Bahamas Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Nassau tourist information, Bahamas food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Nassau. Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Bahamas Travel Guide



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Full country name: Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Area: 13.878 sq km
Population: 346 900 (2010 est.)
Capital City: Nassau
Language: English
Religion: Baptist 32%, Anglican 20%, Roman Catholic 19%, Methodist 6%, Church of God 6%, other Protestant 12%, none or unknown 3%, other 2%
Government: Independent State within the British Commonwealth
Time Zone: GMT/UTC -5
Dialling Code: 242
Electricity: 120V, 60Hz
Weights & measures: Imperial

Money & Costs:
Currency: Bahamian Dollar (BS$)
Average yearly salary: USD 29,800

Meals:
Budget: US$5-15
Mid-range: US$15-25
High: US$25-40
Top: US$40+
Accommodation:
Budget: US$30-75
Mid-range: US$75-140
High: US$140-200
Top: US$200+

Geography: Located adjacent to US and Cuba, the Bahamas is an extensive island chain of which 23 are inhabited, meaning newcomers to the Islands of the Bahamas quickly realize that they have stumbled upon not one, but many destinations. Cosmopolitan Nassau, once ruled by pirates, seems a world away from the desert-like wildlife sanctuary of Inagua. On many of the islands, tiny villages seem lifted from the Massachusetts coast and set down amongst palms and pines and iridescent sands. These beautiful islands lie only 50 miles off the Florida coast - far closer than any destination in the Caribbean.

Climate: The southern Atlantic high-pressure system and constant trade winds make Bahamian weather consistent throughout the year, with temperatures averaging 24 C (75 F) during the dry winter season from December to May, and 5-8 degrees warmer in the summer rainy season. Just as a steady cooling breeze moderates the hottest hours of the day, nights in the Bahamas are temperate and, in the northern islands, even cool. Late summer and fall comprise hurricane season , delivering the occasional menacing tempest as well as less destructive tropical storms. Luckily, the Bahamas are rarely in the direct paths of hurricanes, which usually bypass the islands to the south before hitting mainland North America directly.

Recommended clothing: Lightweight or tropical, cottons all year round. Light raincoats are useful during the wet season.

Social conventions: The chilled-out Bahamian pace of life dominates every convention. 'Island time' is a relaxed approach to time-keeping and also describes the Bahamians' laid-back attitude to life. A slow pace prevails, from in the banks or Government offices. Dress is casual, although business attire is worn. Holidaymakers will find beachwear is accepted in the resorts but is frowned upon elsewhere. When dining, dancing or high-rolling in the casinos of Nassau or Freeport, dressing up is de rigueur.

Health: A yellow fever vaccination is required by travellers aged more than one year arriving from infected areas, and Hepatitis A immunisation is recommended for visitors over two years. There is a risk of malaria and travellers should take precautions before travel. Food and water is considered safe, though it is advised not to eat fruit or vegetables unless peeled or cooked. Visitors should note that some types of fish, including tropical reef fish, are poisonous to eat even when cooked. Medical facilities are good in Nassau and Freeport, but expensive and usually require payment in cash on treatment. Medical insurance is advised. Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau, where most emergency surgery is performed, is experiencing a chronic shortage of blood so those with rare blood types are advised to know the names and locations of possible donors in the event of an emergency. The Lyford Cay Hospital has a hyperbaric chamber for treatment of decompression illness.

Food & Drink: Bahamian cuisine has been highly influenced by the American cuisine. Bahamian cuisine mainly consists of seafood, especially Conch which is the meat from an ocean mollusc. The Bahamian rock lobster and the baked land crabs are equally popular. In the Bahamas, most dishes are served with rice and pigeon peas. Souse is one soup exclusive to the Caribbean and the Bahamas. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks like rum punch, Kalik and Switcher are served along with meals.

Public Holidays:
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Easter Holidays Good Friday, Easter
7 weeks after Easter Whit Monday
First Friday in Jun Labour Day
Jul 10 Independence Day
First Monday in Aug Emancipation Day
Oct 12 Discovery Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 26 Boxing Day

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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