20 Fun Facts About The Bahamas
The Bahamas is known for its beautiful beaches, turquoise waters, and laid-back island lifestyle. But there’s a lot more to this Caribbean paradise than meets the eye. Here are 20 fun and fascinating facts about the Bahamas that might surprise you.
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1. Over 700 Islands and Cays
The Bahamas is an archipelago made up of over 700 islands and cays scattered across 100,000 square miles of ocean. Out of those 700 islands, only around 30 are actually inhabited. The rest are unpopulated islands just waiting to be explored!
2. Home to the Third Largest Barrier Reef
The Bahamas is home to the world’s third largest barrier reef—the Andros Barrier Reef. This reef stretches for over 190 miles along the eastern coast of Andros Island, which is the largest island in the Bahamas. The expansive reef is a diver’s paradise, with an astonishing variety of marine life and coral.
3. Dean’s Blue Hole – One of the World’s Deepest
On Long Island in the Bahamas, you’ll find Dean’s Blue Hole—one of the deepest submerged sinkholes in the world. This stunning blue hole plunges to a depth of over 660 feet. Many free divers have trained at Dean’s Blue Hole to break depth records!
4. Highest Point Only 206 Feet High
The highest point across the 700 islands of the Bahamas has an elevation of just 206 feet. That spot is Mount Alvernia on Cat Island. So while the Bahamas may have some very deep blue holes, all of its land area is low-lying.
5. Abundant Wildlife
Despite the small landmass, wildlife abounds in the Bahamas. Over 250 species of birds call these islands home, including the national bird—the Caribbean flamingo. Bahamian waters are also full of green sea turtles, dolphins, bonefish, reef sharks, nurse sharks, and more.
6. Once Home to the Taino People
Before European settlement, the Bahamas islands were inhabited by the Lucayans, a subgroup of the Taino indigenous people of the Caribbean. The Tainos were skilled farmers, fishermen, canoe builders, and artisans.
7. Colonized by the Spanish and British
Christopher Columbus made landfall in the Bahamas in 1492. The islands then became a Spanish colony but were later home to British loyalists fleeing the American Revolution in the 1780s.
8. An Independent Nation Since 1973
The Bahamas was granted independence from the United Kingdom on July 10th, 1973. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations with Queen Elizabeth as a ceremonial head of state. The ‘Lone Star Flag’ of the Bahamas has black stripes symbolic of the solidarity of the people.
9. A Parliamentary Democracy
As an independent nation, The Bahamas is a constitutional parliamentary democracy with elections held every 5 years. It has one of the highest voter turnouts in the world due to compulsory voting laws for citizens over 18 years old.
10. English is The Official Language
While English is the official language, Bahamian Creole is commonly spoken in more informal settings. This dialect or ‘dialect chain’ has West African, English, and European influences mixed in. Sayings like “ya mon” reveal its island vibes.
11. Home of the Swimming Pigs
One of the wackiest tourist attractions in the Bahamas is found in Exuma—swimming pigs! These feral pigs mysteriously live on their own tiny island. They’ve become pros at swimming in the warm Exuma Cays to meet with the passing tour boats filled with oohing and ahhing visitors.
12. Popular Spot for James Bond Movies
If certain islands or beaches in the Bahamas seem familiar, that might be because you saw them in James Bond films like Casino Royale, Thunderball, or Never Say Never Again. Bond has shot craps, raced speedboats, had fights underwater, and made love on these legendary Bahamas beaches.
13. World’s 3rd Largest Wine Cellar
Nassau on New Providence Island is home to the world’s third largest private wine cellar with over 400,000 bottles. Once owned by a wealthy industrialist, it was more recently acquired by the The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. Talk about paradise for wine lovers!
14. Top Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Spot
With abundant marine life, coral reefs, shipwrecks, blue holes, sea caves, and more—the Bahamas is known as one of the best scuba diving and snorkeling destinations on Earth. And with over 100,000 miles of coastline to explore, there are endless sites perfect for underwater adventurers.
15. Top Fishing Destination Too
Big game fishing is also world class in the Bahamas. The islands’ location right in the migration path of many Atlantic game fish make it perfect for chasing trophy catches like Blue Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi and more. Fly fishing for bonefish is another popular pastime.
16. Beautiful Beaches and Waters
From the pink sand beaches of Harbour Island to the azure waters of Exuma, the Bahamas live up to their reputation for breathtaking natural beauty above and below the waterline. The white and pink sand sparkles brightly in the tropical sun.
17. Popular for Destination Weddings
Romantic sunsets on secluded beaches provide the perfect backdrop for a dream destination wedding. Resorts specialize in creating the ideal island wedding and honeymoon getaway. Getting married barefoot in the Bahamas can often cost less than traditional weddings too!
18. Family Friendly All-Inclusives
In addition to couples and weddings, many tourists flock to the Bahamas’ all-inclusive resorts for easy, value-packed family vacations. Parents can relax while the kids play, no cooking or cleaning required. Plus most hotels offer special kids programs full of island adventures.
19. Expensive to Visit but Worth It
Going on vacation in the Bahamas is not a budget getaway for most visitors, but rather a once in a lifetime luxury experience. Aside from cruise visitors or certain hotels, food, activities, and lodging at hotels or private villas comes at premium resort pricing.
20. Truly a Caribbean Paradise
Even with the high price tag, the Bahamas remains a dream destination for travelers from all over the world. Picture perfect beaches with waving palm trees, the sounds of classic Caribbean steel drums, incredible diving sites, unlimited island adventures, luxury lodging options, delicious seafood and rum cocktails, friendly locals and rich culture—a Bahamian vacation is the ultimate Caribbean escape. Ya, mon!