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PREMIER ISSUE

2019

THE ISLANDS OF THE

COVERING THE 16 INHABITED ISLANDS IN THE BAHAMAS

What to Do • Dining • Where to Stay Real Estate • Shopping • Maps www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com


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elcome to a world of adventure, exploration, relaxation, culture, scrumptious cuisine, amazing art, entertainment, and some of the friendliest people on the planet! We are delighted to share our homeland with you. Our sun is warm, our waters are crystal clear and we have some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world. This premier issue of The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide gives you, the visitor to these sandy shores, an in depth look at all that is truly Bahamian. Feel free to island hop and explore each island and experience the attractions they offer. From Bimini in the north to Inagua in the far south, the Bahama islands offer dream vacations for everyone. There is so much to see and do that no doubt you won’t have time for it all. We invite you to visit the islands of The Bahamas.

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The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide


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S P E N D T H E D AY AT AT L A N T I S 141-ACRE WATER PARK • THRILLING WATERSLIDES RAPIDS RIVER RIDE • 10 POOLS 5 MILES OF WHITE SANDY BEACHES 14-ACRE DOLPHIN AND SEA LION HABITAT BUCKET LIST EXPERIENCES To book your unforgettable day, visit the Atlantis Adventures Desk outside of The Coral at Atlantis.

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2019 Premier Issue

4 Welcome 11 Quick Facts 12 What to Do 24 Calendar of Events 28 Map of The Bahamas 30 The Islands 130 General Information Contributors: Sales: Paige Skippings Writers: Canishka Alexander, Caroline White, Tamika Dean, Bahamas Tourist Offices, Ragged Island Community, Michelle Huggins, Ms. Ingraham, Bahamas Local, Editor: Marcian Livingstone Publisher: M. Jane Braynen Tel: 1-242-473-2043 How to use The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide (TBVG). The TBVG is your information source to help you plan your visit to The Bahamas and assist you during your stay. There may be times when you truly want to get lost on our beautiful islands but let us help you find your way. The TBVG is divided into 16 sections to help you choose the island that meets your travelling interest. Each island section is color-coded for easy identification. Within each of the 16 islands, you will find a brief overview, information on things to see and do, shopping, accommodations and a map of the island.

COVER PHOTO: Courtesy of Alex Mustard

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Getting from place to place. With our 700 island chain you never know where you might find yourself. Be sure to check out The Bahamas Map.

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www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com Copyright 2019 © JB Graphic & Web Designs. All right reserved. P.O. Box EE15429, Nassau, Bahamas Tel (242) 677-5715 info@bahamasvisitorsguide.com • www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com. No part of this magazine including photos and graphics may be reproduced or transmitted without permission from publisher.

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The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide


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information

Visit our

Islands 30 Abaco & The Abaco Cays 38 Acklins & Crooked Island 43 Andros 49 Berry Islands 54 Bimini 59 Cat Island

65 Eleuthera

Harbour Island & Spanish Wells 75 Exuma & The Exuma Cays

87 Grand Bahama 92 Inagua 96 Long Island 105 Mayaguana 108 Nassau & Paradise Island 118 Ragged Island 120 Rum Cay 124 San Salvador 10 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

About The Bahamas

The original inhabitants of The Bahamas were the peaceful Arawak-Taino Indians, known as the Lucayans. However, they were enslaved by theSpanish who took them to work in the mines of Hispaniola and Cuba, wiping out the population within decades of Christopher Columbus’ landing on San Salvador in 1492. The Eleutherian Adventurers who migrated from Bermuda, in search of religious freedom, were the next settlers to establish a community on the island of Eleuthera in 1647. In the coming years, piracy became prevalent in the islands as they were situated on major shipping routes. In 1718, The Bahamas’ first Royal Governor Woods Rogers was installed “to expell the pirates and restore commerce”. The next major event to occur was in 1776 .when a U.S. naval squadron captured Nassau. Not long after, Loyalists along with their slaves sought refuge in The Bahamas following the American Revolution. Another notable event was the American Civil War that brought great prosperity to The Bahamas, allowing the country to become a transfer point for munitions and medical supplies to be run through the northern blockade of Confederate ports. From 1917 to 1933, The Bahamas was the center of prosperity again during the prohibition era in the United States supplying liquor for American rumrunners. Additionally, the Royal Air Force used The Bahamas as a flight training area during World War II, and the islands were also used by British and American units hunting German submarines. The year 1973 saw The Bahamas achieve independence from Great Britain on July 10. It is now a member of the Commonwealth, the United Nations, the Caribbean Community and the Organization of American States. The late Sir Lynden Pindling of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), served as the first prime minister. Presently, the Free National Movement (FNM) is the governing party and The Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis is prime minister. The islands are a premier vacation destination and tourism is the No.1 industry. The financial services sector, is the second pillar of The Bahamian economy.


The BAHAMAS at a GLANCE

Experience the culture, diversity and attractions that make our Bahamaland special! History: Columbus discovered San Salvador in 1492. Crown colony of Great Britain in 1717. Slavery abolished in 1838. Limited self-rule granted in 1964 Capital: Nassau, on the island of New Providence Location: Starts at 50 miles off Florida’s east coast at the end of Bimini and stretches more than 500 miles southeast in a chain comprised of 700 islands and cays in the Atlantic Ocean. Total Land Mass: 5,382 sq miles Government: Political stability since Independence July 10th, 1973. Political system is based on the British Westminster model with a governor general, a prime minister and a Parliament. Queen Elizabeth is the nation’s sovereign. Economy: Tourism is main industry (50% GDP) Offshore Banking & Investment (15-20% GDP) Construction (10% GDP) Agriculture & Fisheries (5% GDP) Taxes: VAT 12% on most goods and services. No income tax. Population: 353,658 people (2010 census) projected 385,340 in 2019. Currency: Bahamian Dollar on par with U.S dollar Money: ATMs on main islands, USD accepted interchangeably Language: English • Country Code: 1-242 • Emergencies: 919 Driving: On the Left Electricity: Electrical outlets in The Bahamas are 60 cycles / 120 volts, which is compatible with all American devices. British and European appliances require a twopin flat adapter and a 220-volt converter. Time Zone: EST; Daylight Saving Time is observed like the US (Mar to Nov) Documents: For most countries visa not required for stays up to 90 days with valid passport. US Customs and Border Protection Preclearance for returns to the U.S. Mobile Phones: GSM mobile companies BTC & ALIV offer roaming rates

Visit us at www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com

www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 11


what to do

what to do HTrending Top Things to do!

Art Galleries & Museums

Visitors can get a glimpse of the vibrancy and rich history of The Bahamas through a host of art galleries depicting the talents of local artists, past and present, as well as several museums on a number of islands in the archipelago showcasing relics and treasures, and dedicated to a time that once was. Learn about the impact of slavery in The Bahamas at Pompey Museum of Slavery & Emancipation, get an in depth look at The Bahamas’ wider history and heritage at Heritage Museum of The Bahamas, The Bahamas Historical Society and the Antiquities, Monuments & Museums Corporation, and take a selfguided journey to the days when pirates reigned supreme in these islands at Pirates of Nassau.

H Beaches

The Bahamas is a bejeweled archipelago adorned with miles and miles of white – or pink – sandy beaches. Breathtaking beaches stretch as far as the eye can see, surrendering to shallow, crystal-clear waters protected by offshore reefs that encourage swimming or snorkeling in a tranquil environment. However, there are some beaches that face the Atlantic Ocean that can whip up lively waves for surfers during the winter months.

12 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Boating Marinas

For boaters sailing to the islands of The Bahamas, we have an extensive list of fullservice marinas from Abaco to Inagua that provide safe, easy access for your vessel, as well as all of the amenities you’ll need during your stay. more on page 26

Sailing

More than 100,000 square miles of spectacular, aquamarine waters encircle hundreds of islands and cays, making The Bahamas a prime location for sailing. Visitors have the option of sailing their own boats and dropping anchor where they’d like, or chartering a boat outfitted with crew members at one of the local marinas. Islands like the Abacos, Exuma and Bimini are popular sailing destinations for private boaters with some venturing even further south.

Powerboating

For the best in fun and exhilaration, you’ll want to experience powerboating on your vacation to The Bahamas. These all-inclusive boating excursions let you experience an unrelenting adrenaline rush as you zip across luminous waters aboard a high-speed powerboat. The only reason to slow your pace is to snorkel with tropical fish, stingrays or sharks while exploring vibrantly colourful reefs, feeding iguanas or swimming with pigs.


what to do

dining Dining

Flavours of The Bahamas

You’ve heard of music to your ears, but you’ve never tasted food quite like the gourmet and local cuisine found in The Bahamas. It’s virtually a food festival from the moment you sink your teeth into the mouthwatering flavours of our traditional dishes, which are mainly made up of seafood. Fresh ingredients are what makes the food burst with so much flavour. Meals are usually freshly chopped vegetables combined with hot peppers, added to meat or seafood with complementary sides.

Rum/Beach Bars

Rum-based beverages are popular throughout the islands and are often infused with fruit juices, vodka, gin or coconut water. Beach Bars are the perfect starting places for experiencing an

Dining Chart ANDROS (MANGROVE CAY) Shines Conch Shack • 369-0078 NASSAU Green Parrot • 322-9248 Sandals • 1-888-SANDALS PARADISE ISLAND Atlantis Restaurants • 363-3000 Green Parrot • 322-6900 Margaritaville • 363-0400 ELEUTHERA (SPANISH WELLS) The Shipyard • 333-5010 LONG ISLAND Chez Pierre • 338-8809

14 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Conch Salad

authentic Bahamian drinking experience. If specialty mixed drinks, awesome food, incredible views, live entertainment, and a great atmosphere with friendly, downto-earth people sounds good to you, then you’ve come to the right place.

Fish Frys throughout islands

An ultimate way to feast on conch is at Fish Frys throughout the islands which have become a mainstay of The Bahamas. Fish Fry menus have expanded to include all manner of local seafood served with traditional Bahamian side dishes, and of course, rum, beer and cocktails. These events have grown to become major attractions with live Junkanoo music and entertainment, parades, and activities for natives and visitors to enjoy. Fish Frys generally occur on weekends and holidays. Live Music

Happy Hour

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Discover Authentic Bahamian Cuisine C E L E B R I T Y C H E F R E S TA U R A N T S & P L A N T F O R WA R D D I N I N G

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what to do National Parks

With approximately 32 national parks stretching from Walker’s Cay in the northernmost part of the Abacos, to Inagua in the extreme south, The Bahamas’ national park system offers a treasure trove of animal and plant life as well as areas of natural beauty, including one of the world’s longest underwater cave systems, a sea turtle research facility, a large collection of rare palms, and a 250-acre wetland that is home to more than 100 bird species.

Blue holes

Diving

The islands of The Bahamas beckon visitors to our shores for some of the most incredible diving experiences you won’t find anywhere else. Explore our islands’ diverse dive environment as you discover the world’s third-largest offshore barrier reef before gazing in amazement at spellbinding shipwrecks, towering walls, fascinating marine life that dart through tunnels, caverns and canyons, mysterious blue holes, and exhilarating shark diving. The Bahamas’ subtropical climate provides superb diving conditions all year long.

Ecotourism

The Bahama islands can provide a dream vacation for the ecotourist with a host of opportunities to take in nature and enjoy the country’s natural resources leisurely. Many of the islands provide guided birding tours, the exploration of plush gardens and areas deemed protected areas or national parks, mysterious blue holes and information surrounding the research,and protections of hundreds of species of marine animals, birds and plant life.

Birding

Enjoy close encounters with more than 140 species of resident and migrant birds, including 28 species of Bahamian birds not seen in the U.S., Canada or Europe. A number of expert guides can be found throughout the islands, including Certified Bahamas Birding Tour Guides with decades of experience, for half-day or fullday birding tours. Andros and Inagua are two of the best locations for bird watching in The Bahamas.

16 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Although very little is known about the blue holes in The Bahamas, there is no denying that these natural wonders are fascinating places to explore. Blue holes can be found all over the Bahama islands. Andros island is considered the “holy grail” for these underwater caves. Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island is the deepest blue hole in the world. Photo by Tiamo Resort

Botanical Gardens

Several Bahamian islands are home to these beautiful gardens which feature fragrant, exotic plants and flowers. Visitors can take in a natural trail experience and see a variety of local fauna up close at some, while others are certified wildlife habitats. The Memorial Sculpture Garden on Abaco adds a lesson in history with stone plaques and sculptures paying homage to the island’s residents who have made significant contributions. The 18acre Nassau Botanical Gardens features more than 600 species of tropical flora including The Bahamas’ national flower, the yellow elder.

Entertainment Nightlife

The vibrant nightlife of The Bahamas consists mainly of happy hour and themed nights at nightclubs and bars on the island with DJs playing Bahamian, American and Caribbean music.


what to do Nightclubs

Grab a partner and hit the dance floor with music that’s sure to make you move and groove to the beat, all night long. The perfect spot for a grand celebration, gettogether with friends, or a night out with that special someone, clubs can be found throughout the islands.

Bars

With themed nights, specialty drinks and sometimes delicious Bahamian cuisine, many bars offer comfortable, seating to watch sporting events, shoot a game or two of pool or darts, be entertained by live music, and quite often, stunning views of the surrounding area.

Live Shows

Live shows consist of daring limbo or fire dancing performances at local festivals, as well as Bahamian comedy shows, stage plays, dancing and modeling at various venues throughout the islands.

Casinos

World-class casinos allow non-resident guests to enjoy range of gaming, slot and video poker machines and table games. Casinos are located in New Providence, Grand Bahama and Bimini. Legal gambling age is 18.

Cinemas

Like their international counterparts, local cinemas feature the latest movies with a choice of screen and viewing options, state-of-the-art surround sound systems, concession stands and other dining options, as well as game rooms and other entertainment. Some cinemas can also host live music concerts, seminars, speaking events, and even religious services.

Events

There is no shortage of things to do in The Bahamas, no matter your islanddestination or vacation interests. From tourist-driven offerings, historical and cultural attractions to the down-home, laid back “tru tru” Bahamian happenings, these islands make it hard to visit just once! Many of the major events provide opportunities to come face to face with how Bahamians celebrate.

Junkanoo

The largest cultural festival in The Bahamas, Junkanoo is a street parade filled with music, dance and a creative

Photo by Linda Huber

display of artistic talent. With groups that can be as large as 1,000 strong, the parade features hypnotic rhythms produced by the beating of goatskin drums, the clanking of cowbells and the blowing of horns and whistles. Vibrant colored costumes depicting chosen themes are made from crepe paper and cardboard and a show of lively dance routines ensure paradegoers to feel the rush! Rooted in African culture, Junkanoo parades - and smaller “rush outs” year round - bring people from all walks of life together and provides entertainment for thousands each year. Nassau is home to the largest and the liveliest Junkanoo parades, but visitors can also experience this amazing cultural festival on Grand Bahama, Eleuthera & Harbour Island, Bimini, The Exumas, and The Abacos.

Regattas

The sport of sloop sailing in The Bahamas is highlighted throughout the calendar year with regattas being held on a number of the islands. These regattas offer added opportunities for visitors to get a taste of the true Bahamas as many family-centered cultural activities and native dishes and crafts are often featured in addition to the races. Both amateur and experienced captains the world over have been known to grace these annual events, some to compete while others prefer to take part in the onshore festivities. Regattas in The Bahamas also highlight the talent of boat building as the craft used in the races must constructed by local craftsmen. www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 17


what to do Sports Tourism

Over the last two decades, The Bahamas has focused on hosting sporting events that attract thousands to these shores annually. These events have brought significant publicity and has boosted the local economy. Whether it’s golf tournaments, marathons and triathlons, basketball or football, The Bahamas is asserting itself as a major contender for this niche market. The impressive list of events over the years has included The Sunshine Insurance Marathon Bahamas Weekend, which includes the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure; the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic at the Ocean Club Golf Course on Paradise Island, Exuma’s Run for Pompey, The Bahamas Bowl featuring college football and the NCAA-sanctioned Battle 4 Atlantis Division I Pre-season Men’s College Basketball Tournament.

H Family Fun

The Bahamas welcomes families to vacation on any of our islands to experience our first-rate accommodations and attractions. Besides accessing our beautiful beaches for fun in the sun, families are encouraged to go island hopping to discover the unique attributes of our islands. Visit our marine reserves or national parks; tour museums and zoos, visit historical sites and monuments; and swim with the dolphins (or swimming pigs). Families can also attend local festivals or homecomings to get a firsthand experience in Bahamian cuisine, culture, and music with our Junkanoo rush-outs. Photo by Atlantis

Fishing

Photo by Hawks Nest Resort

Bonefishing

If it’s one thing The Bahamas is known for it is bonefishing. Ranked among the top bonefishing destinations in the world, there are many bonefishing lodges and guides dedicated to offering you the best in accommodations and most memorable bonefishing experiences.

Deep Sea Fishing

With an abundance of big game fish such as marlin, sailfish, mahi-mahi, tuna, and wahoo teaming in our waters, The Bahamas is a top spot for deep-sea fishing also known as big game fishing. Many fishing charters and tour companies that offer half day and full-day charters with other related fishing services for their guests.

H Island Hop

You’ll have your hands full when choosing which islands to hop while vacationing in The Bahamas. Whichever island you land on will be well worth the effort. No trip to The Bahamas is complete without visiting the Out Islands, which are each unique in their own way. Despite the many differences, there are the overlapping similarities of the islands that unite them. You can certainly expect to be swept up in the warm and hospitable nature of the Bahamian people, who are sure to make you feel like family wherever you decide to visit.

Sightseeing Attractions

Some of The Bahamas’ most popular attractions can be credited to the megaresorts with their own private attractions. For others, the attractiveness of our islands lies in our rich history; national land and sea parks; historic landmarks and monuments; spectacular beaches and blue holes; and the charm of our country’s picturesque settlements.

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what to do Adventure Tours

Let the adventure begin with tours that include diving and snorkeling, kayaking, parasailing, and jet ski rides, or speed boat excursions. Visitors also enjoy fishing, surfing, swimming with the pigs, sharks or stingrays; picnicking on the beach; hiking along nature trails; or bird watching.

City Tours

Depending on the island you’re on, contact any of the knowledgeable tour guides or companies to find out what’s available. Tours may be land- or sea-based, or a combination of the two with tours to historic sites as well as sightseeing and snorkeling excursions inclusive of meals.

Historical Tours

Historical tours encompass art galleries, museums, national landmarks and historical monuments that bring the colorful, rich heritage of The Bahamas to life. Learn about the Lucayan Indians, slavery, the Loyalists, pirates, lighthouses, politics, straw work, and the origin of Junkanoo.

to share their culture with visitors, whether they are showing off their island, telling tales of folklore and humour, or pointing out hidden treasures. The customs that are a part of the Bahamian culture are often expressed in their love for celebration and for people in general. Music, dance, colourful dialect and food are a big part of Bahamian culture.

Artists

Talent amongst artists and craftsmen in these islands seems boundless. From the painter and sculptor to the wood carver and jewellery maker, Bahamians are as creative as they come! Galleries on the major islands throughout the archipelago feature artwork done by local artists using vivid watercolours, oils, and acrylics, as well as other mediums like sculptures, while craft markets and stores offer an array of other works. Pop up markets, like Art Walk in Marina Village on Paradise Island are popular places to find local art and craft as well. For more information on Bahamian arts and culture visit https://www. facebook.com/BahamianArtCulture/

Walking Tours

Walking tours include a memorable food tasting and cultural experience as visitors stop by local eateries to sample Bahamian food. Tour guides share cultural and historical information along the way.

Out Island Excursions

From New Providence, visitors can take advantage of an Out Island excursion to one of the nearby islands aboard a boat cruise or step it up a notch by setting sail on an all-inclusive luxury yacht.

Straw Work

The use of straw to create products that are useful as well as those considered decorative is an age-old custom in The Bahamas. Fibrous leaves from various palms and plants like the coconut and silver palm and the sisal plant are dried and woven or plaited together using various patterns (as many as 60 have been created). Straw work is a manifestation of the creativity of Bahamian people and has generated economic activity throughout the islands for the last two centuries.

Woodwork Photo by Laura Smith

Culture

Bahamian culture is a diverse melting pot of mostly African traditions coupled with European, British and American influences. Known for their hearty hospitality and deep sense of community, Bahamians are eager

Like straw artisans, The Bahamas has wood carvers that excel in bringing wood to life using only hand tools like chisels, sand paper and mallets. These beautiful, high quality, handmade wares, made from a variety of local wood, can be purchased at straw and craft markets throughout the islands. www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 19


what to do Famous Musicians

The music of The Bahamas can be categorized into three forms – Goombay, Junkanoo and Rake n’ Scrape. Local musicians have used these music genres over the years to express themselves and to tell stories about island life. Still others have put the spotlight on Bahamian entertainers through other genres of music including Soca, Reggae and Dancehall, Pop, Rap and R&B. Some of The Bahamas’ famous musicians – past and present include Ronnie Butler, Tony “The Obeah Man” McKay, Joseph Spence, Blind Blake, Phil Stubbs, DMac, KB, Baha Men, Visage, Julien Believe and Tebby Burrows.

Sports Golf

Golfing in The Bahamas introduces our visitors to a satisfactory line-up of golf courses that are sure to appeal to all calibers of golfers.

Water Sports

Perfect weather paired with clear waters provides the perfect environment for water sports in The Bahamas. A few choices: snorkeling, parasailing, jet skiing, banana boat rides, kayaking, surfing and sailing.

Parasailing

Photo by Bimini Kiteboarding

Soar to greater heights as you take to the sky on a parasailing adventure. This activity is offered by water sports operators on popular beaches as well as major resorts.

Paddleboarding

Glide across calm seas or tiny, rippling waves while paddleboarding in The Bahamas. One of the most popular water sports to be introduced to the islands, paddleboarding is a combination of surfing and kayaking and is perfect for all ages.

Snorkeling

Gear up for an underwater exploration of breathtaking coral reefs teeming with tropical marine life, or perhaps discover a hidden treasure amongst one of the enigmatic shipwrecks.

Surfing

It may seem surprising to learn that The Bahamas offers opportunities for surfing. However, islands like Eleuthera and Abaco are well-known for their impressive, consistent surf.

Shopping

Straw Market Kayaking

Photo by Wolf’s Kayaking Club

Mangroves provide the ideal location for a calming day of kayaking or canoeing for experts and beginners. Ocean kayaking is also available on some islands based on location and weather conditions.

Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding has become a mainstream sport that is now enjoyed on several islands. Companies provide kiteboarding instruction, gear rentals and guided services with top spots in New Providence, Abaco, Eleuthera, Exuma, Cat Island and

20 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Credited as one of The Bahamas’ oldest industries, straw work or straw vending is a skill that Bahamians developed to plait, braid or weave straw, fashioning it into hats, bags, baskets, placemats, dolls – you name it – to be sold to tourists visiting our islands. Straw vendors can be found throughout New Providence as well as the Out Islands.

VISITORS SHOP VAT FREE

For years, visitors to The Bahamas have enjoyed duty-free shopping. Since Value Added Tax (VAT) was implemented in 2015, they can also shop VAT-free. Duty-free shoppers are provided with an immediate VAT refund at the point of sale.


Photo by Jill Smith

what to do Pampering

A much-needed pampering session is all that you need to unwind and begin to feel rejuvenated. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage; body wrap or scrub; facial or skin care sessions; pedicure and manicure; or a complete hair salon service at one of The Bahamas’ luxury spas.

Where to Stay

Weddings, Honeymoons and Romantic Getaways

The Bahamas provides the perfect destination for weddings, honeymoons and romantic getaways. This tropical paradise has numerous hotels and resorts that offer exclusive wedding and honeymoon packages along with wedding specialists to help you create treasured memories. The seclusion and privacy of our islands, feature private homes and villas, which are also ideal for couples looking to escape to a romantic getaway. Requirements 1. Applicants MUST be in The Bahamas for a minimum of 24 hours 2. An application form MUST be filled out. 3. All foreigners must be interviewed by the Administrator. 4. Picture identifications MUST be presented at the time of applications (ie drivers license, passport of birth certificate). 5. Payment to The Bahamas government for a Marriage License of $100.00. 6. Apostille marriage authenticated with the official seal of Foreign Affairs ($152.50) inclusive of the certificated copy of the apostilled marriage certificate. 7. A divorcĂŠ(e) must present original divorce papers.; the decreee nisi, which is the final decree. 8. If never married a notarized afffidavit swearing spinstership/bachelorhood. ($25.00) 9. Services are available from Ministers of various denomination

Worship

Worship is an integral part of Bahamian culture as Christians regularly come together to express reverence and gratitude to God during religious services. Churches can be found in every community and on every island. In fact, The Bahamas is considered to be such a religious country whereby it is believed to have one of the highest numbers of churches per capita in the world. Besides being places of worship, churches throughout The Bahamas have great historical value for visitors. As a cornerstone of our society, these places of worship serve as popular locations for destination weddings, baptisms and christenings and funeral services. The year 1861 marked an historic beginning for the islands; Nassau became a city and Christ Church was made a Cathedral. Along the walls of the church, tablets trace the trials Nassau citizens endured over 150 years ago. Photo by Nickole Gudmundsen

Weddings

It’s easy to find a place to stay in The Bahamas once you determine your vacation budget with so many lodging accommodations available. Visitors can stay at a five-star luxury resort with all of the amenities, or check in to an affordable boutique hotel, villa, condo or private home on any of our islands. With the advent of Airbnb, travelers can find a listing of top vacation rentals that are literally at their fingertips, and just a click away.

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marinas

Photo by Romora Bay, HI

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or boaters sailing to the islands of The Bahamas, there is an extensive list of full-service marinas from Abaco to Inagua that provide safe, easy access for your vessel, as well as all of the amenities you’ll need during your stay.

Exuma Cays

Staniel Cay Yacht Club 355-2024

18 Y 12.5’ Y Y Y Y Y Y - Y Y

The Marina at Emerald Bay 336-6104

150 Y 12’ Y Y Y - Y Y - Y Y

Exuma

Bahama, Freeport Grand Flamingo Bay 1-800-824-6623 Nassau

157 Y 12’ Y Y Y - Y Y - - -

Paradise Island

63 Y 12’ Y Y Y - Y Y Y Y Y

Palm Cay 676-8552

Atlantis Marina 363-3000

22 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

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THE NUMBER ONE MARINA IN THE BAHAMAS 5 YEARS IN SUCCESSION

PALM CAY MARINA Palm Cay Marina is a full service, 157 slip Marina in south-east Nassau, on a stunning 69-acre resort community. The Marina is 28 nautical miles from the Exumas, making it the closest Marina in New Providence to this breath-taking chain of islands. Awarded Active Captain’s #1 Marina in the Bahamas for the fifth consecutive year.

