Bahamas archipelago is located in the western Atlantic to the south-east from Florida. The archipelago consists of more than 700 islands, but only 30 of them are inhabited. The largest islands are Grand Bahama, Andros, Eleuthera, New Providence, Great Inagua. Nassau is the Capital city. Bahamas - is hundreds of kilometers of white sandy beaches protected by coral reefs, clear lagoon blue waters and green coconut palms. The climate here is mild, tropical. The western part of the Bahamas is washed by the Gulf Stream, and warm equatorial wind constantly blow from the south-east. An average annual temperature is 26 C. The best time to visit the Bahamas is from November to May. The Bahamas were discovered by Columbus in 1492. Eventually, the islands became a haven for all kinds of adventurers and pirates. During more than 300 years, The Bahamas were a British colony. Since 1973 the Commonwealth of the Bahamas is an independent state, part of the British Commonwealth. The Queen of Great Britain, represented by Governor-General, is a nominal head of thestate. Arawak Indians were native islanders. However, the Spaniards took about 40000 Indians to work in mines and pearling on other islands. As a result, the Bahamas since their discovery by Columbus were almost deserted for 135 years. The British first settled in the islands in 1647 and brought here black slaves to work on cotton plantations. In 1834 slavery was abolished and slaves got freed. Beautiful beaches, lush vegetation, colorful coral reefs make the Bahamas one of the most popular winter resorts in the western hemisphere. Insular folk culture is reflected by large number of tales, natural medicine, music and religious rites, introduced here by African slaves. Bahamas formed a distinctive musical culture. This is a birth place of several original forms of music.One of the most colorful festivals, coinciding with celebration of Christmas and a New Year, is Junkanoo festival. This is carnival, pageantries and festivities at the same time. Participants demonstrate fantastic costumes, which cause delight of an audience. Very popular is regatta, held annually in April in the harbor of Elizabeth Family Island, and The Goombay Summer Festival, which is arranged for tourists in June.