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The Islands of The Bahamas

Directory Accommdations & Resources


The Islands of

I

sland Scene is pleased to present The Islands of The Bahamas Accommodations & Resources Directory, a comprehensive listing of places to stay and things to do in Nassau/Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island and the Out Islands. This directory has been compiled to include island-by island listings of accommodations and resources that are unique to each destination. From resorts to inns, and restaurants to shopping, this section of Island Scene is a convenient source of information to assist you with planning your next vacation. Each island offers visitors excellent opportunities for snorkeling, diving, fishing, boating, romance and relaxation. Whether you prefer to lounge in a hammock, play a round of golf, spin the roulette wheel or enjoy the warm Bahamian water, The Islands of the Bahamas have a little something for everyone. To learn more about each destination and traveling to The Bahamas, go online to www.bahamas.com


The Bahamas


Abaco The Sea Beyond Compare

I

n a sparkling acqumarine sea just east of Grand Bahama Island lies the crescent

necklace of Great Abaco, two verdant islands surrounded by dusters of timy, quiet cays. It;s a place of balmy breezes and unhurried beauty whose naturally protected waters draw yatchmen from around the globe. So much so that Abaco is often called the “Sailing Capital of the World.”

With the wind in your sailes, the salty air in your throat, the brilliant sunshine on

your back, sailing the channels of the Abaco’s is a succession of unforgettable experiences. From the powder-soft beaches and quaint settlements of Walker’s Cay in the north, past the busy hub of Marsh Harbour, and on another hundred miles south to the great barrier reef at Cherokee Sound and the lighthouse at Hole-In-The Wall, each island, cove and cay offers its own special charms. Some of these ports-of-calls echo small, sleepy Nerw England fishing villages with their colourful clapboard houses, cozy cottages and worn, narrow streets, an atmosphere brought by the British Loyalists who first settled these cays in the late 1700’s. There are many excellent marinas along the way which offer every amenity imaginable to the boats docked at their slips. You’ll see exclusive private clubs on cays by themselves and sail to other cays that are totally uninhabited. Silent, out-of-the way places where you can drop anchor and linger undisturbed for a night or a month, however long you can stay. Your exploration of The Abacos might begin at the northernmost of these islands where you’ll find the charming harbour of Walker’s Cay, the protected anchorages of the Grand Cays and their splendid beaches and superb snorkeling, deep-sea diving and fishing grounds. On Little Abaco, a short sail south, at the tiny picturesque settlements of Crown Haven and Fox Town.


Abaco Reaching the the northern tip of Great Abaco (the second largest island in The Bahamas and one cay dwellers

Sailing on you will discover Treasure Cay Beach Resort and Marina, a luxury development that’s home of

refer to as the “mainland”), you’ll pass the settlements of Cedar Harbour and cooper’s Town, where you can dock

the five most beautiful beaches in the world, an 18-hole, 72par championship golf course and modern marina. Here you

for supplies. From Cooper’s Town you also have the option of

can visit the post office, shop, arrange for daily snorkel trips, scuba dives and fishing charters. You may also want

driving south by road past low, rolling hillocks topped with stands of feathery, casuarina pines and grove upon grove

to hike the two miles to Carlton Point, the authentic site where British Loyalists fleeing the newly independant

of Valencia orange trees. All settlements on this 80-mile isle and its many surrounding cays are reachable by road

United States established Abaco’s first settlement in 1783. Fifteen minutes away by water-taxi is historic

or ferry and are a joy to explore.

NewPlymouthon Green Turtle Cay. In this buoyant

On Abaco, sailing is only the beginning


Abaco fishing village, the old world charm of the Loyalists is visible everywhere.You'll see it in the tidy rows of

The harbour is easy to enter and sheltered from strong westerly winds. The marinas are filled

pastel pink, blue and green salt-box houses hemmed by white picket fences; in the artifacts, paintings and

with deep-sea fishing boats, speed boats and all manner of sailboats, yachts,catamarans and sloops.

model ships of the Albert Lowe Museum; in the thirty Bahamian visages sculpted to represent each differ-

At Sunsail you can hire an excellent fishing guide, take a sailing course, ren tbareboats or hire

ent island at the Memorial Sculpture Garden; in the lacy fretwork of the mid -19th century New Ply-

boats with or without captain and crew. Beneath swaying palms and an ever-blue sky

mouth Inn; and, yes, even in Miss Emilie's happy Blue Bee Bar, where there's no shortage of friendly

you'll shop Marsh Harbour's modern department stores, hardware stores and fresh-produce groceries.

smiles and the best Goombay Smash in all the islands!

Sort through souvenirs tands jammed with locally made crafts and keepsakes. Go to the bank, the

Strolling Green Turtle Cay's pathways, you'll hear children spelling in unison in aone-room school-

beauty shop. Sip a Goombay Smash under a beach umbrella. Taste your first conch (pronounced "conk")

house. Spot goats and roosters running through thick

fritter, Bahamian turtle steak or wild boar. There's

clusters of croton and hibiscus.

also a good chance one moonlit night will find you

But in June, these gentle rhythms change when the cay is flushed with the excitement of The Green

savouring the fare of a gourmet chef and, much later, dancing to the irresistible rhythms of an island band.

Turtle Yacht Club's annual Invitational Fishing Tournament, and in July, its famous Regatta.

Overnight guests may choose to stay in one of Marsh Harbour's plush hotels or beachfront

Pivotal to everything in The Abacos is Marsh Harbour, the bustling commercial hub and boating

villas. These are sure to soothe your senses with their manicured gardens, health spas, tennis courts,

center on the "mainland.� Marsh Harbour carries with it the air of a colonial frontier town, but one

swimming pools and stunning white-sand beaches. And, of course,there are always Marsh Harbour's

stroll around reveals this sun drenched settlement is very much otherwise.

shaded clapboard cottages and town houses for rent, many with housekeeping services.


Abaco

The transparent waters surrounding Marsh

Its low-key Guana Beach Resort has rooms for overnight

Harbour as well as Walker's Cay, Treasure Cay and other locations in the Abacos are ideal for

guests and a fine marina. The watersports centre where scuba divers can arrange to swim with dolphins is also on

dedicated dive vacations, too. Each year hundreds of visitors sign up for a guided scuba diving experi-

Great Guana Cay in an area called Treasure Island. Tranquil and unspoiled, this is by far one of the nicest beaches in

ence or a certification course. These explorations take you to an underwater world of well-formed, vibrant coral

The Bahamas and a hideaway known to few outsiders. Across from Marsh Harbour is Man-O-War Cay,

patches teeming with marine life and etched with exciting caverns, tunnels and ledges. Many of these reefs are

another settlement that will take you back in time. Famous for its master ship building for well over 200 years, this

located within the boundaries of nationally sanctioned marine preserves and are officially protected against

industrious little cay still rings with the sound and feel of colonial days despite its tall palms and tropical breezes. Life

spearfishing or fish capture. The modest airport at Marsh Harbour accommodates

is so peaceful here that there are no police, no jails. What's more, if you stay long enough, you can watch craftsmen

incoming and outgoing passenge from Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas, on regularly scheduled flights via

hand-build an entire boat without plans in a tradition that has been passed down for centuries.

Bahamasair as well as direct flights from South Florida. (Another way to reach Abaco, if you have the time and an

Hope Town, in the crook of Elbow Cay, also lies off Marsh Harbour and is one of the most popular excursions

adventurous inclination, is by Bahamian mailboat.) Incoming flights, incidentally, are also a signal to watch for ferries

of all. In this picturesque village of clapboard and salt-box houses, profusions of purple and orange bougainvillea and

outbound to settlements on the many surrounding cays. Great Guana Cay is one excursion to make by ferry if

other blossoms tumble over the stone and picket fences. You can smell the aromas of fresh bread baking, hear the

you're in the mood for a quiet, isolated beach that's brushed with grassy sand dunes and lapped by electric blue waters.

echoes of old Cockney voices, shop in "shoppes," or follow narrow, winding streets down to gorgeous stretches of


Abaco

empty beaches. At Harbour's Edge restaurant on Elbow

beyond this you'll enter Abaco National Park, a rich forest

Cay, you'll have a perfect view of the boat-packed harbour and the famous peppermint-striped lighthouse. Looking out

preserve that sprawls over 20,500 acres. Thick with feathery casuarina pines, flowering plants,

on all this serenity, you'll find itimpossible to believe that people here once made a living by looting wrecked ships.

mangrove swamps and tall tropical trees, this quiet ecosystem gives cover to scores of wild animals and exotic birds.

As the story goes,"wreckers" used to shine a light to boats drawing them on to these rocks.T he boats would wreck,

This is the protected habitat of the endangered Bahama Parrot (a brilliant blue and yellow-winged, ground-nesting

sink, and they would swim out to steal whatever was salvageable on the ship. It's true, too, because the proof is

species), the rare reddish egret, pelicans, humming-birds, spoonbills and blue herons. On a very lucky day, you may

all there in the Wyannie Malone Historical Museum. ElbowCay also happens to be one of Abaco's many superb

evencome upon a wild boar straying in from the remote game region of the forest

deep-sea fishing grounds. At Easter, HopeTown and Walker's Cay host their annual Anglers Fishing Tournament,

Reaching the southeast point of Great Abaco you’ll discover a long, natural perforation of rock known to

a 20-day event in which anglers will reel in everything from marlin, wahoo, sail fish and dolphin to kingfish, bonefish,

seamen as the “Hole- In- The-Wall:’ Above it towers a major navigational lighthouse faithfully keeping its vigil on

tuna and barracuda. Back on Great Abaco, there's another whole region to

ships out in the distant, ever-changing sea. Through every turn of your sails and travels, you’ll be

explore in the deep woodlands further south. Driving by car, you'll see glimpses of local life; women strolling along quiet

charmed and astonished by the warmth of Abaco’s people. Cheery, helpful and always ready to lift your spirits, these

lanes balancing trays of fruits and vegetables on their heads, goats grazing by the roadside. You'll pass the settle-

gentle islanders know the secret of making you feel at home and welcome in their small corner of paradise. In

ment of Crossing Rocks and the fork that leads to Casuarinas Point, one of Abaco's most sybaritic resorts. Not far

fact, for however long you stay, you’ll find yourself enchanted by the mesmerizing isles of Abaco.


Abaco City/Settlements:

Airline Service:

Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay on Great Abaco with others on neighboring cays: Green Turtle Cay, Elbow Cay, Guana Cay, ManO-War Cay, White Sound

About 175 miles east of Palm Beach and 106 miles north of Nassau, Abaco can be reached by a number of airlines from South Florida:

Location:

About 175 miles east of Palm Beach and 106 miles north of Nassau

Bahamasair (800-222-4262),

Size:

Area of 650 square miles

Population:

Approximately 14,000

American Eagle (800-433-7300),

Continental Connection (800-525-0280),

History: The Abacos remained largely unexplored until the late 18th century. The first known settlers on Abaco were British Loyalists who left the United States after the American Revolution. Six hundred of these refugees founded the first settlement, Carleton, on Great Abaco. For this reason, the Loyalist heritage of Abaco remains strong to this day, with some of its residents even having opposed Bahamian independence.

