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Bahamas Lighthouse

Bahamas Hotels, Attractions, and Information

Written by Beth Garrett

The Bahamian Islands have long been a favorite of tourists from around the world. The miles and miles beaches surrounded by the aquamarine blue of the Caribbean Sea have attracted a wild assortment of adventurers, smugglers, pirates and politicians. Tourists have a lot to choose from. There's gambling casinos in West End, historical forts in Nassau and some of the world's best fishing and marine sports are available virtually everywhere you go in the 700 island chain. The Bahamas can be as close as a 45-minute plane ride from West Palm Beach, Florida all the way to Matthew Town in the south, which is about the same distance to Cuba. Bimini Island is only 60 miles dead east of Miami Beach. The island vacation spots of Abaco, Freeport on Grand Bahama, Eleuthera, Andros Island, San Salvador and Exuma are known around the world for their championship fishing grounds. Cruise ships leave the ports of Miami, Palm Beach and Port Everglades for day trips to the Bahamas or longer week long vacations. Many larger cruise Bahamas lines, such as Norwegian Cruise Lines have access to their own islands where passengers can relax and play in the sun. Tourists can enjoy the reggae music, back in the sun or walk the old steps of Fort Fincastle that overlooks Nassau Harbor. Whether it's fishing, boating or fun in the sun, the Bahamas are always waiting. As the Bahamians like to say `it's better in the Bahamas'.

Bahamas History

The Bahamas island chain were first inhabited by members of the Carib nation of Indians, who in fact were fierce warriors who consumed their defeated enemies. The first Western explorer to set foot in the Bahamas was non other than Christopher Columbus. Columbus was searching for a new route to India for the spice trade and inadvertently Bahamas discovered the New World for Spain. Other than Viking settlements in Nova Scotia, 1492 saw the first European arrivals and set off hundreds of years of competition for wealth, power and raw materials. While Columbus claimed the Bahamas for Spain, no one thought to ask the Carib tribes if that was all right, Great Britain quickly gained control of the island chain. The British founded New Providence in 1647 and began the influence of the English that lasts to this day. Bahamian police dress like British cops, a parliamentary government rules the country and Queen Elizabeth appears on Bahamian dollar bills. Fighting off innumerable attacks by Spanish forces, Great Britain also got to chase after a hoard of pirates that plied the waters of the Caribbean Sea. The Bahamas Bahamas have had a long association with smugglers, whether local authorities approve or not. During the American Civil War, blockage runners held up in the hundreds of small harbors and again during prohibition. The Bahamas were a British colony until gaining independence in the early 1970s. Finally under their own control, the Bahamas have thrived as one of the world's major tourist Mecca with millions of visitors walking on the white beaches every year. It's hard to beat a vacation in the Bahamas.


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