The Bahamas

Bahamas islands, Caribbean
Bahamas islands, Caribbean

The Bahamas are located north of the Greater Antilles and southeast of Florida, technically the location of the Bahamas is in the North Atlantic Ocean, and not in the Caribbean, yet sometimes the Bahamas are encompassed as being islands of the Caribbean. A significant percentage of those islands are technically cays, or coral reef islands, and most are uninhabited. The name “Bahamas” comes from Spanish, and it roughly translates to mean “shallow water.” More than 300,000 people live here, making it a relatively populous country. Since winning its independence from the U.K. in 1973, the Bahamas have flourished. Tourism, in particular, is the main thing driving the economy here, so locals tend to cater to visitors and are very welcoming.

The Bahamas are made up of more than 700 islands. It is believed that Christopher Columbus arrived on the Bahamian island of San Salvador in 1492. At the time, it was populated by Arawak Indians. The British first arrived in 1647, and the Bahamas officially became a colony in 1783. Due to its long history with Great Britain, the Bahamas continues to be highly anglicized. English is the official language, and Christianity is practiced by nearly everyone who lives there. Indeed, the country is very religious and boasts the highest ratio of churches in the Caribbean.

Though the Bahamas consist of thousands of islands, only a handful get any real attention from tourists. New Providence Island is home to Nassau, the capital. It’s also where you’ll find the world-famous Atlantis resort. Grand Bahama is best known for its amazing underwater cave systems. Many cruise lines own and operate private resort islands as well. Most of the islands in the Bahamas are long, flat coral reef formations. Smatterings of small, rounded hills appear here and there in some areas. The highest point, Mt. Alvernia, is 63 meters high.

If you’d like to visit the Bahamas, the best time is generally between late December and early May. You can fill your days boating around the islands, noshing on cracked conch, swilling local rum and splashing about in the year-round 80-degree waters. You can also check out art galleries, casinos, forts, museums, monuments and much more. The official currency is the Bahamian dollar, but American currency is widely accepted too.

  • Capital city - Nassau
  • Language - English

Nassau, capital city of Bahamas

Nassau, capital city of Bahamas

Nassau is a true feast for the senses. The air is thick with the sweet aroma of tropical flora, locals can be heard bargaining over jewelry, rum cakes and coins at the duty-free shops of Bay Street and cotton candy-colored Georgian-style buildings nearly glow in the historic district. The capital of the Bahamas has a high-energy vibe that will cure any case of cabin fever and delight even the most well-traveled visitors.

There are a few notable museums in the city, and the most interesting is likely the Pirates of Nassau Museum. The world-class collection includes interactive displays complete with recreations of pirate life, cutaways of ships and walk-throughs that make visitors feel like authentic swashbucklers. There is also a great gift store to plunder and a friendly Pirate Bar serving up tall glasses of cool beer.

A modest collection of documents and artifacts is on display at the Bahamas historical Society Museum. The collection tells the story of the islands from the Lucayan era through today, and the admission price is worth it just to see the incredible model of the Santa Luceno, a Spanish galleon.

pier landscape in Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau is a bustling city filled with vibrant energy, but there are many places to go to catch a break from the chaos. Above the rock perch on Bernard Road is St. Augustine's Monastery, one of the most imposing yet peaceful places on the islands. Call ahead to schedule a tour of the working monastery.

The Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Park also offer a lovely escape from the sometimes overwhelming action of the city. More than 50 species of animals, reptiles and birds call the zoo home, and indigenous species of flora thrive in the gardens. Visitors can see many animals up close, including West Indian flamingos, monkeys, iguanas, the endangered Bahama parrot, snakes, hutias and caimans.

Atlantis Nassau

Kids and adults will both enjoy the Atlantis Waterscape, the world's largest open-air aquarium. More than 200 species of marine life can be experienced up close, including 14,000 fish. The underwater Plexiglass walkway lets visitors see the creatures like never before, and the park also includes an interpretation of the ruins of Atlantis, a lagoon full of sharks and a lazy river for tubing.

Government House in Nassau

One of the most beautiful buildings in Nassau is the Government House, a cheery pink Georgian structure that tops Mount Fitzwilliam and houses the country's governor-general. Walking the grounds is permitted, but visitors must schedule interior tours in advance and a military guard is a required chaperone. Twice each month, visitors are welcome to watch the changing of the guard and to sit for tea with the wife of the governor-general.

