By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: I’ve been working overtime for the past few months and really wish to take a trip to the Bahamas. While there, my goal is to meet up with as many islanders as possible. I’m not into fancy resorts but more into visiting the area. I’m hoping you have suggestions on how I could do this. Thanks very much for any ideas and on flight information you might have

A: The Bahamians like so many islanders know how to get in the groove and have a good time. You’ll notice this immediately as you see the number of rum shacks offering jumbo margheritas and daiquiris. But the big one you should try is their famous Bahama Mamma, a crisp cool tropical drink of pineapple and orange juice mixed with rum and a dash of grenadine, nutmeg and lemon juice.

For island exploration, the Bahamas Tourism Office offers a neat People-to-People program which provides an opportunity for visitors to learn more about the culture as you interact with the Bahamians themselves. The program has over 1,500 Bahamian volunteers and the way it works is you notifying Bahamas Tourism of your interest in participating in the program. Give your age, interest and before you can say “I happy. You happy. We all happy,” you’ll be hooked up with one of the colorful locals for a sightseeing trip that’ll surely be memorable.

Depending on your interest, you might boat, fish, shop at the local outdoor market, enjoy a back-street tour or visit Bahamians in their home for a real traditional meal. The favourite is Peas’n’Rice, fried fish and Guava Duff, a famous island dessert of the fruit-filled boiled dough topped with a butter and rum sauce. The program is available for Nassau, and now includes the Out Islands of Eleuthera, Exuma, San Salvador, Bimini and Abaco.

For more information on the People-to-People program visit the Bahamas Tourism Office online at and click on the “People-To-People” link on the homepage under the “What To Do” sublink.

For flights, you’ll find economy carriers like WestJet offer a quick 4-hour flight from Toronto directly to Nassau. For April and May, WestJet’s Toronto departure services are scheduled Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

The destination is WestJet’s first international service that started this fall and runs through summer. For bookings and information visit them online at or call 1-800-538-5696.


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