FACILITIES & AMENITIES • Gas and Diesel • Free WiFi • Shower & washroom facilities • Washers and dryers • Restaurant • Beach Bar • Café • Members Beach Club • Members White Sand Beach • Tennis Courts • Fitness Center • Children’s playground • Vacation Homes

MARINA@PALMCAY.COM | (242) 676 8552

PALM CAY, YAMACRAW HILL ROAD, NASSAU, BAHAMAS www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 23 SALES OFFICE: 1 (242) 676 5221 | INFO@PALMCAY.COM | WWW.PALMCAY.COM/MARINA


Yearly & Ong January-June

Changing of the Guard

A tradition since 1958, the ceremony features the worldrenowned Royal Bahamas Police Force Band and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force Band and Guards. It is held on the last Friday and the fortnight of each month. 242-397-8816 Government House, Nassau

JANUARY 1

YEAR ROUND

Regattas

New Year’s Junkanoo Parade

Junkanoo is the national festival of The Bahamas and is also celebrated on New Year’s Day. Call The Ministry of Tourism, 242-302-2000 Bay Street, Nassau

Bahamas Fly-In Private pilots cross the Atlantic to visit the pristine islands of The Bahamas Bahamas Tourist Office Plantation, FL, 954-2369292 Green Turtle Cay, Abaco

JANUARY 18-19, 2020

Marathon Bahamas Race Weekend

Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend is in its eleventh annual running of the marathon, half marathon, relay and its tenth running and partnership with the Susan G. Komen Bahamas Race for the Cure® 5K, Nassau, Bahamas

24 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

The sport of sloop sailing in The Bahamas is highlighted throughout the calendar year with regattas being held on a number of the major islands. These regattas offer added opportunities for visitors to get a taste of the true Bahamas as onshore many family-centered cultural activities and native dishes and crafts are featured in addition to the offshore races. Regattas also showcase Bahamian boat building as the sloops are constructed by local craftsmen. To view events for the entire Bahamas follow this link: www.bahamasvisitorsguide. com/events


going Events

MARCH 14, 2020

Ride for Hope

Ride for Hope was established for the purpose of raising money to support initiatives related to health, wellness and human development in The Bahamas. Ride for Hope is the organization’s flagship fundraiser. It is a bike-a-tho held in Eleuthera annually. Many events are held during the weekend in conjunction with the event. Ride For Hope Bahamas 242-332-1804 www.info@rideforhopebahamas.com Governors Harbour, Eleuthera

MAY 3-5

12th Annual Island Roots Heritage Festival The Island Roots Heritage Festival has become a hit throughout the historic New Plymouth settlement on Green Turtle Cay, Abaco. The Festival showcases and celebrates the relationship between new Plymouth and its sister city Key West, FL. The event features educational facts and the history, connections and relationship between the two cities, great Bahamian food and entertainment and beautiful straw work. Annabelle Cross 242-365-4122 abacopotcake@batelnet.bs Green Turtle Cay, Abaco

JANUARY 1 MARCH 7-9 Bahamian Music & Heritage Festival

An exciting time for the whole family. A gospel explosion on Thursday evening launches the weekend of activities. Renowned local and visiting artists and other gospel artists will be performing. This festival also features a line-up of The Bahamas’ talented and most popular musicians. Arts and craft such as wood and conch shell carvings will be on sale along with Bahamian dishes. There are lots of activities for the kids as well as adults including storytelling, singing, how to exhibitions, early dinner show and lots more. Exuma Tourist Office, 242-336-2430 Regatta Park, Georgetown, Exuma

JUNE 6-10

Cat Island Rake n’ Scrape Festival

This annual musical festival, held every year during the Bahamas Labour Day weekend, is the signature event for Cat Island. It showcases the rhythmic vibe of the island's premier Rake n’ Scrape music performed by local and national artists. It also features a gospel concert, Battle of the Rake n’ Scrape Bands, quadrille dancing, a children's corner with games and a fishermen’s and farmers' market. During the festival, guests can partake of “down home” Cat Island cuisine and purchase locally made crafts such as jewellery and straw items. Part proceeds of the festival are used to provide college scholarships to a local high school graduate. Pamela Poitier pamcatisland@yahoo.com Kay Chriswell 242-357-3576 kaychriswell@hotmail.com Arthur’s Town, Cat Island

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Yearly & Ong July-December

JULY 5-15

Vertical Blue Free Diving Competition

Free divers from 21 countries gather at Dean’s Hole and compete over nine days of diving. At stake are titles for the world’s deepest man and woman free diver for this exciting competition. 9am-2pm. Long Island BTO 242-338-8668 William Trubridge info@verticalblue.net Long Island

OCTOBER 19-20 21st Annual International Cultural Wine & Food Festival

JULY-AUGUST

Junkanoo Summer Festival

Hosted by the Ministry of Tourism, the event showcases Bahamian cultural heritage with performances by major Junkanoo groups with costumed revellers, choreographed dancing and music in a one of a kind parade; a beachside concert, featuring top Bahamian entertainers; a Kiddie Corner; and Bahamian art and craft on sale. This event is held every Saturday in July, from 4pm1pm. Ministry of Tourism Fish Fry, New Providence

FRIDAY NIGHTS Night Fish Fry

Every Friday night at Anchor Bay, sponsored by Governor’s Harbour Development Association This event attracts locals and visitors. The proceeds go towards the Annual Homecoming and various projects within the community. Eleuthera Tourist Office 242-332-2142 Anchor Bay Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera

26 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Since 2009, this Festival has proven to be arguably the most popular Festival in The Bahamas. Each year adds exciting new features, more booths and more stage presentations. Ever popular with adults and children, as the Festival provides fun activities for all ages. Come out and enjoy the best weekend in The Bahamas! Janet Johnson 302-2000 or 427-3757 www.culturefestbahamas.com Botanical Gardens, Nassau To view events for the entire Bahamas follow this link: www.bahamasvisitorsguide. com/events


going Events NOVEMBER

Jollification

This cultural event, esteems to grow its network and fortify itself as the premier arts festival sustaining the local creatives, artisans, musicians, culinary artists, and craftspeople of The Bahamas. Bahamas National Trust 242-393-1317 www.bnt.bs Bahamas National Trust New Providence

MON.-SAT (Except Thursday)

Antonius Roberts Gallery

See great art works at Hillside House on Cumberland St., By Antonius Roberts and others, from 10am-4pm. Antonius Roberts 242-322-7678 antoniousroberts@gmail.com Cumberland St, Nassau

People to People Tea Party

NOVEMBER 27-29 Battle 4 Atlantis

Celebrating its ninth year of elite collegiate tournament play, the 2019 Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis will include UNC, Oregon, Michigan, Gonzaga, Iowa State, Seton Hall, Alabama and Southern Miss. The annual Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis once again falls during the Thanksgiving holiday. The 12-game, threeday tournament is regarded as one of the most challenging early-season tournaments. For more information, call 363-6602 or visit BATTLE4ATLANTIS.COM. Atlantis, Paradise Island

A delightful hour of tea at historical Government House. Free admission. Ministry of Tourism Bernadette Bastian 242-356-0437 Government House, Nassau

DECEMBER 5-8 The Best of the Best Regatta

Competitive sloop sailing among international sailors in conjunction with the Star Sailing League, going up against The Bahamas’ Best sailors, in a festive cultural environment, complete with live entertainment, cuisine and delicious native drinks. Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources 242-397-7400 Ministry of Tourism 242-302-2000 Montagu Beach, Nassau

DECEMBER 26 Junkanoo

The largest cultural festival in The Bahamas, Junkanoo is a street parade filled with music, dance and a creative display of artistic talent. With groups that can be as large as 1,000 strong, the parade features hypnotic rhythms produced by the beating of goatskin drums, the clanking of cowbells and the blowing of horns and whistles. Vibrant costumes depicting chosen themes are made from crepe paper and cardboard and a show of lively dance routines bring a burst of colour and splendor, engaging parade-goers to feel the rush! Rooted in African culture, Junkanoo parades in The Bahamas bring people from all walks of life together and provides entertainment for thousands each year. Nationwide

www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 27


28 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide


T

he Bahamas is a multi-island destination with over 700 islands, inclusive of cays and islets. Typically, the more popular islands like New Providence (usually referred to as Nassau), Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, Abaco, the mainland of Eleuthera and Harbour Island, Bimini and the Exumas are favoured tourist hotspots, but there is so much more that this archipelagic nation has to offer! A true paradise, you are heartily encouraged to visit some of the lesser known but equally beautiful sandy shores of islands like Inagua, Rum Cay, San Salvador and Long Island.

Welcome!~

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ABACO & THE ABACO CAYS

Visit Abaco

30

The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide


W

elcome to The Abacos. Calm waters, warm breezes and panoramic beauty make this chain of islands a boating and sailing paradise. But it’s not just the sea that attracts travelers from around the world. Those who prefer to explore by land will find championship golf courses on Treasure Cay, charming colonial towns on Green Turtle Cay and Elbow Cay, and countless hotels, restaurants and bars throughout The Abacos. The Abacos are a group of islands and cays that form a 120-mile-long chain stretching over 650 square miles. The coastlines are scalloped with bays, coves and protected harbors that feature full-service marinas and resorts. Great Abaco and Little Abaco islands serve as the “mainland.” Marsh Harbour has a lively downtown area with all city amenities. Treasure Cay boasts miles of pristine beaches, including one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Elbow Cay and Green Turtle Cay are old English Loyalist settlements where you’ll find beautifully preserved colonial architecture with a touch of Bahamian pastels, of course. Guana Cay is famous for Sunday barbecues atop the island’s tall sand dune overlooking a magnificent seven-mile-long beach. MH = Marsh Harbour TC = Treasure Cay MOW = Man-O-War Cay GC = Guana Cay • CS = Cherokee Sound GTC = Green Turtle Cay HT = Hope Town • FC = Fowl Cay

Quick Island Facts

Location: 97 miles N of Nassau Population: 17,224 (2010 Census) Money: On Par with U.S Dollar Credit & Debit Cards Accepted, Cash Airport: 2: Leonard M. Thompson International Airport (MHH) located in Marsh Harbour 367-5500; Treasure Cay International Airport (TCB) North Abaco, 365-8602 How to Get Here: Scheduled air flights, private plane, private boat, ferry from Nassau How to get around: Car Rental & Taxis. Mostly located at Airport Banks: Four commercial banks provide in branch services and ATMs for cash withdrawals. WiFi/Internet: Yes, BTC

Great Abaco Island

Marsh Harbour – Great Abaco island is home to Marsh Harbour, the “bright lights and big city” of the Out Islands. And to put that into perspective, Marsh Harbour has exactly one traffic light, the only one in all The Bahamas Out Islands! Along with a great selection of hotels, restaurants and bars, Marsh Harbour is charter boat central, with several full-service marinas to dock your own boat or find a rental – both live aboard sailboats and powerboats are available. Little Harbour in the south of Great Abaco is a protected bay with a small artist colony based around the Johnston family and Pete Johnston’s Pete’s Pub.

Winding Bay is the home of the exclusive, private golf club community The Abaco Club at Winding Bay. Cherokee Sound is a quaint community and the most isolated settlement on the island. It has neat, narrow concrete streets and steel painted houses. Clean and quiet, it is surrounded by beaches, a creek teeming with marine life, and a blue hole system with world-class, deep-sea and bone fishing. It has the longest dock in Abaco, known as The Long Dock, and the only over-water bridge on Abaco, referred to as Bridge Creek. www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 31

ABACO & THE ABACO CAYS

About Abaco


ABACO & THE ABACO CAYS

Sandy Point is located on a narrow peninsula in southwest Great Abaco, about 50 miles southwest of Marsh Harbour. It is well laid out with traditional Bahamian houses, and is a relatively prosperous settlement, with fishing and crawfishing as the main industries. Typical family names are Lightbourne, Bain, Dean, Adderley, Burrows, Green and Roker.There is direct weekly mail-boat service to Nassau.

To visit Green Turtle Cay, you first head north on Great Abaco to Treasure Cay, and can catch a ferry for the short hop.

Treasure Cay is north of Marsh Harbour and comprises a hotel, golf course, marina and real estate development wrapped around a beach with the whitest, softest sand you’ve ever seen.

Art Galleries & Museums

The Cays

The outer islands up to Great Guana are easily reached by the Abacos scheduled ferry service from Marsh Harbour. Elbow Cay is home to Hope Town and the famous candy-striped lighthouse, a

Green Turtle Cay is a quaint town with a full-service marina and hotels and dive and snorkel services.

What to do

HTrending top Things to do! The Albert Lowe Museum................. GTC Wyannie Malone Historical Museum.... HT Man-O-War Heritage Museum .......MOW Memorial Sculpture Garden................ GTC Johnston’s Studios, Art Gallery & Foundry.......................LH Green Turtle Cay Historic .................. GTC Library Cookhouse.............................. GTC

H Beaches

There are many spectacular stretches of sand here, most notably Treasure Cay Beach’s stunning white sand that was voted one of the 10 best beaches in the world by National Geographic. Tahiti Beach off Elbow Cay, has soft white sand, sevenmile-long Guana Cay Beach has a tall sand dune, Abaco Beach Resort’s sand is shaded beneath palm trees and Sandy Point Beach has lots of shells.

H Boating & Marinas

With an entire chain of enchanting islands arrayed around a warm, calm sea, The Abaco islands are one of the world’s favourite photo subject now, but quite controversial when it was originally under construction in 1863. Up to that time, the islands’ residents had been making a comfortable living by salvaging ships that wrecked on the offshore reefs. Man-O-War Cay is just north of Elbow Cay, and another Loyalist settlement, a conservative “dry” island, and the Abacos’ boat-building center, with a naturally protected harbor and boat-fitting and sail shops. Great Guana Cay is next up the chain and famed for the Sunday barbecues at Nippers Bar which sits on top of the island’s tall sand dune, overlooking the cay’s magnificent seven-mile-long beach.

32

The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

best cruising and sailing areas and have been The Bahamas’ boating capital since colonial times. Whether you’re a sailing purist willing to tack until the last gasp of wind or a powerboater who throttles up to ensure you’re at the anchorage by happy hour’s first call, this is truly a yachtsman’s paradise.


H Cay Hop

Photo by Destination Abaco

Rent a boat and spend a day or more skipping among 150 cays. Settle onto your own private strip of beach and enjoy. Boat rental companies are available on each cay and throughout the mainland.

H Scuba Diving

Boating Information

The Cruiser’s Net, Abaco’s most popular radio information is VHF 68 at 8:15. Use the VHF to stay in touch. • Channel 16: Calling Only • Channel 06: Taxis • Channel 68: Cruiser’s Net • Channel 83: Medical and BASRA • Channel 72: Elbow Cay Rescue Squad, Emergencies only When you hear someone on VHF 16 answer “Go Over”, you can bet they are

The diving and snorkeling is excellent all through the Abacos, with several protected underwater areas such as Fowl Cay National Reserve and Pelican Cays National Park, with massive reefs and swim-through caves that are seasonally filled wall to wall with silver baitfish, and dive spots at the edge of the reef where you’re almost guaranteed to see Caribbean reef sharks.

H Family Fun

Hop on a ferry to Abaco’s cays: Hope Town, Man-O-War Cay, Guana Cay or Green Turtle Cay; snorkel at Mermaid Reef; take a swim in the Treasure Cay blue hole; or golf at Winding Bay.

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ABACO & THE ABACO CAYS

going to “their” channel. In fact, you know you’ve finally arrived when you know where “over” is.


H Fishing

Fishing is huge in the Abaco islands, from the excellent bonefishing in Cherokee Sound and out in the “marls,” to the blue water big game species like marlin and tuna that prowl the Atlantic side within easy sight of the outer islands. Bonefishing–Are you an experienced bonefisherman? Or do you want to have a guide teach you the basics to bonefishing? With miles of flats, many professional guides on hand, access to the worldrenowned “marls,” and large numbers and sizes of bonefish, Abaco is the perfect place for bonefishing. There are a number of bonefish lodges, tours and guides across the island.

Golfing

A game of golf is easily available in Abaco. Ask your front desk clerk for the nearest golf course.

Abaco, this 89-foot high candy-striped edifice was built in 1863 and is one of only two hand-wound kerosene-burning lighthouses still operational in the world. Hours are Mon-Sat 9am-6pm. For more information visit:https://www. elbowreeflighthousesociety.com/

Tours

Treat yourself to a cultural or historical experience with one of Abaco’s tour companies where you’ll discover the island’s natural beauty and best-kept secrets.

Where to Dine

National Parks

Abaco National Park........Hole in The Wall A sanctuary for the endangered Abaco parrot and many other birds. Black Sound Cay National Park ........ GTC Fowl Cay National Reserve................... FC Pelican Cays Land & Sea Park.............. CS The first of its kind in the world. Located just off Cherokee Sound, this land and sea park encompasses four small cays and their surrounding waters – Channel Rock, Gaulding Cay and the southern portion of Sandy Cay. On the seaward side of Sandy Cay lies a popular snorkeling reef that is the park’s main point of interest.

Sightseeing

The Elbow Reef Lightstation................. HT The most recognizable landmark on

34

The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

With endless dining options to choose from, Abaco offers Bahamian, American and international cuisine imbued with local flavours to gratify every appetite. There’s also a great demand for Jamaican and Creole-inspired dishes. From breakfast to dinner, and from Crown Haven to Sandy Point, savor the distinctive flavor of Abaco at one of the island’s many eateries.

Photo by Hope Town Harbour Lodge

ABACO & THE ABACO CAYS

For more historic offerings, visit the Albert Lowe Museum or Wyannie Malone Museum. The Bae Restaurant & Bar is the perfect spot for water sports, or visit Nipper’s for its famous Sunday pig roast.


Dance the night away as breathtaking Bahamian sunsets dip below the horizon, giving way to a canopy of dazzling stars as you sway to the sweet, rhythmic sounds of Rake n’ Scrape or Calypso music. During live performances by local musicians and bands at any of Abaco’s tourist hot spots, be sure to sample specialty Bahamian drinks and delicacies.

Photo by Hope Town Harbour Lodge

Photo by Destination Abaco

Nightlife/Bars

Weddings

Abaco is a popular island for destination weddings. Besides booking expert wedding planners to plan every detail of your wedding, there are many resorts, such as Hope Town Harbour Lodge, that offer exclusive wedding packages. The famous Treasure Cay Public Beach provides the perfect backdrop for your dream wedding.

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ABACO & THE ABACO CAYS

Annual Island Roots Heritage Festival held every May in Green Turtle Cay


ABACO & THE ABACO CAYS

WALKERS CAY

CROWN HAVEN

Handcrafted bags by Abaco Canvas

Shopping

With a great selection of stores and shopping complexes conveniently located throughout Abaco, shoppers are bound to find authentic Bahamian products, and great bargains for unique gift ideas, to accessorize their home, or simply make them “the talk of the town” wearing the latest fashions. The island’s supermarkets, hardware and marine stores simplify shopping for groceries and much-needed supplies.

Where to Stay

Homey, private hotels, cottage-style resorts and rental homes make accommodations in Abaco. You can find full-scale resorts here as well the provide multiple restaurants, bars, pools and activities. RESORTS

Hope Town Harbour Lodge Tel: 242-366-0095 stay@hopetownlodge.com www.hopetownlodge.com Elbow Cay-Our Lodge is ideally situated on a beautiful 2-mile Atlantic Ocean beach. We are a snorkelers and beach lovers paradise. We invite new guests to come and visit wonderful Hope Town and stay with us.

FOX TOWN

• Peaceful and stable democracy since 1729 • Independent nation with compliant legislation and consultative legislative approach • No local taxes on capital gains, inheritance, corporate and personal income, dividends and interest. • Proactive incentives for investment. Highly trained industry professionals and an English-speaking • Essential public services and modern Ideal climate and lifestyle with many islands and cays to explore. REALTORS

Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty

Marsh Harbour, Abaco – 242.367.5046 Hope Town, Abaco – 242.366.0163 Treasure Cay, Abaco – 242.699.3900 Guana Cay, Abaco – 242.359.6885 https://www.sirbahamas.com/eng Providing access to luxury Bahamas real estate and home sales throughout the islands of the Bahamas, our team of real estate professionals deliver unsurpassed market knowledge Bahamas private islands for sale.

Attorney/Counsels at Law

LC Hull & Co...............................367-2030 www.lchull.com

Did You Know?

Real Estate/Investing

Out Island Excursions-

• Close proximity to major North American and Latin American financial centres Within 50 miles of the world’s largest economy • Same time zone as New York and Toronto (EST)

Ferry Services

TOP 10 REASONS TO INVEST IN THE BAHAMAS

36 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Bahamas Fast Ferries offers ferry to Nassau fron Sandy Point Surfing-There is good surfing off Elbow Cay. One Way- $15 Adult • $8 Child Round Trip-$25 Adult • $15 Child

Hotel & Restaurant Prices

In Abaco 15% gratuity is not added to your bill. Hotel Prices are for 2 people in a standard double room. Add 6% -12% for service fees.

CEDA HARBO

LITT ABA


SPANISH CAY COOPERS TOWN

TLE ACO

Green Turtle Cay Treasure Cay

Great Guana Cay

Leisure Lee

SCOTLAND CAY

TURTLE ROCKS

Marsh Harbour

Man-O-War Cay

Elbow Cay Hope Town

GREAT ABACO

LINYARD CAY LITTLE HARBOUR LINYARD CAY CHEROKEE CASUARINA SOUND POINT BAHAMA SHORES

Schooners Bay VIllage LONG BEACH

CROSSING ROCKS

SANDY POINT

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HOLE IN THE WALL

ABACO & THE ABACO CAYS

AR OUR


ACKLINS & CROOKED ISLAND

Photo by Greys Point Bonefish Inn

Visit Acklins & Crooked Isl. Photo by Chester’s HIghway Inn

Photo by Greys Point Bonefish Inn

38 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide


T

hink back to when the most important thing on your agenda was to throw your line over board and wait for a bite while exploring a 1,000mile lagoon. Or when did discovering rock formations make your top 10 “to do” list? Not any time lately? Well, get off your chartered course and enjoy one of The Bahamas’ least known but hugely enjoyable destinations. Shhhh…it’s our little secret. Acklins and its neighbor Crooked Island hug a lagoon called the Bight of Acklins, world famous for its bonefishing flats. The island and its cays are ideal for serious scuba divers, snorkelers and boating enthusiasts. Nature lovers flock to its rugged terrain and exotic plant and animal life. Neighbouring cays host iguanas and flamingos – a must see!

What to Do H Explore

Along its coastline are numerous hidden coves with extensive, beautiful beaches, and a number of quaint little villages with very revealing names. Lovely Bay is located near the ferry landing to and from Crooked Island. Snug Corner is where residents of this “corner” of the island are almost outnumbered by the church steeples. Spring Point, the capital of Acklins, is the location of “Outside Kitchen”, a stone house ruin smothered by flowering bushes.

Quick Island Facts

Location: 281 miles SE of Nassau Population: 565 (2010 Census) Airport: 1 Crooked Island Airport (CRI) in Colonel Hill. How to Get here: Schedule flights on Bahamasair into Colonel Hill (Mon, Wed & Sat) How to get around: Rental car/taxi. Ferry service between the islands. Banks: None WiFi/Internet: BTC Delectable Bay, the interpretation of which is left to one’s imagination, is a “town” with a few houses and lots of vegetation. Pompey Bay is the site of sleeping remains of a plantation’s rock walls which reflect the atmosphere of the town.

Castle Island

Castle Island is off the southwest tip of Acklins with an 1867 lighthouse once used as a retreat for pirates who attacked ships in the nearby passage. Sailors might also want to check out the Mira Por islets and the Samana Cays.

Photo by Chester’s Highway Inn

Please Note: Anglers are only allowed to catch and release when catching bonefish, permit, snook, cobia and tarpon. www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 39

ACKLINS & CROOKED ISLAND

About Acklins


H Fishing

Visitors to Acklins can have a week-long adventure with experienced bonefishing guides using fly-fishing tackle.

Where to Dine

B Pittstow Poin Landing Gun Blu

Landr Point

Enjoy the catch of the day at your resort or lodge and unwind with a soothing cocktail while reminiscing on the day’s trip.

Where to Stay

Greys Point Bonefish Inn................ 375-2632 ..............................................or 344-3210 Chester’s Highway Inn.................... 344-3114 Ivel’s Bed & Breakfast.................... 344-3199

F

About Crooked Is.

I

f you’re looking for a vacation packed with activity in a busy city, Crooked Island is not the place for you. If you’d like to kick back on one of the best beaches in The Bahamas or reel in more fish than you thought possible, then, welcome to a little piece of heaven! Whether you’re savoring French toast at Gibson’s or enjoying a down home Fish Fry meal of cracked conch and guava duff, this island is a serene destination with crisp, clean air and friendly islanders eager to speak of their heritage. As a neighbor to Acklins, Crooked Island borders the eastern end of the Crooked Island Passage, the dividing point between the Caribbean Sea and The Bahamas. When Columbus landed at what is now Pittstown Point, he called it Fragrant Island because of the aroma of its many herbs. One scent was cascarilla bark,

Albert To

What to Do H Explore

An abundance of bird life thrives on the cliffs and reefs around Crooked Island. Coral gardens, shelves and reefs are a retreat for divers. The deep creeks, tidal flats and pools filled with game fish make

Quick Island Facts

Location: 255 miles SE of Nassau Population: 330 (2010 Census) Spring Point Airport (AXP ) How to Get here: Bahamasair into Spring Point (Mon & Wed) How to get around: Rental car Banks: None WiFi/Internet: BTC

40 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

S


Gordon Bluff

Seaview Richmond Hill Criple Hill Fairfeild Hill Moss Town Cabbage Hill Turtle Sound Turtle Sound

rail t

Winding Bay

Thompson’s True Blue

Colonel Hill Major’s Cay

French Wells

Cove Point Cove

Goat Cay

Lucian Cay

Lovely Bay

Brown’s

Gun Point

Gold Rocks

Atwood Harbour

Chester’s

Hell’s Gate North East Point

Richmond Lovely Bay Pinefeild

The Marls

Jewish

own

Hard Hill

LONG CAY

Richmond

Snug Corner Mason’s Bay

North Cay

Mason’s Bay

Golden Grove Spring Point Spring Point Camel Point

Guana Cay

Delectable Bay

Delectable Bay

Maria Bay

Jamaica Cay

Cotton Bay Cay

Pompey Bay

Pompey Bay

H

Benacle Hill Rocky Point

Beach in Landrail Point Roker’s Cay Jim Point

Ben’s Landing

Jim Point

Salina Point

Heastie Bay

Salina Point

Southwest Point

CASTLE ISLAND Mudian Harbour

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ACKLINS & CROOKED ISLAND

Bird Rock wn nt gs uff


Pittstown and Crooked Island are surrounded by the some of the best virgin diving in The Bahamas. Coral filled reefs abound with dramatic drop-offs to 600 fathoms in the passage. The currentfree reef face welcomes you to calm, breathtaking excursions.

