What do Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp, Oprah Winfrey, Sean Connery, Bill Gates, and Tiger Woods have in common? Apart from being celebrities, they’re among thousands of North Americans and Europeans who own second homes in the Bahamas. But when people buy a second home in the Bahamas they’re actually lured by much more than even these advantages: The islands offer an escape from the daily grind of life, are rich in history, and living in the Bahamas can be lots of fun.
Like other expats who live in the Bahamas for all or part of the year, these stars often think of the Bahamas as a paradise—an upscale group of islands with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The Bahamas are friendly to newcomers, there’s no foreign language to cope with, crime is relatively low, and the islands are positioned just off the Florida coast.
The two big cities are the capital, Nassau, which is located on New Providence Island, and Freeport, which is on Grand Bahama. Bahamians often refer to everywhere else in the country as the Out Islands. These include Abaco, Andros, Acklins and Crooked Island, Bimins, Berry Islands, Cat Island, Eleuthera, the Exumas, Inaguas, Mayaguana, and San Salvador.
The variation in price is partly the result of the large number of islands and the unique characteristics of each one. In fact, the Bahamas comprise nearly 700 islands and about 2,400 exposed reefs, which extend for 760 miles from northwest to southeast. Only 30 of the islands are inhabited.