Taking a trip to The Bahamas in September and need to know what to expect and what to plan? We’ve got you covered!
In brief, September in the Bahamas is the best month of the year to save money on a vacation. This is because September is the most likely month to receive hurricanes, and it’s also a slower time of year for travel in general. Due to the changing weather and lower rates, September is the best month to plan a spontaneous trip. On clear days, you can still do all the best things the Bahamas has to offer.
We’ve done all the heavy lifting and put together the best information to help you plan your trip. This big guide will help you with everything from weather to things to do.
Bahamas Weather in September
September weather in the Bahamas is historically the rainiest, most humid, and one of the hottest months of the year. It also happens to be in the dead center of hurricane season when tropical storms and hurricanes are far more likely to crop up out of nowhere. This makes it a lot more likely that trips planned well in advance could get cancelled.
Despite potential hurricanes, September is one of the least windy months which makes diving really good this month. Water temperatures are pretty favorable in September, averaging 86°F.
Daily highs will hover around 89°F and lows will be about 77°F. Days can be fairly overcast even when rain isn’t predicted, but keep in mind that UV rays are still strong so sunscreen is a definite must throughout the day.
September has a 32% chance of rain all month long, making it the rainiest month of the year. This can manifest in afternoon rain showers, occasional thunder storms, tropical storms or threatening hurricanes. Pay close attention to the weather predictions before your trip to ensure your plans are not cancelled.
Bahamas September Weather Cheat Sheet
|Average Low Temperature||77°F (25°C)|
|Average High Temperature||89°F (31.6°C)|
|Average Sea Water Temperature||86°F (30°C)|
|Average Rainfall||4.3 inches (109.2 mm)|
|Average Days with Rain||11 days|
|UV Index||10 (Very High)|
|Day Length||~12 hours 30 minutes|
|Sea Conditions||Generally calm to moderately choppy|
|Visibility||Good, 8-10 miles|
|Dew Point||~75°F (24°C)|
|Air Quality Index||Good|
|Likelihood of Hurricanes||High|
Bahamas Affordability & Crowds in September
September is the slowest month of the year, so planning a vacation in September will be very affordable. When you plan a vacation during the Bahamas low season, you can expect that rates will be low, crowds will be low and some businesses might close early.
The weather is one of the biggest reasons why September is the islands’ slowest month. Not only are there potential hurricanes on the horizon, the sunny days bring lots of heat and humidity. In light of this, September can be a great month to plan spontaneous trip to the archipelago since it will be easier to find cheap accommodations, score last minute transportation or plan around poor weather.
If you’re up for a last minute getaway to the Bahamas, September could be your best month to plan a trip to the islands.
Traveling to the Bahamas in September
Traveling to the Bahamas in September poses a significant weather risk, but that isn’t always guaranteed. September is one of the most likely months a hurricane could hit, but that doesn’t mean it happens every year. However, getting there without cancellations can be a challenge.
In the event of a severe tropical storm or an incoming hurricane, all forms of transportation could be cancelled or rescheduled. The most likely form of transportation to stay on schedule is a flight to the Bahamas, but severe weather is known to ground planes. You’ll want to keep this in mind no matter what form of transportation you plan to book.
Flights, cruises and ferry rides to the Bahamas are significantly less expensive in September, so you’re highly likely to score a deal when booking transportation. Flights to busy airports like Nassau are usually cheaper, but even small jet and island-hoppers will be less costly this month.
Cruises are a great way to get to the Bahamas if you’re looking for an all-inclusive way to experience the sea and the islands. Cruise directors have full day activities on and off the ship, and if you get a great deal on cabins it’s definitely worth it. The ferry is the less exciting way to get to the islands, but it’s a great way to do a day trip from Florida.
Best Bahamas Islands in September
Bimini is one of the closest islands in the Bahamas to the United States by way of Florida. It’s proximity makes it the easiest island for planning a short or spontaneous trip. You can easily plan a trip here via boat, cruise ship or flight and there’s lots of fun things to do when you arrive.
The Bimini Islands are only 50 miles off the coast of Florida. Ferryboats often shuttle guests on a 3-4 hour long trek from Fort Lauderdale or Miami, so getting here is really easy especially for Florida residents. You can also take cruise ships here or fly in by way of North Bimini Airport or South Bimini Airport. This famous island has been the home of Ernest Hemingway, as well as a popular vacation spot for Jimmy Buffett.
This storied locale has made it’s way into the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, served as a rum runners’ base and is even recognized as the home of Juan Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth. Today the Limestone Well (the enchanted Fountain of Youth) draws thousands of visitors to its waters, though bathing is prohibited. In addition to this, Bimini has loads of fun places to see and things to do.
Bimini isn’t a huge chain of islands (as a matter of fact, there are fewer than 2,000 residents), but it holds all the key things you’re looking for in a Bahamian vacation. Think big game fishing, flats fishing for bonefish, scuba diving, wreck snorkeling and delicious food.
For those interesting in diving, check out several of the shipwrecks the dot the coastline. Tours are available to take divers, but you can also try it on your own. Tours can also take you diving with manta rays, sharks or dolphins, based on the season. Bimini Road is probably the most notable diving location, which has been featured in movies like “Cocoon”.
Take advantage of the sun when it’s shining and walk along the beautiful white sand beaches like Honeymoon Harbor Beach. Bimini Sands Beach, Radio Beach, Alice Town Beach and East Wells Beaches are all perfect places to relax in between adventures. For a little culture, be sure to see the Great Isaac Cay Lighthouse or walk through the Bimini Museum in the capital Alice Town.
