An Introduction to the Bahamas

 

Sun, sand, and sea are merely perimeters of the Islands of the Bahamas. At the core of the islands, you’ll find a big heart, open arms, and a way of life that is both timeless and new. It is the Bahamian heritage. It is your departure from everyday life. Welcome.

Blessed with the perfect location (less than 100 miles off the coast of Florida), the perfect climate (averaging a little over 75F degrees) and the perfect environment (crystal clear turquoise blue waters and pearly white sandy beaches), the Islands of the Bahamas are the perfect travel destination for your wedding, siesta, party, honeymoon, or family vacation.

According to the Bahamas Tourism office, the Islands of the Bahamas are unique with their individual character and charm--and there is truth to this. Visit the main islands like beautiful Grand Bahama Island (Freeport/Lucaya) and bustling New Providence (Nassau and Paradise Island).

Or, if you really want to get away from the crowds, visit one of the many out islands like Abaco, Andros, Acklins and Crooked Island, Biminis, Berry Islands, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Exumas, Inaguas, Mayaguana, and San Salvador.

New Providence Island and Paradise Island

This pair of islands, at the heart of The Bahamas, greets visitors with a genuine Bahamian blend of experiences. City slickers, family packs, water lovers, and land lovers alike will find no shortage of fun in the sun on Nassau and Paradise Island. Feel what it’s like to be both satisfied and hungry for more. Nassau, capital city of the Islands of the Bahamas, resides on New Providence Island, neighbor to Paradise Island. This island pair maintains a distinct blend of international glamour and tropical ease, giving travelers freedom to do everything or nothing at all.

What to Expect in the Bahamas

BANKS:
Banking hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There are Automatic Bank Machines in the main tourist areas. These machines are on the +PLUS and Cirrus systems.

CURRENCY:
The legal tender is the Bahamian dollar (B$1), which is equivalent in value to the US dollar.
Both U.S. and Bahamian dollars are accepted interchangeably throughout the islands.

CLIMATE:
The trade winds that blow almost continually throughout the Islands of the Bahamas give the islands a warm, agreeable climate which varies little year-round. The most refreshing time is September through May, when the temperature averages 70-75F degrees. The rest of the year is a bit warmer with temperatures between 80-85F degrees.

DEPARTURE TAX:
The departure tax of $15 is normally included in the price of your ticket. Please check with your airline or ticketing agent for details. If it is not, you must pay it when you check in for your flight home. It is payable in Bahamian or U.S. Dollars only.

DRINKING WATER:
The water in the more developed islands such as New Providence and Grand Bahamas is distilled from seawater and is perfectly safe to drink, however they are only able to desalinize 95% of it, so it does have a strong taste. When on the outer islands, it is recommended you drink only bottled water.

DRIVING LICENSE:
British rules apply, so please drive on the left and be extra careful on roundabouts. Visitors may use their home licenses for up to three months or may apply for an international driver's license. Pedestrians should remember to look right before crossing streets.

ELECTRICITY:
With standard North American 120-volt/60-cycle AC electrical current, you and your delegates will be able to operate American or Canadian appliances without adapters.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:
U.S. and Canadian citizens must have a valid Passport and a return or ongoing ticket.

TOURISM SEASONS:
The Islands of the Bahamas have a temperate climate ranging from 80-90F degrees with high humidity in the summer months to 70-80F degrees in the winter. Nighttime temperatures are generally cooler by 5-7 degrees. In the more northerly islands, winter temperatures are approximately 5 degrees lower than the southern islands. Sea surface temperatures vary between 74F degrees in February and 84F degrees in August. The months of June to November constitute the hurricane season. The weather does influence travel decisions and, often, inaccurate reporting of information on hurricanes results in needless cancellations by U.S. travelers. Many Bahamas hoteliers have instituted a Hurricane Hotel Policy for vacationers which states that visitors who cancel a Bahamas vacation during a hurricane will receive an immediate refund with no penalties. If caught on-island during a hurricane, hoteliers would extend the lowest possible rate and all possible courtesies.

VACCINATIONS:
No vaccinations or preventative medications are required for travel to the Bahamas. However, we always suggest that you speak to your family physician for a personal recommendation.

WATER TEMPERATURES AND WETSUITS:
Water temperatures generally range between 75 – 80°F. Most people find wearing a 1mm – 3mm wetsuit keeps them comfortable in the summer. Consider a 5mm in the winter.

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Visual Tour of the Bahamas

 

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