HEALTH, SAFETY & SECURITY
Is The Bahamas safe for tourists?
Yes, the Royal Bahamas Police Force maintains a robust presence to ensure the safety of visitors and Bahamian residents. We encourage you to maintain awareness of your surroundings and valuables when in public areas, beaches, and pools, just as you would at home.
Additional Health & Safety Tips
- Only accept rides from licenced operators on land and sea, including taxis and watercraft operators, such as water taxis, jet skis, banana boats, speedboats, etc.
- Enjoy the sun but use sunscreen, take breaks, and hydrate with non-alcoholic beverages to avoid heatstroke.
- Do not swim alone and use caution if you choose to swim during the early morning or after dusk.
- If you have medical issues that may affect your ability to participate in strenuous excursions, please consider before diving in.
- When booking an excursion, work directly with your hotel or travel provider to find a trusted tour operator. It is not recommended to work with individuals who may approach you on the beach or street.
- The purchase and usage of marijuana is illegal and enforced with strict penalties.
Which cruise lines offer trips to The Bahamas?
Cruise lines serving The Islands of The Bahamas:
Carnival Cruise Lines
Princess Cruise Lines
Royal Caribbean International Cruises
Disney Cruise Lines
Norweigan Cruise Lines
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line
Which islands have a port of call for cruise ships?
The following islands and cays have an available port of call for cruise travel:
Nassau & Paradise Island
Great Stirrup Cay
Half Moon Cay
Is a passport or visa required when cruising to The Bahamas?
All nationalities who would normally require a visa for travel to The Bahamas and intend to travel to The Bahamas by way of cruise ship must obtain a Bahamian visa. The same applies for persons traveling by air to join a cruise ship traveling through The Bahamas.
What form of currency does The Bahamas use?
The Bahamian dollar is maintained at the same level as the U.S. dollar and both are accepted interchangeably on all islands.
ATMs + PLUS and Cirrus are in banks on Nassau/Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island, and most major Out Islands.
While certain places do take credit cards, it’s advised that you carry cash if you’re exploring the Out Islands.
What should I pack?
Casual summer wear can be worn during the day at any time of the year, but be sure to bring a jacket or sweater for the cooler evenings from December to February. Most hotels, restaurants, and casinos require jackets for men at night, especially in more cosmopolitan areas, such as Nassau & Paradise Island and Freeport.
Beachwear is inappropriate in churches, restaurants, and casinos. Away from the beach or the pool, you should cover your swimsuit with shorts or a long shirt when walking city streets. In more relaxed and remote areas, the dress code is more flexible.
Will my mobile phone work in The Bahamas?
Visitors and business travellers will find that telecommunication services in The Bahamas are comparable to the services found in most developed countries. A 100% digital switching system allows direct dialing to more than 100 countries. The U.S. and Canada are accessible via a direct call and most hotels offer direct dialing.
BTC also has roaming agreements with 128 companies around the world. To access BTC's GSM roaming system, simply turn on your phone and wait for it to connect to the network. To check if your home service provider is a BTC roaming partner or for country-specific roaming charges, see btcbahamas.com.
What are the rules of the road in The Bahamas?
UK rules apply in The Bahamas, so please drive on the left and be very careful on the roundabouts. Visitors can use their residence permit for up to three months and may also apply for an international driving licence.
To learn more about the road traffic laws, visit www.roadtraffic.gov.bs.
Will I need a voltage converter in The Bahamas?
Electrical outlets in The Bahamas are 60 cycles/120 volts, which is compatible with all American devices. British and European appliances require a two-pin flat adapter and a 220-volt converter.
Can I bring my pet to The Bahamas?
Yes, you can bring your pet to The Bahamas, but you must prepare before you leave home. An import permit is required from the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources (Nassau) for all animals brought into the country. The permit is valid for one year from the date of issue.
Follow the links below for important information on importing pets and to download the pet import form:
- Bringing Pets to The Bahamas
- Application to Import Domestic Animals
- The Bahamas Humane Society
- Animal Import Requirements
- Application For CITES Import/Export
- Application To Import CITES Plants (Orchids)
- Application To Import Freshwater Fish
When is Spring Break in The Bahamas?
Spring Break Season in The Bahamas runs from late February to mid-April. This is important information, whether you’re aiming to avoid the season altogether or you’d like to land right in the middle of this weeks-long youth fest.
Evenings on the beach, sports meets, and musical entertainment are some events usually organised for the Spring Break calendar.
