Grand Bahama

Grand Bahama Island is an island of the Bahamas

Regions

Cities

Understand

The 6 eco-systems of Grand Bahama Island are:

Shop

Bahamas Dollars (BSD) are equal in value to the American Dollar. American currency is accepted (sometimes even preferred) everywhere.

Sales tax does not exist in the Bahamas. National revenue is collected mainly through local import tariffs.

Duty-free items such as liquor, perfume, and jewelery often surprise tourists for being so inexpensive. It is not uncommon, for example, to find a bottle of your favorite perfume for less than half of what you could expect to pay back home. This is the advantage and convenience of duty-free shopping.

Talk

Locals have cellular service.

Get in

Numerous Flights are available from South Florida. American Eagle offers daily flights from Miami, Charlotte, Philadelphia and New York. Bahamasair, United, and Spirit Airlines all offer daily flights from Fort Lauderdale. Delta Connection offers flights from Atlanta. Another frugal option is to take a Discovery cruise ship to the island. The Ship drops passengers off in the mornings and then return for them in the evenings.

Get around

Taxis are typically waiting for visitors at the airport and sea port. They are also easily summoned by phone. Please be aware that there is NO such thing as a "service fee" or "bag handling fee," as some unscrupulous taxi drivers insist. You only pay the fare, and a tip if appropriate.

Public transport on the island consists mainly of minivans that ferry locals to and fro. It is a dollar to take the local bus line anywhere on the island. They typically run about every 15 minutes however they will often wait until they have a full load before departing. It's unclear whether these are government run or privately owned.

Hotels often have their own shuttle services to various points of interest around the island.

Car, motorcycle, and buggy rentals are readily available. However be cautioned that the roads are driven on the left and locals drive aggressively.

See

Do

Eat

Grand Bahama offers a wide variety of international cuisines for all tastes. The local Bahamian cuisine consists mainly of seafood, poultry, or pork, typically fried, steamed, or curried, with various kinds of rice and salads. Spices are used in abundance. Finding authentic, quality Bahamian food in touristic areas can be rather hit-or-miss, so asking friendly locals their personal recommendations will go a long way to ensuring an experience your taste buds won't forget.

Conch (a type of large sea mollusk, pronounced 'kongk') is a quintessentially Bahamian food served in various forms. Island favourites include: conch salad, infused with citrus and served cold; cracked conch, tenderized and lightly batter-fried; and conch fritters, small balls of deep-fried batter mixed with minced conch and served with dipping sauce.

Check your bill carefully. A 15% service charge is included in some restaurants and bars. If not a standard 15% tip is appreciated.

Fish fries are like the Bahamian version of a neighbourhood barbecue, serving fried fish with various side dishes. Some fish fries cater specifically to tourists, but these are generally grossly overpriced ($50+, compared to local-run fish fries which cost less than $10 per plate) and the food pales in comparison to those run by locals, for locals.

The Port Lucaya area has a wide array of dining experiences for all budgets, at all times of the day. This is not a complete listing of restaurants in the area, but the overall best options. Prices reflect the expected apparel. In alphabetical order:

Drink

Sleep

Stay safe

The Bahamas, though well known for its festive culture and friendly people, does have a high crime rate amongst its people that reflects severe social disparities. Areas that cater to tourists are heavily policed and kept exceptionally safe, but foreigners should not venture outside these areas alone. (A desolate beach at night is incredibly romantic, but be sure to tell the security guard at your hotel where you are going, just to be safe.)

Bahamian culture is intolerant of public displays of affection between same-sex couples. Such displays are typically seen as an affront to local values and may be met with hostility. Please exercise modesty in public areas.

While the idea of being swept off one's feet by a good-looking local may sound romantic to some, serious caution is advised. Local men in particular often frequent the beaches near hotels, wooing foreign women as a hobby. It is imperative that safe sex be practiced. The Bahamas as a nation holds the third-highest rate of HIV and AIDS infection in the world.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, November 22, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.