Twin Air (954-359-8266) and US Airways (800-428-4322) The following airlines serve Abaco from Nassau: Bahamasair (800-222-4262), Cat Island Air (242-377-3318), Southern Air (242-377-2014)

A range of accommodation options in Abaco include:

Shopping: Marsh Harbour has a variety of stores for most every need, with many shops located along the waterfront on Bay Street. Additionally, the small village of Treasure Cay offers a quaint variety of shopping opportunities, including local crafts and jewelry. Activities:

Treasure Cay Hotel Resort & Marina (800-327-1584), Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour (800-468-4799), Abaco Inn (242-366-0133), Bluff House Beach Hotel (800-745-4911), Green Turtle Cay Club and Marina (866-528-0539), Hope Town Harbour Lodge (866-611-9791),

The Abacos offer a number of beautiful beaches, suitable both for relaxing, as well as for water sports. Birding is a popular activity for vacationers to Abaco, which has been described as a “birdwatcher’s paradise.” Opportunities abound for golf, first-rate snorkeling, diving and other water sports. Abaco’s fishing is superb, especially in such places as Walker’s Cay, Marsh Harbour, Treasure Cay and Green Turtle Cay, where fishermen come to participate in summer tournaments. Deep-sea fishing is easily accessible just a short boat ride from the cays. Of particular interest is Abaco’s annual Boating Regatta in July and the Goombay Summer Festival, which features native music, food, dance and arts and crafts from June through August.

Bahama Beach Club Resort (800-284-0382), Orchid Bay Yacht Club & Marina (242-365-5175) and The Abaco Club at Winding Bay (888-303-2765)

Attractions: Loyalist Memorial Sculpture Garden:

This garden serves as a monumental tribute to those who played a significant role in the history of The Abacos — the Loyalists and their slaves, who made a new life for themselves


Abaco in The Bahamas upon their arrival to Abaco. The garden contains 24 busts of prominent Bahamians (representing different Bahamian islands), surrounding the life-size bronze figures of two girls, one black and one white.

limestone arch that juts out from a seaside cliff and plunges into the sea. Included in this area is 5,000 acres of forest – the nesting area and habitat of the Abaco Parrot. Wild Barbary Horses of Abaco:

Hope Town Lighthouse: The British Imperial Lighthouse Service built this lighthouse to mark the Elbow Reef during the 1860s. Hope Towners at the time resented this and opposed the project, as they saw it as a threat to their wrecking trade. Despite this opposition, the candystriped lighthouse at Hope Town went into operation in 1863. Today, it is one of only two remaining beacons saved from automation. Local residents go to great lengths to secure the parts for the kerosene-burning apparatus.

Pelican Cays Land & Sea Park: Located eight miles north of Cherokee Sound, Great Abaco, this 2,100 acre land and sea area contains beautiful undersea caves, extensive coral reefs and an array of terrestrial plants and animals. The park is accessible by boat only. The Albert Lowe Museum: The Albert Lowe Museum was the brainchild of Bahamian artist Alton R. Lowe, a native of Green Turtle Cay, and was named in honor of his father, a well-known carver of ship models. The museum is located in a restored Victorian-era family home, which is over 100 years old. It was established to preserve the unique history and development of Abaco from the time of the Loyalists. Displays include model ships carved by Albert Lowe, various historical artifacts, photographs, paintings, writings and other exhibits.

Abaco National Park: The Abaco National Park comprises 20,500 acres in Southern Abaco, near the Hole In The Wall. This best known landmark at the southern end of Great Abaco Island is a natural

The Bahamian government recently granted a more than 3,800 acre preserve and conservation area for the endangered Wild Barbary Horses of Abaco, or “Abaco Barbs.” These horses have a lineage that traces back to Spanish Colonial times, with their origins on the Barbary Coast of North Africa. Other Information: U.S. currency is accepted and is interchangeable with the Bahamian dollar. In September through May, the temperature on the Island averages 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit; the rest of the year is warmer, with temperatures between 80 and 85 degrees. Nighttime temperatures are generally cooler by 5-7 degrees. The entry requirement for U.S. and Canadian residents is proof of citizenship, in the form of either a passport or an original, raised-seal birth certificate and a photo ID (e.g. a valid driver’s license). 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, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States. For more information please visit Bahamas.com.


Andros

O

n andros fishermen wade out to the best bone-

fishing flats in the world to make their catch. Deep-sea anglers gaff marlin, grouper, yellowtail and snapper. Farmers harvest wide fields and orchards. Hunters stalk dark hardwood forests for quail, duck, marsh hen and partridge. Divers plunge freshwater blue holes 200-feet deep. Artisans dye batiks. And sponge fishermen spread out their hoists to dry beneth a blazing sun. This is Andros, the largest of all the islands in The Bahamas and the nation’s farming and freshwater heartland. Yet for all its industry, life moves at a leisurely pace in the settlements along its 100-mile channel and bight-filled length.


Andros On Andros, there is always time to show visitors at the Village of Red Bays; to point out a soaring blue heron; and to warn you about disturbing the impish Chickcharnies, the creatires of local folklore who can bestow happiness or heartache at will. Andros has many expert guides who will gladly take you out to their superb fishing, hunting and

City/Settlement: Andros Town/Nicholl’s Town, Congo Town Location:

170 miles southeast of Miami and 30 miles west of Nassau

Size:

2,300 square miles

Population:

Approximately 10,000

History: The Androsians’ origins are believed to date back to the

diving grounds. For divers and oceanic photographers, few thrills compare with the coral and sun-filled underwater tunnellof Turnbull’s Gut, the 1200-foot deep stalaclites and stalagmites of Benjamin’s Blue Hole; or gliding “over the wall” of Andros Barrier Reef to see where it plunges into the 6000-foot Tongue of the Ocean. If you’re among those who visit the island each year, you’ll step into a way of life and soon feel as if you’ve always lived here. Just wait for the weekly mailboat to arrive. Like everyone else you’ll be out on the dock to see what’s arriving, hear what’s new and, if you’re around long enough, have your own tale to tell about a mischevious, little Chickcharlie who........................

Seminole Indians, runaway slaves from Florida, and an ethnic mix of people from Africa to South America. The island has a history of inhabitants like the Taino-Arawaks from South America, their descendants the Lucayans, the San Andreans from the Mosquito Coast, slaves and Seminole Indians from Florida, and a smattering of British Army veterans from the War of 1812. The first recorded “discovery” of Andros occurred in 1550 while the Spanish were searching for slave labor. In 1787, 1,400 inhabitants of St. Andreas Island off the Mosquito Coast came to inhabit Andros. The modern name Andros is believed to be in honor of Sir Edmond Andros, who commanded His Majesty’s Forces in Barbados in 1672. Shopping: Andros is famous for straw crafts, which can be purchased in most settlements, particularly in Red Bay and the Fresh Creek area. Red Bay is also noted for wood carvings and its sponging operations. Another great buy is the distinctly Bahamian Androsia, a colorful Batik of island design which is available at the Androsia factory in Andros Town (Fresh Creek), the center of production for the cotton fabric. Tours are given here and an outlet store on the premises offers visitors great bargains on Androsia garments, fabric, jewelry, books, craft items, baskets, carvings, souvenirs and more.


Andros Activities: Andros is known as the “bonefishing capital of the Bahamas;” bonefishing on the flats of Andros is world renowned for both the size and abundance of the species. Deep-sea fishing and reef fishing are also available. Birding is excellent in Andros, where hardwood forests, mangroves and pine yards are habitat to some 120 species, both resident Caribbean species and North American migratory birds. Boaters will enjoy cruising through the “Bahama Blue” waters, over the coral reef and past pristine beaches and colorful towns. The underwater world of Andros, like the island itself, is largely unexplored. For this reason, diving opportunities on Andros are diverse, ranging from shallow water, wreck and blue hole dives to dramatic wall dives off the Tongue of the Ocean. The island’s major dive highlight, the Andros Barrier Reef, is the world’s third largest barrier reef. Nature walks provide another stimulating activity on Andros, providing the opportunity to explore the island flora and fauna, blue holes and medicinal plants. Additionally, many popular annual events and festivals celebrate the cultural heritage of the Androsians, including craft exhibitions, sailing regattas, crabbing competitions, fishing tournaments, village homecoming celebrations, church fairs and festivals. Airline Services: There are four airports serving Andros: San Andros, Andros Town, Mangrove Cay and Congo Town. (Keep in mind that Andros consists of two islands, not connected by a bridge.)

The following are options for scheduled flights from South Florida:

Listed below are some options for accommodation on Andros, separated by North and South: North: Andros Lighthouse Yacht Club & Marina (242-368-2305), Nathan’s Lodge (242-369-1707), Small Hope Bay Lodge (800-2236961), and Kamalame Cay (800-790-7971) South: Emerald Palms Resort (242-369-2713) Attractions: Andros Lighthouse: Built in 1892, the Andros Lighthouse marks the southern entrance to the Fresh Creek Channel and was immortalized by the late Bahamian singing artist Blind Blake in the song, “Run Come See Jerusalem.” The song tells the story of more than 20 locals drowning under the glow of the lighthouse during the 1929 Hurricane, trying to make it to the safety of Fresh Creek Harbor. The lighthouse is a local landmark in addition to its legendary status on Andros.

Central Andros Sites: Plantation ruins and other remnants of Central Andros’ past provide insight into its history and include the Old Government Administrate Building and Jail House (home to the island’s first Post Office, Court House and commissioner’s office), old school buildings built in the 1930s, Whyms Plantation (ruins from the late 1800s), Pody Road and the Chamberlain Sisal Plantation, old wells, Twin Lakes Farm, and the cemetery (which sits in the sea and reveals coffins during low tide).

Continental Connection (800-231-0856), Lynx Air (888-596-9247). From Nassau: Western Air (242-377-2222), Bahamasair (800-222-4262)

Mariner’s Well: This freshwater natural spring well sits between two saltwater lakes. It is said to have been used by pirates, as far back as the early 17th century, and later by crewmen on the sponging vessels.


