BAHAMAS  |  The Bahamas, Bahamas Travel Guide
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The Bahamas, Bahamas

Junkanoo Festival, Nassau, Bahamas (cc)
Photo: jonworth

The Bahamas

The Bahamas is the pick of the bunch in the Caribbean. It lies all but a stone's throw from Florida – actually, 70 miles (112 km) southeast of West Palm Beach, Florida. Which explains at least part of the reason for its popularity among North American visitors. The other part probably has to do with the fact that the Bahamas is a well-publicized tax haven, with more than 400 banks catering to foreign depositors in the capital city of Nassau alone, which has a resident population of just 250,000 – that's one bank per 625 residents! But besides its proximity to mainland USA and the allure of offshore bank accounts, the Bahamas has some of the loveliest beaches in the Caribbean, together with some of the most decadent resorts that can pamper even the fussiest lot among us.

The Hottest Destinations in the Caribbean

The Bahamas archipelago strings out along a north-south axis in the western Atlantic Ocean and the north Caribbean Sea. It consists of approximately 700 islands and cays and more than 2,000 islets, the latter little more than boulders that appear and disappear with the whims and tides of the ocean. Most of the islands, too, are largely deserted, with pristine beaches and tropical forests, untouched by humans. In fact, only about 30 of the islands are inhabited, among them New Providence, the most populous of the lot, and Grand Bahama, the Abacos, the Exumas, Bimini, Eleuthera, Andros, the Inaguas, Long Island, San Salvador, Cat Island, the Berry Islands, the Acklins and Crooked Islands. New Providence has more than 70% the Bahamian population and is home to Nassau, the capital and most populous city in the Bahamas islands.

The Bahamas is also one of the smallest nations in the world, with a combined land mass of less than 5,400 square miles (that's less than 14,000 square kilometers). And yet, it is the richest country in the Caribbean, third richest in the Americas (after the US and Canada) on a GDP per capita basis, with a population of only about 330,000 and a gross domestic product of over $9 billion.

The Bahamas' principal port of entry is Nassau, both by sea and by air, with most of the cruise ships docking there and with direct flights to and from Miami and other cities in Florida. Freeport, on the Grand Bahama island, is the other city with direct flights from Miami, Florida.

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[ Related page: Turks and Caicos Islands ]

Exploring the Bahamas

Last updated November 26, 2013
Posted in   Bahamas  |  The Bahamas
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