The Bahamas, located only 40 miles from South Florida, is a magical 700-island chain sitting on crystal clear 100,000 square miles of ocean in beautiful shades of turquoise, green and blue. Most famous for its amazing white sand beaches, the culturally diverse islands have something to offer everyone. Known for its mild weather, ranging from 70 degrees Fahrenheit in winter to 90 degrees Fahrenheit in summer, every island in The Bahamas offers year-round serenity. Some say The Bahamas has the clearest ocean waters on Earth, with visibility reaching depths of up to 200 feet–a diver’s delight. The tranquil, turquoise waters and soft sand beaches are recognized as some of the best in the world.
The Bahamas has established itself as the premier destination for visitors seeking fun in the sun and relaxation. Our shores are so beautiful, that pictures often don’t do them justice. You have to see The Bahamas for yourself and meet some of the friendliest people on earth to find out how stunning our country is in all its glory.
The Bahamas is in very close proximity to the United States of America and has over 32 ports of entry and international airports with direct flights from across the globe; the islands are also one of the most easily accessible tropical destinations in the world.
The capital of Nassau sits on the island of New Providence. It is linked by bridge to Paradise Island, home of the world-class Atlantis resort casino with the world's largest outdoor aquarium and a fantastic water theme park.
The outer islands, known as the Family Islands, are less populated and more laid back. Settlements range from fun, picturesque towns founded by the Loyalists, to small, peaceful farming villages settled by the descendants of slaves
Early History: Christopher Columbus made his landfall in the New World on the Bahama island of San Salvador in 1492. In 1648, a band of Puritans was shipwrecked off the island of Eleuthera (Greek for Freedom) after leaving Bermuda to escape religious persecution. And then groups of Loyalists (people Loyal to the British Crown) fled America after the War of Independence and settled on the island of Abaco, bringing with them African slaves. Today’s Bahamas is a rich tapestry of the descendants of freed slaves, the Loyalists and the Bermuda settlers
Government: The government in the Bahamas was established after achieving independence from Britain on July 10, 1973, remaining closely modeled after the Westminster style to this day. As a Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, The Bahamas still recognizes Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as the Head of State
A prime minister heads the government and a general election must be called within five years. The political system is based on the British parliamentary system. The Parliament comprises the House of Assembly and the Senate. Members of the House are elected directly every five years. The governor general appoints senators. The prime minister proposes the majority of the senators, the opposition leader proposes 1/4 of the members, and the remaining members are appointed on the advice of the prime minister after consultation with the leader of the opposition. The prime minister is the head of the Executive Branch of government and heads a Cabinet of minimum 8 other ministers, one being the attorney general.
Prosperity: The Bahamas has prospered through tourism, international banking and investment management.
Modern Infrastructure: New Providence, Abaco and a number of other islands boast modern infrastructure, excellent telecommunications, international airports and fine hotels and restaurants.
The Judiciary: The Bahamian Judiciary is fully independent from the rest of the government. English Common Law forms the basis of the judiciary system although many Bahamian statutory elements have been added over the years. The Supreme Court is the main court in the Bahamas. Its decisions may be appealed before The Bahamas Court of Appeal. Final appeals may be presented to the Privy Council in London.
Population: 300,500 +
Currency: The currency is the Bahamian dollar. However, although all other currencies are foreign, the U.S. dollar is accepted throughout the Bahamas and is on par with the Bahamian dollar. The exchange control is administered by the Central Bank of the Bahamas.