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Nassau, situated on the northeastern edge of New Providence Island, is the capital of the Bahamas and home to the majority of its population. Even so, with a population of around 260,000 it is still a relatively laid-back place. Nassau is also the transport hub of the Bahamas, home to its international airport and with good connections to major cities in the USA, Canada, UK and the Caribbean. While most visitors will likely be visiting on the way to a beach, the city has some attractions of its own to offer while you are in town.
This fun, cultural event is on par with Carnival in Rio, with lots of costumes and parades in the streets. It takes place in Nassau, on New Providence Island, between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, with the latter having the best of it. Expect lots of color and noise (Junkanoo music), African customs, and gaudy outfits. There is also a smaller Junkanoo festival in June/July.
Fancy swilling the best of Bahamian and some international beers? The Olde Town Mall in Sandyport (at the western end of Cable Beach, Nassau) has many beers available from the UK, America, and Asia, as well as from the Bahamas. It takes place over a weekend towards the end of September, but the downer is it only runs from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m..
Movies, documentaries, and animation by Bahamian film producers are shown at Nassau’s Galleria Cinemas during the Bahamas Film Festival. It takes place over a few days in early December and can be a cultural experience featuring educational programs and open and closing galas.
Nassau has a pleasantly warm but humid climate. Compared to Caribbean cities more to the south, there are some differences regarding temperatures, mainly because it is somewhat colder during the wintermonths of November to April. Generally though, temperatures are high, with summer maximum temperatures averaging around 30 °C and minimum temperatures around 24 °C. During the wintermonths temperatures are about 5 °C lower. The rainy season lasts from May to October, with September and October being the wettest months. This is also the time (especially from August to October) when hurricanes are a possibility.
|Avg Max||25.6 °C||25.7 °C||26.7 °C||27.9 °C||29.6 °C||31.1 °C||32 °C||32.1 °C||31.5 °C||30 °C||28 °C||26.4 °C|
|Avg Min||17.1 °C||17.3 °C||17.9 °C||19.3 °C||21.1 °C||23 °C||23.7 °C||23.8 °C||23.5 °C||22.3 °C||20.5 °C||18.4 °C|
|Rainfall||47.2 mm||49 mm||54.4 mm||69.3 mm||104.9 mm||218.9 mm||160.5 mm||235.5 mm||163.1 mm||163.1 mm||80.5 mm||50 mm|
Bahamasair is the national airline of the Bahamas and is based at Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) near the capital Nassau. It doesn't have that many international services, but at least Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Providenciales and Havana are served. Several airlines offer flights mainly to the United States and Canada as well as several islands in the Caribbean. British Airways has flights to and from London, as well as the Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands. Other airlines serving the airport are Air Canada (Toronto and Montreal), American Airlines (Dallas), Cubana (Havana), Copa Airlines (Panama City), and Air Jamaica (Kingston).
Bahamsair and several smaller airlines serve many domestic destinations, including Marsh Harbour, Abraham's Bay, Arthur's Town, Cockburn Town, Colonel Hill, Deadman's Cay, Freeport, George Town, Governor's Harbour, Matthew Town, North Eleuthera, Rock Sound, Spring Point, The Bight, Treasure Cay, Great Harbour Cay, Rum Cay, Black Point, Farmer's Car, Staniel Cay, Chub Cay, Colonel Hill, Deadman's Cay, Stella Maris, Andros Town, Bimini, Congo Town, Mangrove Cay and San Andros.
Bahamas Ferries has car and passenger services from the capital Nassau to destinations on Eleuthera, Exumas, Andros and Abacos. Fast daily ferry services travel between Nassau and most of the main islands. The main connections are:
Other services with Bahamas Ferries include Cat Island - Nassau, Driggs Hill - Nassau, Current - Nassau, George Town - Nassau and Spanish Wells - Nassau. The latter leaves Nassau at 8:00am and arrives in Spanish Wells around 10:00am, and is often advertised as a possible daytrip as well.
To add, there are watertaxis between Nassau and Paradise Island regularly making the crossings. Several other offshore islands and their neighboring cays are served by private water taxis. Also, there are about 20 mailboats serving many islands, including the Outer Islands further away to the south and southeast. Although less comfortable, they are a great but slow alternative to the normal ferries and watertaxis.
|The Towne Hotel||40 George St Po Box No. 4808||Hotel||80|
Internet cafes are not common on the islands, but in Nassau you can try Cybercafe, in the Mall at Marathon. On the Outer Islands, your hotel may have a computer with Internet access for guest use. If you're traveling with your own computer, internet access via Wi-Fi hot spots is increasingly common at hotels, even in the Out Islands. Some restaurants, cafes and foodchains like McDonald's offer free wifi most of the times as well.
See also International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to The Bahamas is: 1-242. To make an international call from The Bahamas, the code is: 011
If you bring your own cell phone, be sure to switch off roaming to avoid high internet costs. It's also better for lower call rates to buy a local SIM card (make sure your phone is unlocked), and internet charges are much lower in that case as well. Sim cards and airtime credit for topping up can be purchased online at Ezminutes.com or at the local shops. To apply the phone card credit, dial *44 followed buy pin number.
Another option would be to buy a simple local phone which usually comes with some value on the card for calling and internet as well. Rates are between $0.15-$0.33 per minute for local calls and incoming calls and about a dollar more for outgoing calls within North America, more for Europe and other areas.
The Bahamas Postal Service provides services in the country. Most of the kiosks selling postcards also sell the stamps you'll need to mail them, so you probably won't need to visit the post office. If you do need a post offices, general opening times are 9:00am to 5:00pm, though sometimes shorter hours are kept o the Outer Islands. If you want to send a package, it's better to use companies like UPS, DHL or FedEx, as they are fast and reliable.
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