Bimini, Bahamas is a tropical paradise that offers travelers a wide range of things to do. From diving and snorkeling, to beach hopping and fishing, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable vacation in the Bahamas.
This Bimini cruise port guide will tell you everything you need to know about this beautiful place so you can make the most of your time in Bimini.
What’s in this article:
- Where Exactly Is Bimini?
- How Big is Bimini?
- A Little History
- The Island Chain is New to Cruise Ships
- What Makes This Island a Rare Gem in the Bahamas?
- Getting Around
- Ultimate List of Things to Do and See in Bimini Bahamas
- 1. See the underwater, mystical Bimini Wall (Bimini Road)
- 2. Experience the best beaches of Bimini
- 3. Go on a shark dive with Bimini Bull Run
- 4. Explore the wreckage of the S.S. Sapona
- 5. Visit Rainbow Reef and Tuna Alley
- 6. Explore Victory Reef
- 7. Tour Dolphin House Museum
- 8. Stop by the legendary Fountain of Youth
- 9. Hilton at Resort World Bimini
- 10. Visit Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina
- 11. Visit Neal Watson’s Bimini Scuba Center
- 12. Take a Boat Charter
- FAQ on Beautiful Bimini
- What are the most popular activities on Bimini?
- What cruise ships can dock at the Bimini Pier?
- When is the best time of year to visit Bimini island?
- How to get from South Bimini to North Bimini?
- Is Bimini a private island for Virgin Voyages?
- Does Bimini, Bahamas have an airport?
- What airlines fly to Bimini, Bahamas?
- Do you need a passport when traveling to Bimini?
- Are prices in Bimini expensive?
- Where to stay in Bimini, Bahamas?
- What’s the weather like in Bimini?
Where Exactly Is Bimini?
The small island chain is about 54 miles directly east of Miami, Florida. It’s also the western most district of the Bahamas. Mainland United States is actually closer to Bimini than the capital city, Nassau, which is over 130 miles to the southeast.
The proximity to the US allows for some to make day trips to the islands by way of high speed ferries. More on that later.
How Big is Bimini?
Bimini is only about 9 square miles in totality. Two main islands make up most of the island chain: North Bimini and South Bimini.
North Bimini is 7 miles long and only about 750 feet wide. South Bimini is about 3 miles long and about half a mile wide.
The water around the islands is very shallow at 20-30 feet in most places. To the west, between Miami and Bimini the Gulf Stream flows northward through water 6,000 feet deep, and this brings a variety of fish to the area.
There’s a reason this island of the Bahamas is so popular for sport fishing. The marine life is diverse around Bimini.
A Little History
This small island has a rich history waiting to be explored. From its early days as a haven for pirates to its current status as an up-and-coming paradise, Bimini is sure to amaze you with its beauty and culture.
Known by locals as “The Gateway to the Bahamas,” Bimini was first settled by indigenous Lucayan people and still retains its Lucayan name “Bimini” which means “small islands”.
The island originally was attractive mainly due to its plentiful fish population and peaceful atmosphere – traits which still define Bimini today.
A world-famous vacation spot for vacationers, the island earned its fame through the contributions of journalist and author Ernest Hemingway.
Hemingway’s many accomplishments, including the two novels “Old Man and the Sea” and “Islands in the Stream,” were inspired by his visits to Bimini.
Bimini is also known as the Big Fish Fishing Capital of the World because it has some of the greatest ocean fishing in the world.
The Island Chain is New to Cruise Ships
On July 4th, 2021 Bimini welcomed its first cruise ship into the newly finished Resorts World Bimini Cruise Port, the official name for the cruise port on North Bimini island.
The single-pier port was developed by Resorts World Bimini. It is just one of three ports in the Bahamas that is situated on a non-private island, along with Freeport and Nassau.
What Makes This Island a Rare Gem in the Bahamas?
With a population of only about 2,000 full time residents, Bimini Bahamas is an exotic destination not yet overrun by tourism and commercialism. You won’t find a Diamonds International in this vacation spot. Beaches are clean and open.
Quiet streets have more golf carts and bicycles than actual cars. And with only one cruise ship docked at the pier at one time, the cruise passenger population is at least slightly limited.
There are no bridges between North and South Bimini. However, there are ferries that will take you back and forth so you can explore some of the activities on our list below.
