The Bahamas

The Bahamas is an archipelago that consists of 700 islands and over 2,000 rocks and cays that stretch across 5,359 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean.  Only about 30 of these islands are inhabited. The Bahamas is located approximately 50 miles southeast of Florida, USA.  Although the island chain has dozens of airports, there are international airports in Freeport, Exuma, and Nassau where the most frequent international flights land at Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS).  Flying between the islands requires inter-island air service. Flight time from Miami to Nassau is a short 52 minutes, making The Bahamas a convenient tropical destination to visit from the U.S.


Some of the clearest waters on the planet exist in The Bahamas.  It is an ecological oasis, and known for its long sandy beaches, abundant marine life, colorful coral reefs, and spectacular underwater caves.  It is a fishing and scuba diving paradise filled with colorful sea life and numerous shipwrecks to explore. The weather is warm year-round with average temperatures ranging in the low seventies to mid-upper eighties.


The islands are predominantly flatlands, with an elevation of a few feet, and made up of sand, limestone, and remnants of coral and marine fossils.  The highest point in the Bahamas is on Cat Island, at Mount Alvernia, with an elevation of only 206 feet. Constant Tradewinds create sand dunes that line the shorelines of The Bahama Islands.  Vegetation consists primarily of shrubs and low-lying hardwood trees, however, forests of Caribbean Pine exist on Grand Bahama, Abaco, Andros, and New Providence islands. 


The people of The Bahamas are a blend of European and mostly African descent, and tend to be humble, friendly, and humorous.  The Bahamas, formerly a British colony, became an independent country within the Commonwealth in 1973.  Their association with Britain is why cricket and soccer (referred to as “football”) are popular sports for Bahamians. Festivals are frequently celebrated in The Bahamas.  Junkanoo is the most popular and well-known, featuring rhythmic music, colorful costumes, and lively dancing.


There is no shortage of things to see and do in The Bahamas with its variety of island locations, each having its own distinct character.  New Providence Island, Grand Bahama Island, Paradise Island, and The Exumas (particularly Great Exuma), are popular travel destinations within the island chain.


Nassau, is the heart and capital of New Providence Island. Nassau attracts the most tourists, but still offers its own charm with its pastel-colored buildings of downtown.  It is home to a busy cruise port, sprawling resorts, restaurants of celebrity chefs, duty-free shops, the straw market on Bay Street, museums, entertainment hubs, and casinos.  Visitors to Nassau can experience its clear blue waters, stretches of white sand beaches, and an array of aquatic activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, boating, sailing, and swimming…even with dolphins.  Or take in a historical tour of the historical landmarks and old forts.


Grand Bahama Island is the northernmost island in The Bahamas, and home to one of the world’s longest underwater cave systems.  It is a popular destination for tourists as well as cruise ships.  Freeport is its capital, and the second largest city in The Bahamas. Port Lucaya has become the tourist and boating hub, and is popular for shopping, dining, and entertainment.  Here visitors can visit a national park or tropical garden, enjoy delicious cuisine, dive with dolphins, enjoy beautiful beaches, or partake of any number of water activities. (It is important to note that, in 2019, Grand Bahama Island was severely damaged by category 5 Hurricane Dorian.  The island has slowly been recovering, and many of its top attractions are operating again.)


Paradise Island is about 3 miles offshore from Nassau (New Providence Island), connected by two bridges over Nassau Harbour.  It is home to the famous Atlantis Resort which features its own casino, water park, and aquarium.  Paradise island is popular for the sugar-white sand beaches of Cabbage Beach and Paradise Beach, Versailles Gardens, and The Cloister— a 12th-century French monastery.  The island is also famed for the many popular movies that were filmed there.


The Exumas are a 120-mile-long island chain that is part of the Out Islands of The Bahamas, and is comprised of 365 cays. Great Exuma is the largest of these cays. George Town is its capital, and the largest town in the district.  Great Exuma is most recognized for its electric blue waters and soft white sand, featuring some of the most stunning seascapes in The Bahamas.  The Exumas have earned the reputation of being a luxury travel destination for those seeking smaller and quieter islands.  For the serious golfer, Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma has an 18-hole golf course that overlooks the ocean, and was designed by professional golfer, Greg Norman.  The Great Exuma Classic is hosted there each year.  Water sports are not limited to the superb diving, snorkeling, and fishing available in this region…Sailing is a popular event in Exuma with competitions being held year-round.  The Exumas are ideal for tranquility, relaxation and rejuvenation set against the backdrop of uncrowded cays and unspoiled nature in the Caribbean.


Whether you’re a luxury traveler, a waters sports enthusiast, world-class boater, beach lounger, or tropical nature lover…The Bahamas offer something for every discerning traveler desiring a tropical island getaway.

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