Today I’m sharing with you my Eleuthera, Bahamas Travel Guide. I bet anyone that has been to Eleuthera and sees me sharing this post will probably be upset, because Eleuthera is known as the “Bahamas’ best kept secret” and everyone who visits doesn’t want it to get too touristy, but you know I can’t do you all like that! I loved this island so much that I already have another trip planned this year.
SHOP SIMILAR SWIMSUITS
I’ll start by saying that while I find this island to have absolutely stunning spots, friendly locals, delicious food and beautiful waters, it’s a still a pretty rural island. From the bad streets filled with potholes every 50 feet and lots of abandoned buildings and homes due to what I can imagine is underfunded infrastructure, to big areas of untouched land. There are only roughly 10 or so restaurants across the island that are more than just a shack or tiny space, all of the other ones are just that. There are also only several grocery stores spread throughout the island, all expensive and some don’t have a huge offering.
With all that said, as I want to make sure to be as transparent as possible so you know what to expect if you chose to visit, this island is still totally magical to me. I also love rural places and don’t need fancy atmospheres to enjoy nature’s beauty. I feel this is exactly what Eleuthera offers, beautiful untouched nature.
SHOP SWIMSUITS I WORE ON THIS TRIP
From what I saw when researching accommodations to actually being on the island, Eleuthera caters to both the traveler that wants complete isolation and to the traveler that rather be in the (albeit small) heart of the touristy area and even a resort that leaves you somewhere in between (French Leave Resort). And even what I would consider the touristy area, in North Central Eleuthera by Gregory Town, is small and quaint enough that you don’t feel crowded or like you’re missing out on the calm beauty of the island. You just have more vacation homes, condos and restaurants surrounding you and quite a few are in walking distance.
Like I mentioned before, I like rural areas and my husband and I were looking to stay somewhere on the island that was more secluded, while still being 5-15 minutes to many restaurants and groceries (if you want even more seclusion, I’d recommend Rock Sound). We stayed in Governors Harbour in a vacation home right on the cliff side of the Caribbean. One side of Eleuthera is the Caribbean Ocean and the other side is the Atlantic Ocean. Both are truly stunning, possibly the most beautiful and clear water I’ve ever seen. However, since it was our first time, we wanted to stay on the Caribbean side of the island. You can also choose from stays where you’re right on the beach, or situated higher up but still near a beach (these offer beautiful views). After seeing photos of the cliffside on the island, we knew we had to experience that.
SHOP OUR SUN HATS
Note: Since I rented someone’s vacation home and didn’t stay in a hotel or resort, I won’t be putting their information/address here. If you’re planning a stay and would like to stay on the cliffside in Governors Harbour for roughly $450/night, email me and I’ll send you the information.
SHOP MY COVERUPS
Eleuthera, Bahamas Travel Guide
- Buccaneer Club, awesome burgers
- Front Porch
- Da Perk, delicious coffee, fresh breakfast sandwiches and bakery goods
- Governor’s Harbour Bakery
- Cravings Bake Shop, the BEST rum cake I’ve ever had
- Papa Scoops Ice Cream, coconut ice cream was SO good-can also buy it at some of the grocery stores
- 1648, lobster pizza, salads and cocktails were wonderful
- Daddy Joe’s, great option if visiting or staying North, exploring Spanish Wells or taking a charter
- The Shipyard
- Mel’s Snack Shack
- Tippy’s, everything was so tasty, both food and cocktails. AWESOME live music.
There are several other grocery stores in addition to the ones below, these are just the ones we visited:
- Eleuthera Supply, smaller, good for quick stops
- Bacchus Fine Foods, good for more speciality things (herbs, wine, chocolate etc.)
- Burrows One Stop Grocery Store, this was my favorite for all basic necessities
- North Eleuthera Shopping Center, warehouse style grocery store with big selection, just out of the way unless you’re staying very North on the Island OR if you’re flying into North Eleuthera Airport and stop here on your way into the island
Tip: there are plenty of places you can get fresh fish from fisherman, just ask around.
Fishing, Snorkeling and Pigs Charters:
- We chose this one and LOVED it. The captain was amazing! https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g5785959-d13817344-Reviews-Da_Salty_Pig_Adventures-Spanish_Wells_Eleuthera_Out_Islands_Bahamas.html
I wanted to shout out the charter we chose, Da Salty Pig. There are a handful of the charters available that all have wonderful reviews and we chose this one by chance and we’ll now be using them for all future visits. They’re chill, knowledgeable and the captain himself, a Spanish Wells native, is who brought over the turtles and stingrays you see us feeding and petting. He spent months getting the turtles over to the island so that visitors can enjoy them-how cool is that? We can’t recommend Da Salty Pig and Captain Janssen enough!
Eleuthera, Bahamas Travel Guide FAQ’S
- We flew into North Eleuthera Airport, a TINY airport that felt more like a little shack than an airport. However, everything went smoothly both arriving and departing. You HAVE to keep an eye out for your boarding time and make sure to get there when they tell you to (1, 1 1/2, or 2 hours before your flight).
- 3 options for airports: North Eleuthera International Airport (ELH), Governor’s Harbour International Airport (GHB) and Rock Sound International Airport (RSD)
- There is an art gallery and cafe right across the street from ELH, if you’d like to waste time there while waiting for your flight. There’s also a concession stand in the airport.
- Lots of places are CASH ONLY. The island does accept US dollars as well, but they will give you change in Bahamian dollars and you may get stuck with too much of it by the end of your trip, so try and plan spending ahead of time to avoid that. ATM’s are scarce.
- You drive on the LEFT SIDE of the road.
- There are no Hertz, Enterprise etc. You rent cars directly from locals. Unless you spend BIG, you’ll end up with a basic older Honda or Toyota, and even those aren’t cheap.
- Know where you’re going always, some side streets and pathways are very steep or the road is badly paved or not paved at all and with the rental cars available, you may get stuck.
- Expect to see an import fee on lots of restaurant purchases.
- If you’re visiting during peak season, make reservations at some of the larger, more popular restaurants.
- A lot of restaurants and stores are closed September-October.
- Bring or buy bug spray!
- If you like beer, don’t bother buying anything else but the island’s Bahamian beers: Kalik and Sands, any version (light, dark, strong etc…they’re all so good)
- Pack casual. No need for anything but sandals and tennis shoes.
- Download Whatsapp for communication with anyone local. It’s great to use with US residents too. If you don’t, make sure to update your cellular plan for the duration of your trip.
I hope this Eleuthera, Bahamas Travel Guide is helpful should you be planning a visit! The Bahamas is filled with tons of beautiful islands, many of which I also want to visit. I think deciding which island to visit depends on what you’re looking for in a trip. They all have different beauty and vibes to offer.
If you have any questions, comment below or email me!
See more of my travel guides here.