Bahamas

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Destination Information

A nation of 700 low-lying islands, the Bahamas can boast some of the finest beaches on earth. The exquisite and infinitely varied colors of the sea are a perennial pleasure, and the diving and saltwater fly-fishing are world-class. New Providence Island and the capital city of Nassau are bustling and developed. Just 15 minutes away by air, Andros has a total land area larger than the rest of the Bahamian islands combined. The interior is almost impenetrable and is said to contain one of the largest tracts of unexplored land in North America. A local population of about 8,000 lives along the east coast, where a succession of small communities is linked by a single atrocious road. Although the weather is warm and pleasant for much of the year, it is important to remember that the Bahamas are generally cooler during the January and February winter high season than are the Leeward and Windward Caribbean islands 750 miles to the south.

The best weather is from March to June. The August-September hurricane season is best avoided. 

Editor Tips

World-Class Bonefishing

Not for nothing is Andros known as the “Bonefishing Capital of the World.” The island’s shallow surrounding waters hold a huge population of the “gray ghosts of the flats.” Many of the dedicated fishing lodges on Andros are located close to Mangrove Cay and the legendary Middle Bight, where, fishing lore maintains, huge bonefish smash up 8- and 9-weight fly rods with impunity. Perhaps the only other Bahamian flats to rival the fishing here are the famous Marls of Abaco. 

The Best Time to Fish

The best fishing months on the east coast of Andros are generally reckoned to be October through January. For me the pinnacle of bonefishing is wading the flats knee-deep in translucent water, but an eagle-eyed professional guide perched atop an elevated platform will usually contribute to greater success. Aside from the thrill of the fishing, Andros provides a profoundly therapeutic environment of space and solitude. On a recent trip, I encountered dolphins, rays, turtles, several sizable lemon sharks and a 5-foot blacktip shark that cruised alongside the skiff for a while.

The Glass Window Bridge

The islands of the Bahamas are justly renowned for their beaches. Although the quality of their sand is consistently superb, the beaches vary greatly, depending on whether they front the open Atlantic or face the relatively sheltered stretch of ocean that extends to the east coast of Florida. The best place to observe this contrast is from the so-called Glass Window Bridge on Eleuthera, where the island narrows to the width of the road. On the Atlantic side, the water is a deep and restless sapphire blue, while to the west, it is an expanse of aquamarine, scarcely disturbed by a ripple.

Currency

Bahamian dollar (BSD). The Bahamian dollar is set at par with the U.S. dollar.

Direct Dial Codes

To phone hotels in the Bahamas, dial 1 + 242 (Bahamas code) + local numbers in listings.

Entry Requirements

Passport. Visit travel.state.gov, and for travelers’ health information, cdc.gov.

U.S. Embassy

Nassau, Tel. (242) 322-1181.

When to Visit

The best weather is from March to June. The August-September hurricane season is best avoided.