Need help deciding whether to go to Puerto Rico or the Bahamas?
Both destinations offer a range of activities and attractions that make them popular vacation spots, but which one is better for you?
I’ve lived in Puerto Rico for 14 years so I can help you make an informed decision.
In this article, we’ll compare the Bahamas and Puerto Rico across several categories, including beaches, safety, affordability, family-friendliness, and unique activities:
– Is Puerto Rico better than the Bahamas?
– Is Puerto Rico richer than the Bahamas?
– Is it cheaper to go to the Bahamas or Puerto Rico?
– Bahamas vs Puerto Rico safety — which is safer?
– Bahamas vs Puerto Rico beaches — which has better beaches?
– Which is better for families with kids?
– Which has more fun and unique activities?
– How long should I plan my stay in the Bahamas or Puerto Rico?
– What is the local currency?
Both the Bahamas and Puerto Rico have their unique charms, making them excellent vacation destinations.
The Bahamas is known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and vibrant nightlife.
Puerto Rico on the other hand boasts a rich cultural heritage, lush rainforests, and historic architecture.
Ultimately, which destination is better depends on your personal preferences and what you’re looking for in a vacation.
If you’re seeking a laid-back beach vacation with plenty of water activities, the Bahamas may be the right choice for you. But if you’re interested in history, culture, and outdoor adventures, Puerto Rico might be more up your alley.
In addition to its beaches and nightlife, the Bahamas is also renowned for its water activities, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming with pigs.
The island also has plenty of luxury resorts and shopping opportunities, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a luxurious and relaxing vacation.
On the other hand, Puerto Rico offers a more diverse range of experiences, including hiking in the El Yunque rainforest, exploring historic Old San Juan, and kayaking in bioluminescent bays.
The island’s food scene is also noteworthy, with a mix of traditional Puerto Rican cuisine and international flavors.
Overall, the decision between the Bahamas and Puerto Rico comes down to what type of vacation experience you’re seeking, whether it be a more relaxed beach getaway or an adventure-filled cultural exploration.
Explore your options in our guide to the 45 Best Things To Do In Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico and the Bahamas have similar GDPs, with Puerto Rico’s being slightly higher.
However, the wealth of a country doesn’t necessarily translate to a better vacation experience. Both destinations offer a range of accommodations, dining options, and activities to fit various budgets.
Regardless of your budget, you can have a fantastic time in either destination.
While both destinations offer a range of accommodations, dining options, and activities to fit various budgets, there are some differences in pricing between the two.
Generally, Puerto Rico tends to be slightly more affordable than the Bahamas, particularly when it comes to accommodations and dining options.
However, the cost of travel can vary depending on where you’re traveling from, and the time of year you’re visiting.
It’s also worth noting that the Bahamas has a reputation for being a more expensive destination.
Overall, with high-end resorts and exclusive experiences that cater to a more affluent crowd.
That being said, both the Bahamas and Puerto Rico have plenty of affordable options for those looking to stick to a budget, from guesthouses and Airbnb to local eateries and free activities such as hiking and beach combing.
Ultimately, regardless of your budget, both destinations offer unique experiences and the opportunity to make lasting memories.
Check out our list of the 30 Best Resorts In Puerto Rico for more.
When it comes to the cost of traveling to the Bahamas or Puerto Rico, it’s essential to consider not only the expenses of flights and accommodations but also the cost of activities and food.
In the Bahamas, the cost of food and activities tends to be higher due to the island’s reputation as a luxury destination.
Here’s a video of someone discussing the cost of going to the Bahamas:
In contrast, Puerto Rico has a more diverse range of dining options and affordable local eateries, allowing travelers to experience the local cuisine without overspending.
Below is a video discussing how much it cost to go to Puerto Rico:
The cost of flights can also vary depending on where you’re traveling from, and the time of year you’re visiting. While Puerto Rico tends to have more affordable flights due to its status as a U.S. territory, the Bahamas is more accessible from Florida and the East Coast.
Ultimately, both destinations offer a range of options to fit various budgets, from luxury resorts to affordable guesthouses, and both have activities that can be done for free or at a low cost.
So, regardless of which destination you choose, you can have a great vacation without breaking the bank.
Learn more about the costs of travel in our article How Much Does It Cost To Go To Puerto Rico?
While both the Bahamas and Puerto Rico are generally safe for tourists, it’s essential to be aware of the safety concerns of each destination.
Crime has been a growing issue in the Bahamas, particularly on the islands of Nassau and Freeport.
Travelers are advised to exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings, especially at night and in secluded areas.
In Puerto Rico, the crime rate is higher than in the mainland United States, with theft and property crimes being the most common issues.
However, most of the crime is concentrated in certain areas, particularly in San Juan.
Tourists can minimize their risk by taking common-sense precautions, such as not leaving valuables unattended and staying in well-lit areas.
It’s also important to note that natural disasters, such as hurricanes, can occur in both destinations, so it’s advisable to check the weather forecast and travel advisories before planning a trip.
Overall, both the Bahamas and Puerto Rico are generally safe for tourists, but taking the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable vacation is essential.
For more information about safety, read our article Is Puerto Rico Safe For Tourists?
Both the Bahamas and Puerto Rico offer stunning beaches with crystal clear waters and powdery white sands, making them popular destinations for beachgoers.
