Located in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of the United States; north of Cuba,
Hispaniola (Dominican Republic & Haiti) and the Caribbean Sea; and northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands is the Commonwealth
of The Bahamas. There are over 700 islands in The Bahamas, lying southeastward from the coast of Florida; many of them have
escaped the notice of tourists. The islands offer clear warm water and sandy beaches. All the larger islands offer a high
standard of accommodation and leisure facilities. Sunbathing, diving, fishing and boating are the main daytime amusements.
The capital of The Bahamas, Nassau, stands on New Providence Island. In the capital, tourists can shop in the bustling ‘straw
market’, where local vendors create unique straw goods on the spot. The Water Tower is the highest point on the island,
85m (216ft) above sea level. An elevator takes visitors to an observation deck for panoramic views. Freeport, the second city
located on Grand Bahama, is excellent for golf and diving. Long Island certainly lives up to its name, being almost 100km
(60 miles) long but rarely more than 5km (3 miles) wide. The landscape consists of rugged headlands dropping sharply down
to the sea, fertile pastureland, rolling hills and sandy beaches washed by surf. At Conception Island, divers can explore
over 30 shipwrecks, and tours are arranged from the Stella Maris resort complex at the north end of the island. Blue Lagoon
Island features an exotic lagoon where visitors can enjoy close encounters with friendly bottle-nosed dolphins. Local delicacies
include conch, grouper cutlets, baked crab and red snapper fillets in anchovy sauce. Local drinks are rum based and the local
liqueur is called Nassau Royal. Beach parties and discos are organised regularly by hotels. Live entertainment includes calypso,
goombay music and limbo dancing.
In terms of GDP per capita, the Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas
(following Bermuda, the United States, Cayman Islands, Canada, and the British Virgin Islands) and one of the richest in the
world whose population is predominantly of African ancestry.
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