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The Bahamas has successfully promoted itself as a destination for US jetsetters, and a lot of it is Americanized. Yet there are still opportunities among its 700 islands and 2500 cays to disappear into a mangrove forest and explore a coral reef.
The 18th-century Privateers' Republic has become a modern banker's paradise, at least on New Providence and Grand Bahama. On the other islands - once known as the Out Islands but now euphemistically called the Family Islands - the atmosphere is more truly West Indian.
BAHAMAS TOURS & TRAVEL:
FREEPORT Tours, Travel and Activities
Grand Bahama is dominated by Freeport and its southeastern suburb Lucaya. Freeport is a planned city, with wide, grid-arranged streets and uninspired modern buildings.
Lucaya is a tourism oasis and is by far the nicer option for those on holiday. It is antiseptic, but sits on a great stretch of beach, and it's possible to walk easily and safely to all the bars and restaurants, of which there are few!
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NASSAU Tours, Travel and Activities
Nassau exudes a special charm lent by a blend of Old World architecture and contemporary vitality.
Nassau's colorful history is full of roguery and rum running. Modern Nassau is a far cry from the rowdy village that was once full of pirates, prostitutes and ragamuffins. The city is steeped in modern US ways, which blend well with the quasi-Caribbean flavor.
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SUGGESTED ITINERARIES: BAHAMAS
Junkanoo, the nation's most famous festival, has been referred to as 'the centerpiece of Bahamian culture.' The event is hosted at various venues around Christmas and New Year, when streets and settlements resound with cowbells, whistles and goatskin goombay drums, drawing in thousands of foreign visitors. Mostly it's a big blow-out for the locals.
The main festivity begins before sunrise on Bay St in Nassau on December 26. As many as 20,000 locals and tourists party the night away.
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