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SCUBA diving in the Bahamas

Reefs, Wrecks, Blue Holes, Sharks and More

The Bahamas offers a lifetime of diving possibilities for everyone from resort divers to explorers. Discover the cinematic reefs off New Providence featured in films from Thunderball to Into the Blue. Swim with wild dolphins off Bimini, drift a wall on the Tongue of the Ocean, relax in sunlit coral gardens at the Exuma Land and Sea Park or descend into a blue hole. For big thrills, sign up for encounters with a tiger, hammerhead, lemon, reef and oceanic white tip sharks. Topside water sports include kayak and sailing tours, flats casting and big game fishing. Dance barefoot in the sand at a local beach bar or try your luck at Nassau’s glittering casinos.

Highlights

  • Best for: Everyone from novice and casual divers to advanced explorers
  • Best season to visit: Year-round, with some areas exposed to cold fronts in winter months
  • Weather: Sub-tropical climate similar to Florida, with warm water temperatures in summer, becoming cooler in winter when cold fronts pass

Bahamas Information

About Diving in the Bahamas

Many dive sites are sheltered from prevailing trade winds and oceanic swells, but can be susceptible to local winds. Dive operators will select daily destinations accordingly. Water conditions are often calmest in summer. A limited number of sites—predominantly patch reefs— that can be reached from shore, but most will require a boat ride of 10 to 30 minutes. Underwater visibility often exceeds 100 feet, thanks to the lack of coastal runoff.  Currents, depending on the region chosen range from non-existent to strong. Dive profiles range from less than ten feet to walls that drop well past 150 feet, making the Bahamas a suitable destination for divers of every experience level. Water temperatures range from the mids 70s in winter into the low 80s in summer.

Diving in the Bahamas Tips

Because most diving is done by boat  there is no need for booties with thick, hard soles. Either open or closed-heel fins are fine. Video and still cameras work well even without lights, as the clear waters provide ample ambient light to bring out the details. For shark encounters, it is sometimes advised—though not required-— to wear dark wetsuits and possibly dark gloves and a light hood.

Best Places to Dive in the Bahamas

Popular favorites include the barrier reefs and blue holes of Andros, Tuna Alley and The Bimini Road, the walls and reefs of the Exumas Land and Sea Park, the coral grottoes of the Abacos and the renowned Shark Dive at Stuart Cove’s.

What to Pack for Diving in the Bahamas

A light skin suit or 3-mm wetsuit is sufficient for  summertime. From December through March a 5-mm suit might be in order, and a cover-up to mitigate evaporative cooling during surface intervals. Pack a deployable surface marker if a drift dive is on the schedule.

Specials

Dive

Bahamas

Coral Harbour Beach House Nassau

NASSAU 2022-2023 5 night’s Standard Room accommodations, 3 days of 2-tank boat dives with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas, breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, snacks and beverages including alcohol, free WiFi, recreational activities, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges.

Valid for travel through 12/9/22 and 4/6/23-11/20/23. Rates from $875 per person/double diver.

Or customize your Own Stuart Cove’s Dive Package with your choice of Travel Dates, Accommodations, and Dive options. Watersports and Topside Activities are also available in the shopping cart after dates and room category are selected.

For additional information call toll free 800.240.3686 or email stuartcove@caradonna.com.
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From $875 per person/double diver

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Bahamas

Orange Hill Beach Inn

NASSAU 2022-2023 5 night’s Pool or Studio accommodations, 3 days of 2-tank boat dives with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges.

Valid for travel through 12/16/22 and 5/2/23-12/14/23. Rates from $879 per person/double diver.

Or customize your Own Stuart Cove’s Dive Package with your choice of Travel Dates, Accommodations, and Dive options. Watersports and Topside Activities are also available in the shopping cart after dates and room category are selected.

For additional information call toll free 800.240.3686 or email stuartcove@caradonna.com.
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From $879 per person/double diver

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Bahamas

Orange Hill Beach Inn

NASSAU 5 NIGHT DIVE PACKAGE includes choice of Studio or Pool Side Room accommodations, 3 days of 2-tank boat dives with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas, free WiFi, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes, and service charges.

Upgrades and add-ons for additional Scuba Diving, Watersports Activities and Topside Activities available in the shopping cart after room category is selected.

Valid for travel through 12/16/22 and 5/2/23 - 12/14/23. Rates from $879 per person/double diver.

