If you plan
to visit The Islands Of The Bahamas and need
information, this page is a good place to start.
Most of the larger islands have ATMs located in airport
terminals, branch banks, most casinos and other
convenient locations. Most machines dispense local
currency. Machines in casinos and at Rawson Square in
Nassau dispense U.S. dollars.
Banking hours are 9:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Monday through
Thursday and 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Fridays. Most
automatic teller machines (ATMs) are open 24 hours.
Queries relating to banking regulations may be addressed
to the Bank Supervision Department, Central Bank of The
Bahamas, P.O. Box N-4868, Nassau, Bahamas, or call
The Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation (BaTelCo) has
automatic roaming agreements with cellular carriers in
the United States, Canada and Mexico. BaTelCo's roaming
partners include Aliant Cellular, Ameritech Cellular,
BCTEL Mobility, Bell Mobility, Bell Atlantic NYNEX
Mobile, BellSouth Mobility, Blue Ridge Cellular, Cantel,
Cellular Holding, Cellular One Bay Area Cellular,
Cellular One of Illinois, Cellular One of Southwest
Florida, Comcast Cellular, Crowley Cellular, Dansbury
Cellular, Pioneer/Enid Cellular, MT&T Mobile, NBTel
Mobility, Radiofone, 360° Communications, Telcel, TELUS
Mobility U.S. Cellular and Western Wireless.
If your home carrier has
a roaming agreement with BaTelCo and your cellular
number is active in The Islands Of The Bahamas, you can
enjoy cellular service. Simply ensure that your phone is
switched to system B and dial away!
Note: Roaming agreements
are subject to change without notice. Additionally, a
carrier may have a Roaming agreement with BaTelCo but
opt to disallow Roaming in The Bahamas for some of their
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
from September through May when the
temperature averages 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
The rest of the
year is a bit warmer with temperatures between 80-85
degrees. Rainfall is scarce from November through April
each year; however, showers can occur during the months
of May through October.
Casual summer wear can be worn during the day any time
of the year, but be sure to bring a jacket or sweater
for cooler evenings from December to February. Most
hotels, restaurants and casinos require jackets for men
in the evening, especially in cosmopolitan Nassau and
Grand Bahama Island. Though walking the streets in swim
trunks in mid-January might sound irresistible, beach
clothing is inappropriate on the streets of downtown
Nassau, in churches, restaurants and casinos. On the
more laid-back Out Islands, dress codes are more
Are things expensive in The Islands Of The Bahamas?
Prices in The Islands Of The Bahamas are comparable to
other destinations. Prices vary in relation to the
product. Some luxury items, for example, liquor,
perfume, watches and photography equipment can be more
reasonably priced than in the Unites States. Breadbasket
items tend to be more expensive than in the United
States. Can I spend U.S. dollars in The Islands Of The
Bahamas? Yes. The United States dollar is on par with
the Bahamian dollar.
The legal tender is the Bahamian dollar (B$1), which is
equivalent in value to the U.S. dollar. Both U.S. and
Bahamian dollars are accepted interchangeably throughout
British rules apply, so please drive on the left and
watch those roundabouts! Persons entering a roundabout
(traffic circle) must give way to traffic coming from
the right already on the roundabout. Visitors may use
their home license for up to three months and may also
apply for an international driver's license. Pedestrians
should remember to look right before crossing streets.
Electricity is normally 120 volts AC. American
appliances are fully compatible.
The visitor emergency number for travelers in distress
Employment in the Bahamas for non-Bahamians is extremely difficult! The best possibility is if your employer arranges to transfer you to a branch in the Bahamas and pays for your work permit. This usually happens with bank and insurance company employees. Another possibility is if a foreign man/woman marries a Bahamian man/woman and acquires Permanent Residency status. The Bahamas is geared towards hiring mainly Bahamian people. Unless you have special skills i.e. speak several languages, etc. employment in the Bahamas is almost impossible. Work permits are quite costly, therefore businesses in the Bahamas hire 99% Bahamian people.
The official language of The Islands Of The Bahamas is
English, more British than American, and generally
intertwined with a special Bahamian dialect. Some Indian
words like "cassava" and "guava"
have been retained in the language.
If you are sending letters or postcards from The Islands
Of The Bahamas, be sure to use only Bahamian stamps.
Mail traveling to The Out Islands will arrive a bit more
slowly than to Nassau and Grand Bahama Island since it
goes by mail boat.
The Islands Of The Bahamas have a variety of water
sports activities, such as scuba diving, snorkeling,
parasailing, water/jet-skiing, windsurfing, fishing,
sailing and boating. Land sport activities include
tennis, golf, cricket, soccer, bowling, squash, track
and field events, basketball, American football,
baseball, volleyball, roller-skating and field hockey.
And big game fishing.
Eastern Standard Time is used on all islands. April to
October is Eastern Daylight Time, in conjunction with
U.S. summer hours.
Tip according to quality of service. Bellboys and
porters usually receive $1 per bag, while most other
servers (waiters, taxis, etc.) receive 15%. Many
establishments include the gratuity in their bills.
Buses, rental cars, motor bikes, bicycles, tour cars and
limousines. Taxis are accessible from all areas at all
times. Jitney buses run from downtown and Cable Beach in
Nassau/Paradise Island and from several depots at
Freeport/Lucaya on Grand Bahama Island at ten minute
intervals for 75 cents per ride.