Ultimate Harbour Island Bahamas Guide: Discovering the Hidden Gems of Dunmore Town and Pink Sands Beach

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Curated By

Joana McKenna

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  • Bahamas

  • Beaches

  • Boutique Travel

  • Couples Travel

  • Island

  • Romantic

  • Gourmet

Beach on a sunny day
Curator’s statement

Harbour Island in the Bahamas holds a special place in my heart as a sanctuary where the serene embrace of the Caribbean meets the charm of colonial history. Dunmore Town, with its pastel-colored facades and friendly locals, offers a time capsule experience, while the famous Pink Sands Beach provides a unique natural spectacle that delights all who visit. As a curator of this guide, I am thrilled to share the island’s secluded coves, world-class dining and boutique lodgings that make it a true gem. Each recommendation is a story, each hidden spot a personal discovery, all waiting to make your visit as unforgettable as my own journeys have been.

The Fora Difference

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Harbour Island

Coral Sands Hotel

Choose from a beachfront cottage or hilltop suite at this laid-back island escape with one of the island’s best restaurants.

Fora Perks
  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability

  • Daily Continental Breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom

  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit utilized during stay

Pink Sands Resort

Relaxed beachfront hotel with breezy rooms, cottages and villas.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Dunmore Hotel

Nautical style hotel with a beautiful beach club and clubhouse dining for a quiet, relaxing holiday in the Bahamas.

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Things to do in Harbour Island

A leafless tree in water at beach.

Embark on an unforgettable adventure in Harbour Island, Bahamas, where the allure of the famed Pink Sands Beach awaits with its unique blush-tinted shores perfect for snorkeling and sunrise strolls. Don't miss the opportunity for an authentic Bahamian dining experience at The Landing Restaurant, renowned for its fresh seafood and international fusion dishes. For a casual beachside setting, Sip Sip is the go-to spot for delectable lobster quesadillas paired with the island's signature rum punches.

For the more active traveler, horseback riding along the serene beaches offers a tranquil yet exhilarating experience, while scuba diving at Current Cut provides an adrenaline-pumping encounter with the vibrant marine life in one of the world's top drift dives. Step back in time with a cultural exploration of Dunmore Town, where the colonial architecture tells the story of the island's rich heritage, and peruse the Straw Market for exquisite handwoven Bahamian crafts.

Luxury seekers will find solace at Coral Sands Hotel, which boasts elegant accommodations and private access to the island's most famous beach. Alternatively, Valentines Resort and Marina caters to both the nautical traveler and those looking to indulge in the opulence of island life. As you traverse the island, renting a golf cart is highly recommended for navigating the narrow lanes and discovering hidden gems at your leisure, offering a charming and eco-friendly way to explore.

For more detailed information and to plan your trip, consider visiting the official Bahamas tourism website, which offers a wealth of resources for travelers.

Day Trips

While Harbour Island itself is a slice of paradise, venturing out on a day trip can enrich your Bahamian adventure. A must-visit is Eleuthera, Harbour Island's sister island, known for its pink sand beaches and the Glass Window Bridge, a narrow isthmus where the dark blue Atlantic meets the turquoise Bahamian Sea. Check out Eleuthera Tours for guided experiences.

Another highly recommended excursion is a boat trip to the nearby Spanish Wells, a small fishing village with a laid-back charm and some of the most impressive snorkeling spots, where the vibrant coral reefs teem with marine life. For bookings, Spanish Wells Bahamas offers a variety of options.

For the more adventurous, charter a boat for deep-sea fishing or scuba diving excursions into the deeper waters around Harbour Island. The Devil's Backbone, a notorious reef, is an excellent dive site for those looking to explore underwater shipwrecks. Local operators like Valentine's Dive Center are known for their expert guides and equipment.

Each day trip offers a unique perspective of the Bahamas, from serene natural beauty to exhilarating underwater explorations, adding layers of discovery to your Harbour Island retreat. Be sure to plan and book these excursions in advance, as they are popular additions to any traveler's itinerary.

Places to eat & drink in Harbour Island

Cinnamon rolls with icing.

Start your day on Harbour Island with the delightful aromas of freshly baked goods from Arthur’s Bakery. Renowned for its cinnamon rolls and friendly service, it's the perfect spot for breakfast. For the coffee connoisseurs, Bahamas Coffee Roaster offers a chance to savor local Bahamian blends in a cozy setting.

For lunch, dive into the fresh, vibrant flavors of the sea at Queen Conch. Their conch salad is a local legend, prepared right before your eyes. When evening comes, The Dunmore invites you to dine beachfront with gourmet dishes that celebrate the richness of local produce and seafood. Alternatively, the Rock House Restaurant is the ideal setting for a romantic dinner, with its elegant fusion of international and Bahamian cuisine complemented by stunning harbor views.

No culinary tour is complete without sampling the innovative cocktails at Beyond the Reef, which doubles as a superb seafood eatery. As the sun sets, head over to Gusty’s for a laid-back night out, where the rum punches and the sandy floors create an authentic island bar atmosphere.

For a casual bite, Cocoa Coffee House is your haven for smoothies, sandwiches, and a quick caffeine fix, all crafted with the freshest ingredients. And if you're seeking a truly local dining experience, A&A Hidden Treasures offers homemade Bahamian dishes in a warm, family-run environment.

Each of these destinations provides a taste of Harbour Island's diverse culinary landscape, from the casual to the refined. Be sure to explore the Harbour Island Tourism Board's website (for more delectable recommendations and details on where to dine during your stay).

Need to Know

In your exploration of Harbour Island in the Bahamas, immerse yourself in the vibrant Bahamian culture by participating in local events and festivals, with the Junkanoo Parade being a highlight. This colorful, energetic celebration, typically held around Christmas and New Year, is a dazzling display of local customs and a not-to-be-missed experience.

As a responsible traveler, embrace the beauty of Harbour Island with a mindful approach to sustainability and conservation. Engage in eco-friendly activities and support businesses that are committed to preserving the island's natural splendor. This consideration ensures that the pristine beaches and lush landscapes remain unspoiled for future generations.

Health and safety are paramount. Before embarking on your journey, check the latest travel advisories and health guidelines. Ensure you have adequate travel insurance and familiarize yourself with local healthcare facilities, ensuring a worry-free stay.

Delve deeper into the Bahamian palate by sampling street food and local delicacies beyond the recommended eateries. Conch, a local staple, offers a taste of the island's culinary heritage and can be enjoyed in various forms - from savory fritters to refreshing salads.

Connecting with locals can transform your travel experience, offering insights and stories that enrich your understanding of Harbour Island. The Bahamian people are known for their warm hospitality, and engaging with them can add an invaluable layer to your adventure.

Harbour Island's picturesque landscapes are a photographer's dream. While capturing these memories, remember to be respectful of people's privacy and mindful of preserving the natural environment.

Packing for Harbour Island means preparing for its laid-back, tropical climate. Casual beachwear, sun protection, comfortable walking shoes, and a light jacket for cooler evenings are essentials.

Lastly, staying connected is crucial for many travelers. Familiarize yourself with the availability of WiFi and mobile services on the island, especially if you need to stay in touch with the world beyond this tranquil paradise.

By incorporating these additional insights into your Fora Travel guide, you're not just planning a trip; you're preparing for an experience that balances adventure with cultural immersion, responsibility, and personal growth.

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Elizabeth Kaczka’s guide, A Romantic Relaxing Guide to the Bahamas.

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Bahamas.

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Travel Advisor

Joana McKenna

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Bahamas.