Country: The Commonwealth of The Bahamas (BF). Independent State within the
British Commonwealth. The name Bahamas comes from the Spanish words “baja
mar” meaning shallow sea.
Language: English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants).
Capital: Nassau (New Providence Island).
Population: 377,374 (2013 est.).
Climate: tropical marine; moderated by warm waters of Gulf Stream.
Area: 13,940 sq km (land: 10,070 sq km, water: 3,870 sq km).
Coastline: 3,542 km.
Flora and fauna: The Bahamas offer more that 109 bird species and over 120 plants type.
Geographic coordinates: 24° 15' N, 76° 00' W.
Highest point: Mount Alvernia, on Cat Island 63 m.
Location: Caribbean, chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida,
northeast of Cuba.
Size: New Provedence Island: 10 km x 30 km, Grand Bahama: 25 km x 92 km, Andros: 180 km x
Terrain: long, flat coral formations with some low rounded hills.
Overview: The Commonwealth of The Bahamas is an independent nation in the West Indies. An
archipelago of 700 islands and cays (which are small islands) make up the Bahamas.
Accommodations: Many first class hotels with a full range of modern facilities. The
Bahamas even includes private island resort like Little Whale Cay in the Berry Islands. Some
budget Hotels and guest houses are also available.
Activities: swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, golf, tennis, horse ridding, cricket.
Average tourist arrivals: 1,327,005 (2009).
Entry Requirements: The Islands of the Bahamas Implements the Same Entry Requirements as
the United States
Extension of stay: Visitors may apply to the Bahamas Immigration Department for extensions
Time: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time). Daylight saving time: +1
hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November.
Cost of living: High. Value for money is poor. Nassau is ranked number 18 of the most
expensive places in the world (Barbados 108, Tampa Fla 235).
Credit cards: Major credit cards are widely accepted.
Currency: Bahamian dollar (BSD). Exchange rates: 1 Bahamian dollars per US dollar.
US dollars are accepted interchangeably throughout the islands.
Electricity: 120 volts, 60 cycles AC. American plugs.
Telephone: The international country code for The Bahamas is 1-242 followed by seven
digits. On the island, use the seven digits alone.
Tipping: Tip is generally 15 %. Many establishments include the gratuity in their
Airport: Nassau International Airport (NAS). The airport is situated 16km (10 miles) west
of Nassau on New Providence Island. Head west on West Bay Street to Blake Road which leads to JFK
Drive. Take a right turn on JFK and the airport is about 3km (2 miles) on the left-hand side. The
airport is well sign-posted from Nassau.
Freeport International Airport (FPO) is situated on Grand Bahama Island, 5km (3 miles) north of
downtown Freeport. From the centre of Freeport, take the East Mall Drive or the West Mall Drive
north to The Mall and follow signs to the airport. Coming from the west, take Queens Highway and
take the airport exit north of Freeport. From the east, take the Grand Bahama Highway and take
the airport exit to the north of Freeport.
Departure Tax: Airport departure tax is US$ 15. There are no income taxes. Most taxes in
the Bahamas consist of duties.
Ferry Service: A high speed, daily ferry link between Nassau and North Eleuthera, Harbour
Island and Governers Harbour. The old mail boat system connecting the 14 inhabited islands of The
Bahamas to the capital Nassau. Many mail boats travel through the night.
Ports and harbors: Freeport, Nassau, South Riding Point.
Land Transport: Getting around in Nassau/Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island and most of
the Out Islands is easy. The various modes of on-Island transportation include rental cars, taxis
(which are plentiful) buses (called jitneys) which for a small fare can take you to and from many
locations, motorbikes (mopeds), and bicycles. Driving is on the left.
Ethnic groups: Black 85 %, white 12 %, Asian and Hispanic 3 %.
Government type: Constitutional parliamentary democracy.
Legal system: Based on English common law.
Literacy: 95.6 % (male: 94.7 %, female: 96.5%).
Religions: Baptist 35.4%, Anglican 15.1%, Roman Catholic 13.5%, Pentecostal 8.1%, Church
of God 4.8%, Methodist 4.2%, other Christian 15.2%, none or unspecified 2.9%, other 0.8% (2000
Agriculture-products: Citrus, vegetables; poultry.
GDP per capita: US$ 22,300 (2013 est.).
Industries: Tourism, banking, cement, oil transshipment, salt, rum, aragonite,
pharmaceuticals, spiral-welded steel pipe.
Natural resources: Salt, aragonite, timber, arable land.
Unemployment rate: 15.4 % (2014 est.).