The location of Bimini
Bimini is the southernmost archipelago of the Bahamas, and it is the Bahamas’ closest point to the United States. It is located app. 80 kilometres east of Miami and 210 kilometres west of Nassau. It has a population of around 2, 000 people. It consists of three islands: North Bimini, South Bimini and East Bimini. The most significant one of them is North Bimini. The island is app. 11 kilometres long and 200 metres wide. Alice Town is the capital and also the centre of the archipelago. The international airport can be found on South Bimini. Cay Sal Bank is located to the south, app. 100 kilometres away. Although it also belongs to the Bimini area, it is not part of the archipelago geographically.
The history of Bimini
Before the Spanish arrived on the Bahamas, Bimini – similarly to the other islands – was inhabited by Lucayan Indians. Ponce de León might have been the first European explorer visiting the island during his Floridian exploration in 1513. During the 1700s, there was a large number of pirates in the area. They were waiting for the Spanish galleys arriving from the New World in the shallow waters. The repopulation of the island began in the 1800s. The first families earned their living by fishing and clearing up debris.
At the end of the 19th century, cotton trade provided prosperity for people on most islands including Bimini. The real flourishing started in the 1920s, during the prohibition of alcohol, as the prohibition did not apply to Bimini. During this time, a large number of ships were anchoring around Bimini, which was used for storing alcoholic beverages by American rum traders. Today, Bimini is a first-class tourist destination. The exclusive hotels and casinos attract gamblers, and the island is also a popular place among anglers thanks to the Bimini Game Club.
The climate of Bimini
Bimini has a subtropical climate, characterised by moderate warm weather during the entire year. The average annual temperature is 28° Celsius; this means 21° Celsius in the winter and 27° Celsius in the summer. The temperature rarely drops below 16° Celsius or above 32° Celsius. The dominant wind blows from the northeast in the winter and from the southeast in the summer, freshening up the air a bit. The velocity of the wind is an average of 15 km/h during the entire year. Most of the precipitation falls in the summer months. At the end of the summer – during the period between June and November – the tropical cyclones (hurricanes) may be a threat.
The strong wind (with a blast of over 90 km/h) and the seawater that rises, as a result, may cause heavy damage. The weather is usually pleasant in Bimini during the whole year, meaning that sailing is also enjoyable in all seasons. We should definitely avoid the hurricane season though, as storms may be very challenging.
The main attractions in Bimini
Bimini is a small pearl of the Bahamas. Amazing beaches, excellent bays and water activities. Despite its small size, we can find everything here, that we like so much in the Bahamas. There is another reason that makes the archipelago unique among the neighbouring islands: its rich history, the traces of which are still visible today. The shipwreck of the famous American ship SS Sapona is located near South Bimini. The Fountain of Youth can also be found in the south; Indian legend has it that its water has a rejuvenating effect.
Bimini Road lies near the shores of North Bimini; they say that it was part of the sunken city Atlantis. There are two lighthouses of over 200 years old towering in the sky here as well; the one on Gun Cay has been guiding Bahamian sailors since 1836. The other one, namely the Great Isaac Tower is located 30 kilometres from Bimini; it was built in 1859. With its height of 45 metres, it is the highest lighthouse in the area.
The gastronomy of Bimini
If you would like to try the cuisine of Bimini, you must visit one of the local snack bars and restaurants. Besides filling our bellies, we can also get to know the locals, get an insight into authentic Bahamian fish frying and try different delicacies. One of the unique Bahamian specialties is the conch and the salad prepared with it. Some of the restaurants have an open kitchen setting, providing us with the opportunity to see how the food we ordered is prepared. The restaurants on the beach are more romantic, offering a wonderful view of the sea. They serve fresh frutti di mare, sushi and hamburgers, always with a twist by the local chefs. If we prefer to play it safe, we can choose from traditional American and Italian dishes as well.
