The official currency of the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar, which is equivalent in value to the US dollar. US currency, including travelerís checks, is accepted throughout the islands by shops, hotels, restaurants and nightclubs. Most shops and restaurants accept all major credit cards. You may want to notify your credit card company in advance to be sure you are set up to access your card outside of the country. ATM machines can be found in the casinos and at major banks in Nassau. Most bank cards with Cirrus or Visa/MasterCard status can be used; check with your bank before you leave to be sure. Banks are open Monday through Thursday 9:30am to 3pm, and Friday from 9:30am to 5pm.
-The official language 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.
-Semi-tropical with an average temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for Nassau: January-March, 65-81°F (18-27°C); April-June, 71-86°F (22-30°C); July-September, 75-89°F (24-32°C); October-December, 67-81°F (19-27°C).
-Declaration forms must be completed upon arrival.
-U.S. citizens need a valid passport.
-The legal drinking age is 18.
Electricity is 120 volts/60 cycles, which is compatible with all U.S. appliances. British & European appliances require a flat two-pin adaptor and 220 voltage converter.
-Eastern Standard Time is observed within The Islands of The Bahamas.
Health and Safety
-While in The Bahamas, you can have peace of mind knowing that there are facilities available to serve your health-related needs and provide pharmacy services. The islands, especially Nassau/Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island, are serviced by medical facilities with North American and European-trained physicians.
-Most hotels are wheel chair accessible. Check with individual hotels for specific requirements.
-Direct-dial telephone service is available to anywhere from your hotel room but calling collect can be expensive. The best way to contact home is to purchase a Phone Card after you arrive in the Bahamas. Cellphones average $2-$3.00 per minute for calls to the US.
-Most taxis are large vans that can accommodate up to 12 people. The drivers typically do not use the meters so it is a good idea to negotiate the price of the trip before getting in. A full taxi costs an average of $2 to$4 per person, one-way. When returning to Paradise Island from Nassau, there is a $2 bridge toll which passengers are responsible for paying. The local bus operates from 7am to 7pm and cost about $1 one-way. During the day, it is the cheapest and easiest way to get around the island.