The Bahamas in January is a fun and exciting place, bustling with tourist crowds and bursting with life. You’ll want to book a trip to the Bahamas in January is you’re ready for some beautiful Winter weather that’s low in humidity, high in temperature and perfect for fishing, diving, swimming and sunbathing.
To sum it up, January in the Bahamas is busy but enjoyable. Most travelers visit the Bahamas in January because the weather is ideal for all your favorite sun and sand activities. Storms are scarce in January, humidity is low and temperatures are comfortable. However, the influx of visitors in January means that prices will be higher.
Ready to book your trip to the Bahamas in January but not sure what to expect? We’ve compiled all the details you’ll need for planning the perfect vacation to the Bahamas this month. Below, we’ll cover everything from weather and rates to all the great things to do in the month of January.
Bahamas Weather in January
January weather in the Bahamas is beautiful and most people will find it a very cool and comfortable month. January is typically the coldest month of the year in the Bahamas, but that’s not saying too much because the coldest day usually doesn’t fall below 60°F. On average, January days will have a high of 77°F and the low will be around 64°F.
Water temperatures can vary from island to island, but you’ll usually experience water temperatures of about 75-76°F. Some will find this pretty comfortable for just about any activity from swimming and snorkeling to boating and diving.
January happens to be the driest month of the year in the Bahamas, meaning it’s very unlikely that you’ll be rained out of any of your plans during this time of the year. However, January is notoriously windy which can make activities like offshore fishing and scuba diving difficult to plan for.
Bahamas January Weather Cheat Sheet
|Average Low Temperature||64°F (18°C)|
|Average High Temperature||77°F (25°C)|
|Average Sea Water Temperature||72°F (22°C)|
|Average Rainfall||1.8 inches (45.7 mm)|
|Average Days with Rain||8 days|
|UV Index||5-6 (Moderate to High)|
|Day Length||~10 hours 40 minutes|
|Sea Conditions||Generally calm to moderate|
|Visibility||Typically good, 7-10 miles|
|Dew Point||~63°F (17°C)|
|Air Quality Index||Good|
|Likelihood of Hurricanes||Very Low|
Bahamas Affordability & Crowds in January
Like most beachy tourist destinations, the Bahamas experiences high traffic in the Winter months. January has great weather, which draws many tourists to its shores this time of year. This high season can be perfect for some since you can always guarantee that restaurants, tours and hotels will be open and available.
On the down side, due to January’s high crowd levels, all the most popular activities and excursions will have a high volume of people involved. If you’re looking for more exclusivity, look to the slow Summer months.
As far as costs are concerned, airline and cruise prices can be favorable in January. However, the hotels, cruises and tours will be steeply priced to accommodate the Bahamas’ high January demand. If you don’t mind paying higher prices for beautiful weather in January, this is a great month to visit.
Traveling to the Bahamas in January
If you’re traveling from Florida or along the Atlantic Coastline, a cruise to the Bahamas is a brilliant way to reach the island destination. The weather may be windy but the Winter months are free from rain and thunderstorms which allow more reliable travel via cruise line.
From Florida, it’ll take approximately 2.5 to 4 hours to reach Nassau on New Providence Island or Freeport at Grand Bahama. Cruise trips from Florida typically last anywhere from 2 to 5 days roundtrip. If you’re coming from South or Mid-Atlantic cruise port like Charleston, SC, cruises are around 3 to 7 days roundtrip.
If you already live in Florida or are planning to fly into Florida and desire to ferry over to the Bahamas, January is a great month for that. Due to low chance of rain and thunderstorms, the ferry ride can safely transport guests without delay or cancellation. The Ferryboat from Miami often takes 3 to 4 hours and delivers guests to Grand Bahama or Bimini.
Direct flights into the Bahamas are another option if you’re coming from farther away. Flights in general are often cheaper in January, but certain Bahamian destinations could still be pricey. We suggest taking a flight to a popular destination like Nassau to guarantee lower rates. For comparison, a roundtrip flight to Nassau from Atlanta is around $250 in January while a roundtrip flight from Atlanta to George Town can be $750.
Best Bahamas Islands in January
January is so busy that we recommend looking into some of the more secluded islands of the Bahamas for a better, more relaxing vacation. If you prefer seclusion in a natural, beachy landscape look into staying on Harbour, Crooked or Acklin Islands.
Harbour Island is beloved by all, from high-profile celebrities to your average tourist. All come looking for a hint of luxury in the midst of ultimate relaxation in a somewhat secluded destination. Harbour Island is a dreamy location in the chain of Eleuthera and is famous for it’s three-mile Pink Sand Beach and beautiful Dunmore Town.