Andros Native Colony Ruins: About a half-mile south of Pleasant Harbour, on the inland side, lie eight stone buildings dating back to the 1930s. They are notable for their representation of the old Bahamian style of architecture. Open for exploration, these buildings are excellently preserved due to the fact that they were abandoned and never subsequently inhabited. North Andros Sites: Historical sites in North Andros include old relics of past industries, abandoned ghost towns, bountiful farms and supposedly treasure-filled caves. The Old Sponging Tower was erected to mark the entrance into The Bights and as a supply post for Greek and Bahamian fishermen during the 1920s and 1930s. An old logging town called Owens Town and a fruit farm spanning 650 acres also remain for visitors interested in Andros’ past. Two cave sites, Captain Morgan’s Cave and the Evansville Caves, complete the picture of Andros’ history available through the sites in North Andros. Star Gate Blue Hole: Indian skulls were found at this world famous site during a

National Geographic scuba diving expedition in the early 1990s. Barrier Reef And Tongue Of The Ocean: One mile off the shores of Andros Island is the world’s thirdlargest reef, measuring over 140 miles long and home to almost every variety of fish species. The Tongue of the Ocean is a shelf that begins around 70 feet deep and plunges down over 6,000 feet. Other Information: U.S. currency is accepted and is interchangeable with the Bahamian dollar. In September through May, the temperature on the Island averages 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit; the rest of the year is warmer, with temperatures between 80 and 85 degrees. Nighttime temperatures are generally cooler by 5-7 degrees. The entry requirement for U.S. and Canadian residents is proof of citizenship, in the form of either a passport or an original, raisedseal birth certificate and a photo ID (e.g. a valid driver’s license). 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, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States.

elcome to the many Islands of W The Bahamas, each as unique as its name. You can dance to the beat of Bahamian nightlife, and play in the casinos of Nassau/Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island. Or explore the unspoiled beaches of Abaco, Eleuthera, Bimini and Exuma. From world-class golf, diving, boating and fishing to international shopping, you’ll find it all in

The Islands of The Bahamas www.bahamas.com


Bimini

& The Berry Islands

H

ead 50 miles due east of Miami and you’ll sail right into the blue-green harbours of Bimini. This tiny group of islands is internationally recognized as one of the finest fishing areas in the world for its abundance of sailing, tuna, wahoo and other big-game fisn. In fact, no fewer than 50 world records have been set in these waters, the inspiration for Earnest Hemingway’s Islands In The Stream. The main gateway is Alice town, a resort area with bustling yacht harbours, a straw market and casual open-air bars serving plenty of hot conch chowder and icy daiquiris. Many championship tournaments are held here year-round, though anyone who likes may give big-game fishing a try by renting a boat with a skipper and a crew who knows the waters. Bimini became a rendezvous for rum runners and wreckers who plundered ships that ran aground on reefs.


Bimini

Today, the wrecks of Spanish galleons make for fascinating dive sites along with the black coral, exotic fish and a mysterious stone formation that some say is the lost continent of Atlantis. Onshore, there are plenty of interesting sites as well. As the day goes on and people come in from the sea, the pace in Alice Town picks up. Farther north, away from the bustle of Alice Town, are the Tranquil settlements of Bailey Town, Porgy Bay and Paradise Point, with their beautiful beaches and azure waters. Adverturous travellers are drawn to South Bimini, site of the freshwater pond where Ponce de Leon allegedly searched for the Fountain of Youth. It’s a local legend that some swear by and others dismiss as a fish story. Whether true or not, it only adds to the charm of this delightful string of islands. From the time Ponce de Leon was supposedly drifting among its beaches in search of the Fountain of Youth, Bimini has enjoyed and shared an aura both rakish and

dangerous. Underground cellars where forbidden libations were stored before being spirited across “the pond” to thirsty, grateful devotees. Sunken Spanish galleons and the reported lost city of Atlantis; presidential hopefuls see their chances scuttled by monkey business and Adam Clayton Powell scrawling his name on the wall of Barefoot Bar, a place that was so small you would have sworn that the builder wanted to build a tree house but forgot about the tree and just plunked down on the main street up from the old seaplane ramp. That’s Bimini. Maybe that’s its fountain of youth. Not a place, as Adam and Earnest knew and thousands more have since discovered. Oh there are the pristine beaches, and watersports with their peculiar charms, but in Bimini, no one visits for these things. For you can go there and be so enraptured with the spirit of the place and the wisdom of the people. That’s Bimini.


Bimini Bimini Bimini, being the closest of The Islands Of The Bahamas to the coast of Florida, has made The Islands a popular destination for American visitors. The waters surrounding Bimini are known the world over for top biggame fishing. From spring to fall, fishing tournaments reign supreme almost every weekend. To learn more about Bimini or for additional information on the Out Islands, call 800-688-4752 or visit. www.islandscenemagazine.

The perfect tropical getaway for those with a passion for fishing or for those who wish to escape the everyday routine and experience the best of Mother Nature. Enjoy our upscale suites fit for couples and families, relax in infinity pool or take a dive in Bimini’s emerald clear waters.

Sea Crest Marina Phone: 242-347-3477

Bimini Beach Club Restaurant & Mackey’s Bar Phone: 242-342-4500 or 242-347-3500

Accommodations> Sea Crest Hotel & Marina Bimini Big Game Resort & Marina

Bailey Town, Bimini. Phone: 242-347-3071 Fax: 242-347-3495

P.O. Box 699, Alice Town, North Bimini Phone: 800-737-1007; 242-347-3391/3. Fax: 242-347-3392

Weech’s Bimini Dock & Restaurant

E-mail: biminibiggame@aol.com. Website: www.biminibiggame.com The Club’s 49 air-conditioned rooms, cottages and penthouses are the center for fishing and diving. The Club sponsors several fishing tournaments year-round. Guests enjoy sightseeing excursions and the club’s excellent dining and bars. Fly into North Bimini Airport (NSB); take the taxi ($3 per person) to the hotel. Or, fly into South Bimini Airport (81M); take water taxi to the hotel’s dock ($5 per person).

Bimini Blue Water Resort P.O. Box 601, Alice Town, North Bimini

Bailey Town, Bimini. Phone: 242-347-3028 Fax: 242-347-3508

Resources> Airlines/Charters Bimini Island Air - (Ft. Lauderdale) 954-938-8991 Island Air Charters - (Ft. Lauderdale) 954-359-9942 Western Airline - 242-347-4100 Regional Airlines - 242-347-4115 Continental Airlines - 242-347-3124 / 242-347-4122

Phone: 800-688-4752; 242-347-3166 Fax: 242-347-3293. E-mail: bluewaterresort@boipb.com.

Banks

Accommodations include guest rooms with double beds and private balcony. Suites include two bedrooms with twin beds, a sitting room and private balcony; the cottage includes three bedrooms with twin beds, living room and kitchen. Fly into North Bimini Airport (NSB), take the Bimini bus ($3 per person) to the resort. Or, fly into South Bimini Airport (Elm) and take the water taxi to the resort’s dock.

Dive Shops

Bimini Sands Condominiums & Marina

Royal Bank of Canada -242-347-3031

Bimini Undersea Adventures - 242-347-3089 Scuba Bimini -242-347-4444

Fishing Charters Capt. Jerome Stuart -”Miss Bonita” 32' Hatteras 242-347-2081 Capt. Alfred Sweeting -”Nuttin Honey” 28' Bertram 242-347-3477

Phone: 242-347-3500 / Fax: 242-347-3501/www.biminisands.com

Fishing Guides The full service resort features luxury one and two-bedroom condominiums and protected deepwater marina. Guests can participate in in a range of professionally guided activities such as snorkeling excursions, shark encounters, nature walks, boat tours, dolphin swims and more.

Bonefish Ansil - 242-347-2699 Bonefish Ebbie - 242-347-2053 Bonefish Jackson - 242-347-2315 Bonefish Ray - 242-347-2269 Bonefish Tommy - 242-347-3234

Bimini Bay Resort & Marina

Medical Facilities

Phone: 242-347-2900

North Bimini Medical Clinic- 242-347-3210

Ellis Cottages

Rental Boats

Bailey Town, Bimini. Phone: 242-347-2483/ www.biminibayresort.com

Charlie Weech -242-347-3290


Bimini Restaurants/lounges A Taste Of Heaven - 242-225-3244 - Lunch & Dinner Beach Club Restaurant - Sushi & Dinner Bimini Bay Resort & Marina - 242-347-2900 / Breakfast/lunch/Dinner Bimini Sands Condiminiums & Resort - 242-347-3500 The Anchorage - 242-347-3166 The Barefoot Bar - 242-347-3391 Big Game Club Sports Bar & Grill - 242-347-3391 Big John’s - 242-347-3117 C-J.’s Deli - 242-347-3295 Capt. Bob’s Restaurant - 242-347-3260 Edith’s Pizza - 242-347-2800 / Lunch & Dinner Fisherman’s Paradise - 242-347-3220 Gulfstream Bar - 242-347-3391

My3 Daughters - 242-347-2119 - Lunch & Dinner Gulfstream Restaurant - 242-347-3391 Honey Bun’s Take Out -242-347-2437 Sara’s Take Out (7 a.m.-l0 p.m.) - 242-347-2642 Petre’s Conch - Breakfast/Lunch’Dinner Thirsty Turtle - 242-347-4444 - Lunch & Dinner

Shopping Bimini Big Game Logo Shop -242-347-3391 Dun’s of Bimini - 242-347-2093 The Chic Store - 242-347-3184

Travel Services Tourist Office - 242-347-3529

The Berry Islands The Berry Islands comprise a group of 30 cays and are second only to Bimini as a haven for sport fishing. The seclusion, beautiful beaches and surrounding waters of the Berry Islands also make a popular retreat for yachtsmen.

Fishing Guides Chub Cay Charter Fishing -(Chub Cay) 242-325-l4.90 Percy Darville - (Great Harbour Cay) 24·2-367-8119

Marinas To learn more about the Berry Islands and the Out Islands, call (800-688-4752) or visit www.islandscenemagazine.com

Chub Cay Marina - (Chub Cay) 242-325-1490 Great Harbour Cay Marina (Great Harbour Cay) 242-367-8005

Accommodations> Berry Islands

Medical Facilities

Chub Cay Club

Rental Cars

Chub Cay, Berry Islands . Phone: 242-325-1490. / Fax: 242-322-5199

Happy People Rental Car (Great Harbour Cay) 242-367-8117

Clinic - (Bullock’s Harbour) 242-367-8400

Restaurants / Lounges Little Whale Cay Phone: 242-326-9216 - Fax: 242-326-9216

Chub Cay Club Restaurant - (Chub Cay) 242-325-1490 Hilltop Bar - (Chub Cay) 242-325-1490

Tropical Diversion Resort

Tamboo Club - (Great Harbour Cay) 242-367-8023 Tiki Bar - (Chub Cay) 242-325-1490

Great Harbour Cay, Berry Islands. Phone: 242-367-8114 / Fax: 242-367-8115

Resources>

Wharf Restaurant - (Great Harbour Cay) 242-367-8762 White Water Restaurant (Bullock’s Harbour) 242-367-8050 Yacht Club - (Great Harbour Cay) 242-367-8051

Shopping Churches

A & L - (Bullock’s Harbour) 242-367-8292

Chub Cay Chapel- (Chub Cay) 242-325-1490

Commissary - (Chub Cay) 242-325-1490 The Marina Store - (Great Harbour Cay) 242-367-8768

Church of God Prophecy - (Great Harbour Cay) 242-367-8523 Revival Times (Church of God) (Bullock’s Harbour) St. Bartholomew Anglican Church (Bullock’s Harbour) 242-307-8544

Pinder’s - (Bullock’s Harbour) 242-367-8262 Robert’s - (Bullock’s Harbour) 242-367-8053




    

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Eleuthera &

Listen to the r wind, the distant Eleuthera’s soft peace and quiet,


& Harbour Island Perfect Peace & Quiet

rhythm of the waves rolling against the shore; the rustles of the palms in the t cry of a snowy-white egret. These are the sounds you hear as you stroll pink beaches and look up into her radiant blue skies. It is a place of perfect , a time of utter contentment you’ll hold to your heart and long remember.


