Cancun vs Bahamas? If you are wondering where to spend your next vacation between these two gorgeous Caribbean destinations, you have landed in the right place!
In this post, I will tell you all you need to know about Cancun and The Bahamas and hopefully, help you to make the right choice for your next glamorous vacation in the Caribbean.
When it comes to dreamy and gorgeous tropical destinations of the world, Cancun and The Bahamas are two of the top getaways on the list. But that only makes deciding between the two all the more difficult.
If you are wondering, I live in Cancun and I have been to The Bahamas several times. I love them both but there are many significant differences, especially in culture, food and budget.
I’ll start by briefly telling you about Cancun as well as The Bahamas before we get into the nifty details.
Cancun vs. The Bahamas | An Overview
The main difference that first comes to your mind is that Cancun is a city while The Bahamas is a country.
Cancun is located on the Caribbean coast of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo in the Yucatan Peninsula.
The Bahamas is an archipelago located north of Cuba and Hispaniola and made of almost 700 islands and cays, only about 30 of which are inhabited.
The main island is New Providence, where the Capital Nassau is located. Grand Bahama is the northernmost island of the Bahamas archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, while the other islands are collectively known as the Out Islands.
The most popular ones are Andros, the largest island of The Bahamas; Bimini, Abaco, and Eleuthera among others.
Cancun at a glance
Cancun is a stunning beach city located along the Caribbean coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The city is famous for its breathtaking white-sand beaches, vibrant nightlife, exotic resorts, gourmet restaurants, and high-end shopping experiences.
Thousands of couples, families, groups, and solo travelers visit here every year to enjoy the mild climate of this romantic getaway, especially during the freezing winters of December-April. Also, Cancun is a big destination when it comes to spring breakers in March and April.
The Bahamas at a glance
The Bahamas, officially known as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is another dreamy destination with endless beaches, luxury resorts, and lots of water sports.
It comprises a major part of the West Indian Archipelago of the Caribbean Islands, with thriving nature, urban charm, and watersports like snorkeling and scuba diving on offer.
It’s pretty obvious that, with the promise of an unforgettable beach vacation, both Cancun and The Bahamas are definitely a beachgoer’s dream! But which one should you choose? No need to worry if you don’t know yet, I’ll try to help you decide. So, without any delays, let’s get down to it!
Cancun vs Bahamas | Facts
CITY IN THE MEXICAN STATE OF QUINTANA ROO
MORE THAN 700 CARIBBEAN ISLANDS - Commonwealth of the Bahamas
CLOSEST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
CANCUN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
NASSAU Lynden Pindling International Airport
You don't usually need a visa to travel to Mexico. Check out this link to learn more
You don't usually need a visa to travel to Bahamas. Check out this link to learn more
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Type A (two-prong) and Type B (three-prong) - BUY ADAPTER HERE,
Cancun vs Bahamas | Best Time to Visit Cancun and Bahamas
For the majority of visitors, the best time to visit Cancun is usually the high season. But that still doesn’t mean that it’s the best time for everyone—personal preferences definitely play a part in deciding that.
If you want to enjoy peak weather in Cancun, December through April are the months for it. This is when the skies are clear, there is plenty of sunshine, all the activities are available and enjoyed best, and the chances of rain are next to none.
Additionally, this is when the nightlife and party scene of Cancun is its liveliest, with spring breakers going all out during their holidays.
But this is also when the crowds and prices are at their highest as well. You may want to book your flight and rooms well in advance if you’re planning a high-season Cancun vacation.
However, if you want to avoid the crowds to enjoy an intimate vacation, or want to cut down on the costs, the shoulder season periods of April through May and October through November are a great time for it.
The weather is still decent during these months, but there are fewer tourists around, hotel prices are lower, and you can find some good discounts on flights and activities as well.
Best time to visit The Bahamas
Again, the best time to visit The Bahamas is a matter of personal preference, but the high season here comes during pretty much the same months. Mid-December through mid-April is when these islands see the majority of their tourist activity.
