Visit Nassau & Paradise Island
Nassau is a bustling city located in New Providence island and is the capital as well as the main commercial hub of the Bahamas. In fact the whole island is generally known as Nassau. This is where about 70% population of the whole of Bahamas (i.e. about 275,000) reside. With the major cruise port and airport (Lynden Pindling International Airport) located here with regular cruise and air connections from USA, Canada, UK and Europe, most international tourists arrive at Nassau.
Tourists spend most of their time here lounging at the beaches or taking part in various water sports at the popular Cable beach which is fringed with great resorts, restaurants, pubs, nightclubs and even the largest casino of Bahamas. Many take a stroll along the popular Bay Street which runs along the harbor and lined with shops & restaurants, and also visit the famous Straw Market to buy souvenirs & gifts. In fact there are so many duty free stores on Bay Street and several other places in Nassau and Paradise Island to stock up on perfumes & cosmetics, clothes, jewelry, liquor etc.
You can take a short boat ride to Blue Lagoon island for Dolphin swim/encounter, or visit the Ardastra Garden & Zoo to watch some of the rare and endangered animals and see the amazing sight of 60 flamingos marching together. If you are in a family with kids and love to explore the seafaring history of Bahamas and its notorious piracy connections, visit the Pirates of Nassau Museum and even explore a replica pirate ship. If you love arts, visit the most important art institutions of Bahamas - National Art Gallery full of rich paintings, sculptures and other artwork.
Paradise Island is a tiny (1.1 sq. mile) satellite island located off the northern edges of New Providence island. It was earlier lying undeveloped and was then known as Hog Island. It's only 5kms away from Nassau and joined by two bridges with the island of New Providence.
Map of Nassau & Paradise Island
Paradise Island is mostly known for the luxury resorts of Atlantis. In fact the name of the island is also interchangeably used as Atlantis Paradise Island, because it is this resort group which was mainly responsible for developing the island.
This vast resort complex houses world's largest open-air aquarium, a large water park (141-acre waterscape) with slides, many swimming pools, a mile-long river ride, beach, casinos, dolphin interaction center at Dolphin Cay and many other entertainment. Atlantis Resorts dominate the skyline of Paradise Island and can be seen from far. While hotel guests have free entry to most facilities of Atlantis, others can also stroll around in the resort complex, explore the shops, or purchase a day pass to visit many other attractions like aquarium, water park, pools, restaurants etc.
There are several other attractions in Paradise island including sprawling golf course, Marina Village with its many shops & restaurants, lush public gardens etc.
If you decide to stay at the Atlantis, plan for an all-inclusive stay including entertainment... Atlantis has created a world of its own. However if you like to explore more of Bahamian ways of living, then stay at Nassau (most hotels are on Cable beach).
In Nassau you can easily use public buses (Jitneys) to get around, while in Paradise Island you need to mostly avail taxis (Jitney buses are not available here, but there is a free shuttle for Antantis resort guests which completes a circuit every 30 minutes). Since Paradise Island is at a short distance from Nassau, you can easily visit Paradise Island from Nassau by ferry boat (takes $4 and 10 minutes one way across Nassau harbor) or by a taxi. You can also walk over the 600ft long bridge.
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