Planning Your Trip
Bahamas is an open country and there are very limited visa restrictions. In fact many foreign nationals do not require a visa as such. People from places such as Croatia, Canada, Bangladesh, Poland, Portugal, Kuwait, England, Ireland, Monaco, Cyprus, Grenada, Bahrain, and Costa Rica, Chile, Macedonia, Lithuania, Austria, Australia and many others do not require a visa. One can apply for a visa at any of the British Embassies around the world as well. If you are applying for a visa through the British embassy then you will have to pay a fee of around fifty pounds. This may vary according to the application as well.
The best way to reach the islands is by air and the country is well connected to most of the world capitals. The airports at Nassau and Freeport are the most connected but some of the smaller islands can accommodate passenger planes as well. Inter island flight carriers are usually twin engine Cessna’s or slightly bigger propeller planes. So if you reach the airport and find a small aircraft waiting for you, do not get scandalized. The planes are quite small and they will be uncomfortable. But they are relatively quick and not that expensive either.
Flights to Bahamas are frequent from Singapore and Indonesia. One can also reach the islands by boat or cruise ships. You will find a number of private yachts and passenger liners docked at the port of Nassau. Cruises from Miami and other parts of America are becoming very popular and they stopover at the Bahamas for a few days. These boats are quite large and extremely luxurious but incredibly expensive. The port at Providence Island handles a constant stream of cruises from several places and it is probably one of the busiest cruise ports in the entire world. Most of the islands in the region have their customs office for boats and yachts. You will have to pay a nominal feel for entering the country legally.
The Bahamas are very popular among the celebrity elite and top businessmen. If you are planning to visit the Bahamas you should plan in advance as it is extremely popular.
The months between June to November is prone to high intensity winds and hurricanes. It is better to avoid visiting during this period. Other than that, the Bahamas is open to tourism throughout the year. The region has a moderate tropical climate and temperatures rarely exceed 32 degrees Celsius. During the summer the water is warm and feels more like a bath tub. The shallow warm waters are more like a swimming pool than anything else. If you are visiting during the winter season, it might get nippy during the nights and you might want to carry a windbreaker with you. But by and large, the entire region has a moderate climate and except during the peak summer season, humidity is not a factor.
The number of murders, rapes and thefts has been constantly increasing over the years and this is almost directly related to the local gangs. The drug trade in the region has fueled major gang problem and drugs are sold near the tourist centers. It is advisable to reproach any advances for drugs and stay away from poor neighborhoods. Attacks on foreigners are known to occur and sexual violence is on the rise. The penalty for drug use or possession is quite high in the Bahamas and this may include a fine, jail time or both. Travelling in groups reduces the risk to some extent and ensures that it keeps predators at bay. As long as you use your discretion and stay safe, there shouldn’t be any problem as such. You can enter the country with any weapons and if you are arriving by boat, you have to declare it and leave it behind. In recent times, the police presence in the region has increase significantly and they are quite strict in the tourist areas. These areas are prone to drug peddling and thus require heightened vigilance. Bahamas is a relatively clean country and there are no major diseases as such. As a tourist you should help in keeping the region clean and disease free as well.