Explore Grand Bahamas
Grand Bahamas is an island of the Bahamas
Explore Grand Bahamas with its 6 eco-systems:
- Pine Forest
- Blackland Coppice
- Rocky Coppice
- Mangrove Swamp
- Whiteland Coppice
- Beach / Shoreline
Bahamas Dollars (BSD) are equal in value to the American Dollar. American currency is accepted (sometimes even preferred) everywhere.
Sales tax does not exist in the Bahamas. National revenue is collected mainly through local import tariffs.
Duty free items such as liquor, perfume, and jewelry often surprise tourists for being so inexpensive. It is not uncommon, for example, to find a bottle of your favorite perfume for less than half of what you could expect to pay back home. This is the advantage and convenience of duty free shopping.
Port Lucaya Marketplace Sea Horse Road on Bell Channel Bay. Duty free shopping in over 80 stores in 12 buildings overlooking the Bell Channel Bay marina. The marketplace is the hub of Port Lucaya.
The International Bazaar is a shopping compound divided into separate areas that each reflects a different part of the world. In total it comprises 90 shops, 13 restaurants, and 6 snack/ice cream stores. There is also a straw market nearby.
Numerous Flights are available.
Taxis are typically waiting for visitors at the airport and sea port. They are also easily summoned by phone. Please be aware that there is NO such thing as a “service fee”, in some cases a small fee for large oversized baggage and golf bags otherwise you only pay the fare, and a tip if appropriate.
Public transport on the island consists mainly of minivans that ferry locals to and fro. They typically run about every 15 minutes however they will often wait until they have a full load before departing. Taxis and Public Buses are clearly labeled and are government regulated.
Hotels sometimes have their own shuttle services to The Port Lucaya Marketplace.
Car, motorcycle, and buggy rentals are readily available. However be cautioned that the roads are driven on the left and locals drive aggressively.
What to see. Best top attractions in Grand Bahamas.
- Lucayan National Park, The crown jewel of the 3 national parks on Grand Bahama, Lucayan National Park is the only place in the Bahamas where you can see all six of the island’s ecosystems. There are caves for exploration (including one of the longest underwater limestone caves in the world; access is seasonal as the caves are also used for bat conservation), a picturesque wooden bridge over a mangrove swamp, and a beautiful white beach with benches available for picnics. Visitors are advised never to leave belongings unattended, as thefts have been known to occur.
- Rand Nature Center, outside downtown Freeport. Open 9am – 4 pm Monday to Friday (Closed on Saturday & Sunday) This national park is named for James Rand and was established as the first nature education center to preserve the habitat of Grand Bahama.
- Peterson Cay National Park, a small island surrounded by reefs located 1 mile off the south shore, is the perfect getaway for a day trip / picnic. It is accessible only by boat, and visitors are instructed to anchor in specific areas away from the coral reefs. All plant and animal life within the park boundaries is protected by law. Fishing, shelling, and damage to or removal of any coral is strictly prohibited. Garbage disposal and leaving ash coals / embers is also prohibited. Take only pictures leave only footprints.
What to do in Grand Bahamas.
UNEXSO Dive Center Royal Palm Way. UNEXSO provides activities for both experienced and non-experienced SCUBA divers. They also offer different kinds of “swim with the dolphins” experiences as well. Some activities require a 1 day advanced registration.
Reef Oasis Viva Bahamas Dive Center, located inside Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach Resort at Churchill Drive with Doubloon Road. Reef Oasis is PADI 5* Instructor Development Center and Dive Club offering all PADI Courses from beginners up to Instructor courses. Everyday 3-4 dives on best dives sites of Grand Bahama, for novice and experienced divers. They offer special Tiger Shark Dives at famous Tiger Beach and Caribbean Shark Dives at Shark Alley/Pretenders Wreck.
Grand Bahama Scuba at the Ocean Reef Yacht Club runs dives Monday through Friday and Sunday afternoon dives. They offer the popular shark dive as well.
Live Music and Dancing are available at a number of places. Most bands play a mixture of Bahamian “Rake ‘n Scrape” and American standards. Venues include Count Basie Square in Port Lucaya, most evenings, Bikini Bottom Bar in Williamstown (near the Island Seas resort) on Thursdays and Saturdays, Tony Macaroni’s Conch Experience on Taino Beach, Wednesdays and alternate Sundays, and Sabor Restaurant in the Pelican Bay resort on Saturdays.
Pelican Point Adventure Co, Pelican Point, Grand Bahama Island. Offer professionally guided fly and spin fishing on Grand Bahamas Island, as well as snorkeling trips, bird watching and eco tours.
Radisson Grand, Lucayan 1 Sea Horse Lane. Located on the picturesque Grand Bahama Island, Radisson Grand Lucayan offers guests outstanding quality. It has 540 luxury guest rooms and suites, which are decorated in a modern Art Deco-inspired tropical style, and is situated on 7.5 acres of white sand beaches. Guests at the Grand Lucayan hotel can enjoy a daily activities schedule, two 18-hole championship golf courses, Las Vegas-style casino, spa services and three pools for some fun in the sun. On-site dining options range from casual fare to fine cuisine, and the 90,000 square feet of meeting space provides the ideal setting for weddings and events of all kinds.
Grand Bahama offers a wide variety of international cuisines for all tastes. The local Bahamian cuisine consists mainly of seafood, poultry, or pork, typically fried, steamed, or curried, with various kinds of rice and salads. Spices are used in abundance. Finding authentic, quality Bahamian food in touristic areas can be rather hit-or-miss, so asking friendly locals their personal recommendations will go a long way to ensuring an experience your taste buds won’t forget.
Conch (a type of large sea mollusk) is a quintessentially Bahamian food served in various forms. Island favorites include: conch salad, infused with citrus and served cold; cracked conch, tenderized and lightly batter-fried; and conch fritters, small balls of deep-fried batter mixed with minced conch and served with dipping sauce.
Check your bill carefully. A 15% service charge is included in some restaurants and bars. If not a standard 15% tip is appreciated.
Fish fries are like the Bahamian version of a neighborhood barbecue, serving fried fish with various side dishes.
The Port Lucaya area has a wide array of dining experiences for all budgets, at all times of the day.
Bahamian culture is intolerant of public displays of affection between any couples that involve groping and excessive sexual suggestions. Please, although a beautiful place, keep that for the beach and your hotel. Feel free to hold hands and hug and kiss.
Keep in mind when you explore Grand Bahamas that the idea of being swept off one’s feet by a good-looking local may sound romantic to some, serious caution is advised. Local men in particular often frequent the beaches near hotels, wooing foreign women as a hobby. It is imperative that safe sex be practiced, as in any country.