Jamaica vs the Bahamas: which to choose?


It’s cold out there. A Caribbean getaway has never sounded better. We get it. 

As you weigh your options in paradise, we’re sure you’ll be drawn to two island nations that have a special hold on visitors’ imaginations: Jamaica and the Bahamas. Yet since we’re equally drawn to the two countries’ stunning beaches, perfect weather and lively nightlife, recommending one over the other is above our pay grade.

Enter a pair of passionately partisan writers, here to make the case for why each of their picks makes the better choice.

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It really is better in the Bahamas – here’s why

Born-and-bred Miami native Jackie Gutierrez-Jones has traveled extensively in the nearby Bahamas, and once lived there part time for several years.

Growing up in Miami, the Caribbean was my backyard. Since road trips to other states required hours and hours of driving (not to mention extraordinary amounts of patience), there was no reason not to catch a quick ferry or flight over twinkling turquoise ocean waters to reach an island paradise in as little as 45 minutes.

I’ll take “Island Hopping” for $200.

Each of those islands became a tropical playground for me, where the sun – ever closer to the equator – would bake the impossibly clear salt water onto my skin and into my hair. This was tingling, crunchy, warmth that I longed to bottle up and take with me everywhere. And no islands quite captivated me like the Bahamas. Indeed, when my husband’s career path brought me to the island as an adult for six months out of the year, I found it heart-wrenching every time I…

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