Once known hilariously as Hog Island, Paradise Island is an island in the Bahamas just north of the capital city of Nassau. Known for its resorts and white sand beaches, Paradise Island offers loads of options for the traveler looking to escape the doldrums of routine, work, or everyday life. It doesn’t matter whether you want to take an interactive approach to your holiday or relax and do nothing. You’ll find it all on Paradise Island. Find out how to plan your visit to Hog Island, learn the best places to stay, and learn all the best attractions.

Morning: Grab a Bite to Eat

To start your day off right, you need a delicious breakfast. This will give you the energy you need to tackle the day and hit the ground running. On Paradise Island, your meal is typically defined by whether you chose an all-inclusive resort or a hotel. All-inclusive resorts include breakfast in the price of your stay, so it’s cost-effective to eat breakfast with them. The famed Atlantis Resort, the Warwick Paradise Island, and Riu Palace are some of the more popular all-inclusive spots. If you’re staying at one of these resorts, it’s important to check with them to see what time they offer breakfast and what it includes.

If you’re roughing it a bit more, just love the chance to eat some place local, or desire something familiar, Paradise Island has a few other options. Those who love a breakfast that reminds them of home will be overjoyed to find several Starbucks locations and a Dunkin’ Donuts right on the island. Fare here includes pastries, breakfast sandwiches, and other quick snacks.

Breakfast-goers can also opt for something more local, even if it caters to American taste buds. On the island, Viola’s Bar and Grill offers a laidback approach to dining while still being within walking distance of all the major resorts. Served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., the breakfast menu here consists of classic American staples such as bacon and eggs, omelets, pancakes, and French toast.

Cabbage Island
Cabbage Beach in Paradise Island.

Midmorning: Go For a Swim or Lounge on the Beach

Although Paradise Island is only five miles long and one mile wide, it has some of the most picturesque and beautiful beaches in the world. That’s why a trip to Paradise Island is only squandered if you don’t take the chance to lay out, swim, or play some volleyball on some of the pristine white sand beaches. Stretching three miles over the northern part of the island, Cabbage Beach is the most popular beach on the island. It’s on both private and public land, so make sure to only access portions that you’re allowed to visit. Once you’re there, you’ll find vendors who will rent you snorkeling, surfing, and other watersports gear.

If you are at a resort on Paradise Island, chances are you will have access to a private beach, so ask at the front desk to see what they have to offer.

Noon: Grab Some Lunch

Once you’ve had your fill of swimming or sunbathing, it’s time to grab some lunch. Once again, all-inclusive resorts will tackle this aspect of your stay, but other visitors also have some delectable options on the island. One spot that’s perfect for families is Anthony’s. With over 60 menu items ranging from shrimp pasta to baby back ribs, there’s always something for every palate, whether you want a light lunch or something a bit heavier.

If you’re looking for something a bit more touristy but still delicious, head over to Murray’s Deli inside the Atlantis Resort. Modeled after a 1950s-era New York City deli, Murray’s offers several takes on the famous Reuben sandwich, as well as burgers, wraps, and other meats and vegetables slapped between two pieces of bread. For something quick and easy, there’s no better option.

Aquaventure in Paradise Island

Afternoon: Head to the Aquarium or Water Park

Opened in 1998, the Atlantis Paradise Island is one of the largest and most famous resorts in the world. However, it’s biggest asset and surprise is the Marine Habitat. This massive aquarium features 12 unique habitats that showcase underwater species from around the world in front of a backdrop of the lost civilization of Atlantis. The true gem of this is probably the Predator Lagoon tunnel, which runs 100 feet and allows you to get up close and personal with several species of sharks including hammerheads, reef sharks, and nurse sharks.

If you aren’t interested in an aquarium or just want to do something more active, head over to the Aquaventure Water Park at the Atlantis Resort. As one of the top 25 amusement parks in the world, Aquaventure has 141 acres of water rides and pools that are ideal for all ages. Nine massive waterslides dominate the landscape, complete with a Mayan/Atlantis theme. Admission to the water park is included if you stay at the Atlantis. Otherwise, it’s between $89 and $129 depending on age and the time of your stay.

