Bahamas Travel Guides
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Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre
A good day out for all the family can be had at the Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre, where hundreds of mammals, birds and reptiles from various parts of the world can be viewed in a beautiful five acre park comprised of half jungle and half gardens. Bahamian boa constrictors, raptors and parrots are paraded by trainers throughout the day while opportunities for photographs are available with many birds and animals.
Bahamas Travel Guides
With 12 islands in the archipelago offering tourist infrastructures, there’s ample opportunity to partake in a little island hopping and see the best sights that each has to offer. Nassau, as the commonwealth’s capital city, is perhaps the most natural place to start and the point from which you’ll find not only some interesting sights but a variety of activities aimed at tourists.
Abaco has much to offer, with two of the main travel destinations being Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay. Awaiting your arrival will be picturesque buildings, beaches, coves, and crystal clear water. Marsh Harbour is the third largest city in the Bahamas while Treasure Cay offers a world class golf course and is renowned for being home to one of the world's top ten beaches. Day trips to Abaco are common, although it is also possible to stay overnight as there is ample accommodation available.
Blue Lagoon Island
If you're looking for a day trip that will live in your memory for a very long time, Blue Lagoon is the place to visit. You need to take a boat from Nassau, a journey that lasts approximately 30 minutes, and you'll find yourself on a private island which many regard as pure paradise. Snorkelling, sailing, shopping, dining and dancing are all available in abundance here. Visit the Stingray City amusement park if you want some undersea excitement or simply sit back and relax on the endless expanse of white-sand beach. Reservations in advance are strongly recommended, especially during the peak tourist seasons.
Cat Island boasts the highest point in the whole of the Bahaman Commonwealth and is home to significant settlements such as Arthur’s Town, Orange Creek and Port Howe. It’s not the most populated of the islands or the most developed but it offers places of interest such as the Arawak cave at Columbus Point, the remains of once flourishing cotton plantations and some natural paths which wander through native villages and take in sights of fascinating exotic plants.
If you want to witness a true tropical paradise that's still unspoiled by mass tourism, you need to take a trip to the island of Eleuthera where you’ll find tranquil beaches lapped by stunning blue ocean waters. Governor's Harbour, Rock Sound, Tarpum Bay, Harbour Island and Sandy Wells are home to the island’s most significant developments but this is really a place to come to escape the crowds and enjoy the fantastic coastal scenery so don’t go expecting attractions and tourist traps.
Exuma is a collection of small islands of which the largest and most significant is Grand Exuma. The islands are famed for their beauty and tranquillity, remaining largely unspoiled and with few major tourist developments. Places of interest among the islands include the Salt Stone monument on Stocking Island, Stocking Island itself and Hurricane Hole where cave diving is possible.
Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas and is located on the island of New Providence. The city is a must-see for anyone visiting the Commonwealth of the Bahamas as it is its busiest commercial centre, is home to the largest concentration of its population and is consequently one of its most popular tourist destinations. Nassau offers a variety of aesthetically pleasing sights such as an eclectic mix of colonial and old world architecture and a an attractive harbour. The region’s famous Junkanoo festival is celebrated most fervently on the island of Nassau.
Armed with a bucket and spade as well as some other toys to keep them entertained, kids will simply love spending days on end at one of the many beaches found all across the Bahamas. There are plenty of activities such as banana boat rides, kids’ clubs and beach games to keep the kids busy while you take some time to relax and soak up the sun.
A 30-minute boat trip from Nassau brings you to the stunning Blue Lagoon Island, a privately owned location offering a variety of attractions for the holiday maker. Snorkelling, sailing and shopping are all possible while many visitors just like to grab a drink and join the crowds dancing to the live calypso music. Bars and restaurants provide dining and refreshment allowing visitors to stay the whole day and enjoy this amazing tropical paradise.
Kids and parents are given the chance to get up close and personal with dolphins with a series of different ‘encounter’ packages, each offering different levels of contact with these intelligent and fascinating mammals. During the ‘Swim with the Dolphins’ programme, visitors get 30 minutes of unrestricted access to the dolphinarium allowing them to touch, kiss and feed the creatures while the ‘Close Encounter’ program allows waist deep contact with the dolphins, similarly giving visitors plenty of chances to pet and feed them.
Pirates of Nassau Museum
Situated in downtown Nassau, this popular attraction takes kids and parents back to the year 1716 to the time when the islands were home to the likes of Blackbeard, Henry Morgan, Anne Bonney and similar bloodthirsty seamen. The museum offers tours from guides in traditional pirate costume, giving visitors the chance to get an in-depth perspective on the history of these colourful characters. A gift shop at the end, gives visitors the chance to buy souvenirs such as t-shirts and pirate hats, while a themed pirate bar is located next door for parents to grab a drink.
Stingray City is a four acre marine park which can be found at the west end of the Blue Lagoon Island. The kids will love this theme park as they will have the rare chance to snorkel and feed the gentle Southern Atlantic Stingrays. They are guaranteed a daytrip to remember and will certainly have something to 'write home about'
A large variety of local tour companies offer visitors the chance to check out the beauty of the coral reefs and the marine life in the waters off the shores of the Bahamas. Complete novices can take the basic training packages and enjoy supervised dives in the shallower waters while experts can make full use of their experience and get out into the depths to check out their wonders. Dolphins, sharks and giant turtles are among the marine life available for viewing.
Surfing and wind surfing
Down at the islands’ most popular beaches, the opportunities to get sporty are plentiful with local beach-based companies providing all the necessary equipment and know-how to set holiday makers up for activities such as jet-skiing and water-skiing, surfing and wind surfing, snorkelling, sailing and parasailing and wakeboarding.
Grand Bahama Island has its own official cycle path which visitors and locals make use of throughout the year. Most major hotels rent bicycles at a flat daily rate (deposit required), giving holiday makers the chance to get out and about and see some of the local sights from a slightly different perspective.
Golf in The Bahamas
Golf fans will be in their element in the Bahamas, as the moist tropical weather lends itself to the nurturing of lush courses overlooked by shady palm trees and set against some fantastic scenery. Golf enthusiasts can just turn up, hire clubs and a caddy and play for the day. There are courses available on Nassau and Paradise Islands, and Grand Bahamas Island.
The Bahamas boast an impressive birdlife collection with some 28 species that are exclusive to the islands. Grand Bahama has one of the highest concentrations and is considered something of a Mecca for ornithologists with 18 of the 28 species resident there. Grab your binoculars and head off the beaten track to be assured of seeing some truly stunning creatures of the winged variety.
The Nassau Botanical Gardens, located on a site that once housed an old rock quarry, are a must for anyone with an interest in unusual plant life and general fauna. Covering an impressive 18 acres, the gardens are home to some 600 different species of tropical plants amassed from various parts of the Caribbean. Each plant is labelled and offers information about its origins so visitors can gain a greater insight of what they are seeing. Trails which visitors can walk along offer pretty lily ponds where tropical birds gather, making for more interesting viewing.
Dining & Shopping & Food in The Bahamas
Visitors to the Bahamas would be unwise to make a trip without sampling some of the local cuisine as the islands are renowned for producing some of the finest food in the Caribbean. Dishes are strongly and distinctly flavoured and invariably based around locally caught sea produce and tropical fruits and vegetables.
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Among the popular dishes to put on a 'must-try list is the tasty conch (pronounced konk) in it's various forms; this large ocean mollusc is often served raw with lime juice and spices or can be dished up fried or steamed or served in soups, stews or salads.