Bahamas

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About

  • The Bahamas is a chain of 700 islands and about 2,000 cays (low islands or reefs of sand or coral). However, only 29 of the islands are inhabited.
  • The Bahamas is located in the North Atlantic Ocean on the eastern edge of the Caribbean, just 72 kilometers (45 miles) southeast of Florida.
  • The word Bahamas is of Spanish decent and means ‘Shallow Water’
  • The well known pink sand beaches of the Bahamas get their vibrant appearance from the fractured pieces of seashell combined with the sand.
  • The highest point in the Bahamas is Mount Alvernia on Cat Island
  • The official language spoken in the Bahamas is English
  • The Bahamas has one of the highest ratios of churches per capita in the world, with Baptists being the largest single group.

 

HISTORY

  • Arawak Indians inhabited the islands when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the New World on San Salvador Island in 1492.
  • British settlement of the islands began in 1647
  • The islands became a colony in 1783.
  • The island attained independence from the UK in 1973

Avg. Costs

  • Breakfast – 6 US, Dinner – 15-30 US, Fancy dinner for two – 150 US
  • Free shuttles are often offered throughout the Bahamas

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Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

  • Visitors should exercise caution and use good judgment when visiting The Bahamas. Violent crime has increased recently.
  • Although Bahamas is a safe place to travel, visitors should be aware that crime has increased since 2007.
  • It is wise for tourists to avoid certain high risk activities such as – walking on secluded beaches, walking in unfamiliar residential neighborhoods or secluded areas away from main roads.
  • Tourists, especially women, should always stay in groups.
  • Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses.

 

Click here to see Canadian Government Travel Reports and Warnings on http://www.voyage.gc.ca/.  Travel Reports offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues.

Climate

  • The climate is tropical which is moderated by warm waters of the Gulf Stream.
  • During summer months, temperature in the Bahamas rarely goes above 90°F (32°C).
  • The normal climate during winter is mild with temperatures around 60°F (16°C).
  • The Northern and Western islands, Grand Bahama Island, Great Abaco, Andros and Eleuthera are somewhat cooler than the southern islands.
  • The Bahamas hurricane season runs between June and November and rain storms are expected during this period. Hurricanes and other tropical storms sometimes cause extensive flood and wind damage.

Places to See

Lucayan National Park

  • 40-acre protected reserve on Grand Bahama
  • Has one of the world’s longest underwater cave systems
  • Includes unique wildlife, such as the Remipedia bat
  • A great way to see the park highlights is to kayak through: much of it is made up of navigable waterways.

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Paradise Beach

  • Located on the north-western tip of Paradise Island
  • Paradise Beach promises 1.5km (1 mile) of pristine powder-white sands and warm, crystal-clear waters.
  • Recently revamped with the construction of the new Cove Atlantis hotel, but the public still enjoys access to large parts.
  • Besides lounging in the sun, you can enjoy snorkeling, diving, jet skiing and para-sailing here.
  • You can enjoy a range of motorized and non-motorized water sports here.
  • Take a dive or snorkel tour to explore the underwater wonders such as wrecks, caves and sea gardens around Paradise Beach and the island.

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Inagua

  • The two islands making up the southern-most part of the Bahamas archipelago
  • Much of Great Inagua is taken up by a large body of water, Lake Windsor.
  • This is an internationally important bird reserve with an 80,000-strong population of West Indian flamingoes.
  • Besides the birds, there are limestone caves to explore and great scuba diving.

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Cable Beach

  • One of the most popular strips of shoreline on New Providence Island
  • Cable Beach gained fame during the post WWII boom in the Bahamas
  • The beachfront spans 3km (2 miles) just west of Nassau
  • It is lined with luxury resorts, restaurants, casinos and a golf course.
  • Sun worshipers can spend their days reclining on beach lounges, swimming in the turquoise sea, or enjoying an array of water sports, including scuba diving and snorkeling.
  • Golfers tee off on the Radisson Cable Beach Golf Course (West Bay Street) an 18-hole, par 72 course that is open to the public as well as hotel guests.

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Junkanoo Festivities

  • This is the nation’s number one party
  • Street processions and dance bands fill the streets, along with a lively party crowd, at the Bahamian Junkanoo festivities on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
  • The event follows the pattern of the Caribbean carnival, with revelers in elaborate costumes made from crepe paper and cardboard wheeling through the streets.

 

 

 

Atlantis Paradise Resort

  • Kids (and many adults) love Atlantis Paradise Island Resort & Casino
  • It includes a world-renowned, 34-acre playground, Waterscape, which features a massive marine habitat, an underwater snorkelling trail called Paradise Lagoon, a five-storey replica of a Mayan temple and a Lazy River Ride for tubing.
  • Visitors can observe sharks, stingrays, lobsters and piranhas from glassed-in underwater viewing tunnels.

Etiquette

Country Customary Information: A common greeting for their culture is a handshake with constant eye contact followed by a warm smile. If invited to a dinner, don’t sit until you are invited to sit. It is important not to start until the hostess starts. It is also considered polite to finish all of your food on your plate. It is wasteful if you do not.

Communication Etiquette: Humor is a large part of their communication style. They are a very direct culture but they have also been known to manipulate their words to sound friendlier. The Bahamians are known for being friendly, very outgoing and informal they are also very polite. Sharing a meal is considered to be one of the most common ways to build a relationship.

Business Etiquette: Business people are known to be very respectful, and do expect you to always be on time, even if they tend to be late from time to time. The business culture here is strongly influenced by the USA and the UK. Meeting agendas will just act as guidelines for the overall meeting. Since in the Bahamian culture relationships are highly valued, expect to spend some time during the meeting to talk about non-business related topics.
Business Cards are traded without any formal ritual, just upon introduction. The manner in which you treat their business cards reflects how you will treat the business relationship. Be sure to put it in a business card case as a sign of respect.

Contributions (1)

  • Deanna says...

    Deanna- Newmarket, Ontario
    Stayed on Paradise Island, you MUST visit the Atlantis Resort for the day. Admission is about $100 USD for a full access resort day pass. They have lockers so you can keep things stored while you play in the water. Things to see: a gigantic aquarium, and lots of underwater walkways. The marine life you see is amazing and huge! There are a bunch of water slides and a rapid river to play in!!! Kids can have fun with the parents in the rapid river or they can play in the kids water park and lazy river. Lots to see, spent the entire day well worth the money.
    Overall the Bahamas has a RELAXED vibe, everyone is friendly but not in a rush to get anywhere. Bring extra cash, you will need it not a cheap place to visit. Not many bank machines around had to go into town or the casino, and to use them they charged 3-5 USD each time and your bank will also charge a $3 Canadian service charge each time.
    If you like Casino’s the Atlantis has a great casino, free admission anytime. (Note: not allowed to wear beach wear in the casino). If you plan to go to the casino bring CASH you need it at the table to play.

    Posted on Thursday, April 19th 2012 at 10:30 am

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