Things to Do in Eleuthera, Bahamas
My love for The Bahamas, particularly Eleuthera, is personal – the house where my maternal grandfather was born, on Pine Street in Governor’s Harbour, still stands, and I grew up visiting Nassau and Eleuthera (when you could still travel there with just a birth certificate). I proposed to my wife on family land in Eleuthera and can’t wait to show the kids this part of their ancestry. While you can certainly stay in style (think: the pink-sand resorts of Harbour Island), the greatest luxury lies in having that postcard-picture beach to yourself (yes, this still is possible here!).
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Where to stay in Eleuthera, Bahamas
You’ll lounge on both Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea beaches at this welcoming condo resort.
From the two-mile-long pink sand beach to the fun-loving beachfront bar, this is the quintessential laid back sunshine escape.
The dream spot for group trips, there are just 12 rooms in three colorful buildings, plus a gorgeous private beach.
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Things to do in Eleuthera, Bahamas
In contrast to the well charted capital of Nassau, Eleuthera and other “out islands” can often feel like the land that time forgot.
Firstly: beg, borrow or steal a copy of The Elusive Beaches of Eleuthera. Second, book your rental car through one of the many local residents that do so out of Governor’s Harbour airport (tell Stanton or Butch we say hello!). Third: find your freedom.
The name “Eleuthera” comes from the Greek word for “freedom,” and while the original shipwrecked settlers were seeking religious liberty, today’s traveler is more apt to seek freedom from screens, Zooms, and to-dos of all kinds. This is a place where time slows down; three days feels like a week, a week like a month.
Of all the gorgeous beaches that Eleuthera has to offer, Lighthouse Beach is a hidden gem you’re going to want to see. I will warn you though, the journey is not for everyone, and that’s part of Lighthouse Beach’s appeal. To get there, you must travel along a long, dirt road, lined with unforgiving potholes. It’s located in South Eleuthera, at the southernmost tip of the island. Its pink sand and stunning, clear blue water will be sure to have you in awe. Be sure to bring snorkeling gear and some snacks.
In North Eleuthera, check out the Sapphire Blue Hole. Eleuthera is home to many sinkholes, but the Sapphire Blue Hole is the most acclaimed. Said to have healing powers, take a swim in the seemingly bottomless geological phenomenon. If you’re in South Eleuthera, Ocean Hole at Rock Sound is another impressive sinkhole worth checking out.
Eleuthera is among the world’s top bonefishing destinations, and your hotel can help match you with a local guide based on your experience level. Speaking of guides, with an experienced one you’ll also want to swim, snorkel or dive the Current Cut, about two thirds of a mile long, and one of the world’s fastest drift dives.
A note from Brian
The "island called Freedom" is 110 miles long, barely one mile wide, and the highest elevation (at Glass Window Bridge in Gregory Town) is 200 feet above sea level. It's essentially a giant sand bar with world-class beaches that are relatively unknown. Check out the natural pools called Queen’s Bath nearby for a refreshing dip.
Places to eat & drink in Eleuthera, Bahamas
Tippy’s: Part of Pineapple Fields hotel, the beachside Tippy’s has been a mainstay on Banks Road for nearly two decades.
Cocodimama: Eleuthera is not much for white tablecloths – this is about as formal as it gets, which is still very relaxed, beachfront dining.
Local homes: Part of the fun of Eleuthera is driving the main road (yes there is one) and spotting “lunch” signs in driveways. That means you can pull in, knock on the back or side door and find out what the owner is cooking today: fried chicken, peas and rice, mac and cheese, coleslaw, and more.
Need to Know
Pack easy slip-on / off shoes - you’ll be removing them much more than you’re used to.
Don’t tip (except if you have a private guide). And if you do, don’t pass cash hand to hand. Present it in an envelope held with two hands and a bow of approximately 30 degrees. Voila!
These are just a couple of the tips I offer in my pre-travel etiquette guide.
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