Caribbean Tourism

The Family Islands

San Salvador

San Salvador is famous for being the probable site of Columbus’ first landing in the New World in 1492. Nowadays it is also noted for its reefs, beautiful bays, creeks and lakes. Fishing, diving and sailing are all popular. There are shallow reefs, walls, corals and several wrecks to interest scuba divers and underwater life here is said to be some of the...

Rum Cay

Some 35 miles south of San Salvador, this small island is approximately 20 miles square. First known as Mamana by the Lucayan Indians, the cay was later renamed Santa María de la Concepción by Columbus. Spanish explorers once found a lone rum keg washed up on a shore and changed the name again to Rum Cay (pop: 53 1990 census). In the north there is an...

Mayaguana

Mayaguana (an Arawak name), located 50 miles east of Acklins and 60 miles north of Inagua, is the least developed and most isolated of the Family Islands although there are now three Bahamasair flights a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) from Nassau, via Inagua. The main settlement is Abraham’s Bay, a small town with a few shops and one bar/restaurant run...

Long Island

Long Island lies southeast of Little Exuma and is 57 miles long and four miles across at its widest. Columbus made a stop here and changed its name from the Arawak name Yuma to Fernandina, after Ferdinand, the King of Spain. The island has a variety of communities from different ethnic backgrounds, from Europe, Africa and North America. Most islanders live...

Inagua

Inagua (Great and Little), is the most southerly of the Bahamas Islands and the third largest. Little Inagua is uninhabited now, but the 49-square mile island is reputed to hide the treasure of Henri Christophe, one-time ruler of Haiti. On a clear day, Great Inagua is visible from both Cuba and Haiti. Vegetation is sparse because of low rainfall, the...

The Cays

Staniel Cay: Staniel Cay has excellent beaches with a half mile of sand dunes on the ocean side of the cay and good watersports facilities. Staniel Cay Yacht Club and Happy People Marina have dockage, water and restaurants, but beware of bad weather. On Staniel Cay during Bahamian Independence Day weekend on 10 July, there is a bonefishing festival,...

The Exumas

The chain of 365 Exuma cays and islands, stretches for 90 miles although the majority of the inhabitants live on Great Exuma and Little Exuma at the south end. Great Exuma is long and narrow, covered with scrub and dry woodland. The soil is pitifully thin but there are aromatic shrubs, curly-tailed lizards and songbirds and a few wild peacocks. Around the...

Spanish Wells

On St George’s Cay, an island off the north of Eleuthera (a short ferry ride), Spanish Wells, (pop: 1,372 1990 census) gets its name from the use of the cay by Spanish ships as a water supply. One and three quarter miles long and half a mile wide, until the hurricane disaster of 1992 it was reputed to have the highest per capita income of the Bahamas...

Harbour Island

Harbour Island, (pop: 1,219 1990 census) is the most desirable place to stay in North Eleuthera. From the airport it is a quick taxi ride, US$3 per person, to the dock and from there water taxis wait to take passengers on a 10-minute ride to the island (US$4 per person one-way or US$8 for only one person). Taxis from the harbour to most resorts cost US$3...

Eleuthera

Eleuthera, (pop: 7,993 1990 census) is 110 miles long but thin, two miles at its widest and only the width of a car at its narrowest. It has lovely pink sand beaches, particularly on the Atlantic side, coves and cliffs. This was the first permanent settlement in the Bahamas when Eleutheran Adventurers came from Bermuda and American colonial loyalists fled...

Crooked Island

Crooked Island, (pop: 412) Acklins, (pop: 405 1990 census). Crooked Island, Long Cay and Acklins comprise Crooked Island District, stretching three sides round the Bight of Acklins and bordered by 45 miles of treacherous barrier reef. At Crooked Island Passage, coral reefs can be found in very shallow water, falling sharply in walls housing sponges of every...

Cat Island

Named after Arthur Catt, a British pirate who was in league with Henry Morgan and Edward Teach (Blackbeard), Cat Island, (pop: 1,698 1990 census) boasts Lucayan Indian caves near Port Howe, as well as the usual underwater sites of interest and beauty. Fifty miles long, it was once called San Salvador, and is a contender for the site of Columbus’ first...

Bimini

Once thought to be the site of the lost city of Atlantis, the Bimini, (pop: 1,639 1990 census) chain of islands, only 50 miles from Florida, is divided into North and South Bimini and a series of cays. There are more bars than shops on Bimini and service is minimal. It is not a glamorous resort, although there are plenty of luxury yachts moored there. The...

Berry Islands

There are thirty Berry Islands, all of which offer wonderful opportunities for divers and snorkellers. Most are the private homes of the wealthy or inhabited only by wildlife. Bullock’s Harbour in Great Harbour Cay is the main settlement in the area, Great Harbour Cay is the largest cay in the Berry chain at just two miles across. First settled by ex-slaves...

Andros

Andros, (pop: 8,187 1990 census), is the largest island in the Bahamas, with pine and mahogany forests, creeks and prolific birdlife. According to Indian legend, the forests house the ‘chickcharnie’, a mythical, three-fingered, three-toed, red-eyed creature who hangs upside down and can cause good or bad luck. It is also blamed when tools or other things go...