Bahamas Tourist Guide

This Bahamas Tourist Guide is an overview of what sort of activities are available to you while visiting the Bahamas. With over 700 islands, it’s easy to think of the Bahamas as the world’s beach, but don’t limit yourself! There are many other things available to tourists, as well.

The Bahamas are an island chain about fifty miles off the tip of Florida. They cover less than 6,000 square miles of land, but more than 100,000 square miles of water – that’s larger than the country of Spain! The water of the Bahamas also contains more coral reefs than the Great Barrier Reef in Australia – almost 5% of the world’s coral lives here. All this adds up to plenty of activities in, on, and around the water.

Coco Cay Private Island in the Bahamas is Owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Photo: FotoDawg, Flickr
Coco Cay Private Island in the Bahamas is Owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Photo: FotoDawg, Flickr

For those who like sitting on the beach sipping from a coconut and relaxing, the Bahamas is perfect. The beaches here are renowned for their soft, white, expansive sands, and 80% of the country’s beaches are isolated so you can truly relax. If you’re into going to the beach to actually do something, that’s covered, too. Places like Cable Beach in Nassau make every activity available to you – snorkeling, scuba, fishing, sailing, waterskiing, parasailing, windsurfing, and more are all here, complimented by convenient beach bars, a variety of seaside restaurants, and plenty of local entertainment.

Sports are also prominent on the islands, and any Bahamas tourist guide would be remiss in leaving them out. Fishing, swimming, and sailing are the most obvious sports available, but golf, tennis, cricket, and recreational flying are some of the lesser known, but equally fun sports you can involve yourself in. You can also enjoy horseback riding, soccer, football, and beach volleyball.

Lemon Shark Spotted During Scuba Diving Among the Coral Reef in The Bahamas, Photo: WIlly Volk, Flickr
Lemon Shark Spotted During Scuba Diving Among the Coral Reef in The Bahamas, Photo: WIlly Volk, Flickr

The Bahamas are steeped in history and a collision of cultures: West Africa, the American South, England, and Spain have all majorly influenced the islands. From Columbus’ landing on the island of San Salvador to watching the cars drive on the left side of the road (thank you, Britain), there are many things to see and do. Check out the site of famous buccaneers and pirates, and see one of the last hand-lit, kerosene lighthouses in the world. Visit the hermitage monastery on the highest point in the islands, or the Androsia Factory, where you can find local hand-dyed batik fabric and fashions for sale.

Ecotourism is a blossoming industry in the Bahamas. With 12 national parks ranging in size from forty acres to 20,000 acres, there is a lot of natural world to explore. In the effort to further preservation, the country of the Bahamas has set aside additional locations for 58 more national parks.

Atlantis Waterfalls on the Paradise Island in the Bahamas, Photo: chrismar, Flickr
Atlantis Waterfalls on the Paradise Island in the Bahamas, Photo: chrismar, Flickr

No Bahamas tourist guide would be complete without mentioning the capital, Nassau. Approximately 80% of the population of the islands lives in and around the city, and it’s the country’s gateway to and from the rest of the world. You could spend days touring Nassau alone. Historical sights include Fort Charlotte, the Government House, the Queen’s Staircase, and the Royal Victoria gardens. More modern activities include Atlantis Resort and Casino (you don’t have to be a guest to have fun there), Ardastra Gardens and Zoo, and Crystal Cay Marine Park (where you don’t have to get wet to be underwater). Nassau is also famous around the world for its shopping, ranging from locally woven straw products to cashmere sweaters and jewelry.

Pier and Rowboat Scene from the Bahamas, Photo: Jpatokal, WikiTravel
Pier and Rowboat Scene from the Bahamas, Photo: Jpatokal, WikiTravel

The Bahamas have a lot to offer the tourist in the way of attractions, but it compliments these offerings with world-class hospitality, close proximity to the US and Canada, a fair exchange on the dollar, options to fit every budget, and no need to learn a new language. This brief Bahamas tourist guide only highlights the exotic gem so close to home — there is much more to see, do, and learn once you actually get there!

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