The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

icon In Brief

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
1200 S. Pine Island Road #750
Plantation, FL
Bahamas, The

Phone: 954-236-9292
Fax: 954-236-9282

About Us:
The 700 Islands of The Bahamas, located just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, form a 100,000-square-miles archipelago that extends over 500 miles. Our land area is estimated at 5,382 square miles, with the highest elevation of 206 feet on Cat Island. Our emerald-green, turquoise, and crystal-blue waters are the clearest in the world, with visibility over 200 feet. Travelers who seek beaches, boating and sailing, diving and snorkeling, ecotours, fishing, and water sports will be the first to notice the difference our water clarity makes on their sporting experience.

icon We are a Great Destination for:
AccessibleAdventure Travel
All InclusiveArchitecture
ArtBaby Boomers (ages 35-53)
Bird WatchingBoating
Budget TravelBuses & Coaches
Business TravelCamping
Car RentalsCharter Airlines
Conference CenterConvention
Cooking/CulinaryCouples Only
CustomizedDestination Weddings
EventsFall (Sep-Nov)
FreightersFuture Seniors (ages 54-64)
Government TravelGroup Travel
Home StayHoneymoon
HorsebackHotel Bookings
Incentive TravelKayaking
Leisure TravelLimousines
LiteraryLodging Rental
Luxury TravelMarathon
Meeting PlanningMinority Travel
MusicNational Parks
NaturePerforming Arts
Resort TravelSafari
SailingScuba Diving
Senior Citizens (ages 65+)Shopping
Sports, ParticipantSports, Spectator
Spring (Mar-May)Spring Break
StudentSummer (Jun-Aug)
Ticket ConsolidationTours
VillasVolunteer Vacations
WalkingWater Sports
Wind SurfingWinter (Dec-Feb)
Women's TravelYachts
Young Adults (ages 21-34)

icon Photos
Click a photo to see a larger version
icon Detailed Information

The Lucayan Indians, original inhabitants of The Islands of The Bahamas from 900-1500 A.D. greeted Christopher Columbus when he made first landfall in the New World at San Salvador Island in 1492. They were later enslaved and shipped off to Hispaniola to work in gold mines. Disease and other hardships wiped out the entire tribe within 25 years of Columbus' arrival. Columbus gave our island chain its name, derived from the term "baja mar," which he called the shallow seas he found here. Learn about our History.
Our culture reflects the diverse heritage of our islands. The traditional music of The Bahamas is "Goombay," which combines the musical traditions from Africa with that of the European colonial influence. Our Junkanoo Festival is reminiscent of Mardi Gras and Carnival; the American South inspired Bahamian cuisine, with dishes like grits; the use of medicinal plants in folk medicine came with slaves from Africa; the Puritans instituted our religious devotion through the Eleutheran Adventurers; and our language reflects the Queen's English and African origins. Learn about our Culture.
Our 305,000 residents are predominantly of West African descent, their ancestors brought to the islands as slaves to work the cotton plantations until 1834, when Britain abolished slavery in all its territories. Most white residents are descendants of English settlers who emigrated from Bermuda in 1647 to gain religious freedom. Some are also related to the Loyalists who fled the southern United States during the American Revolution and built enormous plantations here. Learn about our People.
Our islands have a diversity that ranges from a blend of international glamour and tropical ease in our capital Nassau/Paradise Island, to a combination of ecological wonders and manmade attractions in Grand Bahama Island, home to the nation's second city Freeport/Lucaya. Our remote Out Islands are home to quaint fishing villages with unique, colorful names, fabulous dive sites, and fishing sites. Some islands have won worldwide acclaim for their stunning beaches and warm hospitality. View our "Island Guide."
There are numerous Charter and Scheduled Airlines, in addition to Cruise Ships, providing service to The Islands of The Bahamas from many places around the world. There is also easy access for Private Planes and Private Boats at various Ports of Entry throughout the islands - 24 airports and 29 marinas are sprinkled throughout the chain, with the services of Customs & Immigration available. View travel options.
Each Island of The Bahamas offers a variety of things for you to do. You can choose to simply sunbathe on a beach or by a pool; dip in the ocean or ride on it in many kinds of vehicles; dance to Goombay or Junkanoo at a Festival or in a club; try a game of chance in a casino, or with your favorite game fish; meet the locals at the church of your choice or through the People-to-People program. View our "What-to-Do Guide."
The Abacos - boating and sailing; Acklins & Crooked Island - bonefishing, diving and snorkeling; Andros - scuba diving and snorkeling; The Berry Islands - sports fishing and diving; Bimini - big game fishing; Cat Island - historical sites and great beaches; Eleuthera/Harbour Island - colonial villages and great beaches; The Exumas - yachting and sports fishing; Grand Bahama Island - ecotourism and golf; Inagua - ecotourism; Long Island - beaches, diving and fishing; Mayaguana - diving and sports fishing; Nassau/Paradise Island - international glamour, tours; and San Salvador - historical sites, diving and snorkeling.
Many restaurants offer international foods, including American, British Caribbean, Chinese, Continental, French, Greek, Italian, Mediterranean, and Mexican. Bahamian restaurants generally serve seafood, particularly Conch (pronounced "konk"), a large type of ocean mollusk that has firm, white, peach-fringed meat. It is served raw in salads, fried, and steamed. Fresh fish is boiled, fried, and stewed. The Bahamian "rock lobster" is a spiny variety without claws that is served broiled, minced or used in salads. Land crabs are boiled, baked or used in soups. Pigeon peas are cooked in rice and occasionally in soup. View our Restaurants.
Trade winds blow almost continually throughout The Islands of The Bahamas providing a warm, agreeable climate which varies little year round. There are only two noticeable seasons, ranging from 80-90ºF with high humidity in the summer months to 70-80ºF in the winter (September through May). Nighttime temperatures are generally cooler by 5-7 degrees. In the more northerly islands, winter temperatures are approximately 5 degrees lower than the southern islands. Sea surface temperatures vary between 74ºF in February and 84 ºF in August. View current weather conditions and seasonal changes.
We have a variety of information to help you be more prepared for travel anywhere in The Islands of The Bahamas: Customs & Immigration, Entry Requirements, Banking, Climate, Clothing (What to Wear), Currency, Communications, Driving Laws, Language, Pets, Safety & Health, Shopping, Time Zone, Tipping, Utilities, etc. View all Travel Tips.
The highlight of our Events calendar is the annual Junkanoo Festival & Parade, which features brightly costumed people dancing to the music of cowbells, drums and whistles. Festivals are now held on several islands during summer weekends, and parades on December 26 and January 1. Each island also holds indigenous festivals during major holidays, when former residents come back during "Homecoming" weekend to remind themselves of all that they had left behind. Local food, music, games and boat races are usually part of those events. View all Events.
icon Great Deals
icon Information

icon Join The CasinoTraveler Newsletter: Don't Be Left Out! Start Receiving Important Emails Today.
E-Mail Address:   Zip Code:   Travel Interest: