Freeport is an oddity in the Caribbean region, having been founded in 1955 as a planned community and free trade zone to foster tourism and business for Grand Bahama island. It is located just 80 miles off West Palm Beach, Florida, right along a main North-South shipping route, and does in fact attract both business and a lot of tourism. Visitors enjoy the island’s beaches, water activities such as fishing and boating, the area’s three National Parks with nature trails and diverse ecosystems, and a burgeoning supply of theme parks and diversions. The island is honeycombed with natural caves, many of which are accessible either by land or for certified SCUBA divers. Shoppers delight in the International Bazaar in Freeport and the Port Lucaya Market Place in nearby Lucaya.