If you decide to rent a car, please remember that driving in Nassau Paradise Island is on the left side of the road. Car rental companies located at the Nassau International Airport are:
- Avis: 800-230-4898
- Budget: 800-472-3325
- Dollar: 800-800-3665
- Hertz: 800-654-3001
Thanks to the warm Gulf Stream currents and balmy tradewinds, The Islands Of The Bahamas are blessed with a semi-tropical climate. Typical temperatures range from 70° to 80° Fahrenheit. Rarely does it climb above 90°F on a midsummer's day or fall below 60°F on a winter's night. While we can give no guarantees regarding rain, rainfall is most unlikely from November through April. Water temperatures range from the low 80s in the summer to about 74°F in midwinter.
Currency / Banking
The legal tender is the Bahamian dollar, which is equivalent in value to the U.S. dollar. U.S. currency is accepted throughout Nassau Paradise Island as are most major credit cards and traveler's checks.
Banking hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Automatic Bank Machines (ATMs) are located at both Paradise Island and Cable Beach casinos, Rawson Square and major banks.
U.S. citizens out of the country for 48 hours are allowed up to $800 worth of duty-free merchandise. Less than 48 hours, the duty-free exemption is $200. Limitations include 32 ounces of tobacco for those over 21 and no more than two liters of alcohol.
Canadian residents away for seven or more days are entitled to $750 worth of duty-free goods. Limitations include two pounds of manufactured tobacco and up to 40 ounces of liquor or wine. If traveling for 48 hours the duty-free exemption is $400 worth of merchandise.
To make traveling easier pack things you're going to declare separately and keep all your sales receipts.
Tap water in Nassau Paradise Island is safe to drink, but bottled water is readily available for purchase throughout the island.
With standard North American 120-volt/60-cycle AC electrical current, you will be able to operate American or Canadian hairdryers, shavers and other small electrical appliances without adapters.
Nassau Paradise Island is one of the few Caribbean destinations that provides pre-clearance for U.S. Customs and Immigration services, allowing flights from Nassau Paradise Island to enter the United States as domestic flights and bypass the normal U.S. Customs and Immigration clearance encountered on most returns from an international destination.
If you are a U.S. citizen, The Islands of the Bahamas follow the U.S. Government international travel requirements for re-entry into the U.S., you will need a valid U.S. Passport. The Bahamian Government may also require proof of return airline ticket and sufficient funds to support your stay. Please be aware that a voter registration or certified birth certificate is no longer accepted as proof of U.S. citizenship. If you do not have a passport, please visit our passport section for details or www.travel.state.gov for the most current information about the passport application process.
Upon arriving in Nassau Paradise Island, everyone must fill out and sign an immigration form, keeping a portion of the card in hand until departing. An oral baggage declaration is required.
If entering The Bahamas by boat, there is a flat fee to clear Customs and Immigration, which is $150.00 for boats 35 feet and under and $300.00 for boats 36 feet and over. This covers a vessel with four persons or less. Also included is a cruising permit, a fishing permit, Customs and Immigration charges and the $15.00 Departure Tax for up to four persons. Each additional person above four will be charged $15.00 Departure Tax. If you plan to stay longer than 12 months, special arrangement must be made with Bahamas Customs and Immigration.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may need to apply for a Bahamas Visa. Please visit our Non-U.S. Citizens section or call a Bahamas Consulate for additonal information:
New York 212-421-6420
Washington DC 202-319-2660
Banks, businesses and many shops are closed on the following public government holidays and some close early the day before:
- New Year's Day (January 1)
- Good Friday (Friday before Easter)
- Easter Sunday (Same as in the US)
- Easter Monday (Monday after Easter Sunday)
- Whit Monday (Seventh Monday after Easter)
- Labour Day (First Friday in June)
- Bahamas Independence Day (July 10)
- Emancipation Day (First Monday in August)
- Discovery Day (October 12)
- Christmas Day (December 25)
- Boxing Day (December 26)
Note: Holidays falling on a Saturday or Sunday are usually celebrated on the following Monday.
Hotel Check-in / Check-out
Hotel check-in time is generally 3 p.m. and check-out time is 11 a.m. If you expect to arrive before check-in time, plan to have a swimsuit and change of casual clothes handy, as most hotels have a luggage and changing room for early arrivals. The same applies with late departure flights.
English (more British than American) is the national language of The Bahamas and is intertwined with an appealing Bahamian dialect.
Internationally trained doctors are available at the hotels and throughout the island. Two hospitals are fully equipped to respond to emergency medical situations. Princess Margaret Hospital and Doctor's Hospital are both in located Nassau.
