The 700 islands of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas are located in the Atlantic Ocean, north of Cuba and Hispaniola. Of the 700 islands, most are small flat sandy islands called cays. The Bahamas islands have an estimated population of 310,000 live in the Bahamas. The capital of the Bahamas is Nassau on New Providence Island.
The islands are reputed to have a long, but undocumented history, where it is thought that the Bahamas islands were settled as early as 300 and 400 A.D. The islands of the Bahamas were originally inhabited by the Lucayan people also known as the Arawak Indians. Much later on, the Bahamas islands would be discovered by the Spaniard Christopher Columbus in 1492 and regrettably, within 2 decades of settlement by the new world inhabitants, the indigenous Lucayan people would be wiped out by diseases, illnesses, hardship and slavery.
The Bahamas islands were never officially colonized by the Spanish (who claimed discovery) actually, the islands were eventually settled upon by British colonist for over 324 years, pirates and privateers visited the islands regularly, as the shallow waters and many islands made the location a perfect hideaway and getaway for the pirates. During the settlement, the islands of the Bahamas were setup as a plantation economy worked by African slaves, once it became a crown colony in 1718.
Upon the emancipation of the slaves, the ex slaves themselves made the Bahamas isles their home and as a result the population of the Bahamas today is made up of African descent.
As a sovereign independent nation under the British system, the political, judicial and legal practices are modeled after those of the British Westminster system. The formal name of these islands is the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and as the name indicates, the Bahamas is a member of the commonwealth nations. The Queen of England is the recognized head of state, who is represented on island by the Governor general. The primarily economy driver is tourism, though its banking and financial service sector contributes significantly.
Visitors to the Bahamas are privy to island life that is warm, charming and very exciting. The islands provide miles of beaches, private or busy, and unending array of water sports and water activities for all ages. Shopping, spa services, lavish resorts and local festivals including the infamous Junkanoo Parade are part of the great attractions.
The Bahamas is a known tropical tourist destination, with a deeply rooted culture, made up of a diverse heritage, and many influences inherited along the way by settlors to the islands. The culture and heritage is heavily influences by the Africans, but the islands cuisine, lifestyle and richness, is a result of a self reservations of history intermingled with a emerging evolutions of a people, who embrace the old and live for the new. The Bahamas are well known for a long athletic success in track and field, the shopping free port and a cruise ship destination favored by many.
With so many islands to visit in the Bahamas, any visitor could use up all their time exploring the diversity amongst the islands. Form the free ports and busy cosmopolitan areas of the main shopping hub, to the sultry and creative arts in the capital, to the secluded and ultra private resorts on the out islands.