The Bahamas is renowned for its relaxing ambiance that features a wide array of natural and man-made attractions, such as its numerous islands, stellar beaches, nature reserves, parks and museums. San Salvador, an island of the Bahamas, is also famed as the historical site where Christopher Columbus first disembarked to set foot in the New World in 1492.
The Bahamas is an island archipelago surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean. Its nearest neighbors are Cuba to the northeast and the United States in the southeastern portion of Florida. Encompassing an area of approximately 5,359 sq. miles, only 30 islands in the Bahamas are occupied as of 2015. The archipelago's tropical setting, which is tempered by the flow of the Gulf Stream, makes the Bahamas one of the most visited tourist spots in the world.
The beaches along the Bahamian coastline are famous for their crystal-blue waters, white and powdery sands and stunning coral reef formations. Island-hopping is another popular activity for vacationers. The most notable among these islands include Nassau and Paradise Island, Atlantis Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island, Cat Island, CocoCay, Long Island and the Exumas. Nature enthusiasts also enjoy excursions to Abaco National Park, Black Sound Cay National Reserve and Lucayan National Park. To experience a glimpse of the nation's cultural heritage, sightseers can visit the Pirates of Nassau Museum, Spanish Wells, Fort Fincastle and Fort Charlotte.