This is the time when The Bahamas is the perfect winter getaway with pleasantly warm days, excellent beach weather, and lots of things to do and see. So, if it’s good weather that you’re after, then the high season is the time for it.
However, although The Bahamas are located in The Caribbean sea they are not technically in the Caribbean and their climate is slightly different than the usual tropical climate. In winter from December through March, the temperatures are not as warm and the water temperature can get quite cold. So if you are diving or snorkeling at that time of the year remember a wetsuit.
But keep in mind that the islands truly come to life with tourists during these months, so you will find the beaches and other attractions more crowded.
Also, a trip to The Bahamas during the high season is usually more expensive compared to the rest of the year. But if crowds aren’t a problem, you will definitely get your money’s worth from a high-season vacation in The Bahamas.
The Bahamas also has a shoulder season (mid-April-June), and just like Cancun, it’s perfect to enjoy a more laid-back vacation here. You can take your time exploring all that this gorgeous destination has to offer, and it comes with the added benefit of cheaper hotel rates and fewer crowds.
However, two things are different about the Bahamian shoulder season. This is when spring break takes place, so there will still be partying and noise around, and the rainy season also starts in June, so you may encounter occasional showers.
Cancun vs Bahamas | General Costs
According to Numbeo, the authoritative site about the cost of living all over the world, we can see how the costs of living in Cancun are way lower than in The Bahamas, especially when it comes to Grocery shopping and Restaurants.
One of the reasons being that The Bahamas has to import every single primary product while Mexico can benefit from a lot of domestic production. Also, in general, Islands are always more expensive than mainland countries because of the higher transportation costs in general.
Things you should know about flights and hotel costs
Obviously, the above-mentioned difference in costs reflects in the costs of traveling to both destinations which makes The Bahamas way more expensive than Cancun, but that shouldn’t stop you from going anyway.
If you travel on a budget there are ways to reduce the costs of traveling and if you want to get to the Bahamas you can do it on a budget, well, relatively.
Here are a few tips:
► Choose shoulder or low season to travel to find the best deals. Sometimes hotels rates go down to 40%
► Flight costs are variable and fluctuate more often than hotels’ and can change abruptly from one day to another. Check them on the incognito window.
► Booking.com rates may be cheaper from mobile than laptops, on some occasions. It’s worth checking and comparing
Cancun vs Bahamas | Connectivity (easy to reach)
Although both destinations have an international airport that connects with the major international hubs, Cancun is definitely better connected than The Bahamas because it has a much bigger affluence of people than The Bahamas.
If you head over to Booking.com and look for Cancun hotels the results bring over 600 hotels in Cancun only, not to mention all the destinations in the Riviera Maya and Yucatan, served by the same Cancun International Airport. on the same platform for The Bahamas, you have around 150 Results.
This is the reason why Cancun airport is much better connected, which is also the reason why it’s a much cheaper destination than The Bahamas.
On the other end, this is also the reason why The Bahamas is considered a much more exclusive destination home to some of the most spectacular world-class hotels and upscale resorts.
Cancun is a hotspot for tourism in Mexico, and with airlines coming here from many countries across the globe, it’s also very well-connected. You can easily find direct flights to Cancun from most major US, Canadian, and European cities.
What’s more, there are many domestic flights available for Cancun within Mexico as well, and driving to Cancun is also an option if you’re visiting here from the US or another Mexican destination. Overall, Cancun offers better connectivity than The Bahamas, if you’re visiting from North America and Europe or anywhere else in the world.
The Bahamas connectivity
The islands of The Bahamas are also quite popular among tourists, so connectivity is definitely not an issue here. In fact, you can find direct flights, boats, cruises, and private aviation options, it’s very convenient to get here by both air and sea.
However, as I mentioned before since The Bahamas have a smaller capacity and it’s home to more exclusive kinds of tourism, flights are less frequent and therefore, more expensive.
Nassau is directly connected through non-stop flights to Miami, New York, Fort Lauderdale Atlanta, and London, among others.