Eleuthera & Harbour Island

Eleuthera’s sheer beauty reaches as far as the ete can see. In the north, her tall rugged cliffs divide the turbulent Atlantic from the turquoise calm of the Gulf. Towards the centre, the land gentles into rolling hills quilted with farm fields and grove upon grove of pineapple. On her southern shores are tiny, New England-like villages nestled in sparkling coves and small jungles of bright bougainvillaea. Every inch of the narrow slip of an island, barely a mile wide at most places and just 110 miles long is absolutely captivating. An ideal place to begin your Eleutheran holiday is in the north where the pretty cays of Current Island, Spanish Wells and Harbour Island hug the steep, bluff-ridden shores. Stepping off the ferry in Dunmore Town on Harbour Island, you’ll be greeted by an aura of peacefulness and a taxi waiting to drive you up Bay Street in the late afternoon

sun. Past the rows of shops, outdoor cafes and hatted fresh-fruit vendors, you’ll see Victorian homes dating back to 1790; fanciful pink, blue and green houses laced with white lattice work, shuttered windows, balconies and garrets. You may also see two of The Bahamas’ oldest churches, St John’s Anglican Church and Wesley Methodist, both of which were erected in the mid-eighteen hundreds. Winding your way up the bluffs to one of Dunmore Town’s hotels, you’ll pass under leafy canopies of fig trees and casuarina pines and hotels carefully secluded from each other and are all truly wonderful choices. From the balconies of your rooms or stone cottage retreat, you’ll look out over an incredibly gorgeous ocean and beaches tinted pink by crushed sea shells and coral. These exquisite beaches are perfect for long, intimate walks or basking in the heat of the sun. Your hosts, moving


Eleuthera & Harbour Island

almost unobtrusively, will also arrange alfresco lunches, picnics on deserted coves, sunset cocktails and romantic dinner dances beneath star-filled skies. On a more energetic day, touring Harbour Island by bicycle or golf cart can be great fun. You’ll come across the historic Hill Steps that were hand-cut by prisoners and Titus Hole, a curious harbourside cove said to have been the island’s first jail. Once you see the waters, however,you may decide to rent your own Boston whaler and cruise the surrounding cays yourself On SpanishWells you’ll discover a people who’ve made their living from the sea for over 300 years.They are the descendants of the Eleutherian Adventurers who first settled this island and named it for the deep fresh-water wells they found there. Renowned as big-game fishermen, Spanish Wellians are also excellent pilots and fishing guides. Life is free and easy on this tiny cay where the

standard of living is extremely high. Its lovely homes and flowering gardens are well-kept and never locked. There are small resorts here, each serenely appointed with beautiful cottages and rooms that face the sea.There’s also a fine marina that’s well-equipped for seafaring expeditions of every kind. Current, another quaint island settlement, gives you the most spectacular oceanic views Eleuthera has to offer. Beneath the water, scuba divers and photographers head for Current Cut Dive where rich undersea life is visible 50 feet down; to Six Shilling Channel where they can follow schools of exotic fish making for the 6000-foot depths of the Tongue of the Ocean; or to The Devil’s Backbone, the treacherous spine of reefs which claimed a Civil War train, freighter and steamship over a century ago. A short drive from there between Upper Bogue and Gregory Town where the island narrows to a 30-foot


Eleuthera & Harbour Island formation called the Glass Window Bridge. Standing above this “window” carved by eons of relentless wind and surf, you’ll see the pounding Atlantic to one side and the still, turquoise Gulf on the other. These seas around northern Eleuthera and southward along the Gulf also play host to what is undoubtedly the nation’s favourite sport: regatta sailing. Bahamians from across the archipelago come in their locally built sloops for the festivities and to compete in her three annual regattas: the North Eleuthera Regatta held in October, early August’s All Eleuthera Regatta at Governor’s Harbour in central Eleuthera, and the South Eleuthera Homecoming Regatta in March. If you’re driving Eleuthera, the main road will take you from the colonies of Current, Gregory Town and Hatchet Bay in the north to the southernmost tip of the island, a mere two hours or so away. As you travel south, you’ll soon pass through the hilly, green farmlands and pineapple groves surrounding the seaside village of Gregory Town. Here red-roofed, white villas and weathered clapboard houses stair-step down the hills to the Atlantic, where waves crash against the shore and provide some of the best surfing in the area. This beach, sensational for watersports of all kinds, also hosts two island-wide festivals.The Pineapple Art Festival, an exhibition of islander music, crafts and fine art, is held the third Saturday in March and the popular Annual Pineapple Festival, a pineapple recipe contest and fair, during four days of the first week of June. Near Hatchet Bay, a once prosperous plantation, you’ll see a sign marking the entrance to The Cave. This cave, cut from rough coral and columned by magnificent stalagmites and stalactites, looks and feels like a vast, underground cathedral in the eerie light. The next town you’ll reach is Governor’s Harbour in central Eleuthera, the island’s seat of government and a settlement which looks as if it’s been transported intact from New Hampshire. Mesmerizing hills of bright-red royal poinciana spill down the cliffs into the magnificent, sheltered harbour. Across the bay, on Cupid’s Cay, are the ruins of the first permanent Eleutheran community in The Bahamas. Tourists along these pink beaches are also few and far between. Further south, at Tarpum Bay, watch out for goats

wandering the lanes. Driving on you’ll come to the quaint, clapboard village of Rock Sound. In the center of this spotless little town is Ocean Hole, a landlocked, fathomless, saltwater pool where rainbow and parrot fish come to the surface to be fed. A bridge from Rock Sound leads over the bay to Windermere Island, The Bahamas’ hideaway for the affluent. Serene and secluded, this luxurious island discretely houses many private homes and villas. On Eleuthera and Harbour Island you’ll discover the same sense of freedom from the rest of the world that the Eleutheran Adventurers did so many centuries ago. Carried by a slow, steady pace and soothed by the islands’ natural beauty, you will rejuvenate your spirit more than you dare to dream.

City/Settlement: Governor’s Harbour, Gregory Town Location:

About 60 miles from Nassau at its nearest point, Current Island, and approximately 200 miles from Florida

Size:

Two miles wide and 110 miles long

Population:

Approximately 11,000

island. History: Seventy hearty souls set forth from Bermuda in 1648 to found a colony devoted to religious freedom. Called “The Eleutherian Adventurers,” they were really Puritans. After being shipwrecked on the treacherous Devil’s Backbone, shelter was found in a cave. Called Preachers Cave, it had a natural pulpit and was used for religious services long after the colonists left to establish towns elsewhere. The cave and nearby pink sand beach are still enjoyed. Eleuthera is taken from the Greek word for freedom, a concept still very important on this 100-mile long island.


Eleuthera & Harbour Island Activities:

Attractions:

Today, visitors are attracted to Eleuthera by miles of

Hayne’s Library:

secluded (and often empty) pink and white sand beaches and water activities. Snorkelers explore reefs just offshore, while divers take a closer look at shipwrecks and wall dives. Airline Service:

This historical landmark, built by Governor William Frederick Haynes Smith in 1897, is the oldest Government Complex on the island. The building was recently renovated and remains a Public Library, hosting weekly social events and an Internet cafe. Glass Window Bridge:

Eleuthera has two main airports. North Eleuthera Airport, serves the north along with the two major offshore cays, Harbour Island and Spanish Wells. Governor’s Harbour Airport serves the center of the island. The following air carriers offer scheduled flights from South Florida: Continental/Gulf Stream International Airlines (800-231-0856), Island Express (954-359-0380), Lynx Air (888-596-9247) and Twin Air (954-359-8266) The following airlines service Eleuthera from Nassau: Bahamasair (800-222-4262) and Southern Air (242-377-2014)

Accommodation options on Eleuthera include:

About two miles east of Upper Bouge, at the narrowest part of the island (30 feet), there is a striking rock formation known as the Glass Window Bridge. The land here falls away abruptly to nearly sea level almost dividing the island in two. On the west side are stunning views of the turquoise-blue Caribbean waters, on the east, the deep blue Atlantic. Annual Pineapple Festival: This annual four-day celebration of the Eleuthera pineapple is held during the first weekend of June in Gregory Town. It features a Junkanoo parade, craft displays, dancing, a pineapple recipe contest, tours of pineapple farms and a pineathalonhalf-mile swim, three-mile run and 4.5-mile bike ride. Preacher’s Cave: This large, blue-shadowed cave is located about 10 miles

The Cove Eleuthera (800-552-5960),

outside the settlement known as “Bluff.” In 1647, Captain William Sayle was shipwrecked at the Devil’s Backbone

Rainbow Inn (800-688-0047),

and found refuge here. In addition, survivors from the Eleutherian Adventurers made it their temporary home after

Cape Eleuthera Resort and Yacht Club (242-3348500) and Pineapple Fields (877-677-9539)

being shipwrecked when they were fleeing religious persecution in Bermuda. They held what was said to be the first Christian religious service in The Bahamas in the cave utilizing a large boulder resembling a pulpit, which still exists. Today, the site is used by many visitors and locals for picnics and other outings because of the lovely white sandy beach nearby.


Eleuthera & Harbour Island Other Information:

`

U.S. currency is accepted and is interchangeable with the Bahamian dollar. In September through May, the temperature on the Island averages 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit; the rest of the year is warmer, with temperatures between 80 and 85 degrees. Nighttime

Shopping: Harbour Island offers a quaint variety of shopping opportunities, from the traditional street-side straw vendors, to the work of local painters, fashion and jewelrydesigners. With items ranging from high-end home décor to a variety of local music stores, there is a shop for almost every need.

temperatures are generally cooler by 5-7 degrees. The entry requirement for U.S. and Canadian residents is proof

Activities:

of citizenship, in the form of either a passport or an original, raised-seal birth certificate and a photo ID (e.g. a valid

For vacationers, Harbour Island’s popularity is founded on its spectacular three-mile powdery pink sand beach, charming New England style, intimate inns and hotels, vibrant night life, glamorous residents and visitors and, last but not least, the warm hospitality of its inhabitants – the Brilanders. Visitors to Harbour Island enjoy strolling through the quaint town’s tree lined narrow streets, exploring the settlement onboard a golf cart, bonefishing in the pristine water off Harbour Island’s coast and frolicking on the sandy coastline. The Plateau and the Arch, both giant coral structures densely populated with marine life, attract divers from around the world.

driver’s license). 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, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States.

