Be awe-inspired by our 30 miles of white sandy beaches. You won't believe it until you see it!
Frequently Asked Questions...
If you plan to visit Grand Bahama here are answers to your most pressing questions and to some you haven't thought about yet.
BANKS / ATM's
Banking Hours Banking hours are 9:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Fridays. ATM's are located in airport terminals, banks, the casino and other convenient locations. Automatic teller machines (ATM's) are open 24 hours.
The trade winds that blow almost continually giving the island a warm, agreeable climate which varies little year-round. The most refreshing time is from September through May when the temperature averages 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. The rest of the year is a bit warmer with temperatures between 80-85 degrees. Because of our proximity to the equator, seasons are minimized; however, November-April is more of a dry, windy season; whereas May-October, may have more rain showers.
Casual summer wear can be worn during the day any time of the year, but be sure to bring a jacket or sweater for cooler evenings from December to February. Most hotels, restaurants and casinos require jackets for men in the evening, especially in cosmopolitan Nassau and Grand Bahama Island. Though walking the streets in swim trunks in mid-January might sound irresistible, beach clothing is inappropriate in the streets of the downtown area, in churches, and restaurants. In the more laid-back eastern and western areas, the dress-code is more flexible.
COMMERCE / CURRENCY
Are things expensive in The Islands Of The Bahamas? Prices in The Islands Of The Bahamas are comparable to other destinations. Prices vary in relation to the product. Some luxury items, for example, liquor, perfume, watches and photography equipment can be more reasonably priced than in the Unites States. Breadbasket items tend to be more expensive than in the United States. Can I spend U.S. dollars in The Islands Of The Bahamas? Yes. The United States dollar is on par with the Bahamian dollar. Currency The legal tender is the Bahamian dollar (B$1), which is equivalent in value to the U.S. dollar. Both U.S. and Bahamian dollars are accepted interchangeably throughout the islands.
CUSTOMS / IMMIGRATION & TAXES
Entering: Upon entering The Islands of The Bahamas, 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. Each adult visitor is allowed to bring 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes or one pound of tobacco, one quart of spirits, and a variety of personal effects (personal radio headsets, bicycle, two still cameras, etc.). Purchases up to a value of one hundred dollars are permitted by all arriving passengers.
Departing: US visitors may take home $800 worth of duty-free merchandise. The next $l,000 is taxed at 10%. Gifts valued up to $50 may be mailed home duty-free. One litre of wine, liqueur or liquor and five cartons of cigarettes may be taken duty-free.
Boats: If entering the Bahamas by boat, there is a flat flee to clear Customs and Immigration, which is $150.00 for boats 35 feet and under and $300.00 for boats 36 ft. and over. This will cover a vessel with four persons or less. Also included is the cruising permit, fishing permit, Customs and Immigration charges and the $15.00 Departure Tax for up to four persons. Each additional person above four will be charge $15.00 Departure Tax. If you plan to stay longer than 12 months, special arrangement must be made with Bahamas Customs and Immigration. Regular hours for Bahamas Customs and Immigration Officers are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Note: Bahamas Customs and Immigration are now located on site at Port Lucaya Marina, Grand Bahama Island. For information, click here or contact the marina office at 242-373-9090 ext. 323 or 325.
DIVING AND FISHING
To protect the marine environment, spear fishing using scuba gear and possession of spear guns are illegal in The Bahamas. Cruising boats must clear customs at the nearest port of entry before beginning any diving or fishing activities. A permit is required for visiting vessels to engage in sports fishing at a cost of $20 per trip or $150 per year for vessels on which not more than six reels will be used. (Refer to the Yachtsman's Guide to the Bahamas). 1) Lobster season is open 8/1-3/31 2) Each person is allowed to bring back 20lbs of scale fish, six lobsters and 10 conchs. 3) Wahoo/Dolphin/Kingfish: six fish per person any combination. 4) Stone Crabs: Closed season is June 1 to October 15. 5) Turtle: Illegal to import: although legal to eat in The Bahamas.
British rules apply, so please drive on the left and watch those roundabouts! Persons entering a roundabout (traffic circle) must give way to traffic coming from the right already on the roundabout. Visitors may use their home license for up to three months and may also apply for an international driver's license. Pedestrians should remember to look right before crossing streets.
Electricity is normally 120 volts AC. American appliances are fully compatible.
If you are sending letters or postcards from The Islands Of The Bahamas, be sure to use only Bahamian stamps. 65 cents for Air Mail to the U.S. takes about 2 weeks. Mail traveling to the Out Islands will arrive a bit more slowly since it goes via boat.
Grand Bahama has a variety of water sports activities, such as scuba diving, snorkeling, parasailing, water/jet-skiing, windsurfing, fishing, sailing and boating. Land sport activities include tennis, golf, cricket, soccer, bowling, squash, track and field events, basketball, American football, baseball, volleyball, roller-skating and field hockey. And big game fishing.
Eastern Standard Time is used on all islands. April to October is Eastern Daylight Time, in conjunction with U.S. summer hours.
Tip according to quality of service. Bellboys and porters usually receive $1 per bag, while most other servers (waiters, taxis, etc.) receive 15%. Many establishments include the gratuity in their bills.
Buses, rental cars, motor bikes, bicycles, tour cars and limousines. Taxis are accessible from all areas at all times. Jitney buses run from downtown, Food Store and Lucayan Beach, among other stops. They leave at fifteen minute intervals for a $1 per rider.
The Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation (BaTelCo) has automatic roaming agreements with cellular carriers in the United States, Canada and Mexico. BaTelCo's roaming partners include Aliant Cellular, Ameritech Cellular, BCTEL Mobility, Bell Mobility, Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile, BellSouth Mobility, Blue Ridge Cellular, Cantel, Cellular Holding, Cellular One Bay Area Cellular, Cellular One of Illinois, Cellular One of Southwest Florida, Comcast Cellular, Crowley Cellular, Dansbury Cellular, Pioneer/Enid Cellular, MT&T Mobile, NBTel Mobility, Radiofone, 360° Communications, Telcel, TELUS Mobility U.S. Cellular and Western Wireless. If your home carrier has a roaming agreement with BaTelCo and your cellular number is active in The Islands Of The Bahamas, you can enjoy cellular service. Simply ensure that your phone is switched to system B and dial away!
- To place a call, dial 7 digits for local calls and 10 digits for calls to the United States and Canada.
- To receive a call, the caller must dial BaTelCo's access code (242-359-7626), wait for the second dial tone and dial the roamer's cellular number including the area code.
- Billing is a breeze ... There are no activation fees for Roaming in The Bahamas and you will be billed via your home carrier at a rate of $3.00 per day and $0.99 per minute (plus toll charges for long distance calls).
Note: Roaming agreements are subject to change without notice. Additionally, a carrier may have a Roaming agreement with BaTelCo but opt to disallow Roaming in The Bahamas for some of their markets.