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Bahamas essential info

Seven hundred sand-drizzled islands idyllically set in the Caribbean Sea, the Bahamas is for island hopping, diving, fishing and sailing

Travel in the Bahamas: vital statistics

  • Capital of Bahamas: Nassau
  • Population of Bahamas: 310,500
  • Languages in Bahamas: English, Creole
  • Time in Bahamas: GMT -5
  • International dialling code in Bahamas: +242
  • Voltage in Bahamas: 120V 60Hz
  • Visa information for Bahamas: Visa information
  • Money in Bahamas: Bahamian dollar (BS$) US dollars are widely accepted. ATMs are available on the main islands, but rarely on the smaller islands.
  • Bahamas travel advice: Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • Bahamas tourist board: Bahamas
  • When to go to the Bahamas

    The high season usually extends from mid-December to mid-April and is slightly cooler than other Caribbean island groups, due to the proximity of North American cold-air systems.

    The rainy season starts in late May and lasts until November, with the hurricane season extending from June until November.

    Generally, humidity is high year-round, declining slightly from the north-west to the south-east.

    International airports

    There are six major airports in the Bahamas. The most important are Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO), on Grand Bahama Island, 3.2km north of Freeport, whilst Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) is 16km from Nassau on New Providence.

    Getting around in The Bahamas

    Public buses are operated by private companies on assigned routes from Freeport up to  McLean’s Town at the eastern end of Grand Bahama. Buses depart frequently and cars can be rented from the airport. Taxis are widely available, and ferries link the islands together.

    The Bahamas accommodation

    Although there are many hotels in the Bahamas, and many offer specials during the high season, accommodation is generally expensive. However, there are a few budget options in Freeport, although these are a distance from the beach. Camping is illegal on the beaches and no campsites exist in the Bahamas. Hostels are also available in the cities. Other forms of accommodation include condos, inns, cottages and resorts.

    The Bahamas food & drink

    Seafood is the main speciality, ranging from red snapper to the widely-loved conch. Other delicacies include fresh tropical fruit from nearby islands and traditional Bahamian dishes such as johnnycakes (cornbread cakes) and grits (boiled and fried ground corn).

    A trip to the Bahamas wouldn’t be complete without sampling the signature drink of the islands: rum. Local distilleries include Callwood and Cruzan.

    Health & safety in the Bahamas

    Overall the Bahamas are safe and healthy, although medical insurance is recommended. The biggest health threats in the Bahamas are sun exposure, dehydration and contaminated water. Ask your hotel receptionist whether the tap water is drinkable.

    While crime is less prevalent than on some other Caribbean island groups, keep a wary eye for hustlers and pickpockets. Drug-related crime is common in Nassau. Petty criminals target travellers so guard your possessions at all times.

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