Chase the Sun and Join the Junkanoo Festivities in the Bahamas

With clear skies and 470,000 km of crystalline waters, the sixteen major Bahamas islands offer a perfect escape from winter weather and no shortage of fun on land and at sea.

Whether you’re into swimming, fishing, diving, or just relaxing on the beach, the Bahamas will spoil you for choice. Take some time to connect with nature with a bit of eco-tourism at Lucayan, Blue Holes, Conception Island or any of the many national parks and reserves on this breathtaking archipelago.

The Junkanoo Festival

The Junkanoo is one of the Caribbean's most vibrant carnivals. Its origins are the stuff of lore, some crediting it to John Canoe, an 18th-century West African prince and Caribbean hero. The festival derives its name from one given to this legendary Akan warrior. However it started, the Junkanoo has evolved into a grand parade celebrating the islands’ culture. Up to 1000 Bahamians spend the year making costumes and practising their entertainment for the big event. The result is a vibrant and colourful street parade with dancing to the beat of goatskin drums, cowbells clanging, and whistles blowing in the wee hours of the night. The winter Junkanoo celebrations include Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and New Year’s Day. The largest Junkanoo parade is on Bay Street in downtown Nassau, but Bahamians make their own Junkanoo on nearly all 16 islands.

Here’s a tip, if you can’t make the Junkanoo carnival in winter, it all happens again on Saturdays throughout July.

Junkanoo festival costumes and music
The Junkanoo festival costumes

Where to stay

There are dozens of fine resorts on the islands, some more tailored to couples and others centred around families. We have some excellent recommendations if you want to stay near Nassau for the main Junkanoo Festival.

Rosewood Baha Mar

The sophisticated Rosewood Baha Mar on Nassau’s Cable Beach offers a combination of rooms, suites and ocean-side villas.

Enjoy a workout at the fitness centre, join a group class, treat yourself to a treatment at Sense, the Rosewood Spa, and a beauty treatment at the salon. Get your swing at the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course or the racquet club.

Kids can frolic at the beachfront water park or join the dedicated explorer’s club for fun and adventure. Try your luck at the casino, and enjoy the nightlife.

There are over 40 restaurants and lounges at Baha Mar to satisfy your cravings. Two to consider: Café Boulud offers French cuisine in a pleasant indoor-outdoor setting, and Costa offers fresh flavours of Mexican Coastal cuisine.

Relaxing pool view with gazebo and chairs
Relaxing pool with gazebo.

The Ocean Club

The Ocean Club on Paradise Island, which opened in 1962, remains a treasured playground for those who value luxury and privacy—just ask James Bond. This Four Seasons Resort, featured in the 2006 Casino Royale, is a Bahamian landmark just a short drive across the bay from downtown Nassau.

The resort offers eight kilometres of white-sand beach, with low-rise buildings nestled into 14 hectares of peaceful lawns and gardens.

You can book rooms, suites, intimate bungalows or family-sized beach-side villas—all elegantly appointed with a unique Bahamian flair.

Take some time to stroll through the tiered Versailles gardens, or go for a round of golf at Ocean Club golf course. Let one of the Four Seasons yogi's guide you through a sun salutation at the beach or indulge in a treatment at one of the resort’s Balinese-style spa villas.

Let the Martini Bar and Lounge’s expert mixologists make your favourite adult beverage to help you unwind. Dine at Dune, where Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges serves French-Asian fusion cuisine atop a white-sand bluff.

How to get there

If you’re traveling in a larger group, fly to Nassau in the luxury of a long-range Gulfstream G650, ensuring you can stretch out and rest comfortably. Don’t limit yourself to one Bahamas getaway—island hopping by plane is a breeze because each of the larger Bahamian islands has an airport which can accommodate light aircraft. LunaJets advisors can help you coordinate any day-trip connections you’d like to make, and local FBOs offer the service and support you need for a safe, seamless experience.