How to vacation in the Bahamas?

The Bahamas

Anthem Bahamas

The Bahamas is a country located on the homonymous archipelago north of Cuba and the Caribbean Sea, east of the Florida Peninsula. At the mention of the Bahamas, the imagination paints a picture of a serene vacation with its main attributes: palm trees and white sand. George Washington called the Bahamas “the island of eternal June” is well deserved – the sun shines here 320 days a year! Hotel service is rated very high and is considered one of the best in the Caribbean. Holidays in the islands are not cheap, but that does not stop the 6 million tourists who come to the Bahamas every year.

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Video: The Bahamas

Highlights.

The long archipelago covers an expanse of 250,000 km² and consists of 2,700 islands and coral reefs covering a total of 13,878 km². People inhabit thirty of them. The island territory is united into a state, the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, with a population of 391,232 (2016). New Providence Island, where the capital city of Nassau is located, and Grand Bahama Island are the most populated. The population is 3/4 African American and mulatto. A small percentage of Bahamians are elderly affluent North Americans and Europeans who have settled on the islands after retirement.

Cat Island Beach The Flying Dutchman from Pirates of the Caribbean Cruise liners in Nassau Harbor

Among the faithful in the Bahamas, Protestants, Methodists, Baptists, and Roman Catholics are the most Christian. Some locals, and especially the descendants of African-American slaves, adhere to African cults.

The Bahamas are popular with travelers from around the world, and the islands’ economy is heavily dependent on tourism. People come here for the beach vacations. In addition, the Bahamas attract diving, surfing and yachting enthusiasts.

In recent years the medical tourism in Bahamas is actively developing. The level of medical services here is based on the standards adopted in the USA and is highly valued. Over twenty modern medical centres with specialists working in all fields of medicine are open on the islands. The most popular fields are joint surgeries, heart surgery, and plastic surgeries.

History of the exploration of the Bahamas

Native Americans were the first to settle on the tropical islands, the Lukayans (Arawaks), who sailed here in the V century from the Antilles, Cuba and Española (now the territory of the Republic of Haiti). In 1492, the expedition of Christopher Columbus arrived in the Bahamas. Three years later, Spanish colonists settled on the archipelago. For 30 years, local residents are practically extinct. The reasons for this were diseases brought by Europeans and slavery. A large number of Lucayans were taken by the colonists to Española for pearl mining and mine work.

Soon the Spanish also left the Bahamas, and for about 130 years the region remained unclaimed. Then British settlers from Bermuda came to Harbor Island. Besides them, pirate bases sprang up on several islands, where sea corsairs rested and repaired their ships. Only in 1718, thanks to the British army, were the pirates driven from the Bahamas. Since then, the islands were established as a British colony.

Pirates of the Caribbean, a shot from the TV series “Black Sails”.

The local population began to grow rapidly from the end of the 18th century. The reason for this was the deportation to the Bahamas from the United States of eight thousand Loyalists, along with whom came their slaves. The new settlers attempted to establish cotton plantations on the islands in the manner of those they had been forced to abandon in America. Because the soil was so infertile, however, the venture failed. In 1807, Britain banned the slave trade, and the Royal Navy freed slaves in the Bahamas.

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A major influx of money to the islands occurred in 1920. At that time, Prohibition was enacted in the United States. Smuggling began to grow in the Bahamas, and the town of Nassau became a rum warehouse. During World War II, the U.S. military spent their vacations in the Bahamas, and in the postwar years, the tourism industry began to develop on the islands.

Since 1973 the island nation has had a democratic political regime with a functioning Constitution. According to the form of government, the Bahamas is a parliamentary monarchy, with the British Queen as head of state, and her interests on the islands are represented by the Governor General. Legislative authority is exercised by a bicameral Parliament, while executive authority is vested in the Government. Administratively The Bahamas is divided into 31 regions.

Holidays in the Bahamas 2022: features and useful tips

The Bahamas, a state nestled on numerous islands near Cuba, is considered a truly paradise destination that attracts thousands of tourists from around the world every year. And for good reason. Read our article about what interesting sights there are in the Bahamas, and how much the trip will cost.