The small island has about 2,000 permanent residents, and while January can be a little busier for this romantic island, it’s less likely to be packed than others in the archipelago. You should plan to tour the quaint Dunmore Town with beautiful Georgian architecture and pastel cottages, snorkel the reef system at Devil’s Backbone, and take lovely sunset pictures at Girl’s Bank Beach.
The easiest way to reach Harbour Island is to take a ferry from Nassau, which takes approximately three hours. Alternatively, you could take a flight to North Eleuthera Airport and use the water taxi to get to Harbour Island from there.
Crooked Island is even more remote than Harbour Island, providing visitors with the ultimate island getaway full of historical remnants and gorgeous natural scenery. Crooked Island has over 57 miles of white sandy beaches and few settlements, meaning that people are few and far between here.
While here, you’ll want to experience the coral gardens, the limestone caves filled with historical paintings, and ancient ruins. You should also add crabbing on Mayaguana’s Horse Pond Beach, snorkeling through Turtle Sound, and diving the Million Dollar mistake shipwreck to your itinerary.
You can get to Crooked Island by way of Colonel Hill Airport. You can also book or rent a shallow-draft boat to Crooked Island, since the island is on a shallow lagoon called the Bight of Acklins.
Acklin Island is the nearby, even more remote neighbor of Crooked Island, known for exceptional fishing, boating and diving conditions. There are only seven different accommodations in the main hub, Albert Town, along with quaint villages with a few residents.
Acklin is a seemingly untouched beauty that is great for bonefishing and even tarpon fishing. Wildlife is abundant here and visitors can experience the quiet splendor of Marine Farm National Park, North Side Beach and Relief Bay Eco Park. There are also several lighthouses you can tour with a barrier reef that extends off the coast of Bird Rock Lighthouse.
Getting to Acklin can be difficult as it’s tucked away in the Southern islands of the Bahamas, but taking a private boat is about the only way to get here. Once on Acklin though, you’re in for a world of wonder.
Best Things to Do in the Bahamas in January
The Bahamas are a great place to visit year round due to impeccable weather, pristine beaches and crystal clear waters. January is no different, which means you can swim, fish, sunbathe and boat to your hearts content. Below we’ve listed the best things you can add to your itinerary during your January getaway.
Tour the Islands
There are loads of tours available to you all year in the Bahamas, including sightseeing, jet-setting and power boating your way across the islands. One of our top recommended activities to get you in touch with the islands while setting your own pace is an ATV tour. These tours take place in Nassau and allow you to experience the sun, sand and city attractions in about half a day – some tours even include lunch!
Since the weather is primed for fast-paced outdoor adventures in January, we also suggest looking into the Pirate Jeep Sightseeing Tour. This tour is built for groups who prefer to be chauffeured while taking in the pirate lore and history of New Providence Island. Tours usually end at John Watling’s Distillery for a rum tasting before the day closes.
Great weather also makes the Exuma Powerboat Tours well worth it. The prices are a bit steeper than the ATV tours, but they include so much more. The Exuma Powerboat Tours set sail from Nassau and make up to 7 different stops depending on the tour you select. This is a full day experience where you’ll encounter sharks, stingrays, and iguanas, plus you’ll get a chance to swim with the famous pigs of Exuma.
Island hopping via speed boat is one of the quickest and cheapest ways to experience lots of islands during your Bahamas trip. There are loads of different Speed Boat Tours that range in price from below $200 to under $1000. They will take you to see anything from private beaches to snorkeling holes to sand bars, so we suggest looking into the perfect tour to fit your budget and bucket list.
Dive with Sharks
Winter is a great time for scuba diving in the Bahamas, though the water can be a tad cool. Lots of excursions will take you to the Exuma Cays, Bimini or Grand Bahama where you can dive ship and plane wrecks featured in the movies, or explore colorful coral reefs like the Exuma Land and Sea Park.
While diving in January you can find lots of wildlife, too. Sharks can be spotted in abundance this month and are most prominent in Bimini and Grand Bahama. Hammerhead, Whale & Tiger sharks are among the most popular sightings underwater, but divers also find reef, lemon and nurse sharks all over the Bahamas.
Fish for Bonefish
The Bahamas is one of the top places in the world for bonefishing and January is a prime month to find the coveted bonefish. The cold weather pushes lots of schooling fish from the flats, leaving the adjusted bonefish and other similar catch out for the taking. In January, the fish also tend to be bigger.
Fly Fishing is one of the preferred ways to catch bonefish in the Bahamas and any angler can set out on their own to accomplish this. You should head to the Abaco Islands as they are the most ideal for bonefishing, but many also like Andros Island, New Providence or Yamacraw Beach.
