- Capital: Nassau
- Money: The Bahamian dollar (B $, BSD)
- Time zone: UTC -5
The Bahamas is an English-speaking nation in the Caribbean that consists of hundreds of islands the size of which is equal to that of California. Financial services and tourism are the nations largest economic sectors.
Take note that the Bahamas has been independent from the UK since the year 1973. The Commonwealth of Bahamas is more than 100 years old. It has long practiced a democratic tradition. Its capital is Nassau and is situated in New Providence Island.
Be aware that the islands of Bahamas is ready to be explored. Simply ask Christopher Columbus as that is what he did when he discovered the area and its limestone landscapes back in 1492. Take note though that many have caroused on the Bahamas 700 islands for centuries even before Columbus did.
ATMs are available in tourist centers. Most establishments in the Bahamas accept MasterCard, Visa and Amex. If you can, do bring additional cash for sundries, meals.Credit cards are accepted in the islands but not in remore areas.
Visitors from the US who stay for less than eight months require a return ticket as well as passport. Take note that passports that have expired for five years could still be used. Canadian visitors to the Commonwealth of Bahamas who do not intend to stay for more than 3 weeks require similar identification as Americans. Certain visitors might need a visa.
The climate of the area is generally warm. Trade winds continually blow through The Commonwealth of Bahamas thus giving the area an agreeable climate. Clothing is preferred to be casual summer wear. However, evenings could be cool specifically from December to January. Make sure to bring a sweater or jacket. Be aware that beach clothes is not appropriate to be worn on Nassaus downtown as well as in casinos, restaurants and churches.
Upon arriving in the Commonwealth of Bahamas, visitors need to fill out an immigration form. They must keep a portion of the card until they depart. An oral declaration of their baggage is necessary. Every adult is permitted to bring fifty cigars, 200 cigarettes and a quart if spirits. Total purchases of $100 are allowed.
When visitors depart, they need to pay $15.00 departure tax. Meanwhile, kids aged six years and below are exempted. Departures to the United States need to go through pre-clearance in US customs. Visitors are allowed to take home US$600 of duty-free products.
Take note that British rules need to be followed so driving is expected to be on the left. Visitors could utilize their home license for a maximum of three months. They also need to apply an international drivers license. Pedestrians are always advised to look to their right prior to crossing any street. Electricity is 120C AC so US appliances are compatible.
The marine life
The marine environment is protected so it is illegal to use scuba gear and do spear fishing. Any boats for cruising need to clear customs at the port of entry prior to fishing or diving. A permit is necessary for visiting vessels which want to do sports fishing.
English is the official language of the Bahamas, however it is British English and not American English. Indian words such as guava and cassava remain in the language.