Ecotourism in the Bahamas
The islands of the Bahamas are one of the most popular in the Caribbean, and for good reason – the beaches are phenomenal, the landscape is serene, and the resorts are spectacular for an ecotourism holiday. The Bahamas are known for their impressive accommodation options, and gradually many of these resorts and escapes have incorporated philosophies of ecotourism into their operations. Topping the list – the Out Islands, which comprise most of the islands of the Bahamas, but not the two most famous – Nassau and Grand Bahama. Head away from the busier islands (although busy is all relative), and get out to the aptly named Out Islands for accommodation that represents ecotourism in the Bahamas.
Not only does Tiamo Resort love you, it loves the environment. Consistently recognised for its ecotourism philosophy and responsible actions, Tiamo’s commitment to the environment is only outdone by the environment itself. Located on South Andros Island, Tiamo offers an assortment of aquatic and nature activities in a setting that is unparalleled on islands like Nassau and Grand Bahama.
One of the best things about Tiamo is that they grow most of their own food. Whatever they don’t have, they source locally and organically as much as possible, giving guests the freshest and most flavourful cuisines available in the Bahamas. With a Michelin-trained chef on hand, crafting imaginative, traditional, and progressive Caribbean fusion cuisine, food enthusiasts will delight in this locally inspired experience.
While authentic local interactions tend to be limited when travellers stay in a secluded resort, Tiamo compensates for that by ensuring the impact on locals is positive. The resort is the largest employer on the island and is dedicated to the well-being of its employees, ensuring that the socio-economic impact on the island is yet another positive part of Tiamo’s Bahamas ecotourism experience.
Small Hope Bay Lodge
Also on Andros, but starkly contrast against Tiamo, is the small and unassuming Small Hope Bay Lodge. Don’t be fooled by its humble nature, this Bahamas eco accommodation is nothing less than impressive. Their philosophy on ecotourism is both thoughtful and astute, and they understand their role and responsibility within the environment and ecosystem of Andros Island.
Small Hope Bay Lodge and its founder, Dick Birch, are considered to be leading forces in ecotourism development on the island, the Lodge played an integral role in the establishment of the Bahamas’ largest national park, and Small Hope was one of the first to develop and maintain an Environmental Management System.
Their ecotour offerings are comprised of ways in which to explore and experience the natural environment of the island, without compromising the ecology and ecosystem. Relatively free of development and large-scale tourism seen on the major islands in the Bahamas, Andros is ideal for biking, birding, fishing, diving, snorkelling, hiking, kayaking, and nature walks, all for varying skill and experience levels.
Small Hope Bay Lodge epitomises ecotourism in the Bahamas in so many ways that it simply has to be experienced to be believed. The Lodge has adapted such an holistic approach to ecotourism, that visitors will leave with an enhanced attitude towards the environment and their ability to yield a positive impact.
Hotel Higgins Landing
Not to be overlooked is Higgins Landing, another small yet mighty eco resort, located on Stocking Island in the Exumas. When the owners landed on Stocking Island, they found a tropical paradise with no cars, no roads, a measly seven inhabitants, and no utilities. Rather than opt out in favour of an easier location, the owners elected to implement solar power, and established a photovoltaic solar electric system, complimented by an award-winning biological composting toilet system.
An industry leader in ecotourism in the Bahamas, Hotel Higgins Landing provides an environmentally stellar and unique setting, with white beaches, underwater caves, rare exotic orchids, and nearby shore reefs. Plenty of eco-friendly activities are available, including sailing, kayaking, snorkelling, bonefishing, and hiking, making Hotel Higgins Landing one of the most attractive ecotourism resorts in the Bahamas.
Perhaps the best thing about ecotourism in the Bahamas is that the most eco-conscious accommodations offer packages for its guests to be able to enjoy an all-encompassing Bahamas ecotourism experience. It is clear that the best of Bahamas ecotourism accommodation is in the Out Islands, so get out and enjoy!
Photo Credit: J P Newell