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Bond in the Bahamas

In Casino Royale, the 21st James Bond installment, Bond took on the bad guys at an embassy, which was, in reality, the lovely Buena Vista Restaurant and Hotel in Nassau, which closed shortly after filming and is now home to the John Watling’s Distillery. The ruggedly handsome new Bond, Daniel Craig, also had the glamorous background of the One & Only Ocean Club resort on Paradise Island, where another Bond, Pierce Brosnan, frequently stays.

Bond and the Bahamas have a long relationship. Six Bond films have used the Bahamas as a backdrop, including Thunderball, filmed in 1965 with the original 007, Sean Connery. Connery loved the Bahamas so much he has chosen to live here year-round in the luxury gated community of Lyford Cay.

Thunderball was filmed at the Café Martinique, which, after being closed for more than a decade, reopened at Atlantis resort on Paradise Island in 2006. Scenes were also shot at the Mediterranean Renaissance–style British Colonial, built in the 1920s.

You can swim and snorkel in Thunderball Cave in the Exumas, site of the pivotal chase scene in the 1965 Sean Connery film. The ceiling of this huge, dome-shaped cave is about 30 feet above the water, which is filled with yellowtails, parrots, blue chromes, and yellow-and-black striped sergeant majors. Swimming into the cave is the easy part—the tide draws you in—but paddling back out can be strenuous, especially because if you stop moving, the tide will pull you back.

The Rock Point house, better known to 007 fans as Palmyra, the villain Emilio Largo's estate, was another Bond location, and Bay Street, where Bond and his beautiful sidekick Domino attended a Junkanoo carnival, is still the location of Junkanoo twice a year. The Thunderball remake, Never Say Never Again, was also shot in the Bahamas, using many of the same locations as the original.

Underwater shots for many of the Bond flicks were filmed in the Bahamas, including Thunderball Grotto, while Nassau's offshore reefs were the underwater locations for the 1983 film Never Say Never Again, the 1967 film You Only Live Twice, the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me, and For Your Eyes Only, released in 1981.

Updated: 2013-12-02

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