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  • The Affluent Bahamas

    Nassau, The capital of Bahamas lies on the largest island of Bahamas, New Providence ©Dave Johnson/flickr

    Nassau, The capital of Bahamas lies on the largest island of Bahamas, New Providence ©Dave Johnson/flickr

    The Sovereign Island of Bahamas lies Northeast of Cuba and southeast of Florida, USA. Its capital and largest city is Nassau. Bahamian dollar is the currency of Bahamas. The total area is 13,939 sq km while the coastline is 3,540 km.

    The political status is monarchy, the current monarch being Queen Elizabeth II. The official language is English but French Creole is also widely spoken by Haitian immigrants

    The island is known for being a popular and luxurious tourist destination, renowned for its outstanding resorts excellent beaches and for its well preserved hospitality industry.

    It is one of the wealthiest nations on the Caribbean. While they consider agriculture, commercial fishing and forestry production as important factors, Bahamas, nevertheless is most famous for its banking and investment industry. Tourism is also very important, many foreign visitors being mostly from the United States. It is also one of the worlds largest financial centers and ship registry is common.

    Bahamas features many sights that are worth a visit. Some important places to see are the following:

    • Dean’s Blue Hole is known for being the deepest salt water blue hole in the world. It is close to Clarence Town and the hole is situated on a bay.
    • Blue Lagoon Island. It is one of Bahamas’s best resorts. It is a beautiful private island having many restaurants, bars and nightclubs and also renowned for its dolphin habitat
    • Fort Charlotte was built by the British in the 18th century after the American Revolutionary War. Despite the forts purpose, it has never been used for battle.
    • Government House is the official residence of the Governor of Bahamas. It features an exemplary 19th century Georgian Colonial Architecture.
    • Atlantis Paradise Island is the most renowned and luxurious resort of the island. It has many high class hotels, bars and restaurants and also one of a kind beaches.

    The infrastructure and transportation is modern and developed, around 70% of the road being in good shape and paved. The total road system inside the country is 2.700 km. The country, like most former British colonies, drives on the left.

    The colorful market of Freetown, Bahamas serving everything you need©Jesse Marriott/flickr

    The colorful market of Freetown, Bahamas serving everything you need©Jesse Marriott/flickr

    There are 3 main ports of the island and these ports are:

    • Nassau port
    • Freetown port
    • Matthew Town port

    The international airport is Lynden Pindling International (16 km of Nassau). Cars can be rented both from the airport and from big cities and the drivers must be 25 years old.

    The topography of the country is diverse and rich. Bahamas features more than 30 islands, most of them being inhabited. These islands are made of coral line limestone. The highest and largest is Cat Island where the tallest point of Bahamas(63 meters high), Mount Alvernia is also situated.

    Despite being a Caribbean island, the climate is cooler than in other countries on the region but still the weather is pleasant throughout the year. In summer time the average temperature is around 30 Celsius degrees while in winter time usually ranges between 21 to 24 Celsius degrees. The hurricane season is between June and November.

     

    The most significant isssues that the country faces are solid waste disposal and coral reef decay.

    The vegetation is heterogeneous. The best examples of vegetation are subtropical trees. The soil, however, is infertile and thin, despite that, cultivation of exotic fruits and vegetables still has been practiced, especially on more modern and developed islands. 60% of Bahamas’s land is covered by forests. Unlike other Caribbean islands, Some islands of the nation has got pine forests.

    Coco Cay is one of the many beautiful beaches of Bahamas ©A. Duarte/flickr

    Coco Cay is one of the many beautiful beaches of Bahamas ©A. Duarte/flickr

    The wildlife consists of unique species such as frogs, bats and flamingos.

    The total population of the country is 372,000 and 84% of them live in urban areas. Bahamians are African descent 85% and the rest of them are European origin and other islands nations(mainly Haitians). The countries main religion is Christianity but freedom of religion is granted for everyone.

     

    The health care system is widespread and developed.  Many types of hospitals can be found on the island with specialists being trained in the United States. The life expectancy is 75 years. Infant mortality is 14 per 1,000 live births.

    Dean's Blue Hole seen from above, one of the most beautiful sights of the island Daan Verhoeven/flickr

    Dean’s Blue Hole seen from above, one of the most beautiful sights of the island Daan Verhoeven/flickr

     The Brief History of Bahamas

    When Christopher Columbus arrived on the island in 1492, the land was ruled by the Arawak people. However, according to the journeys of Christopher Columbus, the Arawak people warmly welcomed him, unlike the other warlike Caribs. Nevertheless, after 20 years the Spanish enslaved them and more than 40.000 of them were deported to Hispaniola. During that time, British pirates also used the islands of Bahamas.

    In 1718, it has officially became a British Crown Colony. The colonization by the British served Bahamas well, as it enjoyed prosperity. Economic plantations, African labor, and depots for running ships appeared and later on industries like sponges, pineapples later on again tourism was one of the most important factor that shaped the islands economy. On the other hand, it also faced much tragedy during the centuries such as hurricanes, slave trading, uprisings and diseases.

    The Royal Towers of of Atlantis Resort, a luxurious destination of Bahamas ©Scott Ableman/flickr

    The Royal Towers of of Atlantis Resort, a luxurious destination of Bahamas ©Scott Ableman/flickr

    From the 1960 a movement for independence started. In 1964 a new constitution was established, the legislature and the ministerial system being reformed. It was Lynden Pindling, the leader of PLP (Progressive Liberal Party) who one the general election in 1967 and led the island of Bahamas to Independence from the United Kingdom in 1973. He a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom and was knighted in 1983 by Queen Elizabeth II ten years after the independence of Bahamas.

    Even if Bahamas faced both positive and negative parts during history, The United Kingdom left a great legacy for the country. Today, it is one of the most popular destinations in the world and also the richest. It offers you many from cuisine, parties to natural landscapes that are not to be missed.

     

     

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