Know before you go!
Region & Time Zone: Caribbean, Eastern Time Zone
Passport Required: Yes
Tap Water: Safe to drink, but bottled water is recommended for taste
Currency: Bahamian Dollar
Power: Standard US plug at 110 volts
A little background
Conveniently located just south of Florida, The Bahamas are the closest islands to the US that are in the Caribbean. The Bahamas actually consist of hundreds of small, tropical islands, most of which are uninhabited. Of the 30 or so islands that are inhabited, Nassau (also known as Paradise Island) is by far the most popular. Originally discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492, today The Bahamas hold the distinction of being one of the world's top Caribbean destinations. With an average of 12 hours of sunlight per day and just a 3 hour flight from New York, it's no wonder the island has become so popular. Year-round temperatures are fairly consistently in the mid to upper 80's.
In the heart of Nassau is the Ardastra Gardens & Zoo, created in the 1950's for visitors to enjoy and learn about local wildlife. The Zoo features more than 135 different animals, ranging from exotic jaguars to Madagascar lemurs. For particularly soft and cuddly animals, there's even a petting zoo! The gardens are home to unique island orchids and trees, and it's possible to wander for hours through the gardens just admiring the natural beauty.
Heralded by many who visit as one of the best beaches in Nassau, Cable Beach is lucky to encompass crystal clear blue water, fine white sand and beautiful marine life. It is not uncommon for visitors here to swim with sea turtles or other friendly fish in the area - and the abundance of sea-life makes this beach a great spot for snorkeling. Cable Beach also offers a secluded location and unobstructed ocean views, as cruise ships dock on the other side of the island.
Why go on a normal tour of the Bahamas when you can take a tour in a fun and environmentally friendly way! See the beautiful city of Nassau by bike — cruise along the waterfront, through the hotel district and through downtown — and yes, there are bike lanes! Bike tour operators include an accompanying tour guide who points out all of the notable landmarks, points of interest, as well as the best places to shop for island crafts and souvenirs!
A well-hidden gem in downtown Nassau, The Cloisters consist of beautiful gardens and the remains of a 14th century monastery - and are a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city without truly leaving. Many who have visited insist that this is a "must-see". The gardens are regularly refreshed and are extremely well maintained, ensuring that they will be uniquely different on each visit! The price is right (admission to The Cloisters is free) so what better attraction to add to you all-inclusive Bahamas vacation.