The Bahamas Islands cover 100,000 square miles of tropical paradise comprising more than 650 islands and 2,400 cays and located just 50 miles off the Florida coast. Once called the “Islands of Perpetual June” by George Washington, the Bahamas are blessed with a tropical climate that makes them a year-round destination for people yearning to unwind from the grueling North American scene. An excellent time to visit the Bahamas is summer, which falls between June and August. Winter is sometimes surprisingly cold, and daily high temperatures in the Bahamas rarely dip below 60°F from December to February, and the sun shines an average of 300 days a year.

Dubbed the “Playground of the Rich and Famous,” the Bahamas offers a smorgasbord of attractions and diversions that are as colorful and unique as the archipelago’s history, heritage, and people. The diverse geography and rich natural resources of the Bahamas ensure the satisfaction of tourists of all agendas and tendencies. Surfers will find boundless serenity and self-indulgence on the Bahamas’ stunning beaches, while fun-seekers who’d rather avoid the sun can go spelunking in the caves of Hatchet Bay or birdwatching in Inagua. Many travelers find that there is so much to see and do in the Bahamas that just a return visit would allow them to sample every little treat the Bahamas has to offer.

Why go to the Bahamas if you’d rather stay dry? It’s so hard to resist the charm of the Bahamas’ pristine beaches and powdery soft sand that it’s like skipping the gondola ride when visiting Venice. The endless stretch of spectacular sand and sea, the Bahamas is a beach lover’s paradise not to be missed. The beaches provide an idyllic retreat for everyone, from world-weary travelers to honeymooners. The Bahamas has more than 450 miles of the clearest waters on earth and an endless variety of beach and water activities.

The crystal blue and emerald green waters provide a magnificent place to practice water sports such as parasailing, water skiing and windsurfing. The deep-sea fishing capital of the world and Ernest Hemingway’s favorite sport-fishing hideaway in the Bahamas, Bimini Island teems with marine life unrivaled anywhere else in the world. Visitors to the Bahamas who aren’t entranced by the allures of water sports and sport fishing can always retire to a secluded area on the beach with a good book while working on a super tan.

Nature lovers who hate to put on a bathing suit will find plenty of destinations and adventures to choose from in the Bahamas. The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is a 175-square-mile wildlife reserve and refuge in the Bahamas that is home to several rare birds, colorful fish, and exotic reptiles, including the endangered Bahamian iguana. Visit Abaco National Park on Out Island and Great Inagua in the Bahamas, considered two of the best birding destinations in the entire Caribbean.

More than 1,100 Bahamians participate in a community engagement project that brings tourists and locals together on a more personal level. Visitors get a firsthand taste of island life by participating in activities with their Bahamian hosts, such as sharing home-cooked meals, spending an evening of convivial conversation, or worshiping together at the local church. By involving people, participants gain invaluable knowledge and a wealth of memories that make visiting the islands a memorable and highly rewarding experience.

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