Also, you need to consider that if you want to reach the spectacular Out Islands, even more, secluded and virgin, you will need to get to Nassau first and then take small planes or ferries. Or, from Miami and Fort Lauderdale, you can reach by ferry some of the islands, such as Bimini and Grand Bahama (which is not part of the Out Island just FYI)
Cancun vs Bahamas | Best Hotels and Resorts
Both Cancun and The Bahamas are famous for their luxury all-inclusive, mega-resorts, and high-end hotels, so there is no shortage of accommodations in either of these.
I’ll tell you about the best hotels and resorts in Cancun as well as The Bahamas in this section, but keep in mind that there are countless other options to choose from, including some very budget-friendly ones.
Best Hotels and Resorts in Cancun
Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort – All Inclusive
If you’re looking for the best All-inclusive in Cancun, Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort – All Inclusive is one of Cancun’s top resorts. This is where you will find choice suites with breathtaking views of the Caribbean, private balconies, spa service, and all the rest of the amenities common with 5-star lodgings.
Secrets The Vine
Secrets The Vine is one of the best Cancun resorts particularly liked by couples. This adults-only resort boasts spacious rooms with deluxe furnishings and modern decor, gourmet dining, spa services, a fitness center, a golf course, and lots of other amenities.
Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach
Lastly, Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach is a great all-inclusive option for a family stay. The amenities include oceanview rooms and suites with elegant furnishings, spa service, a fitness club, an on-site restaurant, and much more.
Best Hotels and Resorts in The Bahamas
The Ocean Club
The Bahamas has no shortage of luxury hotels and resorts wherever you go. If you want a deluxe stay in the capital, The Ocean Club is a very renowned high-end resort that also made its appearance in a classic Bond movie (Casino Royale)!
This is where you can find the company of many celebrities as well as a high-end resort stay. Definitely one of the best in town.
The Royal Atlantis
The capital also has one of the best family options. The Royal Atlantis is a hotel in Nassau where you will find an endless range of amenities along with comfortable family lodgings to make your trip more than memorable. It features a dozen swimming pools and twice as many dining options along with countless other amenities.
Pink Sands Resort
Harbour Island is another great part of The Bahamas to stay in if you’re visiting here to kick back and relax, and it’s also home to one of the most unique beaches here with pink sands! One of the island’s best stays is The iconic Pink Sands Resort
It’s an Instagrammer’s paradise surrounded by stunning natural beauty and features spacious rooms, beachfront dining, lush gardens, and tons of amenities.
Bahamas vs Cancun | Things to Do in The Bahamas and Cancun
Things to do in Cancun
Cancun has a wide array of things to see, explore, and do. These are just some of the few that you can try.
✔️ Try the exquisite beach bumming experience offered in Cancun.
✔️ Visit ancient Maya ruins and learn about Mexico’s rich history. If you don’t know where to start, Chichen Itza is a good place to hit.
✔️ You will find many local and international restaurants and cafes in Cancun, from the world-famous Mexican Cuisine to all sorts of flavors, from Italian to Asian and whatnot.
✔️ Get your adrenaline fix with some watersports. You will find a range of snorkeling, swimming, and scuba diving experiences in Cancun.
✔️ Meet the exotic marine life of Cancun, including whale sharks, sea turtles, and other water critters.
✔️ Cancun is famous for its world-class parties, so I highly recommend partying it up at one of Cancun’s famous nightclubs.
✔️ Shop ’til you drop at Cancun’s huge variety of shops and malls. The shopping experience in Cancun is very high-end, so I wouldn’t recommend missing out on it.
✔️ Get a day pass in one of the luxury hotels in Cancun and splurge on their delicious cuisine, and beach facilities, and, why not, get a massage!
✔️ Take a ferry ride or a boat tour to Isla Mujeres. The scenic blues of the Caribbean are a magical sight from land, but it’s just as stunning to sightsee from a boat in the water.
✔️ I would also recommend renting a car in Cancun and driving around the city and surrounding to discover the most incredible natural wonders of Mexico.
