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Paradise Island in the Bahamas

Map of Paradise Island, Bahamas
Paradise Island is the main tourist destination of the Bahamas, close to Nassau.

If you like to explore Nassau check out the Nassau Sightseeing Tours here.

High-rise hotel buildings gleam in a landscape of tropical palms, parking areas and speed bumps and at first Paradise Island seems to be an island of hotels.

Indeed, on the island there more hotel rooms than on any other Bahamas island and the mega-resort Atlantis is for sure the largest.

If you are looking for hotels and resorts on Paradise Island, look no further than on the Paradise Island Hotel website.

Atlantis, the main attraction on Paradise Island, Bahamas

Paradise Island, Bahamas
The unmistakable sight of Paradise Island comes into view long before you cross the bridge from Nassau.

The towering sun struck visage is Royal Towers, the largest wing of the Atlantis resort. With the glitzy shopping mall Marina Village, the biggest casino in the country, and seemingly unlimited choices of restaurants.

At Dolphin Cay, you can interact with dolphins displaced in Gulfport, Mississippi, after Hurricane Katrina, and a few of their babies, since born at the facility.

Aquaventure, a 63-acre waterscape, offers thrilling waterslides and high-intensity rapids as well as a lazy river tube ride through the sprawling grounds.

At Atlantis you have a vast variety of dining and drinking possibilities (35 restaurants and bars). Atlantis is as much a tourist attraction as a resort hotel.

Paradise Island Atlantis
Atlantis has also the largest man-made marine habitat, consisting of 11 lagoons and series of aquariums, themed around the lost continent and its re-created ruins. The aquarium brings you face to face with all kinds of sharks, manta rays and innumerable forms of exotic sea life.

The Atlantis resort and the huge aquarium are also open for non-guest. You can participate in a guided tour, buy a day ticket in the Aquaventure park or a beach pass. The admission to the casino is free.

Learn more about Atlantis resort in the Bahamas.

Geographical and Historical Facts

Paradise Island is a small island in the Bahamas, located just off the shore of the city of Nassau, which is itself located on the northern edge of the island of New Providence.

The island is about 2 miles wide and 5 miles long and is connected by two bridges with Nassau. At the foot of the bridge is a toll booth - one dollar and Paradise is yours.

The first development took place when millionaire Axel Wenner-Gren, one of the richest man at that time, bought the island in 1935.

He dredged the old pond, dug channels to link the lake with the harbor and the open sea and refurbished the already commodious estate, inspired by the imaginary land in James Hilton's novel "Lost Horizon". He named his refuge Shangri-La.

Until 1962, Paradise Island was largely undeveloped and known as Hog Island. A&P heir Huntington Harford changed the name when he built the island's first resort complex. Many more multimillion-dollar houses and resorts were build since then.

Other Attractions on Paradise Island

Paradise Island, Versailles
Paradise Island is not only Atlantis, the island has more to offer. Another outstanding attraction is Versailles Gardens.

Fountains and statues of luminaries and legends (such as Napoleon and Josephine, Franklin Roosevelt, David Livingstone, Hercules and Mephistopheles) adorn Versailles Gardens, the terraced lawn and many flowers at the One & Only Ocean Club, once a private hideaway of Huntington Harford.

At the top of the gardens stand the Cloisters, the remains of a stone monastery built by Augustinian monks in France in the 13th century. In the 1960s Harford bought the Cloisters and had them rebuild on their present site.

Although the garden is owned by the One & Only Ocean Club, visitors are welcome.

Paradise Island Cloisters
Another main attraction is Cabbage Beach. This stretch of white sand along the north side is one of the prettiest.

Although resorts and private homes line much of its length, several minutes' stroll to the east will take you to a quit span of beach overlooking emerald waters, brightly coloured parasails, and sailboats.

You find more about other beautiful Bahamian beaches on this site.

An the western tip of the island, the Yoga Retreat can only be reached by boat. The retreat was founded by Swami Vishnudevanada and guests can stay overnight in basic rooms or tent sites.

Chanting, meditation, breathing exercises and vegetarian meals fill the days, which begin with a rising bell at 5.30am.

Paradise Island Cabbage Beach
Further west after passing several private homes, at the tip is the lighthouse from 1816. There are no roads out west, so the best view of the lighthouse can be enjoyed from a boat or plane.

East of Versailles Gardens, Paradise Island Drive leads to the 18-hole championship Ocean Club Golf Course. Find out more about Golfing in the Bahamas.

Further east around the golf course, the many lakes and along the coast are many beautiful millionaire houses and apartments for the rich, which are behind gates and not reachable by car but you can see them by boat.

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