Planning a trip to the Bahamas in October? This big guide covers everything you need to know about weather, things to do, and how to generally have the best trip possible.
To sum it up, October is a great month to score a great deal on traveling to the Bahamas. Cruise ships, flights and tours are easier to book this month since it’s the low season in the islands, plus the rates tend to be lower overall. Some of the best things you can do on a trip in October include walking and boating tours, snorkeling and swimming with the famous pigs of the Bahamas.
No matter what kind of Bahamas trip you’re envisioning, we’ve done all of the hard work to make your Bahamas planning as easy as possible.
Bahamas Weather in October
October weather in the Bahamas is somewhat similar to September weather, where it has a moderate chance of rain from day to day and maintains the same levels of heat and humidity. October is still part of hurricane season where hurricanes and tropical storms are very likely to crop up. Rain chances stay around 21% likelihood all month long.
When these superstorms are not on the horizon, days can be dry and overcast. Daily highs are about 86°F while you can expect daily lows around 74°F. The sun will still shine brightly and UV rays will be strong, so sunscreen is always a must.
The wind gusts increase and become stronger as October moves into November, partly due to storms but also as a general pattern. Water temperatures are still fairly warm and enjoyable in October, averaging 83°F all throughout the month.
Bahamas October Weather Cheat Sheet
|Average Low Temperature||74°F (23.3°C)|
|Average High Temperature||86°F (30°C)|
|Average Sea Water Temperature||84°F (29°C)|
|Average Rainfall||6.2 inches (157.5 mm)|
|Average Days with Rain||13 days|
|UV Index||8 (Very High)|
|Day Length||~12 hours|
|Sea Conditions||Moderately choppy to rough|
|Visibility||Good, 7-9 miles|
|Dew Point||~73°F (22.8°C)|
|Air Quality Index||Good|
|Likelihood of Hurricanes||Moderate to High|
Bahamas Affordability & Crowds in October
October in the Bahamas is a more affordable time of year to visit and usually has fewer people than the last months of the year. October is a great month to visit for people who are looking to plan a more spontaneous trip on a low to moderate budget.
October is the second slowest month of the year which means that tourist crowds will be close to the lowest you’ll see all year. The somewhat unpredictable weather in October is the main reason people will avoid going this month, but you can take advantage of less busy beaches, restaurants and tours at this point.
Fewer people always means lower prices, so October is a great month to score deals on transportation, flights and hotels.
Traveling to the Bahamas in October
You’ve got lots of options when it comes to traveling to the Bahamas. Flights are one of the easiest ways to get to the Bahamas from anywhere and they tend to be cheaper this time of year. Poor weather doesn’t affect flights as much as it could other forms of transportation, so if you have a fear of cancellations or rescheduling, booking a flight might be your best bet for getting to the islands.
We suggest booking a flight to a busy airport like Nassau in order to get the cheapest rates possible. But you can still receive decent pricing for flights to smaller airports or on island hopping jets in October. However, short flights from island to island will usually be more expensive than boat tours.
Cruises are another great option for getting to the Bahamas, especially in you live on the East Coast of the United States. Hurricanes and tropical storms will inevitably dock cruise ships, but the offerings on a cruise are hard to beat. Prices will be favorable in October and include great excursions, a full itinerary and all food and beverage on the ship.
There’s also a ferryboat that goes from Fort Lauderdale or Miami to different ports in the Bahamas, including Bimini, Nassau and Freeport. These are good for those who prefer to do shorter trips, but they post the most risk during inclement weather. Trips usually take 3-4 hours from point A to point B and give you more of a scenic experience on the water.
Best Bahamas Islands in October
The Abacos are a quiet chain of islands not too far from New Providence and Paradise Islands. The accessibility of the island via boat or plane is ideal for short-term trips, but it’ll be difficult to leave the island once you arrive. The tranquility, beauty and safety of the islands make the Abacos one of the number one selections for families and couples.
The Abacos are known by several different names; “Sailing Capital of the Bahamas” and “Friendly Islands” are two of the most notable and tell you a lot about this popular vacation destination. Just boat ride away from Nassau, these islands consist of beautiful white and pink beaches, lush mangroves and protected reefs. The Abacos span 120 miles in length and offer choice fishing and boating conditions.
Another great thing about these islands is that they are considered the safest of the out islands. Many people sail directly from Florida to the Abacos, while others will easily sail between islands in the Bahamas. Marsh Harbour International Airport offers another way to get to the island and is conveniently located on Great Abaco.
Marsh Harbour is the premier place to stay in the Abacos and is equipped with great restaurants, stunning beaches like Treasure Cay, and a rich fishing history. It’s also got several full-service marinas for those sailing or boating into town. Hope Town on Great Abaco is an alternative accommodating area with charming and colorful cottages. It’s home to the Elbow Reef Lighthouse, part of the Abacos heritage and historical sites.
