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Difference Between Bermuda and Bahamas

Bermuda

Bermuda is an archipelago about 650 miles or 1,050 km off the coast of North Carolina. The archipelago is composed of limestone islands which sit atop an ancient marine volcano. Bermuda is also famous for being the northern vertex of the infamous Bermuda Triangle. It is a British overseas territory. It was first noted in 1511 on Spanish maps, but it was first settled in 1609 when a British ship was shipwrecked on the islands. The ship was originally headed for Virginia to be part of the British colony there and most of the passengers ended up going on to Virginia. Nonetheless, a settlement developed on the islands of Bermuda in the following years, so the shipwreck represents the beginning of the permanent human habitation of Bermuda. 

Bermuda with its seven main islands and 170 scattered islets is known for its thriving tourism industry and financial sector. Many companies have taken advantage of the low-income tax in Bermuda by establishing offices there. Bermuda’s business-friendly tax practices have made it a major center for international finance. As a result, Bermuda’s GNP per capita is among the highest in the world. This has ensured a high standard of living. 

Bermuda is known for its many festivals and historical sites. One of its major festivals is the cup match on Emancipation Day and Mary Prince Day. Emancipation Day celebrates the abolition of slavery in Bermuda on August 1st, 1834. Mary Prince Day celebrates Mary Prince, an early abolitionist born a slave sometime in the 1780s. She is famous for being the first enslaved black woman to write an autobiographical account of her experience in the UK. In order to celebrate these holidays, Bermudians have a cricket match between teams from Somerset and Saint George. Supporters of each team wear the colors for their team (red and dark blue for Somerset and light and dark blue for Saint George). The game has a high energy, festive atmosphere and is accompanied by picnics where you can get a taste of the local cuisine.

Many of Bermuda’s historical sites are related to its Black African heritage. Almost 60% of the population of Bermuda is of African descent and many of them have ancestors who were brought to the western hemisphere as slaves. Among these sites is the house of Mary Prince, and Pilot Darrel’s Square, a site commemorating James Darrel. James Darrel was an early Black Bermudian mariner whose navigational skills won him his freedom after a voyage in 1795. Another site is the Tucker House Museum in Barber’s Alley. This museum includes, among other fascinating accounts, the story of Joseph Hayne Rainey, a former slave from the American south who came to the islands of Bermuda in 1862 to escape the American Civil War. Before returning to the United States to become the first Black American member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he briefly ran a barbershop in the Tucker House which is how Barber’s alley got its name.

Another tourist attraction of Bermuda would be its famous pink sand beaches which get their color from being composed of, among other things, the shattered shells of foraminifera, shelled single-celled marine organisms. In terms of terrestrial wildlife, the islands are primarily home to a variety of lizards and frogs, though migrating birds will visit on an annual basis. Palm, pine, and mangrove trees are also found on many Bermudian islands. Although wilderness is limited on the Bermudian archipelago with its high population density, natural beauty does exist on the islands.

Is Bermuda worth visiting?

Bermuda with its many historic sites, beautiful beaches, and numerous festivals, Bermuda is an attractive location for tourists interested in visiting a place with beautiful oceanic vistas, a rich preserved heritage, and an exciting atmosphere.

Is Bermuda or The Cayman Islands more beautiful?

The Cayman Islands are another British overseas territory located in the Caribbean. The Cayman Islands are known for having famous historic sites, beautiful beaches, forests, and hiking trails. The two archipelagos are both known for having beautiful iconic scenery. The Cayman Islands, however, appear to have more wilderness areas since they are also known for their hiking trails and wildlife. Bermuda’s natural beauty is mostly limited to its beaches. It could therefore be said that the Cayman Islands have more natural scenery. As a result, the Cayman Islands might be considered more beautiful by the more ecologically inclined travelers.

Is Bermuda better to visit than the Caribbean?

It depends on what it is that you want to see and do. If you want to spend time on the beach, attend exciting festivals, or see important historical sites, Bermuda and most Caribbean islands are arguably equivalent in their attractiveness. The main advantage that the Caribbean islands have over Bermuda is that many of the Caribbean islands have more wilderness areas and more biodiversity. As a result, more nature-oriented travelers might prefer the Caribbean. Also, The Caribbean might be easier and cheaper to reach from the United States than Bermuda because of the proximity of some Caribbean islands to the Florida coast.

Bahamas

The Bahamas is an archipelago of limestone islands to the north and east of Cuba and southeast of Florida. It represents a gateway to the larger Caribbean region and the Gulf of Mexico from the north Atlantic. The Bahamas was originally a British colony but is now an independent country within the British commonwealth. 

The Bahamas consists of 700 islands, only about 30 of which are inhabited. The larger islands include Grand Bahama Island, Abaco, Eleuthera, and Andros. The larger islands are known for having large scenic forests of Caribbean pine. The wildlife on the islands includes lizards, frogs, snakes, bats, flamingos, and rodents, such as agoutis, among other faunal types.

The Bahamas was originally inhabited by the Lucayan Taino people who came to the islands from Hispaniola around 800 AD. Somewhere in the Bahamas was the first place visited by Christopher Columbus in the western hemisphere. The story of what happened to the natives is a particularly tragic story in the history of the Caribbean region. The current population is predominantly made up of people of African descent (about 90%). An important festival in the Bahamas is Junkanoo. According to legend, it originated with an African chief, John Canoe. According to this legend, John Canoe insisted on being able to celebrate with his own people even though he was brought as a slave. No one really knows if the legend is true. Junkanoo participants dress up in carefully crafted multicolored costumes made out of cardboard and fringed paper. Musical instruments used in the festival include whistles, cowbells, and goat skin drums. Junkanoo is celebrated right after Christmas and in July around the Bahamian Independence Day (July 10th). It is a festival in which anyone is allowed to participate, whether a native Bahamian or a visiting tourist. The only requirement is that all participants must follow the rules laid out by the National Junkanoo Association. Junkanoo is an experience that Bahamians claim can only be experienced in its full richness in the Bahamas.