HARBOUR ISLAND

City/Settlement: Dunmore Town Location:

Lies off the northeast end of Eleuthera, 200 miles from Miami

Size:

Three miles long and half a mile wide

Population:

Approximately 1,500

History: The island’s first major settlement of Dunmore Town, originally the capital of The Islands Of The Bahamas, was named after the 18th century royal governor of the islands, Lord Dunmore. Harbour Island was actually founded before the United States was even a nation. At one time, Harbour Island was second only to Nassau in terms of prosperity. In the late 1800s, Dunmore Town was a noted shipyard and sugar refinement center, both of which lent itself to a profitable secondary industry—rum.

North Eleuthera airport serves Harbour Island with visitors transferring to the island via water taxi. The following airlines connect Harbour Island/Eleuthera with the U.S.: Continental Connection (800-525-0280), USAirways Express (800-428-4322) Island Express (954-359-6953), Lynx Air (888-596-9247) and Twin Air (954-359-8266) The following airlines fly to Harbour Island/Eleuthera from Nassau: Bahamasair (800-222-4262) and Southern Air (242-377-2014) The high speed ferry Bo Hengy offers daily round-trips from Nassau. Bahama Fast Ferry (242-323-2166)


Eleuthera & Harbour Island Accommodation options on Harbour Island include:

Current Cut Dive:

Pink Sands (242-333-2030), Coral Sands (800-468-2799),

Judged among the top ten dive sites in the entire world at

Rock House Hotel (242-333-2053), The Landing (242-333-2707), Bahama House Inn (242-333-2201), Dunmore Beach Club (242-333-2200), Tingum Village (242-333-2161), Valentines Resort & Marina (242-333-2142) and

nine knots, Current Cut is also one of the fastest dives in the world. This part of The Bahamas is actually among the most diverse in the region in terms of aquatic life; divers are swept up in currents with schools of stingrays, mako sharks and reef fish. Dilly Dally:

Sea Shell Inn (242-333-2361) Attractions:

This bright green and yellow striped building in the middle of town run by local photographer Val Albury, offers

Sip Sip:

diverse images of Harbour Island. Dilly Dally also carries a wide selection of Bahamian music.

This traditional-styled restaurant serves mouth watering lunches, such as conch curry, coconut cakes and grilled

Other Information:

shrimp, as well as an eclectic mix of world cuisine. The name “Sip Sip” actually derives from the Bahamas patois

U.S. currency is accepted and is interchangeable with the

word for “gossip;” no wonder, since the spot boasts regulars such as model Elle McPherson.

Bahamian dollar. In September through May, the temperature on the Island averages 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit; the rest of the year is warmer, with temperatures between 80 and 85 degrees. Nighttime temperatures are generally cooler by 5-7

Dunmore Town:

degrees. The entry requirement for U.S. and Canadian residents is proof of citizenship, in the form of either a passport

Named for the 18th century royal governor of The

or an original, raised-seal birth certificate and a photo ID (e.g. a valid driver’s license). 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, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States.

Bahamas who helped develop the town, this picturesque seafront village provides a haven away from more hectic tourist areas. Navigate through narrow winding paths without ever encountering a motor vehicle, while gazing at traditional, wooden, brightly painted houses, with neat yards overflowing with tropical flowers and trees. A popular stop is the Loyalist Cottage, built in 1797 after the Revolutionary War by settlers from the American colonies still loyal to the Britain.


Exuma

Another Universe Entirely

F

lying into the Exumas is one of the most beauti ful sights your eyes wil ever see. Beneath high clouds her tiny islands float out over a 150mile coral reef, limestone and sand-bar plateau; 365 individual cays converging rivers of deep green, turquoise and ocean blue. Here the waters are so clear, you can lean over the side of your boat and watch the sand rippling the ocean floor 60 feet below, even spot the shadows of bonefish long before they approach. You can walk mile after mile of empty beach combing for driftwood, sand dollars and other seabrought treasures. Swim in quiet, hidden coves. Snorkel between schools of neon-bright fish and vast, coral castles. And never duplicate your location, even if you visit one island a day, every day, for a year. Exploring Exuma’s Land and Sea Park is a given when you’re in these waters. Approachable only by boat, the island preserve covers 176 square miles and is a silent, underwater universe of limestone, coral reefs, blue holes, caves and drop offs and enchanting sea creatures.


A

mong the thousands of natural coves and harbours is Exuma’s capital, George Town on Great Exuma Island. If youre sailing these channels, you’ll want to stop in to stock up. Long known for its hospitality, this settlement has excellent full-service marinas, supply stores and shops, a bank, post office and a busy, little straw market. If you’re staying, you’ll fall in love with their quaint cottage hideaways. Life in this sleepy quarter wakes up once a year when hundreds of visiting yachtsmen

and their families come to compete With Bahamian sailors in the wildly festive Annual Cruising Regatta. For that week in March, George Town is a whirl of feasts, bonfire parties, sailing contests and talent shows and not an empty inn is to be found anywhere. If you’re looking for a place of radiant waters and blissfully quiet days filtered in every hue of ocean, coral, sky and cloud, take heart. You’ll find it in the romantic isles of Exuma.


Exuma City/Settlement:

George Town

Location:

35 miles southeast of Nassau

Size:

Stretches over 120 miles

Population:

Approximately 3,600

History: The Exumas have evolved over time from a salt mining colony to a haven for pirates to a cotton producing colony;

New Year’s Day Cruising Regatta, and the widely revered National Out Island Regatta, the islands’ cays and hidden coves make for some of the most spectacular sailing in The Bahamas. Additionally, diving enthusiasts from around the world believe The Exumas are one of the most spectacular places in all of The Islands Of The Bahamas to take in the beauty of the world beneath the ocean’s surface. Vast beds of undisturbed coral teeming with brightly colored schools of fish of every variety surround The Exumas, in addition to the Austin Smith

all of these phases have influenced its historical development. In fact, many of the islands’ residents are

Wreck. The primary watersport in Exuma is snorkeling, which can be done off the beach, from a glassbottom boat

direct descendants of plantation slaves from the late 1700s. The Lucayan Indians began colonies on The Exumas and

or off one of the many cays. Stocking Island is a popular place for shelling, beachcombing and picnicking.

survived by fishing and farming. The Spanish arrived in the 1500s and turned the island into a salt mining colony. In the 1700s, a group of Loyalists sought refuge here and wealthy European landowners started large cotton plantations. The most notable was John Rolle, who eventually freed his

Airline Service: The airlines below serve Exuma from U.S. gateways: American Eagle (800-433-7300), Bahamasair (800-222-4262),

slaves and deeded his land to them. The former slaves adopted his last name and today 60 percent of the locals

Continental/Gulfstream International Airlines (800-231-0856) and

still have the last name Rolle.

Lynx Air (888-596-9247)

Shopping:

The following airline flies to Exuma from Nassau:

Retail shopping on The Exumas is generally limited to hotel boutiques and general establishments in George Town that mainly target the locals. One exception is The Straw Market—a series of five to 10 stands along the main road into George Town offering several varieties of baskets, purses and other straw goods that come in unique Exumian designs and colors. Activities: The Exumas are primarily known for their pristine beaches, exciting snorkeling, sailing and fishing. Home to many boating competitions like The Family Island Regatta, The

Bahamasair (800-222-4262)

Listed below are a range of options for accommodations on The Exumas: Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma at Emerald Bay (242-336-6800), Club Peace and Plenty (800-525-2210), Hotel Higgins Landing (242-357-0008), Palm Bay Beach Club (888-396-0606), Regatta Point (888-720-0011), Staniel Cay Yacht Club (954-467-8920),


Exuma February Point Resort (877-839-4253) and

Thunderball Grotto:

Two Turtles Inn (242- 336-2545) A breathtaking hollowed out island near Staniel Cay, this Attractions: The Hermitage: These ruins are a reminder of the islands’ cotton plantation days. One of the last cotton plantations, it was originally

grotto is ideal for snorkeling. It abounds with tropical fish, rare sponges and corals. This setting was used for scenes from James Bond’s “Thunderball” and “Never Say Never Again,” as well as Disney’s “Splash.” Other Information:

built by the Kendall family in the late 1700s. The foundations of the main house and some old tombs are all

U.S. currency is accepted and is interchangeable with the

that remain.

Bahamian dollar. In September through May, the

Salt Beacon:

temperature on the Island averages 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit; the rest of the year is warmer, with

Located in Williams Town, Little Exuma, this landmark was designed as a Tuscan Column during the first half of the 19th century. It was built to guide ships engaged in the salt trade. The beacon stands 30 feet high and is a favorite

temperatures between 80 and 85 degrees. Nighttime temperatures are generally cooler by 5-7 degrees. The entry requirement for U.S. and Canadian residents is proof of citizenship, in the form of either a passport or an original, raised-seal birth certificate and a photo ID (e.g. a

attraction of visitors to Little Exuma.

valid driver’s license). All U.S. citizens and foreign nationals traveling to the United States from The Bahamas

The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park:

are required to present a valid passport or another secure, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States.

Created in 1958, this 176 square mile park was the first of its kind in the world and is famous for its pristine beauty,

For more information please visit Bahamas.com.

outstanding anchorages and breathtaking marine environment. It is the first marine fishery reserve in the Caribbean. Allan’s Cay Iguanas: One of the few places you can still find these fearsome looking yet gentle lizards.


  

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Grand Bahama Island G

rand Bahama Island lies fifty-five miles off the coast of Florida and north of Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas. Her climate is tropical, a warm eighty degrees throughout the year and cooled by billowy ocean breezes. Major areas are the more metropolitan town of Freeport and the contrastingly quiet bay of Port Lucaya. At West End, the island’s oldest settlement, you’ll find local fishermen pulling in their catch in much the same manner as their ancestors did centuries ago. Above and below her 51-mile shoreline, this glorious island has it all. Shallow, sea-green waters as clear as glass. Championship-rated golf courses. Sea dives with dolphins. Fabulous multi-million dollar resorts. Junkanoo Festivals. Haute cuisine. Pink flamingos. The best bargain-buys anywhere (worldly and Bahamian). Tamarind forests. And of course, all those exquisite miles of serene, powder-soft beaches. Divers come here to hunt ancient shipwrecks (some recovered coins are valued in the millions) and to try the “The Dolphin Experience” first hand. An equally exhilarating dive which can be arranged through UNEXSO is in the “blue holes” of Lucayan National Park; openings in the land which lead to the largest explored underwater cave system in the world.


