The Seychelles are an archipelago of 115 islands located offshore of Tanzania, and north of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Before you assume these islands are super laid back, there are a few things to know.
While immigration is strict in Seychelles. You can't just visit this island nation off the cuff to become a beach bum with no plans of where you're staying and plan to wonder around where you wish.
To be able to clear immigration at the airport, you should have following ready to show:
Visas are not required for stays up to 30 days for travelers from over 100 countries. Duration of stay in the Seychelles can be increased in 3 month blocks by applying to the Department of Immigration.
In addition to documentation forms, Seychelles immigration officials will carefully monitor what you bring into the country. What can you carry onto islands? Most personal items are allowed, as are 250g tobacco, 1 litre wine and 125 ml perfume. Drugs, including narcotics, and weapons of any kind are not allowed.
Money might also present an interesting issue in Seychelles. The main bank is Barclays, and while ATMs are plentiful, many bank cards from other countries will not work on the islands. You will get only Seychelles rupees if you withdraw cash from such machines. Also, you might get hit with serious bank fees.
Oddly enough, the rupees you will get from ATMs are somewhat useless. You can use them in certain shops and restaurants or for transport by bus or taxi, but not for much else. It is the law in the Seychelles that tourists pay for hotels -- including meals and drinks had there -- with cash in the form of major foreign currency or credit card.
Many activities and attractions, car rental companies and car services also fall under this rule. The Euro is the most widely-accepted foreign currency, and you will see prices listed in both Euros and US dollars. Also, you can bargain down prices if you use euros in certain places, like small hotels. The United States Dollar is also acceptable, but not as favoured as the Euro.
If exchanging currencies, do it at a bank, authorised money dealers, or with your hotel cashier. It is a criminal offence to change money with any person or business other than those authorised to do so and who are mentioned above.
Now that the cash thing's sorted, know this: the Seychelles can be expensive. You will probably spend no less than $100 a day while there, and that's only if you stay in cheap accommodations. A mid-range hotel is closer to $150 and resorts are $250 or more. Meals out are usually more than $20 per person, but guesthouses often offer breakfast and lunch included in the price. Eating wise, you can save money if you don't stick to your hotel.
There are some reports that shops, restaurants and bars will charge foreigners more money than locals. Remember that you can bargain if you use euros, so you might be able to cut a deal every once in a while. Excursions and activities cost a lot, too, so plan your daily outings accordingly.
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