Late Afternoon: Try to Win It Big

Once you’ve had your fill of the aquarium or the water, it’s time to try your luck at the casino. Featuring over 700 slot machines and 85 gaming tables over 100,000 square feet, the Atlantis Casino is the perfect spot to win some cash for spending or make your trip entirely on the house. Even if you aren’t a gambler, the casino is well worth a walk just to embrace its extravagance.

Dinnertime: Get a World-Class Dinner

Foodies will delight in the surprising number of options available for dinner on Paradise Island. From local seafood to Italian to French, there’s a flavor here for every taste. However, the upscale options may just provide the meal you’ve been looking for after a long day in the sun.

Set atop a bluff on the north-central portion of Paradise Island, Dune by famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is a mix of French, Asian, and Bahamian cuisine that’s sure to delight. For dinner, elegant attire is required, with dresses for women and a jacket for men. However, you won’t even be thinking about what you’re wearing as soon as you take a bite, especially if you love fresh seafood. Locally sourced snapper and lobster are the stars of the menu, and you can get them prepared as you like or according to the chef’s preferences.

If French-Asian fusion isn’t your thing, there are still other options that you can enjoy. One of those is Cafe Martinique. Modeled after the original Cafe Martinique made famous in the 1965 James Bond film “Thunderball,” this restaurant looks just as elegant as it feels when you’re eating some world-class cuisine. A birdcage elevator, mahogany staircase, and baby grand piano dominate the scenery, yet it’s what’s on your plate that steals the show.

The menu here is short and simple, but that doesn’t take away from how delicious it is. Mahi mahi, snapper, grouper, and salmon are the standouts, prepared with French influences to have your taste buds going wild. Casual attire is allowed here, but collared shirts come highly recommended. For the night owl, Cafe Martinique stays open until 3 a.m.

Late Night: Enjoy a Little Taste of the Nightlife

After you’ve enjoyed everything there is to do on Paradise Island, it’s time to indulge yourself with some late night dance, conversation, and drink. The best part is that there’s a scene for everyone. Travelers who love the nightclub scene can dance to their heart’s content at the famed Aura Nightclub, which keeps the party rolling until 4 a.m. five nights a week.

For something a bit more low-key, head over to one of the several bars on Paradise Island and enjoy a pleasant conversation with other visitors. Located in the British Colonial Hilton Nassau, the Bullion Bar is a solid choice for signature cocktails and a top-notch view of the harbor. More casual travelers will also love Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Bahamas, located right next to the Paradise Island ferry terminal. Even if you aren’t planning to stay all night, it’s a great place to grab a beer while waiting for a water taxi.

Where to Stay in Paradise Island

Because Paradise Island is a tourist mecca, there are a wide array of accommodation options for hotels in Paradise Island. From all-inclusive resorts to hotels and private rentals, there’s something for every budget and style.

Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island

All-Inclusive Options

If you love vacations where you don’t have to worry about an itinerary, dining, or anything else, an all-inclusive resort is a godsend. At these resorts, you can choose to do nothing or sign up for every activity they have. The choice is yours.

The most popular resort on the island is the towering Atlantis, which covers several hundred acres with activities, rooms, and a massive water park. Here you have the choice of six different buildings for your stay, each with a price tag and amenities to match your budget. If you still want access to everything Atlantis has to offer but without spending your hard-earned money, the next choice is Comfort Suites Paradise Island. Located just a short walk or ride from Atlantis, this hotel isn’t titled as all-inclusive, but it does offer free breakfast, a pool, and a swim-up bar, as well as full access to everything at the Atlantis.

To avoid families and screaming kids, many of the younger, child-free travelers to the island prefer the Riu Palace. A trendy spot, Riu Palace offers a relaxing, yet happening all-inclusive atmosphere, complete with five restaurants, four bars, an outdoor pool, and a swim-up bar.

Other Options

If you’re not sold on an all-inclusive resort, there are several other accommodation choices on Paradise Island. Sunrise Beach Club & Villas is one of the more popular spots not named Atlantis, offering everything from one-room suites to five-room villas. Plus, you get an exclusive, hidden retreat from the hustle and bustle of the more touristy areas of the island, as well as luxurious spa treatments.