Beaches in Bimini
One of the most popular and best-known beaches can be found on North Bimini, directly next to Queen’s Highway. It is a very long shore segment – almost 3 kilometres in length – stretching from Alice Town all the way to Bailey Town. They refer to it as Radio Beach most of the time, but in fact, it consists of three connected beaches. Radio Beach is followed by Blister Beach and Spook Hill Beach. It would be a tough call to name the best or most beautiful one, and it is not in our place to do so. It depends entirely on you which parts you will like the best and where you want to spend a beautiful day.
Tiki Hut Beach
There are several cosy and peaceful beaches on South Bimini. Tiki Hut Beach might be the most significant one. It is a white sandy beach located on the western coast and has a length of over 2 kilometres. The shores are surrounded by breathtaking flora consisting of rattans, sisals and unique tropical flowers.
Honeymoon Beach is the famous beach of Gun Cay, located south of Bimini. The origin of the name is unknown, but make no mistake, the beach is not only for lovers. We can only approach it on a boat or on any other types of vessels. The beach is covered by warm sand, and diving in the incredibly clean water is a fantastic experience. There are several stingray species living near the beach, which have been so used to the presence of humans that they just swim around in peace. If we are careful enough and pay attention no to step on them, the chances of being stung are very slim. We can even touch or feed them.
North Cat Cay Beach
There are white sandy beaches all over the western coast of North Cat Cay. We can collect beautiful shells and other treasures on the beach. As the sea is very calm here, it is ideal for waterskiing, surfing and kayaking. The Bahamian waters are the cleanest on these parts, making them perfect for snorkelling as well. Divers can venture further out towards the Gulf stream where they can explore amazing reefs and giant tropical fish in the deep waters.
Boat rental in Bimini
There are ports on all islands of the Bimini area that offer a full service to sailors. Most of these are ports of entry, so we can take care of clearance practically anywhere. The service offered is professional. and every sailor will find the marina or anchorage that best suits their needs.
As its name suggests, the main island of the archipelago, North Bimini, is located in the north. The most important towns of the area can be found here: Alice Town, Bailey Town and Paradise Point. The archipelago is sparsely populated; most people live in North Bimini, which is the most buzzing island. There are several restaurants, bars and shops that visitors can choose from; the Hemingway Museum is located in Alice Town. Bimini Road, which is among the most exciting diving spots in the Bahamas, can be found in the northern corner of the island. They say that this is where the remains of the sunken city Atlantis are. There are many yacht marinas, anchorages and long beaches here.
Blue Water Marina, Browns Marina and Resort Word Bimini are all great establishments providing full service. Weech’s Bimini Dock is a cheaper and less exclusive marina, but we can find all the basic amenities here as well. Bimini Big Club is very popular among the visitors of Bimini; it is a first-class entertainment facility and a yacht marina at the same time
Bimini Big Game Club
Bimini Big Game Club was started by Neville Stuart in 1936. The businessman organised ambitious fishing contests that attracted anglers from all over the world. The club operated mainly as an exquisite restaurant first. In 1954, they moved to their current location, Alice Town, and then the place became a major venue for big-game fishing. The club earned its current shape during the 1970s; that is when the amazing yacht marina was added. The mission of the club’s owners is to preserve their heritage for the future. It has become one of the major holiday resorts for anglers, and they have added several events to their portfolio. Regardless of why we arrive on Bimini, we will definitely find some of these events interesting. We can go fishing, scuba-diving or just enjoy the amazing atmosphere of this old historic place.
Blue Water Marina
Blue Water Marina is a great yacht marina, providing full comfort to its guests. We can refuel, replenish our water and ice supplies, use the showers and the laundry service and visit the amazing restaurant. They accommodate 36 boats, and the depth of water is app. 4 metres. We can choose from many diving, fishing and other watersport activities.
Browns Marina is the first yacht marina of the Port of Bimini, located along a 60-metre-long boardwalk. They accommodate bigger boats with a larger draft. They provide access to Wi-Fi, electricity, and they also have showers. The port has its own bar, and there is also a nice picnic place and a grill.
