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Nassau is only a thirty-five minute flight from Miami, making it one of the closest and most accessible Caribbean destinations. It has more than just location leaning in its favor. One one hand there is Atlantis, a leading destination for families and couples of all ages. The resort's casino, constant celebrity sightings, countless restaurants and shops, world-class events and vibrant beach scene make it a city unto itself. On the other, the Bahamas has smaller islands such as Exuma, where travelers can enjoy the kind of peace and quiet of a dream beach getaway.

The giant resort Atlantis (tel. 877/275-2921; www.atlantis.com) is offering an October special with savings of 30 per cent off of standard rates. For $249 per person, travelers can get a four-day, three-night package that includes all accommodations, round-trip ground transfers on the island and use of the all the amenities such as the giant waterslide, a look at an archaeological dig and access to what the hotel calls Â?the largest open-air marine habitatÂ? in the world. The package is good through October 31, 2006 with a booking deadline of October 15, 2006. For gamblers, there's a Halloween $50,000 Slot Tournament taking place on October 27, 2006. Also new to the resort is Splashers, a huge Mayan-themed water park for kids, complete with tubes, cargo nets and rope bridges. Atlantis even has underwater streets and passageways that cut through pools filled with marine life.

For a six-night package to the Bahamas out of Fort Lauderdale, Spirit Vacations (tel. 800/617-3325; www.spiritvacations.com) has a deal that offers savings of 50 per cent. For $390, the Spirit package includes airfare from Ft. Lauderdale, six nights at the Nassau Beach Hotel with a deluxe ocean view room, and round-trip hotel to airport transfers in the Bahamas. Airport taxes and security fees are additional. Prices are per person based on double occupancy lodging. With 400 rooms and beachfront property, the seven-floor Nassau Beach Hotel has two swimming pools and water activities such as catamarans, sunfish, snorkeling, windsurfing and reef fishing excursions. There are also six tennis courts, three of which are lighted, on hotel grounds.

Vacations by Plaza (tel. 800/856-6743; www.vacationsbyplaza.com) offers low-priced specials to Nassau as well. A three-night four-day air/land combination trip with departures from several U.S. cities starts at $479 out of Fort Lauderdale with other prices available such as $619 out of New York, $632 out of Chicago and $820 out of Atlanta. The trip includes airfare, all accommodations at the Breezes Bahamas resort on Nassau, all meals and beverages, activities and non-motorized water sports, and ground transportation to and from the airport. You need to book this trip by December 16, 2006 with travel good from now through December 20, 2006. Breezes Bahamas is an adult-oriented over fourteen year old resort with high-level activities such as rock climbing and trapeze classes. There's live entertainment nightly in the hotel lobby bar.

Exuma is a small island just south of Nassau where the fishing is good, the living easy and peace and quiet the way of life. Peace and Plenty (tel. 800/525-2210, www.peaceandplenty.com) has three boutique resorts in Exuma each of which offers its own take on Bahaman culture. There's the Bonefish Lodge where fishing is king; the social and lively Club Peace and Plenty with harbor views, town living and shopping centrally located in Exuma's capital of Georgetown; and the 16-room remote Beach Inn with large rooms catering to families with children and newlyweds looking for a spacious honeymoon retreat. Peace and Plenty offer package deals across the three boutique properties. A package aimed at fisherman, the Bonefish Package schools travelers in fishing for bonefish, a strong, feisty fish. A four-day, three-night trip to the Bonefish Lodge includes three gourmet meals per day, room and taxes, staff tips, transportation, Internet access and airport transfers costs from $777 per person based on double occupancy. Fishing with instruction, all equipment and the ear of a local guide costs an additional $200 per day. Less expensive packages are available at the Beach Inn with a three-day two-night Bahamas Vacation Package starting at $392 per person that includes accommodations, service charges, tips, breakfast and dinner and your choice of either a snorkel trip, boat rental or car rental. Call Peace and Plenty for details and for the costs of longer trips.

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