Tag: Nassau Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas

A- Overview:
The Islands of the Bahamas are among the most beautiful places on earth to visit. The water ranges from pale aqua to deep sapphire, the spectrum changing hourly as the sun shines brightly in a cloudless sky. Nassau, the country’s capital, is a bustling town on New Providence Island with shops, nightclubs, glamorous casinos, and posh hotels. Even in Nassau, though, there are quiet byways and shady lanes where you can step away from the activity of the main tourist areas. Visitors have many options. They can pause in their shopping at any time to wander past old colonial buildings that are full of fascinating island history. Nights can be spent watching a perfect sunset, dining on elegant French or local cuisine in a hotel restaurant, and then taking in a show, dancing, or visiting one of the island’s casinos.
Nassau’s sheltered harbor bustles with the familiar cruise ship hubbub and the excitement of fishing excursions coming and going, while a block away, broad, palm lined Bay Street is alive with commercial activity. The shopping in Nassau is first rate, as fine imported goods and local crafts compete for attention right next to each other. The historical sights are centered around the downtown area. This area has been renovated and rejuvenated in recent years, adding to its beauty and attractiveness. Amidst the historic landmarks, chic cigar bars, fancy restaurants, art galleries, suave clubs, and trendy coffeehouses are popping up everywhere.

No visit to Nassau would be complete without a trip to nearby Paradise Island. This strip of land off Nassau’s northern coast is truly a world class playground. Its casinos and beaches are the first choice for many tourists. The recently completed Atlantis casino and super-resort has attracted even more visitors. The water is a clear blue, and the sand on the beaches is perfectly white on Paradise Island. Inside, the casinos offer every game imaginable, as well as dozens of shows and attractions.

The Islands of the Bahamas–with exquisite golden and pink sunsets, pristine beaches, lush tropical landscapes, and year round sunshine–couldn’t have sprung from the sea in more perfect form for 21st century vacationers. Nassau is the crown jewel of the islands. The town has become even more beautiful of late, and its amazing beaches, significant historic landmarks, and world class resort casinos continue to attract thousands upon thousands of tourists each year.

B- City Information:
Country:
The Commonwealth of the Bahamas

Capital:
Nassau

Time:
Eastern Standard Time is used on all islands. April to October is Eastern Daylight Time, in conjunction with US summer hours.

Currency:
The legal tender is the Bahamian dollar (B$1), which is equivalent in value to the US dollar. Most of the times, you can either pay in US Dollars or Bahamian Dollars.

Weather:
The Bahamas consist of more than 700 islands and cays, many of which are not inhabitated. The islands cover an area of 100,000 square miles of Atlantic Ocean, located between Hispaniola and South Florida.
Bahama welcomes its visitors with an ideal climate avaeraging 80-90 degrees F in the summer and 70 – 80 degrees F during the winter month. Water temperatures in the Bahamas are never below 72 degrees F.

Rainy season is between May and September, but showers generally come and go very quickly.

Average Temperatures:

Month Temp (F) Humidity (%) Rain/month (inches)
January 62/77 78 (%) 1.86
April 66/82 74 (%) 2.12
July 75/90 77 (%) 6.21
October 71/86 80 2.23

Custom Regulations:

Upon entering The Bahamas, everyone must fill out and sign an Immigration form, keeping a portion of the card in hand until departing. Adults are allowed to bring a maximum of 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes or one pound of tobacco, one quart of spirits, and a variety of personal effects. Purchases up to a value of one hundred dollars are permitted by all arriving passengers.

When departing, all visitors (over 6 years old)are required to pay a $15.00 departure tax ($18.00 from Grand Bahama); Departures to the US must go through US Customs pre-clearance. you may bring home up to US$600 worth of duty-free merchandise. The next $l,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 can be taken duty-free.

Banking Hours:
Banks in Nassauare opened from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday
and 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday. Please note that banking hours vary throughout the Islands.

Electricity:
Electricity is normally 120 volts AC. American appliances are fully compatible.

Tipping:
Waiters and Tab drivers receive 15% according to quality of service. Bellboys and porters usually receive $1 per bag. Some establishments include the gratuity in their bills.

Getting Around:
Driving in the Bahamas is influenced by the British, so cars drive on the left. Visitors can drive using their home license for up to three months and may also apply for an international driver’s license. Pedestrians please be careful and remember to look to your right before crossing streets.

Taxi’s are located at the international airports, major hotels and downtown Nassau.
Meter Cabs: Davis Street, Nassau – 242-323-5111
Bahamas Taxi Cab Union: Nassau Street – 242-323-4555

Buses run throughout the day normally until dusk every 30 minutes.. Buses to the Cable beach area leave from Navy Lion Road North depot. Buses to the Eastern area leave from Frederick Street North depot. Buses to the malls leave from Marlbourgh Street East.

