How to get around the Bahamas

The Bahamas comprise a chain of more than 700 islands (of which less than 30 are inhabited) and 2000 cays (small isles) that stretch for 96km across the Atlantic Ocean southeast of Florida.

Transport options in the Bahamas

Air: Interisland air travel is centered on Nassau. Bahamasair (UP) ( offers frequent flights to all the islands and is the most convenient and quickest way to travel within the Bahamas. Several charter services also run inter-island flights.

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

Water taxis connect Nassau and Paradise Island. Offshore islands are also serviced by private air and water taxis.

The Out Islands are served by mail boats which leave Nassau several times a week carrying mail and provisions to the islands. Arrangements can be made through boat captains at Potters Cay.

On Land

Driving is on the left-hand side of the road in the Bahamas. Roads across the Bahamas are reasonably good but often narrow. Many low-lying parts of the country are also subject to flooding.

Congestion is a problem in the cities of Nassau and Freeport. A toll applies to vehicles wishing to use the bridge between Nassau and Paradise Island.

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

Driving in Nassau is notoriously difficult due to the congestion. Seatbelts for drivers and passengers are compulsory. National licences are valid for up to three months.

Taxi: Taxis are available from the airport, the 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 usually reasonable and, whether government or privately operated, all are controlled by law. All taxis apply surcharges for groups and extra luggage.

Tip: Look out for the Bahamahost sticker in the taxi – drivers with this sticker in the window are not only official, but pride themselves on real Bahamian hospitality.

Bus: Jitneys (local buses) run all over the bigger islands of the Bahamas. Note: The Family Islands (the smaller outlying islands) have almost no public transport.

Taking a bus for the immersion into local culture is recommended. Private mini-buses are available only on Nassau and Freeport.

Bike: Bicycles are also easily rented from most resorts and are a fun way to see the smaller islands. You can rent by the half day, full day or the week from various tourist centres.

Other: Golf carts can be rented on the smaller islands and cays.

More about the Bahamas…

Latest update: How to get around the Bahamas: 23 April, 2022