What To Expect
The Bahamas are one of the best vacation destinations in the Caribbean and the millions of people that come here every year agree. It is a collection of over 2000 cays (coral reefs) and 700 islands, many of which are privately owned, with endless white sand beaches and clear, turquoise waters.
It is also home to the world-famous pig beach, where a group of about 20 or so pigs are living their best life, as well as the luxurious Atlantis Paradise Island Resort! Most people stay in all-inclusive resorts near Nassau, Freeport, Great Exuma, or Andros.
The Bahamas also have several natural wonders like Dean’s Blue Hole, Lucayan National Park, and the Andros Great Barrier Reef.
So if you’re looking for a pure vacation with some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, then the Bahamas are right up your alley!
Citizens of most developed countries can enter the Bahamas visa-free for up to 3 or 8 months, depending on the country.
If you are not a citizen of a visa-exempt country, you have to go to the nearest Bahamian embassy and apply for a Visitor’s Visa to be granted entry (unless you are an Indian citizen with a valid visa for the US, UK, Canada, or the EU OR permanent residency for Canada or the US, in which case you are eligible for a 90 day visa on arrival).
The Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccines are recommended, especially if traveling to rural areas. Also make sure you are up to date on your standard vaccinations and consult a health professional for further advice.
In addition, a Yellow Fever vaccination is mandatory if you are traveling to the Bahamas from a country with a risk of YF transmission, including if you only passed through the airport.
1. Nassau (NAS) – Lynden Pindling
2. Freeport (FPO) – Grand Bahama
3. Great Exuma (GGT)
4. Marsh Harbour (MHH) – Leonard M. Thompson
5. North Eleuthera (ELH)
Best Time To Visit
Similar to most islands in the Caribbean, the Bahamas benefits from a tropical climate that keeps the island nice and warm all year round. However, there are two seasons which you should be aware of: the dry season, which takes place in the winter and spring, and the rainy season which is in summer and autumn.
The best time to visit the Bahamas is during its dry season (December-April) as temperatures are pleasant and the skies typically stay blue. If you want to escape the crowds and benefit from lower prices, try going in May.
If you plan to travel in the summer or autumn, be aware that it is typically hurricane season, especially in September and October. And if traveling during the high season, make sure to reserve your transportation and accommodation in advance to avoid sold-out tickets and fully-booked rooms.
High Season: December – April
Low Season: August – October
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The currency used in the Bahamas is the Bahamian Dollar (BSD/$) which is pegged 1:1 to the US Dollar. The US Dollar is also accepted by 99% of merchants.
The notes come in denominations of $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, & $100. The Dollar is further divided into 100 Cents (¢) and the coins come in denominations of 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, & 25¢.
Use the currency converter below to determine the latest exchange rate.
Tipping is customary in the Bahamas as locals typically earn lower wages and rely on tips to supplement them. Tips can be given in US Dollars or Bahamian Dollars. When tipping, here are some guidelines to follow:
Hotel Bellhops: $1-2 per bag
Hotel Housekeepers: $1-2 per day
Restaurant Servers: most restaurants already include a service charge on the bill, but if not, then tip 15% of the total bill (or $1-2 per meal if staying at an all-inclusive resort)
Bartenders: $1-2 per drink
Taxi/Uber Driver: 10-15% of the total fare
Tour Guide: up to 10% of the total tour price on single-day tours and $5-10 USD per day on multi-day tours
Power Outlet Information
Just like most of the Americas, the Bahamas uses both the Type A and Type B power outlets interchangeably. Type A plugs can fit in Type B outlets, but not vice versa.
The voltage used in the Bahamas is 120V. Learn more about how this may affect your electronic devices in my Guide to the Top Travel Accessories.
The Bahamas does have 4G LTE coverage, but it may be spotty in rural areas. Make sure your phone is GSM-compatible with the primary 3G frequency and at least one of the 4G LTE bands used in the country to ensure you will always have a connection.
Learn more about this in my Guide to Travel-Ready Phones.
Note: if you’re only staying in a resort, you may not need to worry about this as most resorts have wifi anyways.
Calling Code: +1242
Emergency Number: 911 (Police, Ambulance & Fire)
3G Frequencies Used: 850 (primary) + 1900
4G LTE Bands Used: 13 & 17