Interesting places in the Bahamas

If you have decided to visit the Bahamas, here is a list of places that deserve attention:

At the center of the archipelago sits New Providence Island with Nassau as its capital, which is the heart of the archipelago. To bask in the paradisiacal beaches, you have to walk a little way from the center of the capital across the bridge. The unique landscapes with white sand and gentle waves will please both honeymooners and couples with children. There are many water sports for active guests. Lovers of passive relaxation can lie on the loungers with a cocktail in hand.

Aquarium

When visiting Nassau, you can’t ignore the luxurious 16-acre aquarium. For the safety of visitors, an underwater tunnel has been made of sturdy material, allowing you to enjoy the variety of fish, plants, and other creatures up close.

Botanical Gardens

In Nassau, one of the most interesting attractions is the Royal Gardens. The botanical gardens are home to wonderful roses, tropical trees, cozy romantic spots, bridges and canals. The blooming orchids alone are worth a visit.

The Royal Staircase

The limestone Rock, in which 65 steps were carved in stone in ancient times, is of interest to tourists. This staircase is the link between the upper and lower town, but it is not safe to visit this place in the dark.

For those who like to visit museums, you can go to the Museum of Pirates and the Pompeii Museum. The latter is dedicated to slavery.

The capital of the state

It is a small town of Nassau. The history of its origin is interesting. Originally, there was a small settlement created by pirates. Here they lived, plotted raids, and shared the spoils. Over time, a city grew up on the site of the village, which today is a developed and modern city.

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The city is beautiful, walking through its streets, you will see many interesting structures of different centuries. For example, the fortress of the eighteenth century, which has been preserved in almost perfect condition.

For those who like entertainment in the city there is a casino, as well as the opportunity to do their favorite sport: golf, surfing, water polo, etc. Nassau has a lot of comfortable hotels, so tourists prefer to spend their vacations here.

The local artisans create stunning jewelry and everyday items from the sea, so you won’t leave here empty-handed.

Island of Andros

This place is interesting because of its nature. Almost the entire island is covered with a dense tropical forest. Tourists enjoy exploring the lighthouse built on the island as well as basking in the warm rays of the sun on the most beautiful beach with white sand.

Hotels

In 2022 the cheapest hotel will cost 1326 rubles per person. The most expensive is 7900 rubles. Guests of the archipelago, who appreciate real comfort and do not take into account the price of the hotel, can afford to stay at a hotel with a cost of 32000 rubles per night.

The first-class complexes should include:

The Cove Atlantis 5*.

This hotel is located near the ocean. Guests can order both a luxury suite and a more modest room. The hotel has restaurants, pools, beach, and games rooms. Among the hotel’s advantages is a private balcony in the room, which allows you to admire the ocean.

Married couples as well as honeymooners will find it interesting to stay here. The hotel has a dolphinarium, golf courses, water park, and a cozy movie theater. A variety of restaurants allows you to choose the most acceptable option and enjoy delicious meals.

Atlantis Paradise Island (Beach Tower) 5*

Here cozy and comfortable rooms with modern flat-screen TV. Kids and adults can frolic in the water park with slides and slow-flowing river. Rooms are decorated in tropical blue colours. If you wish, you can visit the hotel’s luxurious spa center with a sauna and relax in the hot tub. For those who lead a healthy lifestyle, there is a fitness center.

You can eat at the cozy air-conditioned restaurant. You can have a delicious cocktail or snacks by the pool. There is a free movie theater and free casino lessons.

The Reef Atlantis 5*.

The hotel offers cozy rooms with views of the beaches. Here you can lounge by the pool with a delicious cocktail in hand.

The rooms have air conditioning, a refrigerator microwave and a minibar. There is a golf course, tennis courts, fitness center, spa treatments. Here will be interesting and comfortable to rest as lovers of outdoor activities, but also couples with children. If desired, parents can book a babysitter for the child.

