Bahamas

 
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Nassau and Paradise Island

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Conveniently located just off the coast of Florida, the Islands of the Bahamas offer an experience for everyone, from sophisticated shopping and dining to Las Vegas-style gambling and entertainment, to laid back eco-tourism and soft adventure.

Bahamas Hotels

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Overview

New Providence Island, the heart of the Bahamas, is a palm- and mahogany-shaded flat stretch of limestone and white sand. The island holds an incongruous mix of glitzy casinos and quiet, shady lanes; trendy resorts and tiny settlements that recall a distant, simpler age; massive land-development projects and vast stretches of untrammeled territory. In the course of its history, these islands have weathered the comings and goings of lawless pirates, Spanish invaders, slaveholding British Loyalists who fled the United States after the Revolutionary War, Civil War–era Confederate blockade runners, and Prohibition rumrunners. The latest group to arrive isn't here to pillage and plunder. Each year more than a million cruise-ship passengers arrive at Nassau's Prince George Wharf, on short trips from Florida or as a stopover on cruises to ports farther south in the Caribbean. Many head across the graceful bridge to the aptly named Paradise Island.

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Before You Go

Airport Check-In: It is recommended that you reconfirm your flight information and check in for your flights at the airline’s website 24 hours prior to your scheduled departure. Please bring all your final documents with you. It is important to arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes prior to departure for all domestic flights, and two to three hours prior to departure for international flights.

Required Documents: For Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens must travel with a valid passport or other government-issued photo identification (such as a driver’s license). For all other islands, U.S. citizens must travel with a valid passport and a ticket for return or onward travel. There may be additional requirements for international travel, such as inoculations or visas, and some countries require that passports be valid for six months or longer beyond your stay in the country. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens might be different, and visitors are encouraged to verify the documentation/visa requirements with the nearest consulate or embassy. Rules are subject to change at any time, without notice. For the most current information, please visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov.

Newlywed Information: Tickets and other travel documents must exactly match your current passport and other identification. If not, you could be denied boarding and no refund will be forthcoming. For requirements and information regarding marriages performed in a foreign country, please visit the consulate of the particular country.

Honeymoon Packages: Some hotels require a marriage certificate or license in order for you to receive the honeymoon package. Please bring this information with you if you are traveling on a honeymoon package.

Luggage: Baggage allowances and fees vary by airline. For airline baggage fees and policies please visit https://www.costcotravel.com/Info/Airline-Baggage. If baggage fees do apply, this cost will be additional and must be paid directly to the airline.

Airport Departure Tax: The Bahamas departure tax is included in the price of your airline ticket.

Duty Free/Customs: When returning to the U.S., the duty-free allowance may vary by country. Please visit http://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens for information regarding U.S. Customs and more.

Travel Health Information: For the most current worldwide health information, consult your family physician or the official website for the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/travel or by phone at 1-800-232-4636. You’ll find information on recent outbreaks, required vaccinations, insect protection, illness and injury abroad, and more.

General Safety Tips: By taking a few simple security precautions before and during your vacation you can help ensure that you, your traveling companions, and your valuables are as safe and secure as possible.
  • To make it easier to replace your passport if it’s lost or stolen, in addition to your passport, take a photocopy of your passport information page (keeping it separate from your actual passport).
  • Carry only a limited amount of cash, just enough for gratuities and incidental purchases. Major credit cards are widely accepted and can be replaced if lost or stolen.
  • Always lock your hotel room door (including patio and balcony door on any level of the building) and use the peephole before opening the door.
  • Store your valuables (such as cash, credit cards and airline tickets) in the hotel’s in-room safe or front desk safety deposit box.
  • If you must carry valuables on your person, do so in a pouch or money belt concealed under your clothing. Purses and backpacks can be easy targets for thieves.
  • For complete and current safety and security information, including travelers’ tips, public announcements, travel advisories, and more, please visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov.

Climate:
Average Fahrenheit Temperature:
May through September: 81° to 82°
October through April: 79° to 81°

Tropical Storm Season from June to November

Water Safety: Bottled water is recommended.

Tipping: A 15% tip is customary for service. At All-Inclusive hotels, gratuities are generally included in the vacation price.