H Bonefishing

Crooked Island has excellent bonefishing.

Where to Dine it a sportsman’s delight. Spectacular, whitesand beaches stretch for miles. Historical sites give one a peek into the island’s past.

There are restaurants where you can find native dishes for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Call in advance or ask your resort or a local to help you.

Bird Rock Lighthouse, a 112-feet structure, built in 1872 stands on the cliffs at the northern entrance of the Crooked Island Passage. Christopher Columbus is said to have anchored here for a short period. Caves of Crooked Island are magnificent limestone formations, which hide secrets from the past. The stalactites and stalagmites take on unusual forms and shapes. Some say they resemble the ruins of churches and castles. Colonel Hill is the capital of Crooked Island. French Well, the remains of fortifications, including an old cannon, stand as reminders of the colonial period. Hope Great House was the centerpiece of a 19th century plantation during the reign of George V of England. Now, aloe and other plants from the orchards and gardens embrace the ruins. It is a protected landmark and is managed by the Bahamas National Trust. Visit www.bnt.bs. Landrail Point is a northern port which was the site of the first general post office in the islands of The Bahamas whose remaining walls are now a part of the Pittstown Point Dive Club at Pittstown Landings.

Photo by Averi Cleare

ACKLINS & CROOKED ISLAND

Diving & Snorkeling

Where to Stay

Casaurinas........................................ 457-7005 Crooked Island Lodge..................... 344-2507

About Long Cay

Long Cay is 8 square miles and is in the Acklins and Crooked Islands district. The population is 33. Long Cay lies to the west of a shallow lagoon called the Bight of Acklins and is an extension of the southern end of Crooked Island, separated from it by a channel about one mile wide. The main town is Albert Town. Great Salt Pond lies in the middle of the island. The southernmost point is known as Windsor Point. It was the location of The Bahamas’ first jail and first point of entry as well as home of the first Anglican church.

Sightsee

Places to visit in Long Cay are: Fortune Island Villas, The After Work Bar and for eats visit Sierra’s Take Away. Located 10 miles from Crooked Island, the cay is serviced by a daily ferry into Cabbage Hill, which also coincides with Marine Farm is an ancient British fort, and a protected site, guarding the northwest flights to/from Nassau. Call Administrator’s Office at 344-2197 or entrance of the Crooked Island Passage. 344-2525 for more information. 42 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide


Photo by Ministry of Tourism, Andros

ANDROS

Visit Andros

Photo by Tiamo Resort

Androsia Fabric provided by Small Hope Bay Lodge

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ANDROS

Andros Barrier Reef

About Andros

Andros is the largest island in the Bahamian archipelago and the fifth largest land mass in the Caribbean. The island is 104 miles long by 40 miles at its widest point. The population of Andros is around 8,000 descendents of freed African Slaves, Seminole Indians and the mythical Chickcharnie, a green imp said to live in the interior pine forests. Andros is divided by geography and four administrative districts. The administrative center of North Andros is Nicholl’s Town. Settlements in this district are: BARC, Conch Sound, Lowe Sound, Mastic Point, Morgan’s Bluff, Red Bays, San Andros and Stafford Creek. Fresh Creek is the administrative center for Central Andros, and settlements within this district are: Blanket Sound, Staniard Creek, Love Hill, Small Hope Bay, Calabash Bay, Andros Town, Bowen Sound, Man-O-War Sound, Cargill Creek and Behring Point. Mangrove Cay is often described as an island within an island. Moxey Town is the administrative center here and the surrounding settlements are Little Harbour, Burnt Rock, Pinder’s, Swain’s, Grant’s, Victoria Point and Lisbon Creek. Kemp’s Bay is the administrative center for the southernmost district of Andros. Settlements in this area include Drigg’s Hill, Congo Town, High Rock, The Bluff, Long Bay Cays, Smith’s Hill, Deep Creek, Little Creek and Mars Bay. Traveling to any one of the four airports on Andros is quick and easy. Scheduled airlines and charter flights from Nassau and South Florida call on official ports of entry at San Andros (North), Andros Town, (Central) and Congo Town (South) daily. However, the airport at Mangrove Cay does not have customs and immigration clearance facilities. Transportation via sea aboard

44

Long Island Visitors’ Guide

Quick Island Facts

Location: 53 miles W of Nassau Population: 7490 (2010 Census) Money: On Par with U.S Dollar Credit & Debit Cards Accepted, Cash Airport: 4: San Andros Airport (SAQ) located in North Andros, Andros Town International Airport (ASD) located in Central Andros or Fresh Creek. Mangrove Cay Airport (MYAB) South Andros Airport (TZN) How to get around: Car Rental & Taxis. Mostly located at Airport Banks: Yes WiFi/Internet: Yes, BTC Bahamas Ferries to Morgan’s Bluff, North Andros and Fresh Creek, Central Andros is a convenient, economical and popular means of travel. Androsians are steeped in Afrocentric traditions with lifestyles that are tied to the land and sea. Activities such as singing, dancing, storytelling, basket weaving and boat building are the order of the day, in addition to a seasonal religious ritual, called “Rushin”. Other popular events on the island include sloop sailing/ regattas and fish fry, homecoming, crabbing and theme festivals.

What to Do

Andros is a naturalist’s wonderland, thanks to its many beaches, blue holes, pine forests and mangrove swamps as well as rich coppices that are home to myriad species of orchids that grow wild in the pristine environment. While in Andros be sure to visit and explore the following to discover the real Andros!


ANDROS

Largest National Park System

The largest protected area in The Bahamas, Andros’s ecosystem includes five national parks: the Blue Holes National Park, Crab Replenishment Reserve, North & South Marine Parks and the West Side National Park.

Third-longest Fringing Barrier Reef The reef is 190 miles long and drops to about 8 feet on the island side and plunges to more than 6,000 feet in the Tongue of the Ocean. It is unique in the region because of its size, lush coral growth and minimal coral disease.

Andros West Side National Park

Beaches

Walk along one of the secluded white sandy beaches

H Birding Watching

More than 300 species of birds have been recorded in The Bahamas.

Caves

Contact Andros Tourist Office 368-2286 for more information.

H Diving

Diving experiences here ranges from shallow water, wreck and blue-hole dives to dramatic wall dives.

Captain Bill’s Blue Hole

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ANDROS

H Explore

Andros has unique ecological features including blue holes, virgin forests, freshwater lakes, creeks, mangrove swamps, beaches, flats, coral reefs, and the 6,000 feet deep Tongue of the Ocean. These treasures contribute to the branding of the island as a designated “sustainable tourism” destination. On-island guests can take ecotours and nature walks through evergreen coppices and pristine pine forests to inland blue holes and caves. Participants in these activities will hear and see a wide array of song birds, exotic insects, land crabs, wild boars and reptiles including iguanas. Opportunities also exist for the more adventurous visitor to kayak into inland lakes or mangrove laced creeks. Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy some of the world’s best fly fishing experiences for bonefish, permit and tarpon with coaching from professionally trained and certified guides. This island has the most expansive area of mangroves and saltwater flats in the world, and the highest concentration of specialty fishing lodges in The Bahamas. Pelagic species such as tuna, dolphin, wahoo and marlin are also caught in the Tongue of the Ocean. Scuba diving and

46 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Andros Blue Holes snorkeling are specialties of Andros; the island has the world’s third longest barrier reef. Here novice and experienced underwater lovers can enjoy a range of activities from snorkeling around shallow coral heads and wrecks to exploring the outer limits of the barrier reef, diving off the wall and into the oceanic blue holes. Andros can be seen through the familiar eyes of a courteous taxi driver, or by renting a car for self exploration. Visitors to Andros have found social interaction with residents at local gathering places, from roadside eateries to church services, to be a treat. Most restaurants offer a selection of Bahamian and American cuisine and the dress code is casual.


Red Bays

ANDROS ANDROS

Jolter Cays

Morgans Bluff Nicholls Town Lowe Sound San Andros Conch Sound San Mastic Point Andros Airport

Owen Town

Stafford Creek Blanket Sound Stanyard Creek

Beachside

Love Hill ve eH

Capt. Bills Blue Hole Small Hope Bay Lodge

Twin Lakes

Williams Island

Small Hope Calabash Bay C

Andros Town Fresh Creek

Bowen Sound Man of War Sound Cargill Creek Behring Point

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Great Bahama Bank

Big

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Beachside

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Big Wood Cay

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Little Luggar Head Creek

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Moxey Town

Mangrove Cay Bastian Point

Lisbon Creek

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Tiamo Resort

Big

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Beachside

Driggs Hill Long Bay Congo Town Long Bay Cays High Rock

South Andros The Bluff

Deep Creek

Smiths Hill Kemp’s Bay Johnson’s Bay Black Point Little Creek Pleasant Bay High Point Cay Mars Bay

Grassy Cays Water Cays Curly Cut Cays

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Tours

Photo by Tiamo Resort

ANDROS

Blue Hole Tours Nature & Blue Hole Tours What to wear: Long sleeve shirt, Long Pants, Sneakers, tennis shoes, cap, sun glasses. What to bring: drinking water and insect repellent.

H Fishing

Bonefishing on the Andros flats is world renowned for both the size and abundance of the species. The devoted angler may choose to stay at one of many bonefishing lodges, which offers structured fishing programmes complete with personal fishing guides. Deep-sea fishing and reef fishing are also available. BONEFISH GUIDES Mangrove Cay

Captain Miller Bonefish Guide

Spa

Enjoy a full selection of salon and spa services to cater to all your needs and pamper you from head to toe.

Tel: 242-369-0798 or 242-427-9119 www.captain-miller.com Mangrove Cay – Fish for bonefish, tarpon, barracuda, Offshore permit and many more with one of Andros’ best bonefish guides.

Fish Fry

On the beach in Nicholl’s Town, Pinders, Mangrove Cay, Long Bay Cays Park and South Andros

H Kayaking/Snorkeling

Kayak and snorkeling tour routes parallel stretches off white sand beaches, explore mangroves and stop at uninhabited tiny cays.

H Nature & Ecotours

A nature trail explores the island flora and fauna, blue holes and medicinal plants. Guided nature walks are offered by Small Hope Bay Lodge, several Mangrove Cay hotels and in South Andros through the Tourist Office.

Rental Cars

Rental cars are found in most major settlements. Rates for mid-size cars average $70 to $85 and vans $120, daily.

48 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Where to Dine

Dine on culinary masterpieces prepared by Andros’s downhome chefs and top notch restaurants. Bahamian dishes incorporate fresh fish, conch, lobster (in season) and land crab.

Shopping

Shop for signature straw craft products, handcrafted wood carvings, freshly harvested sponge, or the famed Androsia print fabric in assorted colours for clothing, or home decor made by local artisans.

Where to stay

Visitors can stay at a range of accommodation facilities from exclusive private island resorts, ocean-view dive specialty lodges, creek-side fly-fishing cottages to family-oriented guest houses.


Visit The Berry Islands

Hoffman’s Cay Blue Hole

Deep-sea Fishing

www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 49

THE BERRY ISLANDS

Sugar Beach


THE BERRY ISLANDS

Photo by bahamas.com

Berry Islands

M

iles of secluded swim ashore beaches, invigorating dive sites, and championship sportfishing are just a few of the highlights that make the Berry Islands a desired destination. Composed of a cluster of 30 cays, a majority of these islands are uninhabited. It’s not uncommon to stumble across a footprintfree beach or private cove. You could spend an entire day without seeing a single soul. The Berry Islands are also home to a number of cavern, reef, wall and wreck dive sites, as well as a 600-foot-wide blue hole, billfishing and ancient churches. The Berry Islands are made up of a land mass that totals just over 12 square miles. Many of the 30 cays that comprise the islands are great for snorkeling, hiking, diving and beachcombing. Great Stirrup Cay features an abandoned lighthouse built in 1863 during the reign of Prince William IV. Little Stirrup Cay (Coco Cay) is a private island exclusively used by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a one-day stopover. Chub Cay is known as the Billfish Capital of The Bahamas, as it borders the Tongue of the Ocean and attracts countless numbers of bait fish. Then there’s Great Harbour Cay which boasts seven continuous miles of magnificent beaches and one of the best protected harbors in The Bahamas. It was once a major golf resort for the rich and famous. In fact, there are more millionaires per square inch on the Berry Islands than most places on earth.

50

The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Quick Island Facts

Location: 53 miles NE of Nassau Population: 807 (2010 Census) Money: On Par with U.S Dollar Credit & Debit Cards Accepted, Cash Airport: 2: Great Harbour Cay Airport (GHC) and Chub Cay Airport (CCZ) How to get here: Scheduled flights from Chub NassauCay via Leair Charter Service, 367The Billfish Capital of The Chub 8175; Makers Air from FortBahamas, Lauderdale, Cay is a771-0330 must for avid sportfishers. The (954) beautiful and fertile Marinas: Chub Caywaters of the Tongue of the Ocean provide notCar onlyRental billfish blue How to get around: &but Taxis. marlin, and crawfish, to name Mostlymahi-mahi located at Airport aBanks: few. Call Chub Cay Marina at (242) 325Yes 1490 or Great Harbour Cay Marina at (242) WiFi/Internet: Yes, BTC 367-8005 to start your adventure.

Great Harbour Cay

Great Harbor Cay is known for its miles of uninterrupted beaches, seven to be exact. The entire cay was once a golf course, which makes sense because The Berry Islands are where millionaires go to fit in.

What to Do Beaches

Sugar Beach, considered one of the prettiest places in The Bahamas consists of numerous sandy coves set among cliffs, said to resemble the great Mediterranean beaches. There are also caves to explore, an abundance of thatchberry trees and ruins of the Sugar Beach Resort & Golf Club, the island’s original resort. The shelling is excellent here, and you’ll also find other sea treasures when strolling along the beach north of the ruins. For the more adventurous, the creeks are filled with many species of wild life.


Ship Yard Beach is located at what was the first settlement in Great Harbour Cay, an area formerly known as Bamboo Cay. It is among the most visited and best beaches here, and was a favorite of French actress Bridgette Bardot in the late 1960s.

the most beautiful coral gardens brimming with exotic fish, in addition to a narrated tour. Stingray City Pirates Way You’ll love the beautiful white shallow sand where you can stand up or swim with the stingrays who will greet you with the familiarity of an old friend. Your encounter includes feeding, snorkeling and taking lots of pictures with your new Ray friends. Berry Island Ecotour Great Harbour Cay This narrated eco-adventure boat tour will take you on a trip aboard a custom-built catamaran through the waters of Great Stirrup Cay and nearby islands. You can see stingrays and sharks in their natural habitat, just a few feet from your seat. Other highlights include touching a conch and a starfish.

H Sightseeing

Call Henry Butler.395-3730 to see all that the Berry Islands offer.

H Fishing

Chub Cay, the southernmost cay of the Berry Islands chain, is known as “the Billfish Capital of The Bahamas.” It borders the Tongue of the Ocean and bait fish are drawn into the deep-sea gully with larger fish following. Record catches have been made of mackerel, blue and white marlin, mahi-mahi, and wahoo. Bonefish, crawfish and conch are also plentiful. Flats stretch from Stirrup Cay in the north to Chub Cay in the south providing many opportunities to hook a bonefish. The geography of the Berry Islands makes getting to your fishing spot easy. Fishing can be arranged through any of the marinas and also at Whale Cay; equipment is available. Experienced guides will put you right on top of the best spots and offer a great day of fishing fun for the whole family. A number of championship tournaments are held here annually, luring sportfishermen from around the world.

Tours

Glass Bottom Boat Tour This great family activity is the ultimate way to experience undersea environs without getting wet. You will get to see some of

Blue Holes Hoffman’s Cay Blue Hole, located in the southern Berry Islands, is about 600 feet wide and has a cliff that hangs 20 feet above the water. Those who take the plunge from the cliff speak of an adrenaline rush as they venture into its mysterious depths. It’s said that oysters are its only living inhabitants. The blue hole is accessed via a horseshoe-shaped beach, just behind a stand of Australian Pine trees at the shoreline. Bamboo Cay Ocean Blue Hole is located one-quarter mile north of the Bullock’s Harbour Government Complex. It is 60 feet in diameter (the depth is unknown), and it is said that the great Jacques Cousteau himself dove into this blue hole. A magnificent sight to behold, it starts out as a shallow bank then immediately descends, giving the water a dark blue-black color that signifies that it is very deep. Places to Visit Bishop’s Landing Location: Bullocks Harbour Stone steps are carved out of the landing rocks at Bishop’s Landing on the western shore of St. Bartholomew Anglican Church so named as this was where the www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 51

THE ISLANDS THEBERRY BERRY ISLANDS

Shark Creek beach has crystal-clear water, with beautiful sand, and lots of seashells. You will be kept occupied by the variety of sea life to be found in the shallows, and it is also a popular shark viewing spot. You can swim across Shark Creek as a shortcut back to Shelling Beach, but you’ll need to be fast.


THE BERRY ISLANDS

visiting Bishop would disembark from his sailboat, the Message of Peace. Traveling by sailboat was the only means of transportation to the Out Islands at that time.

Photo by bahamas.com

Where to Dine/Nightlife St. Bartholomew Anglican Church Location: Bullocks Harbour St. Bartholemew Church, one of the places visited on the Day Away Excursion to Great Harbour Cay is the oldest church built more than 150 years ago. It was restored to its former glory in 2009 by its rector, the late, Father Thaddeus Pratt. The Jail House Location: Bullocks Harbour This was the first structural jail house in The Berry Islands. Stirrup Cay Lighthouse Location: Stirrup Cay The lighthouse is located on Great Stirrup Cay, a private island owned by Norwegian Cruise Line. It stands at 46 feet above sea level and is now solar-powered. On a clear day, it is possible to spot the lighthouse from Great Harbour Cay, when the sun hits it in the morning and evening. Non-passengers can visit by making prior arrangements.

Shopping

Authentic Bahamian souvenirs are available. Grocery stores stock regular grocery items as well as fish bait and tackle.

Restaurants in the Berry Islands offer finedining, with the option to dine al fresco on American, Bahamian, Continental and French cuisine. For a more casual setting, there are beach bars where you can find down-home cooking. The cays offer several choices for sampling Bahamian food, with an emphasis on fresh fish, conch and crawfish/spiny lobster (in season).

Where to Stay

Bungalows tucked into a tropical landscapes, chic villas so close to the ocean you can taste the saltwater, branded four-star boutique hotels and quaint Bahamian vacation rentals that welcome guests like long-time friends into their homes. This embodies the Out Islands, where even the largest resorts have fewer than 200 rooms, and many have less than a dozen. Staying in the Out Islands is an experience in and of itself.

Did You Know? Vacation Do’s and Dont’s Dos

Heat

• Try avoiding over exposure to the Sun. • Use sunscreen lotions, as bad burns early in vacation can cause deep discomfort. • Wear hats, caps and sunglasses to assist in protection against sun’s rays.

Don’ts

• Hesitate to engage the services of medical practitioners in the even of over-exposure to the sun. • Assume that children can be exposed to the sun’s rays for many hours with out protection.

52 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide


THE BERRY ISLANDS

Great Stirrup Cay NCL Private Island Coco Cay Lignumvitae Cay Cistern Cay

Great Harbour Cay

Shelling Beach

Fanny Cay Ambergris Cay

Hoffman’s Cay

Legend

H

Settlements

Information

Airport

Mailboat/Ferry

Caves

Cruise Ship

Clinic

BTC

Devils Cay

Little Harbour Cay

Sandy Cay Bonds Cay

Chub Cay

Whale Cay

www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 53


Sapona Jump

BIMINI

Photo by Tracy Kraft Laboe

Visit Bimini

Photo by Bimini Big Game

Photo by Resorts World Bimini

54 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide


BIMINI

About Bimini

L

ocated a mere fifty miles southeast of Florida, Bimini is the nearest Bahamian island to the US mainland making it the perfect escape, for a weekend trip or a full fledged vacation abroad. Bimini appeals to a variety of tastes: the seafaring in pursuit of the next big catch; divers seeking to explore the marvels of the undersea; history buffs; romantics and those who simply yearn for relaxation on a beautiful stretch of beach. Bimini is comprised of two islands: North Bimini and South Bimini. North Bimini, or simply Bimini, is where it all happens. Bimini packs a wide array of experiences into an island paradise only seven miles long by half mile wide and set in turquoise seas.

What to Do North Bimini

Ansil “Bonefish Ansil” Saunders (BT) ............................................473-9265 Bimini Boat Building, Bailey Town, is the workshop of local boat builder, Ansil Saunders, creator of “The Bimini Bone fisher”, a custom, handcrafted work of art. Bimini Museum (AT)................347-3038 Built in 1921 as the Commissioner’s Office and jail, it was abandoned in 1974. Now manages by Sir Michael and Lady Barbara Checkley, who restored it in 1999, it contains historical artifacts such as old cannon balls, photographs of Ernest Hemingway – an avid fisherman and frequent visitor to the island – as well as artifacts from the old Rod & Gun Club. Bimini Public Library (AT) Located just north of the museum, there is a variety of literature for public use. Dolphin House...........................347-3201 Established in 1993, the Dolphin House ‘Poetry In Stone’ is a dolphin- and ocean-

Quick Island Facts

Location: 129 miles WNW of Nassau Population: 1988 (2010 Census) Money: On Par with U.S Dollar Credit & Debit Cards Accepted, Cash Airport: 1: Bimini International Airport (BIM) How to get here: Scheduled flights – from Nassau Western Air, 347-4100; from Florida: Island Air Charters (954) 359-9942, Silver Airways (347) 4122; Flamingo Air (242) 347-4300, Miami Seaplane Tours (305) 361-3909 Marinas: Resorts World Bimini, & Bimini Big Game Ferry Service from Miami. FRS How to get around: Car Rental & Taxis. Mostly located at Airport Banks: Bank of The Bahamas ATM on site at Resorts World Casino and Hilton. Credit card payments or cash WiFi/Internet: BTC inspired mini museum built by local Bahamian author/historian/scholar Ashley Saunders. This popular attraction also offers a novel gift shop with souvenirs. Guests of the DH can enjoy historical walking tours daily, conducted by Saunders, who has written three history books on the Bimini islands. Bimini Memorial & Heroes Park Alice Town. Features monuments in memory of First and Second World War veterans and the victims of Chalk’s Ocean Airways plane crash in December 2005. There is also a section honouring heroes who have made notable contributions to the local community. 

South Bimini

Bimini Biological Field Station (BBFS) “Shark Lab” ....... 347-4538 or VHF 88A With a mission evenly divided between www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 55


BIMINI

education and research, the BBFS studies the role of sharks in the tropical marine environment, especially the lemon shark. Tours are offered daily. Call in advance. Bimini Nature Trail is a beautiful hiking trail that showcases Bimini’s plants and animals in their natural environment. The Bimini Boa and other animals handling with guided tours. Guided and self-guided tours available.

creature-shaped mounds rising above the mangroves.

Outlying Cays

Cat Cay, a private island just south of Gun Cay, has earned a reputation as a place for the rich and famous. For more information contact Cat Cay office at 347-3565 Ocean Cay is the site from which aragonite was dredged from the ocean’s floor but now will be home to a MSC Cruise Port and Marine Preserve scheduled to open November 2019

H Beaches

The Fountain of Youth, a small well at the side of the road is believed to be what the Explorer Ponce de Leon searched for this legendary fountain but never found it during his visit to Bimini.

Historical Sites

Brother’s Peter Wall, also known as “Bul Peter Well”, is a natural rock well carved by Peter Russell, an ex-slave, to water crops on his farm.

The best of which is a quiet continuous stretch of sand known by its three sections, Radio Beach, Blister Beach and Spook Hill. Possibly the most secluded of all Bimini’s beaches is South Bimini’s Shell Beach, stretching along the whole west side of the island. Plus beautiful coral reef snorkeling just off the beach.

H Diving

Enjoy shark and dolphin encounter experiences. Get advanced and open water certification course for wrecks, walls, cave and reefs.

The Healing Hole is a spring of freshwater, with healing minerals, that percolates inside a saltwater mangrove swamp. Sand Mounds, a 500 ft long, shark-shaped mound thought to be thousands of years old. It rises 10 feet above the water and is outlined by a sandy beach. Nearby is a rectangular-shaped mound, except for a projection at one end that looks like a fishhook. Next to that are a cat-shaped mound with a wide open mouth and several other

56 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

H Ecotourism

Bimini is rich in natural attractions, like the legendary Gulf Stream in which it sits and naturally occurring phenomena not found anywhere else in The Bahamas. Of note are the fabled Fountain of Youth that drew Explorer Juan Ponce de Leon here, the Healing Hole fresh-water springs gurgling from a saltwater swamp at Bonefish Creek, Shark Mound (500 feet long and 10 feet high) and several other creature-shaped mounds naturally formed from the sand. You will want to visit the Bimini Biological Field Station, a shark lab/research station that studies the role of the lemon shark. Learn about wild dolphins through the Bimini Dolphin Communication Project and interact with them in the wild. Hike through The Bimini Nature Trail and


BIMINI

North Bimini ini

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Ro

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Bi

East Wells

Shark Mound

Bimini Bay Porgy Bay

East Bimini

H

Bailey Town

Bonefishing Healing Hole

Alice Town

Fish

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Alec Cay

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Sea

Pigeon Cay Buccaneer Point

De

Ferry to Alice Town

South Bimini

Visitors to Bimini will fly into South Bimini Airport and take a short bus ride to the ferry dock or to Bimini Sands. Bus ride and ferry cost $10 one way.

Fountain of Youth Nixon’s Harbour Round Rock

get up close to the plants and animals that call Bimini home, like the Bimini Boa only found here. Organized tours let you easily experience all these wonders.

H Fishing

Head to the big leagues for sport fishing at Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina; otherwise, try your hand with some of the local fishing guides, who have years of experience. Biminite, Fred Rolle, offers an unforgettable fishing experience with his half-day or full-day fishing trips. Tommy “Bonefish Tommy” Sewell, is a Bimini nawww.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 57


BIMINI

tive with more than 25 years of experience. His work has been featured in The Miami Herald. We certainly couldn’t leave out Ebbie “Bonefish Ebbie” David. Another of Bimini’s certified bonefish guides, he has earned quite the reputation for “stalking bonefish on the flats of Bimini.” Make it a family trip with Ebbie, who can take you for a tour of the mangroves, the Healing Hole, Bonefish Creek, or the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. bust.

