- Language: English
- Currency: Bahamian dollar
- Temperature: Average 60-75°F winter, 78-90°F summer
- Square Miles: 5,382 (land area) Approx.
- Population: 300,000
ABOUT. The Bahamas lie only fifty miles off Florida’s coast, making them a popular destination for many Americans. The Bahamas are the largest tropical archipelago nation in the Atlantic Ocean, covering more than 100,000 square miles and containing 900 square miles of coral reefs. The Bahamas encompass about 700 coral-based islands and 2,000 cays (pronounced “keys”). These islands and cays attract tourists for its beaches, snorkeling, diving, fishing, shopping, and golf.
The islands’ major cities are Nassau, on New Providence island, and Freeport, on Grand Bahama island. The Bahamas were inhabited by perhaps 40,000 Lucayan Indians when Christopher Columbus visited them in 1492. For many years the islands sheltered pirates. The Bahamas really began to prosper through tourism. Nassau, the capital city of The Bahamas, is located on this island and is the commercial hub of The Bahamas.
Grand Bahama is the second most popular destination for tourists in The Bahamas. It is the most northerly of this island chain. Shipwrecks were numerous near this island, as the water near the Little Bahama Bank was relatively shallow.
The most remote islands in The Bahamas are the Out Islands, also called the “family islands.” The Out Islands consist of a dozen major islands and island groups, as well as many other cays, some of them uninhabited.