I also recommend renting a golf cart for easy transportation on your own. It costs $60 for the entire day and travel on the island is very laid back and simple. Just remember to drive on the left hand side of the road. Queens Highway is the main road through North Bimini.
Most cruise lines offer an excursion to Resorts World Bimini which has a casino and beach club. The resort provides the free tram service to the resort and other drop off locations. No ticket is needed. You can walk out of the port area from the cruise ship, but it’s a fairly long walk.
The first tram stop is Resorts World Bimini. The 2nd stop on the tram is Paradise Beach where you can rent loungers, umbrellas, kayaks, and the golf carts mentioned above.
Ultimate List of Things to Do and See in Bimini Bahamas
1. Beach Club
When visiting Bimini with Virgin Voyages, the Beach Club is included at no extra charge. Virgin partnered with World Resorts to offer the Beach Club as the cruise line’s “private island destination”. The Beach Club has two swimming pools and an exclusive private area for guests staying in Rock Star suites.
A buffet lunch is served at the Beach Club and soft drinks are included, just like on Virgin ships.
When visiting Bimini with other cruise lines, there is a charge to get in the Beach Club and you will also have to pay for food and basic beverages. There is a free tram that will take you from the pier right to the Beach Club.
2. See the underwater, mystical Bimini Wall (Bimini Road)
For a truly remarkable underwater experience that comes with some controversy, check out a dive to the Bimini Wall. This underwater rock formation, sometimes called the Bimini Road has had many conspiracy theories as to its origin.
Is it an ancient road to the lost city of Atlantis? Was it caused by a tsunami? Man-made or natural, the large rectangular limestone slabs have inspired all kinds of theories. The structure is about half a mile long and is 18 feet below the water.
3. Experience the best beaches of Bimini
This is the perfect destination for those wanting a relaxing beach day. Use our list for the best sandy beaches in Bimini, or you can just rent a golf cart and drive around the small island to find them yourself.
You will find some great beach locations at the south end of the north island. The waters of Bimini are truly remarkable.
Below are some of the highest rated beaches in the Bimini islands. These beaches never feel overcrowded, but some are more secluded than others.
- Radio Beach – Probably the most popular beach due to its beauty and easy access, Radio Beach is very close to Alice Town. It’s the only public beach on the islands to have public amenities as bathrooms and food vendors.
- Tiki Hut Beach – With a 2 mile-long stretch of white sand, Tiki Hut Beach offers a great getaway. Palm trees and vegetation provide are all around, helping make the beach on South Bimini island seem even more secluded.
- Porgy Bay Beach – This is a cozy, quaint beach in North Bimini just south of Resorts World Bimini in Bailey Town.
- Spook Hill – Shallow and calm waters can be found at Spook Hill beach, and it’s one of the most popular beaches in Bimini for good reason. The name comes from the proximity of the beach to a local cemetery but don’t let that scare you away from the soft as talc sand.
- Blister Beach – A lovely beach in North Bimini known for its calmer waters and great snorkeling, this beach also goes by the name Bimini Bay Beach.
- Resort World Bimini Beach – Perfect for a resort style beach, this area is a 4.5 acre beach with room for up to 2,000 people.
- Local Cays with great beach spots – If you feel like getting a little further away from the main Bimini islands you can check out some incredible local cays. Turtle Rocks, Piquet Rocks, Holm Cay, North Cat Cay (Honeymoon Harbour), and South Cat Cay are just a few local beaches to get away from it all.
4. Go on a shark dive with Bimini Bull Run
You will get up close an personal with Caribbean bull sharks on this Bimini island excursion. The number of sharks you see while on this cage dive is really quite impressive. Shark fishing is actually illegal in the Bahamas and these creatures thrive in the crystal clear waters.
All you need is a diving mask and a belt and you can plunge into the shark-infested waters for a very unique experience. The sharks are given scraps of food all around the cage and the visibility in these waters is second-to-none.
5. Explore the wreckage of the S.S. Sapona
S.S. Sapona’s wreckage has remained in place for almost 100 years, after the concrete ship ran aground during a hurricane in 1926.
The ship was originally commissioned by President Woodrow Wilson and was built to transport troops during the first World War, although it never did so. The vessel was made out of concrete since steel was not as readily available at the time.
