Like many other marquee tourist destinations, the Bahamas offer more than you can see in one trip.

This is particularly true if you decide to explore beyond the major attractions. As great as those sandy beaches may be, the Bahamas have many other things worth seeing. To appreciate this country, you should learn more about its history.

Not sure where to start? Here are 10 fun facts about the Bahamas that will make your trip even more memorable!

1. Spanish Origins

When Columbus first set foot in the Bahamas, he named them Baja mar. In Spanish, this phrase means “shallow water.” Every satellite image of the Bahamas proves Columbus right, as the water around the islands is quite shallow.

Other than being shallow, these waters are very saturated with calcium carbonate. When the sunlight reflects off it, the water takes on it’s signature turquoise look. This is why you can often gauge the depth of the water by its color.

2. The 007 Experience

As the capital of the Bahamas, Nassau has served as a backdrop for many movies. The most popular movie character associated with it is James Bond. Agent 007 has been to the Bahamas four times, and Sean Connery lives here as well.

Remember that underwater fight from Thunderball? The cave used for filming those scenes is now known as the Thunderball Grotto. Despite not being completely visible, the cave is accessible enough to allow Bond fans to explore it.

3. Blast From the Past

The Bahamas consist of over 700 islands, and only about 30 of those are relatively inhabited. That said, those 30 islands offer enough activity to offset that. In recent years, you’ll find a luxury condo or a high-rise hotel everywhere you look.

By comparison, the Southern Bahamas are practically still asleep. If you want to see the Bahamas as they used to be, you have plenty of options. If you feel like taking your foot off the gas, we recommend giving these a visit!

4. Spa Destination

Did you know that Nassau is an emerging spa destination? Most people don’t associate the Bahamas with spas, but this is bound to change soon. From holistic healing methods to traditional treatments, there’s a spa for everyone here.

The Balinese-inspired amenities are a particularly pleasant surprise. Some spas offer Balinese-style treatment villas that come with waterfall showers. Private spa villas designed for two are also a very common sight.

5. Swimming Pigs

The Big Major Cay is one of the most popular islands in the Bahamas, but very few people know it by that name. Most people refer it to as Pig Beach, due to its many porcine residents swimming there. The only way to reach it is by boat.

As great as Pig Beach is, its reputation makes it kind of a luxurious amenity. If you’d like to swim with the pigs at a more affordable price, there are other options. For instance, Rose Island is a great visitor-friendly alternative.

6. Distinctive Cuisine

If you don’t leave your resort hotel, Bahamian cuisine may not seem impressive. To get a better impression of it, visit one of the less inhabited islands. You should come upon various seafood offerings, from spiny lobsters to baked crabs.

Of course, the true national food of the Bahamas is the conch. Known as “the snail of the sea,” the conch is one local specialty you have to try while you’re there. Conch meat is firm with a chewy texture, and it’s delicious!

7. Pristine Wildlife

The Bahamas National Trust takes great care to protect its island chain. The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is a great example. This area extends from Bell Cay to Shroud Cay, and each of its 455 square kilometers is well protected.

The area is home to over 40 species of birds that are indigenous to the Bahamas. Depending on the timing of your trip, you should also see certain migratory birds. Boating and snorkeling provide other entertainment options.

8. Lost Colonies

Contrary to popular belief, not all Bahamians are of African descent. In the mid-17th century, many British settlers arrived in the Bahamas looking for religious freedom. After the U.S. revolt against Britain, some American loyalists joined them.

Even after several centuries, the descendants of these settlers remain in the Bahamas. You can find them at Eleuthera, the Abacos, and the little island of Spanish Wells. Word of warning: many of these locals still talk in the late-1700’s slang.

9. Pink Sands

Out of the many beaches in the Bahamas, Pink Sands is the most popular. Located in the Harbour Island, this beach got its name for the pale pink color of its sand. Though it’s not as pink as Instagram may lead to believe, it’s still breathtaking.

The pink color comes from the microscopic coral insects known as the Foraminifera. These insects have a bright red or pink shell full of holes. When they die, the waves wash them ashore and mix them with the sand and bits of coral.

10. A Pirate Haven

From the early 16th to 17th century, the Bahamas were a popular pirate destination. The shallow waters were a great opportunity to lure merchants and Spanish galleons on to the reefs. Once there, they were easy prey for experienced pirates.

The pirates then went a step further by establishing their Republic in Nassau. The stronghold lasted for close to 11 years, wreaking havoc on the region. Edward Teach — better known as Blackbeard — served as the magistrate.

More Fun Facts About the Bahamas

As you can see, the Bahamas deserve their status as a great tourist destination. No matter what type of experience you’re looking for, you’ll find it here.

If you need another reason to visit this incredible country, do it for their economy. With 20 percent of their GDP coming from visitors, the Bahamas very much rely on tourism. In fact, this is one of the few countries where tourists outnumber locals.

Haven’t had enough of fun facts about the Bahamas? Looking to schedule an excursion or private event at Rose Island? Contact us right here — we’ll get back to you soon!