Winter Travel in the Bahamas – a paradise island
Winter is the perfect time to book a trip to the Bahamas. You’ll leave behind cold mainland weather for balmy breezes, clean beaches, and turquoise blue waters, not to mention incredible activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and sunbathing on this paradise island. For those who hate winter, it’s the ideal warm-weather destination.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visiting the Bahamas isn’t quite as easy as it used to be. While the Bahamian government is welcoming visitors, everyone will be required to get a special Bahamas Travel Visa aka Bahamas Health Visa. But don’t worry, everything you need to know is in this article!
Can US Citizens Travel to the Bahamas?
Yes! US citizens can travel to the Bahamas, regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated travelers, ages 12 and older will have to present a negative COVID-19 test result. The test must be taken no more than 5 days prior to the date of arrival. Also, keep in mind that to return to the United States, travelers over 2 years old will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within one day of their return trip.
You will need your passport for you Bahamas Health Visa application form
How to Get a Travel Visa to the Bahamas
Here are the steps you need to take to get a travel visa to the Bahamas:
1. Create a Bahamas Travel Visa Profile
Regardless of vaccination status, every traveler over 18 years old will need to create a Bahamas travel health visa profile to start the application process. Children 17 and under will be added under a parent/guardian’s profile instead.
This profile is pretty simple, but you will need to provide all your passport information, an emergency contact, and any health conditions you currently have so that you can answer all the questions in the health questionnaire. If you are traveling with children, you’ll need to add each child to your profile and enter the same type of information.
2. Meet the Testing Requirements
Whether or not you’ve been vaccinated, you’ll need to get tested for COVID within 5 days of traveling to the islands. The Bahamian government currently accepts both Rapid Antigen and PCR tests for vaccinated travelers (past the 2 week immunity period) and all children between 2 and 11. However, unvaccinated visitors 12 and older have to get a PCR (swab) test. This test must come back negative for your trip!
If you have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine, be aware that only Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca vaccines will be accepted. If you got a different vaccine, you’d have to take the PCR test.
3. Submit your Visa Application
Once you have your test results, you can upload them (and your vaccination card, if applicable) to your travel profile for review. Don’t forget to upload results for any children over 2, as well! And remember to save your negative COVID-19 test results because you’ll be required to show them when you travel.
4. Pay for Your Bahamas Health Travel Visa
After your application has been processed and approved, it’s time to pay for the Bahamas Travel Health Visa. All you have to do is select your trip in “Upcoming Trips,” then click “Pay Now” under your trip details.
You’ll be redirected to the Kanoo website, where you can input a Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express credit card. Once it’s processed, you’ll redirect to the Bahamas Travel Health Visa Profile Dashboard, and your trip status will be marked as approved.
5. Save, Screenshot, and Print Your Health Travel Visa
Keep multiple records of your Bahamas Travel Visa (and your kids’ visas) with you because you’ll have to show it when you travel and arrive. If you don’t have it with you, you won’t be able to enter the Bahamas!
6. Schedule Your 5-Day Antigen Test (If applicable)
If you have not been fully vaccinated, the Bahamian government requires you to take a secondary rapid-antigen test 5 days after you arrive. If this test comes back positive, you’ll have to take an RT-PCR test and “vacation in place” until those negative COVID-19 test results come back. Make sure you get this test scheduled ASAP because skipping it runs the risk of a $1,000 fine or month of imprisonment.
Important Notes about the Bahamas Travel Visa
- The Bahamas Travel Health Visa is required in addition to your valid passport.
- You can apply for the visa within 5 days of your trip, but the process only takes 48 hours.
- The cost of the travel health visa will depend on your vaccination status and how long your trip is.
- You will need to supply a full travel itinerary with your visa application.
- You will be required to opt-in to COVID-19 health insurance for the duration of your stay in the Bahamas. This mandatory insurance is included in your visa application fee.
- You will have to show all your documents when you board commercial airlines and at the port of entry.
Got Your Bahamas Travel Visa? Top 12 Things to Do in the Bahamas
- Experience the best of Nassau’s nightlife
- Visit Atlantis Paradise Island resorts to see the aquariums, waterpark, and resort
- Go snorkeling or scuba diving in one of the world’s most diverse marine habitats
- Get up close with exotic animals at Dolphin Encounters Island Adventure Park
- Explore Paradise Island by renting a golf cart and exploring all that it has to offer including casinos, beaches, resorts, shops & restaurants
- Take a catamaran tour to see all the beautiful sights on Paradise Island
- Spend time at Cable Beach, one of the most popular beaches in The Bahamas
- Try Bahamian cuisine like conch salad and jerk chicken (a traditional dish)
- Rent a car for exploring The Bahamas’ other islands like Eleuthera, Cat Island, Long Island, Andros, Great Exuma and more!
- Visit the famous pink sand beach to take in one of nature’s most beautiful creations
- Take a day trip to Grand Bahama Island for some time away from it all
- Spend an evening at Junkanoo Beach Club for an outdoor concert under the stars
Our insider tip for your Bahamas vacation: Breezes Hotel Bahamas All Inclusive
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