Is the Bahamas prettier than the rest of the Caribbean?

The Bahamas is known for its natural beauty, but such beauty exists elsewhere in the Caribbean as well, such as the Cayman Islands which are also known for their beaches, forests, and wildlife. The Bahamas is beautiful but is only one example of the natural beauty which can be found across many Caribbean islands.

Similarities between Bermuda and Bahamas

Bermuda and the Bahamas both have pleasant climates where the temperature does not drop far below 60 degrees in the coldest parts of the year and does not climb far above 90 degrees during the hottest months. Bermuda and the Bahamas are also known for having beautiful beaches and engaging festivals to attend. Furthermore, they both have a strong Black African heritage in their festivals and their historical sites. Also, both archipelagos have a high standard of living due to their thriving tourism industry and financial sector.

Differences between Bermuda and Bahamas

Although Bermuda and the Bahamas are similar, they also have important differences. These differences include the following.

  • The significant islands of Bermuda are almost all inhabited, whereas most Bahamian islands are uninhabited.
  • Bermuda is limited in its wildlife, whereas Bahamian islands are known for their diverse wildlife.
  • Bermuda is a self-governing British overseas territory, whereas the Bahamas is an independent country.
  • Bermuda was uninhabited when the first Europeans came, whereas the Bahamas was already inhabited before European arrival in the Americas.

Is Bermuda or the Bahamas better to visit?

As far as historical sites, interesting cultural events, and a pleasant climate, both places are ideal places to visit. The Bahamas, however, appears to have more wilderness. As a result, if your desire is to go somewhere relatively wild and untrammeled, the Bahamas might be a better place to go with its many uninhabited islands, extensive Caribbean pine forests, and diverse wildlife.

Bermuda vs Bahamas

Summary

Bermuda is a British territory about 1050 km off the coast of North Carolina. It is made up of 7 main islands and about 170 islets. It was first settled by the British in 1609. Bermuda is known for festivals such as Mary Prince Day, which celebrates the heritage of Black Bermudians and is known for its cricket matches. Bermuda is also known for its pink sand beaches made from broken shells of small marine organisms associated with the Bermudian reefs. It is a popular place for those interested in historic sites related to African heritage and relaxing on the beach. It also has a very high standard of living owing to the thriving financial sector in Bermuda as well as its tourism industry. The Bahamas is a country in the northeast Caribbean, southeast of Florida and north of Cuba. It is composed of an archipelago of 700 islands, only about 30 of which are inhabited. The Bahamas is known for its beaches, wilderness areas, diverse wildlife, and beautiful pine forests on its largest islands. It is also known for colorful festivals, such as Junkanoo. Bermuda and the Bahamas are similar in that they are both archipelagos with pleasant climates. They also both are known for having beautiful beaches and interesting festivals related to the heritage of their majority African-descended populations. They differ in that Bermuda is made of an archipelago in which almost every significant island is populated, has limited wildlife, is a British territory and was originally uninhabited before European arrival. The Bahamas is an archipelago of mostly uninhabited islands, has relatively abundant wildlife, is an independent nation, and was inhabited by Caribbean natives before European arrival. 

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References :


[0]“Bahamas, The.” CIA World Fact Book, 14 November 2022, https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/bahamas-the/.

[1]“Bermuda.” Nations Online, n.d., https://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/bermuda.htm.

[2]Chairil, Kristie. “6 of the Best Hikes in the Cayman Islands.” TravelAge West, https://www.travelagewest.com/Travel/Caribbean/6-of-the-Best-Hikes-in-the-Cayman-Islands. Accessed 26 November 2022.

[3]“Cup Match Time in Bermuda.” GotoBermuda.com, n.d., https://www.gotobermuda.com/inspiration/article/cup-match-time-bermuda.

[4]“Discover The African Diaspora Heritage Trail.” GotoBermuda.com, n.d., https://www.gotobermuda.com/inspiration/article/discover-african-diaspora-heritage-trail.

[5]Ferguson, James A., Ebanks, Elizabeth Pat and Winker, Carol Ann. "Cayman Islands". Encyclopedia Britannica, 8 Sep. 2022, https://www.britannica.com/place/Cayman-Islands. Accessed 25 November 2022.

[6]“Grand Cayman.” Visitcaymanislands.com, n.d., https://www.visitcaymanislands.com/en-us/about-cayman/our-islands/grand-cayman.

[7]Harris, David Russell , Albury, E. Paul and Saunders, Gail. "The Bahamas". Encyclopedia Britannica, 8 Sep. 2022, https://www.britannica.com/place/The-Bahamas. Accessed 25 November 2022.

[8]Heaton, Pauline and Rushe, George J.. "Bermuda". Encyclopedia Britannica, 8 Sep. 2022, https://www.britannica.com/place/Bermuda. Accessed 25 November 2022.

[9]“Junkanoo.” Bahamas.gov, n.d.

[10]Pallardy, Carrie. “The Science Behind Bermuda’s Pink Sand Beaches.” Viva Lifestyle & Travel, http://vivalifestyleandtravel.com/bermuda/travel-and-lifestyle/feature/science-pink-sand. Accessed 26 November 2022.

[11]“The Best Museums are in the Cayman Islands.” Visitcaymanislands.com, n.d., https://www.visitcaymanislands.com/en-us/experiences/popular-attractions/museums.

[12]“THE JOY OF JUNKANOO.” Bahamas.com, n.d., https://www.bahamas.com/events/junkanoo.

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