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A guide to the Bahamas - sweeping sunsets, palm-fringed islands and turquoise waters

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With over 700 islands and 2,000 cays and islets scattered all around the Atlantic Ocean, the Bahamas offer an idyllic island escape. Lined with palm-fringed beaches, watersport huts and tiny villages, this sun-drenched archipelago has plenty to offer. Take part in a Bonefishing adventure on The Out Islands, soak up the island-wide Bahamian cuisine or enjoy a sightseeing tour around the archipelago. If sunbathing is more your forte, however, you’ll find the Pink Sand Beach of Harbour Island undeniably appealing.

Noelle Khalila Nicolls

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Bahamas

History & cultureWhen Christopher Columbus first moored on the shores of the Bahamas in 1492, Arawak Indians inhabited the islands. Following colonization by the British in 1647, the islands became a hotbed of illegal activity. Rum-smugglers and pirates plundered and pillaged the archipelago’s many virtuous assets.  Since gaining independence from the UK in 1973, however, the Bahamas have become a culturally-rich collective of individual islands. Full of Calypso rhythms, tropical wildlife and technicolored coral formations, the scenery and atmosphere of the Bahamas are beyond compare. Island guideA collective of over 700 islands, 2,000 cays and islets, it is easy to feel at sea with where to visit in the Bahamas. To help you make your mind up, here’s our guide to some of the most notable islands. The tranquil Ragged Islands are famed for their pristine fishing spots while The Abaco’s Islands are heralded for their championship golf. Cat Island has a laidback atmosphere with endless nature trails while The Berry Islands are populated with countless secluded spots. Visit Long Island for dramatic cliffs and deep-sea caverns or The Exumas for their untarnished sapphire coastline. Eleuthera and Harbour Island are uniquely dappled with pineapple fields and pinks sands whilst Rum Cay clings to its historical ruins and tropical reefs. A vibrant metropolis of culture and shopping, the Bahamas’ capital - Nassau - has all the amenities for a modern traveler could desire, while birdwatchers flock to the Inagua islands to gawp at over 80,000 native flamingos. If it’s variation or island-hopping that you are in search of, the Bahamas can certainly deliver!

 

Bahamas beaches

 

World-renowned for its beaches, the Bahamas is populated with endless miles of sink-your-toes type sand. From secluded romantic spots to bustling watersports beaches, there is a shoreline to suit every type of traveler. Stop by The Abaco’s Islands Treasure Cay Beach (voted one of the best beaches in the region), snorkel amongst the crystal-clear waters of the Exumas Islands and don’t miss the Pink Sands Beach of Harbour Island. Water sports

 

Offered to visitors by the bucket-load, water sports are one of the biggest draws to the Bahamas. With around 470,000 km2  of ocean space this is hardly surprising, however. Also averaging year-round temperatures of 80 °F, the balmy climate of the Bahamas creates the perfect setting for these aquatic adventures. Every type of water-based sport is offered from snorkeling to kayaking, canoeing to parasailing and jet skiing to kiteboarding. You can even swim with domesticated pigs on The Exumas; we’re sure that will be a first! Travel tips

 

While the Bahamas are a year-round destination, with the archipelago’s balmy climates and refreshing ocean breeze, the winter months are an ideal time to visit. From November to May, you will be greeted with warm weather, perfect fishing conditions and much less of a mosquito problem. While visiting the Bahamas be sure to also sample the local seafood; it’s a specialty. You’ll find conch, crab, grouper, lobster and shrimp all served in abundance as fresh catch here.