The Bahamas known officially as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas is an archipelagic state within the Lucayan Archipelago, and consists of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, just east of southern Florida. The designation of “the Bahamas” can refer either to the country or the larger island chain that the Bahamas shares with the Turks and Caicos Islands. Nassau is the capital of The Bahamas on the island of New Providence.
The Bahamas became a British crown colony in 1718, when the British clamped down on piracy, and became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973, retaining the British monarch. In 2018 Queen Elizabeth II is head of state.
The Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas in terms of gross domestic product per capita (following the United States and Canada), with an economy based on tourism and finance.
Generally when traveling to The Bahamas, all U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport and proof of anticipated departure from The Bahamas. Those traveling to The Bahamas on a cruise may use another Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document.
An archipelagic state is a designation used for certain island countries that consist of an archipelago. The designation is legally defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Fiji, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Bahamas, and the Philippines are the five original sovereign states that obtained approval in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea signed in Montego Bay, Jamaica on December 10, 1982 and qualified as archipelagic states.
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BAHAMAS DISTRICTS …
Black Point, Exuma
City of Freeport, Grand Bahama
East Grand Bahama
Grand Cay, Abaco
Harbour Island, Eleuthera
Hope Town, Abaco
Mangrove Cay, Andros
Moore’s Island, Abaco
Spanish Wells, Eleuthera
West Grand Bahama
The Bahamas is the site of the first landfall in the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492. At that time, the islands were inhabited by the Lucayan, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taino people. Although the Spanish never colonized The Bahamas, they transported the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles. The islands were mostly deserted from 1513 until 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera.
Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory, and the North Atlantic Gyre are located northeast of The Bahamas
The currents that compose the North Atlantic Gyre include the Gulf Stream in the west, the North Atlantic Current in the north, the Canary Current in the east, and the Atlantic North Equatorial Current in the south. This gyre is particularly important for the central role it plays in the thermohaline circulation, bringing salty water west from the Mediterranean Sea and then north to form the North Atlantic Deep Water. The North Atlantic Garbage Patch traps debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, including plastic marine pollution is located in the gyre.
Cuba is located south of The Bahamas. The Turks and Caicos Islands, the West Indies, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands, the US Virgin Islands, Anguilla, and St Barthélemy are located southeast of The Bahamas. Due east of The Bahamas is the Atlantic Ocean and Africa.