When people are asked where their dream vacation is, they would say the Caribbean. And when they say The Caribbean, the first to come to mind is the Bahamas. Sprawling in a 100,000 square mile archipelago, Bahamas offers travelers 700 islands to choose from. Each island offers something different from the one before, thereby assuring travelers that there’s something for everybody. Christopher Columbus was the first European to arrive in the islands. He dropped anchor in San Salvador in 1492 and encountered the Arawaks, the native island people. He called them “indians,” thinking that he docked in the West Indies. The Arawaks or Lucayans as they are also called, were taken as slaves and their population began to decrease. Eventually, the islands became uninhabited. It was the English settlers from Bermuda who established a settlement once more in the Bahamas. Called the Eleutherian Adventurers, they established their settlement on the island of Eleutheria in 1647. With their new found freedom in the islands, they started a prosperous agricultural economy that still thrives to this day. Due to the Bahamas’ location and geography, they became a haven for pirates. Infamous pirates like Blackbeard, Henry Morgan and Anne Bonney have have all set up base in the islands at one point during the “Golden Years of Piracy,” which lasted for 70 years. Piracy was eventually stopped when the pirates were driven out of the islands by the Bahamas’ first governor, Woodes Rogers. It was then that Britain recognized them as a colony. This saw the surge of settlers coming in to the islands, coming in from New York, Florida and the Carolinas. With the Emancipation Act, which abolishes slavery in all the British colonies, the Bahamas became the refuge of fugitive slaves from the United States seeking for freedom. The Bahamas was a self-governing country by 1964, but it wasn’t until 1973 that they became fully independent. They still, however, retained the Monarchy of England as their head of state. In 1967, the Bahamas had their first black Premier in the colony: Sir Lynden Pindling. Upon their independence, he went on to become the first Prime Minister of the Bahamas. The gateway to the Bahamas is the island of Bimini, which is closest geographically to the US. Its capital city, Nassau, is on the New Providence island.