Thinking of Bahamas Carnival 2024? Not to be confused with the traditional Junkanoo parades of The Bahamas; Bahamas Carnival is a newer Caribbean carnival also known as Mas in Paradise. Think vibrant costumes, friendly, energetic locals and a parade that follows the pristine beaches in the capital of Nassau, New Providence. If you want to know more… keep reading.
Bahamas Carnival 2024 is slated for dates May 16 – 20th, 2024. The parade of bands takes place on Saturday May 18th, 2024 typically starting mid morning (around 10am) and ends after sunset. This carnival is doable over a weekend (Friday to Sunday) but to get a mix of parties, carnival, beaches and more – try traveling Thursday to Tuesday to incorporate sight seeing, a beach day and the opportunity to try authentic Bahamian food.
It takes place in Nassau, New Providence in The Bahamas. You can fly into Sir Lynden Pindling International airport (airport code NAS) via flagship carrier BahamasAir, Western Air, Caribbean Airlines, Delta, Jet Blue and the list goes on. The flight is usually 3 hours or less from the eastern coast of the United States. One thing to note is that the airport in Nassau has US pre-clearance so no long immigration lines when you get back home. 🙂
Places To Stay?
There are an abundance of hotels, Airbnbs that you can book for your stay during carnival time. Hotels typically start around $120 and up a night and some Airbnbs can start under $100.
List of Hotels in Nassau, Bahamas (click names for links)
- Comfort Suites Paradise Island
- CourtYard By Marriott
- Graycliff Hotel
- Goldwynn Resorts & Residences
- Breezes Resort & Spa (all inclusive)
- Colony Club Inn & Suites
- SandyPort Beach Resort
- The Island House
- Baha Mar Resorts
- Ocean Club, Four Seasons
- Sandals Royal Bahamian (all inclusive)
- MargaritaVille Resort
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites
- Compass Point Resorts
- RIU Palace Paradise Island
- Warwick Paradise Island (all inclusive)
- A Stone’s ThrowAway
- Orange Hill Beach Inn Hotel
If you opt for AirBnB’s, a few locations that are close to the beach and in reasonable distance to downtown Nassau are:
- Bay Street
- West Bay Street
- Downtown Nassau
- Baha Mar Blvd
- Cable Beach
- Orange Hill Beach
- Nirvana Beach
- Love Beach
- Saunders Beach
- Paradise Island
If you’re wondering where to find and see Bahamas Carnival costumes; here are several bands you can check out online. Bands tend to launch mid January or later. Costumes (believe it or not) still start around $350 USD and up for a male or backline costume depending on your preferences.
- Bahamas Masqueraders
- Euphoria Madness Carnival
- Island Rhythms Mas Band
- Barabbas Carnival Tribe
- Mas Khaos
- Saga Carnival
- Celebrits Mas
For anyone looking for makeup services, check out this list of MUA’s in Nassau, Bahamas.
Fetes, Concerts and Events
Popular events/fetes and parties to look out for are the concert/party series held by Bahamas Carnival Experience, Vie Promotions, Fresh Entertainment. and GVS Pump. Look out for all day inclusive parties like La Vie, cruise/boat rides like Waves or Suits Bahamas and more. Most events will take place closer to Bay Street areas and Downtown Nassau.
There are several options for getting around Nassau, New Providence. You can rent a car starting at average $60 a day with gas prices averaging at $6 dollars a gallon (as of January 7th, 2023). Bahamians drive on the LEFT side of the road and you can get around using Google Maps. There are also taxi services average starting price $25 and up from the airport. You can hail a Jitney (public bus); they run from 7am – 7pm however you have to know the routes and just be vigilant.
What and Where To Eat?
Probably the most central and popular place to find authentic Bahamian food is the Fish Fry/Arawak Cay which is located a few minutes down the street from Downtown Nassau. Some of my favorite restaurants are Oh Andros, Goldie’s, Drifters and more. Other authentic Bahamian restaurants include The Cricket Club, Nesbitt’s, Bamboo Shack. Try a conch salad, conch fritters, sheep tongue souse, boiled fish and drinks like a Sands or Kalik Radler or a Sky Juice.
Things To Do (including Beaches)
Some of my favorite beaches to visit are Orange Hill Beach, Love Beach, Cabbage Beach (depending on the current and weather), Goodman’s Bay and Nirvana Beach. Junkanoo Beach is very conveniently located close to downtown and has a lot going on with small bars, watersports and more. Here’s a list of 15 Beaches you can visit in Nassau, Bahamas.
There’s several things to do in Nassau including tours, day trips to nearby cays/islands, swimming with pigs, food and rum tours and historical sites and museums such as:
- National Art Gallery of The Bahamas
- The Queen’s Staircase
- Straw Market
- Pompey Museum
- Heritage Museum of The Bahamas
- Fort Charlotte, Fort Montagu & Fort Fincastle
- Pirates of Nassau
Tips For Bahamas Carnival
If you need to purchase a SIM card you can check out the following mobile service providers:
The temps are definitely pretty warm (75-90’s degree Fahrenheit) during May and can get pretty hot mid-day so definitely wear sunscreen, stay hydrated and wear comfortable shoes. Please note that Bahamas Carnival does not have an “official rest stop”. In 2023, Bahamas Masqueraders had designated food trucks/stations at a point throughout the route. The bands tend to stop around Arawak Cay, which has a plethora of restaurants and food stalls.
How Much Is Bahamas Carnival?
Costs definitely vary because everyone has their preferences, nonnegotiables but I would say to average
a minimum of $2500 dollars per person to cover the essentials for Bahamas Carnival. For any other questions or individual itineraries, check out our Carnival Itinerary service.
For a video guide on Bahamas Carnival, check out my YouTube channel:
Here’s 2023’s Bahamas Carnival Vlog: