Bahamas

Bahamas Travel Guide

It’s only logical to try out water sports and island activities while staying in the Bahamas. Most hotels and resorts provide access and information for all kinds of adventures and experiences either on-site or right nearby. One of the world’s largest open-air aquariums, Atlantis Waterscape, is right in Nassau at the Atlantis Resort at “Paradise Island.” It holds over 200 marine species, not to mention the waterpark with a lazy river, waterslides and a personal dolphin experience.

Stuart Cove’s Aqua Adventures is Nassau’s primary experiences for diving and snorkeling. Their dive sites are open for beginners to event he most experienced divers. The snorkel adventure visits three sites, including one with sharks (for the daring to participate). The Pirates of Nassau is Nassau’s pirate museum, where you can learn the history of pirates on the island and in the Caribbean itself, and even board a replica pirate ship. Above and Below Abaco also provides diving experiences, but does island-hopping tours as well, including one to the Mystical Blue Hole, an island sinkhole with crystal clear water.

For Nassau standards, the Clifton Heritage Land and Sea Park is way off the beaten path. It is not even accessible by public transportation. Nevertheless, it is easy to get to by taxi or through a tour operator.

Pompey Square is a free-spirited social hub for local festivals, art shows, lounging and child’s play. There is an interactive water feature in the center of the square; surrounding it are restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and the Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation.

In the late 1700s, enslaved Africans carved a gorge, more than 100 feet deep, into a solid limestone hillside with axes and other sharp hand tools. This passageway of 66 sloping steps provided a shorter route from Fort Fincastle to Nassau City, which was needed in case of an attack.

Two worlds collide at the adjoining Rawson Square and Parliament Square, central bearing points in downtown Nassau. Rawson Square houses a half body bronze bust of Sir Milo Butler, the first governor-general in an independent Bahamas.

The view of Nassau is one of Fort Charlotte’s best attributes.

The vibrant blue of the ocean and colorfully painted Bahamian cottages have drawn artists to Harbour Island for 100 years. Princess Street Gallery is the place to see a sophisticated collection of world-class art, illustrated books, home accessories, and locally made crafts.

For years, owner Clare Sands has visited the Out Islands, sourcing intricate basketwork to sell on Bay Street. She's now in Atlantis's Marina Village, selling her palm baskets, bags, and trays that have been either bleached by the sun or blackened by kerosene.

If you remember the scene in Thunderball where James Bond is chased through a chaotic, crazily costumed tropical street parade, then you’ve already seen a scaled-down version of Junkanoo.

The beach stretches nearly the length of the island. Protected by the third-longest barrier reef in the world, it has some of the gentlest surf in the Bahamas.

Arthur's Bakery bustles as "the" meeting place for residents and visitors in Harbour Island. They come for coffee and freshly baked bread and pastries made by Robert Arthur and his wife, Anna.

Nassau was established in 1670, when King Charles II of England gave the island to six proprietors. Unfortunately, few examples of 18th-century architecture remain.

Sprawling, unspoiled Andros has a coastline threaded with mudflats, bights, and shallow lagoons: prime territory for catching bonefish.

A simple stone cross at Fernandez Bay, on San Salvador’s west coast, commemorates Christopher Columbus’s first landfall in the New World. Many a visitor has snapped the sun setting into the water with the monument in the foreground.

Today’s experiential traveler wants to participate rather than merely observe.

Just outside the security-gated mansions of Lyford Cay is a tiny shop full of crisp Tory Burch caftans, romantic Calypso Christiane Celle dresses, and an eclectic mix of other designers, from Graham Kandiah to Roberta Freymann. If the combination of hip St.