The Bahamas extends 760 miles from the coast of Florida on the north-west almost to Haiti on the south-east. The group consists of 700 islands and 2,400 cays with an area of 5,358 sq. miles (13,878 sq. km.). Thirty of the islands are inhabited.
The principal islands include Abaco, Acklins, Andros, Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, Harbour Island, Inagua, Long Island, Mayaguana, New Providence (where the capital, Nassau, is located), Ragged Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador and Spanish Wells. The highest point in The Bahamas is 206-ft. Mount Alvernia on Cat Island. Once known as Como Hill, Mount Alvernia overlooks The Bight.
Nassau, the capital city of The Bahamas, is located on 21-mile-long New Providence, The Bahamas 11th largest island. Nassau’s main harbor is protected by Paradise Island. The harbor attracted settlers in the early days, particularly pirates. In fact, Nassau’s population consisted mainly of pirates until 1718, when The Bahamas first Royal Governor, Woodes Rogers expelled them, restored order and built Fort Nassau. The Bahamas for centuries adopted Rogers’ motto, “Expulsis Piratis, Restituta Commercia,” which means, “Pirates Expelled, Commerce Restored.” Now, 212,000 people call New Providence Island home, with a large portion of them residing in Nassau.
The marinas in Nassau & Paradise Island have fully functioning slips, most equipped with electric and water hook-ups and fuel. Some even have cable and Internet. The marina at Atlantis is the premier facility in The Bahamas, a luxury yacht harbor accommodating vessels of up to 220 feet.
The most refreshing time to explore is between September and May, when the temperature averages 21-24°C (70-75°F), with the more northerly islands around 5° cooler than the southern islands.
The rest of the year is a bit warmer, with higher humidity in the summer months and temperatures between 27 and 29°C (80-85°F).
Night-time temperatures are generally 5-7° cooler and sea surface temperatures vary between 23°C (74°F) in February and 29°C (84°F) in August.
Even paradise needs to cool off with a little rain now and then. The islands have rain year-round, which explains the lush vegetation. Squalls and thundershowers pass through quickly, so the rain never has to ruin your day. May and June are the months with most rain, typically with about twice as much falling in the northern islands as in the southern ones.
Hurricane season officially lasts from June to November.
The Abacos are a group of islands and cays that form a 120-mile–long chain stretching over 650 square miles. The coastlines are scalloped with bays, coves and protected harbors that feature full-service marinas and resorts. Great Abaco Island and Little Abaco serve as the "mainland." Marsh Harbour has a lively downtown area with all city amenities. Treasure Cay boasts miles of pristine beaches, including one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Elbow Cay and Green Turtle Cay are old English loyalist settlements, where you’ll find beautifully preserved colonial architecture with a touch of Bahamian pastels, of course. And Guana Cay is famous for Sunday barbecues atop the island' s tall sand dune, which overlooks a magnificent 7-mile–long beach.
Boating Capital Of The World
The Abacos are one of the world' s top boating and sailing destinations and have been The Bahamas' boating capital since colonial times. The number and variety of islands make this an island hopper' s paradise.
With an entire chain of enchanting islands arrayed around a warm, calm sea, The Abacos are one of the world’s best cruising and sailing areas and have been The Bahamas’ boating capital since colonial times.
The tradition of building boats by hand (without plans) has been passed down for centuries in The Abacos. Some residents of Man-O-War Cay, known as the islands’ boat-building center, still practice that trade, and are renowned for their superior workmanship.
Elbow Cay Lighthouse
Elbow Cay is home to The Abacos' most famous landmark—candy-striped Elbow Reef Lighthouse in Hope Town, built in 1862. It stands at 89 feet and is one of only a handful of manually operated lighthouses in the world.
The Exumas are an archipelago of 365 cays and islands, beginning just 35 miles southeast of Nassau. Once called Yumey and Suma (names of Amer-Indian origin), the islands have gone through many changes over the years. Today, they’re divided into three major areas—Great Exuma, Little Exuma and The Exuma Cays. Each offers its own unique Bahamian experience. Great Exuma and Little Exuma are known for their laid-back surroundings, while The Exuma Cays act as a playground for the rich and famous, boasting numerous private homes, luxury resorts and beachside condos. The Exumas are also rich in history, as they were settled by British Loyalists with their slaves following the American Revolution.
There are docking facilities and six full-service marinas here, offering short or long-term dockage. Miles of cays and hidden coves make for some of the most spectacular sailing in The Bahamas, and frequent stops are recommended to really appreciate these picturesque islands.
These "domesticated" pigs live on Major' s Spot Cay, and it' s uncertain how they got there. Whenever a boat arrives, they swim out to it and expect to be fed, a practice that' s been going on for years.
Moria Harbour Cay National Park
Covering 13,440 acres, it is a vital part of the ecosystem between Great and Little Exuma. It includes sand dunes, beaches, mangroves and sea grass beds, home to nesting seabirds and a nursery for marine life.
Tropic Of Cancer Beach
Named for its geographic coordinate and also called Pelican Beach, this graceful crescent of white-powder sand borders the translucent blue-green water along the coast of Little Exuma. It is the longest beach on the island and prettiest in the Exuma chain.
Rum Cay offers boaters a variety of interesting things to explore—spectacular beaches, hidden harbors, caves overlooking the sea and unique marine life—so that you can spend days on the water before seeing it all. There is no marina, although the best anchorage is near St. Georges Bay, nestled in the southeast corner of Rum Cay, just as you round the barrier reef in the protected waters of Port Nelson. A few tiny stores offer provisions, and a stop at the few quaint, island-style restaurants and bars is a must.
Citizens from countries other than the US and Canada are required to present a valid passport To enter The Bahamas, which must be current up to your travel period, and some countries are also required to have a Bahamas visa. If you are departing The Bahamas for a country that has the passport validity requirement of six (6) months beyond the dates of departure, then that requirement will be enforced. You must also have a return, or onward journey ticket, hotel confirmation (if staying at a hotel, or name and address of residence) and proof of funds to support your visit.
NOTE: If you are using an electronic ticket, please show Immigration a copy of your travel itinerary and ticket number.
PASSPORT refers to a valid passport from the individual' s country of birth.
VISA refers to a Bahamas visa only. If a person is born in one country and resident in another (other than the US or Canada), the documentation required is based upon the country of birth.
Read more at: www.bahamas.com