The Bahamas in

Three Days

Explore the National Art Gallery and Fort Fincastle in downtown Nassau, grab a jitney for sunset cocktails at one of Junkanoo Beach's easygoing bars, then wander down to the Fish Fry for conch salad and raucous rake'n'scrape. The next day, hike over the Paradise Island bridge to live it up at Atlantis: buy a day-pass to the rides at Aquaventure, lounge on Cabbage Beach and top it all off with a high-end meal at Nobu or Café Martinique. The next day, pack your snorkel gear for Love Beach and the undersea sculptures at Clifton Heritage National Park, then taxi back into town for a farewell meal in the 18th-century opulence of Graycliff.

One Week

If you're quick, you can fly or ferry to the lotus-eating enclave of luxury that is Harbour Island, then double back to Nassau and on to the vast forests, mangroves and fringing reefs of Andros.

Two Weeks

Two whole weeks bring the far-flung Out Islands into play: historic cay-hopping in the Abacos, deep-sea fishing without parallel in the Biminis, or sublime snorkeling and sailing in the Exumas. If you can squeeze them in, the undeveloped beaches and teeming reefs of Long Island are some of the country's most magnificent.