The Bahamas is a magical string of 700 islands in the middle of the Caribbean that has been a popular tourist destination for decades, says AMT American Express Travel. The Bahamas is a world-renowned travel destination with a rich history. In 1492, Christopher Columbus made his first landfall on the island of San Salvador in the eastern Bahamas. Columbus commented on the shallow water of the sea surrounding the islands, calling the water “baja mar”. It is from these words that the name “Bahama” came. Since the Bahamas islands are located close to Florida they caught the attention of explorers, settlers, invaders and traders.
Pirate History in the Bahamas
One of the most interesting things about the Bahamas is its history with pirates. Black Beard, Calico Jack and Captain Henry Morgan himself were known visitors to the Bahamian islands. 1680 to 1730 was the golden age for Bahamian pirates. These islands made an ideal home base for pirates because of the numerous islands and islets. These were great places to hide their renegade ships and stolen treasure. The islands were also close to well-traveled trading routes, creating the perfect opportunity to plunder merchant ships.
The battles fought between pirates, merchants and other authorities often caused may casualties, especially ships. These ships often sank off the coast of the Bahamas, laden with gold, silver, and other antiquities. Spanish galleons were easy prey for pirates. These ships carried stolen riches from the native peoples of South and Central America. Pirates would hide this treasure in the numerous limestone caves dotting the Bahamas or bury it somewhere on the miles of beaches.
Rumors of treasure still hidden in the Bahamas exist today. Pirate William Catt is supposed to have buried loot on his namesake, Cat Island. Sir Henry Morgan, who preferred the island of Andros, is said to have buried treasure throughout the many islands. Where rumors may be false, the Bahamas certainly offers a mystique that encourages its visitors to indulge in opportunities for adventure and seclusion. American Express Vacations is beginning to offer special tours for travelers interested in highlighting famous pirate sites all over the islands of the Bahamas.
Modern Day Fun, Rest and Relaxation
The Bahamas of today is still full of adventure and excitement. The islands of the Bahamas are some of the most popular locations for travelers in the world. A big draw to most Caribbean tourists, the Bahamas cater to travelers on a moderate to high-end budget. American Express Travel offers a number of moderate and high-end accommodations that give the best value for your money. There are no accommodations such as hostels because the focus of the island is a luxury experience. But travel to the Bahamas is on most world traveler’s to see list.