White sand, Emerald sea, Azure sky ...
In 1492, Christopher Columbus makes his first trip to the New World, on the island of San Salvador to the east of the Bahamas. Having observed shallow lagoons, He says: « baja mar » which means «shallow», and so named the Bahamas, the islands of shallow water.
This archipelago consists of 700 islands and almost 2000 cays covering 100,000 square miles. Only 30 to 40 of them are inhabited.
The Bahamas has approximately 300 000 habitants, out of which 69 % live on Providence Island where the capital Nassau is situated. The second city of the archipelago is Freeport, situated on the island of Grand Bahama.
The islands of the Bahamas are mainly flat, the highest point being 206 feet. The Bahamas has some of the clearest lagoons in the world, with an underwater visibility of 200 feet. Currently 5 % of the world coral is in the waters of the Bahamas..
The Bahamas Archipelago is sunny around 310 days per year. During a visit in 1760, George Washington described the Bahamas as «islands of June». The temperature varies during the year between 70°F and 82°F, with a humidity rate of 65 %.
Money, Language et cuisine :
The official currency is the bahamian dollar, fixed to the value of the US Dollar. USD, are accepted.
The official language is English. But a great majority of Bahamians speak the Bahamian Creole, a mixture of english vocabulary with french and african languages. Other languages are spoken by a minority of people, such as Jamaican Creole.
Bahamian cooking is based around fish and seafood and all restaurants serve shellfish in differents forms (soup, fritters, stew), grouper and lobster are other local specialities. Dishes are usually quiet spicy and serve with coconut oil.
The Exuma Cays
This archipelago consists of 365 islands. Most of the populations live on Great and Little Exuma, two islands linked by a bridge.
If you visit the Exumas the last week-end of April, you will be able to attend the annual Family Island Regatta.
During this event in Exuma, Bahamian sailors compete for the title of the Best of the Bahamas.
Exuma Land and Sea Park, reachable only by sea, allows you to discover the refuge of numerous land and marine species as well as magnificent landscapes.