When someone mentions the Bahamas you cannot help but imagine fantastic beaches that spread for miles and hot blazing sun giving you the most perfect tan possible. However there is so much more to visiting The Bahamas and if all you are doing is lazing around all day you are missing out on one of the most perfect vacations of your life.
During the 18th Century the Bahamas were a haven for Pirates; most notably Blackbeard one of the most famous pirates of them all. It was during this time that it became a Crown Colony of the United Kingdom, and remains so to this day. The official language of the country is English, therefore you will be able to easily communicate with the locals during your visit.
The Bahamas are formed by over 3,000 Islands, Cays and Islets and is located in the Atlantic Ocean, just north of Cuba. The closest islands to the United States are a district called ‘Bimini’ which is a collection of a number of islands with a population of around 1600. The capital city Nassau is located on the island of ‘New Providence’. The landscape of The Bahamas is generally flat with the highest mountain ‘Mount Alvernia’ standing at only 63 metres tall.
The climate of the Bahamas ranges from sub-tropical to tropical and is largely influenced by the Gulf Stream. The closeness to the Gulf Stream puts the area at high risk of hurricanes and tornados during the winter when they pass close to the islands. The temperature throughout the year averages at around 28 degrees with high rainfall during the months of June to August.
Tourism is extremely important to the Bahamas and accounts for over 60% of their GDP. This means that there is a wealth of activities for the holiday maker to carry out in the area, with something to suit every taste.
One of the most eventful times to visit The Bahamas is during ‘Junkanoo’, this is an event held on Boxing Day (26th December) and New Year’s Day. During this time groups of people called ‘Junkanoo’ run through the streets of major towns wearing beautiful coloured costumes and playing music that will have you dancing in the streets. You will be able to pick up one of these costumes in the streets after the festival ends, and they make a wonderful souvenir of your trip to the islands.
The beaches spread around the Bahamas are a particular high point of any trip to the country and are perfect for spending many a lazy day getting the tan of a life time.
You should pay a visit to the Capital City, Nassau. There are many places to visit in this small area. One of the more interesting areas to visit is the ‘Old Town’ which is full of abandoned buildings which still look beautiful. It is a nice place to visit if you want to escape from the bustling city life. There is also a museum for art lovers in the area called ‘The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas’ and is very cheap to get into, with the current rate being only $5 for an adult. Heading slightly out of the city you can visit ‘Fort Fincastle’ which overlooks the town; you can also take a tour of this area. There are also many bus tours taking you around the area of Nassau which will show you the most important sites.
Freeport whilst smaller than Nassau is still worth the visit. You will be able to pick up cheap cruise tickets that will take you from Florida to this area. One area of note is ‘Lucayan National Park’ which was the setting for many of the scenes in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. If you prefer the city life then head to ‘Port Lucaya’ where the majority of restaurants and shops are located. Freeport is also home to a number of lush white beaches, one of the best being ‘Coral Beach’. There are also many water based activities to try out in the crystal clear waters, for example snorkelling or scuba diving.
You will also be able to take one of many tours in The Bahamas where you will be able to spot many unique species of animals; such as Bahamas Hutia and Rocky Raccoon. You will also be able to view many aquatic species in the waters surrounding the islands such as Dolphins and Turtles.
There are many islands that are owned by various cruise lines, perhaps the most famous being ‘Castaway Cay’ owned by the Disney Company. You will only be able to visit these private islands if you are a passenger on one of these cruise ships. It is well worth the money spent though as you will gain all the benefits of visiting the Bahamas in a much quieter setting.
Getting to The Bahamas is particularly easy with major national airports being located close to both Nassau and Freeport.
If you want the trip of the lifetime where you will be able to experience everything then you should visit the Bahamas. Whether it’s by passing by on a Cruise Ship or flying directly to The Bahamas it is well worth a visit.