Discovered by Columbus and colonized by the British, the Bahamas, which translates to "shallow seas," is one of the world’s best known holiday destinations. This stretched out archipelago between Florida and Haiti is a place of stunning islands, cays, and beaches that can be visited year-round for their pleasant weather. The Bahamas is hailed as a winter playground among Americans and Europeans, who come for the sun, white sand, incredible diving, boating, fishing, and quality resorts and hospitality.
Lazing on beaches and exploring the wonderful array of islands are the main pastimes. New Providence where the capital, Nassau, is located, and nearby Paradise Island and Grand Bahama, are the main bases with the best hotels, facilities, and entertainment. Top beaches are Cable Beach on New Providence and Treasure Cay Beach on Abaco.
Paradise Island has the best of the manmade attractions, with an array of family-friendly activities and swimming pools. Opportunities to enjoy the water are seemingly endless. The Atlantic waters are usually warm—even in winter—have fantastic visibility for divers, and offer virtually any type of water sport. The coral reefs are stunning and accessible, while land-based activities are also in abundance.
The hospitality of the Bahamas is legendary, from a full range of entertainment by hotel resorts to the fun-loving Bahamians themselves, who are typically genuine and polite. Most hotels have restaurants with good Caribbean and international dishes, and many boast spas, casinos, and a myriad of other forms of entertainment. The all-inclusive deal is thus popular here, and can make the Bahamas a good value for the money.
There are more than 2,000 islands and cays (small, coral reefs), and the main ones each have an airport making the scope for day trips and exploring is overwhelming. Some receive flights from the US, while all airports are regularly trafficked from Nassau. Boats also serve the region, and private charters are available for tours and activities to the Out Islands. Some are hilly and offer good hiking and bird watching, while several more have established golf courses.
It’s easy to get to the Bahamas, with direct flights from all major eastern US and Canadian cities, as well as from the UK and other places. Airlines serve Nassau, New Providence Island, and go direct to some of the other main islands. Nassau also has a huge port and is served by a number of cruise lines. Only the main islands have public transport, along with car rental, while the Out Islands can be frequented by boat and taxi.
- Characteristic shallow beaches over turquoise waters
- Amazing scuba diving with good visibility teeming with marine life
- Exquisite sailing in the Exumas
- Nassau’s pastel-colored buildings and old forts
- Biminis fabulous fishing and road to ‘Atlantis’
- Grand Bahama’s Lucaya Marketplace and national park
- The seclusion and untouched feel of Long Island
- Great options for partying and colorful festivals