Location: More than 700 islands, cays and rock outcroppings make up the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. This island nation is located 52 miles off the tip of the Florida peninsula and extends southeastward to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Climate: Air and water temperatures average 85F in summer, and winter (December through March) can drop to 70F. A skin suit is recommended in summer and fall, a full-length 2-mm wetsuit in winter and spring. Hurricanes are rare, but the stormy season runs from July through October. Capital and largest city: Nassau, population around 115,000. Time: The Bahamas are on EST. Entry/departure: A passport, birth certificate or voter registration card is required of all U.S. and Canadian visitors. Departure tax is $15. Currency: $1 Bahamian is equal to $1 U.S. Tipping: Gratuities are usually included in the price of services, but additional gratuities are accepted. Water: The water is potable. Bottled water is available at most resorts. Electricity: 110 volts in most locations. Language: Official language is English. Getting there: Visitors either fly or cruise to the Bahamas. The two major airfield and seaports are located in Nassau and Freeport. There are over 60 general aviation airports and hundreds of boat anchorages that service the Out Islands.
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