Both the Bahamas and St Thomas are popular destinations for both cruise and stop over visitors to the Caribbean.
In this article, we compare and contrast these two islands to help you decide which is better for your next Caribbean vacation.
As a general rule, the Bahamas is ideal for persons seeking an active nightlife environment and also those who want to enjoy the largest waterpark in the Caribbean. Alternatively, St Thomas is suitable for individuals who love white sand beaches and a quieter and laid back nightlife atmosphere.
Read on for further details and explanations on how these two beautiful Caribbean Islands compare. This article is written by a Caribbean national familiar with both destinations.
Bahamas Vs St Thomas- Which Destination Is Bigger
Home to the largest waterpark in the Caribbean, the Bahamas is the bigger of the two islands.
It is 5,359 square miles consisting of about 700 islands, cays and islets.
The most populous island is New Providence Island where the capital city of Nassau is located and where over 70% lives.
On the other hand, St Thomas is 32 square miles. Furthermore, St Thomas is part of the island group called the United States Virgin Islands (USVI).
The other major USVI are St John, St Croix and Water Island.
According to The Virgin Islands Consortium, based on a US census as at April 01st, 2020, the population of St Thomas was 42,261.
Bahamas Vs St Thomas- Entry Requirements
As an overseas territory of the United States of America, no passport is required for US Citizens, to enter and exit St Thomas.
Alternatively, US citizens require a passport and proof of return ticket to enter into the Bahamas.
Bahamas Vs St Thomas- What Are Island Hopping Opportunities
The beauty of visiting both destinations is the option of island hopping to other territories.
From St Thomas, a traveler has the option of going to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) via ferry services.
However, US travelers require a passport for entry into the BVI from St Thomas.
Along the same lines, travelers can access Florida from the Bahamas via ferry services.
Individuals can travel to and from Fort Lauderdale, Florida via the fast ferry service Balearia Caribbean to the Bahamas.
The ferry docks in Grand Bahama Island and Bimini.
Bahamas Vs St Thomas- What Are The Official Currencies
Both destinations have different currencies as its official currency.
As an overseas dependency of the United States of America, the US dollar is the official currency of St Thomas.
Contrastingly, the official currency of the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar since the year 1966. The currency is issued and managed by the Central Bank of The Bahamas and is divided into 100 cents.
Bank notes are available 50, 20,10,5 and $1 denominations. Coins are available in 25, 10 and 5 cent pieces. The symbol is B$.
Nevertheless, US dollars and coins are widely accepted by businesses both small and large on the island.
Casinos on the island only accept US dollars and the ATM machines at these locations dispense US dollars.
Bahamas Vs St Thomas- What Is The Landscape Like In Both Destinations
The landscape of both islands is dissimilar. St Thomas is mountainous in appearance while the Bahamas is flat and low lying in topography.
The highest peak in St Thomas is Crown Mountain at an elevation of 1,556 feet while Mount Alvernia is the tallest peak in the Bahamas at 206 feet.
This mountain is also locally known as Como Hill.
Bahamas Vs St Thomas- Which Destination Has Better Nightlife
Entertainment in both islands consists mainly of nightclubs, casinos, beach bars and restaurants.
The Bahamas is the larger of the two islands and hence there is a larger number of entertainment spots concentrated mainly in the Freeport and Nassau regions.
Bones Bar, Aura and the Atlantis are three spots to explore for nightlife while in the Bahamas.
For entertainment both day and night, Arawak Cay in Nassau is a must visit stop if you want to delve deeper into local traditional food and drink.
Even though St Thomas is smaller and is quieter than the Bahamas there are enough places to visit so you are not visiting the same venues every day.
Generally, there are more restaurants and bars on St Thomas than the other USVI with Red Hook, Frenchtown and Haven Sight areas being hot spots.
These are located near to each other so it is easy for individuals to bar hop.
Bahamas Vs St Thomas- Which Destination Has Better Beaches
Once more with the larger landmass, Bahamas has many more beach options to choose from as the destination has approximately 2000 beaches. Alternatively, St Thomas has over 40 beaches.
Both islands can boast of having magnificent white sand beaches with Magens Bay being one of the most popular in St Thomas.
Magens Bay is a beautiful one mile stretch of white sand.
It has calm waters with no reefs or sharp currents which makes this beach perfect for swimming and great for children.
An entry fee is charged to keep the beach and facilities in good order.
In terms of snorkeling, Coki beach on the East coast of St Thomas is one of the more preferred options.
The reef of this beach is located near the shoreline which makes it easy for individuals with little or no experience to enjoy snorkeling.
Gold Rock Beach, Cable Beach and Tropic of Cancer Beach are three of the amazing spots to visit for beautiful white and powdery sand in the Bahamas.
The Bahamas is also known for having pink sand beaches with one of the most famous one being Pink Sand Beach on Harbour Island.
This island is only 3.5 miles long and 1.5 miles and is popular stop for affluent visitors.
The sand on pink sand beach has its distinct pink color due to the presence of foraminifera.
For a unique experience, Pig Beach on the island of Exuma is the perfect for those who want to swim with pigs.
Bahamas Vs St Thomas- Unique Things To Do In Both Destinations
Blue Lagoon Island, Bahamas– located only 5km from the capital city of Nassau, this island is accessible via a 40 minute boat ride.
This excursion is perfect for individuals of all ages. Visitors to Blue Lagoon Island can enjoy watersports and swimming in calm, crystal clear water.
This island is the home to dolphins, sea lions and stingrays.
Hassel Island, St Thomas– this is a small island consisting of only 135 acres which is accessible via a short boat ride from the capital city, Charlotte Amalie.
There are ruins on the island that shows the Danish and British history of the territory.
On a whole, the Bahamas is suitable for persons seeking a vibrant nightlife atmosphere and swimming with pigs on Exuma Island. On the other hand, St Thomas is ideal for US travelers who want to leave the mainland but remain on US soil while enjoying amazing white sand beaches with turquoise waters.
Need More Information?
Our aim of this publication is to provide valuable content to persons seeking to relocate or travel to the Caribbean.
There are more articles available on the website on the Bahamas, St Thomas and the rest of the Caribbean which can be accessed using the search bar located on the top of this page.
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