BAHAMAS TRAVEL GUIDE
To those who can’t resist the charm of blue waters and long sandy palm-fringed shorelines, the Bahamas is a true paradise. From lazing about on the beach to dancing the night away, the Bahamas offer every beach fantasy and more. The 700 islands are dotted with spectacular bays and coves where frothy waves wash over white soft sparkling sand. The azure waters of the Bahamas are amongst the clearest in the world and the marine life absolutely spectacular!
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BAHAMAS QUICK FACTS
Currency: Bahamian dollar (BSD) / US dollar (USD)(Widely accepted)
Area: 13,940 km²
Population: 385 640 (2018)
Language: English, Creole (among Haitian immigrants)
Religion: Baptist 32%, Anglican 20%, Roman Catholic 19%, Methodist 6%, Church of God 6%, other Protestant 12%, none or unknown 3%, other 2%
Electricity: 120V, 60Hz (North American plug)
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BAHAMAS PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
10 January, Majority Rule Day
1st Friday in June, Labour Day
3–10 July, Independence Day celebrations
10 July, Independence Day
1st Monday in August, Emancipation Day
2nd Monday in October, National Heroes Day
Also, Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Whit Monday (the Monday after Pentecost).
BAHAMAS WEATHER SYNOPSIS
The Bahamas is located on the boundary of the tropical and subtropical zones and, as such, has a semi-tropical or subtropical marine climate, which is moderated by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. The islands experience warm, humid conditions year-round, though with more seasonal variations than the Southern Caribbean islands. There are also variations between the islands of the Bahamas, with rainfall falling twice as much in the northwestern islands than in the southeastern islands, and the more northerly islands experiencing temperatures up to 5° cooler than the southern islands. Average temperatures are fairly high, with the mean daily temperatures fluctuating between 17°C and 32°C. Mean annual rainfall for the Bahamas varies from about 865 mm to about 1470 mm. Inter-annual variability in climate is strongly influenced by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). El Niño episodes bring warmer and drier conditions between June and August. Located in the heart of the Atlantic hurricane belt, the Bahamas is also subject to hurricanes and tropical cyclones especially during the August – November period.
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
HIKING & CYCLING IN BAHAMAS
Outdoor activities in The Bahamas are best enjoyed during the drier months from December to April, but are generally accessible throughout the year.
BEACH OPTIONS IN BAHAMAS
Although you can visit the stunning beaches of The Bahamas at any time of the year, the dry season from December to April is by far better.
SURFING IN BAHAMAS
The Bahamas has some great and consistent surf all year round. The best surf is usually from October to April. Eleuthera has some of the most powerful and reliable surf.
KITESURF IN BAHAMAS
The windy kitesurfing season in The Bahamas is from November to April. Check out Nassau, Eleuthera, Spanish Wells & Harbour Island, Abacos, Exumas, Cat Island and San Salvador.
For more details on kite surfing in Bahamas expand this section!
HEALTH RISKS IN BAHAMAS
Be aware of possible health risks in
Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.
BAHAMAS TRAVEL COSTS
The Caribbean is not cheap, but there are ways to get the most bang for your buck with a little forward planning and some savvy choices
Budget less than US$150 Room away from the beach: under US$100, Meal at a locally popular restaurant: US$10, Ride local buses: US$3
Midrange US$150–300 Double room in the action: US$200, Visit parks and beaches that are free, rent bikes or snorkel for US$10 per day Rental car for exploring: US$40 to US$60 a day.
Top end over US$300 - Beautiful rooms at the best resorts in high season: US$400 and over, Activities in beautiful places: US$100 and up, World-renowned meals: US$100 per person and more.
Here are some of the best ways to save money:
Travel in groups Bring your friends and other couples along with you and rent a villa.
Book far in advance For high season deals.
Book at the last minute For incredible deals as hotels dump empty rooms.
Follow the divers They demand great value near beautiful waters.
Ride buses and ferries You meet folks and may have an adventure.
Live like a local Save money while having a more authentic visit.
Travel in low season Prices can drop 40% or more.
WHAT TO PACK FOR BAHAMAS
The Caribbean islands are casual, so bring light, comfy clothes: a bathing suit, T-shirt and shorts will be your wardrobe. Add long pants or a dress for nights out.
Sun hat Buying at home ensures a better fit.
Quick-dry towel A small one, for when the whim to swim hits.
Flashlight For night-time reading, blackouts.
Resealable bags / Drybags Essential for keeping things (cameras, air tickets, passports) dry on boat trips.
Snorkelling mask with corrective lenses Suddenly, reefs are in focus!
WHAT TO EAT IN BAHAMAS
Take time to meet the locals by doing what they do – you’ll enjoy a more affordable and authentic experience.
Eat at lunch wagons or stalls. The local fare is cheap and often incredibly good.
Drop by a local bar – often the de facto community center. Besides a drink, you’ll get all sorts of useful – or wonderfully frivolous – advice.
Look for community fish fries or barbecues in the Eastern Caribbean.