Grand Bahama Island

B

ack on terra firma, duty-free shopping is another

heady sport. Strike out for the fascinating International Bazaar where imports from four continents are priced as much as 40% Delow retail (luxuries like South African emeralds, French perfumes, Irish linens). Hit the malls at the Regent Centre downtown or the eightyfive waterfront shops at Port Lucaya. And be sure not to miss the big local Straw Market, where bartering for island-made curios is loads of fun. Speaking of hits and misses, few islands compete

with Grand Bahama’s exceptionally well-designed golf courses. Packed with water, bunker and prevailingwind hazards, her 18-hole, 12-par championship courses have tested the skill (and patience) of some of the game’s best players.So grab your sunglasses, bathing-suit and an empty carry-back bag or two. Pack your goggles, snorkels, tennis racquet and camera, your most trusted golf clubs and putter. Grand Bahama Island is waiting to welcome you to her shores!


Grand Bahama Island City/Settlement:

Freeport/Lucaya

Location:

55 miles east of the Florida coast

Size:

96 miles long from east to west; 17 miles across at its widest point

Population:

Approximately 50,000

History: The earliest settlers on Grand Bahama Island were possibly the Siboney Indians, a Stone Age culture which

Square lies in the center of Port Lucaya’s entertainment district. At any time of day, tropical beats pulse from this popular gathering spot. The square’s busy event calendar includes parades, festivals, calypso and limbo dancing. Additionally, The Bahamas Arts & Crafts Straw Market sells locally made jewelry, paintings and colorful handicrafts constructed from straw and wood. Activities:

arrived in the Caribbean about 4,000 years ago but subsequently disappeared. The next to settle were the

Vacationers to Grand Bahama Island experience worldclass water sports including snorkeling, scuba diving, bonefishing, sport-fishing, kayaking, parasailing and boating.

Lucayans, of whom there were an estimated 4,000 living on Grand Bahama Island at the time of Christopher

Tennis, volleyball, horseback riding and cricket are popular on the island, which is furthermore known as the “golf

Columbus’s sighting of San Salvador. Great Britain claimed The Islands Of The Bahamas in 1670, after

capital of the Caribbean.”

British colonists left Bermuda for the island of Eleuthera, where they sought religious independence. The island experienced an economic boom during the Civil War, as

Airline Service:

smugglers profited from the Union blockade on the Confederate states, and again during Prohibition. The island changed forever in the 1950s with the dawn of tourism, largely initiated by Wallace Groves, an American financier living on the island. He approached the Bahamian government in 1955 with the idea to build a town that catered to both industry and tourists. The result was economic success and a community now ideal for tourism and vacationing.

Only 55 miles east of the coast of Florida, Grand Bahama Island is a convenient and accessible place to visit. The following airlines provide service to Grand Bahama Island: American Eagle (800-433-7300), Bahamasair (800-222-4262), Continental/Gulfstream International Airlines (800231-0856), Delta Airlines (800-241-4141), Spirit Airlines (800-772-7117) and US Airways (800-622-1015)

Shopping: Grand Bahama Island offers an exciting array of crafts,

There are numerous hotels and resorts on Grand Bahama Island. Listed below are a number of accommodation

souvenirs, and other items to the interested shopper. Port Lucaya Marketplace & Marina, another shopping

options available to travelers: Sheraton Grand Bahama Island Our Lucaya Resort

destination, is a complex on the harbour filled with shops, restaurants and bars, as well as nightly live entertainment.

(242-373-1444), Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach (242-373-4000),

Named after the famous jazz entertainer, Count Basie


Grand Bahama Island Pelican Bay Hotel & Suites at Lucaya (242-373-9500), Best Western Castaways Resort & Suites (242-3526682) and Old Bahama Bay at Ginn Sur Mer (242-350-6500)

Pinetree Stables: As the biggest stable in The Bahamas, Pinetree Stables has more than 50 horses ready to jaunt down the beach. The two-hour, guided horseback trail rides take visitors through endangered pine forests, past orange groves, along the beach and into the ocean. Riding experience not required.

Attractions:

Grand Bahama Nature Tours:

The Heritage Trail:

As a leading eco-tour operator on Grand Bahama Island for the past 15 years, Grand Bahama Nature Tours offers

A stretch of the road near Freetown, this has become one of the island’s chief nature walks. Along the easy, five-mile

guided kayaking, snorkeling, biking, hiking, jeep and bird watching tours. All tours involve light to moderate activity

trek are over 30 species of plants, 18 types of birds, seven species of butterfly, and what remains of “The Hermitage,”

and are fully guided by friendly, highly trained, professional personnel. Most guides are natives of The Bahamas, and

the oldest intact building on Grand Bahama, dating back to 1901.

they take pleasure in acquainting visitors with the flora, fauna, history and culture of the islands.

Lucayan National Park:

Other Information:

Established in 1982, Lucayan National Park contains upland forests, rare flower species, mangrove creeks,

U.S. currency is accepted and is interchangeable with the

and Gold Rock beach, a magnificent beach providing an unparalleled glimpse into the complexities of the Grand

temperature on the Island averages 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit; the rest of the year is warmer, with

Bahamian environment. It is the only place where you can see all six of the islands’ ecosystems. It is also home

temperatures between 80 and 85 degrees. Nighttime temperatures are generally cooler by 5-7 degrees. The

to one of the world’s longest underwater systems of limestone caves, which served as a burial place for the

entry requirement for U.S. and Canadian residents is proof of citizenship, in the form of either a passport or an

Lucayan people.

original, raised-seal birth certificate and a photo ID (e.g. a valid driver’s license). All U.S. citizens and foreign

UNEXSO: Located on the Port Lucaya Marina, UNEXSO, the Underwater Explorers Society, offers a wide variety of diving and dolphin experiences, including the popular Dolphin Swims, where travelers can interact with the dolphins in a protected lagoon.

Bahamian dollar. In September through May, the

nationals traveling to the United States from The Bahamas are required to present a valid passport or another secure, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States.


Nassau & Paradise Island

I

n the heart of New Providence lies the capital of our country.

Welcome to Nassau, bustling hub of The Bahamas since the shipwrecking days of the legendary pirate Blackbeard.

Prized for its sheltered harbour, history was made and beautifully preserved here in Victorian mansions, cathedrals, 18thcentury fortresses and a Queen’s Staircase, whose 66 steps lead to a not-to-be missed view. Bordering the harbour is Bay Street, Nassau’s oldest thoroughfare lined with cosmopolitan restaurants and shops. Here, you can buy goods, from around the world, duty-free, or in our famous Straw Market, handicrafts you won’t find anywhere else. Pick your favourite straw hat and explore the rest of the island. There are botanical gardens to visit, glass-bottom boats to ride and beaches to bask upon. Then, head to the Cable Beach strip or Paradise Island, where the nightlife is nonstop, from the glittering casinos to the stars in the island sky, marking the end of another near-perfect day. There’s so much to do and see in New Providence, the best place to start is with an overview of all the plush resorts, colonial forts, local clubs and international shops found throughout this nonstop island. The gateway to Nassau is Rawson Square, where y ou’ll find the Minis try Of Tourism Information Centre with plenty of brochures, maps and helpful suggestions . It’s the place to start a free guided walking tour along the shady streets of Old Nassau or to engage a horse-drawn surrey for a pleasant excursion around town Just a short walk from Rawson Square you’ll find Prince George Wharf, the bustling waterfront where cruise ships dock and glassbottom boats depart for sea-garden tours.


Nassau & Paradise Island

P

arliament Square in downtown Nassau is the traditional centre of the Bahamian Government. Here, picturesque pastel buildings built in the early 1800s by Loyalists include the Houses of Parliament, the old Colonial Secretary’s Office, the Supreme Court and marble statue of Queen Victoria . Each January, April, July and October, the stately Supreme Court Opening Ceremonies are held, filling the square with pomp and pageantry. If you were sentenced to a jail term in the early 19th century, you probably would have ended up in the octagonal building nearby . The former jail is now the Nassau Public Library, and it houses one of the finest Bahamian book collections, fascinating old prints, maps, photos and Arawak artifacts . In contrast to Old Nassau, Bay Street is very much up-totheminute with its cosmopolitan restaurants and shops . Here you can find British woollens, French perfumes, Japanese cameras, Swiss clocks, English china, Italian leather, South American gems and many more goods from aroundthe world, at duty-free prices. For original Bahamian handicrafts, our colourful Straw

Market is the place to go where you strike your own bargain on mats, hats, baskets, handbags, jewellery and wood carvings. One block west of the Straw Market is Pompey Museum, home of Bahamian art. Just a short walk from downtown you’ll find Fort Fincastle, built in 1789 in the shape of a paddle-wheel steamer. The nearby Water Tower is the highest point on the island, giving a stunning panoramic view from over 200 feet above sea level. Getting to both is easy . Just climb the Queen’s Staircase, 66 steps carved from the limestone hill overlooking Nassau and the harbour. You’ll likely recognize the Government House even if you’ve never been to Nassau. Built in 1801, the elegant pink and white neoclassical mansion is one of The Bahamas most photographed landmarks. The statue of a proud Columbus on the front steps commemorates his first landfall in the New World in 1492 on the shores of San Salvador. A change of the Guard ceremony takes place here at 10 a.m. every other Saturday morning. Farther west of downtown stands one of Nassau’s most


Nassau & Paradise Island

impressive forts. Fort Charlotte was built in 1788, complete with a moat, open battlements and dungeons. For all its imposing fortifications, it never fired a shot in anger. ne of The Bahamas’ first marching birds is one block west:the famous, flambo yant marching flamingos of the Ardastra Gardens and Zoo . The tropical gardens and exotic animals here also put on quite a show. Nearby, the Nassau Botanical Gardens has an extensive collection of plants native to The Bahamas, as well as lily pools, tropical fish, cactus gardens and a quarry stone grotto. Arawak Cay , located on West Bay Street across the street from historic Fort Charlotte, is a nice spot for a quick, local style lunch. Known to the Nassau residents as “The Fish Fry”. Arawak Cay is one of the best places to chat with locals, play a game of dominoes or sample Bahamian fare. Heading farther west, you’ll notice you’ve left the quick pace of Nassau behind. Indeed, the winding section of West Bay Street that leads to Cable Beach is nicknamed “Go Slow Bend,” as people frequently stop to view the luxurious resorts,

O

restaurants, shops and beautiful beaches. Beyond Cable Beach, the road curves along the coast through a series of small villages and quiet beaches, revealing stunning views of the ocean around each bend. The Caves, carved out of limestone by the waves, are said to have sheltered Arawak Indians long ago. Just beyond the historic hilltop of Gambier Village is Love Beach, said to be the prettiest stretch of sand on New Providence. The underwater view rivals that of the scenery above water with its acres of sea gardens and colorful coral reefs. The road continues along the southwest coast of the island, then winds its way east past a sprawling resort with a championship golf course, the historic villages of Adelaide and Carmichael and a pine forest dotted with palmetto palms. On the eastern part of New Providence you’ll find The Retreat, the headquarters for our national parks, with one of the largest private collections of exotic palms in the world. Both New Providence’s oldest fort and The Bahamas’ oldest church are nearby. Fort Montagu was built in 1741, and unlike


Nassau & Paradise Island

Fort Charlotte and Fort Fincastle, saw action when it was seized for one day by the Americans during the Revoluionary War. St. Matthews Church, noted by its unusual tower and steeple, opened for service in 1802 and still retains its original stained-glass window. ext is the bridge to Paradise. But before you walk, cycle or drive over it, be sure to visit the lively fruit and vegetable market on the western side of Potter’s Cay. The bustling market here at Potter’s Cay is where fishermen bring their fresh catch of the day and where farmers ship their fresh fruit and vegetables. The pace is always pleasantly busy from the locals cracking conch to the mailboats hauling their goods from The Islands. Once over on Paradise Island, the winding street is lined with plush resorts, fine shops and gourmet restaurants. Turn left and you’ll find yourself on a quiet drive, where tall casuarina trees bow for all who enter. The lush, peaceful Versailles Gardens are on the eastern part of the island with statues, fountains and elegant terraces that lead to the French Cloisters, stately columns that overlook the Nassau Harbour. Built in the 14th century by Augustinian monks, the Cloisters were shipped here 600 years later and reconstructed stone by stone. The lovely Paradise Island beach is a perfect place to relax. It’s also one of the many places to delve into New Providence’s many sports. You can dive, windsurf or waterski almost everywhere in Nassau and Paradise Island, and learn to parasail at major Nassau and Paradise Island Hotels. New Providence has excellent dive sites. There are shallow reefs, deep blue holes, old shipwrecks, caves, drarna tic dropoffs and colourful sea gardens surrounding the island.