Local Currency: Bahamian Dollar

Currency Information: U.S. and Bahamian dollars are accepted interchangeably throughout the islands. Major credit cards also are accepted.

Time Zone: Eastern

Local Language: English

Driving: Visitors may use their driver’s license from their place of residence for up to three months and also may apply for an international driver's license. Remember to keep left when driving, but look right and left when crossing the street as a pedestrian.

Transportation: Look for the Bahama host decal in your taxi cab's window for knowledgeable and professional Bahamian hospitality. Rental car facilities often are located at major hotels and at airports. Bikes and mopeds also may be available.

Attire: Casual summer wear can be worn during the day any time of the year, but be sure to bring a jacket or sweater for cooler evenings from December to February. Most hotels, restaurants and casinos require jackets for men in the evening, especially in more cosmopolitan areas such as Nassau and Freeport/Lucaya. Though walking the streets in swim trunks in mid-January might sound irresistible, beach clothing is inappropriate on the streets, in churches, in restaurants and in casinos. Away from the beach or pool area, you are expected to cover your bathing suit with shorts or a long shirt. In the more laid-back, remote areas, the dress code is more flexible.

Planner

Sargassum/Seaweed Advisory

Sargassum is a free-floating seaweed that is especially prolific in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. While beneficial to ocean life, these large free-floating seaweed mats often wash up on beaches. The amount of seaweed on the beaches fluctuates based on the time of year and ocean currents. While resorts do their best to maintain the beaches for their guests, you may experience some inconvenience during your stay.

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Top Experiences

  • Ardastra Gardens : Flocks of flamingos, the country's national bird, "march" in three daily shows (you can mingle with the flamboyant pink stars afterward).

  • Cracked Conch : Eat the national dish at the fish shacks next to the water at Arawak Key with a live Bahamian band on Friday and Saturday nights.

  • Cricket : Watch cricket games on most Saturday and Sunday afternoons from the balcony of the Bahamas Cricket Club while eating bangers and mash with a Murphy's or Guinness.

  • Parliament : Sit in the public galleries of the Senate and House of Assembly and watch the often heated and boisterous arguments of members.

  • Western Esplanade Beach : Head to this beach (also known as Long Wharf Beach) and sit in the shade of a coconut palm while admiring a glistening white-sand beach and the mega cruise ships coming into the harbor.

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Activities

Make the most of your vacation by including an activity when you book your package. Please note, activities and tour credits are only available with a vacation package.

Balmoral Island Beach Package

On Balmoral Island, enjoy access to the private beach, the freshwater pool, the beachside bar and more. This package includes round-trip boat transfers from downtown Nassau, lunch including one drink, and a USD 45 credit toward select excursions (per person). The available excursions are the Dolphin Encounter, Dolphin Swim and Stingray Encounter. Beachside cabanas and a variety of nonmotorized water sports are available for an additional cost. The ferry to Balmoral Island departs daily at 10 a.m. from Prince George Dock (no reservation or confirmation is needed, arrive by 10 a.m. and bring your own towel). Return ferries are offered throughout the afternoon. Your Costco Travel itinerary showing your confirmation number, must be presented to the Access Bahamas representative on the day of the tour. While in the Bahamas, should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Access Bahamas at (305) 479-7163, Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time. The USD 45 credit must be redeemed while on the island and may not be combined with other discounts. The credit will be deducted from the total tour cost and any remaining balance must be paid at that time. Any unused portion of this package is nontransferable, nonrefundable and not redeemable for cash. A 100% cancellation fee will apply for no-shows.

Additional Information

Tour Details
[TOURSNAS010]

Transfers

Region: Nassau, Bahamas
Transfer Company: Access Bahamas
Telephone: 242-376-4148

Instructions: Upon arrival at the airport, proceed through the entry formalities, claim your luggage and continue to the exit. Just outside the customs area, look for the Access Bahamas representative holding a Costco Travel sign. For your departure transfer, Access Bahamas will confirm the pickup location and time. While in Nassau, should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Access Bahamas at (242) 376-4148 or (242) 427-6773, Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time. A 100% cancellation fee will apply for no-shows or if the reservation is canceled within 48 hours of the scheduled pickup time.

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