For even more flexibility and a cheaper price, you can also shop online marketplaces for apartment rentals. Most of these rentals offer complete isolation from others, making them the perfect choice for introverts or people who aren’t excited about crowds. Depending on when you go and when you book, you can also save a substantial amount of cash while enjoying the touch of a living in a uniquely furnished residence.

An Airport Guide to Paradise Island

Paradise Island no longer has its own airport, as it was removed by private investors and replaced with luxury homes and an 18-hole golf course in 1999. That means that the only way to fly to Paradise Island is to take a flight into Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport. Nearly every major city in the United States offers non-stop or one-stop flights to Nassau through several carriers, including Southwest Airlines, United, and Silver Airways. A number of charter and local flight companies also fly into Nassau from smaller U.S. cities as well as other islands in the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Amenities to Check Out

In 2011, the airport finally opened its newest wing, which helped curb overcrowding and improve cleanliness. Prior to this construction, many complained that the airport was completely run down. Today, it operates as one of the most modern and impressive airports in the Caribbean, offering shopping, dining, and other amenities both pre and post-security. The best part is that the entire concourse of shops is only a three-minute walk from your gate no matter where you are.

If you’re looking to unwind before your flight out of Nassau, there are several options. The Lignum Club is a full-service, luxury airport lounge that has many options for recreational and business travelers. If you’re a bit famished, the club has finger foods and appetizers, sandwiches, and desserts. You can polish these off with a drink from their sit-down bar that serves wine, beer, and cocktails.

For business travelers, the club has a business center that’s perfect for getting some work done if you have extra time to kill. This includes private work stations, all-in-one printing stations, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Larger groups can also reserve a private room that’s excellent for a business meeting or party, with room for up to 25 guests and even a private butler upon request. Annual memberships for the Lignum Club range from $35 to $2,700 depending on your needs and how much you intend to use the service. For a one-time only stop, it’s $35 per person.

Travelers looking for something to do before boarding a flight who don’t want to pay extra for the Lignum Club have 19 other shops for their amusement. If you need to relax, Graycliff Airport Lounge has a gift shop, cigar smoking room, cocktails, and food without the fees of the Lignum Club. Ole Nassau Duty Free and 700 Wines and Spirits offer duty-free liquor, and any traveler 21 and older can take up to two liters back into the U.S. Canadian travelers are limited to 40 ounces.

If you’re wanting to grab a last-minute gift, several shops offer locally crafted goods that are sure to please. Adorn, Caribbean Lighthouse, Nature’s Jewels and Gifts, and Uniquely Bahamian all offer souvenirs for foreign shoppers that you won’t find anywhere outside the islands. Tortuga Rum Cakes is also a great choice where you buy tasty rum cakes to bring back home. For those who need something for the plane, there are three newsstands that offer snacks, candy, books, and magazines.

Nassau Ferry
Nassau Ferry in Paradise Island

Getting to Paradise Island

Once you’ve arrived or had your fill of the airport, it’s time to mosey on over to Paradise Island. There are really only two options to make this trip: taxi or water taxi. Taxi fares from the airport to Paradise Island are set at a fixed rate of $33, plus additional charges for more than two passengers or extra luggage. There’s also a $1 toll for crossing either bridge onto Paradise Island. Be wary of any cab driver who tries to overcharge you for the ride, and try to agree on a price before entering the cab. The trip lasts approximately 30 minutes.

If you’re looking for something a bit different, a water taxi (ferry) is an excellent choice. Tickets are typically $6 one-way and leave the airport every 10 minutes between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. It’s important to note that public buses, known as jitneys, do not go directly to Paradise Island. They may get you close, but you’re on your own after that.

Entry/Exit Requirements

All passengers traveling to Lynden Pindling Airport need a valid passport from their country of residence. However, Nassau is one of the few destinations that offers pre-clearance for U.S. Customs and Immigration Services. This means that you can check baggage on a connecting flight without having to pick it up when you arrive at your first destination in the United States. When you arrive at the airport, you’ll also have to fill out an immigration form and keep a portion of it with you until your departure.

If you’re ready to take the trip of a lifetime to a tropical paradise, plan and book all your activities and accommodation right here on GoDoTrip.