Blackbeard's Tower is another popular tourist attraction in the city. The cut-stone tower sits just south of Fort Montagu and offers an outstanding view of Nassau.

white sandy beach with cristal waters in Nassau

Other sights worth exploring in Nassau include the bustling Rawson Square, the lovely gardens at the Bahamas National Trust, the white-sand Cable Beach, the 18th-century Balcony House and the Eastern Cemetery, where pirates and other rascals are buried in above-ground tombs.

Nassau, capital city of Bahamas

Bahamas presentation video

Nassau Location

Nassau is the largest city, capital and commercial center of The Bahamas. According to 2010 census, Nassau was home to nearly 250,000 residents, which is 70% of The Bahamas total population.

The city of Nassau was first formally known as Charles Town before it was burned to the ground in 1684 by the Spanish and was rebuilt 9 years later to be named Nassau.

Nassau Language

English is the official language used in Nassau, Bahamas.

Nassau Predominant Religion

The predominant religion in Bahamas is Christianity, with other religions being accepted.

Nassau Currency

The Bahamian dollar is the official currency of Nassau, Bahamas and is based off the U.S. dollar as well as being equivalent to.

Nassau Climate

The climate in Nassau is known as tropical monsoon with pretty consistent temperatures throughout the entire year, regardless of the season. Exceeding temperatures of 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celcius) during the summer, Nassau hardly ever goes below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 C) during the winter with an average daily temperature of between 68 and 80 degrees F (20 and 27 C).

Nassau main attractions

  • Rawson Square
  • The Queen's Staircase
  • The Water Tower
  • Gregory Arch and The Caves

Other attractions in Nassau

  • Beaches
  • The Lost Blue Hole – hole site

Closest major airport to Nassau, Bahamas

The closest airport is within the city and is Lynden Pindling International Airport.
The airport codes are (NAS/MYNN).
The airport is located just 9.9 miles from the Nassau city center and features daily flights to the United States, United Kingdom, the Caribbean and Canada.

Nassau calm life

New Providence & Paradise

New Providence Island and Paradise Island form a glitzy duo that features the best of the Bahamas. Joined by a bridge, these two islands offer an amazing selection of beaches, casinos, nightclubs, ...

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Grand Bahama Island

Grand Bahama Island is the ultimate destination for glistening sand and emerald waves. Most of the island’s tourist attractions and resorts can be found in the bustling cities of Freeport and Lucay...

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Abacos

Anybody seeking a relaxing vacation away from shopping malls, casinos and crowded tourist attractions should visit the Abacos. Aside from being the perfect destination for beach bums, this is a dre...

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Andros

It’s hard to resist the cays and islets that make Andros feel like a slice of heaven that has fallen to Earth. Of course, its jagged shore looks like a place that is better suited for pirates than ...

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Bimini

Beautiful Bimini is made up of a chain of islands that stands approximately 50 miles away from the United States. As a result, this destination is particularly popular among American vacationers. T...

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Berry Islands

The Berry Islands are perfect for travelers looking for a spot in the Bahamas that is relatively undeveloped. Most of the chain’s 30 islands are gloriously uninhabited. This destination has earned ...

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Eleuthera and Harbour Island

Luxury is the name of the game in Eleuthera. A mix of turquoise waves and pink sand on Harbor Island creates a colorful canvas where beach bums can enjoy lazy days in the sun. This portion of the B...

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Exumas

If you enjoy walking along beaches where no human footprints can be found, the secluded cays of the Exumas are for you. This tropical destination features more than 300 breathtakingly secluded cays...

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Cat Island

Cat Island is in its own category when it comes to beauty. This island is home to the highest point in the Bahamas. All who climb to the top of Mount Alvernia are greeted by a delightful Franciscan...

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Long Island

There’s a long list of reasons why Long Island is one of the best destinations in the Bahamas. Stunning cliffs lined with colorful flowers and fishing villages give this destination a tranquil and ...

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Crooked & Acklins Islands

The sun forms a straight line in the direction of the Crooked and Acklins Islands. These lush islands form a circle around a beautiful lagoon called the Bight of Acklins. The pair of islands is cel...

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Inagua

Inagua remains an enigma to all who are blessed enough to dip their feet into its warm shores or encounter its colorful birds. There is no place else on the planet where white sand and blue waves a...

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Mayaguana

With a population of less than 300 people, secluded Mayaguana is the perfect island for anybody looking to escape from the world for a little while. The settlements of Abraham's Bay, Betsy Bay and ...

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San Salvador

Life is all about sun and fun on San Salvador Island. It is believed that this island is the first piece of land spotted by Christopher Columbus during his first expedition to the Americas. An unde...

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