The Bahamas

Spangled between the depths of the North Atlantic and Florida's eastern coast, the Bahamas – not technically part of the Caribbean – comprises more than 700 stunning subtropical islands and 2400 cays, most uninhabited, and all fringed by spectacular coral and fathomless ocean trenches. From the grit and bustle of funky Nassau to the vast mangroves of Andros, there's an astonishing array of beaches, reefs, forests and historic towns to be discovered, all within the compass of an hour's flight.

Culture & History

The history and heritage of The Bahamas have resulted in a diverse culture rich with customs that continually remind visitors of the love for celebration and community in The Bahamas. Many of the people who live in The Bahamas are of West African descent and others are descendants of English Puritans. This provides a melting pot of native customs of West African, English, and other cultures who settled in The Bahamas over the last several centuries.

The local Bahamians are always eager to show off their islands, tell stories, and point out the hidden treasures. They encourage you to explore and they want you to see the culture of The Bahamas, they’ll even take you around, whether it’s to give you a lift across a bridge or help you discover the best places to enjoy Bahamian culture.

One of the most popular cultural festivals is Junkanoo when thousands of people in ornate and colorful costumes and headdresses dance in the streets to rhythmic Bahamian music. This cultural event has spurred numerous smaller festivals throughout the islands over the year, but the biggest celebration takes place each Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.


The Bahamas has a great tradition of delicious local dishes, featuring ingredients like guava, rock lobster, and conch. Bahamian cuisine is influenced by the dishes and cooking style of the American South, which is evident in the side dishes and seasoning used. Grits are common, as is a considerable amount of spice. Some elements of Bahamian cuisine are similar to cuisine throughout the Caribbean, such as fresh seafood, peas n’ rice, and some that are unique to the islands of The Bahamas.

With such a fascinating cuisine, food festivals in the Bahamas are must-attend events. Each major food festival during the year is an opportunity to sit back and enjoy local entertainment as well as the most amazing dishes that the Bahamas has to offer. Two of the most popular food festivals are the All Andros Crab Fest held in June and the Eleuthera Pineapple Festival held at the end of May.

Urban Experience

One of your first experiences upon arrival is the sound of live music greeting you at the airport or cruise port. And, all across the islands, you will have many opportunities to enjoy a rich musical tradition at bars, clubs, and restaurants. Major international artists frequently perform at resorts.

Also, when the moon comes out, entertainment awakens in these islands. The Bahamas have a rich nightlife full of activities to do: you can enjoy traditional music in quaint bars, the latest sounds in city-style nightclubs, or try your hand in a casino.

The Bahamas also have lots of art to contemplate. Galleries in the major islands display paintings by international artists, collections of fine Bahamian oils, and vivid watercolors depicting island scenes. You can also purchase local art on the smaller islands – from the artists directly, at small souvenir stores, and even from hotels that often decorate their walls with those fine creations.

Outdoors & Adventure

The Bahamas is an archipelago consisting of about 700 islands. Of that 700, 30 of those islands are inhabited, which makes the Bahamas the perfect place to go island-hopping. Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas and is the popular destination for those traveling to the island. From Nassau, you can easily travel to the small islands, each of which has its unique features.

An example of the extraordinary natural beauty of the Bahamas is its famous pink sand beaches. According to researchers, the light pink sand gets its hue from thousands of broken coral pieces, shells, and calcium carbonate materials left behind by foraminifera (tiny marine creatures with red and pink shells) that live in the coral reefs that surround the beach. Also, with its crystal-clear water and a variety of marine life, reefs, and shipwrecks, the Bahamas is one of the world’s premier destinations for scuba diving and snorkeling.

Also, there’s a very unusual thing and a must-see when you go to The Bahamas are the famous swimming pigs: a growing international sensation. The world’s richest and famous have flocked to Bahamian shores just to experience one of the most curious and fascinating animal activities up close. And you can swim with them too!