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Jamaica VS Bahamas
Which Is Best For Your Vacation?

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Jamaica vs Bahamas | Zipline Over Dunn's River Falls (Photo: Chukka)Jamaica vs Bahamas | Zipline Over Dunn's River Falls (Photo: Chukka)

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

Jamaica and The Bahamas are two of the most well-known vacation spots in the Caribbean and for a good reason. There are a few things you should think about if you're thinking about visiting one of these two places for your vacation, including the kind of trip you're looking forward to and the activities you like.


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Attractions and Activities

Riding Camels At Yaaman Tours - Ocho Rios, JamaicaRiding Camels At Yaaman Tours - Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Swimming With The Pigs - Pig Island, Exuma Cays, Bahamas (Photo: Bahamasairtours.com)Swimming With The Pigs - Pig Island, Exuma Cays, The Bahamas (Photo: Bahamasairtours.com)

Jamaica has mountains and a lush green jungle, whereas the Bahamian islands are mostly flat. Jamaica is the better choice if you enjoy adventurous activities like ziplining, hiking, river rafting, swimming, or climbing waterfalls.

Two great options are exploring Holywell National Park or hiking the Blue Mountain Peak Trail past waterfalls and coffee plantations to the top of Jamaica’s highest mountain. The best waterfalls in Jamaica include Dunn's River Falls, Reach Falls, and Secret Falls.

Although they are undoubtedly more tranquil activities, the Bahamas do offer some natural excursions. For instance, the Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahama offers opportunities for kayaking, cave exploration, and hiking through mangrove forests.

The Montego Bay Yacht Club Easter Regatta in Jamaica (March/April) and the Long Island Regatta in The Bahamas are just two of the numerous boating events and regattas that take place in both locations (June).

If you enjoy island hopping, The Bahamas is the ideal Caribbean destination because it has hundreds of islands.

You'll have lots of options to explore gorgeous beaches, take in breathtaking sights, go on tours, take ferries or water taxis, swim with pigs (Big Major Cay, Exumas), and more, whether you bring your own boat, charter one, go on a tour, or do any of the above.

Accommodations and Cost

Jamaica is regarded as one of the Caribbean islands with the lowest costs. There are many different places to stay on the island, and food can be very cheap—it is typically 20% less expensive than in The Bahamas. Additionally, the Jamaican dollar is very inexpensive compared to the American dollar, which means you can generally afford a vacation even if you are on a budget.

There are many affordable all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica, including Sandals and Beaches Resorts. Here, in Ocho Rios, is Sandals Ochi, the least expensive Sandals resort. There are also plenty of chic, opulent choices, like The Caves, a well-known boutique resort with 12 charming cottages situated on a cliffside with ocean views.

One American dollar is equivalent to two Bahamian dollars, so your money won't go as far in The Bahamas. The Bahamas' accommodations tend to be more opulent and upscale, so tourists have fewer options on a tight budget.

Food

Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish | Jerk Chicken | Plantains | Roast Yam | FestivalsJamaican Ackee and Saltfish | Jerk Chicken | Plantains | Roast Yam | Festivals
Bahamian Conch (Konk) | (Photo: Harmonybeaches.com)Bahamian Conch (Konk) | (Photo: Harmonybeaches.com)

Bahamian food is influenced by the Caribbean and the South and, unsurprisingly, includes a lot of fresh seafood. The conch, a sizable mollusk that comes in a variety of preparations including salad (raw conch with lime juice, tomato, onion, and vegetables), fritters (deep-fried conch mixed with spices), and stews and soups, is the most well-liked seafood in The Bahamas.

In addition, lobster, baked crab, and souse are must-tries (stew with lime, hot chilli pepper, vegetables, and chicken).

Also abundant in Jamaican cuisine, is seafood. The national fruit of the nation, ackee, is combined with salted cod in a dish known as ackee and saltfish. Jerk chicken or pork is a deliciously spicy native Jamaican dish that has made its way around the world.

Other popular dishes include curry and brown stew chicken. Curry goat, roast yam, red peas soup, pepperpot, pepper shrimp, curried crab and escovitch fish and festival or bammy.

Nightlife

Jamaica Vs Bahamas | Coral Cliff Gaming And Entertainment (Hip Strip Montego Bay)Jamaica Vs Bahamas | Coral Cliff Gaming And Entertainment (Hip Strip Montego Bay)

The nightlife in Jamaica is livelier than it is in The Bahamas. It’s a more relaxed atmosphere there. However, that doesn't mean The Bahamas don't offer a variety of nightlife options, from casinos on Paradise Island to well-known bars like Seor Frog's, the Daiquiri Shack, and Tiki Bikini Hut in Nassau (which is the main spot for most Bahamian nightlife).

The renowned Nipper's Beach Bar in Abaco is a great, more laid-back option. The Bahamas also host festivals in the summer that feature regional music.

If you like to party, Jamaica is the place to be. There are many hot spots to drink and dance the night away, especially in Montego Bay, the perfect place to go bar and club hopping. Some popular spots on the island include Margaritaville, Jungle, Pier One and Coral Cliff.

Both islands are wonderful and choosing between the two is sure to be a trying task. Good Luck!

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References & Sources For Jamaica Vs Bahamas

  1. Honeymoon Always. 2022. Jamaica vs. The Bahamas: Which Island Should You Visit? [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 September 2022].

Jamaica vs Bahamas | Written: September 16th, 2022

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