There’s a list of remarkable things to do on the Abacos that you can’t do anywhere else. Some of these include seeing Man-O-War Cay where you can witness boat builders and craftsmen working on custom made sail boats. There are also four national parks that feature parrots and exotic creatures both on land and in the water.
There are over 120 different cays, the majority of which are uninhabited, just ripe for exploring. Some of the best include Elbow Cay, Great Guana Cay and Green Turtle Cay, where you can find lots of different forms of wildlife in secluded areas. Underwater, you can dive to Walker’s Cay caverns and swim through countless reefs relatively close to shore.
If you plan to take your visit up a notch with a hint of luxury, hit the links at Great Abaco golf course, book a sunset cruise, or attend a festive island regatta while in the islands.
Best Things to Do in the Bahamas in October
The Bahamas is located in a tropical climate, so most of the activities you’ll want to accomplish on a trip here are available to you all year. In October, you’ll want to plan around weather patterns, but the activities are still just as enjoyable as they would be during busier times of year. Our top suggestions to add to your itinerary in October are listed below.
Visit Movie Sets
The Bahamas are home to lots of different movie sets and locations that visitors will recognize immediately. There are several ways to go about seeing some of these awesome locations and the best way is to take a boat tour or go your own pace finding these sets.
Popular movies from Pirates of the Caribbean to 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea have been filmed at different places in the Bahamas and it can be fun to find them. The easiest ones to find are Silence of the Lambs scene on South Bimini, SPLASH locations on Castaway Cay, Casino Royale scenes in Nassau and Jaws Beach.
For even more action movie fun. Take a scuba diving adventure for undersea movie sets. Thunderball Grotto of the famous 1965 James Bond movie is the most popular dive, featuring reef fish and cave diving. You can also see the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues submerged at Castaway Cay.
Other scuba diving excursions will take you to Into the Blue’s shark diving locale, or Cocoon’s famous scene of Bimini Road. This interesting underwater walkway is the storied entrance to the Lost City of Atlantis or thought to be Ponce de Leon’s road to the Fountain of Youth.
Take a Catamaran Tour
Catamaran tours are a fairly relaxing way to get out on the water at a leisurely pace. Catamarans give a more immersive experience than the typical sailboat cruise, so prepare to get wet and possibly help the captain on your journey. Some tours offer snorkeling stops and lunch, while others take you to specific islands for interactive swimming with pigs or turtles.
The Bahamas have lots of interesting tours to choose from, it can be difficult to pick one or multiple to fit in your vacation. The best strategy is to determine what your group wants to see and what level of activity or adventure they want to have. Some of the best tours in October include exciting sailing or driving excursions, but also include slow-paced walking or food tours.
Beach buggy tours are probably one of the most fun outings your group can do. They seat between 4 and 6 people and most companies have varying rental lengths. The rentals will allow you to explore the island on your own time if you choose, or you can opt to follow a guide on a tour of different sites around Nassau including the Queen’s Staircase, Fort Fincastle and natural landscapes like the dunes and caves.
If you’d prefer the full foodie experience, book a Nassau Food Tour. You’ll get to taste some of the best restaurants on the island, and get a tour of the famous John Watling’s Distillery. Rum shots may also be served to end the tour at the distillery. Nassau Food Tours are usually walking tours, so try to plan these on days with a low chance of rain.
Swim with the Pigs
Swimming with the pigs on Exuma is one of the top experiences in the Bahamas and there are many tours that offer this as an option. October is a great month to see the pigs since there will be fewer tourists on the islands for this popular activity. Exuma is the top destination for this, but other pig swimming destinations include Pig Island and Staniel Cay.
Many tours offer this on their list of outings, and some allow guests to feed the pigs. Tourists can book boats, catamarans, or even small planes to get to Exuma. Just keep in mind that the pigs take a lunch break and a nap during the heat of the day, so it’s best to go in the morning or late afternoon.
If you prefer to see more marine life, October is a perfect time of year for swimming with dolphins. The water is warm and inviting, plus sessions are a little easier to book. The other good thing is that you can choose from multiple different venues including Dolphin Encounter, Blue Lagoon, Dolphin Cay and Balmoral Islands.
The dolphins have really great personalities and love visitors. Some of the experiences will even include trick shows from the dolphins and trainers or will allow guests to feed the dolphins fishy treats.
For those who want to stay on land, horseback riding on the island beaches is a beautiful experience any time of day. Happy Trails on Paradise Island offers spectacular sunrise trail rides, while Freeport has two hour long horseback tours through Grand Bahama. Lastly, Half Moon Cay has the most intriguing horseback experience, which takes you on a ride and swim through the waves on your horse.
