The 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets that make up the Bahamas are a paradise of hidden treasures for holidaymakers to explore.
The laidback attitude of life in the Bahamas is infectious, as is the party atmosphere that comes to life during festivals like Junkanoo and in the lively bars and nightclubs of Nassau and Freeport.
The Bahamas are the quintessence of ‘holiday heaven’, with things to see and do reaching far beyond sunbathing on the miles of white sandy beaches, or idly frolicking in the translucent turquoise waters.
The islands offer a number of activities and attractions, with everything from Loyalist settlement ruins and the Glass Window Bridge to Christopher Columbus’ first stop in the New World. The Bahamas also have the largest underwater cave system known today, and scuba divers can see the mysterious stone blocks in the waters off Bimini, said to be part of the ‘lost city’ of Atlantis, while Long Island boasts the deepest ‘blue hole’ in the world.
A unique experience for tourists is the possibility of taking a walk along the ocean floor in a rig reminiscent of the days before scuba technology, courtesy of Hartley’s Undersea Walk. Divers need no experience as they wear an undersea botanical helmet that allows for normal breathing and dry hair. The trips give you the time to walk slowly amongst the fish and the reefs without having to swim. Half-day or full-day charters are available for up to 4 divers or 6 guests.
There are any number of activities for visitors who want to do more than just lie around: bicycling, tennis, cricket, golf and other activities are available on land, along with attractions like casinos, restaurants, bars and clubs. Offshore, you can enjoy exhilerating pastimes like windsurfing, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, parasailing and scuba diving. Pinetree Stables takes people on a 2-hour Bahamian horseback ride from Freeport on the top of the island, through an endangered Pine Tree forest, past a castle, and eventually over the dunes and onto the beach where more experienced riders can canter through the lapping water at the edge of the sea. No horse-riding experience is necessary, but the minimum age allowed is eight-years-old. This fantastic activity is a must for the whole family, but it’s important to note that the horses will be led through the shallow surf so riders are sure to get a bit wet at some point.
For those with an interest int he historical or a simple love of pirate lore, the Pirate Museum takes visitors on an interactive tour through the heart of downtown Nassau, bringing them back to 1716 where they will board a replica of the pirate ship ‘Revenge’ and enter the world of bloodthirsty pirates. It is a must for all who are up for a swashbuckling good time. The museum has a gift shop with all manner of pirate ‘booty’! Croon to the Moon is a celebration held on each Sunday nearest the full moon (hence the name) and features bonfires, live music, karaoke, cocktails and some fine local cuisine. Crab races are arranged to keep kids entertained; Croon at the Moon is definitely a holiday event for the whole family to enjoy.
Friendly locals, as well as comfortable, sunny weather and a well established tourism industry, make these activities and sights all the more appealing and accessible. Add numerous resorts, restaurants, shops and markets to the mix and it becomes alluringly obvious why the Bahamas are the perfect beach-holiday destination.