N

Two James Bond thrillers were filmed in these waters: Thunderball, shot in the shallow Thunderball Reef and Never Say Never Again, filmed on location in one of The Bahamas’ most spectacular shipwrecks. Boats of any size can be chartered for hours or days at a time, from marinas along the north eastastern shore of New Providence. Big game fishing, reef fishing and tackle fishing are also popular, fully equipped boats are available for half-and full-da y charters . V arious tournaments are held throughout the year. One of the inviting things about New Providence is that you can enjoy both water and land-based sports in the same vacation. The Bahamas is an official golf destination of the PGA Tour and PGA of America. You can playa round of golf in Nassau, Cable Beach or Paradise Island on your choice of three top-rated courses: South Ocean Golf Club (6,707 yds, par-72), designed by Joe Lee; Cable Beach Golf Course (7,040 yds., par-72), laid out around 13 lakes and 50 sand traps and The Paradise Island Golf Club (6,770 yds., par-72), which offers several ocean-view holes. Tennis buffs have no fewer than 100 courts from which to choose at” hotels and resorts throughout Nassau, Cable Beach and Paradise Island. Many courts are lighted for evening play. Instruction in daily clinics and private lessons are also standard at most large resorts. Tennis tournaments are part of the year’s calendar of events.

Celebrations Our country is known for its variety of exciting festivals and we’d love to have you join in the fun. On December 26, we celebrate our most famous festival of all, Junkanoo. Rest up: the festivities don’t even begin until 3


Nassau & Paradise Island a.m. For this thrilling African-borne festival, thousands of revellers parade through downtown Nassau in spectacular costumes and masks, setting the night ablaze with colour. The pulsating rhythm of cowbells, horns and whistles, and goatskin drums can be heard for miles as the dancers compete for prizes awarded to the best costumes, music and performances. On New Year’s Day, the entire entourage comes back for a stunning repeat performance. There is an intense rivalry be tween groups to create the most colourful, imaginative costumes. In fact, many groups begin creating their costumes as early as August, though costume themes are a closely guarded secret until the actual event. Discovery Day, October 12 commemorates Columbus’ landing on San Salvador in 1492. July 10 marks the anniversary of the independence of The Bahama Islands with parades and fireworks throughout the week. Emancipation Day, the first Monday in August, commemorates the liberation of slaves in 1834. Fox Hill Day is celebrated the following Tuesday with a variety of cultural events.

casual cafes to romantic gourmet restaurants with breathtaking views. You decide.

Nightlife There aren’t enough hours in a day to experience all the nightlife New Providence has to offer . In Nassau and Paradise Island, you can choose from bistros, nightclubs, discos and two of the most spectacular casinos that are to be found anywhere. There are bands that play everything from Jazz to Calypso music to our own “Rake ‘n Scrape” and “Junkanoo.” The two casinos, one on Paradise Island and the other located on Nassau offer slot machines and a complete selection of games, including blackjack, roulette and baccarat. They will also teach you how to play if it’s your first try. Guests over 18 may gamble. The Dundas Centre, Nassau’s performing arts theatre, stages plays and performances by local troupes and out-of-town artists throughout the year .

Dining

Getting Around

All this activity is bound to make you hungry. New Providence offers many choices in the way of dining: European, American, Chinese, Greek, Polynesian but our Bahamian fare tops the list. Bahamians have depended on conch and fish for centuries, and have learned a wizardry with the foods of the sea that will delight and tingle the palate. Everyone who visits the Bahama Islands should try our native specialities at least once. Conch fritters, grouper fingers, peas’n rice, boiled fish, johnnycake and guava duff are just a few of our tasty dishes, all of which go nicely with our famous tropical drinks. Dining can mean anything from informal beach barbecues to

So now that you know the places to go, how do you get around? There are taxicabs at the airport, downtown Nassau and major hotels; rental cars at the airport and various locations (please remember, we drive on the left side of the road); motor scooters at hotels and in downtown Nassau (helmets are compulsory); rental bicycles at various locations and jitneys that run throughout the island from 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. If you’re not in a big hurry (you’re on vacation, after all) try some of our more scenic ways of getting about New Providence. We have day cruises to nearby islands where you can sun, swim and snorkel; catamaran sightseeing tours and romantic dinner cruises through the Nassau Harbour.


Nassau & Paradise Island City/Settlement:

Nassau, the nation’s capital

Activities:

Location:

179 miles east of the Florida coast

Size:

Nassau, also known as New Providence Island: seven by 21 miles; a bridge links Paradise Island (which measures 685 acres) to New Providence Island

Nassau provides numerous sporting opportunities, including golf, fishing, sailing, windsurfing, parasailing, water skiing,

Population:

Approximately 172,000 (New Providence Island / Paradise Island)

snorkeling, and of course, fabulous scuba diving. Airline Service: Nassau/Paradise Island is only two-and-a-half hours by air from New York, little more than three-and-a-half hours from the Midwest and only 30 minutes from Miami. The following airlines provide service to Nassau:

History: Air Canada (888-247-2262), British colonists first discovered Nassau Harbour in the late 1600s. In 1670, King Charles II of England gave The Islands Of The Bahamas to six British noblemen who brought British settlers from Bermuda to New Providence. These settlers built a city and fort, originally named Charlestown but later renamed Nassau, to honor William, Prince of Orange-Nassau and successor to the throne of England. During the Revolutionary War, British Loyalists who left America settled in Nassau, adding to the town’s architecture, population and prosperity. Nassau/Paradise Island also possesses a long tradition associated with pirates.

American Airlines (800-433-7300), Bahamasair (800-222-4262), Continental (800-523-3273), Delta (800-241-0824), Northwest Airlines (800-225-2525), US Airways (800-428-4322), JetBlue Airways (800-538-2583), Spirit Airlines (800-772-7117) and a number of charter airlines. There are a wide range of accommodations in Nassau and Paradise Island, from budget to deluxe. A number of

Shopping:

resorts have golf courses and marinas, and all are within easy access of the casinos. Listed below are some of the

Shopping in The Bahamas provides the opportunity to purchase unique foods, spices, ceramics, crafts, art, and

more popular hotels and resorts:

music. Nassau boasts stylish boutiques on Bay Street, outdoor fruit and vegetable stalls and fresh fish market, and

Atlantis, Paradise Island/The Cove/The Reef

the famed Straw Market.

(888-877-7525), A Stone’s Throw Away (242-327-7030), British Colonial Hilton Nassau (242-322-3301), Graycliff Hotel (242-302-9150), One&Only Ocean Club (242-363-2501), Paradise Island Harbour Resort (242-363-2561) and


Nassau & Paradise Island Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island (1-888-Sandals),

Junkanoo Expo:

Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort (242-327-6000), The Marley Resort & Spa (242-702-2800)

Junkanoo parades, similar to those that take place during Mardi Gras, are held in the early morning hours on Boxing

Wyndham Nassau Resort & Crystal Palace Casino (242-327-6200)

Day (the day after Christmas) and New Year’s Eve. At the entrance to the wharf are exhibits of the fantastic

Attractions:

costumes revelers wear during these annual Bahamian Junkanoo celebrations.

Prince George Wharf:

Queen’s Staircase:

Up to a dozen cruise ships can be in port at any time, stopping on either short jaunts from Miami or during weeklong cruises to Caribbean islands.

During the late 18th century, slaves carved 65 steps

Festival Place:

the top of Elizabeth Avenue Hill, off Shirley Street.

Located on Prince George Wharf, Festival Place is a colorful marketplace designed in the style of a Bahamian village.

Pirates of Nassau Museum:

Bahamian artists and artisans offer crafts and souvenirs, and island tours and excursions can be arranged here.

This museum (located in the Lofthouse building on Marlborough Street) offers a world-class, interactive and

Fort Fincastle:

educational experience into the 18th century era when pirates dominated the Bahamian waters.

Fort Fincastle is the highest point on the island, sitting 200

Fort Montagu:

feet above sea level. It provides incredible views of Nassau and the harbor from its 126-foot tall water tower.

Fort Montagu is the oldest of the island’s three forts. Built

Government House:

as a stronghold to repel Spanish invaders, it was made from local limestone in 1741. Beyond the fort stretches a public

The official residence of the Governor-General of The

beach overlooking Montagu Bay, the location of several international yacht regattas and Bahamian workboat races.

Bahamas since 1901, this house has accommodated such notable occupants as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor

Arawak Cay:

during World War II. The Changing of the Guard ceremony occurs here every Saturday at 10 a.m.

An ideal spot for experiencing local-style Bahamian food,

(originally 66) into a solid limestone cliff in honor of Queen Victoria’s 65-year reign. Queen’s Staircase is located at

Arawak Cay is one of the best places on New Providence to try fresh conch, conch salad, native fish fry or a traditional drink of coconut and gin.


