The Bahamas Travel Guide

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The Bahamas


The Bahamas comprise an archipelago of over seven hundred islands, including small islets and cays (coral reefs), pronounced ‘keys’ - most of which are uninhabited, extending for over five hundred miles of beautiful clear water. Approx. 28 of the islands are inhabited. The islands are located fifty miles off the SE coast of Florida.


Some of the other islands in the chain include The Abacos, Eleuthera, Bimini, Acklins/Crooked Isle, Grand Bahama, Exumas, Long Island, Andros, Inagua, Cat Island and San Salvador island. English is the official language, and Creole is spoken among some of the Haitian people.


The capital, Nassau/Paradise Island, is probably the most significant island economically, and seat of the government. It is also famous for its Cable Beach and Paradise Island . The Abacos islands are known for boat-building. Andros is the biggest island and often referred to as the ‘bone fishing capital.’ Grand Bahama is a huge tourism and resort area, especially the city of Freeport , and also offers peaceful villages and towns with a lot of history.


The Bimini islands are at the heart of the deep-sea fishing area with the Great Bahama bank close by and some of the biggest game fishing trophies in the world. The island of Exuma is known for its excellent sailing and cruising and attracts yachtsmen from all over the world to explore its cays and isolated beaches.


The Bahamas were first settled by Indians called the Arawaks. The British settled on the islands in the seventeenth century after their discover by Columbus who first arrived on San Salvador . The islands were given self-government in 1964 and became an independent nation in 1973.


The islands, especially Nassau, have had a dubious reputation for piracy over the years, and due to its strategic location, close to the United States , it is still regarded as a hub for the trafficking of illegal drugs and illegal immigrants to the U.S. The main industry of the islands is tourism, although the international banking and investment industry and shipping are also very prominent.


The Bahamas is understandably a major tourist destination in the Caribbean area. Its tranquil waters and cool tradewinds have given the islands a fantastic reputation for water sports. There is a great abundance of sealife, due to the Gulf Stream . It is a popular destination for sportfishing, where records are often set. The islands with its amazing reefs and underwater parks are a wonderland for SCUBA divers and snorkellers. For beach lovers, the Bahamas have some of the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches in the world. Many of the islands have beaches of pink sand, which is actually crushed coral. Inland, there are national parks with some rare species of birds and animals.


The Bahamian people are known for the friendly, laid back attitude and hospitality and their good native cuisine. There is much natural beauty to be explored and you can island hop, or explore by bicycle, or plane. Enjoy some golf, cricket or tennis. There is great shopping and lots of native craft markets to explore.



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