Additional pricing available for 2023 Winter travel. Contact Caradonna Adventures at 800.328.2288 for this Exclusive Pricing and Information.
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From $879 per person double diver

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Bahamas

Margaritaville Beach Resort Bahamas

NASSAU 2022-2023 20% OFF DIVE DEAL 5 night’s Deluxe Ocean Front King Room accommodations, 3 days of 2-tank boat dives with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas, non-motorized water sports, fitness center, entertainment, beach amenities, surf stream & climbing wall, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges.

Valid for travel through 1/2/23-2/23/23. Rates from $1196 per person/double diver (rate based on check in Sunday-depart on Friday combo). Book by 10/31/22.

Or customize your Own Stuart Cove’s Dive Package with your choice of Travel Dates, Accommodations, and Dive options. Watersports and Topside Activities are also available in the shopping cart after dates and room category are selected.

For additional information call toll free 800.240.3686 or email stuartcove@caradonna.com.
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From $1196 per person/double diver

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Bahamas

Breezes Bahamas

NASSAU 2022-2023 53% OFF SUPER DEAL - ALL INCLUSIVE BAHAMAS DIVE PACKAGE 5 night’s Classic Room accommodations, 3 days of 2-tank boat dives with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas, breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, snacks and beverages including alcohol, free WiFi, recreational activities, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges.

Upgrades and add-ons for additional Scuba Diving, Watersports Activities and Topside Activities available in the shopping cart after room category is selected.

Valid for travel through 11/6/22 and 8/8/23-11/6/23. Rates from $1125 per person/double diver (rate based on SU-FR combo). Book by 12/30/22.

Super Deal Rates are applicable 2022 and 2023 at differing prices. Contact Caradonna Adventures at 800.328.2288 for this Exclusive Pricing and Information.
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From $1125 per person double diver

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Bahamas

Breezes Bahamas

NASSAU 2022-2023 53% OFF SUPER DEAL - ALL INCLUSIVE BAHAMAS DIVE PACKAGE 5 night’s Classic Room accommodations, 3 days of 2-tank boat dives with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas, breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, snacks and beverages including alcohol, free WiFi, recreational activities, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges.

Valid for travel through 11/6/22 and 8/8/23-11/6/23. Rates from $1125 per person/double diver (rate based on check in Sunday-depart on Friday combo). Book by 12/30/22.

Or customize your Own Stuart Cove’s Dive Package with your choice of Travel Dates, Accommodations, and Dive options. Watersports and Topside Activities are also available in the shopping cart after dates and room category are selected.

For additional information call toll free 800.240.3686 or email stuartcove@caradonna.com.
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From $1125 per person/double diver

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Bahamas

Greenwood Beach Resort

CAT ISLAND - 5 Night Dive Package includes Beach Front accommodations with Air Conditioning, 3 days of 2-tank boat dives, use of kayaks, paddle boards, bicycles, taxes and service charges.

Valid through 12/31/22.
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From $943 per person double diver

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Bahamas

Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina

BIMINI 5 night Standard room accommodations, 3 days of 2-tank morning boat dives with Neil Watson’s Dive Bimini, hotel taxes and service charges.

Hotel amenities include fresh water swimming pool, lounge chairs and deck-side hammocks; patio and pool bar; free WIFI, complimentary paddleboards, kayaks, game area with billiard table, access to a pristine sandy beach (3-minute walk) and golf cart rentals (at additional cost).
Great Hammerhead Shark Safari upgrades available December through April. Daily space is limited (additional charges apply).

Valid 9/6/22-5/25/23.
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From $1,118 per person/double diver

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Bahamas

Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach

GRAND BAHAMA SAVE OVER 50% DIVE PACKAGE SPECIAL 5 nights All-Inclusive Ocean View Room accommodations, 3 days of 2-tank boat dives with Reef Oasis Dive Bahamas. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks daily. Unlimited beverages including alcohol, cocktails and wine. Numerous non-motorized watersports, scheduled activities, nightly entertainment, free WiFi in designated areas, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges.

Rate from $861 per person/double diver. Valid through 10/31/22.

Book by 10/5/22.
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From $861 per person double diver

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Bahamas

Small Hope Bay Lodge

ANDROS - 5 NIGHT DIVE PACKAGE includes Beachfront Cottage accommodations, 3 days of 2-tank boat dives, breakfast, lunch, dinner daily and all beverages including alcohol, free WiFi, complimentary bikes, kayaks, paddleboards, hotel tax and service charges.

Resort designed to facilitate relaxation with no televisions, no telephones (WiFi available in the main lounge). Air conditioning is available for a small additional fee in all cabins.

