It’s time for the epic battle of tropical destinations! Hawaii vs the Bahamas! Sounds difficult – and it is!
How can one top the other? Some of us might even say they are almost the same since both destinations have similar star aspects. But is this true?
Or is one destination better than the other? We have the facts right here that might affect your holiday plans if you were planning to visit either destination, so buckle up!
Table of Contents
Hawaii is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, nearly 3200 kilometres southwest of the US mainland. Hawaii is made up of 130+ islands out of which 7 are inhabited, but the archipelago as a whole is considered the 50th state of the United States. The capital of Hawaii is Honolulu.
The Bahamas is an island nation found in the middle of the Caribbean sea between Cuba and the southern tip of Florida. Out of 700 or so islands and cays in the Bahamas, nearly 30 are inhabited. The capital of the Bahamas is Nassau.
Related Articles: Hawaiian Islands (What to expect?) | The Bahamas ( A detailed outlook)
Definitely, Hawaii has an incredible cultural heritage. Yes, we are talking about the ‘Aloha Culture’. From ancient traditions to the old customs to the proud local dishes like the poke, the kulolo and the pipikaula, to the feasts held and the legendary luau, lei and Hula – it’s magical.
The incredible traditional costumes used in the hula dances are more than just vibrant and tropically stunning. The Hula Dance is an iconic part of the Hawaiian culture, it was originally performed by men. You can now witness this beautiful ritual done by both men and women, and it captures a core part of the Hawaiian culture, and it’s captivating.
The way of life of the Hawaiians is pretty much the same as the rest of the world. But the fact that they continue to keep the stories, legends and traditions alive – which were given to them by their ancestors is admirable.
The officially spoken language in Hawaii is Hawaiian and English.
Many don’t talk much about this, but the Bahamas have a lovely culture too.
One of the main occasions these incredible features shine is the Junkanoo festivals which originated during the 18th century. You can witness the colourful costumes, goatskin drums, horns, whistles and cowbells. The vibrant and low rhythmic dances you witness during this grand parade are called ‘rushing’.
Locals tend to sometimes call this the unofficial sport of the Bahamas. It’s quite a sight. We also have the Goombay dance, one of the earliest native dance forms. You’ll get to witness it during summer festival evenings in the streets of Nassau and the other major Bahamian islands.
That’s not all! Traditional Bahamian food is another core part of the culture, especially the conch chowder and fried conch fritters. Coconut is often used in local dishes, and Rum is a big part of the drinking culture in the Bahamas.
The officially spoken language in Hawaii is English.
When we think of Hawaii, we think of sun, sea and sand! But what are the best times to visit? It is between March and September. You’ll witness the least rain during this time.
The Bahamas is one-of-a-kind beach heaven and a year-long summer destination. The best times to visit will fall between December to April. And the best time to avoid the rainy season is between May to November.
Hawaii has always been known for its beaches. Waikiki Beach pops into mind when you reach this topic, but unsurprisingly there’s a whole collection of stunning beaches you can visit like Waimea Bay Beach, Hanalei Bay, Kalapaki Beach and not forgetting the stunning Kapalua Bay.
Hawaii is home to some of the best surfing beaches – like Waimea Bay where the waves swell up generously. Peahi and the Banzai Pipeline are top beaches for an exciting surfing session too.
But that’s not all – there is plenty of beaches ideal for snorkelling and other exciting water activities like kayaking and paddle boarding in the oceans and so much more.
Hawaiian beaches go beyond your usual picture-perfect blue ocean and white shores. From the famous Punaluʻu Beach known for its black sandy shores to red sanded beaches like Kaihalulu Beach and the green-shored Papakōlea Beach, there is quite a range of choices, clearly.
Many consider it to be the ultimate beach paradise, and anyone with eyes would agree 100% because it looks like it was created by a celestial realm (It sounds dramatic, but you can’t prove us wrong either. So ha!).
Few destinations can compete with the breathtaking beauty of the Bahama beaches and there are ample of them. Like theCape Santa Maria Beach, Cabbage Beach, Gold Rock Beachand theLucaya Beach.
The Bahamas is famous for having crystal clear shallow water beaches. It even has pink-sanded beaches like the iconic beaches onHarbour Island.
One unique activity that no other beach destination would offer is swimming with the pigs! You can experience this on Exumas Island, where the beach is just stunning, and it has pigs.
Then there is scuba diving, wreck diving and shark diving!Snorkelling is also pretty popular.
Hawaii is a laidback holiday destination, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a vibrant nightlife. Honolulu in Oahu takes the crown on this front and provides night owls with a generous amount of nightlife entertainment and excitement.
You can find a lot of laidback beach cafes open till late, offering live music and entertainment and a consistent flow of booze and good food. If that’s not a party then what is?
So if you are done soaking up the sun and catching some swells, by night get ready to make your Hawaiian night equally enthralling and memorable.
Yes, the beach party vibe is equally strong here, the nightlife does take a form of its own. The place to go is Nassau. It is not just the capital of the Bahamas; it is also the capital of nightlife. The vibrancy is almost electrifying.
Make your way through the streets. There’s no scarcity of bars, lounges, nightclubs and flashy casinos. These stay open till near dawn. The nightlife is very concentrated along Paradise Road and downtown waterfront areas.
Things To Do & Experience
Hawaii is globally known for surfing! (After all, Hawaii carries the influence of the Polynesian inhabitants), surfers from around the world visit Hawaii to catch the waves. Whether you are a seasoned surfer or a novice, there’s a beach for every type of surfer.
Scuba Dive and Snorkel
Islands Like Maui and Kauai and Lanai are top spots for scuba diving and snorkelling, Snorkelers of all ages have the opportunity to explore the world beneath the waves and if lucky, spot the green sea turtles or the Hawaiian monk seal.
Enjoy the Old Lahaina Luau Dance
You will never experience storytelling of this nature anywhere else while enjoying a captivating dance as the story unfolds. A beautiful ancient ceremony that captures the magical spirit of Hawaii.
Mouthwatering local cuisine
Hawaii has an extensive range of international cuisine, but it’s the local Hawaiian food you should try. From the incredible slow-cooked Kaula Pork to the popular Poke bowls, and the creamy Poi cups – that’s just the tip of the Hawaiian food berg.
Hawaii is home to some of the most bewitching waterfalls. Each island has their collection of it. Many travellers when going on nature trails tend to visit and sometimes enjoy a cooling dip in the cascading waters.
Hike the stunning Canyons and Mountains
From the iconic Volcanoes National Park to the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail to the Waimea Canyon State Park are some of the top trails to explore amongst so many treasured trails.
Swim and Snorkel
Being a top beach destination, most activities and experiences are built around water. Scuba diving and snorkelling are huge in these waters. From the Bimini islands, Cat Cays to the famous Dean’s blue hole, to the Andros Barrier Reef, there’s much to discover.
Shark diving is super popular while Tiger beach, Eleuthera and the Crater are some of the top shark diving spots the Bahamas offers.
But if you are a shipwreck enthusiast then Tears of Allah, Nassau, and Wreckage of the SS Sapona are some of the top places to go to among so many more.
Try the Incredible Bahamian Cuisine
Bahamian Cuisine has its own unique style. Locals and visitors can enjoy a large range of island-flavour-filled dishes. From Caribbean-style BBQ fish to baked crabs and fresh lobster, and the local favourite – conch fritters. You’ll get your fill of the freshest seafood.
Affordability is a key deciding factor. Let’s start with the currency.
In Hawaii, it’s the US dollar while in the Bahamas, it’s the Bahamian dollar which is on par with the US dollar in terms of value. US dollars are also widely accepted in the Bahamas for payments.
But which destination is cheaper?
During high season in the Bahamas, a tour to the Exuma Islands and swimming with the pigs will cost you around 500 USD (per person), this is a little exorbitant even for such a unique experience.
In Hawaii – you can enjoy a full-day tour, with many activities included for a lower rate.
When it comes to food in supermarkets, there is a clear difference in the price, although it’s subject to change even after the pandemic period. Eating at a regular beach shack in the Bahamas, the prices can still be expensive.
When it comes to accommodation, Hawaii has many packages with cheaper options (75 USD – per night at a mid-range hotel / 30 USD at a hostel).
In the Bahamas however, a hostel could be around 35-40 USD, and a mid-range/3-star hotel could cost around 100 USD per night.
It’s pretty safe for everyone. There’s usually a high rate of car theft and pickpocketing. Being mindful when travelling around, having an idea about the destinations you are visiting and using general common sense will help you have a safe and happy vacation.
The locals in the Bahamas are super friendly, unfortunately, the crime rate in the Bahamas is high, and it’s not exactly a secret. Travellers are advised to take precautions. Don’t leave your personal belongings just exposed when in public, keep your wallets safe.
Be mindful of your surroundings and be sensible so that won’t end up inconveniencing your hard-earned holiday
So, Hawaii Vs Bahamas – Which is Better?
Each destination has its unique vibe and its own set of pros and cons. One thing we can say with absolute confidence is that the experiences between these two breathtaking islands will not be the same in many ways and it’s all up to you to make an informed choice based on what we have presented!
Editorially Reviewed By:
Nichola is a writer/editor and a shy foodie who shares a very soft spot for all things travel. She considers herself to be an island girl at heart, and nothing excites her more than learning about new places people can explore and biting into a slice of sweet melon on a hot and sunny day.
She has specialized in travel writing for over 5 years, all the while being a lifelong (die-hard) anime fan!