The Bahamas extends 760 miles from the coast of Florida on the north-west almost to Haiti on the south-east. The group consists of 700 islands, of which 30 are inhabited, and about 2,400 cays (coral reefs).
When Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492 on San Salvador, The Islands Of The Bahamas were inhabited by Lucayans, a subgroup of Arawak indians. Slavery, disease and other hardships wiped out the entire tribe within 25 years of Columbus’ arrival.
British settlement in The Bahamas was established in 1647 by a group of English settlers in search for religious freedom, the Company of Eleutheran Adventurers, who organized a community on what is now the island of Eleuthera; in 1783 the Islands Of The Bahamas became a British colony.
During the late 17th and early 18th centuries, piracy flourished in the islands because of their proximity to important shipping lanes.
Today The Bahamas has become one of the world’s foremost vacation resorts. Nassau is the political capital and the commercial hub of The Bahamas. Tourism and international banking and investment management accounts for more than 55% of the country’s gross domestic product.
The official language spoken in the Bahamas is English, however the dialect and slang is difficult for most Westerners and Europeans to understand, especially on the “out islands.”
The locals speak very fast and use indigenous phrases. They are very friendly though, and will always help. With the exception of Nassau, violent crimes, and crimes in general, are almost non-existent in the Bahamas.
The populace is predictably friendly and more religious than one might expect: the Bahamas have one of the highest ratios of churches per capita in the world, with Baptists being the largest single group. Local newspapers will reveal religious references by elected officials in a manner that exceeds what would be found in the United States.
This devotion does nothing to prohibit the activities of visitors nor is it intended to. There is a very “libertarian” attitude about personal morals.
Wildlife in Bahamas contains various species. Many different breed of crabs can be found on the beaches. Hermit and Cardisoma guanhumi are two of the land crabs to be noted frequently in the island. The wild horses of Abaco are famous in The Bahamas.
During a tour of the Bahamas, tourists can come across various other species including the Bahamas Hutia, numerous frogs, rocky raccoon, snails such as Cerion, cicada, blind cave fish, ants and reptiles.
Bahamas Wildlife features a wide range of amazing birds. Parrots and pigeons are two of the most common and popular birds found in The Bahamas.
The Bahamas is also home to numerous aquatic life. Sharks, manatees, dolphins, frogfish, angelfish, starfish and turtles can be viewed in the waters surrounding The Bahamas. Apart from numerous species of fish, tourists can spot several types of worms also.
The climate of the Bahamas is tropical savannah or Aw. As such, there has never been a frost or freeze ever reported anywhere in the Bahamas – although every few decades low temperatures can fall into the 38°F to 45°F (3°C to 5°C) range for a few hours when a severe cold outbreak comes off the North American landmass. Otherwise, the low latitude, warm tropical Gulf Stream, and low elevation give the Bahamas a warm and winterless climate. There is only a 12°F difference between the warmest month and coolest month in most of the Bahama Islands.
Like most tropical climates, seasonal rainfall follows the sun, and summer is the wettest season. The Bahamas are often sunny and dry for long periods of time, and average more than 3000 hours of sunlight annually.
Although rare, tropical cyclones can impact the Bahamas. In 1992 Hurricane Andrew passed over the northern portions of the Islands, and Hurricane Floyd passed near the eastern portions of the islands in 1999.