Nassau & Paradise Island Ardastra Gardens and Zoo: The five acres of tropical greenery include an aviary of rare tropical birds and other exotic animals from different parts of the world. The Zoo is renowned for its marching flamingos, the national bird of The Bahamas, which

settling more than 30 years ago, when wealthy Canadian E.P. Taylor developed it as an exclusive colony. Today, the preserve includes a private golf course and 200 homes owned by the wealthy in search of mild, sunny climates during the winter months. Other Information:

perform daily at 11 a.m., 2 a.m. and 4 p.m. Fort Charlotte: This fort, built during the late 18th century, includes a waterless moat, a drawbridge, ramparts, and even dungeons. Lord Dunmore, who built this fort, named the massive structure after George III’s wife. The fort lies about one mile west of central Nassau. Lyford Cay: The most exclusive enclave on the island is a 4,000-acre preserve where Nassau’s “old money” pioneers started

U.S. currency is accepted and is interchangeable with the Bahamian dollar. In September through May, the temperature on the Island averages 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit; the rest of the year is warmer, with temperatures between 80 and 85 degrees. Nighttime temperatures are generally cooler by 5-7 degrees. The entry requirement for U.S. and Canadian residents is proof of citizenship, in the form of either a passport or an original, raised-seal birth certificate and a photo ID (e.g. a valid driver’s license). 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, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States.

elcome to the many Islands of W The Bahamas, each as unique as its name. You can dance to the beat of Bahamian nightlife, and play in the casinos of Nassau/Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island. Or explore the unspoiled beaches of Abaco, Eleuthera, Bimini and Exuma. From world-class golf, diving, boating and fishing to international shopping, you’ll find it all in

The Islands of The Bahamas www.bahamas.com




    

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San Salvador

T

ake a step back in time and stand face-to-face with the origin of The Bahamas – see the arch-

eological evidence of the indigenous Lucayan Indians, the multiple monuments commem-

orating Columbus’ landfall in the New World, and the present carved from the past! San Salvador has been recognized – with much debate amongst researchers – as Christopher Columbus’ first landfall in the New World in 1492. To date, four separate monuments mark the ‘exact’ spot where he came ashore; however, it is generally recognized that the landing occurred at Long Bay, currently commemorated by a simple white stone cross. Named Guanahani by the original native inhabitants – the Lucayan Indians – Columbus promptly renamed the island San Salvador or ‘Holy Savior’. Later, San Salvador was taken over by the British buccaneer, George Watling who renamed the island Watling’s Island after himself. It was not until 1926 that the island’s name was restored to San Salvador which it remains to this day.


San Salvador Set on the Atlantic side of the archipelago of The Bahamas, the island of San Salvador is about 200 miles southeast of Nassau, about a 1-hour flight from Florida. The island’s capital, Cockburn Town, is located on the tranquil west coast of San Salvador. One of the most southeastern islands of The Bahamas, San Salvador is actually the exposed peak of a submerged mountain that rises 15,000 feet from the ocean floor. Only 12 miles

monuments mark the exact spots where he came ashore, although it is generally regarded that he landed at Long Bay where a large stone cross stands. However, in the 17th century British Pirate Captain George Watling took over the island, making it his headquarters and named it Watling Island, after himself. The island retained this name until 1925 when it was then renamed San Salvador.

long and 5 miles wide with a population of 1,200 San Salvadorians, the island has miles of pristine and

Activities:

secluded beaches and emerald blue sea. San Salvador mostly consists of dune ridges, with troughs form-ing

San Salvador is dotted with monuments, ruins and wreck sites, all illuminating its history. Besides lounging on secluded beaches, basking in sunshine and diving, snorkeling and fishing in clear waters, guests to the island enjoy touring the old plantation ruins, climbing to the top of the of the old kerosene-operated lighthouse, and exploring the archeological site of the Lucayan Indians.

sparkling lakes that make up nearly a third of the interior of the island. Surrounding reefs protect the island and a large break near Cockburn Town, provides access to the island for boats.

City/Settlement: Cockburn Town

Bahamasair (800-222-4262) has flights six days a week from Nassau to the Island.

Location: Easternmost island of The Islands Of The Bahamas Options for accommodation on San Salvador include: Size: 12 miles long and five miles wide Population: Approximately 1,000

Club Med Columbus Isle (888-932-2582), Riding Rock Inn Resort & Marina (800-272-1492)

History: Attractions: The island’s several name changes are a reflection of its deep historical past. The Lucayan Indians, an indigenous Arawak tribe, initially named the island Guanahani whic h meant “welcome” in Arawak. Then, in 1492, Columbus made his first landfall in the New World on the island. He named it San Salvador or “Holy Saviour,” which he noted in his travel journal, and described it saying “the beauty of these islands surpasses that of any other and as much as the day surpasses the night in splendor.” Today, four separate

Dixon Hill Lighthouse: Built in 1887 on a former plantation owned by John Daxon, this 400,000 candle powered lighthouse has a visibility of 19 miles. Standing 163 feet above sea level, it maintains four-hour watches nightly, giving a double flash every 10 seconds. This kerosene lit, hand-operated lightis the last of its type in The Islands Of The Bahamas.


San Salvador New World Museum:

The Landfall Park:

Located at Cockburn Town, the Museum is housed in a 1910 building formerly used as the government’s administrative offices and jail. This traditional museum contains many important artifacts and a display on the life of Christopher Columbus.

The Landfall Park (at the Long Bay Site), a 10-acre site rich in archaeological artifacts, is the first landfall site of Christopher Columbus in the “New World.” On Oct. 12,1492, after 33 days at sea, it is widely believed that Columbus landed at beautiful Fernandez Bay (Long Bay). A simple white cross, erected in 1956 by Mrs. Ruth D. Wolper, commemorates the historic event. Also on this site is the Mexican Monument which housed the Olympic flame in 1968 on its journey from Greece to Mexico City.

Cut Cay: Columbus referred to Cut Cay (the island that is not an island) in his journal. It is the small island across a shallow channel off North Point. At low tide, one can wade across to Cut Cay. Columbus believed that it would be a good site for a fortress. Watling’s Castle/Sandy Point Estate: Watling’s Castle, the ruins of a late 18th century Loyalist plantation house, was named after George Watling, a buccaneer who frequented the place. The substantial ruins at Sandy Point, including the three storey “Great House,” kitchen, slave quarters, barns and boundary walls, were studied by the Bahamian Field Station, a center for academic research in archeology, biology, geology and marine sciences. The Lookout Tower, which overlooks French Bay, has been restored. Big Fortune Hill Plantation: Mr. Burton Williams, a Loyalist, maintained a cottage plantation at Fortune Hill in the late 1780s. The ruins of the “Great House” and slave quarters are still located here.

Other Information: U.S. currency is accepted and is interchangeable with the Bahamian dollar. In September through May, the temperature on the Island averages 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit; the rest of the year is warmer, with temperatures between 80 and 85 degrees. Nighttime temperatures are generally cooler by 5-7 degrees. The entry requirement for U.S. and Canadian residents is proof of citizenship, in the form of either a passport or an original, raised-seal birth certificate and a photo ID (e.g. a valid driver’s license). 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, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States.


Cat Island C

at Island’s isolation makes it a perfect getaway for honeymooners, modern-day Robinson Crusoes or anyone in search of natural beauty and blessed seclusion. Lush, hilly and unspoiled, shrouded in an air of mysticism, Cat Island is a tranquil isle of small farms and fishing villages. Here and there, a few resorts have sprung up to take advantage of a coast ringed with stunning—and usually deserted—beaches. Slender Cat Island is about 50 miles long, boot-shaped, with high cliffs and dense forest. Its shores are ringed with mile upon mile of exquisite, untrampled beaches edged with casuarina trees. It is 130 miles southeast of Nassau and is a close neighbor of San Salvador, the reputed landing place of Christopher Columbus. Many Cat Islanders, however, maintain that Columbus landed here instead, and that Cat Island was once known as San Salvador. Upon chatting with other residents, you might find some who knew or are related to native son Sidney Poitier, who left as a youth before becoming the famed movie actor and director. The biggest event of the year remains the Annual Cat Island Regatta in August, which draws yachters to this faraway island. For a glorious view of the ocean on both sides of the island, try not to miss the slightly laborious experience of climbing to the top of 206-ft. Mt. Alvernia. The Hermitage there provides a perfect, inspiring place to pause for quiet contemplation.


Cat Island City/Settlement: Arthur’s Town and Moss Town

encounter schools of fish, large grouper and Caribbean reef sharks.

Location:

About 325 miles southeast of Miami and 130 A number of airlines service Cat Island from South

Size:

miles southeast of Nassau/Paradise Island 48 miles long and one to four miles wide

Population:

Approximately 2,000

Continental Connection (800-525-0280), Island

Florida:

History:

Express (800-228-2566), Lynx Air (888-596-9247)

No one is quite sure how Cat Island acquired its name; however, this island has many lives. A pirate and contem-

The following airlines depart Nassau and fly to Cat Island:

porary of Edward “Blackbeard” Teach, Arthur Catt was a frequent visitor to the island, which is one explanation of its

Bahamasair (800-222-4262),

name. Others say the island resembles a feline sitting on its haunches when looking at it from above.

Cat Island Air (242-377-3318)

For more than four centuries, Cat Island was actually called San Salvador, and many believed this was where Christopher Columbus first landed in the new world.

Accommodations on Cat Island include:

However, in 1926 a nearby island was redesignated San Salvador (as it is known today) and the name Cat Island

Bridge Inn (242-342-3013),

was revived. British Loyalists who were fleeing the newly formed United States settled the island in 1783. They

Fernandez Bay Village (800-940-1905),

established cotton plantations, but when the cotton industry failed and the slaves were freed, the people of Cat Island

Greenwood Beach Resort & Dive Center (242-342-3053),

turned to farming peas, corn, potatoes and later growing pineapples.

Hawk’s Nest Resort & Marina (242-342-7050),

Activities:

Pigeon Cay Beach Club (242-354-5084),

Cat Island is the ideal spot for travelers looking for a quiet, secluded vacation. The island is fringed with miles of empty beaches, including an eight-mile pink sand beach. World-class diving, snorkeling, fishing and miles of nature trails offer the opportunity for fun and adventure. Check out the Blue Hole where inside the opening, divers often

Sammy T’s Resort (242- 354-6009), Island Hopping (242-342-2100)


Cat Island

Attractions:

New Bight Beach:

Deveaux Mansion: At Port Howe, one can see the ruins of the Deveaux Mansion, a two-story, whitewashed building formerly used

This active beach, located near the Government administration building, is the site of the annual Cat Island Regatta and is used by the locals for weekend dances and holiday picnics.

as a cotton plantation and now overrun with wild vegetation. Deveaux Mansion was once the home of Col.

Other Information:

Andrew Deveaux of the U.S. Navy and was given to him as a reward for recapturing Nassau from the Spaniards in 1783. Hermitage on Mt. Alvernia: The Hermitage, a small monastery at the summit of this mountain, remains shrouded in mystique even to this day. Father Jerome, an Anglican seminarian turned Catholic priest who was well-known for having built cathedrals and convents throughout the islands, built the Hermitage and the rock staircase leading to it as a final act of religious dedication.

U.S. currency is accepted and is interchangeable with the Bahamian dollar. In September through May, the temperature on the Island averages 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit; the rest of the year is warmer, with temperatures between 80 and 85 degrees. Nighttime temperatures are generally cooler by 5-7 degrees. The entry requirement for U.S. and Canadian residents is proof of citizenship, in the form of either a passport or an original, raised-seal birth certificate and a photo ID (e.g. a valid driver’s license). 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, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States.


Islands Directory  

Islands Directory

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