Medical Services:
Princess Margaret Hospital – 242-322-2861
Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre – 242-324-6881
Doctor’s Hospital – 242-322-8411
C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Fort Fincastle and the Water Tower
Top of Elizabeth Ave. hill, south of Shirley St
Fort Fincastle is located atop the Queen’s Staircase. The structure was completed in 1793 and it served as a lookout post for looters trying to sneak in through the harbor. It later served as a lighthouse. The fort’s 126-ft-tall water tower is recorded as being the highest point on the island
Fort Charlotte
Fort Charlotte is the largest fort in the Bahamas. It was built in 1788 and features a traditional moat and dungeons. It also boasts one of the best views of Nassau.

Crystal Cay
Tel: (242) 328-1036
The Crystal Cay Marine Park is notably one of the world’s finest underwater parks. The park was built around an existing reef, and visitors can explore exhibits both above and below the surface.

Botanical Gardens
Tel: (242) 323-5975
Chippingham
off West Bay St
Enjoy lushfull gardens with more than 600 tropical species.

Paintings by Amos Ferguson
2nd floor of the Pompey Museum
Bay Street, Nassau
(242) 326-2566/8
Sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, a permanent Art Exhibition spotlights paintings of internationally acclaimed Bahamian artist Amos Ferguson. Ferguson’s “primitive” paintings are grouped by four main themes: history, religion, nature and folklore. Museum Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Mon. – Fri.; 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on alternate Sats. Closed on Sun. and holidays. Location: 2nd floor of the Pompey Museum, Bay Street, Nassau. Donation.

Junkanoo Expo
(242) 356-2731
Open daily 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
A new attraction at Nassau’s waterfront. The first Museum of it’s kind showcasing large, colorful, intricately deigned artistic creations from recently passed Junkanoo parades, held annually on December 26th and New Year’s Day. The Expo complex also includes a souvenir boutique, with Junkanoo paintings and a variety of Junkanoo craft.

Bahamas Historical Society Museum Pompey Museum
Elizabeth Avenue and Shirley Street, Nassau
(242) 326-2566/8
An ongoing exhibition, displaying A RESERVOIR OF HISTORY, comprising a collection and preservation of historic, anthropological and archaeological Bahamian artifacts. Hours: Weekdays, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m; Sat. 10:00 a.m.- Noon. Closed Sun. and holidays. Tours available. Admission fee.

Balcony House
(242) 322-2193, The original design of this wooden house was a transplant of late 18th century southeast American architecture. The present design and furnishings, recently restored between 1992 and 1993, have sought to recapture the ambience of this historic period. Admission: Free, however donations are welcome. Tours are provided. Hours: 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily, except Thursdays. Closed Thur. & holidays.

Changing of the Guards Ceremony
Government House Grounds
Baillou Hill Road
five minutes from downtown Nassau
(242) 322-2020
A fortnightly tradition of pomp and pageantry marking the changing of the Guard at Government House, the residence of the Governor General, personal representative of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The internationally renowned Royal Bahamas Police Force Band proudly performs. Time: 10:00 a.m.

The Retreat
(242) 393-1317
Here at the 11-acre home of The Bahamas National Trust, environmentalists and nature lovers can enjoy and tour this natural haven of native flora. Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Mon. – Fri. Tours: Commence at 11:45 a.m., for half an hour, Tue., Wed. & Thur.

Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park
Exuma Islands
This park, inaugurated in 1958, is the first of its kind anywhere on the planet. It comprises 176 square miles of outstanding anchorages and a stunning marine environment. It was the Caribbean’s first marine fishery reserve. Many a worldly yachtsperson will tell you that the Exumas are the world’s most picturesque yachting grounds.

Inagua National Park
Great Inagua Island
This park on Great Inagua island is internationally famous as the site of the world’s largest colony of wild West Indian flamingos. In Bahamian dialect these birds are called “fillymingos” and/or “flamingas”.

Island World Adventures Ltd
Tel: (242) 394-8960/61, evenings 357-7782
Private charter and offshore excursions throughout The Bahamas. Daily excursions to Exuma Island. Explore and snorkel around private islands, feed stingrays, sharks, barracudas and experience the beauty of the Bahama waters.

Glass Bottom Boat Tours
Sunshine Tours
Tel: (242) 363-4051
Sightseeing and glass bottom boat excursions. Enjoy a great underwater adventure!

Ardastra Gardens and Zoo
This is the place to come to see flamingoes, the national bird as well as many other wild animals. Great place for the whole family.

Cable Beach
Cable Beach is a famous beach on the island of New Providence where you’ll find a wide range of activities, and every service will be at your fingertips. Water-skiing, windsurfing, diving, fishing, sailing, parasailing, seaside restaurants, beach bars, local entertainment–if you can think of it, you’ll probably find it there.

Dolphin Encounters
Tel: (242) 363-5066
Swim and dive with bottle-nosed dolphins on Blue Lagoon Island.

Hartley’s Underwater Walk
Tel: (242) 393-8234
Walk along the ocean bottom with expert guides without getting your hair wet by donning a Hartley’s helmet. This unique invention lets you enjoy undersea beauty while staying dry. You can even keep your glasses on! Children over 5 and non-swimmers welcome.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Ardastra Gardens and Zoo
This is the place to come to see flamingoes, the national bird as well as many other wild animals. Great place for the whole family.

