When you think of the Bahamas, the place you are really thinking about is Eleuthera. It is truly the birthplace of this amazing island region, and without it, there might not even be a Bahamas to head down to. With that in mind, we are going to take a detailed look at this paradise in the Atlantic, a look into its history, its culture, its geography and some highlights that you best not miss! Without further adieu, let’s take a step back in history… a few hundred years ago. Eleuthera is one of the Out Islands of the Bahamas. The quiet white and pink sandy beaches stretch for 110 miles along the narrow island making them one of the favorite Eleuthera vacation spots. There are none of those flashy resorts and high priced restaurants. The beaches are laid back where you can watch the coconuts drop from the trees while reading a book. But if you do like more adventure in your Eleuthera vacations; you can go kayaking around the beautiful bays and through mangrove swamps.

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Heron Hill
Villa Sleeps 8
Rates 400 - 510 USD
Point O View
Villa Sleeps 7
Rates 350 - 500 USD
Playa de Papaya
Cottage Sleeps 5
Rates 145 - 145 USD
Ten Bay Beach Cottage
Cottage Sleeps 4
Rates 145 - 145 USD
Provender
Villa Sleeps 9
Rates 550 - 750 USD

Eleuthera Vacations: Things to see while on vacation in Bahamas

History

First inhabited by the Lucayan indigenous group, the island of Eleuthera was a sanctuary for them. Although not much is known about the group, what we do know is the group found refuge in the islands beaches and lush jungle and created a home. For a number of years, the group prospered and saw their numbers rise as people began to settle down. However, this was not for long, as Spanish conquistadors landed in the early 1500’s. Upon meeting these populations, the Europeans enslaved the population and deported them to South America where the men, woman and children worked in silver and gold mines. The island was left to the wild once again for more than a century when in 1648, English Puritans found a new home.

Led by Captain William Sayles, the English Puritans, nicknamed the Eleuthera Adventurers sailed to Bermuda, and Eleuthera seeking religious sanctuary. Upon landing on the island, the English dubbed it Eleuthera which means Free or Freedom in Greek. Today, the island still maintains an unspoiled or untamed feel about it, and although the English Puritans eventually left, the English colony of Bermuda would soon take over this gem of an island.

Governor’s Harbour considered the capital of Eleuthera is one of the key historic landmarks on the island. As one of the oldest settlement in The Bahamas, you will find an appealing quaintness among heritage homes, sun drenched villas and picturesque historic churches, many over 150 years old.

Culture

The history of the island and the heritage that has been preserved has resulted in a diverse culture that is rich in customs that continually remind tourists and visitors alike of the love of celebration and community. In the Bahamas, you will find a love of Bahamian music, from the Caribbean reggae that was made famous in Jamaica to the rake ‘n’ scrape, and island flavors that give first time and long time visitors a real taste of the history, life, and culture that can be found right here in Eleuthera.

When it comes to Caribbean life, the island of Eleuthera is like no other. This is an island that encourages its visitors to rub shoulders with the locals, and really experience the culture of this truly beautiful place. There are a number of locals that are more than willing to tell stories, point out hidden treasures, and take up the manta that their island is your island. Let the spirits guide you and enjoy a day out in the town like no other place.

One thing to note is that bush medicine is alive and well in this part of the world. Unlike in European or North American cities, the people of Eleuthera still practice this ancient art. There are many who are willing to help find a guide to take you into the bush, but this is an ancient tradition that was brought over to the Bahamas from West Africa and needs to be respected. In fact, there are nearly 100 plants on the island that are known as reliable sources for medical treatment. You might be aware of aloe vera, the burn cure, that can be found right here in Eleuthera. Further to this, there are other plants that you might recognize including Cascarilla, Crab Bush, Hibiscus Pepper Leaf, Sour Sop Leaf, Spanish Sage, White Sage, Fig Leaf and even Bagarina.

Finally, if you are in town during the Christmas season, you need to take part in Junkanoo. This amazing festival includes ornate and colourful costumes, amazing headdresses and the smooth rhythmic sounds of Bahamian music. Thousands of people attend, and it truly is a once in a lifetime party with some of the best locals in the Caribbean.

Geography

The island sits approximately 225 miles from the beaches of Miami, Florida, and is known as part of the outer islands of the Bahamas. It is roughly 110 miles long, but interestingly is only roughly 1 mile to 2 miles across at any one point. Thus, you are never really that far from the beach on Eleuthera. Finally, the famed glass window bridge is home to the narrowest place on earth, where the island is only 100 feet wide where the Caribbean and Atlantic are practically touching.

Highlights

Besides the amazing beaches that dot the island, I would strongly suggest checking out Lighthouse Beach, there are a ton of other amazing outdoor activities you need to try.

Great diving

The island is well known for its amazing diving and world famous currents. Current Cut is known as a fast drift dive, that will take divers over 2/3 of a mile away in less than 10 minutes when the conditions are right. Other notable dives on the island are The Blue Hole, The Train Wreck and the Devil’s Backbone.

Superb Caving

If you are one to love caves, Eleuthera is your place to be. The cave at Hatchet Bay is infamous for its three levels, and more than a mile-long vaulted ceiling. Made entirely of limestone, this cave is home to many a tales from Puritans hiding out from French merchant fleets to pirates storing treasure within its walls. Some other caves of note are Preachers Cave, where Sayles first made camp when the Puritan’s wrecked at Devil’s Backbone, and held their first religious service on the island.

Bonefish made easy

Some of the best fishing in the area is right here in Eleuthera. There are hundreds of miles of fishable surf where one can catch a variety of bonefish including snapper, jacks and barracuda. Due to the vastness of the island, it is best to chat with a local before heading off to do some fishing of your own. They will know the hot spots of the day, and will most likely join you for some relaxing fishing in the surf.

Eleuthera is a place where freedom can truly happen. No matter if you are looking for a relaxing Eleuthera vacation, or something with more of an outdoor focus, the island of Eleuthera has it all. Let nature reign, and enjoy an amazing vacation on the outer islands of the Bahamas in Eleuthera.