South Bimini is the second-largest island of the archipelago. There are many private estates here making this place less significant in terms of tourism than its northern counterpart. However, the most important international airport of the archipelago, South Bimini Airport, is located here. The yacht marina called Bimini Sands Marina has a Blue Flag certificate thanks to its excellent waters. Also, the services offered here will cater to all the needs of yacht owners. There are customs and immigration office at the entrance where we can arrange our clearance. It is in the ideal central destination. Nixon’s Harbour is located in the southern corner of the island with great anchorages and moorings. The famous wreck of the SS Sappona can also be found nearby; it is a popular diving and snorkeling spot.
Bimini Sands Marina
The port of South Bimini is a very well-protected deep sea anchorage only a few kilometres from the ocean. The beach is marvellous, and it is also a great snorkelling spot. The yacht port can accommodate 75 vessels, the depth of water is 2.5 metres. There is a restaurant, a bar and a grocery store as well. Spending the night on the sandy beach will be a fitting conclusion of our Bimini holiday
There are some smaller islands south of Bimini. The first is Gun Cay, app. 10 kilometres from the southern corner of South Bimini. One of the most popular anchorages is at the northern end; all Bahamian sailors stop at Honeymoon Harbour. The area is spectacular, and its beach is among the most beautiful ones. A unique symbol of the island is the lighthouse located in the south, standing here since 1836.
Cat Cays is the other island’s name, south of Bimini. In fact, it consists of two islands, North Cat Cay and South Cat Cay. North Cat Cay is privately-owned and is run by the Cat Cay Yacht Club. Since this is a private island, access is limited, and we are only allowed to dock temporarily in the marina. There is a restaurant, a shop and a bar, which will all make our stay here more pleasant. We must definitely visit this beautiful area around the port. South Cat Cay is not very developed yet. but we can still find great anchorages at Moxom Rocks. There is an amazing diving spot, Tuna Alley, near the shores. They have placed out mooring buoys to provide help with securing the boats to those who visit for a dive.
Cat Cay Yacht Club
If you do not own a property, your only opportunity to spend a few nights here is at Cat Cay Marina. The port is among the best-protected and best-equipped establishments in the area. There are 180 berths here and they also provide a fuel dock. The beach is very calm and enchanting, and there are great diving and fishing spots in the near vicinity. Find yacht charter in the Bahamas
Rent a boat in Bimini, and cruise around Bimini
Day 1. South Bimini, Bimini Sands Marina – North Bimini, Bimini Big Game Club 2.00 km (1.24 mi), Day 2. North Bimini – Port Lucaya, Grand Bahama 112.90 km (70.16 mi), Day 3. Port Lucaya – Old Bahama Bay 47.80 km (29.70 mi), Day 4. Old Bahama Bay – Blue Water Marina, North Bimini 115.20 km (71.58 mi), Day 5. North Bimini – North Cat Cay 20.40 km (12.68 mi), Day 6. North Cat Cay – Gun Cay 4.00 km (2.49 mi), Day 7. Gun Cay – South Bimini 13.80 km (8.57 mi)
More about sailing in Bimini
Sailing from Miami to Bimini
Day 1. Miami – Port Royal 82, 63 km (51, 34 mi), Day 2. Port Royal – Gun Cay (Honeymoon Harbour) 13, 86 km (8, 61 mi), Day 3. Gun Cay – Ocean Cay 21, 53 km (13, 38 mi), Day 4. Ocean Cay – North Cat Cay (Honeymoon Harbour), Day 5. North Cat Cay – Bailey Town 17, 74 km (11, 02 mi), Day 6. Bailey Town – Alice Town 2, 39 km (1, 48 mi), Day 7. Alice Town – Miami 82, 95 km (51, 54 mi)
You can find more information about sailing from Miami to Bimini or Bahamas sailing itineraries. More Bahamas sailing destinations