Golf Cart Rentals

KEEP LEFT! • Speed limit is 25 mph

Casino

Photo by Resorts World Bimini

The world-class Resorts World Bimini Casino is a 10,000 square-foot, live-action casino that features popular table games with competitive table limits including Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps and Roulette, more than 160 slot machines, a high-limit gaming salon and a Sports Book. With floor to ceiling windows, it is the first casino in the world to have panoramic water views, and has a full indoor-outdoor restaurant that sits directly on the Mega Yacht Marina. Guests can essentially sail right up to the casino doors.

Shopping

Walk along Alice Town to find native handcrafted souvenirs, essential items and grocery stores, hotels offer a small clothing signature items.

H Swim with The Dolphins

A once in a life time experience. A must do.

Water Activities

Bimini Craft Centre (AT).........347-3528 Has 17 stalls offering authentically Bahamian products. Live entertainment is featured occasionally.

You can enjoy water sports and activities in Bimini, ask your hotel front desk for paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling tours and adventures.

Weddings

Capture the magic of Bimini in a wedding ceremony that will leave you with memories you won’t make in any other place. For more information visit: http://www.bahamas.com/weddings

Where to Dine/Nightlife

Residents and visitors give five-star reviews for Resort World Bimini’s Luna restaurant and Hemingway’s sports bar, Bimini Big John’s Bar & Grill, and Ebbie’s Bonefish Club for their amazing food, friendly staff and incredible scenery. King’s Highway is the island’s nightlife hot spot with bars in walking distance. Enjoy performances by the Prime Time Band, Bahamian singer, Stevie S, or local legend, Nathaniel Saunders.

58 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Where to Stay

Visitors to Bimini can stay in five-star luxury hotel rooms or a quaint island-life setting, whatever your taste we can accommodate you.

Marinas

Book a slip at one of Bimini’s eight marinas. Most marinas provide rooms, slips, fuel, water, electricity, ice, showers, groceries, laundry and restaurants


Visit Cat Island

www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 59

CAT ISLAND

Photo by Fernandez Bay


CAT ISLAND

Photo by Fernandez Bay

About Cat Island

C

at Island may be an island of peace and tranquility, but make no mistake about it, there’s lots to see, do and experience on this serene island. If you simply want to unplug, unwind and rejuvenate, there are miles and miles of secluded beaches, even an eight-milelong stretch of pink sand beach – perfect for relaxation. If you favor a more active vacation experience, your options are numerous: fish, dive, snorkel, kayak through the mangroves, explore prehistoric caves and mysterious in-land fresh water lakes that are the subject of folklore, climb the trail up to 206 ft high Mt. Alvernia – the highest point in The Bahamas – at the top of which sits the Hermitage monastery built by a Franciscan monk. Or take a historic or a food tour, go bird watching, or explore some of the 40 slave plantation ruins that dot the island’s lush landscape. Cat Islanders are immensely proud of their island; proud of the fact that Cat Island is the childhood home of Sir Sidney Poitier, the first black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor. That Cat Island is the birthplace of Rake n’ Scrape, the authentically Bahamian music genre, ingeniously created by the harmonizing of sounds produced by three instruments: the scraping of the saw, the goat skin drum and the accordion. And proud that Cat Island holds the culinary reputation of having the best flour cake, the widest variety of breads, and the best baked crabs in all The Bahamas. To ensure that you sample all of the major highlights of Cat Island – its natural wonders, sporting pursuits, history and culinary delights be sure to visit Cat Island. Anyone who ventures to Cat Island departs with rave reviews that support our claim that It’s Better In The Bahamas.

60 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Quick Island Facts

Location: 128 miles SE of Nassau Population: 1522 (2010 Census) Money: On Par with U.S Dollar Credit & Debit Cards Accepted, Cash Airport: 2: New Bight International Airport (TBI) Arthur’s Town Int’l Airport (ATC) How to get around: Car Rental & Taxis. Mostly located at Airport By Boat: Anchorage available & at Hawks Nest Marina How to get around: Rental car/taxi Festivals: Rake n’ Scrape Festival, June; Cat Island Regatta, July Banks: Yes, Bank of The Bahamas, Smith’s Bay WiFi/Internet: Yes

What to Do Relax

Peace and relaxation are the key words of vacationing on Cat Island, the sixth largest island in the Bahamas. Since it is much smaller in population than many of the other islands, you won’t be a part of a crowd and thus able to enjoy its natural beauty more. Chances are you’ll have a better understanding of their local customs and way of life than on many other islands. You won’t feel like a tourist but rather an explorer.

Sightseeing

The Hermitage Mount Alvernia is the highest elevation in the country at 206 feet above sea level. The hill served as the hermitage of Father Jerome Hawes, who settled on the island in 1939, where he built a miniature monastery and hand-carved steps out of solid rock. Named after the pirate Arthur Cat,


Grape Point

Sea Glass Beach

Flamingo Point

Man of War Point North Bain Town

Smokey Point

Orange Creek The Lot

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Shipwreck remains of the Spanish Battleship “Infanta Maria Teresa”

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CAT ISLAND

Dicky Road

Benett’s Harbour

Alligator Point Roakers

Beachside

The Bluff

Cairey’s Gaitor’s

Industrious Hill

Stephenson

Cove Hart’s Bay Hill

Exuma Sound

Tea Bay Bank of The Bahamas

Knowles Village

Smith’s Bay

Govt. Dock

Fernandez Bay

The Hermitage New Bight Fish Fry

Holy Redeemer Church

Mt. Alvernia, Como Hill

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ky Ro ad

The Healing Hole

McQueen’s Zonicle Hill

Hawks Nest Resort

Hawks Nest Point

Port Howe Bain Town Devil’s Point

Frankford Point

NATIONAL PARK

Winding Bay

Columbus Point


CAT CAT ISLAND ISLAND

much of the island has not been developed, which provides a unique vacation for those who want to get away in a private, relaxing, laid-back environment. Of course, the pink beaches are popular, but so are the world-class diving adventures, snorkeling and fishing. With 50 miles of rolling hills and miles of nature trails, you truly can experience a Bahamian island in its native setting. This is not fabricated. This is The Bahamas. And on Cat Island, even the winters are a blazing 60 degrees, while in the summertime, temperatures linger around the mid-80s with a gentle breeze from the ocean.

For more attractions visit

Deveaux Planation & Mansion Holy Redeemer Catholic Church also built by Father Jerome Great House Church of St. Mary’s

H Diving

There are 29 dive destinations, and 1000+ regularly dived sites as well as unspoiled reefs, a plethora of wrecks, guaranteed shark encounters, the chance to swim with wild dolphins, spectacular walls and blue holes, and fantastic caves.

Fishing

Anglers from around the world come to Hawk’s Nest for the sport fishing. The pristine waters surrounding Cat Island abound with blue and white marlin, yellow fin tuna, wahoo, sailfish, dolphin and king mackerel. Many Bahamian records have been captured by our angling guests. Deep-sea fishing, bottom fishing, snorkeling and diving from a 14 foot whaler for rent. Sport fishing and bone fishing charters.

H Beaching

Like other famous islands, the beaches on Cat Island are big enough for everyone to have their own privacy to enjoy beach activities, especially skinny dipping. Most resorts offer kayaks, paddle boards and snorkeling equipment for your beach time. CATAMARAN CRUISE

Bahamas Catamaran Cruises Tel: 242-342-5155 calvsail@aol.com www.calvertcatamarancharters.com Port Howe. Enjoy sailing, snorkeling trips on Cat Island. Custom trips on other islands on our 46 ft Destiny lll. Photo by Pigeon Cay Club

Photo by Hawks Nest

Guided Tours

Tour historic ruins and plantations with slave quarters. Take a narrative bush hikes and learn about bush tea and medicines, fauna, pirates, blue holes, night crabbing, inland beautiful lakes, graveyards and the history of Lotto Man Cave, Columbus Point and Winding Bay.

Where to Dine

Locals and visitors alike come out to the bay in New Bight to enjoy “Fish Fry” for everything local. A must do!

62 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide


Photo by Fernandez Bay

Enjoy a five star dining option or a local dining experience.

Shopping

H Bonfire

Nightlife usually takes place at your resort. Most hotels will network to give you the best Rake n’ Scrape, bonfire and dancing experience. Contact your front desk.

Nightlife/Bars

Nightlife usually takes place at your resort. Most hotels will network to give you the best Rake and Scrape, Bonfire and Dancing experience. Contact your front desk.

Shopping on Cat Island consists of authentic Bahamian straw work and handcrafted wood work. You can also find a selection of resort wear. Small mom and pop stores provide grocery items.

Did You Know? Cat Island is the childhood home of Sir Sidney Poitier. He became the first black person to win an Academy Award as Best Actor for Lilies in the Field in 1964.

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CAT ISLAND

Restaurants


CAT ISLAND

Central Cat Island

Where to Stay

Rollezz Villas Beach Resort

RESORT

North Cat Island

Shanna’s Cove Tel: 242-354-4249 shannascove@gmail.com www.shannas-cove.com Orange Creek - Shannas Cove Resort is a paradise for anyone looking for a relaxing beach vacation in the sun. Relax in your private bungalow, enjoy a private beach, dining and diving.

Pigeon Cay Beach Club Tel: 242-354-5084 pcbclub@gmail.com www.pigeoncaybahamas.com Pigeon Cay - 7 cottages on the beach with an honor beach bar, bon fires, plenty of cold beverages, miles of white sand beach, hammocks, laid back people and so much more to discover!

Tel: 242-557-0005 or 242-474-8660 rollezzvillasbeachresort@gmail.com www.rollezz.com Joe Sound Creek, Old Bight - Set squarely between a gorgeous creek and a picturesque beach, this spectacular boutique resort offers guests a quiet place to relax and unwind.

Marinas

South Cat Island

Hawks Nest

Tel: 242-342-7050 info@hawks-nest.com www.hawks-nest.com Hawks Nest Point - We are a private pilot and fisherman’s paradise. Your plane is a few hundred feet from the hotel/restaurant/ bar/fresh water pool. Your vessel is positioned 100 yards from a 800ft drop off. We are the one and only fishing outpost of the Bahamas. REMOTE, with little pressure.

to view this guide online visit:

www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com/guides

FLY.

Pilots, Fly Right In!

Your plane is just steps away from our

hotel!

(242) 342-7050 *Contact us for more details. info@hawks-nest.com

(242) 342-7050 | www.hawks-nest.com 64 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide


ELEUTHERA

Visit Eleuthera

www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 65


ELEUTHERA

About Eleuthera

E

leuthera’s first claim to fame stems from its historic ties to Captain William Sayle, a former Bermuda governor, who fled the island in 1648 with a group of Puritan Pilgrims known as the Eleutherian Adventurers in search of religious freedom. Derived from the Greek word “eleuthero” or “eleuther,” Eleuthera means freedom. Nowadays, second homeowners, visitors and locals still escape to this popular destination, distinguishing Eleuthera as one of the islands with the highest repeat-visitor rate. Renowned for its natural beauty and tranquility, this idyllic island lies 60 miles (80 km) east of Nassau and has a fascinating topography of rocky bluffs and low-lying wetlands; massive coral reefs; 350-plus years of colorful history and warm hospitalable people. Certainly, the people of Eleuthera are proud to boast of their island’s unique place in the history of The Bahamas. With so much to explore on this 110-mile-long mainland island, picturesque towns, and villages dot Eleuthera from north to south, and there are two small islands offshore at the northern end: the resort island Harbour Island, with its world famous threemile pink sand beach; and Spanish Wells, a quaint fishing village. Other points of interest on Eleuthera are Preacher’s Cave where Captain Sayle and his companions held religious services. There’s also the Glass Window Bridge, which is recognized as the “narrowest place on Earth,” the Hatchet Bay Cave, Ocean Hole in Rock Sound, the Queen’s Baths or the Hot Tubs, The Cliffs at Rainbow Bay, the famous Pink

66 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Quick Island Facts

Location: 74 miles E of Nassau Population: 11,515 (2010 Census) Money: On Par with U.S Dollar Credit & Debit Cards Accepted, Cash Airport: 3: North Eleuthera Int’l Airport (ELH) Governors Harbour Int’l Airport (GHB) Rock Sound Int’l Airport (RSD) White Crown Aviation 242.335.1650 How to get around: Car Rental & Taxis. Mostly located at Airport By Boat: Government docks at Governor’s Harbour, North Eleuthera/Harbour Island, Rock Sound, Spanish Wells, Hatchet Bay and Current. Marinas Cruise Port at Princess Cays Banks: Three commercial banks offer counter services and 24-hours ATMs. Hours are 9:30am-3pm Mon-Thurs, 9:30am-4pm Fri. Scotiabank Bahamas Limited (LB) 335-1400 (RS) 334-2620; Royal Bank of Canada (GH) 332-2856/8 (HI) 3332250 (SW) 333-4131; First Caribbean Bank (GH) 332-2300 Wifi Internet: BTC & Aliv Sand Beach on Harbour Island, and the 25acre sanctuary known as the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve. Also of special note, Eleuthera is home to more than 17 annual homecoming festivals, including the Rock Sound Homecoming, Bay Fest, Pineapple Festival and Governor’s Harbour Festival, which feature local fashion and culture shows, Bahamian cuisine, and of course, live music performances and Junkanoo.


What to do H Beaches

Everyone’s list of the world’s top 10 beaches includes Harbour Island’s famed Pink Sand Beach. Also check out French Leave Beach, Lighthouse Beach, Surfer’s Beach, and Winding Bay Beach. You’ll find white, powdery sand at Alabaster Beach aka Receiver’s Beach, where you can take a swim while waiting for your flight, and Gaulding Cay Beach, with its nearby namesake cay that you can walk to at low tide. And, you’ll enjoy discovering some of the beaches that are not so well known, like Hidden Beach and Plum Creek Beach

H Ecotourism

Eleuthera offers a little bit of everything for nature lovers. There are ecological sites inclusive of Eleuthera’s blue holes and historic caves as well as several species of native and migratory birds on the island. A 25-acre native flora and fauna plant preserve teaches the benefits of bush medicine.

H Diving

Immerse yourself in the watery depths of Eleuthera’s mysterious blue holes, inland limestone sinkholes and pristine coral

www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 67

ELEUTHERA

Photo by discover-eleuthera-bahamas.com

reefs. For more advanced divers, there’s also an opportunity to explore the island’s many shipwrecks, or drift dive in the narrow channel between Eleuthera and Current Island. In general, diving is best from November to May during the dry season, and is also the best time for shark diving. Local dive companies offer certified dive instructors and programs as well as rental scuba equipment.


ELEUTHERA

Family Fun

Family fun can be found in abundance on Eleuthera with land- and water-based activities offering opportunities to swim, snorkel, surf, go tubing, or visit the island’s caves and historical sites.

Fishing

Preacher’s Cave.................................. NE a large blue-shadowed cave, has been a long-standing place of refuge since 1647. It was the site of the Bahamas’ first Christian service. A large boulder shaped as a pulpit still stands at the end of the cave.

Kayaking/Snorkeling

Wesley Methodist Church................ GH 108 year old building.

The entire island of Eleuthera specializes in world-class fishing with incredible opportunities for visitors to experience reef fishing, deep-sea fishing, bonefishing, spearfishing or spinfishing year-round. The calm waters of Eleuthera’s beaches provide the perfect setting for kayaking or snorkeling the reefs.

Surfing

Eleuthera is among the islands of The Bahamas to appeal to surfers because of its consistent, powerful surf particularly during the winter months. Companies like Bahamas Out Island Adventures offer surf lessons and surfboard rentals as well as camping safaris to rustic surfing lodges

H Tours

Ocean Hole...........................................RS Ocean Hole is a large, circular, inland blue hole located in Rock Sound. Its about one mile from the ocean,and one of Eleuthera’s most famous landmarks. Locals believe that this mystical body of water is bottomless and has healing powers. The hole was once explored by Jacque Cousteau between-1950 -1970 it was a well-established park that was used by both locals and visitors alike.

Book a tour highlighted by adventure and beautiful scenery as you discover Eleuthera’s blue holes and caves, natural habitats and pristine beaches.

H Sightseeing

Haynes Library-Est.1897 Located in Governors Harbour, it provides the following: Library, Arts & Crafts, Saturday morning, Help with homework, computer and internet use. Open MondayThursday 9am-6pm, Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-4pm. Tel: 332-2877 Eleuthera all That Jazz concert has an event every March to aid the Library. Glass Window Bridge........................ UB The narrowest place on Earth can be found in The Bahamas, but more specifically, on the island of Eleuthera. A wonder of nature, The Glass Window Bridge is one of the island’s most talked-about attractions, and is located two miles east of Upper Bogue. A man-made bridge replaced the naturally formed bridge of rock that was destroyed by a hurricane. The view from the bridge depicts the contrasting, dark blue Atlantic Ocean separated by a 30-foot wide rock, with the calming waters of the Bight of Eleuthera on the opposite side.

68

The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide


Sway your way Discover the eternal beauty and tranquility of your own personal paradise at The Cove, Eleuthera. Featuring two private coves, endless adventure and unparalleled Caribbean cuisine.

For reservations, please call 866.585.6923 or visit thecoveeleuthera.com QUEEN'S HIGHWAY, BS, GREGORY TOWN 1548, BAHAMAS


ELEUTHERA

The Cow & The Bull......................... UB 1 mile south of the Glass Window Bridge is an interesting land formation, comprising several very large boulders Bannerman Town Small, ocean-side community with a spectacular beach and breathtaking views of the sea and Mt. Alvernia. Lighthouse Beach............................... BT Known for its endless miles of unspoiled, soft, powdery, blush-rose sand beach, considered to be one of the most magnificent beaches in The Islands of The Bahamas. Located in the south a little hard to get to both so worth it. Princess Cays...................................... BT This tourist destination is owned by Princess Cruises, who use it as a port-of-call on cruises in the Caribbean. Contrary to the implication of its name, it is located on Eleuthera, rather than on separate island.

H Leon Levy Plant Reserve............. GH

This Preserve is operated by the Bahamas National Trust and funded by the Leon Levy Foundation. It was developed by Shelby White, trustee of the Foundation, in honour of her late husband, Leon Levy. The Preserve will be a living part of Bahamian history. It is the first national park on the island of Eleuthera. It is an environmental educational centre as well as a facility for the propagation of native plants and trees. Established: 2009 Size: 25 Acres

70 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Spanish Wells Royal Island

Preacher’s Cave

James Bay

The Bluff

Current Current Island

Lower Bogue

Uppe Bogu


ELEUTHERA

Man Island Jacob’s Island

Harbour Island Dunmore Town Whale Point

er ue

Glass Window Bridge

Gregory Town The Cliffs

Hatchet Bay

Alice Town

The Cliffs

Hatchet Bay Hatchet Rainbow Bay Bay Cave

James Point

James Cistern

Hut Point Bay

Alabaster Bay

Governor’s Harbour H

Legend

South Palmetto Point Ten Bay

Settlements Airport

North Palmetto Point Double Bay Savannah Sound

Savannah Sound

Caves

H

Cotton Silk Tree

Governor’s Harbour Cupid’s Cay

Windermere Island Camp Bahamas

Clinic Information

Tarpum Bay

Bahamas Ferries BTC

Winding Bay Billards

Banyan Trees

Half Sound Cape Eleuthera Powell Point

Rock Sound

Rock Sound Ocean Hole

Boiling Hole Caves

Cotton Bay

Deep Creek

Green Castle Waterford

Delancey Town

Church Bay

Davis Harbour

Wemyss Bight

Arvida Bay

John Millars Millar’s

Princess Cays

Bannerman Town

Lighthouse Beach

East End Point www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 71 71


ELEUTHERA

Photo by Cynthia Carr

Queens Bath........................................ GT The Queen’s Baths or the Hot Tubs, are natural pools, filled with dramatic crashing waves, shells, and small sea life that wash over from the Atlantic Ocean. Once settled, this crystal clear water is warmed by the sun, creating a bath like temperature tidal pool that’s perfect for soaking Eleuthera Island Farm....................... PP Based in Central Eleuthera, this local organic farmer’s market is a must visit while in Eleuthera. Hatchet Bay Cave...............................HB Piggy Beach.........................................SW Contact one of the many operators to pick you up at Gene Bay Dock for a trip of a lifetime. Located on a small private island north west tip of Eleuthera called Meeks Beach.

mile length and half-mile width, the scope of Spanish Wells is extended by a bridge that links it to neighboring Russell Island. Spanish Wells is predominantly a fishing village, and has been credited as the “Fishing Capital of The Bahamas.” Besides fishing, locals also pursue careers in construction, mechanics, farming, and various shop-keeping and clerical jobs. The people of Spanish Wells also take great pride in their island, which is evident in the upkeep of their houses, lawns and gardens, and their fishing fleet. By and large, Spanish Wells has a very charming appeal that keeps the residents from leaving, and its visitors coming back for more.

How to Get Here:

Fly into North Eleuthera Int’l Airport then take a taxi to Jean’s Bay Ferry dock then take a ferry to Spanish Wells or take Bo Hengy at Potters Cay Dock in Nassau

What to do

Rent a cart and explore this quaint, quiet and beautiful island. Enjoy deep sea and bonefishing or just hangout with the locals. Fishing Enjoy fishing excursions, group tours, beach combing, snorkeling, and other beach adventures. Attractions Spanish Wells Museum is an attractive building located almost in the centre of town. Here you can step back in time while viewing old photos of bygone era and examine artifacts dating back over one hundred years. Devil’s Backbone This strech of shallow reef has put many a tear in unwary ships’ bottoms, giving it its PILOTING SERVICES Spanish Wells

Captain Bruno

Visit Spanish Wells Located about a quarter mile off the mainland of North Eleuthera is St. George’s Cay. However, the island is better known as Spanish Wells Notwithstanding its approximate two-

72 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Tel: 242-470-8671 Monitoring Ch. 16 & 11: Nauti Boy brunounderwood@msn.com Spanish Wells-Navigating Spanish Wells, Harbour Island and North Eleuthera waters. Private yachts, ships and boats of any size. Commercial vessels. Reservation an advance notice allows us to serve you better.


Visit Briland

C

haracteristic of friendly, welcoming inhabitants, Harbour Island is an ideal yacht and resort haven. Harbour Island’s enchanting history reveals that Dunmore Town is one of the oldest settlements in The Bahamas, and was once the country’s capital. “Briland,” as it is affectionately known, was shaped by Loyalist Governor of Virginia, The Honorable John Murray, who later became Lord Dunmore, Governor of The Bahamas. During the 1800s, Dunmore Town became a noted shipyard and sugar refinement center, while Harbour Island was known for its shipbuilding, and farm-

What to do

Explore Book a golf cart and explore all the charm that Briland has to offer. Visit the magical Pink Sand Beach, Historical sites, shop and dine at 5 star and local restaurants.

www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 73

ELEUTHERA

ing of pineapples, tomatoes, and citrus. Today, residents find employment in the tourism industry, as well as farming, fishing, and shipbuilding. Its rich Loyalist history is reflected in the New England architecture and scenic landscapes found there. Come visit, and you’ll discover that: “‘Briland’ is the best!”


Photo by The Cove

Where to Stay

Luxurious, beachfront hotels, resorts, villas, cottages or suites in mind? Take your pick from The Cove Eleuthera, or Royal Palm Hotel.

Weddings Where to Dine

Eleuthera’s restaurants are ideal for casual, indoor or outdoor dining while patrons feast on American and Bahamian cuisine. Don’t forget the famous Fish Fry every Friday night in Governor’s Harbour.

Nightlife

Treat yourself to Eleuthera’s sizzling nightlife scene by visiting local pubs, bars and lounges where Bahamian food and cocktails are abundant. With popular dance music and live performances that will have you moving in no time, you’ll blend right in with the party-going crowd.

What better location than Eleuthera for a uniquely Bahamian destination wedding? A picture-perfect wedding venue with pink-sand beaches and oceanfront views coupled with the island’s historic charm, brides and grooms can look forward to a custom-designed ceremony to ex-change their wedding vows. Besides traditional hotels on the island, couples can rent private beach homes for their wedding at one of Eleuthera’s exclusive locations.

Shopping

Eleuthera is outfitted with numerous grocery stores and liquor stores as well as boutiques and gift shops where visitors can shop for one-of-a-kind, Bahamian handcrafted products perfect for souvenirs or gifts.

Real Estate REALTORS

Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty

(GH) Jonathan Morris........... 557-7917 (GH) Angelika Bacchus......... .470-9019 (GH) Mark Hussey................. 424-9193 (GH) Joan Braithwaite........... 376-1288 (SW) Darrin Sands................. 557-7071 https://www.sirbahamas.com/eng Providing access to luxury Bahamas real estate and home sales throughout the islands of the Bahamas, our team of real estate professionals deliver unsurpassed market knowledge Bahamas private islands for sale.

74 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Marinas

There’s no shortage of marinas on Eleuthera and its settlements from the Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina in Powell Point to Valentines Resort & Marina in Harbour Island, or Yacht Haven located in Spanish Wells. You’re sure to enjoy an unforgettable vacation.

Photo by Boy Meets Girl Weddings

ELEUTHERA

Photo by Cape Eleuthera


Visit Exuma Thunderball Grotto

Chat N’ Chill, Stocking Island

www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 75

EXUMA & THE EXUMA CAYS

Photo by Sandals


EXUMA & THE EXUMA CAYS

About Exuma

T

he Exumas comprise a chain of 365 islands and cays located 35 miles southeast of Nassau. Home to some of the most pristine waters on earth, the Exumas summon travelers from all walks of life and locations to experience nature at its magnificent best. Geographically, the Exumas are configured into three major areas: Great Exuma, Little Exuma, and the Exuma Cays. Each offers its own unique Bahamian experience. Great Exuma and Little Exuma are known for their laid-back surroundings, while the Exuma Cays act as the playground for the rich and famous, boasting numerous private, palatial homes, luxury resorts and beachside condos. The Exumas are also rich in history, as they were settled by the Loyalists along with their slaves following the American Revolution. The sapphire-blue waters of the Exumas have astounded astronauts from space, leaving them to describe them as the clearest and most beautiful in the world. From boating and fishing to kayaking, diving, snorkeling, and kite surfing, there’s an open invitation for our visitors to indulge in every water-based activity imaginable. As a reminder, visitors to the Exumas can meet with the famous swimming pigs at Big Major Cay, swim and relax on the Tropic of Cancer Beach, and visit Thunder Ball Grotto, the underwater cavern teeming with exotic marine life that was named for the James Bond movie Thunderbolt (scenes of the movie were shot at this location). Exploration of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, affords an opportunity to marvel at the nurse sharks congregating at Compass Point, stride the length of the mile-long sandbar or interact with the iguanas at Allen’s Cay. An annual calendar

76 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Quick Island Facts

Location: 138 miles SE of Nassau Population: 6928 (2010 Census) Money: On Par with U.S Dollar Credit & Debit Cards Accepted, Cash Airport: 1: Exuma International Airport (GGT) located in George Town flights from Nassau, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and Toronto. Norman’s Cay, Staniel Cay, Black Point and Farmer’s Cay have government approved and operated airstrips. How to get around: Car Rental & Taxis. Most located at Airport Mailboats / Shipping Co. Island Link 436-2506, Bahamas Ferries (GH) (242) 336-3456, G & G Shipping (GT) 336-2359 Banks: Yes. Located in George Town, 24 hr ATM’s Royal Bank of Canada and ScotiaBank & Bank of The Bahamas Open Mon-Fri. 9am-4pm Wifi Internet: BTC & Aliv

of events features popular sailing regattas, festivals, homecomings, and an October marathon. Surely, the Exumas are made even more delightful by the warmth of Exumians you meet along the way. From them, you’ll get the sense that this is a place you are welcome to return to, again and again.

