida coast?
That being said, there are quite a few options when it comes to getting there and back.
For those of you who want to fly but land straight in the ocean, seaplanes are the best option.
Privacy is the best policy, and if you are interested in having a private trip to a tropical island, charter is the way to go!
The most classic way to take a trip to any island in the Bahamas is on a cruise ship!
So, if you do happen to be in the mood for a cruise and want to make Bimini part of your stop, definitely check out these cruises with Carnival via Cruise Direct.
What Do I Need to Bring?
When visiting Bimini (or any international place for that matter), you definitely need a passport. Other options would be to bring an original birth certificate or voter registration card with a government-issued picture ID.
Also, make sure you have your outbound ticket in order to show it to customs before you get into the island.
As for packing, you should definitely bring bathing suits, spring/ summer attire, sunscreen, waterproof casing for your electronics, and whatever other accessories you may need during your stay. (For some ideas, you can always check out our shop.)
How Do I Travel in Bimini?
The whole island of Bimini is about 40 miles long, but most visitors and residents alike travel within the 9 miles it takes to get from north to south Bimini.
Most people walk to wherever it is they need to go since the main destinations are so close to wherever they are staying.
However, there are options to bike, as well as use golf carts offered by the hotel/ resort you may be staying at. There is also a chance to catch one of the few taxis available in North Bimini.
Where to Stay in Bimini?
Bimini is made of the north and south. Most travelers end up staying in North Bimini, although South Bimini is not off-limits.
There are many places to stay depending on if you are there for events such as fishing, or if you are there just visiting the beautiful beaches.
The most popular picks are The Hilton at Resorts World Bimini or Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina.
What Things Are There to Do in Bimini? What Can Be Done For Free?
No mainlander’s guide to visiting Bimini would be complete without figuring out what things can actually be done on the island.
So here are some wonderful adventures to get into (both free and paid) while you are there.
There are so many beaches to explore in Bimini!
Resorts World Bimini Beach
This beach is one of the more popular beaches in Bimini. Free to all Hilton guests, but still available at a fee to everyone else.
Right next to Resorts World Bimini Beach is Paradise Beach. Somehow though, Paradise Beach is a little less crowded.
That being said, besides having a little more privacy, this beach is also free to use!
Radio Beach/ Blister Beach/ Spook Hill
Three beaches right next to each other, all three popular but not too crowded.
These sandy beaches are popular for diving excursions as well as just relaxing in the sun.
Porgay Bay Beach
Located in Bailey Town, this beach is quite small.
Tiki Hut Beach
Tiki Hut Beach is popular on its own, but what makes it really special is the 2 miles of lush vegetation surrounding it!
Perhaps you are the type who enjoys the reward after a difficult challenge. If so, The Cays are the adventure you have been looking for.
Made up of six beaches, this South Bimini destination is actually quite harder to reach than the others on the mainland.
The plus side: once you make it there, you will more or less have a whole beach or so to yourself.
Swimming With Sharks and Dolphins
Swimming in the ocean is an experience in itself, but what makes it really special is being able to get up close and personal with the animals of the sea!
Sharks are seen as the most terrifying animals of the ocean, but they’re not all bad!
Get up-close and personal with these creatures safely by joining a scuba excursion.
On the opposite end of terrifying comes the friendliest ‘fish’ of the seas, dolphins!
These extremely friendly creatures are great to just be around as their cuteness is contagious.
Scuba Excursions and Shipwrecks
Speaking of swimming with the bigger fish of the sea; you can also go scuba diving at different shipwrecking sites!
A few of the more popular shipwrecks are going to be the SS Sapona and Gallant Lady Shipwreck.
You can join these types of scuba expeditions through Bimini Undersea.
Established in 1993, this unique museum was established by a local artist named Ashley Saunders.
What makes this place so special is how it is an ongoing project by Saunders filled with art inspired by dolphins and Bahamian culture.
You can get a tour of the museum by Mr. Saunders himself and really see how he is able to incorporate his love for his homeland through his breathtaking artwork.
The Dolphin Museum does come with a cost of $10 per person.
Fountain of Youth
There is a legend that happened upon the ears of the traveler Ponce de Leon that the Fountain of Youth was located on the beautiful island of Bimini.
Once there, Ponce de Leon searched in vain for the fountain but was unsuccessful on his quest.
Today, the Fountain of Youth has been identified by locals as a well made from limestone rock thousands of years ago. You can find this Fountain of Youth near the road leading to the airport.
Sports fishing is a given, as Bimini is the sports fishing capital of the world.
All year you can find optimal fishing near the Gulf Shore. However, depending on which season you go, different fish can be found.
- Winter- Mackerel and Wahoo
- Spring and Summer- Blue and White Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, and Bluefin Tuna
- Summer- Grouper, Snapper, and Baraccuda
- All Seasons- Bonefish
Bimini Road (Atlantis)
There is a high probability that you have heard of the mysterious and wonderful lost city of Atlantis.
The people of Bimini might have found it!
At least, that is how the myth goes.
Located in North Bimini, this undersea road of perfectly aligned stones is said to be an underground road that leads straight to Atlantis.
Those brave enough to take the boat ride there to scuba dive along this mysterious road are the only ones who will be able to know for sure.
Yet another beautiful mystery of Bimini, these pools of water are also only reachable by boat.
Located on Cat Island, both the Healing Hole and Mermaid Pool are though to also be connected in some way to Atlantis.
The Healing Hole is known for the healing properties it gives to all those who swim in its waters, which rings true even to this day. This healing can be explained by the high amount of salt within its waters that are actually helpful to our skin and muscles.
The Mermaid Pool on the other hand is said to be inhabited by an actual mermaid that has been spotted on many occasions. Whether there actually is a mermaid or not would ultimately be up to you to decide.
The Bimini Nature Trail
Perhaps just being on the beach all day can be a bit too much for some.
Fear not! Bimini has a nature trail for all you nature lovers out there!
The Bimini Nature Trail is a roughly mile-long trail that was developed by Bimini Sands Resort. It takes about 26 minutes to complete, but with all the unique things to explore, it wouldn’t be a surprise if it takes you a few hours to get through!
You can take a tour of this beautiful jungle trail and learn all about the exotic plants and animals. Or you can do a solo adventure!
As Conch is the national dish of the Bahamas, you are sure to find this dish served in one way or another at most restaurants in Bimini.
Where specifically you should go depends on what you are in the mood for!
If you are staying at one of the resorts, there are food options already there.
For the more adventurous, you’re sure to find something in Alice Town.
Here’s a tip: ask the locals where they like to eat. That way, you know where the best restaurant in town is!
Bimini has many bars around the island. The great thing is, most of them don’t even have a cover charge unless there is a very big event happening at the time.
However, with how things have changed in the world lately, I would make sure to call ahead and see how each bar is dealing with the Covid protocol.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
The final tidbits you must know for visiting Bimini, are pretty standard things to know when visiting any islands in the Bahamas:
Languages spoken: Bahamian, English
Currency: Bahamian dollar= USD
Banks/ Cards: Cash is king! Most places accept debit cards though and major resorts accept credit.
Climate: 70-80 degrees
That’s it! The mainlander’s guide to visiting Bimini is complete!
One last thing: As already mentioned once in this article, Covid is still strong among us and every island in the Bahamas is doing its best to keep its guests safe during their visits. Please be sure to check out the latest protocols here before your visit.