Dolphin Encounters
Tel: (242) 363-5066
Swim and dive with bottle-nosed dolphins on Blue Lagoon Island.

Hartley’s Underwater Walk
PO Box SS-5244
Tel: (242) 393-8234
Walk along the ocean bottom with expert guides with out getting your hair wet by donning a Hartley’s helmet. This unique invention lets you enjoy undersea beauty while staying dry. You can even keep your glasses on! Children over 5 and non-swimmers welcome.

Crystal Cay
Tel: (242) 328-1036
The Crystal Cay Marine Park is notably one of the world’s finest underwater parks. The park was built around an existing reef, and visitors can explore an array of exhibits both above and below the surface.

Pirates Of Nassau Museum
Marlborough& George Streets
242-356-3759
Ahoy Matey! Embark on this pirate ship and come face to face with Captain Teach. Captain Teach and his fearsome crew will guide the whole family through an interactive and historical age of piracy. The thrilling atmosphere is contagious, and it is here where visitors have the opportunity to become pirates for a day!

E- Events & Entertainment:
Bird Walk
The first Saturday in every month at 8:00 a.m.
Rand Nature Centre
Grand Bahama Island
(242) 352-5438
Birdwatching enthusiasts can enjoy a walk through this bird sanctuary.

Central Bank Art Exhibition
Each month, during January – April
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m, Mon. – Fri.
Central Bank Gallery
Trinity Place & Frederick Street
Downtown Nassau
(242) 327-7562
view varied artwork displayed by different Bahamian artists

Native “King & Knights” Show
Nassau Beach Hotel, Cable Beach
Show Times: Tue.-Sat.: 8:30 p.m. (& 10:30 p.m. depending upon attendance)
Sun. & Mon.: 8:30 p.m. show only
(242) 327-5321
For exciting indigenous entertainment in Nassau, visit our native King & Knights Show, offering fire-dancing and limbo-dancing.

New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade
January 1
On Bay Street, downtown Nassau
starting at 1:00 a.m.
(242) 394-0445
Junkanoo, a kaleidoscope of sound and spectacle (a bit of Mardi Gras, Mummer’s Parade and ancient African tribal ritual) takes place. Prize-giving is at 8:00 a.m. The parade is a repeat of the Boxing Day Parade, held December 26 past. On this occasion, costumes and themes are different from Boxing Day.

Annual New Year’s Sailing Regatta
January 1-2
Montagu Bay
(242) 394-0445
Thirty to 40 locally built sailing sloops, ranging from 17′ to 28′, converge off Montagu Bay in a battle for championship. A continuation from the Christmas Regatta held December 25 & 26, 1997. Organised by the Bahamas Boat Owners Association. A spectator boat is available for a close-up view of races.

The Polar Bear Swim
January 1, from 12:30 p.m
Beach behind Rock ‘N’ Roll Cafe
Cable Beach
(242) 322-6504
Each New Year’s, a fun time, with beach party and a customary (snowbirds) swim in the sea amongst giant ice cubes (Brrrr!).

Dundas Repertory Season
January 26 – May 30
(242) 393-3728
Plays, executed by Bahamian artists, are held at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts, Mackey Street, Nassau.

Spring Breack Season
February 28 – April 10
(242) 322-7500, ext. 4350
A season of festivities for vacationing college and high school students. Exciting beach parties, sports meets and musical entertainment are some of the highlights of a packed Spring Break calendar. For further details, contact the Social Hostess or front desk of your hotel. Activities are also arranged on Grand Bahama Island and the other major Islands Of The Bahamas.

Cricket Season
March – November
Haynes Oval
West Bay Street
(242) 325-6396 or (242) 326-4720 (evening)
Cricket matches are played every Sat. & Sun. during Cricket Season at Nassau. Games begin at 12:00 Noon.

Rugby Season
end of September – end of April
(242) 328-7888 or (242) 326-8000
Winton Rugby Field
off Prince Charles Drive, Nassau
Rugby matches are played during the Rugby Season. Don’t miss out on a game loved by the Bahamians.

Boxing Day
December 27 (Official date is December 26)
A public holiday. The day is a traditional English holiday started centuries ago when leftover Christmas goodies were boxed by nobility and landlords and given to servants and tenants.

Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade
December 27 (Tentative)
On Bay Street, downtown Nassau
(242) 394-0445
During the early morning hours (starting at 1:00 a.m.)
Junkanoo is a kaleidoscope of sound and spectacle (a bit of Mardi Gras, Mummer’s Parade and ancient African tribal ritual). Revellers, dressed in colorful costumes of crepe paper, parade through the streets to the sounds of cowbells, goatskin drums, whistles and many other homemade instruments. Prize-giving is at 8 a.m. The parade is repeated on New Year’s Day, January 1.