• Bahamas Governor-General: Dame Marguerite Pindling
• Prime Minister: Perry Christie
• New Providence Island (Nassau) Population: 246,329 (2010)
• Tourist Visits: 3.52 million (2014)
• Average temperature high (December) 79°
• Average temperature low (December) 63°
With the lure of a big city and the ease of tropical utopia, Nassau & Paradise Island are considered by many as, well, paradise. Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas, is a bustling metropolitan hub full of culture and modern amenities. To the north lies Paradise Island. Its name tells you everything. It’s 685 acres of pure euphoria, developed almost exclusively to delight and accommodate visitors. The island boasts resorts, hotels, restaurants, shops, nightlife, a golf course, aquarium and a casino.
Nassau, the capital city of The Bahamas, is located on 21-mile-long New Providence, the Bahamas’ 11th-largest island. Nassau’s main harbor is protected by Paradise Island. The harbor attracted settlers in the early days, particularly pirates. In fact, Nassau’s population consisted mainly of pirates until 1718, when The Bahamas first Royal Governor, Woodes Rogers expelled them, restored order and built Fort Nassau. The Bahamas for centuries adopted Rogers’ motto, “Expulsis Piratis, Restituta Commercia,” which means, “Pirates Expelled, Commerce Restored.” Now, 246,000 people call New Providence Island home, with a large portion of them residing in Nassau.
Junkanoo, a Bahamian national festival, is a kaleidoscope of colors and sound. The rhythmic sounds of cowbells, goat skin drums and whistles, accompanied by an array of brass instruments, create a sweet musical beat that will move you; while brilliantly colored costumes capture your eye, and bring much visual delight. This bi-annual cultural highlight takes place on Bay Street in New Providence and other Family Islands during the early morning hours, from 1-9 am on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and New Year’s Morning.