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Eastern Standard Time.
Daylight saving time is observed from October to April. When it is 12:00 noon
on Grand Bahama Island, it is 12:00 noon in New York City and 9:00 AM in Los
Grand Bahama Island lies
below the Tropic of Cancer and enjoys a mild climate throughout the year. The
main season runs from mid-December through mid-April. The rainy and hurricane
season occurs from June through November. During that time period there are
many days and weeks of cloudless, sunny weather with intermittent showers.
Hurricanes are rare, but do occur in some years.
New Year's Day Jan. 1
Good Friday (Dates vary)
Easter Monday (Dates vary)
Whit Monday last Mon. in May
Independence Day July 10
Emancipation Day August 2
Labour Day 1st Mon. in Sept.
Discovery Day October 12
Thanksgiving Day 4th Thurs.
Christmas Day Dec. 25
Boxing Day December 26
New Year's Eve Dec. 31
The area code for the
Bahamas is 242.
Before You Go:
Entry Requirements And
Valid photo I.D. (driver's license is fine) AND a government-issued birth
certificate (not hospital-issued) with a raised seal, or a valid
Passport. Passports are not required for entry by US or Canadian citizens, but
It is a good idea to bring one.
Non-US citizens, please
contact the nearest consulate or embassy of the country to which you are
traveling to determine your entry/visa requirements.
Upon arrival in The Bahamas,
you will be given an Immigration Card to complete and sign. The Bahamian customs
official will stamp the card and return it to you. Be sure to keep the card in a
safe place, because you will need to turn it in upon departure from The Bahamas.
Visitors leaving The Bahamas
for US destinations clear US Customs and Immigration before departure. US
citizens are allowed to bring back $600 worth of merchandise duty-free. Above
that, you will be charged a flat rate of 10% duty on the next $1000 worth of
purchases. Be sure to save all of your merchandise receipts.
Departure tax, which is not
included in this package, is $15 in US or Bahamian dollars, payable at the
airport when leaving The Bahamas.
Bahamians speak English with an accent influenced by their Scottish, Irish
and/or African ancestry.
Currency is the Bahamian Dollar (B$1), which is on par with the US Dollar
(B$1=US$1). Both types of currency are accepted everywhere in The Bahamas.
24hour ATMs are widely available in The Bahamas and major international credit
cards are accepted in most places.
Traveler's Checks are accepted at most large hotels and stores, but you may have
trouble cashing them at local boutiques and restaurants.
Tipping for service is usually 15%, although some hotels and restaurants
automatically add a gratuity to the bill.
It is not necessary to rent a car in The Bahamas, but car rental counters are
located outside baggage claim at Nassau and Freeport Airports. National chains
and local companies are available, but It is best to stick with the recognizable
companies. Rentals may be reserved in advance by calling Avis or other company,
and may also be booked through many hotels on the island.
Be sure to closely examine your rental car before exiting the airport, because
you may be charged for any damages, even if they were present at the time of
Bahamians drive on the LEFT! This can be a bit confusing because most cars are
American, with the steering wheel on the left (see your local mail carrier for
Taxis are widely available at airports, hotels and business areas.
Cabs can also be hired by the hour. Be sure to agree on a fare before you get
Buses are called Jitneys in Nassau and Freeport, and they provide an inexpensive
way to get around. Buses stop near most hotels and exact change of 75 cents or
$1 is required.
120 volts/60 cycles. This is compatible with the US.
Health & Safety:
Just as you would when traveling to an unfamiliar area, consult any major
guidebook or check with your hotel about any areas to avoid or precautions to
take, and use common sense.
Most hotels offer a safe for
your valuables, but the safest option is always to leave any treasured valuables
like expensive jewelry at home.
The Caribbean sunshine is
very strong, so bring plenty of sun block and enjoy!
By Private Boat:
Grand Bahama Island is located 50 miles east of Palm Beach, Florida. The Island
is 96 miles long and 17 miles across at its widest point. Port Lucaya Marina is
just a short half-day trip from South Florida for most motor-cruisers.
Let your GPS's navigation
help you to find your way to this yachting paradise.
Lucayan Marina Village
â€“ 150 slips, Port Lucaya Marina â€“ 80 slips
Ocean Reef Yacht Club:
55 slips, are available to pleasure boaters.
By Cruise Ship:
Over 20 cruise lines have regularly scheduled
excursions to Freeport.
By Air: Flight is the primary mode of travel
for the majority of visitors to the islands. Don't miss the spectacular views
during your approach and departure to and from The Bahamas.
The Grand Bahama International
Airport is open from 6:00 AM- 10:00 PM daily.
Flights arrive daily from Nassau as well as South Florida, via Bahamasair,
American Eagle, Gulf Stream/Continental Connection; AirTran Airways and Delta
Connection daily from Atlanta; and Continental Express weekly from Newark, NJ.
