Frequently Asked Questions

General Bahamas Questions

What time zone is the Bahamas in?

The Bahamas is in Eastern Standard Time

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What is the currency of the Bahamas?

The official currency of the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar. The Bahamian dollar is fixed to the U.S. Dollar, so there is a $1 USD to 1 B$ conversion.You can pay for almost anything with U.S. currency. You may receive change in Bahamian currency. ATM's are available at most banking institutions and some will even allow you to withdraw in U.S. dollars. VISA, Master Card and Travelers checks are accepted in most establishments, and AMEX is accepted at almost all the major resorts and restaurants. However, we recommend using VISA or Master Card just to be safe.

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What are the rules for Customs in the Bahamas?


Each adult visitor is allowed to bring 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes or one pound of tobacco, one quart of spirits and a variety of personal effects (personal radio headsets, bicycle, two still cameras, etc.). All beer imported into the country is dutiable at a rate of $10 per imperial gallon or $18 per case. Purchases up to a value of $100 are permitted by all arriving passengers.


Departures to the U.S. must go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance. U.S. visitors may take home $800 worth of duty-free merchandise. The next $1,000 is taxed at 10%. Gifts valued up to $50 may be mailed home duty-free. One litre of wine, liqueur or liquor and five cartons of cigarettes may be taken duty-free.

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Do I need a passport to travel to the Bahamas?

U.S. Citizen

Yes. On June 1, 2009, the U.S. government will implement the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI. The proposed rules require most U.S. citizens entering the United States by sea or ports of entry to have a passport, passport card or WHTI-compliant document. Please refer to the State Department Travel Website for further information.

U.S. Resident (Non-Citizen)

For visits NOT exceeding 30 days: An original Alien Registration Card is required, along with a national passport (passport from country of birth).

For visits exceeding 30 days: A valid national passport and a Bahamas visa are required for U.S. resident non-citizens wishing to stay longer than 30 days.

Canadian Citizen

Yes. You can enter using your passport, official birth certificate, or an original naturalization/citizenship certification. Please refer to the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Website for further information.

Canadian Resident (Non-Citizen)

For visits NOT exceeding 30 days: A valid national passport accompanied by a Canadian Permanent Resident Card

For visits exceeding 30 days: A valid national passport and a Bahamas visa are required for Canadian resident non-citizens wishing to stay longer than 30 days.

Other Countries

To enter The Bahamas, citizens from countries other than the U.S. and Canada are required to present a valid passport which must be current up to your travel period and some countries are also required to have a Bahamas visa. If you are departing The Bahamas for a country that has the passport validity requirement of six (6) months beyond the dates of travel, then that requirement will be enforced. You must also have a return, or onward journey ticket, and proof of funds to support your visit.

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Is there duty-free shopping in the Bahamas?

Yes. There is duty free shopping on most islands in the Bahamas. The items that are duty free include cameras, binoculars and telescopes, china and crystal, watches and clocks, jewelry, perfumes, fine linens and tablecloths, liquor and leather goods. These items are normally priced 25% - 50% below U.S. prices.

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What is the Straw Market?

The famous Straw Market in the Bahamas are places where local Bahamian artisans sell their arts and crafts. You can find straw markets in Nassau's Festival Place, Paradise Island's Bahama Craft Center and Grand Bahama Island's Port Lucaya Marketplace

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What is the weather like in the Bahamas?

Most of the year the average temperature will be a sunny 80-90°F. September through May the Bahamas cools down to an average of 70-75°F. June through November is The Bahamas' hurricane season. The weather does influence travel decisions and often inaccurate reporting of information on hurricanes results in needless cancellations by U.S. travelers.For visits exceeding 30 days: A valid national passport and a Bahamas visa are required for Canadian resident non-citizens wishing to stay longer than 30 days.

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Is it customary to tip?

The rule of thumb when it comes to tipping is to only tip according to the quality of service you receive. Many people you encounter will be in the service industry and generally make a living off of tips. Taxis, waiters, bell hops, porters and excursion staff appreciate and supplement their income with tips. The usual tip is 10% - 15%.

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Can I use my cell phone in the Bahamas?

Yes. However, we recommend you check with your cellular phone provider before assuming it will work outsite your home country. International roaming rates will apply and vary, but the average rate is $2.24 per minute.

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What is the legal drinking age in the Bahamas?

The legal drinking age is 18.

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