Tropical paradise 50 miles from Miami
The Bahamas archipelago is a subtropical oasis scattered over 100,000 square miles of ocean, just 50 miles off the coast of Florida. It comprises 700 breath-taking islands, over 2,000 rocks, and cays, and boasts the most transparent water on the planet—with a visibility of over 200 feet. You can see your toes as quickly as you can the world's third-largest fringing barrier reef. Well-known as a maritime playground for sun-starved Americans, this stunning piece of subtropical islands is much more than just a cruise-ship stopover. Stretched between Florida's eastern coast and the depths of the North Atlantic, most of the islands are untouched and unspoiled by human hand. From the funky Nassau to the vast mangroves of Andros, there's an astonishing array of splendid beaches, coral reefs, forests and historic towns to be discovered, all within the compass of an hour's flight. There's sailing around the Abacos' history-filled Loyalist Cays. Partying till dawn at Paradise Island's over-the-top Atlantis resort. Diving the mysterious blue holes of Andros. Kayaking the 365 Exuma Cays. Lounging on Eleuthera's pink-sand beaches. Pondering pirates in Nassau. There's a Bahamian island to match almost every water- and sand-based compulsion, each framed by a backdrop of gorgeous, mesmerizing blue.
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Freeport and The Abacos (5 days)
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With the spark of a big city and the ease of tropical utopia, Nassau & Paradise Island are considered by many as, well, paradise. Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas, is a bustling metropolitan hub full of culture and new activities and amenities. To the north lies Paradise Island. Its name tells you everything. It's 685 acres of pure euphoria, developed almost exclusively to delight and accommodate visitors. The island boasts resorts, hotels, restaurants, shops, nightlife, a golf course, an aquarium and a casino.
Well known to the rest of the world as the second largest city in The Bahamas, Freeport, on Grand Bahama Island, was initially developed to provide hot fun for its visitors. Here, you can spend a glamorous vacation at an upscale resort, plus have a life-changing experience with a visit to cultural/historical sites and ecological wonders in its environs. They include a historic small town and several picturesque fishing villages, Lucayan archeological sites, one of the world's most extensive underwater cave systems, three national parks, and endless Southside beaches with crisp blue water.
With sapphire-blue water everywhere, The Exumas are an exotic collection of dream destinations. Footprint-free beaches and ultraexclusive resorts and islands fit for celebrities make this tropical paradise an absolute gem. Here, nature outnumbers man, coastlines remain perfect and private homes play host to some of the world's most famous stars. The Exumas are home to the world's most famous swimming pigs. These "domesticated" pigs live on Major's Spot Cay, and it's uncertain how they got there. Whenever a boat arrives, they swim out to it and expect to be fed, a practice that's been going on for years.
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