Things to do in The Bahamas
There are plenty of things to do in The Bahamas, so you will never run out of fun activities to enjoy. I’m only listing some of them here for you to get started.
✔️ Soak up the sun on world-famous beaches. Bahamas beaches are one of the most popular attractions of the islands!
✔️ Try your hand at water sports like snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, and jet skiing.
✔️ Shop for local souvenirs to bring back home with you. The Nassau Straw Market and Port Lucaya Marketplace are great places to visit for a delightful shopping experience in The Bahamas.
✔️ Go hiking and enjoy the natural beauty of the islands.
✔️ Swim with the pigs on Rose Island at only 20 minutes ferry ride from Nassau.
✔️ Serenade your tastebuds with the delicious cuisines offered at the many restaurants of The Bahamas or take a culture and food tour in Nassau.
✔️ Go on an adventure by joining an ATV tour in Nassau, with a beach stop and authentic Bahamian lunch & Beverage
✔️ Take day trips to the various national parks and private islands of The Bahamas, such as this Pearl Island Escape with Snorkeling Experience and Lunch
Cancun vs Bahamas | Beaches
This is a difficult one. Both destinations boast some of the best beaches and it’s really impossible to say which one is best. Truth is that it’s difficult to compete with 700 islands, right?
I have to be honest one of the things that impressed me the most when traveling to The Bahamas was the number of pristine white sand powdery beaches, endless and unspoiled, in every island you can find hidden bays with untouched sand and swimmable crystal clear water. It was just mind-blowing, the sight of paradise.
Cancun can’t really complain in terms of beaches, though. And if you think that maybe Cancun beach is too crowded or some parts have little accessibility to the water, you can move to the nearby Riviera Maya, or Isla Mujeres and find more beach options.
However I am afraid, The Bahamas wins big time when it comes to beaches!
Cancun vs Bahamas | Tours
Top-rated tours in Cancun
👉 One of the most famous tours to take from Cancun is the Chichen Itza tour. This ancient Mayan archeological site is the go-to place for visitors interested in learning more about the region’s history. The Cobá and Tulum archeological sites are also great options if you’re in Cancun. ↳ BOOK IT HERE
👉 While I’m telling you about water sports, Cancun also has whale shark season, and this is when you can find some once-in-a-lifetime tours to swim with these majestic creatures! Additionally, you can swim with many other exotic marine creatures via these tours. ↳ BOOK IT HERE
👉 If you like undersea marvels, you will also like The Cancun Underwater Museum of Art. It features three different galleries with a total of 500 sculptures from various international and local sculptors. Highly recommended. ↳ BOOK IT HERE
👉 With thriving wildlife and greenery, the jungle side of Cancun is a nature-lover’s heaven. You can visit the Cancun cenotes or the natural reserve of Sian Kaan and Rio Lagartos. ↳ BOOK SIAN KAAN TOUR ↳ BOOK RIO LAGARTOS TOUR
Top-rated tours in The Bahamas
👉 The Bahamian shores are home to all kinds of unique marine life and coral reefs, and one of the best ways to see them is through a scuba diving or snorkeling tour. ↳ BOOK IT HERE
👉 If you’re looking to experience the authentic charm of The Bahamas, a food-tasting and cultural tour of Nassau is one fun-filled way to do it. These tours include visiting the popular attractions of the town, family-owned restaurants, and breweries, as well as specialty shops, and sharing cultural insights. All in all, it’s a delightful experience. ↳ BOOK IT HERE
👉 You can explore the thriving nature of The Bahamas with the Lucayan National Park tour. Featuring 40 acres of mangroves, beaches, forests, and caves, this is one of the largest national parks in The Bahamas, and a tour here spells an unforgettable adventure. ↳ BOOK IT HERE
👉 The ATV sightseeing tour is a great way to explore The Bahamas from an off-the-beaten-path perspective. The tour takes you from downtown Nassau to The Caves, the Clifton Heritage Park, Johnston Beach, and all the way to Compass Point and also includes some delicious local food. ↳ BOOK IT HERE
👉 A tour of historic landmarks like Fort Charlotte, Fort Fincastle, Fort Montagu, and the Queen’s Staircase in Nassau is perfect for you if you’re interested in the history of The Bahamas. ↳ BOOK IT HERE
👉 If you are staying in Nassau make sure you explore the nearby islands with a boat tour with snorkeling stops in the pristine crystal clear water of The Bahamas. ↳ BOOK IT HERE
Cancun vs Bahamas | Safety
Although Cancun is a very famous tourist destination, some very unfortunate recent crime episodes don’t really help with the image of Cancun as one of the safest places in Mexico.
