Traveling in Bahamas
If you look at a map of the Bahamas, you might think island hopping is easy here. Unfortunately it is not – unless you have your own boat or plane. National air traffic is entirely concentrated in Nassau. Traveling between the islands very often means that you have to return to central points again and again.
Airplane: Domestic flights are the only quick and convenient way to travel in the Bahamas, islanders use airplanes like buses are used elsewhere. If you’re traveling in a group, charter flights can be quite cheap.
According to constructmaterials, the main airline in the Bahamas, Bahamasair, flies mainly from Nassau. You will therefore mostly have to return to Nassau (and possibly spend the night there) when traveling between two different Bahamas islands. Bahamasair flies to Freeport, Treasure Cay, Marsh Harbor, George Town, Rock Sound, North Eleuthera, Governor’s Harbor and also several southern islands including Cat Island and Long Island.
Most flights to the Out Islands are during the day, as the smaller airports are not sufficiently lit for night flights. Some of the airlines operating in the Bahamas:
Abaco Air flies from Marsh Harbor to North Eleuthera and Nassau. Charter flights are also possible.
Southern Air flies from Nassau to Governor’s Harbor and North Eleuthera, as well as Stella Maris and Deadman’s Cay on Long Island.
Western Air flies from Nassau to Andros Town, Bimini, Grand Bahama and Exuma. Other airlines in the Bahamas are Air Charter Bahamas, Cat Island Air Ltd, Cherokee Air, Major’s Air Charter, Take Flight Chartes and Southern Air Charter.
Ship: The main ferry company in the Bahamas is Bahamas Ferries, they operate high-speed ferries between Nassau, Andros, Abacos, Eleuthera and Exumas.
Nassau – Abacos
Bahamas Ferries runs twice a week between Sandy Point, Great Abaco and Nassau, the journey time is approximately 4 hours.
Nassau – Eleuthera
Bahamas Ferries runs daily (except Saturday) from Potter’s Cay in Nassau to Harbor Island. The company also operates a ferry between Potter’s Cay and Governor’s Harbor (three times a week).
Nassau – Exumas
There is also a ferry to Exumas from Potter’s Cay. The travel time is between 12 and 14 hours.
Nassau – Andros
Bahamas Ferries operate a two-hour ferry service between Nassau and Fresh Creek on Andros three times a week.
Grand Bahama – Abacos
A small ship operated by Pinder’s Ferry operates twice a day between McLean’s Town, Grand Bahama and Crown Haven on Little Abaco.
Albury’s Ferry Service offers daily ferry services between Abaco and Marsh Harbor, as well as Man-O-War, Marsh Harbor and Hope Town, and between Marsh Harbor, Guana and Scotland Cay.
Water taxis operate between Nassau and Paradise Island. Several other islands are served by private water taxis.
Car: Drivers in the Bahamas typically drive sensibly and major roads are in good condition, but secondary roads are not.
Car Rental: Several large international car rental companies have branches in Nassau and Freeport, as well as smaller, local companies. There are some very good local agencies in the Out Islands.
To rent a car you have to be at least 21 years old (some companies even 25). Usually the vehicles are rented for 24 hour periods, prices are around 70 US dollars (a little more in Nassau, a little less in the Out Islands). A national driver’s license is sufficient for stays of up to three months. There is left-hand traffic in the Bahamas
Bus: There are dozens of private minibuses in Nassau and Freeport that operate on set routes.
There is no public bus or minibus transport in the Out Islands or at the airports – the taxi company is resisting its introduction. Likewise, only a few hotels are authorized to have their own transfer service for guests.
Taxi: There are numerous licensed taxis in Nassua and Freeport. Taxis are the main local mode of transport in the Out Islands and can be found at airports and ferry ports, among other places.
Taxis in the Bahamas must be licensed. The tariffs are set by the government, are based on the distance and are usually valid for two people. Each additional person must pay a flat fee of $ 3. The tariffs should be visible in the taxi.
Bicycle: Cycling in the Bahamas is healthy, cheap, environmentally friendly, and usually fun. If you rent a bike, check the seat upholstery beforehand. Most bicycles are quite heavy, have no gears, and can also be a little worn. Large resorts and hotels rent bikes for around US $ 20 a day, but there are special bike rentals in the Bahamas.
Bahamas – money
Local currency: 1 Bahamas dollar equals 100 cents
Currency abbreviation: B $, BSD
B $ 0.5, 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 B $ banknotes are in circulation. Coins are available in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 15, 25, 50 cents and 1 dollar. The US dollar is pegged to the Bahamian dollar with a 1: 1 exchange rate and is a widely used currency. Many stores also give change in US dollars.
Currency converter at OANDA
Currency Exchange: major currencies can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices and hotels, with US dollars being the most widely accepted.
Credit Cards: American Express, Visa and Mastercard payments are widely used. Some ATMs also accept cards with the Cirrus and Maestro symbols, but not in shops.
Travelers Checks: can be exchanged in banks and should be made out in US dollars. Except for the remote Family Islands, travelers’ checks can also be paid with US dollars (but with high fees). Travelers checks in euros must be exchanged in banks.
ATMs can be found on larger islands in the Bahamas (especially at airports, in banks and also in casinos).
Foreign exchange regulations: The export of local and foreign currency must be declared.
Bank opening times: Mon – Thu 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Fri 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.