This popular dive site is perfect for snorkeling as well, as the wreck sits in just 15 feet of water. The shipwreck site was used as a bombing target for United States fighter pilots during World War II, so the ship shows significant damage.
But divers are still able to see inside the concrete hull of the ship and find many varieties of marine life around the area. History lovers and diving enthusiasts alike will find something to love at the S.S. Sapona wreckage site.
6. Visit Rainbow Reef and Tuna Alley
These two amazing dive sites are part of the same reef system off the coast of North Cat Cay. A short boat ride south from the main Bimini islands to the Bimini Cays will get you there, and you can explore both the same day.
- Rainbow Reef is one of the most colorful (hence the name) and shallow reefs in Bimini. Accessible by boat, the maximum depth of the reef is about 20 feet. As part of a protected marine park over 100 species of fish can be found in the area. If you decide to dive or snorkel to the deepest parts of the reef you may find sea turtles and nurse sharks that frequent the reef. Typically this area is teeming with marine life and there is an abundance of coral to admire.
- Tuna Alley has been called by some divers “the best dive site in the Caribbean”. An underwater wall over 100 feet tall inspires awe in most guests who view this site. This is another reef right near North Cat Cay. There are several canyons under the water that are perfect for exploring. The water is pristine as well, as the Gulf Stream’s current helps wash out any debris and keep the seas looking “Bimini blue”. The name of this scuba diving site was inspired by the numerous tuna that can often be found near the reef.
7. Explore Victory Reef
Victory Reef is also teeming with life and divers can expect to find fish, sea turtles, lobsters and sharks in the area. Most recommend the site for drift diving, as you can drift along with the marine life and enjoy the tall, vibrant, and abundant coral along this beautiful reef. The reef is located south of North Cat Cay, which is south of the Bimini islands and it’s depth runs from 30 – 80 feet.
8. Tour Dolphin House Museumwell
For $10 per person, you can check out a very unique museum in Bimini. Built completely from recycled materials, this enchanting building houses eclectic mosaics that reflect the islands history. Perhaps the door on the building says it best, “Welcome to Bimini’s most unique and artistic structure. Built by Ashley Saunders. A bridge between human and dolphin consciousness. A work in progress since 1993.”
As the museum truly is a work in progress you can expect new things to be added all the time. Keep in mind the museum is also the artist’s home, so it’s more of residence than an exhibit. Still, everywhere you turn in the Dolphin House you will find something unique, built by hand, and made from recycled materials. There are 3 levels of the building to explore with a roof top terrace that overlooks the beautiful water.
9. Stop by the legendary Fountain of Youth
According to legend, Arawak Indians in the area told the explorer Juan Ponce de Leon about a Fountain of Youth in Bimini. In 1513 the ambitious explorer set out to find Bimini but failed to find the islands or the fountain. Then he went on to discover the Gulf Stream and Florida instead.
Today there is a 1,000 year-old well carved out of limestone rock that locals refer to as the Fountain of Youth. The well is fairly deep and there is fresh water way down at the bottom. As far as it’s healing properties…. I will just say that being in the calming atmosphere of Bimini is enough to keep one young.
10. Hilton at Resort World Bimini
Hilton at Resort World Bimini is a beautiful resort. It offers an array of amenities and activities such as a private beach, swimming pool, spa, fitness center, restaurants, parasailing, glass-bottom boat tours, tennis courts and more.
Guests can take advantage of complimentary shuttles to the nearby marina or enjoy sailing excursions on crystal clear waters. From deep sea fishing trips to snorkeling and scuba diving expeditions, there is plenty to do around this stunning property. There’s also a casino inside if you feel like leaving some donations to the 750-acre resort.
11. Visit Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina
This resort has been in its current location in Alice Town since 1947 and is the perfect destination for sports fisherman looking for a big-game fishing experience. While the name of the resort kind of says it all, Bimini Big Game Club Resort has a plethora of activities to take part in.
Amenities include a pool, game area with pool and ping pong, a dive shop, several restaurants, massage services and more. There are hotel and dive packages if you plan on spending the night, or you can book one of their Bimini Dive Safaris to check out Hammerheads and dolphins. Guided fishing excursions from the resort are offered for both new and experienced anglers. Bimini holds multiple world records for fish caught in the area, so you never know what you might find.