Valid 5/18/22-12/15/22.
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From $2,025 per person double diver

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Bahamas

Riding Rock Inn Resort & Marina

SAN SALVADOR - 2023 5 NIGHT DIVE SPECIAL includes Standard Ocean View air-conditioned accommodations, 10 boat dives, 15 meals (breakfast/lunch/dinner), welcome rum punch, manager’s cocktail reception, free WiFi in designated areas, roundtrip airport transfers from San Salvador, hotel taxes, and service charges. (cocktail reception on Mondays only)

Package excludes alcoholic beverages, sodas, bottled water, gratuities, and transportation to and from San Salvador Island.

Valid 8/5/23-9/29/23. Rates from $1334 per person/double diver.
Valid 12/31/22-8/4/23 & 9/30/23-12/30/23. Rates from $? per person/double diver.

Riding Rock Resort offers 4, 5, 6 & 7 night packages, various specials & group discounts throughout the year – Contact Caradonna Adventures at 800.328.2288 for Exclusive Pricing and Information.
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From $1334 per person/double diver

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Pelican Bay Hotel

GRAND BAHAMA 5 nights Waterside Room accommodations, full daily breakfast, 3 days of 2-tank boat dives Unexso Diving, free WiFi, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes, and service charges.

Optional add-ons for Watersports Activities and Topside Activities available in the shopping cart after room category is selected.

Valid 4/27/22-12/20/22. Rates from $935 per person/double diver.
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From $935 per person double diver

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Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina

BIMINI 4 night Standard room accommodations, 3 days of 2-tank morning boat dives with Neil Watson’s Dive Bimini, hotel taxes and service charges.

Hotel amenities include fresh water swimming pool, lounge chairs and deck-side hammocks; patio and pool bar; free WIFI, complimentary paddleboards, kayaks, game area with billiard table, access to a pristine sandy beach (3-minute walk) and golf cart rentals (at additional cost).
Great Hammerhead Shark Safari upgrades available December through April. Daily space is limited (additional charges apply).

Valid through 5/26/22 & 9/6/22-5/25/23.
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From $871 per person/double diver

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Packages

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Bahamas

Small Hope Bay Lodge

ANDROS - 7 NIGHT DIVE PACKAGE includes beachfront cottage accommodations, 5 days of 2-tank boat dives, breakfast, lunch, dinner daily and all beverages including alcohol, free WiFi, complimentary bikes, kayaks, paddleboards, hotel tax and service charges.

Resort designed to facilitate relaxation with no televisions, no telephones (WiFi available in the main lounge). Air conditioning is available for a small additional fee in all cabins.
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From $2,879 per person double diver

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Bahamas

Riding Rock Inn Resort & Marina

SAN SALVADOR - 7-NIGHT DIVE PACKAGE includes 7 night standard ocean view air conditioned accommodations, 16 dives, 21 meals, free WiFi, cocktail reception, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges.

Riding Rock Resort offers 4, 5, 6 & 7 night packages, various specials & group discounts throughout the year – Contact Caradonna Adventures at 800.328.2288 for Exclusive Pricing and Information.
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From $2,115 per person double diver

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Bahamas

Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina

BIMINI - 7-NIGHT DIVE PACKAGE includes 7 night Standard room accommodations, 6 days of 2-tank morning boat dives, hotel taxes and service charges. Hotel amenities include fresh water swimming pool, lounge chairs and deck-side hammocks; patio and pool bar; free WIFI, complimentary paddleboards, kayaks, game area with billiard table, access to a pristine sandy beach (3-minute walk) and golf cart rentals (at additional cost).

Great Hammerhead Shark Safari upgrades available December through April. Daily space is limited (additional charges apply).
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From $1,590 per person/double diver

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Resorts

Dive

Bahamas

Coral Harbour Beach House Nassau

<NASSAU Small quiet 12 room resort. Nice rooms, well-kept grounds, beach, bar, and on-site restaurant.

For additional information call toll free 800.328.2288 or email sales@caradonna.com.
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Orange Hill Beach Inn

NASSAU A beautiful quiet family run resort. Nice rooms, well-kept grounds, beach views, swimming pool, open bar, and on-site restaurant. 10 minutes from the airport.

For additional information call toll free 800.328.2288 or email sales@caradonna.com.
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Breezes Bahamas

NASSAU Miles away from everyday life, but only minutes from the airport. Breezes Bahamas is located on a stretch of the island’s best beach: The powder white sands of Cable Beach. Crystal clear waters gently lap the shore as everyday worries drift away. Just a short stroll along the beach takes you to the excitement of Nassau’s glittering casinos.

