Look at any picture of the Bahamas and it's a feast for the eyes. Clear blue water, white sands and sunny days seem to be the norm. Yet there's even more to this island nation than meets the eye. To really get below the surface, try exploring the underground caves of Lucayan National Park. Snorkel your way through the underwater world of marine life. Above ground, head over to the Family Islands to see how native Bahamians spend their days at a leisurely pace. More excitement awaits on the aptly named Paradise Island, where sights include a pirate museum and sprawling water park.
Lucayan National Park
Lucayan National Park encompasses 40 acres of protected wildlife and fauna. Winding trails allow you to explore and encounter exotic species of birds and plant life, some of which exist only within the park. Down below, you can find over six miles of underground caves and tunnels that are millions of years old. Several tours allow you to explore these subterranean caverns, but mind the bats -- the caves are full of the blind little creatures, so don't go if you're troubled by the idea of them fluttering about you.
The Bahamas has plenty of opportunities for snorkeling. Not only is this a perfect way to cool off and take a break from the plentiful sunshine. It's also a great way to do some underwater sightseeing. Below the surface, you'll be able to see a plethora of sea life, including dolphins, starfish and ospreys. And don't worry about bringing your own snorkel gear -- most tours include it in the price.
Paradise Island is connected by bridge to the island of New Providence. It is home to the Pirates of Nassau Museum, where you can explore the colorful history of piracy in the Bahamas, and even walk through the Revenge, a replica of a pirate ship. You can also visit Aquaventure, a 63-acre water park with lots of wave pools, water slides and underground tunnels.
The Family Islands
If you're looking to get away from the rest of the tourists and experience a slower pace, explore the Family Islands. They consist of over 600 small islands that offer miles of unexplored beaches to discover, as well as friendly, welcoming locals. Many tours will take you around several Family Islands so you can get a firsthand experience of the Bahamas from people who live and work there.
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