The northernmost island of the Bahamas lies in the Atlantic Ocean, about 50 mi/85 km off the southeast Florida coastline—not in the Caribbean, as is popularly thought. The balance of the archipelago, about 700 islands and 2,000 islets called cays (pronounced keys), spreads south and east toward Hispaniola. Besides New Providence and Grand Bahama Island, only about 30 of the other islands are inhabited. As for topography, don't expect to see mountains and waterfalls—these islands are very flat. They are also largely dry, lacking any kind of streams or rivers. Because of this, no runoff sediment is deposited into the sea, resulting in the amazingly clear waters that surround the islands. Visitors who want an island experience in a different country but want to minimize the unfamiliar will probably enjoy the Bahamas. The islands provide a taste of the tropics, but the use of English and the lack of poverty (relative to other countries in the region) will mitigate any culture shock. Accommodations range from deluxe resorts to locally owned bed-and-breakfasts, hotels and inns. . Click this link to start your trip planning to the Bahamas!
The Bahamas offers a wide choice of attractions including stunning beaches, historical sites, gambling, nightlife, shopping, restaurants and fabulous hotels, plus superb golf, sailing, fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, sea kayaking and boat excursions. On Nassau, most resorts are clustered on Paradise Island and Cable Beach, where all-inclusive resorts overwhelmingly predominate. Those more interested in deserted beaches, sailing, diving, fishing and a generally slower pace will want to visit some of the many Out Islands (also known as the Family Islands), most of which are thinly populated or uninhabited, yet which offer all manner of activities plus a chance to experience charming vignettes of Bahamian life.
The Bahamas is a diver's delight, with almost every island offering spectacular diving and exceptional visibility in consistently warm waters. Coral reefs are sprinkled throughout Bahamian waters, which include some of the world's longest barrier reefs and some of its most spectacular wall and cave dives. There are also dozens of wrecks to explore.
When visiting Nassau, don't miss the impressive aquarium and water-based theme park of the Atlantis Hotel on Paradise Island. The Ardastra Gardens are a placid presentation of Caribbean wildlife and feature a show of marching flamingos and lorikeet feeding. The downtown Straw Market is more than a shopping destination, but also a hot spot for local food and live entertainment.
The Port Lucaya Marketplace on Grand Bahama Island offers a nice mix of upscale and inexpensive dining, shopping (including a small but friendly straw market), open-air bars and entertainment, including evening Junkanoo dance and Gospel choir performances.
Throughout the year spectacular sailing regattas of Bahamian sloops take place on various islands. The country's most important event takes place the third week in April. The National Family Islands Regatta has been an annual event in Great Exuma's Elizabeth Harbour for more than 50 years.
Fishing tournaments, such as the Billfish Championship (April-June; http://www.bahamasbillfish.com) in the Abacos and Eleuthera, are also popular events.