Freeport Fact Sheet

Home to three national parks, including one of the world’s largest underwater cave systems and a Bahamian pine forest, Freeport offers visitors much more than secluded white-sand beaches. With nature centers that feel like rainforests, national parks that attract close to 30 Bahamian birds (not found in the U.S.) and a cavernous underwater world, there is no shortage of adventure in Freeport. As the fourth largest island of The Bahamas, Freeport is divided into three districts: West End, East End and Freeport.

HISTORY

The Siboney Indians, the Lucayans, the Spanish and the British have all claimed Freeport as their own. Freeport was a key marketplace for the British and Confederates during the American Civil War, and a century later, the island capitalized on the post-war development of modern tourism in the 1950s. Wallace Groves largely initiated this boom after approaching the Bahamian government in 1955 with the idea to build a town that catered to both industry and tourists. The Hawksbill Creek Agreement was signed and Freeport was born.

ABOUT FREEPORT

  • Town/Settlement: Freeport/Lucaya
  • Capital: West End
  • Size: 96 miles long and 17 miles wide
  • Population: Approximately 51,756

ACCOMMODATIONS

Old Bahama Bay – Old Bahama Bay is a colorful resort tucked away on the West End of the island making it a favorite amongst celebrities. It features 73 spacious beachfront suites, a full service marina, an oceanfront pool and a variety of on-site dining. www.oldbahamabay.com

Lighthouse Point at Grand Lucayan – Luxury meets affordability at this blended, beachside property that offers the best of both hotel-only and all-inclusive experiences. Guests can unwind at the oceanfront spa and fitness center, enjoy a round of golf on the18-hole Reef Golf Course or indulge in international cuisine at a wide variety of restaurants. www.grandlucayan.com

Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach – This tropical, all-inclusive resort makes for the perfect getaway. From outdoor activities and excursions to on-site fun and entertainment, Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach is dedicated to providing guests with cultivated experiences. www.vivafortunaresort.com 

Pelican Bay Hotel – A tropical oasis set against colorful Bahamian architecture, towering palms and the stunning Bell Channel Bay, Pelican Bay Hotel invites you to the heart of Port Lucaya. Offering exceptional service and hospitality, Pelican Bay is a true Bahamian treasure for business and leisure guests, as well as groups and events. www.pelicanbayhotel.com

ACTIVITIES

Vacationers flock to Freeport to experience world-class water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, bonefishing, sport fishing, kayaking, parasailing and boating. Horseback riding, golfing, tennis and cricket are also popular activities on the island.

Blue Green Outdoors Snorkel/Kayak Tour – Spend the day kayaking off a secluded beach on the open sheltered sea of the East End. Swim or snorkel the mystifying blue hole and experience a variety of underwater life including tropical fish and starfish.

www.bluegreenoutdoors.com   

West End Ecology Tours – If you enjoy the path less traveled, this tour at Sandy Cay on the West End is exactly what you are looking for. Hand feed wild stingrays and meet the largest stingray, "Big Brownie". Then snorkel a sunken boat wreck or abundant reef teeming with fish. www.westendecologytours.com

Jeep Safari Tour with Grand Bahama Nature Tours – Drive your own 4 x 4 open-top Jeep in a convoy led by an experienced island guide. Travel on and off road through the pine forest and along a scenic coastal road. The adventure also includes a visit to Lucayan National Park where you can enjoy a walk through several ecosystems, see Lucayan caves and enjoy lunch at Freeport’s botanical garden known as Garden of the Groves. www.grandbahamanaturetours.com

POINTS OF INTEREST

Port Lucaya Marketplace – This lively marketplace is bursting with more than 40 local shops and boutiques, and a variety of restaurants and bars.

Gold Rock Beach – Located 25 miles from Freeport within Lucayan National Park, this beautiful secluded beach is often referred to as “The Welcome Mat of Freeport”.

Lucayan National Park – This stunning 40-acre national park has one of the largest underwater cave systems in the world. Slip away to the Gold Rock Beach for a secluded, low-tide experience.

The Bahamas Arts & Crafts Straw Market – Locally made jewelry, artwork and colorful handicrafts constructed from straw and wood can be found here.

INTRIGUING FACTS

  • Spanish conquerors gave the island the name “Gran Bajamar”, meaning great shallows
  • Of all the 700 islands and cays, Freeport has the second-highest number of native bird species
  • Freeport is home to one of the largest man-made harbors in the world

AIRLINE SERVICES

Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) serves as the main airport for Freeport departures and arrivals.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • U.S. currency is accepted and is interchangeable with the Bahamian dollar.
  • Year-round temperatures range from 68 to 86 degrees during the day and 62 to 70 degrees at night. 
  • Seawater temperature ranges from 73 degrees in February to 82 degrees in August. 
  • The entry requirement for U.S. and Canadian residents is proof of citizenship, in the form of a passport.  All U.S. citizens and foreign nationals traveling to the United States from The Bahamas, are required to present a valid passport or another secure document accepted by United States Customs and Border Protection.

ABOUT THE BAHAMAS

With over 700 islands and cays, and 16 unique island destinations, The Bahamas lies just 55 miles off the coast of Florida offering an easy fly away escape that transports travelers away from their everyday. The Islands of The Bahamas have world-class fishing, diving, boating and thousands of miles of the earth’s most spectacular water and beaches waiting for families, couples and adventurers. Explore all the islands have to offer at www.bahamas.com or on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram to see why It’s Better in The Bahamas.

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PRESS INQUIRIES

Anita Johnson-Patty
General Manager, Global Communications
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation
ajohnson@bahamas.com 

Weber Shandwick
Public Relations
Bahamas@webershandwick.com