Getting around Nassau Paradise Island is very easy. Taxis are located outside the hotels and may also be hired by the hour. From the Nassau airport taxi rates are approximately $27 to downtown Nassau, $18 to Cable Beach and $33 to Paradise Island - plus the bridge toll. Fares are based on 2 passengers, there is an additional charge for extra passengers and extra luggage. Ferry boats (water taxis) can take you between Nassau and Paradise Island while at the same time giving you a waterfront view of Nassau Harbor. Tickets can be purchased at the tour desk at Festival Place and at Woodes Rogers Wharf right next door. Tickets cost about $6 per person and the trip is approximately 10 minutes each way. Ferries leave every half hour on the hour from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Buses, known locally as "jitneys" run in downtown Nassau & Cable Beach several times a day. The cost for a one way ride is approximately $1.50 per person, exact change is required. Pay as you exit the bus. Cars and motor scooters (helmets required) are available for rental (insurance is suggested). Please be aware that we drive on the left side of the road!
Ground operators on Nassau Paradise Island can arrange many different tours and experiences, including Nassau city and country tours, deep-sea fishing, scuba / snorkel trips, beach picnics, cruises and garden / nature tours. Resources include:
Bahamas Experience Tours
Island Pearls International
Leisure Travel & Tours
Dan Knowles Tours
Telephone / Television / Internet Access
We offer direct dial telephone service world-wide and satellite television capabilities so that many of our hotels and resorts can offer guests their favorite shows, sporting events and movie channels. Hi-speed Internet access is also available at many of our hotels.
Eastern Standard Time is used on all islands. From the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November The Bahamas recognizes Daylight Saving Time, in conjunction with the U.S.
Restaurants and hotels automatically add 15% to all food and beverage checks in lieu of gratuity. For exceptional service you may wish to leave something extra. Bellboys, doormen and porters usually receive $2 per bag. Taxi drivers should be tipped about 15% of the fare.
Traveling with Children
Children under the age of 12 generally stay free in their parent's room. Some hotels offer children's programs and scheduled activities to keep children entertained. Babysitting services are also available upon request and at an additional fee.
Traveling with Pets
A valid import permit ($10) is required to import any animal into The Bahamas. Animals must be six months or older. Persons wishing to apply for an import permit may phone in their request to 242-325-7502 or write to the Director of Agriculture at:
- Ministry of Agriculture, Trade & Industry
- Box 3704
- Nassau, Bahamas
Please state your name and address, the type, age and number of animals you wish to import, the country of export and origin, the purpose for importing the animal(s) as well as anticipated date of arrival and destination in The Bahamas.
For the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom, the main provisions of the import permit as it applies to dogs and cats are:
- Dogs and cats over the age of six months arriving from the U.S. and Canada must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate issued within 48 hours of embarkation, and a valid certificate of rabies vaccination for either the one-year or three-year-duration vaccine.
- The one-year-duration vaccine must have been administered within not more than 10 months and not less than one month prior to arrival in The Bahamas.
- The three-year-duration vaccine must have been administered within not more than 34 months and not less than one month prior to arrival in The Bahamas.
Dogs and cats under six months old are prohibited importation from the U.S. and Canada and all countries that are rabies endemic. Dogs and cats from the UK or any rabies-free country may enter without a rabies vaccination if accompanied by a veterinary health certificate and certificate stating there have been no cases of rabies in that country of origin for the previous year.
Animals not meeting these conditions are not allowed to enter the Commonwealth.
A duty for permanent entry of all animals into The Bahamas is levied, based on the value of the animal plus 2% stamp duty.
What to wear
Casual spring and summer dress is appropriate throughout the year. For dining in more elegant/upscale restaurants, casinos and some nightclubs, you will need dress shirts, slacks or dresses. Bathing suits are acceptable only on the beach, pool and poolside dining, not on the streets or in restaurants.
To be wed in The Islands Of The Bahamas, couples must be in residence for 24 hours prior to applying for a marriage license. Birth certificates and a notarized affidavit are required. If appropriate, you'll also need divorce papers, death certificate of a former spouse and parental consent if under the age of 18. Most hotels are equipped to assist guests with marriage arrangements. Visit our wedding section or contact the Registrar General Office between the hours of 9:30 am - 4:30 pm for more details.
- The Registrar General Office
- Box N-532
- Nassau Bahamas
- 242-323-0594 or 0595 or 0596
- The Weddings and Honeymoon Unit of the Ministry of Tourism
- 1-888-NUPTIAL (687-8425 US callers)
- Email: email@example.com
- 1-800-667-3777 (Canadian callers) or (905) 672-9017