Long Island

For those who dream of a break from the gray of everyday life and the bustle of the city, you can visit Long Island, where travelers have the opportunity to relax in a cozy bungalow overlooking the ocean. On the coast of the island experienced divers can snorkel or rent scuba gear to appreciate the beauty of the underwater world and see the ocean creatures. It is here there is a huge 180 meter cave, famous among divers. It is considered the deepest blue hole in the entire Bahamian archipelago.

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Rumor has it that a mythical creature lives in this deep cave and can drag anything it comes across into the water. From time to time the water forcefully splashes out, which causes indescribable excitement among tourists.

The island is flourishing eco-tourism, which makes the price of hotels will cost many times more than the rest in a regular hotel.

The island has a huge monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus. It is located on a hill in the northern area of the island. Climbing up to the monument, tourists can see the breathtaking scenery of the surrounding countryside and the ocean.

Visiting the town of Salt Pond, you can check out the Anglican Church and St. Joseph’s. In the southern part of town are the Cartwright’s Caves, formerly used by the Indians. Today it is home to a huge number of bats.

In the village of Pettiz, you can visit a pottery workshop and buy quality pottery.

Tourists who are tired of noisy metropolises, business and constant meetings can afford a paradise of unity with Mother Nature on the island.

Ardastra Gardens

In this captivating corner of nature, you can visit not only the botanical garden, but also enjoy the beauty of the park-reserve and zoo.

In the zoo you can get acquainted with more than 300 species of animals, and several hundred species of plants. Flocks of pink flamingos are especially popular with tourists and guests of the park area. They were brought into the park in the 50s. The amazing birds were given to the island by the Bahamian government.

Once you visit this place, it is impossible to forget the shady exotic groves, unique species of shrubs and trees, and the scents of flowers.

Boyling Hole Lake

The Bahamas is a group of islands, each of which offers a variety of interesting places to see. The nature of Cat Island, which tourists, quite undeservedly not often visited, almost untouched by civilization. There are plenty of secluded corners, preserved in its original beauty.

Tourists should go to Lake Boyling Hole, the water in which is crystal clear. It is worth noting that this place is interesting because at low tide and high tide, the water in it forms whirlpools, and it seems that the water is boiling. By contacting the local population, you can hear incredible legends, following which, that in the lake lives unclean force. The population does not recommend to go here alone, as it is not safe. Above the lake are often formed puffs of steam, and the impression is created that the reservoir and really under the protection of evil spirits.

If you want to visit the lake, you can book a tour. Boyling Hole is surrounded by mountains, and the ascent to the right place can take at least four hours. Therefore, it is important to make the trip in the morning hours. Local guides recommend that hikers start from T-Too Gosh Cave. On the way tourists will have to cross more than one valley, walk through a wild forest, contemplating a unique landscape.

Despite the fact that the way is not easy, the seen is worth the strength and energy.

Old Hermitage

On Cat Island you can visit the ancient Hermitage, which is located on Mount Alvernia. One of the local priests, Jerome, who was an excellent judge of architecture, designed the building in a Celtic-Mediterranean style. The construction of the structure was conceived and carried out on the highest mountain on the island.

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Visiting the mountain offers wonderful views of the ocean and the surrounding area.

On the way up the mountain, travelers can contemplate the beautiful hand-drawn drawings on the rocks by artisans.

The talented architect designed not only the Hermitage, but also many other monasteries. Father Jerome’s burial site around the island.

Bolshoy Island

It is the closest island to Florida. They are separated by a water surface of 90 km. Lukian National Park on its territory became famous for the fact that it served as the setting for the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

For tourists who love shopping, experts recommend visiting the Freeport Mall.

Those who prefer to relax on the white sand under the gentle rays of the Bahamian sun can visit the beaches of Paradise Cove, Xanadu Beach.

Not far from Freeport, you can stroll through the Rand Memorial Nature Center, which features an abundance of tropical plants, cozy alleys, and an interesting museum with an emphasis on the historical period and times of the Lucayans.

You can also visit the national park, on the territory of which there are underwater caves, which are 12 kilometers long system.