What to Do Attractions

Mount Thompson Packing House Island produce is prepared for shipping to Nassau by mail boat. Hermitage Tombs The Ferguson family from the Carolinas settled in the small settlement of Hermitage, after the American War of Independence. There are three tombs and a grave with different inscriptions.


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At SANDALS ROYAL BAHAMIAN and SANDALS EMERALD BAY—the only 5-Star Luxury Included® Resorts in The Bahamas—the best of everything is included for two people in love. More white-sand beaches and spectacular pools, more water sports and daily scuba diving for certified divers, more 5-Star Global Gourmet™ dining and fun bars serving premium spirits, and more luxurious accommodations with butler service in top-tier suites. Also the tips, taxes and Sandals transfers* are included. Choose the resort that fits your style, or experience both with Sandals exclusive Island-Hopping program.

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Greg Norman-Designed Championship Golf Course, Great Exuma, Bahamas

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EXUMA & THE EXUMA CAYS

Rolle Town The Rolle’s live here. Actress Esther Rolle of the popular television show Good Times has descendants here. Club Peace & Plenty Lord Denys Rolle set sail for Exuma on board the English trading ship named Peace & Plenty in 1783. Henry Flagler’s grand nephew bought a house on Elizabeth Harbour and built a hotel there, now the lounge area of Club Peace & Plenty. Beacon on Stocking Island This beacon was used to guide ships out at sea to or around the 31/2 mile-long island.

Family Island Regatta, April

Allan’s Cay Iguanas One of the few places you can still find these fearsome looking, yet gentle lizards. Salt Beacon This Roman Tuscan Column was erected during the vibrant period of the salt trade in the late 1600s between European countries such as France and Spain as well as Caribbean countries like Haiti. The column served as a marker to guide vessels to the salt pans. The Three Sisters Rocks A romantic mythical historic landmark.

Rolle Town Tombs Laying in the middle of a secluded clearing in Rolle Town today, lay three tombs of Ann M. Kay, Alexander M. Kay and their infant child. Dated 1792. St. Andrew’s Anglican Church This old church, was built in 1802 and has a picturesque view that overlooks both Lake Victoria and Elizabeth Harbour. St. Christopher’s Anglican Church This church is the smallest church in The Exumas. It was built in 1939. The Hermitage Here is where you’ll see old homes from the cotton plantation days. They were originally built by the Kelsall family in the late 1700s. Elizabeth Harbour This 15-mile long harbour in George Town is a favorite of yachtsmen from all over the world. Regattas and sailing events take place here every year. Kidd’s Cove Captain Kidd, a U.S. Navy officer visited this cove during the pirate era.

78 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

H Beaches

The emerald and turquoise waters of The Bahamas archipelago naturally form breath-taking beaches. Some beaches are: Secluded Tropic Of Cancer Beach Three Sisters Beach Coco Plum Beach Hamburger Beach Volley Ball Beach Exuma Cays Land And Sea Park

Bird Watching

Amateur ornithologists will revel in sightings of the bird species unique to The Bahamas. The protected land parks as well as the local mangrove swamps are guaranteed to provide a once in a lifetime experience. Exuma Tourist Office 336-2430.

H Boating and Sailing

Sailors will enjoy what the Exumas have to offer. There are numerous cays and coves which provide smooth sailing along various hues of blue and green water. You are sure to be delighted by coral reefs as well as the opportunity to swim on your own beach with no one else for company unless you want it.


Diving

With water so spectacular that its beauty can be recognized from space, Exuma offers reef dives and colorful walls thanks to its shallow depths. Blue holes, shipwrecks and a unique geological formation with tunnels are perfect for divers to explore.

Ecotourism

The quiet life of the Family Islands in general make an ideal vacation spot for those who are looking for something more indigenous with a real local flavour. Travelers looking for that something special will not be disappointed as they move throughout the settlements between George Town and Barraterre. Take a tour to Lake Victoria, check out the harbour and learn more about the local plants and bush medicine.

Entertainment

Check out the local entertainment provided at the various hotels and lounges.

Fishing

The Exumas are ideal for fishermen of varying tastes, whether you enjoy fishing in the shallows or trying your hand at deep sea fishing. Whatever your liking, something is sure to grab you, hook, line and sinker.

Bonefishing

Near to Great Exuma is an area commonly referred to as “flats”, where you will find an abundance of bonefish, grouper, snapper and lobster. It is in the flats where bonefishing takes place. Certified Bonefishing Guides

Deep Sea Fishing

The Exuma Sound provides another type of fishing. With its 6,000-foot drop, you can look forward to trying your hand for the bigger marlin, sailfish and wahoo.

Welcome to your own Private Paradise

Mermaid House Enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming, snorkeling and diving when you’re not relaxing in the crystal clear water or on the sandy white beach. Get an unforgettable vacation. – right on the spectacular beach in Tar Bay

– surrounded by turquoise water and stunning views

Sleeps 6-12 persons - USD 4,000.-/5,000.- a week www.mermaidhouse.info - info@mermaidhouse.info www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 79

EXUMA & THE EXUMA CAYS

Car /Scooter Rentals keep to the left.


EXUMA & THE EXUMA CAYS

coastline of a scenic peninsula, and prevailing trade winds promise new experiences with each game.

Kayaking/Snorkeling

Sign up with your hotel’s front desk.

Library

Public Library, Located in George Town Open Mon-Sat. 10am-12 noon

Pig Roasts

H Exuma Cays Tours

Exuma, is the ‘Official Home of the Swimming Pigs’. Visitors to Exuma are happily embracing the unique and special experience of swimming with the pigs on the uninhabited island which is home to these special creatures and affectionately called “Pig Beach”. The pigs, though feral, are exceptionally friendly, running from under the shade of the almond trees to greet visitors that bring them treats. They are also fed by the crews of passing yachts and vessels. Visitors may book their visits to Big Major Cay for their opportunities to swim with the pigs through a variety of excursion vendors.

Every Sunday enjoy a deliciously seasoned smoked pig served Bahamian style at Chat-n-Chill. Located on Volleyball Beach, Stocking Island. A Must Do! Chat “N” Chill.......... VHF 16 or 336-2700

Spas

With a focus on the most elusive of all luxuries – time – our signature treatments are designed to engage the senses, giving the mind and body time to openly receive the benefits of each therapy. Red Lane Spa (Eb)..................... 336-6802

H Stocking Island

Ferry leaves from Club Peace & Plenty at 10am and 1pm. Enjoy swimming snorkeling, shelling, windsurfing, hiking and volleyball on the long stretch of sandy white beach. Chat “N” Chill.......... VHF 16 or 336-2700

Ferry Schedule

Every Hour from Govt Dock in George Town, next to where the mailboats arrive. $15 round trip.

Fish Fry

West of George Town, The Fish Fry is a collection of little restaurants that cook up some of the best Bahamian food on the island. It’s low key, authentic and memorable. Locals and tourists alike enjoy this experience. Best time to visit is Friday & Saturday in the evenings, stay until way past midnight where you will be entertained by DJ music and revelry in the air. A Must Do.

Golf

Sandals (EB).............................. 336-6802 Designed by golf legend Greg Norman, the award-winning course at Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club is recognized as one the most scenic ocean-side golf course in the Caribbean and renowned for its challenging fairways. A golfer’s paradise, six signature holes hug the

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Where to Dine

From fine dining at upscale resorts to casual dining at local restaurants, Exuma offers the perfect blend of Bahamian cuisine for every setting. Cracked conch, pan-seared snapper with sides of peas ‘n’ rice and baked macaroni are often featured on menus.


Staniel Cay Yacht Club

Like no other place on Earth.

81 Bahamas 242.355.2024 • U.S. www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 954.467.6658 info@stanielcay.com • stanielcay.com


EXUMA & THE EXUMA CAYS

Pudding Point

Barraterre Rolleville Alexander

Stuart Manor Curtis

Steventon Rokers Point Calvin Hill

Harts Forest

Richmond Hill

Emerald Bay

Farmers Hill

Mount Thomp Ramsey

Moss To

Exuma Bank Bonefishing side

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Green Turtle Cay

Deadman’s

From George Town travelling northwest to Barraterre 38 From George Town travelling southeast to Williams Town Photo by Sandpiper Arts

Shopping

Let’s admit it, shopping is one of the biggest adventures for anyone traveling. Simply experiencing a new or regularly visited destination is just not enough; there must be time to pick a little, or a lot; of something to carry with you or to show off before you leave. Exuma offers an array of shops, boutiques, and markets to suit anyone’s appetite for shopping. There are souvenirs that offer up a taste of this island paradise along with fine clothing and Bahamian goods, such as straw work and story of your Exuma vacation.

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Settlements Airport

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Sandy Point

Arts in Exuma

Whether its paintings or sculptures, artists on Exuma are leaving an indelible mark on the art scene. Showcasing the best of Exuma’s artwork, Art Exuma and GIV Bahamas Inc., have forged a partnership to produce a collection of art featuring Exuma’s beauty by Manhattan Artist Jason Borbay. Plans to establish an artist-inresident program on the island through collaboration with local artists and the art gallery are forthcoming. Visit Yuma Arts, Sandpiper Arts & Crafts and Tropical Accents & Gifts.

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EXUMA CAYS EXUMA&&THE THEEXUMA EXUMA CAYS

Legend


EXUMA & THE EXUMA CAYS

Photo by Sandals

Photo by Staniel Cay Yacht Club

Where to Stay

Exuma has many luxury private island resorts as well as charming beachfront hotels where visitors can stay. While here, they can bask in the island’s laid-back atmosphere and soak up the natural surroundings of this sought-after destination while relaxing on the beach, or at the beach bar, or perhaps an outdoor pool. Imagine being served Bahamian cuisine as live music is played. It’s all possible on Exuma.

Marinas

Travel by yacht-it’s one of the most picturesque ways to journey to Exuma and thru the Exuma Cays. Bring that hydrodynamic “beaut” of a home to rest at any of our marinas that have the proper amenities to host your luxury home away from home.

About Exuma Cays

A band of sparsely populated cays and beaches stretches north from Great Exuma creating a boater’s haven. Staniel Cay is a favorite destination for yachters, and has an airstrip, two hotels, three small grocery stores, a church, a post office, and a straw vendor. It makes the perfect home base for visiting the 176-square-mile Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. Across from the Staniel Cay Yacht Club is Thunderball Grotto. In the central cavern, shimmering shafts of sunlight pour through holes in the soaring ceiling illuminating the glass-clear water. Hawksbill Cay, Waderick Wells Cay and Halls Pond Cay, have remains of 18thcentury Loyalist settlements, and marked hiking trails. At Shroud Cay, jump into “Camp Driftwood,” where the strong current creates a natural whirlpool that

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whips around a rocky outcropping to a powdery beach. There is a vast underwater world of limestone, rare pillar coral reefs, drop-offs, blue holes of freshwater springs, caves and a multitude of exotic marine life. Animal lovers will be equally impressed by the abundance of tropical birds and wildlife. However, strict laws prohibit fishing and removing coral, plants or even shells as souvenirs. North of the park is Norman’s Cay, an island with 10 miles of white, sandy beaches. Allen’s Cays are home to the rare Bahamian iguana. Just north of Staniel Cay, a drove of swimming pigs lives on an island called Big Major Cay, an unexpected, yet heartwarming welcome for visitors and boaters. While it may be impossible for pigs to fly, in The Exumas, they can swim!

How to Get Here

Travel by air from Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau with Flamingo Air to Staniel Cay, Black Point or Farmers Cay

Makers Air........................(954) 771-0330

Where to Stay

Royal Plantation Island.............. 357-0095 Fowl Cay, VHF Ch. 16 Staniel Cay Yacht Club (St.C)... 355-2024

What to Do

• Boating • Bonefishing Deep Sea Fishing • Snorkeling • Spearfishing • Swimming • Tennis • Exploring • Water-Skiing, Sailing, Kayaking


Settlements Airport

H Clinic BTC Advertisers Locations

1 -Royal Plantation Island by Sandals 2 -Staniel Cay Yacht Club

Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park

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EXUMA CAYS EXUMA&&THE THEEXUMA EXUMA CAYS

Legend


EXUMA & THE EXUMA CAYS

Photo by Sandals

Exuma Lands & Seas Park The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park was the world’s first protected area of its kind, when created in 1959 by the same legislation that established the Bahamas National Trust. This 176-square-mile park is known for its pristine beauty, outstanding anchorages and breathtaking marine environment. Within the park’s boundaries are: Little Wax Cay, Shroud Cay, Little Pigeon Cay (private), Hawksbill Cay, Little Hawksbill Cay, Cistern Cay (private), Long Cay, Warderick Wells, Halls Pond Cay, Little White Bay Cay, South Halls Pond Cay (private), Soldier Cay (private) O’Brien’s/ Pasture Cays, Bell Island (private), Little Bell Island (private) and Rocky Dundas. The headquarters building and visitor centre is located on Warderick Wells, and mooring sites are situated throughout the park.

Weddings

You won’t find a more perfect place than The Exumas for your wedding. Miles of gorgeous beaches offer picture-postcard shots with turquoise waters reaching over the horizon behind you. Numerous cays, charming churches and cultural sites provide endless possibilities for other backdrops. Resorts and wedding professionals can assist in making arrangements, whatever setting you choose. Packages can be tailored to your needs. Chat n’ Chill............................... 336-2700 or 305-504-5100 Sandals (EB).............................. 336-6802

EXUMA POPULAR EVENTS Regatta Time in the Exumas, Bahamas

The Exumas hosts three regattas during the year. It starts with the Annual New Year’s Day Cruising Regatta at Staniel Cay & Yacht Club, with international yachts taking part in a series of races. In March, the Cruiser’s Regatta hosts visiting boats for a week of races, cookouts, and partying in George Town and in April The Family Islands Regatta is the Bahamas most important yachting event of the year.

Bahamian Music Festival-March

Enjoy a family fun time. Listen to renowned local and visiting artists and other gospel artists who feature an awesome line-up of The Bahamas’ most popular and talented musicians and local musicians. Arts and craft along with Bahamian dishes also available, Exuma Tourist Office 242-336-2430, Regatta Park George Town.

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Photo by Linda Huber

Photo by UNEXSO

Photo by Sarah Kirkby

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GRAND BAHAMA, FREEPORT

Visit Freeport


GRAND BAHAMA, FREEPORT

Photo by UNEXSO

About Freeport

A

s Grand Bahama’s main city, and the second largest city in The Bahamas, Freeport is the land of endless exploration, relaxation, and fun. In addition to its astonishing beaches, ritzy resorts and great shopping, visitors will also discover the magnificent natural wonders of the island’s historic and cultural sites, three national parks one of which is the Lucayan National Park with extraordinary underwater caves and nature trails, and incredible dive sites. Plan for a day of snorkeling at Deadman’s Reef, or visit Lucayan archaeological sites, historic towns, and scenic fishing villages............... Freeport is the second most populated city in The Bahamas. Neighbouring settlements are West End, Pinder’s Point, Russell Town, Smith’s Point and William’s Town. Freeport is a free trade zone, and cosmopolitan centre thanks to a Virginian financier named Wallace Groves, whose lumber interests in Grand Bahama led to the approval of 50,000 acres of pineyard by the Bahamian government. Groves was given a mandate to economically develop the area, and in August 1955, the Hawksbill Creek Agreement was signed by the government exempting businesses in the Freeport area from paying taxes. The original agreement was put in place until 1980, however, it has been extended to the year 2054. Freeport has become an ideal centre for international business as it is positioned

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Quick Island Facts

Location: 131 miles NW of Nassau Population: 51,368 (2010 Census) Money: On Par with U.S Dollar Credit & Debit Cards Accepted, Cash Airport: 1: Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) located in Freeport How to Get Here: How to Get Here: Scheduled Flights from Nassau & Florida, Marinas, Mailboat Cargo Service & Cruise Ship Terminal How to get around: Taxi, Rental Cars Banks: Yes Taxis: Yes Wifi Internet/Mobile Phones: Yes


Port Lucaya Marketplace

The Port Lucaya Marketplace provides the island’s best shopping experience for visitors.

Greater Lucaya

Lucayan Beach along Port Lucaya can get crowded, but nearby Taino Beach, Coral Beach, and Fortune Beach provide solitude if that’s what you’re looking for. Additional hotels and restaurants can be found here.

Greater Grand Bahama

The majority of the island lies on either side of the neighbouring metropolitan duo of Freeport and Lucaya. Escaping town means discovering treasures such as Paradise Cove and Lucayan National Park, in addition to remote beaches, historic fishing villages, and wooded land the locals refer to as the “bush.”

fishing for marlin, tuna, dolphin, and wahoo. There are a number of resorts and expert fishing guides that offer eco-tours, snorkeling and fishing trips such as Pelican Point Adventures with Capt. William “Bill” Humes, Old Bahama Bay, Paradise Watersport, and Bonefish Folley & Sons.

Sightseeing

Located between Freeport and Freetown at Gold Rock Creek, the Lucayan National Park was established in March 1982 and consists of 40 acres of land. The Park contains one of the longest underwater cave systems in the world. There, visitors will also observe the last intact mangrove wetland, a pristine beach that featured the tallest sand dunes on the island, and an abundance of the island’s flora and fauna. Peterson Cay National Park Established on April 1, 1968, Peterson Cay is a one-and-a-half-acre geological wonder, and the only cay found on Grand Bahama’s leeward shore. Further, Peterson Cay is a low-lying aeolian limestone cay, of Pleistocene origin, with a backreef lagoon. There are four distinct coral reef zones present there.

What to Do Beaches

Freeport’s most popular beaches are Taino Beach, Gold Rock Beach, William’s Town Beach, and the Grand Lucayan Beach. Visitors can also take a stroll along the Boardwalk at Lucayan National Park or The Garden of the Groves, or perhaps try their hand at kitesurfing at Banana Bay.

Fishing

No matter where you travel to in The Bahamas, there’s always an opportunity to enjoy fishing. Freeport is no exception. Encompassing the northern and eastern coasts of Grand Bahama, the shallows of the Little Bahama Bank offer a wide expanse – more than 80 square miles – of flats for fly fishing. The ‘Bank’ is an ideal area for catching snook and bonefish as well. Deep Water Cay receives many accolades by fishing enthusiasts, and the waters of the Gulf Stream provide the best sport

Rand Nature Centre Attained by the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) in 1992, the Rand Nature Centre is 100 acres of natural beauty and is located near the heart of downtown Freeport. The Rand Nature Centre’s foot trails meander through pine barrens, native and exotic coppice, leading to a freshwater, watchable wildlife pond and a native plant arboretum. The Centre, which has an exhibit room and art gallery, is now the home of BNT’s administrative office in Grand Bahama. Cruise Port Cruise ships dock at the Freeport Cruise Ship Terminal located at Freeport Harbour. The facilities are 10 minutes away www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 89

GRAND BAHAMA, FREEPORT

on major shipping routes, resulting in the Freeport Container Port becoming the transshipment hub of the Americas. National parks on Freeport are the Rand Nature Centre, Peterson’s Cay, and the Lucayan National Park, that includes five ecological zones. The primary shopping venues are the International Bazaar, Port Lucaya Market Place and Freeport Cruise Ship Terminal shops. Cruise ships also frequent the island. Visitors have the option of flying to Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO), which is located in Freeport.


H

Freeport

Rand Nature Center

Fortune Beach

Lucaya Beach

Bahama Princess Beach

from the city of Freeport and approximately 25 minutes from Port Lucaya. There are a few bungalows that sell souvenirs there, as well as a business that offers snorkeling and beach tours. Occasionally, a Bahamian band plays music at a gazebo at Freeport Harbour. There are also restaurants such as Fat Tuesdays, Senor Frogs and Pier One. It’s highly recommended to rent a vehicle or scooter to explore the surrounding area.

H Tours

So much to do – and hopefully, lots of time for you to do them. There are tours available for those who love kayaking, horseback riding, watersports, golfing, cave exploration and other eco-tours, motorized bicycling tours, the Underwater Explorers Society (UNEXSO) for swimming with dolphins or diving with sharks, and did we mention, a much-needed pampering session at any of Freeport’s professional spas?

H The Bahamian Brewery

As Grand Bahama’s only brewery, the Bahamian Brewery and Beverage Company officially opened for business in 2007. Owned by James “Jimmy” Sands, the Sands family has had a long history

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Taino Beach

Silver Point Beach

in the liquor and beverage industry, and are proud to own and operate their own 100-percent Bahamian brewery. Following an island-wide competition, local residents helped the add personality to the Brewery’s signature brews with names like Sands and Sands Light, High Rock, Strong Back, Bush Crack, and its non-alcoholic Triple B Malta.

Where to Dine

With lots of tasty options to choose from, stop in at Margaritaville Sand Bar, Flying Fish formerly The Ferry House, Tony Macaroni’s Sabor, or Pier One.

Weddings

Freeport is the perfect place for destination weddings. An island of historic and ecological charm coupled with modern-day Photo by Flamingo Bay

GRAND BAHAMA, FREEPORT

West End


Legend

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Settlements Airport

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August Cay

Mclean’s Town Cay Deep Water Cay

GRAND BAHAMA, FREEPORT

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Big Cross Cay Long Cay

attractions, plan your unforgettable wedding ceremony with one of the professional wedding planners or leave the details to one of the resorts on the island.

Where to Stay

Freeport’s generous listing of tropical resort destinations gives you that perfect stay on this island paradise. Experience fun-filled activities, entertainment, and mouthwatering Bahamian and international cuisine all with breathtaking views of sunkissed beaches, natural wildlife and luxurious landscapes HOTEL

Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina

Marinas

Port Lucaya Marina, Grand Bahama Yacht Club, Knowles Marine & Yacht Services, Flamingo Bay Hotel and Marina and Bradford Marine.

Shopping

Everything you need to purchase for your personal, household or boating needs can be found at the Port Lucaya Marketplace, Circle Mall, Millennium Mall, The Lucaya Shopping Centre, J Myle Mitch Mini Mall, Kelly’s True Value Freeport Ltd., Home Design Center, Seventeen Centre, Distinctive Gifts, OBS Marine, Mulligans, The Shoe Village, 700 Wines & Spirits, and so much more.

Tel: 1-800-824-6623 info@flamingobaymarina.com http://www.flamingobaymarina.com/ Taino Beach-We are a part of the Taino Beach Resort & Clubs properties on Grand Bahama Island. Guests enjoy full use of the largest pool on the island, beach and business center with free WiFi. It offers a full service marina offering 25 dockage slips and amenities for boaters. Convenience store, laundry, ocean-front restaurant and watersport activity center onsite. www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 91


INAGUA

Photo by Marty Fox, www.islandwingscharter.com

Visit Inagua

Morton Salt Company by Linda Huber Photo by https://www.lightphotos.net

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INAGUA

About Inagua

A

s the southernmost island in The Bahamas’ archipelagic chain, Inagua is sectioned into Great Inagua, and Little Inagua. The capital is Matthew Town. Inagua is known as the “Bird watching Capital of The Bahamas” because of the 140 plus native and migratory birds there, and it serves as a sanctuary for more than 80,000 West Indian flamingos, the national bird of The Bahamas. Eco-tourists will love the natural surroundings and wildlife of Inagua. Great Inagua is the second largest island in The Bahamas with an extensive bird sanctuary at its centre, as well as a National Reserve for the study of green sea turtles. The Great Inagua Airport is located in Matthew Town. Although uninhabited by locals, Little Inagua is primarily occupied by herds of wild donkeys and goats, endangered sea turtles, an enormous Land and Sea Park, and a protective reef that extends one mile in all directions. Treasure-laden Spanish galleons, and French and British ships wrecked on the reefs of Inagua are a part of its eventful history, as well as Morton Salt’s purchase of the Great Inagua saltworks, consisting of more than 80 salt ponds. However, salt was produced and shipped to Spanish colonies as early as the 1600s.

What to Do Beaches

There’s an endless supply of beaches on Inagua, making them easy to discover. In the middle of town is the Iron Badge Beach, a public beach used by locals on holidays. More beaches can be found on the island’s eastern and southern shores, at Northwest Point Beach, Devil’s Point or Coconut Grove Beach. The secluded beaches are ideal for sunbathing, snorkeling, exploration along the shoreline and for family get-togethers.

Quick Island Facts

Location: 376 miles S of Nassau Population: 913 (2010 Census) Money: On Par with U.S Dollar Credit & Debit Cards Accepted, Cash Airport: 1: Inagua International Airport (IGA) located in Matthew Town How to Get Here: Scheduled Flights from Nassau. Bahamasair Anchorage-Man of War Bay. Provides protection from easterlies. How to get around: Taxi & Rental Cars Banks: Yes Bank of the Bahamas; 242-339-1264. Bank is closed on Wednesdays. Taxis: Yes Wifi Internet/Mobile Phones: Yes Little Inagua Location: approximately 5¾ miles north of Great Inagua Population: None

Did You Know?

Actually, flamingos are not pink. They are born with grey feathers, which gradually turn pink in the wild because of a natural pink dye called canthaxanthin that they obtain from their diet of brine shrimp and bluegreen algae.

Bahama Parrot

Photo by Linda Huber

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INAGUA

Tours

Tours to observe Inagua’s wildlife, the West Indian flamingos and the national parks and Union Creek National Reserve can be arranged by contacting the Park Ranger on VHF, Channel 16, or by calling the Inagua National Park office at 1 242 339 1862/1616.

H Sightseeing

Unique Animal Species Several unique animal species — not seen anywhere else — were discovered on the island in 1949. They included a fastmoving fresh-water turtle, several breeds of duck, a hummingbird, and a new type of lizard. Union Creek National Reserve Mangroves surround this enclosed tidal creek, encompassing 4,940 acres on the northwest shore of Great Inagua. It is a natural habitat where green and Hawksbill turtles lay their eggs and provides a captive site for sea turtle research. Old Colonial Jail The Old Colonial Jail (circa 1849) is located in Matthew Town, Great Inagua. It housed prisoners before the jail was built in Nassau.

for the first act of piracy in the islands of The Bahamas in 1713. After many ships were wrecked on reefs along the island’s shoreline, the English Crown built the Great Inagua Lighthouse in the 1800s to prevent similar incidents from occurring. At 113 feet, the Great Inagua Lighthouse is an all-white structure, offering 17 miles of visibility of Matthew Town and surrounding areas. Now automated, the lighthouse was once listed among the three remaining kerosene-burning lighthouses in The Bahamas. Erickson’s Public Library and Museum The 1926 Commissioner’s Report stated that the Inagua Public Library was established in 1854 although the date has not been confirmed, and was located upstairs from the Commissioner’s Office in Matthew Town. On August 6, 1995, however, Morton (Bahamas) Limited donated the Erickson’s Public Library and Museum as a brand new facility to the community of Matthew Town. The telephone is 1(242)339-1863.

