The Commonwealth of the Bahamas is an archipelago of over 700 islands, cays and islets, situated southeast of Florida and east of the Florida Keys. The Gulf Stream surrounding the islands helps to maintain air and water temperatures in a narrow, warm comfortable range. For some 340 days a year the islands are bathed in sunlight. Beautiful sandy beaches abound. Tourism accounts for 60% of the islands economy. Nassau, the capitol, is on New Providence Island and has a British Colonial flavor with pink government buildings. Other main islands include Andros, Freeport, Grand Bahama, and Abaco. Eleuthera, one of the largest of the Out Islands, has many beaches which are considered among the best in the Bahamas. Eleuthra is over 100 miles long north to south and just a few miles wide. Charming visitors with its endless white beaches, colonial villages, and pineapple fields, the island faces the Atlantic Ocean on its east side and the Great Bahama Bank on the west. The island started as a coral reef, but unlike many of the islands, its terrain is quite hilly, with some hills as high as 100 feet. The shoreline varies from pink sand beaches to large coral outcroppings extending into azure waters. Much less developed than Nassau, Freeport, or the Abacos, Eleuthera is like an island lost in time. Life moves at a slower pace here, with only 8,000 inhabitants, and a focus on vacationing.