The Bahamas

Extending 760 miles from just off the coast of Florida almost to Haiti, The Bahamas consists of 700 islands, 30 of which are inhabited, and 2,400 cays that span an area of 5,358 square miles (13,878 sq km). For most visitors, The Bahamas’ number one draw is beaches – the powder-soft, white sands gently giving way to the crystal-clear, blue sea. In the capital of Nassau, though, visitors can experience the buzz of daily island life, pastel-hued houses, a diverse choice of restaurants and vibrant nightlife, and where a must-visit is Straw Market, the place to buy handmade Bahamian crafts, gifts and souvenirs.

The Bahamas Highlights

Once a haven for pirates who preyed on ships carrying valuable cargo between the Americas and European countries, Nassau is now one of the most popular Caribbean destinations for tourists, many of whom arrive on visiting cruise ships. The nation's capital has many attractions to see and explore. Besides Straw Market, they include the Queen's Staircase, with 65 steps carved out of limestone in the 18th century by slaves, the Pirates of Nassau Museum, the colonial-style Government House and its beautiful gardens, historic Fort Fincastle and tours and tastings at John Weakling's Distillery. Paradise Island is home to the spectacular water park of the Atlantis Paradise Island resort.
Local foods
For a real taste of authentic Bahamas cuisine, head to the Fish Fry at Nassau's Arawak Cay, named after the original native inhabitants of the islands. It comprises a collection of brightly-coloured shacks and food trucks that serve up traditional dishes such as conch salad, guava duff, cracked fish, and fried, steamed or grilled grouper and snapper caught fresh that day.
Some of the Caribbean's best beaches can be found on Bahamian islands such as Harbour Island, with its pink sands, Eleuthera and Exuma. However, Nassau also has stunning beaches of its own. Among its stunners are Cable Beach, Junkanoo Beach, Love Beach and Jaws Beach - so names because the movie, Jaws, was filmed there - and Paradise Island because including Paradise Beach, Arawak Beach and Cabbage Beach.
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