The islands of the Bahamas lie in the Atlantic Ocean, just of the south eastern coast of the United States. This archipelagic nation has over 700 islands and 3000 cays, which are sprinkled in some of the most beautiful waters in the world.
Geography played a part in Bahamian history. In 1492, Christopher Columbus made his first landfall in the New World on the island of San Salvador in the eastern Bahamas. After observing the shallow sea around the islands, he said "baja mar" (low water or sea), and effectively named the area The Bahamas, or The Islands of the Shallow Sea. Since it was located close to Florida and well-travelled shipping channels, The Islands Of The Bahamas caught the attention of explorers, settlers, invaders and traders. These people shaped the colourful history of The Bahamas and made the country what it is today.
The natural beauty of the Bahamas shines in it's pristine white beaches, aquamarine waters, and lush vegetation. These natural features, coupled with a sunny climate, have made it a premier warm weather destination, and the nation welcomes in excess of three million visitors per year.
The original inhabitants of the Bahamas were the Lucayan Indians, who were destroyed by the Spanish after Columbus visited the Bahamas in 1492. Over the centuries, the Bahamas has welcomed inhabitants from all over the world, and this unique mix of cultures has resulted in a strong Bahamian culture, which has been able to successfully withstand the neighboring influences of other more powerful nations. Many of the islands of the Bahamas have distinctive sub cultures, which delight the visitor in search of a cultural experience.
By far the strongest cultural influence in the Bahamas is African, which originates in the influx of slaves to these islands. Of the traditions passed down through the centuries, none is as vibrant and dynamic as Junkanoo.
Once a British colony, the Bahamas became independent in 1973. This young nation is a unique blend of the modern and its past legacy, The Bahamas....it just keeps getting better!
Renowned world-wide for sunny climate, white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, the 'island's The Bahamas dot the Atlantic Ocean in a graceful arc stretching from just off the coast of Florida to within miles of the island of Cuba. The friendly people who inhabit these islands welcome millions of visitors to their shores each year. The warm hospitality of Bahamians is equally matched by their creative and artistic abilities, which re displayed in magnificent style each year at Christmas time, in the Bahamian festival of Junkanoo.