The Commonwealth of the Bahamas is one of the best vacation spots on the planet. Tourists come here for the azure sea, snow-white coast, picturesque nature and rich nightlife. Here you can rent a beach and have a party, enjoy spa treatments, visit a casino, snorkel with dolphins or dive to sunken ships.
Where are the Bahamas located?
The world map shows that the Bahamas are located north of the Caribbean Sea and are washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. They consist of a scattering of small islands that stretch from the Florida peninsula towards Cuba. The archipelago is part of the West Indies region and covers an area of more than 250 thousand square meters. km.
A flat landscape prevails here, and the highest point of the country reaches 62 m above sea level and is called Alvernia. Often tourists are interested in the question of how many islands are part of the Bahamas. Scientists number up to 700 of them, but only 30 are inhabited: Andros, Bimini, Eleuthera, New Providence, etc.
Currently, the territory of the country covers an area of 13878 square meters. km, it is divided into 31 districts, which are called districts in the Bahamas.
Climate in the Bahamas
In the south of the country there is a subtropical climate, and in the north — a tropical trade wind. The Gulf Stream has a significant influence on it. The season in the Bahamas lasts all year round, but for the sake of a beach holiday, it is worth coming here from September to May, when there is no sweltering heat. In winter, the weather here is calm and warm, the air temperature varies from +18 °C to +24 °C.
In summer, the average air temperature in the Bahamas is +30 ° C, but usually the mercury column exceeds +40 ° C. It should be borne in mind that in the central part of the country the weather is colder than in the south. This period is characterized by tropical storms and hurricanes, as well as heavy rainfall.
The archipelago is mainly composed of coral limestones, which occur at a depth of about 1500 m. The Bahamas are surrounded by one of the largest coral reefs on the planet, karst forms predominate in the relief of the islands. There are practically no rivers here, but there are salt lakes that communicate with the sea. Animals include bats, agoutis, iguanas and various birds. Flora is represented by pine forests, bushes and savannahs.
The history of the political structure of the Bahamas was significantly influenced by Great Britain, whose queen is the head of this state. Its official representative is the Governor-General, appointed by the Prime Minister. The country has a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Legislative power is vested in a bicameral Parliament consisting of the Senate and the House of Assembly.
The flag of the Bahamas was adopted in 1973 and is a black equilateral triangle, which symbolizes the determination and unity of the indigenous people. It depicts 3 horizontal lines denoting the natural resources of the country: aquamarine stripes are the sea, and golden stripes are the land.
The emblem of the Bahamas is a shield with national symbols, supported by a flamingo and a marlin. It also depicts a shell, Christopher Columbus’ ship, the rising sun, and animals. They symbolize the maritime life of the archipelago and the young nation, indicate the geographical position and indicate the bright future of the state.
Major cities and islands in the Bahamas
The largest and most famous city in the Bahamas is the capital of the country — Nassau, located on New Providence. More than 70% of the population lives here. This is a historical place where you can enjoy the charm of the colonial era.
In the Bahamas, it is also worth visiting the islands of Exuma Cay, Harbor, Normans Cay and Long Island, where Freeport is located. This is a famous settlement, which is a duty-free zone, people come here for amazing shopping.
Resorts in the Bahamas
The most famous places in the Bahamas, in addition to the capital, are such resorts as:
- Great Abaco is a large island that yachtsmen from all over the world try to visit;
- Andros — the largest island in the Bahamas, known for its stunning nature;
- Stella Maris — it is considered the starting point for diving and fishing enthusiasts;
- Big Inagua — the largest population of pink flamingos on the planet lives here.
Attractions of the Bahamas
The main asset of the archipelago is its nature, especially the attractive coast and rich marine fauna. There is also a developed infrastructure that allows you to comfortably spend your vacation. In the Bahamas, a variety of excursions are conducted for tourists, during which you can visit:
- Royal stairs — it consists of 65 steps and was presented to Queen Victoria for her birthday.
- Dean’s Blue Hole — This is a natural attraction of the Bahamas, the depth of which is 663 m.
- Water tower — it is located in Nassau, and an observation deck is equipped on its top.
- Fort Charlotte — a fortress built in 1787 to protect the island from pirates.
- Ardastra — the most famous reserve in the Bahamas, which serves as a zoological and park center at the same time.
- Lucayan National Park — it is famous for its lush vegetation, fragrant orchids and rare mammals.