Go Fly Fishing
The Bahamas is a well-known hotspot for all kinds of fishing, especially for the coveted bonefish that swim the area. In October, offshore fishing is a little risky, so inshore fishing is one of the best investments of your time and money. You can still book a captain to get you to the best places this month, but residents often suggest you get a fly fishing pole and wade in the flats.
Bonefish are one of the top catches in the Bahamas and they’re available to fish year round. The flats and mangroves are filled with bonefish at certain points in the day, especially near the Abaco Islands, Andros and New Providence. If you plan to troll the flats by boat or head a little farther offshore, you can also catch Barracuda and Grouper which are also in season this month.
Once you’ve brought in your catch, consider having it cooked by a local chef at a Bahamian restaurant. Senor Frog’s in Nassau or Blue Marlin Cove on Grand Bahama are great choices for dinner after a day on the water, plus you can bring your catch for them to cook fresh for you.
Explore the Coastline
If you plan to spend the day at the beach, consider renting a water vehicle for an hour or two. This is a great way to explore the coastline without venturing too far offshore or spending a fortune on private or group tours. Banana boats in particular are really fun to rent out with groups of 2 to 5.
Personal underwater submarines make other really fun rentals with big groups. These unique vehicles take you completely underwater to see shallow reefs and colorful fish along the coastline. No prior diving experience is required and a short-term tour guide will get you to all the cool spots on your journey.
Snorkeling gear is also available for rent at several places around the Bahamas and you can see some incredible things under the water. Shallow reefs, ship wrecks and plane wrecks are among some of the interesting finds around the islands.
You can also book a short tour via glass bottom boats where you can see everything that you’re riding over in the water. These cool tours are designed to hold around 10-15 people and travel over busy reefs and fish schools so passengers can see marine life through the glass bottom.
Shop at the Straw Market
Shopping is a great pastime in the Bahamas if you’re looking to get out of the sun or rain for a little while. There are lots of local markets on the islands, especially in the busy ports and cities. This time of year when there are fewer tourists, you’ll be able to go to these busy areas without the hassle of wading through seas of people.
One of the top recommended places to go is the Nassau Straw Market. It’s a popular market that’s been operating since the 1940’s and sells many locally carved and woven goods. Island residents make the goods you’ll find in these stalls and welcome visitors on a daily basis.
You’ll also find Bay Street shopping district in Nassau, which offers lots of different shops and experiences. Everything from locally made souvenirs to luxury jewelry is on Bay Street. You’ll also find Festival Place on New Providence Island which is known for artisanal creations, delicious edible treats and small keepsakes.
If you’re spending more time on Grand Bahama, check out Port Lucaya Marketplace when you have some free time. This huge marketplace has local souvenirs both handmade and mass produced alongside plenty of food and drink spots where you can wind down after shopping.
October Events in Bahamas
Great Bahamas Seafood & Heritage Festival
The Great Bahamas Seafood & Heritage Festival is a giant celebration of exactly what makes the Bahamas great. Lots of seafood stands and cooks produce delicious fresh caught fish this time of year, There are also many different performances and competitions throughout the festival, making it an enjoyable time for locals and visitors alike.
National Heroes’ Day
National Heroes’ Day commemorates local civil servants who’ve performed exceptionally over the past year. The Prime Minister speaks on George Street and awards local public figures with recognition for their work, while the rest of the islands celebrate their hometown heroes for up to a week.
International Culture Wine & Food Festival
This eventful festival is a big celebration of the international cultures represented on the islands. It takes place every October and emphasizes the significance of food and wine from other countries and the influence on Bahamian culture. Dance and singing performances are held during the festival while attendees wine and dine on delicacies from all over the world.
North Eleuthera Sailing Regatta
Sailors from all over the Bahamian archipelago gather for a big race in October, which includes A, B, and C class sloops. Regatta attendees can view the race from the beaches of Harbour Island and Eleuthera while taking part in shows, feasts and entertainment throughout the event.
October in the Bahamas is a nice in-between month that isn’t too busy and isn’t terribly hot. Tourists aren’t coming in droves to the islands this month, mainly due to frequent rainy or stormy weather. But in between bands of rain, there is plenty to accomplish on a Fall trip to the Bahamas. We suggest not letting the forecast steer you away from a great vacation.
Though October is still considered hurricane season, these super storms aren’t always guaranteed. However, the nature of traveling to the Bahamas in October allows for you to plan short or spontaneous trips a little more easily. Plus, you could save a decent bit of money when going to the Bahamas in the slow season.
Not only will you save money this month, but you won’t have to fight the crowds while you’re there. Which means you can do some of the more popular things on your trip, like boat tours and swimming with the pigs, without the jacked up pricing. October is also a great time to get in the last bit of great fishing and diving before the waters cool off later in the year.
If going to the Bahamas with less stress and fewer people sounds like a great time, you might want to book in October. Weather can be a little iffy this month, but if you plan to be flexible, you’ll have an excellent time!
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.