For additional information call toll free 800.328.2288 or email sales@caradonna.com.
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Margaritaville Beach Resort Bahamas

NASSAU Located in the downtown area, next to Junkanoo beach, and a short walk to the lively Nassau craft market. Luxurious contemporary accommodations with stunning ocean views featuring terraces with harbor and lighthouse views, and stunning nightly sunsets. Amenities include a full-service spa and fitness center, the Parakeets kid club, entertainment complex with movies, bowling, indoor, outdoor event spaces, “The Fins Up!” water park with lazy river, water slides, surf stream wave pool and climbing wall. 12 food and beverage options which include fine dining, over water dining, casual fare with specialty restaurants, pool side snacks and pizza. Hand crafted cocktails are a must try at the popular lobby bar or the spectacular sky bar. It’s the ultimate resort destination in The Bahamas. Kick back, relax, and discover the Margaritaville state-of-mind.

For additional information call toll free 800.328.2288 or email sales@caradonna.com.
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Bahamas

Melia Nassau Beach All Inclusive

NASSAU All-inclusive luxury resort in the Bahamas. Situated on Cable Beach on the central north coast of the island of Nassau, the resort overlooks the beautiful blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The seven-acre property features a spectacular waterscape with a 1,000-foot stretch of white sand beach and a recreation complex centered around three freshwater pools and waterfalls.

For additional information call toll free 800.328.2288 or email sales@caradonna.com.
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Bahamas

Courtyard By Marriott Nassau Downtown/Junkanoo Beach

NASSAU - Relax after a busy day in Nassau at the resort-style pool under the sun or walk just a few steps to the famous Junkanoo Beach. Stay fit at the on-site fitness center, providing free weights and cardiovascular equipment. Whether stopping by one of the small shops around downtown, the hotel provides easy access to experience the authentic local flair of Nassau. Following an adventurous day, unwind in the sleek lobby lounge and stay in touch with friends and family back home via free, property-wide Wi-Fi.
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Greenwood Beach Resort

CAT ISLAND - Located at one of the most southern points of Cat Island, this 16 room resort is perfect for those in search of adventure, with over 8 miles of deserted beach. This intimate resort provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy a variety of fun activities including diving, snorkeling and kiteboarding.
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Bahamas

Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach

GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND - Nestled on the southern coast, this 26-acre, 276-room all-inclusive resort features a pool, beautiful white sand beach, three bars, three restaurants, theater, fitness center and onsite Reef Oasis Dive Club. As the only all-inclusive resort on the island, surrounded by tropical forests and park lands, a stay here is like having your own private paradise.
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Bahamas

Small Hope Bay Lodge

ANDROS - Located on Andros Island, a short boat ride from the world’s third largest coral reef, the diving and bonefishing are nothing less than spectacular at this all-inclusive resort. What really sets Small Hope apart is its unique heritage, its simple and friendly ambiance and a special soulful energy that simply cannot be cloned or imitated.
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Bahamas

Riding Rock Inn Resort & Marina

SAN SALVADOR - 7-NIGHT DIVE PACKAGE includes 7 night standard ocean view air conditioned accommodations, 16 dives, 21 meals, free WiFi, cocktail receptionm roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges.

Riding Rock Resort offers 4, 5, 6 & 7 night packages, various specials & group discounts throughout the year – Contact Caradonna Adventures at 800.328.2288 for Exclusive Pricing and Information.
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From $2.115 per person double diver

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Bahamas

Hilton At Resorts World Bimini

BIMINI - The Hilton at Resorts World Bimini is an exclusive island paradise featuring luxury Caribbean hotel accommodations and world-famous Bahamas beach resort activities; perfect for family vacations, destination weddings, honeymoons and more. Diving services are available from Neil Watsons Bimini Scuba Center (offsite).
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Grand Lucayan Lighthouse Pointe Resort

GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND - The Grand Lucayan strikes the perfect balance between the luxuries of a modern-day resort and the magic of one steeped in Bahamian culture. it's about delivering an experience that exudes authenticity yet welcomes the creature comforts that make traveling a pleasure and a passion.
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Diving in the Bahamas

