General Travel Information

Bahamas Entry Requirements for US Citizens:
Visas not required for stays of 8 months; however, must carry proof of US citizenship, photo ID & onward/return ticket. Voter registration cards not accepted. Contact: Embassy of Bahamas, 2220 Massachusetts Av, NW, Washington, DC. 20008. (202) 319-2660 or consulate in Miami or NYC (212) 421 6925. 

Health and Hospitals :  Medical Facilities generally good in Nassau & Freeport, but limited in remote areas. Doctors & hospitals usually expect immediate cash payment. Chronic shortage of blood at Princess Margaret Hospital, Nassau, where most emergency surgery performed. Travelers with rare blood types should know names & location of possible blood donors. US medical insurance not always valid outside USA. Supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage, including medical evacuation, has proved helpful. 

Crime& Security:   Exercise normal caution & good judgment. Although violent crime on increase, most incidents take place in part of Nassau or Freeport not usually frequented by tourists - Over-the-Hill area in Nassau. Store passport/identity documents, airline tickets, unused credit cards, and extra cash in hotel safes. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry, particularly Rolex watches, targeted increasingly by criminals. Don't travel alone on deserted areas of beaches & poorly lit areas at night. Long-line fishing in Bahamian waters illegal. All long-line fishing gear required to be stowed below deck while transiting through Bahamian waters. 

Money:  Bahamian Dollar (Ba$) = 100 cents. Notes of Ba$100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 3 and 1, & 50 cents. Coins of Ba$5, 2 and 1, and 50, 25, 15, 10, 5 & 1 cents. Bahamian $ on par with US$ &   accepted as legal tender.Major credit cards accepted. In Nassau, Paradise Island & Freeport/Lucaya, banks open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday - Thursday, and 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday. Hours vary throughout Out Islands. 

ATM:  ATM machines are located throughout Nassau and Paradise Island and in the Casinos.  Since the Bahamas has a large banking clientele, most major banks are available.   Swiss bank, Citibank, Fleet, as well as others are located in downtown Nassau.

Getting Around Town:  Taxis and Jitneys are the best way to travel.   Taxis are available at all hotels and downtown locations.  Make sure you get a price upfront for your trip.  Bartering sometimes brings the price down.
If you know the cost from a previous trip, let the driver know what you are willing to pay.  Negociate when necessary.   Jitneys pick up at all major hotel areas and are available in downtown Nassau for return trip.
The ride costs $.75 per person, you should have the correct change.   The Jitney run til about 6 pm. 

Motor scooter: Scooters are available on Paradise Island and Downtown Nassau.  Just remember, driving is on the left.. and the traffic circles are menacing.

Weather:   Coldest month: Jan.avg low 69F (20C), while warmest month, Aug.avg high 89F (32C). Rain showers occur any time of  year, but rainy months, May-Oct. 

Traffic Safety: Drive on left! Road conditions throughout Nassau and Freeport are generally good. Road travel in other parts limited. 

Electricity & Voltage: 120 volts AC, 60Hz. American appliances are compatible. 

Public Holidays: Jan01; Mar28 & 31; May27; Jun07; Jul10; Aug05; Oct12; Dec 25 & 26. 

Customs Regulations & Taxes: Fill out & sign Immigration form, keeping portion of card in hand until departing. Oral baggage declaration required. Each adult visitor allowed to bring 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes or 1 pound of tobacco, 1 quart of spirits, and variety of personal effects (personal radio headsets, bicycle, 2 still cameras, etc.). Purchases  100 dollars permitted by all arriving passengers. When departing, all visitors required to pay $15.00 departure tax ($18.00 from Grand Bahama); children 6 years and under exempt. Departures to US must go through US Customs pre-clearance. US visitors may take home US$600 worth of duty-free merchandise. Next $l,000 is taxed at 10%. Gifts up to $50 may be mailed home duty-free. One liter of wine, liqueur or liquor & 5 cartons of cigarettes may be taken duty-free. 

Tourism Contacts:
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism 
PO Box N-3701, Bay Street, Nassau, The Bahamas. 
322 7500 or 322 8634. Fax: 328 0945. 

Bahamas Consulate General 
231 East 46th Street, New York, NY 10017 
(212) 421 6925. Fax: (212) 759 2135. 0930-1730 Mon to Fri. 

Bahamas Tourist Office 
28th Floor North, 150 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022 
(212) 758 2777. Fax: (212) 758 6531. 

Suite 1101, 121 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario M4W 3M5 
(416) 968 2999. Fax: (416) 968 6711.