Bahamas, The

Flag of Bahamas, The (Click to Enlarge)
Map of Bahamas, The

Bahamas, The
geographic coordinates:25 05 N, 77 21 W
time difference: UTC - 5
daylight saving time:+1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November

Lucayan Indians inhabited the islands when Christopher COLUMBUS first set foot in the New World on San Salvador in 1492. British settlement of the islands began in 1647; the islands became a colony in 1783. Since attaining independence from the UK in 1973, The Bahamas have prospered through tourism and international banking and investment management. Because of its geography, the country is a major transshipment point for illegal drugs, particularly shipments to the US and Europe, and its territory is used for smuggling illegal migrants into the US.