The Salt House Also located in Matthew Town, The Salt House’s doorways were believed to be built using stones from the town of Port Royal in Jamaica near the 18th and 19th century. Once used as a warehouse for salt, the building is now a historic attraction. West Indian Flamingos The national bird of The Bahamas, more than 80,000 West Indian Flamingos live in the Great Inagua National Park. The wetland sites of salt production make this the largest nesting ground for flamingos in the Western Hemisphere. Birding Capital of The Bahamas Inagua is a birdwatcher’s paradise, and is home to more than 140 species of migrating, resident, and endemic species, including the Bahama Parrot, West Indian whistling duck, Kirtland’s warbler, and a rare species of heron found on Little Inagua. Great Inagua Lighthouse Great Inagua reportedly has a reputation

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Where to Dine/Nightlife

Located in downtown Matthew Town, Kiwanis Park is a hub for activities on Inagua, and the main venue for the Inagua Heritage & Salty Festival and the Seafood Fest, which also feature live entertainment or piped music. Throughout the week, a variety of popular seafood and frozen drinks are sold at the daiquiri stand at Kiwanis Park, and on the weekends, live entertainment is featured. Other popular eateries are Cepigel for a unique spin on native dishes, and S Sin L Restaurant & Bar Lounge, which has become Inagua’s dance hot spot. Patrons can order breakfast, lunch and dinner, dance to live calypso and Bahamian Goombay music, order from the bar or shoot pool


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Northwest Point

OldPoint Salt Factory Pollaca Morton sh Point Salt

Northwest Point

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Rocky Poin

Lake Windsor

Matthew Town

Inagua National Park

Southwest Point

Conch Shell Point

INAGUA

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Diesel and gas can be delivered by truck to government basin by Winston Burrows For groceries and produce, shop at Morton Gas Station, and available at Matthew Lantern Head Harbour General Store, Budget Convenience Store, R Town Dock from drums. In 2018, the & J Convenience Store, Inagua General Store, nch Shell Point harbour was expanded to improve its Ingraham’s Variety Store on Inagua. Remem- marine facilities. Additionally, accordber to also check out Abby’s Photo & Work ing to Bahamas Cruisers Guide’s listings Shop, Eddie’s Drugs, Grace Fashion, Sislyn for Inagua, there are no marina facilities Gift Shop and Theresa’s Pop Shop. available on the island. However, the contact for the Dock Master, Yacht Basin Where to Stay is 1(242)339-2143. The Main House, Malley Suites, BrensVille Suites, Crystal Beach View Hotel, Enrica’s Photo by Linda Huber Inn, GaGa’s Nest and Great Inagua Outback Lodge will ensure a comfortable stay on Inagua. Most, if not all, provide basic amenities inclusive of Internet service, air conditioning, television, and on-site bars or restaurants.

Shopping

Anchorage/Docking

Matthew Town Dock is the official Government dock in Inagua. Vessels can clear in at the government basin at a $2 per day berthing fee (1-2 vessels). Safe entrance and departure require settled weather. www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 95


LONG ISLAND

Visit Long Island

Dean’s Blue Hole

Photo by Stella Maris Resort

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LONG ISLAND LONG ISLAND

About Long Island

Long Island at 80 miles long and four miles wide, exudes an off-the-beaten-path charm for those in search of peace and tranquility; fascinating sites to explore; water-based pursuits to undertake on translucent aquamarine seas; and a rich history and culture to discover. Visitors to Long Island will be captivated by its contrasting coastline. On the Atlantic side, there are dramatic cliffs with scattered crescent-shaped beaches throughout the length of the island. The western side is shallow with turquoise, crystal-clear waters and creeks with mangroves, which are ideal for bonefishing. Here, you can choose your level of activity: do nothing, rejuvenate in the shade on a secluded, powder soft sandy beach, or to step it up a notch, sail, snorkel, dive, fish or kayak. As an avid explorer, venture to the island’s two natural wonders: Hamilton’s Cave located in south Long Island, and the site of one of the largest cave systems in The Bahamas. Passages within the cave are almost 50 feet long, and the ceilings extend 10 feet high with beautiful dripstone formations. Then there’s the famous Dean’s Blue Hole. World-renowned as the deepest blue hole in the world at 663 feet, many international free diving competitions are held there. Meanwhile, the long, winding road that covers the extensive length of Long Island takes you past quaint villages, and historic sites along the way, such as Morris’ Tomb and Grave Marker, Adderley’s Plantation ruins, St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Clarence Town, the Long Island Museum and the Columbus Monument. From north to south, wherever you go on Long Island, you will be greeted with genuine salutations from people, who are proud of their island and want you to explore all of its magnificent

Quick Island Facts

Location: 192 miles SE of Nassau Population: 3094 (2010 Census) Money: On Par with U.S Dollar Credit & Debit Cards Accepted, Cash Airport: 2: Stella Maris Airport: (SML) located in the north Deadman’s Cay Airport (LGI) located in the central part of Long Island How to Get Here: Scheduled Flights from Nassau-Bahamasair and Southern Air, Stella Maris Resort Air Service Private Charters Mailboats from Nassau, Mia Dean-393-1064, Bahamas Ferries East Wind, 338-5000 or 472-3008 Island Link 436-2506 or 472-3652 How to get around: Taxi, Rental Cars Events: Vertical Blue, Long Island Regatta Banks: No Taxis: Yes Wifi Internet/Mobile Phones: Yes Long Island is well known for its straw craft. Ask your front desk about vendors

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Photo by Bonefish Paradise

LONG ISLAND

Bars & Lounges Visit Lloyd’s Restaurant and Sporting Lounge, Cape Santa Maria or Stella Maris Resort for live entertainment or visit one of the local watering holes.

What to Do H Beaches

Topping the list is Cape Santa Maria Beach. You’ll also find Stella Maris Beach, Oneil’s Beach, Lochabar Beach, Love Beaches, Deal’s Beach, and Bonacorde Beach.

H Boat Rentals

If you’re looking for a truly amazing, Long Island experience, contact Long Island Boat Rentals and Tours, or Chamcem Boat Rentals and Eco Boat Excursions.

H Fishing

Long island is a fishing destination whether you are drawn to deep sea fishing, bottom fishing or bone fishing we have it all here. Bonefishing is a favorite pass time for anglers. Long Island has a huge repeat customer in bonefishing

H Tours

Explore the entire island which is dotted with plantation ruins, historic cottages, and groups of pristine, white, and bright blue Gothic churches. Catch a boat excursion for an adventure tour on the water. Have fun! BOAT TOURS

Sun Boat Rental & Tours Tel: 242-357-1190 Mangrove Bush-We offer Adventure Ecotours Tours, Boat Rentals, Fishing Excursions, Group Tours-Friday & Saturdays at discounted rates. Contact Captain Francis. FISHING TOURS

Captain Yan Boat Charter Diving Some of Long Island’s best dives sites can Jus 1 Danz be found at The Conception Island Wall, Dean’s Blue Hole, The Comberbach, Shark Reef and Grouper Valley.

Entertainment

Rake & Scrape Rake & Scrape is the home-grown sound of Bahamian music.

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Tel: 242-357-1258 jus1danz@hotmail.com Deadman’s Cay-We offer fishing and boat tours. Choose from Half day or full Day. Enjoy a full filled day of exploring and take a swim in the crystal clear water.


YO U R B U C K E T L I S T B E A C H I S WA I T I N G .

Imagine. Silver sand stretching away before you, a warm breeze on your face, a cool drink in your hand, ocean, sky, and nothing, absolutely nothing, on your mind. Deep sea fish, kayak, sail, scuba or just relax. Watch the sunset and experience mouthwatering Bahamian cuisine. The Cape, you’ll be back. 242-338-5273 | capesantamaria.com

TO PARADISE

CAPE SANTA MARIA BEACH RESORT & VILLAS LONG ISLAND • SOUTH BAHAMAS

242-338-5273 • 1-800-926-9704 • capesantamaria.com

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LONG ISLAND

the 1st Mass in the grand elegant St Peter and Paul Church. The twin 40 ft towers (which can be climbed to view 360º) are well-known landmarks on Long Island guiding mariners into the Great Harbour of Clarence Town. The magnificent alter, backlit by sunlight, casts inspiration from its brilliant masterpiece design.

H Sightseeing

Cultural Sites Long Island Museum (B)........ 337-0500 The Museum is a part of the National Museum of The Bahamas/Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation, which is the principal heritage, conservation and preservation agency in The Bahamas. The Long Island Museum, therefore, is committed to the preservation and interpretation of the history and culture of Long Island for Bahamians, visitors and future generations.

Deans Blue Hole Dean’s Blue Hole is the world’s deepest known salt water blue hole with an entrance below the sea level.[1] It plunges 202 metres (663 ft) in a bay west of Clarence Town on Long Island, Bahamas. Deadman’s Cay is the largest settlement on the island, with farms, shops, churches, schools, a clinic, restaurants and pubs. One of the airports is found here. Hard Bargain was the site of an extensive salt operation ran by Diamond Crystal. A shrimp farm was once here too.

Clarence Town (Capital)-is the island’s prettiest harbour town and one of the largest settlements. It is famous for its beautiful twin churches situated on two hilltops.

Historic Churches, Clarence Town-are St. Paul Catholic Church, Father Jerome designed and built a new St Paul’s Anglican church in 1908 introducing the principles of the keyed arc, stone roof and battered walls. Monsignor Jerome Hawes (an architect and converted Anglican priest to Catholic priest, living as a hermit on Cat Island) provided plans and sketches. Fr Cornelius completed building and held

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Salt Pond is home to the site of the annual Long Island Regatta, Salt Pond offers a variety of spectacular beaches. Swimmers can access the beach at the cultural site area or follow the pathway that is adjacent to the Long Island Tourist Office for an alternate route to the beach. With breathtaking beaches accentuated by pink and white sand dunes, and high rocks that surrender to incredible cliff views, Salt Pond flaunts a beautiful double bay with magnificent scenery that provides a safe area for children to swim. Don’t hesitate to walk the beach, or go beachcombing for shells and sea glass. There are also incredible opportunities for diving, fishing and snorkeling, and occasionally, body surfing. People have been known to also visit Salt Pond for camping trips. Salt Pond can be accessed on foot or by vehicle if so desired.


Stella Maris is wedged between the emerald greens of the Exuma Bank on the island’s lee side, and the azure blues of the steep, hilly eastern shore bordering the Atlantic. Cape Santa Maria Beach, North, was named by Christopher Columbus after one of his ships. Cape Santa Maria is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with pure white silky sand stretching some four miles. The Cape Santa Maria Resort sits on this beautiful land and beach. Columbus Harbour/Columbus Point, North,-a mile long, protected, shallow inner bay was reportedly entered by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to the New World. Columbus Monument Constructed by the Long Islanders Association as a tribute to the arrival of Christopher Columbus on October 17th, 1492. Chez Pierre is listed #2 in the top five places to visit,eat and stay in the Bahamas. - By the Lonely Planet

ut Take eors ord OFF 20% nline) menu o (see

Adderley’s Plantation is a cotton plantation that once occupied all of Stella Maris. The ruins include seven buildings, practically intact up to the roof level.

LONG ISLAND

Simms is the main and oldest settlement in the north it is home to the descendants of the original settlers. Ivy Simms, renowned for fine, native straw work once live here.

Dunmore Plantation, Dunmore’s – a former slave plantation house, has two drawings of sailboats used during the plantation era on the walls. The gate posts to the plantation are still intact. Gray’s Plantation – includes ruins of at least three houses, one with two chimneys. St. Mary’s Church, The Bight – is thought to have been built by the Spanish in the 17th century. It is the oldest church on the island.

Chez Pierre Bahamas restaurant and beach cottages

(242) 338-8809 In Millers Bay,Long Island,Bahamas

"A few steps from the beach is an ocean-fronting restaurant that serves the best - Frommer's food on the island,a blend of French,Italian,and Caribbean cuisine,using islandgrown fresh produce along with fresh fish and seafood from local waters." wide selection of wines available

- Frommer's

Make your reservation online! www.chezpierrebahamas.com

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Deadman’s Cay Cave – has two tunnels, one of which leads to the ocean and has never been fully explored. There are two old Indian drawings on the wall. Dunmore’s Cave – was lived in by Indians and later used as an occasional hideaway by buccaneers.

Where to Dine

Hamilton’s Cave – was the site of a discovery of Lucayan artifacts in 1935. Hamilton’s Cave have systems, with some passages over 15 meters wide and 3 meters high, have parts that have never been explored. The Lucayan Indians lived here about 500 AD and many Lucayan artifacts were discovered in 1936. For more information contact Leonard Cartwright for a tour. tel: 242-337-0235 or 472-1796 $10 adults, $5 for children. Flash lights are included. Tour last about 1 hour.

Whether its casual or fine dining – indoors or outdoors – your taste buds will thank you. On Long Island, the delectable flavours of Bahamian cuisine can be enjoyed at Chez Pierre Restaurant or Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Club House.

Shopping

Long Island’s straw work factory was established by the late Ivy Simms, and many others make Bahamian products from plaiting straw. Shop at Hillside Food Supply and Sunflower Shops, or It’s All Under The Sun general store. Bonafide Gift Shop sells souvenirs, and a Farmer’s Market is available on Saturdays. Morris’s Tomb & Grave Marker At the end of Rev Urban Knowles Ave at Queens Highway and Robert’s Hardware the Morris Plantation Pyramid Tomb historic site which was rededicated during the 2012 Long Island Regatta, today, it is landscaped and signs erected for public viewing. Judd Rosen, The Long Island Geographical & Historical Team ® and former Board Member, Antiquities, Monuments & Museums Corporation. © 2012. ct3bears@aol.com

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DEPARTMENT STORE

It’s All Under The Sun Tel: 242-337-0199 Mangrove Bush – Diving equipment, new and rentals, souvenirs and handcrafted trinkets, toys, beachwear, home decor and much more. Coffee Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, homemade treats and ice-cream. Open Mon-Sat 7:30 am-6pm. .


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Crooked Island Passage


LONG ISLAND

Photo by Jill Smith

Where to Stay

Among Long Island’s most popular lodging accommodations that offer the best value for its guests are the Long Island Greenwich Creek Lodge, Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort, C Shells Guest Quarters, Bahama Dreamin’, and Chez Pierre Hotel. LODGE

Greenwich Creek Lodge

Weddings at Stella Maris Resort

Weddings

An elegant wedding or an intimate barefoot ceremony on Long Island? Still, you can’t go wrong with a traditional wedding. Resorts also offer customized wedding. packages for couples. The choice is yours when you visit Long Island.

Did You Know? Where can I find fresh local produce? Farmers Market (every Saturday) 9am- 12 noon, Salt Pond Hillside Food Store (daily), Salt Pond, 338-0022 Midway Mini Mart, The Bight, 337-7230

Homemade bread?

Andrea Harding 464-2584 Merlene Dean 338-0021

Cakes/desserts?

Annie Minnis 337-3246 Stacy Pinder-338-8271

Where can I purchase liquor? KC’s Wine & Spirits, 338-0016

Where can I find free wifi? Tourist Office

Where can I find hot breakfast? Lloyds Sporting Lounge-337-5762 Vindells Takeaway (Saturdays) 338-8954

Where can I find souvenirs?

Island Gems 472-0171 (sea glass jewelry) Sea Baby Treasures 338-0151 (shell jewelry) Blissful Creations 337- 0074 (shells, jams, jewelry) Fab Designs 337-1070 Tingums Gift Shop, Stella Maris Resort Bonafide Shop for pretty Island Things Wemyss-ical Treasures (sea glass jewelry, plants) Andrea Harding 464-2584 (sea glass chimes)

Can I hire a personal chef or cook?

This can be done! Please contact a restaurants of choice to arrange a private chef or cook.

104 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Tel: 242-337-6278 info@greenwichcreeklodge.com https://www.greenwichcreeklodge.com Cartwright’s – Designed for visitors whose ideal holiday is focused around rest, relaxation and bonefishing. We cater to couples, families & the solo traveler.

Vacation Rentals RESORT

Bahama Dreamin Oceanfront Villas Tel: 242-472-4435 bahamadreamin@outlook.com https://www.bahamadreamin.com Deadman’s Cay – Our four stunning vacation rental homes are 1/1 or 2/2 villas offering comfortable accommodations for 1-4 people. Car included. This is sure to be the best private paradise... VILLAS

C Shells Guest Quarters 1-242-338-0103 cshellsltd@yahoo.com http://www.cshellsguestquarters.com Salt Pond – Just steps away from the beach where you will enjoy breathtaking sunsets. Fully equipped so that you can enjoy your stay on the island. We have had many guests return to stay with us year after year. Book now! You will not be disappointed.

Marinas

Whether you arrive by yacht, sailboat, or small boat, you can dock at two full-service marinas: Stella Maris Resort in the north has 17 slips; Flying Fish Marina in the south, has 22 slips. Call ahead to reserve your slip.


Photo by S.V Sommer Wind

MAYAGUANA

Visit Mayaguana Photo by Baycaner Beach Resort and Bar

Photo by Baycaner Beach Resort and Bar

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MAYAGUANA Photo by Baycaner Beach Resort and Bar

About Mayaguana

A

popular stopover for boaters en route to the eastern Caribbean, Mayaguana was once inhabited by the Lucayans, until they were relocated to Hispaniola by the Spanish in the 16th century. Not much has changed for Mayaguana, as it still exudes an aura of pristine preservation making this remote Bahamian island the ideal spot for unspoiled beaches and remarkable fishing for its visitors. By 1812, Mayaguana remained uninhabited except as a pirate base, until people from the Turks and Caicos Islands began to migrate there. True to its origins, Mayaguana still carries its original Lucayan name. The island is home to the Bartsch’s iguana, which is only found on Booby Cay in The Bahamas. Other identifiable wildlife include the Bahamian Hutia, flamingos, nesting sea turtles and more than 100 species of birds. Little has changed in this underdeveloped Out Island with its population of about 300 people, who inhabit the island’s small fishing villages. The residents live in Abraham’s Bay, Pirate’s Well and Betsy Bay – its three main settlements. Because of inaccessibility by road, others areas such as Upper Point, Northeast Point and Southeast point remain uninhabited. For those who remain, their livelihood is based on fishing and farming. Annual events like the All Mayaguana Regatta and Conch Fest are held. Bahamasair and other private aircrafts provide airline services to the Mayaguana Airport.

106 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Quick Island Facts

Location: 334 miles SE of Nassau Population: 277 (2010 Census) Money: On Par with U.S Dollar Credit & Debit Cards Accepted, Cash Airport: 1: Airport Code: MYG (Mayaguana Airport) located in Abraham’s Bay Banks: No Taxis: Yes Wifi Internet/Mobile Phones: Yes

What to Do

Visit historic sites like Pirate’s Well; the former U.S. military base and tracking station built in the 1950s; Abraham’s Bay Town Square; and the “well shack” where locals would collect water. Also recommended are the sea caves at Northwest Point, or going bird watching to see the flamingos and other bird species at Black Wood Point. You’ll also enjoy Mayaguana’s spectacular beaches and first-rate fishing, scuba diving, bonefishing, snorkeling, hunting for white crown pigeon, bird watching, and crabbing at Horse Pond Beach. Visitor the local Administrator’s Office for additional information.

Fishing

Locals will often take you out on one of their boats, but you’ve got to ask around. In summer and early autumn, temperatures can soar beyond 100°F (38°C). Winters, however, are ideal, and it never gets cold here, as it does in the northern islands. Mayaguana might be called the “great outback” or “wild west” of The Bahamas. It’s a rugged, salty environment. Sailing, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, and walking are the main pastimes. The island is still too laid-back to have many


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organized outfitters. If you want to rent gear or hire a guide for an organized outing, your best bet is to inquire at your hotel; the staff can usually connect you with the right person.

H Sightseeing

The south coast’s main town is Abraham’s Bay, which has an excellent harbour. The other little settlement on Mayaguana is Betsy Bay, secluded and lost in time. Wild corn and saucy hummingbirds share this spot along with sun-worn cottages. At Pirate’s Well, goats are now the chief residents, although buccaneers used to roam past here. Locals still dream of finding buried treasure. The best views of the Mayaguana Passage can be had from both Betsy Bay and Pirate’s Well.

Where to Dine/Nightlife

L & L Enterprises provides both dine-in and takeaway lunch options for its Bahamian seafood dishes comprising fish, conch and crawfish when in season. A grocery store is also on its premises. Other dining options that serve traditional Bahamian meals are Bay-

caner Beach Resort & Bar, Mel’s on Da Bay and TNT Restaurant & Bar. For a combination of dining and nightlife, stop by Paradise Villas Restaurant and Bar, Angel’s Da After Work Bar (under renovation) and Reggie’s Restaurant & Lounge, where Bahamian and American cuisine are served.

Shopping

Purchase unique, handmade Bahamian products from Mayaguana artisans. Bridgette Charlton specializes in handcrafted jewelry and souvenirs; Linda Charlton is known for her shell craft specialty; Shaneka Murphy is skilled at making hats and bags from thatch straw as well as other custom-made items; and Louise McPhee makes a little of everything from baskets to straw bags, place mats and floor mats.

Where to Stay

Baycaner Beach Resort and Bar is located in Pirate’s Well, and is described as kid-friendly with a breathtaking beach and amazing scenery. The resort is equipped with a restaurant and bar, and provides laundry service. www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 107

MAYAGUANA

Legend


NASSAU & PARADISE ISLAND

Visit Nassau & Paradise Is.

108 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide


W

ith the lure of a big city and the ease of tropical utopia, Nassau & Paradise Island are considered by many as, well, paradise. Nassau is a bustling metropolitan hub full of culture and modern amenities. To the north lies Paradise Island. Its name tells you everything. It’s 685 acres of pure euphoria, developed almost exclusively to delight and accommodate visitors. The island boasts resorts, hotels, restaurants, shops, nightlife, a golf course, an aquarium and a casino. Paradise Island is connected to the island of New Providence by two bridges that cross Nassau Harbour. The first was built in 1966 by Resorts International, and the second in the late 1990s. You can experience all of New Providence in these four major Tourist Areas

Nassau

The city of Nassau boasts an interesting and colourful history with many historical sites to see. Downtown Nassau with its colonialstyled buildings reminiscent of old world charm, horse drawn surreys that take visitors on leisurely strolls through the streets and a local craft-centric straw market for handmade and island-inspired wares, coupled with modern day offices, high-end boutique shops and quaint cafes and bars, is a tourist mecca.

Quick Island Facts

Location: 180 miles from Florida Population: 246,329 (2010 Census) Money: On Par with U.S Dollar Credit & Debit Cards Accepted, Cash Airport: 1: Airport Code: LPIA (Lynden Pindling International Airport) Cruise Port: Nassau Cruise Terminal located at the Prince George Wharf Marinas: Palm Cay, Atlantis Banks: Yes Taxis: Yes Wifi Internet/Mobile Phones: Yes

Paradise Island

P.I. is connected to Nassau’s east end by a pair of bridges. Atlantis, with its beach front resort complete with dining options, a waterpark with many aquariums and a huge casino makes the perfect family destination.

Cable Beach

Baha Mar, a 1000 acre destination can be found in Cable Beach. These three resorts, a golf course, a large casino, spa, nightclubs has everything to suit everyone. Along Cable Beach is the all inclusive Sandals Resort and many restaurants and cafés.

Western New Providence

The western side of New Providence is mainly residential but here you will find many private home developments such as Lyford Cay. Also located in this area is the Clifton Heritage Park. www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 109

NASSAU & PARADISE ISLAND

About Nassau & Paradise Island


Palm Cay Marina

The Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Gallery ............................302-2603 D’Aguilar Art Foundation............322-2323 National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB)......328-5800 Email: info@nagb.org.bs Doongalik Studios Art Gallery.....394-1886 Antonius Roberts Studio and Art Gallery at Hillside House..............................322-7678 Bahama Art & Handicraft............394-7892

Casino

Art Galleries

242-676-8552 www.palmcay.com Nassau - Palm Cay Marina is a full service 157 slip marina in the south-east Nassau, on a stunning 69-acre resort community. Atlantis Casino............................363-3000 At 60,000 square feet, it features 90 table games, over 850 slot machines in denominations from one cent to $100, tournaments and events, and a newly renovated Race and Sports Book, as well as a range of exceptional gaming experiences available 24 hours a day. Baha Mar Casino........................788-8000

Cultural Activities Beaches

Photo by Atlantis

The beaches of Nassau & Paradise Island are said to be some of the most beautiful in the world. Check out these popular beaches Cable Beach, Montagu Beach, Paradise Beach – Formerly known as Cabbage Beach, Sandyport Beach, Western Esplanade known as the Long Wharf and Junkanoo Beach

Dundas Center for the Performing Arts..........................393-3728 National Center for the Performing Arts......................393-2884 Pompey Square & The Pompey Museum & Slavery Emancipation..................326-2566 Creative Nassau Market...............394-1886

Photo by Eddy Raphael/breef.org

NASSAU & PARADISE ISLAND

What to Do

Boating

With its clear skies and vast shorelines, Nassau & Paradise Island is the perfect boating destination. Choose from catered trips, day trips and half-day trips.

Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Enthusiasts can explore the region’s famed coral reefs, including: Coral Reef Sculpture Garden, Gambier Deep Reef, Lost Ocean Hole, Lyford Cay Drop-Off, Rose Island Reefs, Sea Gardens

Atlantis Marina

242-363-3000 www.atlantisbahamas.com Paradise Island-Rivaling the legendary marina of Monte Carlo, Atlantis Marina is the premier facility in The Bahamas. This luxury yacht harbor accommodates vessels of up to 240 feet, and offers a variety of yacht and fishing charter services. Guests of Atlantis Marina enjoy all the features and services of Atlantis facilities. 110 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Family Fun

Atlantis Paradise Island offers non stop entertainment for all ages. Also available Ardastra Gardens & Zoo & Conservation Centre, Blue Lagoon Island & Dolphin Encounters

Fishing

Whether experienced or a first-timer, bonefish or deep-sea, there is always an outfitter and charter captain available to assist anglers.