What time zone is The Bahamas in?
The Bahamas falls in the Eastern Time Zone, and follows Daylight Saving Time.
Is tipping expected in The Bahamas?
Tipping is customary in The Bahamas, and you should tip according to the quality of service you receive. Bellboys and porters usually receive $1 per bag, while most other servers (waiters, taxis, etc.) receive 15%. Be advised that many establishments include the gratuity in the total.
What to do in The Bahamas?
The Bahamas is a country of 16 major islands, spanning 100,000 square miles. There are countless activities ranging from cultural, leisure, to adventure and ecotourism.
Where is Pig Island?
Big Major Cay, home to a colony of pigs and often called Pig Island, is located in The Exumas. Learn more about our infamous Swimming Pigs.
What is Junkanoo?
Junkanoo is a traditional Bahamian celebration that has been carried out for thousands of years. It involves intricate costumes, joyful music and carefully choreographed routines, all in the name of a little friendly competition. Catch the celebrations on Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, and throughout the summer.
Click here to learn more.
How long does it take to fly to The Bahamas?
The Bahamas is a large country, fly times will vary depending on which island you’re heading to. Flights from the US East Coast are as short as 1 hour.
Click here to view flights.
What’s the best way to get around in The Bahamas?
A public transportation service (called jitneys) is available on several of the major islands, including Nassau/Paradise Island and Freport-Grand Bahama Island. It usually runs from early morning (around 6:30 a.m.) until around 7:00 p.m. Rates vary depending on the route and the exact change is required. Bus stops are marked. On New Providence, the basic rate is $1.25 per person; areas outside the city of Nassau could cost up to $3.50.
Taxis are conveniently placed in most hotels and at airports. You can also call for a taxi or get one off the street in the main islands. The metered rates vary by island, but they are reasonable and set by law. Please note that surcharges often apply for more than two persons and extra luggage.
Car rentals are available on most islands, as well as scooter and bike rentals. On the smaller islands, golf carts for rent are a popular mode of transportation.
What's the climate like in The Bahamas?
Trade winds bless The Islands of The Bahamas with warm weather year-round. Winter lows average a comfortable 70 °F (21 °C) and summer highs range from 80 to 90 °F (26 to 32 °C).
Does The Bahamas have a rainy season?
Even paradise needs to cool off with a little rain now and then. The Bahamas has a rainy season year-round, which explains our lush vegetation. Squalls and thunder showers pass through quickly, so rain never ruins your plans. May and June typically have the most rain, much of it falling in the northern and southern islands.
Does The Bahamas get many hurricanes?
Although hurricane season is from June through November, we encourage visitors not to cancel their plans as storm predictions can be surprisingly inaccurate. If a hurricane does disrupt your plans, many Bahamian hotels have hurricane cancellation policies that allow you to cancel and receive a full refund.
Can I shop duty-free in The Bahamas?
Effective January 1, 1992, the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas abolished all import duties on alcohol, perfumes, fragrances, crystal, leather goods, jewellery, fine linens, tablecloths, watches, clocks, photographic equipment, china, binoculars, and telescopes. Duty-free shops are marked with the DFS logo. Prices on these items are usually between 25-50% below U.S. prices.
Where can I find local crafts?
You can find local crafts in straw markets and speciality shops or at Festival Place in Nassau, the Bahama Craft Centre on Paradise Island, and at Port Lucaya Marketplace on Grand Bahama Island.
Who can shop tax-free in The Bahamas?
Non-Bahamian residents, those who do not hold a Bahamian passport, those who are leaving The Bahamas in the next 45 days, and those who have not worked in The Bahamas in the last 6 months.
Where can I find tax-free shopping in The Bahamas?
The main shopping areas include Freeport, Harbour Island, Nassau (including Bay Street, Lynden Pindling International Airport, Cable Beach and Bahamar Resort) and Paradise Island (including Atlantis Resort). Look for the Global Blue Tax Free signage in store windows. Participating stores can be found here.
How long does it take to receive my VAT refund?
Visitors who shop at Global Blue-affiliated stores will receive their VAT refund immediately at the time of purchase. A digital Shop Tax Free Card makes the process even faster.
Is there a minimum purchase amount?
Yes, the minimum purchase amount for non-consumables is $25. The minimum purchase amount for consumables, allowed only at the Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau), is $50 for tobacco and alcohol and $25 for rum cakes.
Can I use my purchases while I am in The Bahamas?
No, the VAT deduction applies only to goods that are being exported in your personal luggage.