After visiting the park areas, you can turn to the village of Jack Ter, where pirates used to stay.

Shopping

On the main islands of the archipelago the prices are not significantly different from those on the continent. But the price range of food and fuel is much higher, since they are imported from the United States.

It is worth noting that the products of porcelain, leather, jewelry, watches and cameras are not subject to import duties. Therefore, it is advisable to buy these items at a good discount. That is why it is considered the Bahamas archipelago shopping center of the Atlantic.

Stores and malls are open Monday through Saturday. Opening hours are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and after a two-hour break until 5 p.m.

Those who know the value of money can visit the islands during the discount season, which begins parallel to the season on the continent.

Nassau

This town is famous for its souvenir shops, which sells gifts for all tastes. At first glance, the prices of goods are very high. But a tourist has the right to haggle and buy a souvenir for a reasonable amount.

The Straw Market, which is considered the best central store in Nassau, is the most visited.

If desired, travelers can visit the stores on Bay Street.

Seafood lovers should head to the fish market located at Potter’s Cay Dock.

What to Buy

Explore the plethora of handmade goods created by skilled artisans. In special honor products made of shells, straw and cloth. No less popular are the national alcoholic beverages, watches and perfumes.

Tourists planning to buy souvenirs, just have to visit the straw souvenir market, which is located in the central part of Nassau. The huge assortment of goods, smiling sellers, ready to haggle and concede, will delight you with their irrepressible positive energy. It also sells handmade costume jewelry and amulets.

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The good news is that tourists at customs do not fill out a declaration about the amount brought into the territory of the archipelago.

Unique Biming

Admirers of E. Hemingway’s works should visit Bimino, the city where he lived and worked for a long time. Unfortunately, a few years ago the museum of the great writer has burned down, but the flow of tourists, wishing to touch the memorabilia of Hemingway, does not dry up until now.

The Fountain of Youth

Many legends and tales have been written about the Fountain of Youth. In fact, the first story about the unique spring was told by the Taino Indians Leon, who traveled in these parts. If you wish, you can ask the local population about the fountain, which is located in the southern part of the city.

A little bit about the cuisine

In order to get acquainted with the national dishes of the archipelago, it is not necessary to go to expensive institutions. Many national dishes were borrowed from Americans and Europeans.

One of the traditional delicacies of the Bahamas is the sea clam, also called “konk”. It is the main ingredient in first courses, salads and appetizers. The most expensive dish is the spiny lobster, which you can eat at certain times of the year. Gourmets come for the opportunity to taste this delicacy from April to August. It is during this period that fishermen are allowed to catch it.

Visiting an expensive restaurant or a cozy cafe, you can try baked crabs or different fish. Sea bass with white wine sauce of onions and mushrooms has an excellent subtle taste.

On the Bahamian table should also be present a dish, the basis of which are peas in a spicy sauce and rice.

The people of the island nation adore the dessert, guavas pudding. Given the fact that the dessert takes a long time to prepare, it is prepared only on major holidays.

Of alcoholic beverages in the Bahamas rum is consumed both in pure form and as part of cocktails.

Nuances to the tourist.

  • Given the weak supervision of the authorities on the islands for companies engaged in organizing active sports, often accidents happen while surfing or fishing.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts should keep in mind that the Bahamas prohibits fishing with an underwater gun. For fishermen, there is a $20 state fee, payable once you go into the ocean.
  • Divers are not allowed to do archaeological work on a wreck. Ignoring the rules results in fines and even deportation.
  • It is undesirable to swim in a freshwater body of water. Swimming pools with chlorinated water are suitable for this purpose.
  • There are no sharks on the beaches of the Bahamas, as they can not get here through a ridge of coral reefs. Swimming in the open sea is prohibited due to the nature of coastal currents.

Cost

The price of tours varies greatly. On average, if we consider a seven-day stay for two in the Bahamas, including the flight there and back, the final cost will range from 120 to 280 thousand rubles. And even more. It all depends on the tour operator, the island and the level of the hotel. A 10-day tour package to Nassau will cost at least $1,500.

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