Cancun vs The Bahamas: Which Destination is Best for You?


Cancun and The Bahamas are incredible destinations, both with vibrant cultures, friendly people, unique landscapes, and so much to discover. Both of these are Caribbean destinations. Cancun is most known for its rainforests, mountains, and white sand beaches, and The Bahamas is a crowd favorite thanks to its pink and white sand beaches, endless islands to explore, great diving opportunities, and awesome all-inclusive resorts like Sandals Emerald Bay in The Exumas and Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau.

If you’re caught between these two worlds and you’re trying to decide which destination will be best for your next getaway, have no fear. By the end of this article, you’ll know more than enough to help you make the best destination decision for the ultimate vacation!

Activities: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

Relaxing on the beach

Beaches in The Bahamas

The Bahamas makes for the ideal beach escape with more than 2,000 beaches to choose from. These beaches are spread across the chain of 700 islands and over 2000 cays that make up this coral archipelago. There is a beach to suit just about every mood- relaxation time, adventure, and exploration.


Beaches in Cancun


The beaches in Cancun each offer a unique atmosphere that will suit the experience and adventures that you seek. If you’re looking for some downtime and a sun tan, Playa Defines is the place to be! The strong currents will encourage you to stay on shore and get some Vitamin D while relaxing and sampling local food and drinks. If you’re up for an adventure, then the Puerto Morelos beach in the South of Cancun gives you access to the Mesoamerican Coral Reef - the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere.

Snorkeling/Scuba diving: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

Snorkeling and scuba diving in The Bahamas

When it comes to diving in The Bahamas, you may be wondering what you might encounter beneath the waves. There is just so much to see in the waters around The Bahamas, and there are so many locations to dive! This is definitely one of those diving destinations where you’re going to need a solid plan to stay on track. Make up your mind about which of the incredible dive sites you want to explore first, and you’ll be well on your way.


Some divers prefer to start in Nassau (the capital), with dive sites like Runway Wall, the James Bond Wrecks, and Bahama Mama. From Nassau, it’s easy to make your way to the other islands like Eleuthera where you can dive at Current Cut, Grand Bahama with the popular Tiger Beach, Bimini’s Victory Reef, or the Andros Barrier Reef in Andros. Snorkelers and scuba divers will both be happy in The Bahamas for the wide range of spectacular dive excursions to choose from, suitable for all dive levels.

Snorkeling and scuba diving in Cancun

Diving introduces you to a whole new way to see the world. In Cancun, you can snorkel or scuba dive in places like Isla Mujeres, which is a perfect day trip. This is best reserved for the months of June through to September and is ideal for divers who won’t be intimidated by big sightings – like whale sharks. There are many types of reef fish to see, and dolphins can often be found swimming a little further off. Lobsters and eagle rays are also common sightings, and you may spot various species of sea turtles, sailfish, lobsters, and maybe even nurse sharks.


Some of the best diving spots in Cancun include the MUSA Underwater Museum which features some interesting sculptures you won’t have to dive too deep to see: Minesweeper Wreck, Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park, The National Reef Park of Puerto Morelos, The Cave of Sleeping Sharks, and Xel-ha eco-park.

Landscape & climate: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

The landscape & climate of The Bahamas

The Bahamas is a tropical archipelago that includes 700 islands and more than 2,000 cays. Most of these islands are not as developed as the capital, Nassau, but many are still major tourist attractions and are preserved by the Bahamian government. Though The Bahamas is very well preserved and green in general, on the more developed islands the infrastructure is quite advanced in comparison to some Caribbean islands.

The topography of The Bahamas is rather flat, so you won’t find much in terms of waterfalls and rolling hills. The territory does however have a number of interesting limestone cave systems, some of the deepest blue holes in the world, and beautiful woodlands.

The landscape & climate of Cancun

Cancun is located on the northeast point of the Yucatan Peninsula, 350 miles southeast of Miami, Florida. Cancun is a tropical region with predominantly flat terrain, and many limestone caves.

Peak season: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

The Bahamas

In The Bahamas, the peak season occurs during the months of December to April. During this time, temperatures range from 63°F- 82°F, making it the perfect time to escape from colder climates. Even if you can’t make it to the islands during this time, The Bahamas is amazing to visit year-round.


The peak season in Cancun begins in November and, like many Caribbean islands, ends in April, which is about the end of winter in the United States. There’s also another peak during spring break around Easter.

The food: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

The options are endless for unique dishes in both Cancun and The Bahamas. What you’ll really have to decide on before heading to either of these destinations is whether you prefer Spanish food or the heartwarming flavors of the Caribbean.

Popular food in The Bahamas

The Bahamas is great if you want to try classic Caribbean food, but even with the similarity of cooking styles in the islands, the food scene in The Bahamas has an identity of its own. Some of the commonly used ingredients in Bahamian cuisine include guava, rock lobster, and conch. There are hints of cooking flair from the American South in the seasonings and some of the side dishes, such as grits. Other dishes like fresh seafood, fried fish and chicken, and peas n’ rice are common to the Caribbean and complement some of the more original Bahamian dishes.


Popular menu items in The Bahamas include minced lobster, conch dishes (conch salad, conch fritters, cracked conch, conch chowder), baked macaroni and cheese, steamed/baked chicken, and beverages like Switcha (Bahamian lemonade), Sky Juice (a cocktail with coconut water, gin, and condensed milk), or a local Caribbean beer like Kalik or Sands.

Popular food in Cancun


Popular dishes in Cancun include Marquesitas (crispy crepe rolled up and filled with melted shredded cheese and a sweet filling), castacan (fried pork belly), panuchos (tortilla shell stuffed with refried beans with added toppings), salbutes (similar but less crispy than panuchos and also with no refried beans), sikil pak (Mayan pumpkin seed dip), tacos de Cochinita Pibil (slow-roasted pork dish), sopa de lima (lime soup), drinks like pozol (highly energizing), the Banana Monkey (coffee liquor, chocolate, banana, and coconut), Michelada beer, and so much more. There’s definitely no short supply of things to try in Cancun, which is great for adventurous travelers.

Where to stay: The Bahamas vs. Cancun

Where to stay in The Bahamas


Islands in The Bahamas including New Providence Island (Nassau), Paradise Island, Abaco, the Exumas, Eleuthera, and Harbour Island are popular choices for you to The Bahamas. Sandals Emerald Bay in the Exumas is a great all-inclusive option, which includes an award-winning Greg Norman's Championship golf course. This resort is set on the beachfront with water sports and land sports galore - all included in your stay. In Nassau, Sandals Royal Bahamian is a dream for couples who want the royal treatment, and a chance to explore a private island as part of their all-inclusive vacation!

Where to stay in Cancun

It’s a good idea to stay in Zona Hotelera if you’re interested in being near the beach in Cancun. This area is also a good place to find luxury and all-inclusive hotels. Budget travelers will prefer the Cancun Downtown / El Centro area. Punta Cancun is a good nightlife option and Isla Mujeres is great for families.

As always, reach out to your Cupcake Castles Travel Agent to find the best location for YOUR travel needs! Don't have an agent, no worries! Contact us today to get started!