Regardless, it is still one of the most popular beach resorts and the government has reinforced the police presence and beach patrol.
In reality, crime is more related to drug and cartel issues so if you are not involved you should not be concerned.
The major issue in Cancun is petty theft and robbery which is related to an increase of income disparity in the region where rich tourists with their last-generation phones, flashing watches, and fancy clothing become a target for desperate people with low-income and scarce resources to get to the end of the month. It’s inevitable.
That is why is advisable to follow simple but necessary common sense rules to stay safe such as, not leaving your belongings unattended, keeping your valuables safe, avoiding deserted places at night, and absolutely avoiding withdrawing money at night.
Safety in The Bahamas
Just like Cancun, The Bahamas is a hub for beach lovers and vacation-goers, so safety is not an issue here as well. But, despite not being a dangerous place for tourists, it’s still advisable to stay in the more touristy areas, which are generally safer.
Research the places you will be visiting in advance and avoid unsafe neighborhoods. Other than that, you won’t have to worry about anything more than petty theft.
You can easily avoid that by keeping an eye on your stuff and being more careful with your valuables and money.
Either way, make sure you keep your valuables in the hotel safe and avoid flaunting your richness. Also, use travel insurance so that you are covered for any inconveniences, including getting sick or missing your flights or bags.
Travel insurance is always a must
If you ask me I have two recommended travel insurance companies, one is SafetyWing, which I find relatively affordable and quite comprehensive.
The other is not a company but a site aggregator, Travel Insurance Master which will help you find the perfect insurance for you. You fill out the form with the information about your profile and requirements and they select the insurance company that is a good fit.
Cancun vs Bahamas |Food Options
Cancun is famous for its delicious cuisine, with a wide variety of restaurants to choose from. Whether you’re looking for authentic Mexican or international fare, you’ll find it all in Cancun.
There are so many great restaurants serving various cuisines, including some very delicious Italian menus as well as Asian and Indian food. Traditional Mexican cuisine is obviously a must-try. Or, for a taste of the sea, you can head to one of Cancun’s many oceanfront seafood restaurants.
Food options in The Bahamas
The Bahamas offer a wide array of food options for visitors. While you will find a lot of choices of international restaurants, I would focus on the rich Caribbean flavors that you only find in The Bahamas, mainly based on its seafood, and local spices.
Make sure you try the Conch fritters, which are one of the most popular way to cook the conch, The Bahama’s national dish, and a real delicacy. Stay away if you are allergic to seafood, though.
Some other Bahamian dishes include cracked conch, Johnny cake, pigeon peas and rice, Bahamian stew fish, and Rock lobsters. Apart from the local delights, you will also find many international options throughout the islands to suit your cravings.
Also, if you’re looking for a quick and easy meal, there are plenty of fast food options available. And if you want to enjoy a leisurely meal, there are several fine dining restaurants to choose from.
No matter what your budget is, you’ll be able to find a place to eat in The Bahamas that suits your needs.
Cancun vs Bahamas | Best Place to Visit as a Family Traveling
Cancun and The Bahamas are equally amazing destinations when it comes to a memorable family trip, so either can be a great choice if you’re planning a vacation. However, the kind of experience you’re looking for can tip the scales.
Let’s start with the financial considerations. The Bahamas is the more expensive of these two destinations, so if you’re on a budget, a family trip to Cancun will definitely be the best choice. Everything from accommodations to food and activities comes in a wider price range, so you can budget better on a Cancun visit.
