First inhabited by the Arawak Indians, this archipelago of 700 islands includes the top tourist destinations of New Providence, Grand Bahama, the Abaco Islands, Eleuthera, Andros, Cat Island, San Salvador Island, the Berry Islands, the Exumas, and Freeport.
The Bahamas had an economy that originally centered on fishing and agriculture. It has since grown to a nation with a per capita income that ranks among the top 30 globally. Now, the economy thrives on tourism, financial services and international shipping.
Today, the largely appreciated trade winds of the Bahamas provide warm weather year-round. With a climate that provides an opportunity for fun in any season, it’s no surprise that the islands attract more than six million visitors each year. Here, we’re going to look at the most appreciated features of the Bahamas, including sites and things to do when making it your next vacation destination.
Beaches to Visit
If you’re looking for a real vacation by the beach, Gold Rock Beach on Grand Bahama Island is the perfect option or snorkeling or sunbathing with your toes in the water, enjoying the low tide.
On Paradise Island, the abundance of activity on the beaches make them a great location for renting water toys and playing all day. For the more laid-back island experience, there are gems right off the tourist areas of Paradise Island like Rose Island. This location is perfect for those who only want to feel completely removed from the hustle and bustle and hang out on uninhabited land for the day.
If you’re looking for sand that never gets hot, try the pink sand beach of Harbour Island. This beach spans the length of three miles and remains protected by offshore reefs that keep calm waters and subtle waves.
The Bahamas Government understands that the beauty of their islands is what keeps people coming back year after year. Because of their desire to preserve the land in the Bahamas for years to come, the government holds a major priority when it comes to preserving the wetlands. Well-preserved wetlands present opportunities for expanding the ecotourism industry, allowing wildlife to thrive and keeping the fishing industry strong for the island economy.
Guided kayak expeditions — even with glass-bottom kayaks to view marine life beneath you — are an excellent way to partake in ecotourism while visiting the islands. There are also eco-friendly resorts that provide first-class comforts without compromising the effects of tourism on the environment.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
Home to the world’s third-largest barrier reef, the Bahamas is high on the list of choices for scuba diving. The dive spots along the 190-mile barrier reef provide ample opportunity to view colorful marine life, wreckage and blue holes.
For the visitors who love to explore but prefer to stay in shallow regions, the coral reefs are the perfect site for activity. There, it’s easy to grab your fins, snorkel and mask to explore the vibrant schools of fish, stingrays, turtles and eels.
Horseback Riding on the Beach
No matter the skill level, horseback riding along white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters provides unforgettable memories. Grand Bahama, New Providence and Harbour Island all have guides with horses ready to take you on a lovely stroll.
Swimming with Pigs
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If you haven’t already seen photos of this quirky experience, then you’re in for a treat. The Exuma chain of islands is home to famous swimming pigs, which swim out and greet tourists with the hope of a snack and some head-scratchers. There’s also a herd of swimming pigs on the Abaco Islands, and a dive center that offers trips to the pig-inhabited island so that you can experience this treat firsthand.
If you’re seeking a Bahamian adventure, then you have the option to enjoy beach-dwelling, marine life exploration, ecotourism or international cuisine on the main islands. Meanwhile, the outer islands provide more primitive experiences with less-structured activities and uninhabited beaches. Either way, there’s something for everyone on a Bahamas vacation.
Have you visited the Bahamas? Tell us about your favorite thing to do in a comment below.
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