US Airways provides daily non-stop jet service from Charlotte, NC, and Saturday
only non-stops from Philadelphia and LaGuardia. AirTran has daily non-stop
flights from Baltimore.
Vacations: Daily service from: Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Twice weekly flights from:
In addition to air service
facilities, Freeport Harbor offers docking facilities for large ships. One of
the deepest harbors in the region, it is undergoing a $10.9 million
redevelopment program including new cruise passenger terminal facilities and a
25,000 sq. ft. landscaped retail village.
Exploring the many towns
and villages of Grand Bahama Island
located on the western tip of the island, is the oldest city on Grand Bahama
Island. This picturesque fishing village is probably best known for its history
as a liquor smuggling town during the prohibition.
Deadman's Reef is the home of Paradise Cove, where one can swim out to
some of the best snorkeling reefs. A recent archaeological dig along the
eroding beach front unearthed many artifacts belonging to the Lucayan Indians:
hearths, animal bones, pottery pieces, and shell beads. One of the most
important Lucayan archaeological sites discovered to date, it has been dated at
around 1200-1300 AD.
Holmes Rock & Seagrape together form a little community known for a
unique cave that sits behind a local night club. It is over 200 yards in
diameter and produces fresh water at low tide and salt water at high tide.
Eight Mile Rock is
the largest settlement on Grand Bahama Island, outside of Freeport/Lucaya. The
town is actually a string of settlements, joined together, and is named after
the 8 miles of solid rock contained here. The towns, from the west, include:
Martin Hill, Jones Town, Rocky Shore, Martin Town, Pinedale, Hanna Hill,
Bartlett Hill, Wildgoose, and Hepburn Town.
Hawksbill is a residential area, created mainly to house the workers
employed in Freeport/ Lucaya. It is located on Hawksbill Creek, the name of The
Hawksbill Creek Agreement that paved the way for the creation of Freeport/
is four connected villages (Pinder's Point, Lewis Yard, Hunter's and Mack Town).
Pinder's Point, the more developed of the group, can trace its roots back to a
white settler and his slaves. The town has been slow to adopt the fast lane
culture that came with the tourist trade, even though it lies just minutes
outside of Freeport/ Lucaya.
the capital of Grand Bahama, and the second largest city in the Islands of The
Bahamas. The city was built expressly for tropical fun. It is the site of
many of the tourist beaches and activities, as well as the International Bazaar
Williams Town and Russell
Town are two
small villages south of Freeport, named for the families that still occupy them.
Williams Town was founded by Joseph Williams, a freed slave, and some of his
descendants still live there on what is called "generation land."
is named after the Scotsman, Michael Smith, who served in the early 1800s as
Commissioner of the island. Instead of money, he was given 400 acres of land,
part of which one of his sons sold to the Grand Bahama Development Company.
lies next to Smith's Point (see above), just across a small channel. The quaint
houses in this tiny village provide a striking contrast to the modernity of
those within which it is enveloped.
received its name because it was the first place where slaves were freed in
1834. Before the advent of roads, a foot path from Old Freetown in the East was
the primary thoroughfare for traveling to the settlements in the West. All
that's left of the old village, is a cemetery and some rubble. A few miles away
on the beach is the old hermitage that is considered to be one of the oldest
buildings on the island. Built in 1901, it was first a Baptist Church and
later served as a hermitage for a Trappist monk.
High Rock gets
its name from the 30-foot high rocky bluff between the coastal road and the
sea. The village is built of mostly wooden framed buildings. Some villagers fish
for a living, others work in Freeport or at the nearby South Riding Point oil
is located on a cay, at the easternmost point reachable by road. It consists of
two roughly parallel roads. The villagers are good fishermen, and those with
boats ferry people to the nearby cays. The town is most famous for its Conch
Cracking Contests held during the Heroesâ€™ Day holiday in October.
Deep Water Cay
offers the ultimate for
bone fishing enthusiasts. Located on the eastern end of Grand Bahama Island, it
is accessible only by boat from McLean's Town. The cay is surrounded by 250
square miles of shallow sand and mud flats, where the gray, ghostlike bone fish
feed off shrimp, crustaceans, and insects.
is a quaint fishing village, located 55 miles east of Freeport. It is only
accessible by boat and has a population of 400 people, most of whom live by
selling lobster and conch in Freeport. The village stretches about a mile, and
electricity and roads were only recently installed.
Lightbourne Cay is an uninhabited cay located just east of Sweeting's Cay
and is accessible only by boat. It is ideal for picnics and snorkeling right
off the beach. At low tide, the shoreline becomes a spectacular sandy expanse,
stretching for yards.
Water Cay is named for the abundant supply of fresh water to be found
there. This small island lies in northern Grand Bahama, almost in the center of
The Isle Of Capri Casino
at Our Lucaya has opened its 20,000 square foot facility directly across the
street from the Port Lucaya Marina.