Hiring a fishing charter is the best guaranteed way to get on the fish this month. The charter captain can also offer the chance to catch Wahoo or Barracuda, which are also in season through January.
As mentioned before, swimming with the pigs is the most popular experience in the Bahamas year round. But January has even more to offer the traveler who loves beachy wildlife and sightseeing. Horseback tours on the beach is a unique way to skim the shoreline while getting breathtaking views of the crystal waters. Happy Trails on Paradise Island offers spectacular sunrise trail rides through the brush of the island to the coast.
There’s also a few horseback tours out of Freeport that allow guests up to two hours of sightseeing and exploration. The tour guides will take you on a scenic journey to some of the most popular destinations on Grand Bahama while you slowly jaunt through the natural landscape. Lastly, Half Moon Cay has the most intriguing horseback experience, which takes you on a ride and swim through the waves on your horse.
For those less excited by living transportation, shelling is a lovely way to experience nature. Somerset Creek Beach on Andros Island and Eleuthera Island are the best locations in the Bahamas for shelling. You’ll find anything from sand dollars to conches here, but be vigilant about the shells you collect: conch shells cannot be taken from the beaches.
Explore the Coastline
Sunbathing is probably the number one activity on the beaches of the Bahamas, and while relaxation is key on vacation, there are lots of things to do in this pristine island destination. Snorkeling can be done almost anywhere you go since the waters are clear blue all through the Bahamas. Snorkel excursions are the best way to see reef fish and find underwater shells, but many resorts also offer snorkeling equipment for free to their guests.
Rental companies also dot the beaches, especially in popular areas like Nassau and Freeport, allowing you to get in the water for your own fun. Jet Skis, Banana Boats, and Glass Bottom Boats are some of the best rentals for riding the waves. But perhaps the most unique rental in Nassau is the Personal Underwater Sub, which takes you underneath the waves to explore local reefs for up to 35 minutes. The subs require no previous operating experience and come with their own oxygen tank.
January is the perfect month for golfing in the Bahamas. While it can get windy, there’s little chance of rain as well as temperate weather to make hitting the links enjoyable. Many of the largest resorts in the Bahamas have well-managed and professionally designed golf courses for you to choose from.
Paradise Island Golf Club is among the top courses in the Bahamas and offers golfers 18 holes in Nassau. It’s located right on the ocean, making for impeccable views, and features wetlands and lagoons on a Par 72 championship course.
The Royal Blue Golf Club is another stunner, designed by Jack Nicklaus and equipped with bunkers and sand dunes along the evergreen fairways. Rocky hills offer a stunning backdrop to this 18 hole championship course on New Providence Island.
January Events in the Bahamas
All residents throughout the Bahamas celebrate this bi-annual festival on New Year’s Day. This Carnival-like celebration represents the history of the Bahamas with a variety of instruments like cowbells, goatskin drums and horns. Bay Street in Nassau is the place to be to experience the fullness of this event, featuring parades and parties with outrageously colorful decorations and outfits.
New Year’s Day Sailing Regatta
The waters of Montagu Bay are a sight to behold in the first two days of January. Each year, sailing participants race between Nassau and Paradise Island. You can watch the race from either island or catch a glimpse on the water from the safety of a private boat or tour.
Majority Rule Day
This is a major holiday in the Bahamas celebrated by all on January 10 since 2014. The day represents equality, freedom and justice for all Bahamians. The islands often commemorate the day with business closures and small parties.
January in the Bahamas is the ideal time to visit if you’re looking for gorgeous island weather and various things to do. This month is part of high season for the Bahamas, so you can expect for there to be a lot of people trying to enjoy all the same things, but with prior planning and setting expectations, you can create the trip of a lifetime.
If you’re up for the challenge of a big crowd and loads of tours and entertainment, look no further than boarding a cruise for your January trip to the islands. Along the way, you’ll get to all the most popular Bahamian activities and enjoy cultural experiences and shopping excursions.
If you’d rather avoid the tourists, escape to the more secluded beaches of Harbour, Crooked or Acklin islands to enjoy the quiet splendor of wildlife, go fishing in the open lagoons and explore the historical ruins and architecture around the villages.
Want lots of available experiences and great weather, but don’t mind the higher rates and larger crowds? Then January will be the best month for planning your getaway to the Bahamas!
This article is part of Roundtript’s series of expert Bahamas travel guides for every month of the year.
Spring in The Bahamas
Summer in The Bahamas
Fall in The Bahamas
Winter in The Bahamas
For a summary of each Switzerland month & season all in one place, check out our big guide to the Best Times of the Year to Visit The Bahamas.