Have you ever dreamed of an intimate dinner or a raging party on your own private island? Let us help you make it happen! But where, you might ask. With over 700 islands and only about 30 of them inhabited, the Bahamas are just 50 miles off the coast of Florida and a perfect setting for such a bucket list event.
With the clearest water on the planet (visibility of over 200 feet), the Bahamas sure are a breathtaking destination. Even from out of space you can see these watercolors in all shades of blue as proved by astronaut Scott Kelly with a collection of photos he took during his year in the International Space Station. He even called the Bahamas “the most beautiful place from space”.
Did you know that even their name comes from these exceptional 100,000 square miles of ocean, the Bahamas archipelago is located in: It derives from the Spanish “baja mar” which means shallow waters.
But if you might think that picture perfect beaches and crystal-clear turquoise water is all the Bahamas have to offer, you’ll be surprised to find:
Did you know that pigs can swim? See for yourself on Big Major Cay, an island in the Exumas now also named Pig Beach. These pigs are living the dream on their own little island and beach, with regular tourist visits feeding them carrots or (chicken) hotdogs. It isn’t clear how the pigs got there, stories range from a shipwreck during which the pigs managed to swim to shore over Colonial sailors who dropped their livestock for later use all the way to a simple business scheme to attract tourists to the Bahamas. Either way, the swimming pigs are a not to be missed site when in the Bahamas.
Endangered Rock Iguanas
On to another species that has their own private island in the Exumas: The Northern Bahamian Rock Iguanas can only be found in Exuma and are in fact listed as critically endangered. The iguanas can live up to 40 years and might reach 24 pounds. They’re wild animals but are used to visitors and enjoy the fruits and veggies they might bring.
One of the most expensive cigar and wine collections in the world
Tucked away in the old town of Nassau and located in a historic 18thcentury mansion, we came across and unexpected find: Graycliff is a boutique hotel and fine dining restaurant that offers a very exclusive wine cellar for small and very exclusive Private Dinners. This wine cellar contains some of the oldest and rarest wines with a value of over 25 million US Dollars. Since 1997, Graycliff also runs an award-winning cigar company and is one of the premier manufacturers in the business today.
While enjoying your meal, wine or cigar, keep in mind that these walls have seen almost 300 years of Bahamian history: The mansion was built by a pirate, Captain John Howard Graysmith in 1740, became an infamous Pirate hangout and a popular party spot for rich and famous travelers from the US during the Prohibition in the 1920s. Graycliff still draws an elite crowd of royals and celebrities - Nelson Mandela, The Beatles, Jay-Z, Michael Jordan, Beyoncé and Lenny Kravitz – just to name a few.
Versailles Gardens on Paradise Island, Nassau
Nassau, or more precisely Paradise Island has its own Versailles Gardens. Dismantled and imported from a 14th century Augustinian monastery in France, newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst brought the cloister in the 1960. The Versailles Gardens are now a cultural landmark and beautiful event space – actually, one of the most popular places to get married in the Bahamas.
It’s worth to climb up the steps: You’ll have an incredible view from the top with Nassau Harbor on the one side and the amazing Four Seasons Ocean Club on the other.
The sea level in the Bahamas hasn’t always been as shallow as it is today. During the glacial period, it was as low as 250 feet below its present level. For centuries, the limestone that forms the islands has been eroding and ended up creating a system of vertical and horizontal caves that are now below the islands some of which accessible through fascinating blue holes. The longest known underwater cave system in the world lies on Grand Bahama Island in the Lucayan National Park. Divers from all over the world fly to the Bahamas to explore these diverse underwater caves.
Let GMS craft a one-in-a-lifetime incentive program for your top performers in the most beautiful place on earth.