The beaches of the archipelago
Usually tourists come to the country for the sake of azure water and snow-white coast. The islands are surrounded by coral reefs, so there are no sharks here, and in the Bahamas, weddings and holidays are often arranged, the photos of which will remind you of an exotic vacation for a long time. You will also be offered to dive into the depths of the sea to sunken ships or swim among exotic fish. The most famous beaches in the country are:
- Pig Island or Pig Island is a unique place in the Bahamas, where dozens of these animals live on one of the beaches;
- Musha Kay — it is considered the most beautiful in the Western Hemisphere;
- Pink Beach is a fabulous place in the Bahamas, the coast here is covered with small corals, giving the sand a pink color.
Population and religion in the Bahamas
There are currently 353,658 people in the country, according to the last census conducted in 2010. It is home to 85% mulattos, 12% Europeans and 3% Hispanics. The official language is English, but Creole, based on French, is also widely used.
In the Bahamas, 92% of the population professes Christianity, the rest are atheists, Hindus, Baha’is and spiritualists. Immigrants from Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti practice bothah.
Hotels in the Bahamas
On the territory of the archipelago there are a wide variety of hotels — from luxurious villas to small cozy hostels. Most establishments are located on the coast and have access to the beaches. The local all-inclusive food system is considered the best in the Caribbean, and if you add to this the polite staff who want to please the guests, then your vacation will turn into a real fairy tale.
The average cost of living varies from $100 to $3000 per day. It offers golf courses, swimming pools, spas, tennis courts, a casino and luxurious restaurants serving traditional dishes. The best hotels in the Bahamas are:
- Melia Nassau Beach 5*;
- Sandals Royal Bahamian 5*;
- The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort 5*.
Cuisine and restaurants of the country
The most popular local delicacy is the conch clam, which is used to prepare both main dishes and snacks. Also from April to August in the Bahamas you can try spiny lobster. Every meal here is served with Jonicakes buns, hot sauce and food made from peas and rice. Local delicacies are also in demand, including seafood salads, baked crabs, etc.
As for drinks, tourists should try classic Nassau Royal rum, Kalik beer, Colombian or Brazilian coffee, and tea prepared according to an English recipe. In restaurants, it is customary to leave a tip in the amount of 10-15% of the total orders. You can eat in the Bahamas in such catering establishments as:
- Crabs and Ting;
- Cafe Matisse;
- Daiquiri Shack.
The most famous place for shopping in the Bahamas is Paradise Island, the maximum number of boutiques and shops is located on Bay Street. Nearby is the Straw Market, where famous fashion houses are concentrated. As souvenirs, you can bring fabrics, cutlery, porcelain, Scandinavian glass, silver jewelry, jewelry, perfumes and various handicrafts from local craftsmen from here.
The currency on the islands is called the Bahamian dollar (BSD). It can be exchanged at large stores, hotels or bank offices. The most profitable exchange rate is observed in Freeport and Nassau, and the most disadvantageous in the tourist area. In stores, you can pay with credit cards, however, some establishments may charge a commission for cashing out.
In almost all tourist areas of the archipelago, there is a fairly safe environment, but sometimes petty thefts occur here, so you need to be careful with valuables. Women are also advised not to walk alone after dark.
To ensure that your vacation in the Bahamas does not overshadow anything, get acquainted with the following rules:
- you can not use underwater weapons while diving;
- for the distribution and use of drugs here they can be imprisoned for a long time;
- be careful on the water and the rules of the road;
- monitor the weather situation in the country and in case of danger — evacuate;
- in the Bahamas, medicine is good, but very expensive, so it is better to have insurance that provides for air evacuation.
It is most convenient to move from one piece of land to another by plane or boat. True, the flight schedule changes very often, so planning a trip in advance is quite difficult. In total, there are 60 airports in the Bahamas, the most famous of which are Auxiliary Airfield, Lynden Pindling and Grand Bahama.
You can move around the territory of one island of the country on motorcycles, cars, taxis and scooters, which are easy to rent. It should be borne in mind that there is left-hand traffic in the archipelago.
Adult tourists can bring to the Bahamas any amount of money, 200 cigarettes, up to 0.94 liters of wine and spirits. It is strictly forbidden to transport explosives and narcotic substances, weapons and objects of historical and cultural value. Without special permission, plants, agricultural products and local currency with a face value higher than BSD 70 cannot be exported from the country.
In 2018, a visa to the Bahamas for Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians is not needed if your stay there does not exceed 3 months. However, if you are flying via the US, you will need the appropriate document.
You can make calls within the country from payphones, for this you need a special card. Code of the Bahamas +1-242. To reach emergency services, dial the following numbers:
- 322-21-21 — to call an ambulance;
- 322-38-77 — aviation service at sea;
- 911 is an emergency service.
How to get into the country?
To get to the Bahamas from Moscow, you will have to transfer, of which there will be at least 2: in Cuba and London or the USA. Travel time takes up to 13 hours, if you do not take into account connections.