12. Visit Neal Watson’s Bimini Scuba Center
Since the scuba center is located in Bimini Big Game Club Resort I could have just put it in the same category, but I didn’t want those looking exclusively for diving experiences to miss this one. Neal Watson is President of the Bahamas Dive Association and is world-renown for his diving savvy. Oh, and Neal is also Director of Dive Operations for Guy Harvey Outpost so he knows what he’s doing.
Today the scuba center is operated by father and son. There are over 20 dive sites that have buoys marking their location. They are placed and maintained by commercial dive operators. If you want to see any of the reefs or dive sites already mentioned in this article and want a pro to show you the ropes, this is a great starting point.
Because of Bimini’s proximity to the Gulf Stream it is not uncommon for visitors to see spotted dolphins, Loggerhead turtles, Southern stingrays, nurse sharks, and barracudas, along with numerous kingfish and tropical fish.
13. Take a Boat Charter
Whether you want to charter a boat in Bimini for some deep sea fishing, spear fishing, snorkeling, or just some sightseeing around the beautiful Bimini islands, you can easily find a charter boat to take you out.
There are many companies in Bimini that offer fishing charters, and they range from private boats to larger vessels with experienced captains and crew. Many of the boats also come equipped with amenities like air-conditioning, cabins, and full kitchens. You can book a charter for a half-day or full day trip depending on your needs, and prices vary based on the size of the boat, the length of your trip, and other special requests.
Before booking any charter make sure to inquire about their safety record and what type of insurance coverage is provided by the company. That way you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re in good hands while out on the water. One of the more popular charter services is Bimini Brown Charters. They have been doing this for a long time and really know the area.
FAQ on Beautiful Bimini
What are the most popular activities on Bimini?
Visitors to this exotic island have plenty of options. The most popular things to do include the Bimini Bull Run, diving underwater to see the Bimini Road, visiting the Dolphin House, exploring the wreckage of SS Sapona, and exploring the numerous beaches that spoil visitors to Bimini.
What cruise ships can dock at the Bimini Pier?
Cruise ships of all sizes can dock at Bimini. Although only one cruise ship can dock at a time at the port, Resorts World Bimini is capable of welcoming ships as large as Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class vessels.
When is the best time of year to visit Bimini island?
Bimini Island is an ideal vacation destination year-round, with its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters and vibrant marine life. During the summer months, Bimini Island offers some of the best weather in the Caribbean.
With temperatures rarely dipping below 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius), it’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing and exploring all that the island has to offer. From May to October, you can take advantage of calmer seas and warmer temperatures for snorkeling, fishing and kayaking.
The winter months bring cooler temperatures and more rain, but they also bring with them some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on the island as humpback whales migrate close to shore. No matter when you visit Bimini Island, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
How to get from South Bimini to North Bimini?
As there are no bridges between the two islands of Bimini, ferries are available to go back and forth.
Is Bimini a private island for Virgin Voyages?
Yes and no. Virgin Voyages does have exclusive contracts with local resorts that allow the company to offer exclusive access to its passengers. With their own private beach at The Beach Club and numerous amenities Virgin provides cabanas, cushioned loungers, water sports, plenty of food, and of course an amazing pool to their cruise passengers.
Does Bimini, Bahamas have an airport?
The Bimini airport (BIM) is in South Bimini. The two main departing flights from Bimini are to Nassau (NAS) in Bahamas and Fort Lauderdale (FLL) in United States. These two flights together account for all of the departures from South Bimini Airport every month. Seaplanes will also make the trip to and from mainland United States with supplies and passengers.
What airlines fly to Bimini, Bahamas?
There are currently just two airlines that fly to Bimini: Silver Airways and Jetways Airlines.
Do you need a passport when traveling to Bimini?
Yes, you will need a passport when traveling to Bimini. The Bahamas is a sovereign country, and as such, all travelers from outside of the country must be able to prove their identity and nationality with a valid passport. This document will be necessary for both entry and exit from Bimini.
Furthermore, if you are traveling by plane, you may also require a visa depending on your country of origin. It is important to research and plan ahead before your trip in order to ensure that you have all the necessary documents and paperwork in order. Again, having a valid passport is essential for travel to Bimini, so make sure not to forget it!
