Mapping the Bahamas: What’s Open as the Islands Recover From Dorian

Rescue and recovery efforts continue on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, but there are 14 other beautiful islands ready to welcome guests.

Mapping the Bahamas: What’s Open as the Islands Recover From Dorian

While the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama work to pick up the pieces left in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, the rest of the Bahamas is welcoming travelers.

Illustration by Emily Blevins

The images and stories of the destruction and devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama are heartbreaking. Bahamian officials, however, are hoping that the other side of the hurricane story gets through to travelers as well.

“We are fortunate that the majority of our islands were not harmed and remain open, ready to welcome visitors,” Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation’s deputy director general, Ellison Thompson, told AFAR in an email interview.

“Now more than ever it is important that we continue to educate travelers that the Bahamas is an archipelagic nation spread across 100,000 square miles of ocean, meaning that a hurricane can be experienced in one part of the country while other parts remain unaffected,” added Thompson.

In fact, the Bahamas are made up of more than 700 islands and thousands of cays, and according to the tourism ministry, the majority of the Bahamas, including 14 of the most commonly visited islands, were unaffected by the storm.

Airports, cruise ports, hotels, and attractions throughout the northern, central, and southern Bahamas are open and operating, including the following destinations and islands:

  • Nassau and Paradise Island
  • The Exumas
  • Eleuthera
  • Harbour Island
  • Bimini
  • Andros
  • The Berry Islands
  • Cat Island
  • Long Island
  • San Salvador
  • Rum Cay
  • Acklins and Crooked Island
  • Mayaguana
  • Inagua

“Now is perhaps the best time ever to visit the Bahamas,” said Thompson. “Every trip, from a friends’ getaway to a business conference, will help the country’s effort in rebuilding the affected islands.”
Thompson said that some travelers have been canceling their planned visits to Nassau, Paradise Island, and to the outer islands such as Exuma, Harbour Island, and Eleuthera. But he remained hopeful as new bookings for Bahamas getaways have not halted entirely.

With the holidays approaching, Thompson hopes that travelers will consider a trip to the Bahamas for a warm winter getaway. He suggested Nassau for its laid-back beach vibes, Exuma for its swimming pigs and world-class boating and sailing, and Harbour Island and Eleuthera for their scenic coastlines. Mayaguana and Inagua offer a more off-the-beaten-path option, according to the deputy director general.

Hurricane Dorian tore through the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama over Labor Day weekend, releasing torrential rains and winds that gusted up to 185 miles per hour and devastating much in its path.

Currently, the Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) and the Leonard Thompson International Airport (MHH) in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, remain closed, along with the resorts in Grand Bahama and Abaco, which shut down as the storm approached and remain shuttered as they assess the damage.

>> Next: The Best Hotels in the Bahamas

Michelle Baran is a deputy editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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