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Before You Go to The Bahamas

Essential Information

US, Canadian and EU visitors will not find any Caribbean island which requires an entry visa, although US visitors require special permission to visit Cuba. Travel insurance is recommended for any trip to the Caribbean, particularly emergency evacuation coverage in case airlift is required. Check also that insurance policies cover so-called dangerous activities such as scuba diving.


Not a single island, but a 700-strong archipelago stretching over 700 miles, with Grand Bahama just 75 miles from the coast of Florida. Divers come for the world’s third largest barrier reef, sand fans for some of the most untouched beaches in the region.

Area: 5,382 sq miles

Population: 319,031

Capital: Nassau

Political: Independent since 1973

Official website: www.bahamas.com

Currency: Bahamian Dollar (BSD)

Passport: Valid passport required

Visa Needs: No visa necessary

Emergency Health Care: Princess Margaret Hospital on Nassau (322-2221)

Banks & ATMS: American Express and Western Union represented, ATMs widespread.

Free WIFI Locations: Most hotels offer free WiFi spots.

Internet Cafes: Plentiful in Nassau, less so in the Out Islands.

Cell Phones access/Dialing code: +1 242

Safety Tips: Drinking age is 18, firearms illegal, heavy penalties for drug possession. Dial 919 for police. No smoking in public places.

Departure Tax: $15

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