Diving in the Bahamas is all about diversity. Tens of thousands of new divers have made their first submersions on the nearshore reefs of New Providence and Grand Bahama, but these same waters attract treasure hunters, adventurers and cave explorers, and have been the subject of hundreds of nature documentaries and feature films. The vast majority of the 700 significant islands of the Bahamas sit atop a pair of shallow limestone banks: Little Bahama Bank and Great Bahama Bank, which together encompass tens of thousands of square miles of submerged habitat. Many islands are surrounded by vast landscapes of shallow coral heads that are home to grouper, lobster and a wealth of colorful tropical species. Wrecks from Spanish treasure galleons to smuggler's yachts ran afoul on these reefs, and have since been joined by purpose-sunk wrecks. Beyond the shallows lie steep underwater walls, offshore pinnacles and blue water where big fish swim. The hand feeding of Caribbean reef sharks has long been a hallmark of the Bahamas diving scene, and each year thousands of divers earn bragging rights for swimming with the sharks, secure in the knowledge that these interactions have a stellar safety record. Emboldened divers seeking a less scripted encounter with apex predators can meet up with everything from hammerheads and lemon sharks to tigers, bulls and oceanic white tips. Even more compelling for some is the opportunity to interact with pods of wild dolphins in the sand flats near Bimini and north of West End. Island substrates are riddled with water-filled caverns that come to the surface in the form of blue holes. Cave divers have mapped miles of spectacular passages beneath the islands of Grand Bahama, Great Abaco and Andros, while Long Island is home to the world's deepest known saltwater blue hole, which plunges to a depth of 663 feet.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements

Entry/Exit Requirements: All U.S. Citizens are required to present a valid passport. No visa is required for American citizens. All persons, six years and over leaving the Bahamas, pay a Government Departure Tax of 29.00 which should be included in your international airline ticket taxes.

Immunizations

Vaccinations are not required for entry into the Bahamas. Check with your doctor and the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations for travel at Traveler's Health CDC The Bahamas.

 

Culture and Customs

Though still a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Bahama's English heritage is obvious only in the historic architecture of Nassau, a love for the Queen, and the nation's parliamentary system of government. The cosmopolitan resorts of Paradise Island and Grand Bahama may be more spiritually aligned with Miami or Las Vegas, but move into the Out Islands and you transition to island time, where the phrase “soon come” is the mantra for a relaxed, welcoming way of life. The big event on the calendar is Junkanoo, which is celebrated from December's Boxing Day to New Years Day. Every island stages a celebration, but the big show happens in Nassau when thousands of lavishly costumed revelers march through the streets to the accompaniment of horns, goombay drums and cowbells. Come March, the island sailboats are packed with passengers headed for the National Family Island Regatta in Georgetown. Here, crews from across the archipelago race traditional island sloops by day, then party the night away at Regatta Village Cricket season lasts from March to November, and ongoing commentary of the matches fills the local airwaves.

Celebrated since the 17th century, Junkanoo has grown into a large, organized event with groups that compete for cash prizes for best music, best costume, best dancing, etc. Traditionally held on New Year’s Day, Boxing Day and Independence Day, parades are also held during the annual “Junkanoo Summer Festival” and the “Just Rush” competition. Many hotels also offer Junkanoo shows for their guests throughout the year.

Electricity, Phone and Internet Access

Electricity in the Bahamas is 120 volts/60 cycles, which is the same as the U.S. and all U.S. appliances are compatible. the country code/area code for the Bahamas is 242. The local phone company BTC (Bahamas Telephone Company) should be available on your cell phone, so check with your carrier for costs for calls and data while in the Bahamas on roaming. There are many public hotspots, and you will find most hotels offer WiFi, as well as many bars, restaurants and shops.

Water Quality

Tap water is safe to drink on the main islands of the Bahamas. Bottled water is available for purchase.

Language & Currency

English is the official language, however you may hear locals speaking "Bahamian English" which has a mixture of African influence, island dialect and the Queen's diction. The H is often dropped so thanks sounds like tanks. The local currency is the Bahamian dollar (BSD) but U.S. Dollars are accepted everywhere. The Bahamian and the U.S. dollar are equivalent so as a visitor you don’t need to exchange any money. Credit cards are accepted at most locations on Nassau, Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island. Cirrus and +PLUS ATMs can be found on Nassau, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama and most of the major Out Islands.

Time

The Bahamas are in the Eastern Time Zone. The Bahamian Islands do observe Daylight Savings Time. They are 5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-5 during Eastern Standard Time) and 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time during Daylight Savings Time (-4 Eastern Daylight Time).

Location, Size and Population

The Bahamas are located in the North Atlantic Ocean on the eastern edge of the Caribbean. They are approximately 45 miles Southeast of Florida. The Bahamian Islands are made up of approximately 700 islands and 2,000 cayes of which about only 30 are inhabited. The islands are north of Cuba, northwest of the Turks and Caicos, and Southeast of the Florida Keys. The size of the Bahamas is approximately 5,382 square miles with a coastline of 1,368 square miles. The capital city of the Bahamas is Nassau, located on New Providence and is approximately 80 square miles. The population of the Bahamas is 392,575 (2016).

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