A must have on any Caribbean bucket list are the 16 main islands of The Bahamas. Whether you want to head for all out paradise at the world class resorts of Nassau/Paradise Island, take the eco-tourist trail in Inagua or see the swimming pigs of The Exumas, The Bahamas have some of the most awe inspiring sights on earth.
Imagine plunging 663 feet into Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island, the world’s second deepest blue hole. Picture diving The Andros Barrier Reef, the third largest barrier reef in the world. Or visualise the mass of bright flamingo pink as you see one of the largest colonies of flamingos in the world. The ocean is a huge draw in The Bahamas with the chance to swim with dolphins or dive with sharks in the clearest waters you’ll ever see. From the hub of capital city Nassau, take your pick of the glorious islands of The Bahamas.
Airports / Gateways / Flying times
Airport: Lynden Pindling International Airport. To Cable Beach- 10 minutes. To downtown Nassau- 25 minutes. To Paradise Island- 40 minutes. Freeport International Airport- to Freeport/Lucaya 20 minutes.
By Sea: Balearia Bahamas Express operates a fast ferry service between Port Everglades, Florida and Freeport. FRS Caribbean cruises from Miami to Bimini.
The second largest city, Freeport on Grand Bahama Island has 2 cruise/ferry services out of south Florida- the Balearia Caribbean sails 4 to 6 days per week out of Fort Lauderdale www.baleariacaribbean.com
Out of West Palm Beach Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line operates 2 and 4 night mini-cruises and cruise and stay options. www.bahamasparadisecruise.com
Gateways/Flying Times: British Airways flies four times a week direct from London Heathrow to Nassau (NAS). Delta, American, Virgin, and United all fly from to Nassau via the US.
Nassau from London: 9 hours, Miami: 55 minutes, New York: 3 hours.
Average temperature. Summer: High 32°C, low 25°C. Winter: High 23°C, low 15°C. Average humidity 78. Average rainfall- tropical rain showers occur any time of the year, but the rainy months are from June to October.
In The Bahamas, there is every type of food and dining experience. Try fresh conch salad as you mingle with the Bahamian people at the many fish fries. Dress up for in season Bahamian lobster tail and local vegetables at a gourmet restaurant or go free and easy at one of the many casual dining bars, restaurants and cafes across the islands.
The main language spoken in The Bahamas is English.
Head out and about in The Bahamas and you’ll have your pick of nightlife, from live music and cabaret to discos and theatre, and each island has its own distinct vibe. Have a game of dominoes and a rum cocktail at Cocktails by the Sea on Cat Island, settle in for dinner and dancing at the Rake ‘n Scrape at Eddie’s Edgewater on Great Exuma or chill at The Comedy Club at Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island.
Front page of almost any guide to The Bahamas will be The Exumas and the astonishing sight of pigs swimming out to the arriving boats to be fed by tourists. Swimming pigs can also be found in The Abacos, on Rose Island just 25 minutes from Nassau and on Spanish Wells, Eleuthera. You can also take a boat to The Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park- 176 miles of protected marine-park or to the untouched beaches of Stocking Island. The Lucayan National Park in Freeport has one of the largest underwater cave systems in the world, and in Nassau, visit the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, the Pirates of Nassau Museum or wander to the bustling Straw Market for locally crafted souvenirs.