Now, with that said, it’s time to focus on the experience aspect. Cancun is an exclusive tourist destination in Mexico, while The Bahamas consists of islands featuring endless beaches and abundant nature. So if you want a lively vacation with lots of exploration, activities, and history, Cancun is the place for it.
But if you’re after a destination to relax, with a little bit of variety in every place you visit, The Bahamas is where you will find it. One island will have luxury resorts, the other stunning beaches, the next one historic landmarks and natural wonders, and so on.
👉 Top Family Hotel in The Bahamas – Atlantis
👉 Top Family Hotel in Cancun – Hyatt Ziva
Cancun vs Bahamas | Best Place to Visit for honeymoon
Again, the answer may depend on your budget. If on a budget, choose Cancun. But if there are no budget constraints, you can choose between Cancun and The Bahamas depending on the kind of honeymoon you would like.
Cancun is more of a mass-tourism destination with high-rise huge all-inclusive hotels, but also breathtaking beaches, vibrant nightlife, and much more, so you will have no shortage of things to see and do.
The Bahamas, on the other hand, has similarly stunning Caribbean beaches, but with more exclusive high-end hotels for a more intimate stay, complemented by lots of natural beauty, and great local food.
👉 Top Hotel for Honeymooners in The Bahamas – The Cove Eleuthera
👉 Top Hotel for honeymooners in Cancun – Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun
If you’re a solo traveler like me, both destinations are perfect for a Caribbean beach vacation.
There is so much to see in both places and both offer an interesting cultural heritage to learn about, and amazing natural gems, including postcard-worthy beaches.
Probably if you are more like a party person I would choose Cancun over The Bahamas.
But if you just want to relax and take in natural beauty, enjoy the beach, meet some exotic wildlife, and forget about the fuss of urban life, The Bahamas is a great place for it. Just keep in mind that it’ll be a tad bit more expensive.
👉 Top Hotel for solo travelers in The Bahamas – Valentines Resorts and Marina
👉 Top Hotel for solo travelers in Cancun – Breathless Resort
Cancun VS Bahamas | Best place to visit for Spring Break
If you are debating between Cancun and The Bahamas for spring break, you will find in both destinations great hotels, amazing beaches, and many things to do.
However, budget-conscious travelers will find Cancun more suitable for their needs as Cancun is a much cheaper destination overall than The Bahamas.
Hotels for spring breaks in the Bahamas
Hotels for spring breaks in Cancun
Tips for Traveling to Cancun
- Book your hotel and flight long in advance.
- Check the weather forecast before you go and while planning things.
- Bring insect repellent and loads of sunscreen
- Pack light, comfortable clothing but some nice clothes for your Caribbean nights in your all-inclusive hotel
- Stay hydrated at all times, especially when outdoors.
- Make use of the extensive public bus system of Cancun if you’re on a budget.
- Keep pesos at hand to pay for your expenses.
- Remember not to drink tap water
- Don’t toss toilet paper in the toilet
- Stay aware of your surroundings
Tips for Traveling to The Bahamas
- Pre-book your flights and lodgings, ideally months earlier.
- Bring some cash with you. While many places accept credit cards, it’s always good to have cash on hand.
- Pack plenty of lightweight clothes to enjoy the tropical weather of the islands.
- Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent.
- Don’t forget your swimsuit.
- Also, make sure to bring your underwater Camera! There are plenty of photo opportunities, from stunning beaches to curious wildlife.
The Bahamas vs Cancun| Which One Is Better? Final Thoughts
But I will say that you will eventually prefer one over the other once you’ve seen what either has to offer.
If we are looking at a budget destination, Cancun is the winner, but if you are looking at the ultimate luxury experience and beach wise The Bahamas is your next destination.
For everything else, we can call it a truce. 😜 Or better, it depends on personal preference.
But if you had to choose one before going there, I hope the aspects mentioned above came in handy.
Overall, you will have a great time in both places, just in a different way! The good part is that whatever you choose you won’t regret it!