The Bahamas is particularly known for its beaches, with some of the world’s most beautiful and pristine beaches, such as Cable Beach and Pink Sands Beach.
These beaches are known for their picturesque beauty, calm waters, and lively atmosphere.
On the other hand, Puerto Rico’s beaches, such as Flamenco Beach and Luquillo Beach, are equally breathtaking but with a different vibe.
The beaches in Puerto Rico tend to be more diverse, with secluded coves, surfing beaches, and even bioluminescent bays, providing a unique and memorable beach experience.
Some of the beaches in Puerto Rico also offer beachfront restaurants and bars, making it easy to spend an entire day lounging on the beach.
Ultimately, which destination has better beaches depends on personal preference, whether you’re seeking a lively atmosphere or a more secluded beach experience.
Check out our guide to the 30 Best Beaches In Puerto Rico for more information.
The Bahamas and Puerto Rico are ideal destinations for families with kids, with various activities and accommodations that cater to all ages.
The Bahamas is particularly well-suited for families with young children, with many resorts offering all-inclusive packages and kid-friendly amenities, such as water parks, playgrounds, and children’s clubs.
The island’s calm and shallow waters also make it an ideal destination for swimming and water activities with young children.
In contrast, Puerto Rico offers a wider range of outdoor activities better suited for families with older children, such as hiking in the El Yunque rainforest, zip-lining, and kayaking in bioluminescent bays.
The island’s historic forts, museums, and cultural experiences also offer opportunities for educational and enriching family experiences.
It’s worth noting that both destinations have a range of accommodations and activities that cater to families with children of all ages, so the best option will depend on your family’s interests and preferences.
Check out our guide to the 17 Best Things To Do With Kids In Puerto Rico for more.
Both the Bahamas and Puerto Rico offer a diverse range of activities to keep visitors entertained, with each destination having its unique attractions.
The Bahamas is renowned for its water activities, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming with pigs.
However, the island also offers an abundance of luxury resorts, shopping, and dining options, as well as a vibrant nightlife scene.
In contrast, Puerto Rico provides a wider range of activities, including hiking in the El Yunque rainforest, exploring the historic Old San Juan, visiting bioluminescent bays, and surfing on the island’s western coast.
The island also has a burgeoning food scene, combining traditional Puerto Rican cuisine and international flavors.
If you’re interested in outdoor activities and cultural experiences, Puerto Rico may be the better choice for you.
However, if you’re looking for a more laid-back vacation with plenty of water activities and nightlife, the Bahamas may be more your style.
Ultimately, the best vacation experience will depend on your individual preferences and interests, and both destinations offer unique experiences that will make for an unforgettable vacation.
Deciding how long to stay in the Bahamas or Puerto Rico depends on your preferences and the activities you want to experience.
For a relaxing beach vacation, a week is usually sufficient to enjoy the stunning beaches, snorkel, and participate in water activities.
However, if you want to explore beyond the beaches and experience the cultural and historical aspects of these destinations, a longer stay may be necessary.
In Puerto Rico, you can easily spend 7 days exploring the historic Old San Juan, hiking in the El Yunque rainforest, and taking a day trip to the nearby islands of Culebra or Vieques.
Similarly, the Bahamas offers plenty of activities beyond the beaches, such as visiting the famous swimming pigs on Exuma Island, exploring the Lucayan National Park, and shopping in Nassau.
If you want to experience everything these destinations have to offer, we recommend planning to stay for at least 10 days.
However, if you have a limited amount of time, we suggest focusing on the activities and attractions that interest you the most and planning accordingly.
Regardless of how long you stay, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico offer a range of experiences that will make for an unforgettable vacation.
Check out our How to Spend a Week in Puerto Rico article for a 7-day itinerary!
The local currency in the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar, while in Puerto Rico, the US dollar is used.
As both destinations use the US dollar, visitors from the United States do not need to exchange their money before traveling. .
ATMs are widely available in both destinations, but it’s always a good idea to check with your bank regarding foreign transaction fees and ATM usage fees before traveling.
It’s also worth noting that credit cards are widely accepted in both the Bahamas and Puerto Rico, particularly in tourist areas and larger establishments.
However, carrying cash for smaller purchases and when visiting local markets or street vendors is advisable.
When using credit cards, be aware of potential foreign transaction fees and alert the bank of your travel plans to avoid any issues with card usage.
Both the Bahamas and Puerto Rico are easily accessible from the United States.
Puerto Rico is generally easier to get around, with a more developed infrastructure and public transportation system than the Bahamas.
While the Bahamas and Puerto Rico offer a range of activities and attractions that make them excellent vacation destinations, which is better ultimately comes down to personal preference.
If you’re seeking a laid-back beach vacation with plenty of water activities and nightlife, the Bahamas may be the right choice.
However, Puerto Rico might be more up your alley if you’re interested in history, culture, outdoor adventures, and a wider range of activities.
Puerto Rico also has a more developed infrastructure and public transportation system, making it easier to get around.
Regardless of your destination, both the Bahamas and Puerto Rico offer unique experiences and unforgettable memories that will make for an amazing vacation.
Writer at PuertoRico.com. I’ve lived in Puerto Rico for 14 years and have experienced every inch of this stunning island. Growing up in Puerto Rico has helped me truly learn about the rich culture and extensive history this island has to offer. I share my local knowledge in all of the articles that I write.About the author