Freeport is a city on Grand Bahama. With a population of 27,000 at the last census in 2000, it was the second most populous city in the Bahamas. It is a free trade zone built on swamp land and scrub land.
The city was severely damaged by Hurricane Dorian in 2019.
Freeport has a tropical rainforest climate, specifically with hot humid conditions that vary only a little throughout the year. Seldom do temperatures drop below 16 °C (60 °F). Average temperatures are around 27 °C (80 °F), with water temperature varying between 22 to 26 °C (72 to 78 °F). The winters are usually mild and dry (with the exception of some rainfall due to cold fronts), while the summers are usually hot and wet.
- 1 Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO IATA). There numerous flights available from South Florida. American Eagle offers daily flights from Miami. Bahamasair, United, Silver Airways, Aiy Bahamas and Spirit Airlines all offer daily flights from Fort Lauderdale.
There are many cruises departing from Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) that offer cheap tickets to Freeport and Nassau.
- 2 Freeport Harbour. Cruise and ferry terminal, also has some souvenir shops and bars catering to those on short turnarounds or waiting for their ship.
- There are numerous marinas for arrivals by private boats.
The port and the airport of Freeport are not near the city so you will have to pay US$5 ban to reach the city centre.
The Bahamas is expensive; expect to pay approximately 10% or 15% more than in USA for the same things. American dollars are accepted everywhere, and if you pay in cash, many sellers will not charge you tax.
There are many forms of transportation available in Freeport. Taxis which are available at all the major tourist stops discuss a flat rate before the trip depending on how far you go and number of passengers. There are many tour bus services available to give you a tour of the city of Freeport and highlight its features which may be more difficult on your own. Rental Cars is another option to see what Freeport has to offer.
Although Freeport may not have as many attractions or tourists as Nassau, there are many activities and places to see for those that are willing to explore.
Places worth visiting:
- 1 Lucayan National Park. Home of Gold Rock Beach, this spectacular park was the filming site of Pirates of the Caribbean II and III. Although mostly underground, the park also contains one of the cavern entrances to the limestone cave system, one of the largest underwater cave systems in the world.
- 2 Port Lucaya. Port Lucaya is the tourist 'hub' of the island and is the location of many restaurants and shops. Various water-related activities as well as tours can be organized through the tourist booths in Port Lucaya. Live music and entertainment is also offered weekly, although Friday and Saturday nights tend to be the most popular nights (especially during spring break).
- 3 Garden of the Groves. Former private garden of city founder Wallace Groves, this tropical paradise is well worth your time.
- 4 Rand Nature Center, ☏ . Outside downtown Freeport. Open 9AM - 4PM 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. Admission $5 adults, $3 children 5-12, children under 5 free.
- Fish fries - Although there are many local fish fries, the most popular is located on Taino Beach and held every Wednesday evening/night.
- Beaches - Freeport has a ridiculous number of amazing white-sand beaches. Some of the more popular ones are located at Our Lucaya, although for those looking for their own private location, it is well worth the trip to check out some of the others. The further you travel, the less other tourists you will see. Recommended locations - Coral Beach, Williams Town Beach, Xanadu Beach, Taino Beach, Barbarry Beach, Plane-crash Beach, Gold Rock Beach etc. In general, the entire south side of Grand Bahama Island is beach, while the north side is mainly mangroves and swamps.
On the water - Various ocean relate activities provide a completely different perspective than what you will tend to find on land. For those who love swimming, either snorkeling or scuba diving the coral reefs are a must. The amount of tropical fish you will encounter is amazing. As well, various dive shops offer other interesting dives such as exploring ship wrecks, diving with sharks or dolphins, as well as exploring under water caverns in the limestone caves.
Other water-related activities include parasailing, jet skiing, glass bottom boat tours, as well as Booze Cruises.
The rest of the island - For those more adventurous a trip either out to Maclean's Town or to West End is well worth while. If you are willing to explore you may be surprised by what little restaurants, shops, beaches, and hang out places you may discover. It will also give you a better understanding of the 'true' Bahamas, in contrast to what you will find in Port Lucaya.
The beaches are very nice, and you can book waterbikes or diving lessons there. Book directly in the beach for lower prices.
The only important market is the Lucayan Market: most of this place has many international shops with higher prices so don't go there. The market is not so big and if you walk enough. you will find a place with less fashion and more hand-made souvenirs. Ask for Allan Robinson, a friendly Rastafari who makes masks, sculptures and souvenirs: the advantage of shopping with him is that he is not a reseller so you will have better prices and without risk to buy something made in China.
In the back of the Lucayan Market are many international restaurants. The cheapest hamburger is US$5: a decent lunch will cost you US$20 approximately.
- Cappuccino's. Italian-owned, with an Italian chef, offering Italian cuisine. Prices are in the mid-to-high range. Due to high popularity, reservations are recommended.
- Agave. Caribbean-Latin fusion cuisine. Prices are moderate to high, but the food is worth it.
- Giovanni's. authentic Italian cuisine. Prices are reasonable and the food is superb.
- Pisces. restaurant and bar. Local and international cuisine, good prices.
- Zorba's. delicious Greek cuisine, good prices.
- 1 Banana Bay. located in Fortune Bay near Lucaya. Situated feet from the ocean on a beautiful white beach, perfect for families who want a refreshing lunch, with indoor and outdoor patio dining available. Delicious local cuisine at good prices.
Some alcohols are cheaper than in USA or at least are duty free.
Freeport nightlife may not be as vibrant as Nassau nightlife, but it still has a lot to offer.
- Club Amnesia. This club attracts the likes of locals as well as tourists. One of Freeports largest night clubs playing a wide variety of hits.
- Prop Club, Radisson Our Lucaya Resort. This club is on the Radisson Our Lucaya property. This interactive club engages its guest from karaoke to live Bahamian bands and even caters to its sports fans with Sports TV Sundays
The hotels are really expensive, and there are no cheap accommodations; it is better to book a hotel (4 or 5 stars) before travel or to rent a cabin in cruise.
Freeport has a wide variety of sleeping accommodations to cater to whatever your trip specifically needs. From all inclusive resorts to hotels.
- 1 Pelican Bay at Lucaya, Seahorse Rd, Freeport City, ☏ . Near the Port Lucaya Marketplace and walking distance from the beach. Hotel is small, but still offers many high end amenities including two pools and two restaurant/bars.
- 2 Grand Lucayan Resort, Grand Bahama Island, 1 Sea Horse Road Freeport, ☏ . This resort has many activities to keep you busy including spending some time at The Senses Spa or try your luck at Treasure Bay Casino as well as many on site restaurants which offer a variety of tastes from Bahamian cuisine to Asian, Italian and even Middle Eastern dishes. Also located at this resort is Prop Club (see Drink).
- 3 Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach Resort, Churchill Drive & Doubloon Road., ☏ , fax: . An all-inclusive resort on the south coast of the island, on 23 acres of land near a sandy white beach.