There are countless tropical paradises around the world that you can possibly visit and they all have unique attributes, but if you are looking for the Las Vegas of the Atlantic, then you had better buckle up for the Bahamas. So what’s so special about this small archipelagic state? Well, let us put it this way: besides its unbelievably favourable climate, it is also full of things to do and fun to be had. Yet no matter where you might tread in the world, you are bound to hit a couple of bumps in the road as well – nothing’s really perfect. So, without further ado, let us see what the Bahamas archipelago has to offer!
Since the Bahamas is a sprawling, touristy place, you need to keep your friends close and your servicemen even closer. Tipping is deeply entrenched in the local culture and not doing it is considered impolite (or downright disrespectful). Bartenders and waiters usually get a 10-15% tip if you consider the service to be outstanding. Leaving a smaller tip inadvertently goes to show that they didn’t serve you as they should have. So, in order to avoid sending the wrong message, stick to 15% – you can’t go wrong with that. Porters and hotel staff are also tipped in the Bahamas and how you behave most certainly affects future service. See? This is a place where no matter how high the wages are (as the Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas), you still have to tip – salaries and tips are not always interconnected.
2. Casinos galore:
As we have already mentioned above, the Bahamas is considered the Las Vegas of the Atlantic. And yes, it is technically not located in the Caribbean, but the open ocean instead (take a look at one of our maps for further details). If you have previously researched Nassau (the capital city), then you probably know what we are talking about. There are a lot of casinos in the Bahamas and if you are not on a tight budget, then it surely should be a part of your experience (it’s the cherry on the cake). So, the next time you see all those flashy night-lights, know that they are only there to entice you (wink)!
3. Language barriers:
Before we get into the language aspect of the country, it is vital to understand that a large chunk of the current Bahamian population is made up of the descendants of former slaves of the British Empire. This, of course, means that the official language there is English (excellent if you speak it) but there are also a few more refined dialects. These dialects hail from West Africa, the place of origin of most of the aforementioned slaves. Additionally, there are a lot of people in the Bahamas that speak the native Bahamianese language. So, up for a cultural and linguistic melting pot?
Though not exactly the sort of El Salvador, the Bahamas isn’t exactly the safest place that you can visit. Located on an inevitable drug route, it does have its fair share of violent crime. Armed robberies have occurred as far as the peripheries and sexual assaults are not unheard of. While most of the violent crime occurs in and around Nassau, you should always keep a close eye on your belongings and whereabouts (ask the locals and hotel staff about shady places where you should have no business being – they are your best sources for local news and no-gos). What’s interesting about all this is that since the archipelago is considered a general party-zone, most violent crime occurs due to alcohol consumption. Recent years have seen an increase in all sorts of wrongdoings but this should not stop you from visiting if it is your dream-destination (nothing should, really). Stay smart, stay safe!
5. Reef heaven:
You read that right, the Bahamas is one of the best places in the world to go reef-exploring. You can’t go two steps without running into a snorkeller or diver and that is for a good reason: the underwater kingdom around the archipelago is as gorgeous as it can get. You don’t even have to swim far as it is everywhere. Just watch out for sea urchins as their spines can give you a nasty day. Who said the Atlantic isn’t as cool as the Pacific (triple wink)?
Did you enjoy our list? What experiences have you had in the Bahamas and what lasting impressions have they left you with? Tell us all about it below in the comment section and make sure to leave nothing out! See you on our next adventure, traveller!