Beautiful natural Treasure Cay Bahamas beach with turquoise water

The Bahamas

The islands of the Bahamas form a 100,000 square mile archipelago that extends over 500 miles of the clearest water in the world. 700 islands, including uninhabited cays and large rocks, total an estimated land area of 5,382 square miles. The highest land elevation is only 206 feet, on Cat Island. And... there are no rivers in The Bahamas!
Aerial view of Bahamas islandsOld stone ruins by Bahamas shoreline
Coral reef with tropical fish in the Bahamas
The Bahamas has the world’s third longest barrier reef and about 15% of the world’s coral can be found in our waters. The Caribbean islands are made entirely of calcium carbonate, which is mainly produced or precipitated by the organisms of coral reefs.
Bahamas History
A painting of Columbus's ships in turquoise Bahamas waters

Geography played a crucial role in Bahamian history. In 1492, Christopher Columbus (the first European visitor) made his first landfall in the New World on the island of San Salvador in the eastern Bahamas (called Guanahani by the Lucayan Indians).

After observing the shallow sea around the islands, he said “baja mar” (shallow water or sea), and effectively named the area The Bahamas, or The Islands of the Shallow Sea.

Since it was located close to Florida and well-travelled shipping channels, The Islands Of The Bahamas caught the attention of explorers, settlers, invaders and traders. These people shaped the colourful history of The Bahamas and made the country what it is today.

For more than 300 years, the islands were a colony of Great Britain. In 1964, Great Britain granted The Islands Of The Bahamas limited self-government, and in 1969 the colony of The Bahamas became a Commonwealth. The Bahamas became the free and sovereign Commonwealth of The Bahamas on July 10, 1973. July 10th is celebrated today as Bahamian Independence Day.