Bahamas

Introduction

The Bahamas comes from the Spanish words “baja mar” meaning shallow sea. 700 beautiful Islands form The Islands of The Bahamas and extend over 260 000 km2. They are playgrounds for sailors, anglers, divers, nature and adventure lovers, eco-tourists. The archipelago covers over 970 km from the Southeast coast of Florida in the middle of the clearest water in the world. The Islands ground is thin, but on the most developed islands, about 14 of them, exotic flowers are grown. On other Islands, you’ll find virgin beaches, pinewood, swamps, arid roc and plots. The Bahamas are divided in two oceanic parts, le Small and the Big Reef. Bahamas are also famous for their corals barrier, being the third largest one in the world. Bahamas also offer more that 109 bird species and over 120 plants type.

History

The Lucayens (also called Arawaks) were the first inhabitants of the Bahamas, between 900 and 1500 BC. Then Columbus landed on the Bahamian island of San Salvador in 1492. Between 1495 and 1520, the Spanish settlers deported the Lucayens, now slaves, to the Hispaniola Island. The British first built settlements on the islands in the 17th century. Great Britain was constantly fighting against Spain and France and used Pirates to check out the Caribbean Sea. Charles Town became a famous pirate haut before it was completely destroyed by the Spaniards. Then, in 1695 she was constructed again and named Nassau, due to the king William III. From 1861 to 1865, Bahamas economy took advantage for the American Civil War. In 1920, After the World War II, Americans and Canadians tourists came to enjoy the Bahamas sun. Apart from tourism, Bahamas also added the financial side and became a tax heaven country.  In 1967, the politic party managed by blacks came to power and open the way to the independency. In July 1973, the Bahamas became an independent nation; member of the Commonwealth. Bahamas don’t have an army and it is one of the nations the most politically stable.

Culture

85% of the people in the Bahamas are black or Creole and 12% is white. You will find great enthusiasm for American culture, combined with a strong flavour of Britain. Moreover, the Caribbean way of life is also the pride of the Bahamians and time is not the same over there, so relax, and enjoy your vacations.

Map

 

To See

Nassau: The capital is located on the Northeast coast of the Island of New Providence which is linked to Paradise Island. Nassau is American but still has something in its air that makes it close to the Caribbean. Its charm comes from the difference between its architecture of the old World and its modern life. Downtown reflects some history with its buildings. Museums explain the Lucayens history and tell as well the city history. Garden produces several different plants. In the heart of the commercial district, the handicraft market is impressive as the visit to the wood sculptors and basket makers.

The major Islands are: Andros, Grand Bahama Island, Eleuthera/Harbour Island, Long Island, The Abacos, Acklins/Crooked Island, The Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, The Exumas, Inagua, San Salvador, Mayaguana. 
Some are famous for sailing, others for all kind of fishing, some others for scuba diving, or diving. Sports lover will enjoy bicycle, golf, tennis, horse ridding and cricket.  If you prefer calm, you will love the endless deserted beaches. You can also explore the colonial villages, pineapple plantations, secret grottos. Finally, nature is well represented with pink flamingos, donkeys, goats and rare birds. Visiting several Islands of the Bahamas is a great way to discover the archipelago. SPECIAL: Two free round trip tickets from Nassau to any other island in the Bahamas are free when purchasing any Bahamas package!

Usefull Information

Airports: 57 airports in the Bahamas, three international airports (in Nassau, Grand Bahama Island and Exuma). 24 of them are officially named as gateways to the Bahamas.

Area: 700 Islands over 5,380 square miles (13,900 km2).

Business: Businesses are opened from Monday to Friday from 09am to 5pm. Appointments and business cards exchanges are commonly done in business relations.

Capital: Nassau.

Climate: The Bahamas has a tropical maritime climate, which makes for generally year-round good weather. The Bahamas does not experience extremes of temperatures.

