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World Travel Guide > Guides > Caribbean > Bahamas

the fp is getting-around

Getting Around Bahamas

Air

Bahamasair (UP) (www.bahamasair.com) operates a few domestic routes. Several charter services also run inter-island flights.

Road

Driving is on the left-hand side of the road in the Bahamas. A toll applies to motorised vehicles wishing to use the bridge between Nassau and Paradise Island.

Road Quality

Roads across the Bahamas are adequate, if often narrow, but congestion is a problem in the main cities of Nassau and Freeport. Many low-lying parts of the country are also subject to flooding.

Car Hire

International car hire firms are represented at the airports and in Nassau and Freeport. You usually need to be at least 21 years old to hire a car. Motor scooter hire is also available; helmets must be worn.

Taxi

You can pick up taxis at the airport, docks and outside most hotels. Alternatively, you can book one by phone or hail one in the street. Metered rates vary according to the island, but are always reasonable and, whether government-run or privately run, all are controlled by law. Look for the Bahamahost sticker in the taxi; cab drivers with this sticker in the window are not only official, but pride themselves on real Bahamian hospitality. All taxis apply surcharges for groups and extra luggage.

Bike

Rent by the half day, full day or the week in tourist centres.

Coach

Jitneys (local buses) run all over the bigger islands of the Bahamas; the Family Islands (the smaller outlying islands) have almost no public transport whatsoever. Even in Nassau and Freeport, local buses are not renowned for their promptness, although as on other Caribbean islands, taking a bus for the immersion into local culture is recommended.

Regulations

Seatbelts for drivers and passengers are compulsory.

Documentation

National licences are valid for up to three months.

Urban travel

Driving in Nassau is notoriously difficult due to the congestion.

Rail

Water

The Out Islands are served by leisurely mail boats which leave Nassau several times a week carrying mail and provisions to the islands. Passengers share facilities with the crew. Arrangements should be made through boat captains at Potters Cay.

Bahamas Ferries (tel: +1 242 323 2166; www.bahamasferries.com) operates air-conditioned ferries from Nassau to Harbour Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, Andros and Abaco.