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NASSAU & PARADISE ISLAND

tour. Fort Charlotte located on West Bay St. (3 forts in 1) Fort Fincastle which is located next to the Water Tower and Fort Montagu, East Bay St. All these forts have mounted cannons and offers daily tours. Call 356-9085 for more information.

Golf

Ocean Club Golf Course..............363-6680 Royal Blue at Baha Mar...............788-8000

Kayaking

Wolf’s Kayaking Club..................455-9771

Museums

Visit these Museums or call for a tour. The Bahamas Historical Society Museum..................................322-4231 Balcony House.............................302-2621 The Pompey Museum of Slavery & Emancipation.............................326-2566

National Parks/Recreation Areas

Bahamas National Trust............393-1317 www.bnt.bs

Sightseeing Western Nassau

Ardastra Gardens is the first zoo in The Bahamas. Ardastra began as a garden in 1937 and now boasts exotic plants and animals from around the world. Fish Fry, also known as Arawak Cay, is popular with locals. You can find native dishes and a cold Bahamian beer.

Clifton Heritage National Park, book a tour on this historic plantation or snorkel to see the offshore submerged statues.

Bonefish Pond was established in 2002. This 1,280-acre park is an important marine nursery area. It provides protection from storm surges to the communities on the southern coast of New Providence. Sacred Spaces by Artist Antonius Roberts sculptures carved from the casuarina tree honors African Slaves. The Caves Home to Pirates now a sightseeing spot on the cable beach strip out west.

Adelaide Village far southwestern nassau is a historic village settled by freed slaves in the 1800’s

Forts There are three, 18th Century forts in Nassau. Admission starts at $2 you can explore yourself or take a guided

112 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Eastern Nassau

The Retreat, this 11 acre national park is home to a private collection of rare palms.

Downtown Nassau

Fort Fincastle, shaped like a paddlewheel steamer, is located next to the Water Tower. Government House Home of The Bahamas’ Governor General and the changing of the Guard ceremony. A tradition since 1958. The ceremony is held on the second Friday of each month throughout the year, and is free of charge.


339

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Join us on the ONLY trip that has it all !!

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• Only 1 hour From Nassau • Your Own PRIVATE ISLAND Escape • Feed Endangered Wild Iguanas • Feed Incredible Wild Stingrays • Meet our SWIMMING PIGS of Exuma • Nurse, Reef and Lemon Shark Encounter • Drift Snorkel in Crystal Clear Turquoise Waters • Relax on Your Personal White Sand Beach • Dine on a Fresh Cooked Island Lunch • Visit the ALL FREE ALL DAY Bar for a Cocktail

ALL INCLUSIVE - ALL DAY!!

$219 PER PERSON

• Native Conch Show

+ TAXES. CHILDREN $160

CALL NOW TO BOOK: +1 (242) 363-1466 After Hours +1 (242) 457-4339

powerboatadventures.com   This trip is available for pregnant women, children under 2 years of age, or people with back/neck injuries or any other condition which may be affected by a high speed boat ride or exertion. Please callif you require any further information. A 100% cancellation fee will be charged 72 hours notice is not given prior to departure time.

Meet Our Our Famous Famous Meet Swimming Pigs Pigs ! Swimming

After a quick stop to meet and interact with the endangered wild iguanas of The Bahamas, you'lla be transported to our private island the endangered Exuma Cays,wild where you'llofmeet our cutest After quick stop to meet and interact within the iguanas The Bahamas, crew the swimming pigs!. island in the Exuma Cays, where you'll meet our cutest you'llmembers, be transported to our private Our four legged friends are crew a huge hit, hanging on the beach with our guests, taking a swim to cool off, and of course, members, the swimming pigs!.

looking to see if you may have a tasty treat for them!

Our four legged friends are a huge hit, hanging on the beach with our guests, taking a swim to cool off, and of course, looking to see if you may have a tasty treat for them!

SharK & Stingray SharK & Stingray Time !

Time !

Feed the silky stingrays by hand, and enjoy them brushing up against your legs, before they make way for the sharks! Nurse sharks, Reef sharks and Lemon sharks will cruise by for their Feed silkywhile stingrays by hand, andwranglers enjoy them dailythe snack, our trained shark willbrushing thrill youupwith a show you'll forget!they make way for the sharks! against your never legs, before

Nurse sharks, Reef sharks and Lemon sharks will cruise by for their powerboatadventures.com DAY: daily snack, while our trained shark wranglers will thrill you with+1 a

(242) 363-1466 or EVE: +1 (242) 457-4339


NASSAU & PARADISE ISLAND

Nassau & Paradise Island

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Lynden Pindling International Airport Old Fort Bay Lyford Cay

Jaws Beach

Albany Golf Course Albany

Adelaide Village

Goodman’s Bay Park

Coral Harbour Beach

Water Tower, built in 1928 is a watersupply reservoir, provides great views of New Providence, closed at present. Rawson Square, Opposite Parliament Square, displays the bust of the first Bahamian born Governor General, Sir Milo Butler

Garden of Remembrance, this garden directly behind Parliament Square, has a memorial commemorating the Bahamian war dead. Nassau Public Library, once a jail it is now lined with book and artifacts. Queens Staircase, 66 steps leading to Fort Fincastle steps were cut into limestone by slaves. Parliament Square, a statue of Queen Victoria presides over this square. This square contains the House of Assembly, Senate and Supreme Court. Check out these other places to visit:

114 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Pirates of Nassau, Christ Church Cathedral Graycliff Chocolate Factory, Gregory’s Arch Prince George Wharf and John Watlings Distillery.

Paradise Island

The Cloisters a 14th century French Monastery. A popular site for weddings. Call 363-2501 for more information.

Versailles Gardens This garden consists of seven terraces. A sundial mounted on a 12th century Gothic pedestal and a statue of Mother and Child is found here.

Tours

There is no shortage of tours in The Bahama islands, and no doubt, tours are a great way to get a real feel of the islands. From the historical experience, to those that speak to the environmentally-sound initiatives this island nation is committed to an absolutely fantastic culinary adventure, and those that give visitors a healthy dose of culture, The Bahamas offers a wide range of exciting tour options that are sure to delight!


Paradise Beach Saunders Beach

Arawak Cay Fish Fry

Ardastra Gardens

NDALS

ATLANTIS

Western Esplanade Junkanoo Beach Beach

DOWNTOWN NASSAU

Margaritaville Powerboat

Green Parrot

Green Parrot

Smugglers Beach

PARADISE ISLAND

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Take self-guided tours or roll with an experienced tour guide for a journey in Bahamian history, culture, arts, cuisine and so much more! Learn about Bahamian flora and fauna and the protections in place to ensure the sustainability of these species. Go on a horseback ride along white sandy beaches or try a surrey tour through the streets of downtown Nassau. Whatever your desire, there is an adventure to be had in touring the islands of The Bahamas! BOAT TOURS & CHARTERS

Powerboat Adventures............... 363-1466 Sun Up & Sun Down Charters... 424-7663 Paradise Ocean Sports................ 393-0998

Water Park

Aquaventure................................363-2000 Located in the center of the Atlantis’ recent waterscape development, this 63-acre water-themed attraction is one of the largest in the world. Containing 20 million gallons of water, slides and rivers, Aquaventure provides the ultimate water wonderland.

Harbour Safaris Ltd.

242-394-TOUR (8687) info@harboursafaris.com www.harboursafaris.com Nassau-Harbour Safaris is a boat tour company offering daily excursions and charters on request, out of Nassau. Popular destinations include Rose Island, Spanish Wells, and the famous Swimming Pigs of Exuma. www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 115

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NASSAU & PARADISE ISLAND

Where to Stay

Paradise Island and Nassau provide the perfect combination of beachfront properties, five-star hotels, and villas as well as luxury, all-inclusive resorts. Affordably priced with modern-day comforts and amenities, your paradise accentuated by stunning beaches, picture-perfect skies, and turquoise waters awaits. RESORTS

Shopping

Straw Market - Considered one of the country’s oldest industries, these organized markets can be found Downtown, Cable Beach and Paradise Island. Experience its bustling activity with vendors who are willing to bargain. Open Daily 9an-5pm Luxury Items - The luxury retail market has traditionally been a thriving one, capturing the tourist dollar with an array of well-known brands from Fendi and Gucci to Breitling and Cartier. Store Hours - Downtown stores are open 9am-5:30 pm, Mon - Sat. Malls, hotel stores and grocery stores open til 8 or 9pm. Some stores open on Sundays Liquor - Drink Responsibly. Duty Free rates on taking liquor back with you.

Where to Dine/Nightlife

Choose from a number of restaurants and bars throughout Nassau, Cable Beach and Paradise Island. Green Parrot..................................322-9248 Margaritaville...............................363-0400 RESTAURANT/BAR

Bistro Underground

242-801-2100 Bistro Underground Bahamas Bay Street – Underground Bar with boundary pushing art, lots of rums, bites and Vaportinis.

116 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

The Beach At Atlantis

242-363-3000 www.atlantisbahamas.com Paradise Island – Barefoot and carefree, The Beach at Atlantis is literally all about the beach itself. Perfect for value- minded guests seeking a casual and tropical, relaxed ambience steps away from Atlantis Beach

The Coral at Atlantis

242-363-3000 www.atlantisbahamas.com Paradise Island – Newly designed rooms, a spectacular new pool and cabanas and a stunning lobby lounge punctuated with Sun & Ice, a Bahamian pastry, coffee, ice cream and gelato parlour. Cocktails poured in the evenings lead to a night at the Atlantis casino, dining in one of our incredible restaurants, or a chance to explore Marina Village, with entertainment, shopping and dining by some of the most beautiful yachts in the world.


242-363-3000 www.atlantisbahamas.com Paradise Island -The Royal is the icon of Atlantis featuring the awe-inspiring mythology of the Lost City of Atlantis risen from the sea. From the artwork to the experiences, a stay at The Royal is larger than life, with intimate proximity to the world’s largest open air marine habitat situated at its center and the famed Atlantis casino by its side.

The Reef at Atlantis

242-363-3000 www.atlantisbahamas.com Paradise Island - The Reef offers the conveniences of home and the amenities of a luxury residential community. Adjacent to The Cove, The Reef rests upon the white sand beaches of Paradise Island with the gracious relaxation of the Bahamian culture. The Reef welcomes guests to unplug completely or plug in to all Atlantis has to offer. Residences at The Reef run from stunning studios to three bedroom suites with kitchenette or full kitchens, and magnificent ocean views.

Real Estate REALTORS

Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty

Nassau: 242.322.2305 Lyford Cay: 242.362.4211 The Cove at Atlantis Old Fort Bay: 242.362.5200 242-363-3000 https://www.sirbahamas.com/eng www.atlantisbahamas.com Providing access to luxury Bahamas real Paradise Island-The Cove is elegantly estate and home sales throughout the islands situated between Cove and Paradise Beaches of the Bahamas, our team of real estate creating the feeling of being cast away on professionals deliver unsurpassed market a private, white-sand sanctuary. The luxury knowledge Bahamas private islands for sale. property was designed by architect Jeffrey Beers to bring high design together with the Weddings bluest ocean and mother of pearl hued sand. Ask your local hotel. Visit http://www. The result is an open air lobby that rises and bahamas.com/bahamas/weddings-honsets with the day, an exclusive pool that sits eymoons to get started on having your between two private beaches, stunning and wedding and honeymoon in Nassau and sensual rooms and suites, a collection of Paradise Island unparalleled dining and purposeful service Atlantis....................................... 363-3000 delivered with Bahamian warmth.

Did You Know?

Tipping. In the Bahamas, service staff and hotel workers expect to be tipped. The usual tip for service from a taxi driver or waiter is 15% and $1–$2 a bag for porters. Most travelers leave $1 to $3 per day for their hotel maid, usually every morning since the maid may have a day off. www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 117

NASSAU & PARADISE ISLAND

The Royal at Atlantis


RAGGED ISLAND

Photo courtesy of https://www.funntripps.com

About Ragged Is.

R

agged Island is a small island in the southern Bahamas. The island is part of the Jumentos Cays and Ragged Island chain. The crescentshaped chain measures over 110 miles (180 km) in length and includes cays known as Raccoon Cay, Hog Cay and Double-Breasted Cay. On 8 September 2017, Duncan Town took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma. The hurricane wrought widespread devastation, and the island was subsequently declared uninhabitable by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. Update as of press time: Residents have started rebuilding their homes. Some have been completed but there are others who needed assistance which they have received. Government buildings remain in the same condition post hurricane so no government officials (police, nurse etc) on the island. The Defence force however has a presence there.

What to Do

Snorkel, dive, fish, explore, do whatever you like, time does not exist on Ragged Island. Quiet, serene, pristine, Ragged Island is simplicity at its best.

118 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Quick Island Facts

Location: 210 miles SE of Nassau Population: 30 (after Hurricane Irma) How to Get Here: No Scheduled Flights. By Sea: Mailboat M/V Captain C from Potter’s Cay Dock, Nassau. Contact the dockmaster at 393-1064 for departure and arrival days.

Where to Stay/Dine

Mr. Wallace at Lost Key Fishing Lodge & Resort will accommodate you and make sure your Ragged Island experience memorable. He is also a good source of informaion! Lost Key Fishing Lodge............ 462-8989


NW

NE

E

W SW

Duncan Town

S

SE

Duncan Town

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RAGGED ISLAND

Map of Ragged Island


RUM CAY

Photos by Michelle Huggins

Visit Rum Cay

120 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide


Photo by Michelle Huggins

About Rum Cay

K

nown as a “sleeping beauty” because it’s considered one of the best-kept secrets in The Bahamas’ southern region, Rum Cay is recognized for its historical ruins, vivid coral reefs, miles of pure white sand beaches and thrilling surf. Just offshore in the crystalclear turquoise waters is an abundance of vibrant marine life that attracts fishermen, divers and snorkelers from all around. Rum Cay truly is an authentic Bahamian experience.

What to Do

Rum Cay’s location on the continental shelf presents opportunities for some of the best diving in the region, both inshore and on the edge. Sites include drop-offs, deep reefs, numerous tunnels big enough to drive a vehicle through, and the wreck of the HMS Conqueror (1855) preserved as the Underwater Museum of The Bahamas. Spectacular diving can also be found at huge walls such as the 60-foot coral walls at the “Grand Canyon,” that almost reach the surface of the water; “Chimney,” where you enter the coral reef through a natural hole that looks like a hearth, and then a tunnel goes up through the reef; and “Pinder’s Point,” a deep wall with Staghorn coral not far from Port Nelson. You would have to bring your own compressor and gear as there are no equipment available on the island. You will find beautiful snorkeling right off the beach. Maps of popular dive locations can be found on the island at Kaye’s Sand Bar.

Beaching

Explore the untouched beaches surrounding the island including Sandy Point, North Shore Beach, Flamingo Bay. Rum Cay offers miles of soft, stunning pink and white sandy beaches that are virtually unexplored, and you are likely to have one all to yourself even within Port Nelson. Popular ones around the town are: Flamingo Beach on the west side, which has pink sand and one of the best caves on the island, with Indian writings; and Picnic Bay Beach, which is used by locals for picnics on public holidays and celebrating special occasions. Numerous outlying beaches, including Munroe Beach, Port Boyd Beach, Nancy Flat Beach, and Sandy Point Beach, are easily accessed by boat or while on an island tour. They are great for sunbathing or picnicking, and while beachcombing you can find treasures like colorful sea glass, old bottles, seashells, messages in a bottle, driftwood, glass balls and more.

Gin Hill Ruin by Michelle Huggins

Quick Island Facts

Location: 183 miles SE of Nassau Population: 99 (2010 Census) Money: Cash Only on par with US $1 Airport: 1: Airport Code: RCY (Port Nelson Airport) How to Get Here: Charter air service can be arranged through Stella Maris Air Charter Services: 338:2051 Private charter, mailboat (M/V Lady Francis and M/V KCT) Banks: No Taxis: Yes How to Get Around: Josie’s Jalopies Golf Cart Rentals 242-479-0285, George’s Taxi service Wifi Internet/Mobile Phones: Yes www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 121

RUM CAY

Diving


RUM CAY

Map of Rum Cay

Lake George

Sailfin Sound SANDY POINT

NESBIT POINT

Salt Pond PORT NELSON

SIGNAL POINT

Rum Cay is 184.09 miles from Nassau Tickets via Stella Maris Resort Air Services is $250 1 way.

Fishing

Surrounded by some of the most productive and unspoiled fishing grounds in The Bahamas, Rum Cay is truly a fisherman’s paradise. It is off the beaten track, with very little boat traffic, and many experienced anglers travel long distances just to fish these waters. You can make great catches just around the reef on the southeast coast near Port Nelson. Depending on the time of year, you can catch big game fish such as wahoo, blue marlin, tuna and dolphin. For the fly fisherman, abundant quantities of the elusive bonefish can be found in the Salt Pond, and locals can help guide you to the best spots.

Hartford Cave, Petroglyphs photo by Michelle Huggins

Sightseeing

Hartford Cave where you will find drawings from native Lucayan Indians that inhabited the land before Columbus’ arrival. Mermaid Pond is an inland blue Tours hole said to inhabit mermaids and it is said Go off on your own and wander through that there is no bottom to this fresh water the quaint and rustic town of Port Nelson pond. Slave Ruins are found throughout and its environs. You’ll be transported back in time when visiting historical caves, the island especially on Gin Hill. The Salt Pond shows an insight to Rum Cay including one with colonial graffiti on Indian scripts, colonial ruins, and numerous history that included this very important salt industry that was demolished from a Lucayan-Arawak village sites. Or, go out hurricane in the early 1920’s. with the island’s only taxi driver who will regale you with stories about the culture and history of the island’s past such as who Surfing There are numerous surf breaks all around lived in the now-abandoned old town of the island to include Sandy Point, Hole Port Boyd on the north side, and how one in One, Pinky’s and Bobby’s, however, wealthy island resident even minted his you will have to bring your own boards. own coins. Day trips and picnic by boat Getting to the breaks can also be a or by four-wheelers provided by locals to challenge but once there you will most Flamingo Bay and Sandy Point.

122 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide


Bars: Kaye’s Bar, Toby’s and Ocean View

Shopping

Kaye’s Bar photo by Michelle Huggins

likely have the waves all to yourself. Kite surfing on St. George’s Bay or the Salt Pond is easily accessible by golf cart.

Where to Dine

You will find traditional Bahamian cuisine at the few restaurants here, with seafood fresh from the ocean and some American and International dishes. Lunch, dinner and takeaway snacks are available upon request in rustic island-style settings. There are three restaurants on the island: Kaye’s Restaurant and Bar, Ocean View and Two Sister’s Take Away. The home-cooked Bahamian favorites include curried chicken and mutton, conch salad, cracked conch, fried fish, lobster (in season), veggie casseroles, and macaroni and cheese. Desserts unique to Rum Cay range from sapodilla duff to green coconut with a sweet sauce. Rum Cay Day and the Rum Cay Homecoming Festival showcase the island’s indigenous cuisine including a variety of dishes made from land crabs.

Nightlife

You can hang out under the almond tree at Kaye’s Sand Bar, sipping a cold brew and socializing with the locals with a bon fire. Kaye’s offers piped Bahamian music daily, Saturday Night free conch fritters,

Native made trinkets offered by Ms. Kaye Wilson who makes all shell and sea glass jewelry by hand at the Last Chance Grocery (Kaye’s Bar). Native made gift items are also available at Jackie’s Gift Shop and Strachan’s One Stop Shop.

Grocery Stores:, Strachan’s One Stop Shop & Last Chance Grocery (located Kaye’s Bar)

Where to Stay

There are no hotels on Rum Cay, however, these private home rentals are available. Josie offers a beautiful two bedroom house called the Conch Pearl House 242-4790285 that is just a two minute walk to Ocean View Restaurant and a five minute walk to Kaye’s Bar and Restaurant. Conch Horn’s Cottage, Sand Castle House http://sandcastlerumcay.com, Dickey Cash’s Beach House and the Gone Surf Inn: www.gonesurfinn.com

Other Activities

Native Cooking lessons

Learn to cook your very own Bahamian Peas n’ Rice Dish, stewed conch, conch chowder and more. Forget about asking for the secret ingredients for the conch fritters as natives aren’t too keen on giving away the special recipe.

BAHAMIAN FAVOURITES Peas n’ rice

Photo by Twin Brothers, Fish Fry

This side dish of deep brown pigeon peas and white long grain rice seasoned with fresh thyme, onions, tomatoes, tomato paste and salt pork or bacon, is found on every Bahamian’s dinner table and in most restaurants throughout the Bahamas. While vacationing here, try some you wont be disappointed. www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 123

RUM CAY

domino and pool tournaments, and movie nights. Shake a leg to local music at Kaye’s or at Ocean View Bar on most weekends and national holidays. Check out Toby’s on Friday nights for dancing & a Friday Night Fish Fry. For a romantic interlude, lounge on Picnic Bay Beach and watch the sunset, or a full moon lighting up the night. The Rum Cay Day Festival in February is the biggest entertainment ticket here and residents from neighboring islands join in celebration with the locals.


SAN SALVADOR

Visit San Salvador

124 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide


S

an Salvador, one of the easternmost islands of The Bahamas archipelago, is the exposed peak of a submerged mountain that reaches 15,000 ft to the ocean floor. The island is 12 miles long and 5 miles wide. Christopher Columbus is said to have made his first landfall on San Salvador during his historic voyage to the New World. Four separate monuments mark the exact spot where he came ashore on the 12th October, 1492. However, it is generally held that he landed at Long Bay, where a large stone cross now stands. Called Guanahani by the native Lucayan Indians, Columbus renamed the island San Salvador or “Holy Saviour”, noticing in his journal: “The beauty of these islands surpasses that of any other and as much as the day surpasses the night in splendour.” The island was taken over by the British bucanner, George Watling, and he renamed San Salvador after himself, calling it Watling Island. It was not until 1925 that the island’s name was restored. The island has miles of pristine and secluded beaches, and an emerald-blue sea of such sparkling clarity that divers have visibility of up to 150 ft. Challenging reefs and wreck diving can be enjoyed at High Cay, Low Cay and Middle Cay. Sparkling lakes cover the interior of the island and relics of Loyalist days abound. The pace of life here has changed little over the centuries and today San Salvador is still the ultimate escape.

What to Do

San Salvador may be a small island, but the opportunities for travelers to relax, explore, and take it all in are disproportionately large. Miles of beaches offer seclusion and snorkeling sites. Reefs

Quick Island Facts

Location: 192 miles SE of Nassau Population: 940 (2010 Census) Money: Cash Only on par with US $1 Airport: 1: Airport Code: ZSA (San Salvador International Airport) Odyssey Aviation 702-0200 How to Get Here: Bahamasair from Nassau daily at 11am Mailboat: M/V Lady Francis call 331-2651 Sailing Time: 12 hours Airlines: Air Canada Direct Flight from Montreal, XL Airways Direct Paris to San Salvador, American Airlines Direct from Miami Banks: Yes Taxis: Yes How to Get Around: Rental Cars, Taxi Wifi Internet/Mobile Phones: Yes and wrecks provide rewarding diving sites. And the flats circling the island offer hours, if not days, of game-fishing action. Visitors are also welcome to tour the old plantation ruins, explore historical Lucayan Indian sites, and climb up the old kerosene-operated lighthouse.

Beaches & Parks

The beaches of San Salvador are secluded and expansive. They include: Bonefish Bay, at Club Med, known for its abundant bonefish; Long Bay, at the Columbus Monument site; Grotto Beach, at Sandy Point, which has a little grotto; Snow Bay, near the entrance to Pigeon Creek, where the sand is as fine as snow; Dim Bay Beach, near the original Columbus Monument (now Chicago Herald Monument); East Beach is in the settlement of United Estates, where there is good snorkeling; and Victoria Hill Beach a two-mile-long beach with crystal clear water just three miles north of Club Med. www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 125

SAN SALVADOR

About San Salvador


Grahams Harbour

Line Hole Harbour Estate

Rocky Point

Northeast Point

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Bakers Point

Reckley Hill

Hanna Bay

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Riding Rock Point

Dixon Hill Lighthouse

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Cockburn Town Bamboo Point

Little Lake New World Museum Granny Lake

Femandez Bay

South Granny Lake

Great Lake

Hall’sLanding Langing Halls

Fortune Hill Holiday Track

Beachside

South Victorial Settl.

Long Bay

LANDFALL PARK Olympic Flame Monument Columbus Monument Japanese Monument

Farquharson Settl.

Pigeon Greek

Sugar Loaf

8 Marshall’s Track

Stouts Lake

Beachside

Creek Track

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Snow Bay Old Place

Pigeon Creek

Grotto Beach Watlings Castle Ruins

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Hawks Nest Settl.

Sandy Point

Pigeon Cay

Snow Bay

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High Cay Hinchinbroke Rocks

Columbus Landings Ltd

126 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Crab Cay Chicago Herald Monument

Little Fortune Hill

Ha wk

SAN SALVADOR

Cut Cay

Middle Cay Low Cay

Alleged that Gold is in this Cave


Traveling by boat? Reserve your slip at the Riding Rock Marina.

Diving

On San Salvador, Columbus Isle is best for wall diving with channels that drop to 6,000 feet with up to 150 ft of visibility. Shallow reef sites on the island feature 20 miles plus of dramatic vertical walls with taming, friendly marine life.

Fishing

Anglers the world over visit San Salvador to partake in big-game fishing for blue marlin, wahoo, dolphin, kingfish and tuna. Fish there have tipped the scales weighing as much as 143 pounds. It’s no wonder that The Bahamas holds more than 50 fishing world records.

Bahamian Field Station The Bahamian Field Station, occupying an old U.S. Navy base, has been operating for many years as a center for academic research in the areas of Archaeology, Biology, Geology, and Marine Sciences. It provides accommodations and air transportation arrangements for professors who wish to teach their students in this unique environment. Watling’s Castle/Sandy Point Estate Ruins of a late 18th century Loyalist plantation house was named after George Watling, a buccaneer who frequented the island.

Sightseeing

Great Lake National Park San Salvador is also known as the “Land of Lakes”. In the centre of the island, the Great Lake, which served as the major means of transportation in days past, has been protected to preserve this natural pristine wonder for future generations.

World Renowned Destination World Renowned Service

San Salvador MYSM First Ever FBO at San Salvador Intl Assistance with Customs and Immigration Located at Main Terminal Onsite Jet-A Fuel Storage Facility Handling and Concierge Services Facilitation of Permits

www.odysseyaviation.com • 242.702.0200

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SAN SALVADOR

Boating


SAN SALVADOR

Dixon Hill Lighthouse Built between 1862-1868 on a former plantation owned by John Dixon, 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, handoperated lighthouse is the last of its type in the Islands of The Bahamas.