Clothing: Casual summer wear can be worn during the day any time of the year. Most hotels/restaurants/casinos require jackets for men in the evening, especially in more cosmopolitan areas, such as Nassau and Freeport/Lucaya. Beach clothing is inappropriate on the streets, in churches, restaurants, and casinos. Away from beach or pool areas, you are expected to cover your bathing suit with shorts or a long shirt. In the more laid-back remote areas, the dress-code is more flexible.

Currency: Bahamian dollar - B$, which is equivalent in value to the US dollar. Both US and Bahamian dollars are accepted interchangeably throughout the islands.

Customs: Each adult is allowed 50 cigars or cigarettes or 225 grammas of tobacco and 1.1336l of spirits free of Customs Duty. In addition, purchases up to a value of one hundred dollars ($100.00) are permitted by all arriving passengers.

Economy: The Bahamian economy is based primarily on tourism, which is concentrated mainly in Nassau and Grand Bahama. Another important economic sector is financial services, which places the Bahamas among the world's leading financial centres.

Electricity: 110 Volts, 60 Cycles. American plugs.

Entry & Departure requirements: Please refer to the Bahamas tourism website (link below) or ask us.

Health: Medical services are about the same level as the United States. There are however quite expensive and a medical insurance is heavily recommended.

Holidays: New Year’s Day (01JAN), Good Friday, and Easter Monday (MAR-APR), Whit Monday (MAY-JUN), Labour Day (JUN), Independence DAY (JUL), Emancipation DAY (AUG, Columbus Day (OCT), Christmas (25-26DEC).

Language: English.

Political status: Independent nation; member of the Commonwealth.

Population: 303,000.

Religion: Christianity is the dominant religion in the Bahamas. The religious denominations in the Bahamas include  Anglican, Baptist, and Roman Catholic.

Security: In general, travelling in the Bahamas is very safe. Crime does exist, but the levels are still acceptable. There are cases of robbery and even serious violent crime, but these tend to be restricted to areas in Freeport and Nassau, less popular with tourists.

Shopping: Bahamas abolished all import duties on few categories of items including Perfumes and Fragrances, Crystal, Leather Goods, Jewellery, Fine Linens and Tablecloths, Watches and Clocks, Photographic Equipment, China, Binoculars, and Telescopes. These items are all duty free.

Taxes & Service charges: Tip is generally 15%. Many establishments include the gratuity in their bills.

Telecommunications: the international dialling code for The Bahamas is +1 242 followed by seven digits. On the island, use the seven digits alone.

Time: GMT – 5 hrs. Bahamas Time operates Daylight-Saving Time.

Transportation: Getting around in Nassau/Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island and most of the Out Islands is easy. The various modes of on-Island transportation include rental cars, taxis (which are plentiful) buses (called jitneys) which for a small fare can take you to and from many locations, motorbikes (mopeds), and bicycles. Driving is on the left.

MORE INFORMATION:http://www.bahamas.com/bahamas/index.aspx

 Bahamas Guide: http://bahamas-guide.info/

Little Exuma Beach
People
Golf, Paradise Island
Nassau
Diving
Exuma Cays
Stand
Stocking Island Exuma
Norwegian Cruise Line
MSC Cruises: POESIA and LIRICA
The Out Islands of the Bahamas
Hotel Superclubs Breezes in the Bahamas: All Inclusive stay
Bahamas+Quebec: HOT-COLD package with skidoo in Montreal
ATLANTIS, Paradise Island
Hôtels Best Western Bay View Suites & Comfort Suites
SANDALS RESORT and BEACHES
Paradise Bay Bahamas B&B and cottages
The Out Islands of the Bahamas
From: 2695 CHF/2625 €
St Maarten & St Barthelemy : Islands Combination !!!!
From: 4195 CHF/3395 €
St Maarten & St Barthelemy : Islands Combination !!!!
From: 4195 CHF/3395 €
St Maarten & St Barthelemy : Islands Combination !!!!
From: 4195 CHF/3395 €

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