You can easily rely on taxis and skip renting a car. The rates for New Providence, including Nassau, are set by the government. Although working meters are required in all taxis, some of them don't work. Consequently, the government has established a well-defined roster of rates for passage between the airport and various points around the island. When you get in, the fixed rate is $3, plus 40¢ for each additional quarter-mile. Each passenger 2 years and older pays an extra $3. For sightseeing purposes, taxis can also be hired at the hourly rate of $50 for a five-passenger cab. Luggage is carried at a surcharge of $1 extra per piece, although the first two pieces are free. To call a cab, dial tel. 242/323-5111. It's easy to get a taxi at the airport or at any of the big hotels.
If you'd like a personalized tour of the island, your best bet is to use Romeo's Executive Limousine & Taxi Service (tel. 242/363-4728; www.romeoslimos.com). Romeo Farrington is quite informative about the island, its legends and lore. He personalizes all tours. A typical island tour, lasting from 2 1/2 to 3 hours, costs $80 per hour for two passengers.
You really don't need to rent a car. It's a lot easier to rely on taxis when you're ready to leave the beach and do some exploring.
However, if you choose to drive (perhaps for a day of touring the whole island), some of the biggest U.S. car-rental companies maintain branches at the airport, in downtown Nassau, at Cable Beach, and on Paradise Island. Avis (tel. 800/331-1212 or 242/377-7121; www.avis.com), maintains a downtown office at Bay Street and Cumberland Street across from the British Colonial Hilton (tel. 242/326-6380). Budget (tel. 800/527-0700 or 242/377-9000; www.budget.com) has a desk at the airport and a branch downtown on Shirley Street (tel. 242/323-7191). Dollar/Thrifty (tel. 800/800-3665 or 242/377-8300; www.dollar.com) also has a desk at the airport and another one at the British Colonial Hilton (tel. 242/325-3716). Finally, Hertz (tel. 800/654-3131 or 242/377-6321; www.hertz.com) is only at the airport.
Remember: Drive on the left!
The least expensive means of transport is via any of the buses (some locals refer to them as "jitneys") that make runs from downtown Nassau to outposts all over New Providence. The fare is $1, and the exact amount, in coins or with a dollar bill, is required. The jitneys operate daily from 6:30am to 7pm.
Buses to the Cable Beach area and points west of that include the much-used no. 10, the no. 10A, and "the Western bus." They depart from the corner of Bay Street and George Street, with stops at various clearly designated spots along Bay Street. Buses headed to the eastern (mostly residential and rarely accessed by short-term visitors) part of New Providence Island depart from the Frederick Street North depot.
Water taxis operate daily from 9am to 6pm at 20-minute intervals between Paradise Island and Prince George Wharf.
Ferryboats link the wharves at the end of Casuarina Drive on Paradise Island to Rawson Square, which lies across the channel on New Providence Island. The ferry operates daily from 9am to 6pm, with departures every half-hour from both sides of the harbor.
Both the ferryboats and the water taxis charge the same fixed rate: $6 per person, each way, for passage across the channel.
Lots of visitors like to rent mopeds to explore the island. Unless you're an experienced rider, stay on quiet roads until you feel at ease; don't start out in all the congestion on Bay Street. Some hotels maintain rental kiosks on their premises. If yours doesn't, try Bowcar Scooter Rental (tel. 242/328-7300) at Festival Place near the cruise-ship dock. It charges $60 per day, which includes insurance and mandatory helmets for both drivers and passengers. Mopeds are rented daily between 8am and 5pm.
On Your Own Sturdy Feet
This is the only way to see Old Nassau, unless you rent a horse and carriage. All the major attractions and principal stores are within walking distance. You can even walk to Cable Beach or Paradise Island, although it's a hike in the hot sun.
Confine your walking to the daytime, and beware of the occasional pickpocket or purse snatcher. In the evening, avoid walking the streets of downtown Nassau, where, from time to time, muggings have been reported.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.