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The Bahamas

Many people think The Bahamas is one destination - Nassau and Paradise Island - but it's really much more than that. The Commonwealth Of The Bahamas, as it is formally known, consists of 700 beautiful islands and 2,400 cays that stretch for 500 miles, from just off the southeastern coast of Florida almost to Haiti. Together, these exotic jewels offer a lifetime's worth of opportunities for adventure, exploration, and simple, blissful relaxation.

About two-thirds of the Bahamian population lives in the capital, Nassau, on the island of New Providence. Nassau is the country's social, economic and political center and a vibrant place steeped in history.

The Bahamas gained independence from Britain in 1973. The country is a parliamentary democracy and part of the British Commonwealth. The Bahamian and US dollars are fixed at a rate of 1:1, and US currency is readily accepted here.

Nassau and nearby Paradise Island, which are connected by two bridges, boast world-class hotels and casinos (including the dazzling Atlantis Resort), clubs and restaurants, and top-of-the-line duty-free shopping. There are countless attractions and tours as well as championship golf courses, tennis courts, and every water-oriented activity imaginable - swimming, sailing, power boating, fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, water-skiing, windsurfing and more.

The other islands of the Bahamas are called 'Out' or 'Family' islands. They include the second most populated island, Grand Bahama, as well as the Abacos, the Exumas, Eleuthera, Bimini, Andros, Cat Island, San Salvador and Long Island. Here you'll find miles of unspoiled powdery beaches (some of them bright pink), crystal-clear aquamarine waters, magical coral reefs, some of the best fishing and diving anywhere, and an exceptionally warm people.

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