Port Lucaya - Site Sightings and Shopping Trip
Duration: Half Day
Spend a day exploring the highlights of Port Lucaya during your holiday in the Bahamas. This bustling port is the centre of activity on Grand Bahama, the fourth largest island of the Bahamas. Cruise ship passengers and tourists can make the most of some of the best duty-free shopping in the country at Port Lucaya Marketplace and Marina, whilst live entertainment and a vibrant nightlife will keep you up until the early hours if you have any energy left!
Make sure you arrive early if you want to avoid the crowds at Port Lucaya because this vibrant centre soon gets busy. Mornings are usually bustling with ship captains and tour operators encouraging tourists to book all sorts of day trips and activities, ranging from glass-bottom boat trips and snorkeling to sport fishing and parasailing. One of the port’s biggest attractions, however, is Port Lucaya Marketplace, which boasts the best shopping centre on the island. Situated on the former site of a Bahamian straw market, this six-acre waterfront complex comprises a vast number of restaurants, bars and shops, where visitors can buy anything and everything at heavily discounted prices. Fine emerald jewellery, crystal, china, perfume, luxury goods, handmade island clothing, original Bahamian artwork and all sorts of gifts and souvenirs can be found here. Traditional Bahamian straw crafts are amongst the most popular souvenirs to take home, and you can watch local artisans skilfully making beautiful baskets, mats and bags whilst you are there.
If you need to refuel after all that shopping, there are plenty of bars, cafés and restaurants scattered in the marketplace and along the harbour. This is a great place to relax and sample all sorts of Bahamian and International cuisine whilst enjoying beautiful waterfront views. You will also find all sorts of sumptuous Bahamian delicacies from vendors in the market around Count Basie Square, including pastries, desserts, fresh tropical fruits, fresh seafood, conch dishes, coconut water and much more besides.
As the sun goes down, Port Lucaya’s buzzing night scene springs to life, and you will find a wide range of bars, nightclubs and casinos open until the early hours of the morning. Some of the finest Bahamian entertainment on the islands, however, can be found in the Marketplace. The courtyard has a fun festival atmosphere as the sounds of steel bands and musicians get both locals and tourists up on their feet to dance. Spectacular cultural shows, featuring live music and traditional Junkanoo dancers with vibrant feathered costumes, also take place daily. This is a great way to observe the rich Bahamian culture before dancing the night away under the stars.
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Despite its turbulent beginning, the Baha Mar resort in the Bahamas is due to open in April, 2017. According to the island nation’s Prime Minister, Perry Christie, the $3.5 billion resort will launch its first phase with the partial opening of a casino hotel that will be operated by Hyatt Hotels, and will have 1,800 guest rooms and suites. The rest of the development will be opened in further stages in 2017.
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