Are prices in Bimini expensive?
The prices in Bimini vary depending on what you are looking for. In general, the cost of living is relatively low compared to other Caribbean nations. Food, drinks, and entertainment tend to be quite affordable, while housing can be more expensive. Lodging options range from small guesthouses to luxury resorts, so travelers can choose what fits their budget best.
Groceries are also generally cheaper than in other countries. All in all, Bimini offers a great selection of services and products at reasonable prices that make it a great place to visit without breaking the bank.
Where to stay in Bimini, Bahamas?
When it comes to where to stay in Bimini, the options range from luxurious resorts to quaint cottages and villas on the beach. The Hilton at Resorts World Bimini offers a luxurious experience with its five-star amenities including two outdoor pools, private marina, spa and casino.
For those looking for a more intimate setting, there are plenty of cozy cottages and villas located right on the beachfront that offer all the comforts of home. Additionally, there are various hotel accommodations available ranging from budget-friendly choices to more upscale options.
Here are some other options for staying in Bimini:
- Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina – The resort sits on 30 acres of lush landscaped grounds that have been expertly designed to maximize comfort and seclusion. With 12 private villas spread across four marinas, guests can enjoy breathtaking views from every angle. The resort also features three restaurants offering fresh seafood cuisine as well as classic dishes from around the globe. After dinner, guests can retreat to one of two bars for live music or dancing beneath the stars.
- Bimini Sands Resort & Marina – Guests can take advantage of the marina with its charter boat services offering amazing snorkeling tours or deep sea fishing trips. Those who prefer land activities will find plenty to do as well – from tennis courts and kayaking to bike rentals and nature trails throughout the island. Whether looking for adventure or luxury relaxation, there’s something for everyone at Bimini Sands Resort & Marina!
What’s the weather like in Bimini?
The weather in Bimini, Bahamas is typically warm and humid year-round. Temperatures average between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (26 to 32 Celsius) during the day, while evenings tend to cool off a bit, usually dropping into the mid-70s Fahrenheit (21 to 24 Celsius).
The island experiences two distinct seasons; the dry season runs from December through April and is generally cooler than the rest of the year. The wet season runs from May through November and brings with it heavy rainfall and hot temperatures. Hurricane season also runs from June through November, though storms are rare.
Bimini enjoys an average of 300 days of sunshine each year, making it a popular destination for beach goers looking to soak up some rays.
Can I take a high speed ferry from Miami to Bimini?
Taking the high speed ferry from Miami to Bimini can be an exciting and convenient experience as it’s so close to Miami. Before you go, there are some important things to know. The ferry departs from Miami Beach Marina and takes about two hours to reach Bimini. You will need a valid passport or a government-issued photo ID for all passengers traveling on the ferry. Check-in begins 30 minutes prior to departure and boarding is 20 minutes prior to departure, so plan accordingly.
In general, the cost of this ferry ride from Miami or Fort Lauderdale to Bimini, Bahamas can range from $50 to $200 or more per person, depending on the company and the class of service. Some companies may offer discounts for children, seniors, or military personnel.
Balearia Caribbean is one of the most regular ferry services to Bimini and typically offers ferry service 3 times a week.
Whether you’re going on a cruise or spending several nights at the island chain, planning a trip to Bimini Bahamas offers something for everyone. From the laid back island lifestyle to the numerous activities and adventures available, Bimini has something special and unique.
The crystal clear waters provide an abundance of activities that both families and friends can enjoy, such as snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing. There are also plenty of places to explore on land with its stunning beaches, lush vegetation and vibrant culture.
Before your trip to Bimini Bahamas, there are a few things you should know in order to make the most of your experience. The first thing is that it is necessary to bring cash since credit cards are not widely accepted.
Additionally, don’t forget to bring sunscreen and bug repellent, as Bimini has a tropical climate. It’s also important to be aware of the local laws and customs when visiting Bimini. For example, taking pictures of people from the island without their permission is illegal in some areas.
Lastly, make sure you have time for relaxation, as it’s a great place for rest and recreation with its stunning beaches and abundant marine life. With this knowledge in mind, your trip to Bimini Bahamas will surely be an unforgettable experience!