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Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas, on the northeastern edge of New Providence Island. Founded around 1650 by the British as Charles Town, the town was renamed in 1695 after William III of Orange-Nassau in 1695. Due to the Bahamas' strategic location near trade routes and its multitude of islands, Nassau soon became a popular pirates' den, and British rule was soon challenged by the self-proclaimed Privateers Republic under the leadership of the infamous Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard. However, the alarmed British soon tightened their grip, and by 1720 the pirates had been killed or driven out. Today, with a population of 200,000, Nassau contains nearly 70% of the population of the Bahamas. However, it's still quite low-rise and laid back, with the pretty pastel pink government buildings and the looming giant cruise ships that dock daily. Orienting yourself in central Nassau is fairly easy. Bay Street, which runs parallel to the shore, is the main shopping street, filled with an odd mix of expensive jewelry boutiques and trashy souvenir shops. The hill that rises behind Bay St contains most of the Bahamas' government buildings and company headquarters, while the poor residential Over-the-Hill district starts on the other side. Nassau's Lynden Pindling International Airport (IATA: NAS, ICAO: MYNN) is the largest airport in the Bahamas. Most major U.S. airlines (with the notable exceptions of Northwest and Southwest) have flights to Nassau. Limited service from Toronto and London also exists. The airport itself has seen better days, but the free drinks occasionally served on arrival and the live band serenading the Immigration hall help set the tone. No public transport is available at the airport, but there's a list of fixed taxi fares posted at the exit. It's about US$25 and 10 mi (16 km) to most hotels in central Nassau. On the way back, note that there are three terminal concourses: domestic and charter flights, flights to the US, and non-US international flights. US Immigration/Customs preclearance can be very time-consuming, so show up at least two hours before your flight. Security for other destinations is considerably more laid back, and an hour should suffice.