Best Things to Do in the Bahamas in September
There are lots of great things to do in the Bahamas during the month of September. This month is great for short excursions and activities so you can plan around inclement weather and it’s best to stay flexible with your plans. While you won’t be able to get to them all, we’ll help you plan the best things to put on your schedule.
Snorkel the Coastline
The Bahamas has some incredible locations for snorkeling, including shallow reefs, ship wrecks, plane wrecks and more. One really cool spot that requires a private boat or speed boat tour is the Mermaid Piano off of Rudder Cay. You’ll want to go during low tide and bring an underwater camera to get an epic photo souvenir.
Snorkeling gear is also offered at coastal resorts and can be rented at different facilities around the island beaches. You can also rent really cool water crafts like jet skis, banana boats and Personal Underwater Submarines. The subs can be rented on Nassau and don’t require any previous experience, making it the perfect option for inexperienced divers to explore underwater.
There are lots of pretty thrilling experiences you can have while exploring the Bahamas coastal areas on the water. Glass bottom boats are a really fun way to get on the water while also seeing the creatures underneath it. These unique 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.
Dive Movie Sets
Scuba diving is nice in September since the water is warm, though you’ll want to pay attention to weather each day. There are lots of great spots to dive, especially since the Bahamas is a haven for popular movie sets. One of the most popular is the Thunderball Grotto, off the Exumas, which is the iconic location for James Bond’s Thunderball movie of 1965.
Bimini Road, as mentioned above, was also featured in a movie called Cocoon released in 1985. It’s an other-worldly resemblance of a road on the bottom of the ocean floor off the coast of Bimini.
Not only is the Bahamas a great destination for movie sets, but it’s also home to many National Marine Parks, ship wrecks, Caribbean reefs, and large blue holes. The most notable are in Blue Holes National Parks and on Andros Island. In addition to this, Dean’s Blue Hole is a popular spot for thrill seekers. The hole is over 600 feet in depth and offers incredible cave diving once you reach 60 feet under the surface.
Spearfishing is also big when diving in September since there is a lot to catch this month. Lobster are in season, as well as Grouper, Snapper, Hogfish and Lionfish. Some of the best islands to go are Guana Cay, Nassau, the Spanish Wells on Eleuthera and Andros Islands’ long barrier reef. Be sure to read up on all the specifics of spearfishing laws in the Bahamas before setting out to make a catch.
Swim with the Stingrays
September’s warm waters also make it a great month for swimming with sea creatures, including stingrays. Great Harbour Cay in the Berry Islands or the coast of Bimini are the best places to wade in 3-4ft deep water with dozens of Southern stingrays. You can also have an incredible time at the The Atlantis Stingray Experience which is home to a host of cownose rays. Cownose rays are known for their rounded face and pointed wings and cute appearance.
September is also still part of turtle hatching season, which is a breathtaking phenomenon. If the island you’re staying on has turtle nests, it’s also possible you’ll get the chance to witness them hatching and heading to sea. You can find turtles all over the Bahamas, but some of the best places to go are Great Abaco Island, Rose Island, or Conception Island National Park.
While you won’t be able to swim with the babies or approach their nest, you can view them from afar. You can also swim with the adult turtles on a variety of different tours.
Lastly, you can take a dip in the ocean with the famous swimming pigs. Exuma is the top destination and is usually busy, but will be significantly less crowded in September. 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.
Go Fly Fishing
The Bahamas is a prime location for fishing both inshore and offshore. In September, 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, Grouper, Shark, or Snapper 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.
Shop the Local Markets
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.
Take a Sunset Cruise
Nothing is better than ending the day with a beautiful Bahamian sunset cruise. Many of the cruises set sail from Nassau or Paradise Island and serve a dinner of local delicacies like barbecue ribs, lemon pepper chicken and Bahama Mama cocktails. While on board passengers are treated to music, dancing and more before making port. This is an incredible way to end a vacation or spend a romantic date night together.
During the day there is a lot to do on land from touring the historical sites to indulging in island delicacies. Bus tours are a great option in September to avoid the heat or the rain while also learning about the Bahamas’ history. Bus tours go to all the significant locations and usually last half a day. Some of the stops can even include food from popular local eateries, which really make the excursion worth it.
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.
Lastly, beach buggy tours are tailor made for adventure seekers who want a more challenging experience. You can find them for rent on Nassau and they seat up to 6 people for however long you want them. Tour options range from going it completely alone to booking a guide to take you to the biggest sites including the Queen’s Staircase, Fort Fincastle, and Fort Charlotte among others.
September Events in Bahamas
All Abaco Sailing Regatta
This massive sailing event is held annually and is open to thousands of local sloops who gather to race. In addition to several races held between some of the small Abacos islands, there are lots of oceanfront and beach activities held for observers and one big party at the end of the event.
September in the Bahamas might be rainier than most months, but when the sun is shining the islands are just as gorgeous. The good things about visiting the Bahamas in September is that you can book a spontaneous trip and you also have a good chance of saving a lot of money on your vacation. Lots of visitors prefer to visit other months when the weather is guaranteed cool and clear, but you can still have just as much fun in a hot and wet month like September.
The key to visiting the Bahamas in September is to plan for the inclement weather and keep an eye on the daily forecast. It’s easy to have a great time when you keep these things in mind and plan your activities and outings around the rain.
If you’re looking for a quick getaway this month, nothing beats a short trip to Bimini. It’s got all the great things the Bahamas has to offer and it’s easy to get to via any form of transportation. The islands have lots of great diving sites and good fishing off the coast. The beaches are beautiful here and sunset cruises are a great way to end the day.
If you want to save money and don’t mind planning around possible thunderstorms or hurricanes, September is a month to consider. You’ll definitely score a great deal on travel expenses in September and you’ll get the islands nearly all to yourself.
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.