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Overview

The Bahamas comprise a chain of 700 islands and cays stretching across 750 miles of Atlantic Ocean. The islands vary remarkably. Nassau, the bustling capital, draws cruise ships and gets the lion's share of visitors, together with adjoining Paradise Island — known for golf and the Atlantis resort, with a fantastic water-based theme park. Georgian architecture, duty-free shopping, casinos, and a lively nightlife are Nassau's main draws. The modern and desultory town of Freeport, on Grand Bahama, plays second fiddle. The best beaches are found on the Out Islands (or Family Islands); Eleuthera's pink sands take the prize. The Abacos — a Nirvana ...

The Bahamas comprise a chain of 700 islands and cays stretching across 750 miles of Atlantic Ocean. The islands vary remarkably. Nassau, the bustling capital, draws cruise ships and gets the lion's share of visitors, together with adjoining Paradise Island — known for golf and the Atlantis resort, with a fantastic water-based theme park. Georgian architecture, duty-free shopping, casinos, and a lively nightlife are Nassau's main draws. The modern and desultory town of Freeport, on Grand Bahama, plays second fiddle. The best beaches are found on the Out Islands (or Family Islands); Eleuthera's pink sands take the prize. The Abacos — a Nirvana for sailors and sportfishers — are unique for their Loyalist villages, with New England-style clapboard houses. Bimini (Ernest Hemingway's former haunt) is still a favorite base for sportfishing and for swims with dolphins. Diving everywhere is fantastic; Andros is renowned for "blue holes." Temperatures increase eastward, where the more remote isles get few visitors, have few hotels, and life creeps along at a yesteryear pace. Many residents of Cat Island still practice obeah, a form of voodoo. Great Inagua has superb birding.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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Now Happening in Bahamas

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in the Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida and the United States, north of Cuba, the island of Hispanola and the Caribbean, and northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Bahamian Dollar
  • Research: Bahamas
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Winter and early spring for balmy weather. Hurricanes can strike in summer.