Quincentenial Monument rates the historic event. Also on this site is the 1968 Olympic Monument that was erectd by the Mexican Government. Other monuments are: Quincentenial Monument UNESCO Columbus Monument Nao Santa Maria Monument Chicago Herald Monument The 1892 World’s Fair, held in Chicago, celebrated the 400th Anniversary of the “discovery” of the “New World”. In 1891, the Chicago Herald, an American newspaper, erected this sphere (hewn from native limestone) in commemoration of Columbus’ landfall (but on the wrong site). Dixon Hill Lighthouse

Snorkeling

Pigeon Creek Site This site is an area where archeological excavations have shown that the indigenous people of The Bahamas, the Lucayan/Taino Amerindians, all had villages.

Tours

Cut Cay This island was mentioned by Columbus in his journal as a good site for a fortress. At low tide, one can wade out to the cay which is located across a shallow channel off North Point

Monuments

The Land Fall Park The Land Fall Park in the settlement of Long Bay, a ten-acre site rich in archaeological artifacts, is the first landfall of Christopher Columbus in the “New World”. On October 12, 1492, after 33 days at sea, Columbus landed on Long Bay Beac. A simple white cross, erected in 1956 by Ruth D. Wolper, commemo-

128 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Snorkeling is the best way for the inexperienced ocean swimmer to become acquainted with the stunning beauty of the Bahamian reefs. During your adventure, get ready to view caverns, unique ocean life and coral clusters. Choose from a land tour or a water tour to discover all about San Salvador.


Where to Dine/Nightlife

While you may be accustomed to the taste of American and Bahamian cuisine, San Salvador infuses a taste of Europe in its dishes. Large selections of wine and specialty drinks are perfectly paired with these culinary dishes to enhance their flavour. However, during Fish Fry events or festivals, it’s all Bahamian with conch salad, fried fish and locally-mixed concoctions. Local bars offer beach volleyball, card and board games, televised sporting activities, and live music and entertainment on the weekends to heighten their visitors’ dining experiences.

Photo by bahamas.com

Ask your local hotel. Visit http://www. bahamas.com/bahamas/weddingshoneymoons to get started on having your wedding and honeymoon in San Salvador.

Patrice Williams Strawwork

Shopping

Straw vendors like Patrice “Mary” Williams Straw, offer unique authentic Bahamian products that reflect our heritage, creativity, and passion as does Kenny’s Woodcarving who create masterpieces of wood. Find other souvenirs and trinkets at Simply Bahamian across from the airport.

Where to Stay

No different from any other island in The Bahamas, San Salvador has a section of hotels and resorts some with beachfront cottages and private villas for family vacations or romantic getaways. Gourmet dining and water-related activities are available at select resorts. www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 129

SAN SALVADOR

Weddings


information

General Information

Entry Requirements

Upon arrival at any border in The Islands of The Bahamas, all persons must produce a valid passport and travel documents. Entry requirements differ depending on your citizenship and country of residence. It is advisable that you visit the Bahamas Immigration website to get current and accurate information.

Vaccination Requirements

Persons travelling from the US, Canada, UK, Jamaica and most other countries do not special vaccinations or certificates to enter The Bahamas. Travellers arriving from or through countries with risk of Yellow Fever require proof of vaccination for ten (10) days prior to attempting to enter The Bahamas.

Preventing International Child Abduction

The Bahamas observes strict policies a parent travelling alone with a minor child may be requested to produce a letter from the parent not travelling. This may also apply to persons chaperoning minor children who are not their own children, whereas a notarized letter of consent from the minor’s legal guardians would be required. This letter should formally indicate that the chaperone is authorised to travel outside their country with the specified minor, and should also give permission for the chaperone to act as a guardian for important decisions such as seeking medical attention and legal situations.

Immigration & Customs

Everyone entering The Bahamas must come through Bahamian immigration and customs bearing a valid passport with applicable visa, a return or onward ticket, baggage declaration and a completed Bahamas Immigration Disembarkation/Embarkation form. A portion of the immigration form must be retained by the visitor to be collected upon departure. Passport cards are not accepted. Visitors may also be asked to produce evidence of sufficient funds to allow them to be self-sustaining during their stay in the Bahamas.

Customs

Visitors must declare currency and other negotiable instruments of $10,000 or more upon entry into The Bahamas. Each adult visitor is allowed to bring 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes or one pound of tobacco, one quart of spirits and a variety of personal effects (personal radio headsets, bicycle, two still cameras, etc.). All beer imported into the country is dutiable at a rate of $10 per imperial gallon or $18 per case. Purchases up to a value of $100 are permitted by all arriving passengers.

US Immigration

American citizens entering The Bahamas by air

130 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

are required to produce a valid passport and return ticket. No tourist visa is required and passport cards are not accepted. Permanent Residents (Non-citizens) Residents of the US who are not American citizens will need to present a valid passport and Alien Registration Card (Green Card) to receive entry for up to 30 days. For stays exceeding 30 days, a Bahamian visa is also required.

Canadian Immigration

Citizens of Canada entering the US by air are required to produce a valid passport and return ticket. No visa is required for stays up to three (3) months.

Canadian Permanent Residents (Noncitizens) Residents of Canada who are not

Canadian citizens will need to present a valid passport and Canadian Permanent Resident Card to receive entry for up to 30 days. For stays exceeding 30 days, please contact the Canadian Embassy.

Visa Requirements

The Bahamas complies with official international visa regulation agreements and therefore waives the need for a Bahamian visa for citizens of an approved list of countries. However, the citizens of many other countries are required to apply for and obtain a Bahamian visa from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). A visa takes about 2 weeks to process. The Bahamas Immigration website contains the most current information at https://www.immigration.gov.bs/before-your-arrival including a link to the MOFA website. This includes the names of countries that require a Bahamian visa as well as those that do not, and a list of locations where an application for a Bahamian visa can be processed. It is best to check with the nearest consulate or embassy as visa requirements may also depend on the time requested to stay in The Bahamas. Immigration website: www.immigration.gov.bs/ before-your-arrival/

Departure

All persons ages six (6) years and older, must pay a Departure Tax of $20 when leaving The Bahamas. You will also be asked to produce the retained portion of the Bahamas Immigration Disembarkation/Embarkation Card received when you entered the country. Visitors must declare currency and other negotiable instruments of $10,000 or more upon exiting The Bahamas. Departures from Nassau to the US will clear US Customs and Immigration before leaving the country.


Overstaying is a punishable offence in The Bahamas. If you have reason to extend your stay, it is very important that you apply to the Department of Immigration for an official extension. It is recommended that you do this in advance of your initial departure date, as a visitor extension is discretionary and may not be immediate. There is no charge for applying for or receiving a visitor extension. For up-to-date information on regulations for International Travel, US Residents should visit the Travel Section of the US Customs and Border Protection Home Page: www.cbp.gov.

Entry by Boat

When entering The Bahamas by boat, the captain must ensure that the boat clears Bahamas Customs and Immigration at the nearest Port of Entry. The captain and all passengers must have a valid passport and travel documents. No person except the captain is allowed to leave the boat until Customs and Immigration boards, processes and leaves the boat. There is a flat fee to clear Customs and Immigration, which includes a cruising permit for an approved amount of time, fishing permit and regular Customs and Immigration processing fees.. The standard Departure Tax is waived for up to three persons and charged at $20 per additional person. Entry fees are valid for two (2) entries during a ninety (90) day period. Boats up to 35 feet are $150, which larger vessels over 35 feet are $300. A Bahamian visa may be required when staying more than thirty (30) days. Please refer to the Bahamas Marinas page for accurate information, forms and updates: https:// bahamasmarinas.com/enteringexiting-policies/ FIREARMS Note that you must declare any firearms on board your boat, providing required documents and records. You will have to obtain a separate permit from the police department in order to remove it from the boat. Firearm infractions are a punishable offence in The Bahamas so please be sure to review all requirements online before entering the country. CHARTERS You are not allowed to transport passengers for hire without a Foreign Charter Licence. This should be obtained from the Port Department prior to their arrival. Passengers cannot have originated in the Bahamas. Foreign vessel must not engage in any commercial fishing transactions in Bahamian waters. EMERGENCY In case of emergency, your primary call should be by voice on VHF channel 16 to anyone who responds, afloat or on shore. Many land-based stations can either help directly, or pass on your position and circumstances to the Bahamas Air-Sea Rescue Association (BASRA) .

Health

Food & Water

You are strongly advised to drink only bottled water while in The Bahamas. There are many lo-

cal water brands, all purified by reverseosmosis and very safe to drink, as well as imported brands. Large supermarkets exist on most of the larger islands, offering a wide range of American, European, Latin American, Caribbean and local products. You can also find mom & pop stores, convenience stores, gas stations, marina stores and other smaller shops that will sell a limited selection of supplies.

Medical Facilities

The Bahamas offers world-class medical and pharmaceutical facilities with certified professionals from the region as well as North America, Europe and India. There are several hospitals, numerous public and private clinics, private doctors, laboratories, therapists and various treatment centres.

Hospitals

Doctors Hospital is the private hospital in Nassau and the Princess Margaret Hospital is the public hospital. The Rand Memorial is the public hospital in Freeport along with several public clinics, private doctors and the private Sunrise Medical Centre Hospital Complex. Other islands in The Bahamas will have limited public health clinics and patients are airlifted to Nassau for emergency or intensive care.

Decompression Chamber

There are several facilities offering hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to persons in need. You can call ahead of your trip to find out about insurance, fees and scheduling. HBOT is used to improve healing time for wounds from trauma or diabetes. It is also available to treat stroke victims, repair nerve damage, as autistic treatment and as emergency decompression treatment for divers who have the bends. Contact Doctors Hospital for details.

Medical Insurance & Acceptance

You will not be able to use Medicare or Medicaid while in The Bahamas. Your American or Canadian health insurance plan will likely require you to pay upfront and submit your receipts for reimbursement. You should always call your health insurance company before travelling to find out what coverage you may have in The Bahamas and what documentation is required for submission. European travellers may have emergency coverage with their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) but should contact their local office and get the most current information.

Medical Tourism

The Bahamas can be your destination if you need or want outstanding medical care and treatment. The close proximity to the US and international standards make The Bahamas a viable choice for plastic and cosmetic surgery, cardiac procedures, cancer treatments, chiropractic services, dialysis and physical therapy. www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 131


information Skincare: Insects and Sunburn

The Bahamas offers a tropical climate which means the temperature is usually warm to very hot with relatively high humidity. You should wear sunscreen or sunblock at all times when outside during daylight hours. Consider a hat and sunglasses if you will be out during the hottest part of the day or near the water. Insects like mosquitoes and sandflies can be common in the Family Island after a rainfall. Be sure to pack or buy insect repellent to avoid skin irritation.

Transportation

There are several options for getting around in The Bahamas depending on the island and your needs.

Public Transportation

Nassau has a major public bus system where privately owned buses called “jitneys” follow a scheduled route within the city. Buses run from around 6AM to 7PM daily and rates start from $1.25 with only exact change being accepted. The jitney experience can be intense, so it is advised that visitors stick to the #10 bus only, which rides from west Nassau to the downtown area. There are few marked bus stop, so the bus will make frequent stops to let passengers off and on along the side of the road.

Private Transfer Companies

Visitors to Nassau and Freeport have the option to pre-book a private or shared transfer that include passage in a air-conditioned van, limousine, private car or bus with a professional driver waiting for you at the airport. You can also reserve a special service that expedites your arrival and departure from the airport to your destination in Nassau. A flat rate of around $100 will give you a personal concierge to meet you at the gate and expedite your Immigration and Customs requirements, collects your bags and connect you to a car service. When it is time to depart, your concierge will meet you at the airport, expedite your check-in and security clearance, and give you access to a private departure lounge. You can also book VIP concierge packages that take care of the elite traveler.

Taxis and Uber

You will notice a taxi stand outside the airport and shopping districts in Nassau and Freeport where you can request a private taxi. Taxi service is limited on most other islands but you can locate one at the airport or at your hotel. Be sure to discuss the rate before departing as not all taxis use metres. While Uber does not have a location in The Bahamas, there are several similar companies in Nassau that let you use an app to get a ride. The primary app is Bahamas Ride which is a collaboration between the Bahamas Taxi Cab Union and the Ministry of Tourism.

132 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

Ferries and Water Taxis

The Bahamas is an archipelago which means that we are a nation of islands. Many smaller islands use a ferry service to connect them to mainland islands for shopping, school and general purposes. You will find these services mainly in the Abaco Islands, the Exuma Cays, Bimini and Eleuthera. The islands of Acklins, Crooked Island and Long Cay have a daily service and water taxis run back and forth between Paradise Island and downtown Nassau all day. Rates vary dramatically depending on the distance so be sure to find out the fee before departing.

Rentals

If you prefer to drive yourself around, there are several options available. Remember that in The Bahamas we drive on the left-hand side of the road, and vehicles may be either right-hand or left-hand drive. You will also notice that is a multitude of small, box-shaped Japanese cars that are efficient and affordable but may not be the most comfortable if you are taller or have a lot of people in your party. CARS & VANS Car rental companies are accessible on most islands and are especially useful on the Family Islands and when you are staying in a vacation rental home located outside of the hotel area. Local companies will offer better rental rates and make accept a cash deposit, but note that your vehicle may be right-hand drive which means the driver sits on the right side of the car. American rental companies including Alamo and Hertz are located in the airport in Nassau. GOLF CARTS The roads can be very narrow on small islands such as Harbour Island and Spanish Wells off Eleuthera, several Abaco cays, some Exuma cays as well as Bimini and the Berry Islands. Many people will use golf carts exclusively and rentals are available near the dock when you enter the island. SCOOTERS Scooters and ATVs (all terrain vehicles) are available in Nassau, Freeport and some Family Islands. You can also find bicycle rentals mainly in Freeport and the Family Islands, as Nassau is a high traffic city lacking bike lanes

Environmental Information Climate & Weather

The Bahamas features a sub-tropical climate with temperatures averaging in the 70° to 80°F range all year round. Summers can be humid with temperatures up to 90° F while winters are balmy with water temperatures that are tolerable for swimming. Northern islands including Grand Bahama and Abaco can see slightly colder winter temperatures into the 60° to 70°F range. There is no snowfall and there is an average of 340 sunny days per year. The official


hurricane season runs from June to November but more named storms hit the US than The Bahamas.

ºF ºC JAN 71 22 FEB 71 22 MAR 72 22 APR 75 24 MAY 78 26 JUNE 81 27

products. BTC services all islands of The Bahamas, while Aliv offers coverage to most major islands. BTC offers business services including fax, telex, cellular and satellite phones, as well as ºF ºC telephone cards and roaming services. Directory service is available when you dial 916. Dial 0 JULY 83 28 (zero) to reach a live operator for domestic or AUG 82 28 international service. SEPT 82 28 Your hotel or other accommodations will likely OCT 79 26 have landline and/or VoIP telephone service. NOV 76 24 There are limited public telephones but you may find one that accepts a phone card. DEC 72 22

Beaches

Every island has beautiful beaches that open to the public. Check your local guide for key spots to visit in the islands. You should take a trash bag or other receptacle with you and be sure never to litter the sand or sea. Access to certain beaches is restricted, mainly in front of large resorts and private homes.

Diving

The Bahamas is known internationally for being one of the best places for diving in the world. There is a lot to see in our crystal clear waters, such as amazing deep blue holes, coral reefs full of fascinating marine life, sunken wrecks of ships and airplanes, cavernous trenches and shallow blues studded with starfish. Water temperatures stay around 80°F all year, with minimal cooling in the winter months. Local operators offer excursions and charters for snorkeling, as well as specialty adventures like diving with sharks, submarine and Scuba diving. Serious divers can take a PADI course and earn a certification in SCUBA diving or take more challenging adventures like night shark diving or deep water dives. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism offers diving tips here: https://www.bahamas.com/faq/ bahamas-diving-tips The Bahamas Diving Association: http://www. bahamasdiving.com

Tours and Attractions

There is something for everyone when visiting The Bahamas. Nassau and Freeport offer casino gambling, high-end shopping, nightlife and fabulous restaurants and events. During the day, you can visit a water park, tour places like a distillery or chocolate factory, or enjoy watersports like parasailing, jet-skis, wave runners and interacting with sea animals like dolphins and stingrays. All of the islands of The Bahamas offer nature tours, charter boats to visit other cays and beaches, fishing, and

Communications The Bahamas has two (2) major communications

providers; BTC Mobile (Bahamas Telecommunications Company) and Aliv (Cable Bahamas). Both of these companies offer competitive internet, telephone and mobile cell phone services as well as streaming and network television

Internet Service

Wifi access is widely available throughout The Bahamas. Your hotel or other lodging will likely give you a wireless code when you check in, and may also have a business centre with direct connections. Most restaurants also offer complimentary wifi service. You can purchase a prepaid cell phone or tablet and enable data services to access the internet on the go. Aliv offers several internet wireless broadband plans that include a mini modem that acts as a hot-spot for 5-15 users.

Mobile Phone Service

While you are in The Bahamas, you can purchase a pre-paid mobile cell phone from either Aliv or BTC and add a mobile phone service plan as well as data. Most Bahamians utilise the Whatsapp messenging app to make long distance and local calls as well as to quickly send images and media files. You may be able to utilise your roaming service from your US cell phone provider, as well as your VoIP app or device to make calls. BTC provides a 100% digital switching system that allows communication with over 100 countries.

Phone Cards

Phone cards for calling overseas are available locally from stores and vendors. The “Talk It Up” calling card can be used to make international phone calls from a cell phone or landline. Directions and FAQs can be found online at http://www.btcbahamas.com/support/category/ talk-it-up-cards

Calling within The Bahamas

When dialing to a phone within the same island, only the seven-digit number is required. If you are calling another island, you may need to dial 1-242 and then the rest of the number.

Calling Outside The Bahamas

You can call direct from The Bahamas to most countries by dialling the country code, then the area code and telephone number. If calling from your own or a local cell phone, roaming charges from your carrier may apply. Calling the US, Canada and Caribbean: Dial 1-Area Code-Seven-Digit Telephone Number www.bahamasvisitorsguide.com 133


information Calling China from The Bahamas: Dial 011-86-Area Code-Telephone

Number Calling the UK and other countries: Dial 011-Country Code-Area Code- Telephone Number

COMMON COUNTRY CODES: USA and Canada: 1 | UK: 44 | Australia: 61 | Ireland 353 | China: 86 CALLING INTO THE BAHAMAS When dialling into The Bahamas from an outside country, dial the international access code then the area code 242 then the seven-digit phone number. INTERNATIONAL ACCESS CODES: from the US: 011 | from the UK: 00 | from Australia: 0011 |

General Information The official name of the country is “THe Com-

monwealth of The Bahamas” and the capital city is Nassau on the island of New Providence. More than 700 islands and cays make up this archipelago nation that became independent from the British Crown in 1973. The Bahamas is the third richest country in the Americas with the primary industries of tourism and finance followed by seafood and other minor exports. Bahamas operates on Eastern Standard Time (EST), and observes Daylight Savings Time from March to November annually. The telephone area code is 242 and cars drive on the left side of the road. The vast majority of the country enjoys reliable utilities including electricity, telecommunications, internet and a generally high quality of life. Emergency Telephone Contacts ALL EMERGENCIES FIRE & MEDICAL............................. 919 POLICE............ 911 or 919 or (242) 322-4444 FIRE........................................................... 919 AMBULANCE Doctors Hospital (Private)........(242) 302-4747 AMBULANCE PMH Accident & Emergency...(242) 326-7014 ...............................................or 322-2861 BAHAMAS HYPERBARIC CENTRE............. (242) 362-5765 or 422-2434 MEDEVAC Emergency Medical Evacuation (242) 322-2881 THE CRISIS CENTRE .............242) 328-0922 BASRA Bahamas Air Sea Rescue.........(242) 325-8864, .................................. 727-4888, 359-4888 Other Useful Contacts BTC .................................................................. AT&T International Services 1-800-CALL-ATT (225-5288) MCI ........................................1-800-888-8000 U.S. Embassy......... Telephone: (242)322-1181 ................after hours dial extension 43111 Address: 42 Queen Street, downtown Nassau Hours: Monday-Friday 9AM-12PM and 2PM-

134 The Bahamas Visitors’ Guide

4PM. Closed Saturdays, Sundays, and local and US holidays Online: bs.usembassy.gov

Alcohol & Smoking

The legal drinking age in The Bahamas is 18. Alcohol and cigarettes are sold in liquor stores and bars throughout The Bahamas. You can find cigarettes but not alcohol in most grocery stores or gas stations. A few areas in the Abacos are “dry”, which means they do not sell alcohol, but you are free to bring it to the house where you are staying. Cigars are imported from Cuba and other countries in the region and can be found in cigar shops and other outlets. Several locations in Nassau and Freeport also offer hand-rolled cigars by local experts.

Illegal, Prohibited and Restricted Goods

During your stay in The Bahamas, you are subject to Bahamian law. All persons aged 16 and up are treated as adults by the police and in court. Strict laws and penalties apply for possession of unauthorized drugs and firearms. Civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms and incendiary ammunition, and being apprehended while in possession of an unlicensed firearm garners an automatic sentence. MARIJUANA Marijuana is still classified in The Bahamas as a Dangerous Substance which means it is illegal to have it in your possession. This includes medicinal marijuana with or without a prescription, oils, pills and other derivatives. PROHIBITED These items are banned from importation and include pornography, automatic weapons and ammunition, power spearguns, unfit foods, counterfeit currency and copyrighted works. RESTRICTED This items are subject to approval and include semi-automatic weapons, firearms, prescription drugs, fireworks, trailers, certain mechanical apparatus and any items for resale without a business licence.

Banking & Money

The Bahamas enjoys a vibrant and stable economy as the third wealthiest country in the Americas. The primary industries are tourism and offshore banking with interests in seafood exports, pharmaceuticals, distilling, shipping and container services, aragonite mining and sea salt. CURRENCY The local currency in The Bahamas is the Bahamian Dollar (BSD), which is the equivalent of one (1) United States Dollar (USD). You can spend both US and Bahamian dollars interchangeably, but note that you may not always get US dollars back as change. It is best if you arrive with a combination of cash, debit and/or credit cards and even travellers’ cheques. BANKS Brick-and-mortar commercial consumer bank branches are found on major islands in


The Bahamas Normal banking hours of Monday through Friday, 9:30AM to 3PM and Friday to 4:40PM. You should speak with your concierge or call ahead of time. Most banks are Canadian or Bahamian and offer a full range of banking services including currency exchange and wire transfers. A notable exception is the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) which will not exchange your money or perform most expected banking functions if you do not have an account with them. ATMs Automatic Telling Machines (ATMs) are also called Automatic Banking Machines (ABMs) and are located on most islands attached to banks or in hotels, casinos, airports, gas stations, shopping areas and similar locations. Family Island ATMs are located at a commercial bank and some more remote islands may not have any form of cash service. CREDIT CARDS Businesses on Islands that have ATMs usually accept debit and credit cards for direct payment. Visa and Mastercard bank cards using the Cirrus, Plus, Honor or Maestro networks are the most widely accepted cards. Some locations in more high-end or touristry areas may also accept American Express and Diners Club cards.

Electricity

Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) is the stateowned electric utility company that operates 30 generating plants in 25 islands in The Bahamas. The standard voltage of 120 volts and frequency 60 cycles is similar to that of North America. You should check your appliances for the required voltage. Europe and Australia use 220-240 volts and therefore will need a downward converter. Power outlet sockets are of type A and B which is standard to the US, Canada, Latin America, China and Japan. Chargers and appliances from Europe and other countries will need a two-pin flat adapter. Appliances that include a label stating ‘INPUT: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz’ are able to be used in all countries without a converter. Check for this universal label on your common appliances such as cell phone chargers, cameras, electric razors and toothbrushes, laptop chargers etc.

Shopping Hours

The primary shopping areas for visitors in Nassau are downtown and inside major resorts such as Atlantis and BahaMar. The Palmdale business district is near to downtown and also features many shopping options. Store hour vary but most shops are open from about 7AM to 5PM. The Mall at Marathon is a shopping mall in Nassau with extended hours to 8 or 9PM depending on the store. Shopping on Family Islands will be more limited, but you can find options in gift shops and more populated areas. Check the local Guide for more information on stores and hours in the

various islands. Most grocery stores in The Bahamas are open at 7AM until 8PM or later, but may be closed or have limited hours on Sundays and holidays.

Taxes

You will notice a 12% VAT tax applied to the total on most goods and services purchased in The Bahamas. This is a Value Added Tax (VAT) that is similar to a sales tax. Most taxes are built into the cost of goods via customs, duty and similar fees charged upon import. Duty Free You can save 20-50% on luxury items by shopping at a duty-free location. Import duty, also called a tariff is a tax collected by Bahamas Customs on imported goods, based on the value of the product. There is no import duty on certain desirable and luxury items, which allow visitors a significant savings compared to US prices. Duty free items include perfumes, fragrances, crystal, leather goods, jewelry, fine linens, tablecloths, watches, clocks, photographic equipment, china, binoculars, and telescopes. Duty-free shops are marked with the DFS logo and are usually located in tourist shopping areas and high-end properties.

Tipping

Most restaurants will charge an automatic 15% gratuity for all in-house dining. Although this appears to be a standard tip for table service, note that this amount is usually split between your server, the bar and kitchen staff. If you receive great service, consider leaving a bit extra for your hardworking server.

What to Pack and Wear

Light, comfortable clothing is appropriate for most places in The Bahamas. Be sure to pack or buy cover-ups to wear over your swimsuits in public places such as the hotel lobby, restaurants, buses and stores. Plan to have slippers for the pool and beach, casual sandals that you wear anywhere, tennis shoes for the gym and casual shoes and clothing for general use. You may have to dress up a bit more to visit certain more high-end restaurants, casinos, nightclubs, courts, events and churches. Island Elegant, or Island Casual dress codes is fine for dinner at most places, and you can choose summer wear for daytime activities. Sunglasses and sunscreen will be standard for everyday use during sunny days in The Bahamas. If you are visiting a Family Island, it is important to pack or buy insect repellent. Toiletries will be more expensive and may be a different or more limited range of choices than in your country. However, local pharmacies will stock a wide range of necessities including haircare, skincare, toiletries, items for babies and children, cleaners, office suppliers and medication.

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VACATION WITH A PURPOSE

A must-do event in one of the world’s most beautiful vacation destinations.

March 14, 2020

Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera

Cycling Distances

Running Distances

10, 20, 40, 50, 65, and 100 miles

5k, 10k, 13.1, and 26.2 miles

Participate in one of the most successful charitable events in the Bahamas Every dollar raised by participants goes to fund programmes created and supported by Ride for Hope to assist Bahamians in the fight against cancer.

www.rideforhopebahamas.com

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The Islands of The Bahamas Visitors Guide, Premier Issue