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Transportation

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Weather

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Customs

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Information

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Illegal Items

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Taxes

 
Tourist Information:
In Nassau, there are four Tourist Information Centres: two at the airport, one downtown in Market Plaza and another at Rawson Square. For assistance in Nassau, call 326-9772/9781 from 8:30am to 5:00pm weekdays, or 377-6806/6833 from 5:00pm to 11:00pm daily.

In Freeport/Lucaya on Grand Bahama Island, there are six Tourist Information Centres. You'll find them at the airport, the International Bazaar, Port Lucaya Market Place and Freeport Harbour. On Grand Bahama, call 352-8044 between 8:30am and 5:00pm on weekdays, or 351-2052 from 8:30am to 5:00pm on weekends and holidays. Tourist Offices are also located on Abaco (call 367-3067), Eleuthera (call 332-2142), Exuma (call 336-2430), Harbour Island (call 333-2621), North Bimini (call 347-3529) and Andros (call 368-2010).

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Money Matters:

Currency: 
The Bahamian dollar is on par with the US dollar, and you can use either throughout the islands; however, one can expect to pay a small commission when exchanging travelerís cheques for local currency & when converting local currency into US dollars. The following table give approximate values for major currencies in relation to the Bahamian dollar:
British Pound Sterling=B$1.67
Canadian Dollar=B$0.67
Dutch Guilder=B$0.49
French Franc=B$0.17
German Mark=B$0.56
Japanese Yen=B$0.0095
Swiss Franc=B$0.68
The United Nations offers
daily exchange rates.
If you come across a Bahamian $3 bill, it is o.k. Bahamian paper money runs in half dollar, $1,$3,$5,$10,$20,$50 & $100 bills. Some visitors keep the $3 bill as a souvenir. There is also an extra Bahamian coin: the 15-cent piece, which is square with rounded corners & decorated with a hibiscus on one side.

Departure Tax: Each person leaving The Bahamas must pay a $15.00 departure tax. Children under 6 years old are exempted.

Tipping: The usual tip is 15%; however, many resorts and hotels automatically add a service charge to cover gratuities.

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Casino Games, Links, Tips and Strategies

Ongoing Events:
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism Official Calendar of Ongoing Events.

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Language:
English is the official language of The Bahamas.

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Population:
The last official census result was in 1990. At that time, there were 171,542 people living in New Providence, and 254,685 in The Bahamas. The 1998 Bahamasí population was about 293,700. Projected estimate for the year 2000 is 302,836.

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Telecommunication:
The area code for all Bahamas telephone numbers is 242.

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Medical Facilities
Good medical facilities exist in The Bahamas. Every hotel has a doctor on call for guests. Most medical doctors are trained in the USA, Canada, Great Britain or The University of The West Indies. In Nassau, Princess Margaret Hospi- tal (Government operated) has 455 beds and Doctors Hospital (privately operated), 24 beds. In addition, there is the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre. In Freeport, Grand Bahama, The Government operates the Rand Memorial Hospital. In the Family Islands, there are 50 health centres.

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Transportation:
Taxicabs, rental cars and motor scooters are available in most areas in The Bahamas. Buses are also a great way to get around-in Nassau and Grand Bahama, jitney buses run daily from 6:00am to 6:30pm. Ask about the many convenient bus routes that are available.

Remember that you must drive on the left, and look right when crossing streets on foot. You may use your driver's license for up to three months, after which you must obtain a Bahamian one. A protective helmet is mandatory if you are traveling by motor scooter.

Island hopping is another easy way to travel. Scheduled air service is available to specific island destinations, plus the mail boat and a car ferry provide weekly connections between Nassau and most other major islands.

The usual large North American companies, Budget Rent-A-Car (800-472-3325 or 297-8-28600), Hertz (800-654-3001 or 297-8-24886) and AVIS (800-331-1084 or 297-8-24800) are represented on Grand Bahama and New Providence Island. Small independent agents can be found on the out islands.

See our airline, cruise line and tour operator listings for an overview of service to the Caribbean.

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Weather:
See the Bahamas-On-Line new Weather Page. Or check out our information on the Hurricane Season.

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Health:
All places which serve food & drink to the public, including native restaurants, are licensed & inspected by Bahamas health authorities. Most visitors prefer drinking bottled water.

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Illegal Items:
Strict laws & penalties apply for possession of dangerous drugs & firearms. Any drugs considered dangerous, including marijuana, bring stiff fines & even jail terms if found in the possession of unauthorized persons. Licenses for firearms for sporting purposes are available. Handgun licenses are issued sparingly & only in special circumstances.

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Immigration:
When you travel to The Bahamas from abroad, you are given an immigration card to fill in. The Immigration officer at the point of entry pulls the card & leaves you with the stub. Be sure to return this portion (stub) ticket agent upon departure.

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Taxes:
There is no sales tax in The Bahamas. However, there are several taxes that visitors must be aware of. A government tax & resort levy of 8% on hotel room rates is added to your bill upon check-out. Additional charges may apply at individual hotels. A $7.- ticket tax is payable on the price of each airline or cruise whip ticket bought in The Bahamas & is included in the price of the ticket.
Air:
A $15.- government departure tax must be paid in cash to the airline you are traveling with by every traveler 6 yrs. old and over leaving the Bahamas. An additional security fee of $3.- is also payable by the International passengers departing Freeport.
Sea:
passengers travel ling by ship pay a $15.- built in departure tax. One day excursion passengers pay a $13.- built in departure tax. Children under 6 yrs. old are exempted. The departure tax is included in the ticket and is paid by your shipping line.

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Traffic Rules:
The old British custom of driving on the left hand side of the road has been practiced here since the horse & buggy. If you rent a car, most have the steering wheel on the left (even the English models, because they were made for the American market).
REMEMBER TO KEEP LEFT. Freeport and Lucaya speed limits are 25 mph in congested areas, 15 mph in school zones, 45 mph for cars & 35 mph for trucks in the outskirts.

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