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Coastline of Eleuthera, Bahamas
silardtoth | Adobe Stock

Eleuthera, Bahamas Travel Guide

SmarterTravel

Editor’s Note: The author of this story was hosted by the Bahamas Tourism Board.

Eleuthera, a long and skinny island that slices through the Atlantic Ocean, is one of the 12 inhabited Bahamas Out Islands, a quiet collection of unspoiled islands and cays. 

Despite Eleuthera’s remote feeling, the island is quite easy to get to. Located 50 miles east of Nassau, Eleuthera offers direct flights to Orlando, Miami, Charlotte, Ft. Lauderdale, Nassau, Atlanta, and Rock Sound.

Here’s what to do once you’re there.

The Best Things to Do in Eleuthera

Eleuthera is 100 miles long but just over one mile wide in some spots—so you could walk across the island at some points, but it will take you a few hours to drive from top to bottom. There’s plenty to do and see on a trip here—if you can tear yourself away from the more 130 stunning beaches that are found on the island. 

Glass Window Bridge 

Glass Window Bridge on Eleuthera, Bahamas
forcdan | Adobe Stock

On one side of Eleuthera lies the Majorelle blue waters of the Atlantic. On the other, the brilliant turquoise waters of the Bight of Eleuthera (often mistaken for the Caribbean Sea because of its tropical color). There’s no better place to admire the dichotomy than from the Glass Window Bridge, a narrow spot on the island from which you can see both bodies of water at once.

Tour Lady Di’s Pineapple Farm

Eleuthera is famous for its juicy, candy-sweet pineapples. See how they’re grown at Lady Di’s pineapple farm, where you can appreciate the work that goes into your next pina colada—it takes an entire year to grow just one pineapple! Run by beloved lifelong Eleutheran Diane Thompson (nicknamed Lady Di), you’ll also learn some inside jokes and secrets about the island on a tour here. If you’re lucky enough to be in Eleuthera around the month of June, Lady Di might even give you a taste of one of her pineapples right from the farm. 

Soak in the Queen’s Baths

The Queen's Baths natural pools at low tide on Eleuthera, Bahamas
Jennifer | Adobe Stock

Time your visit to the Queen’s Baths for low tide, when the natural pools carved into the rock by the waves are visible. The perfectly sized pools are filled by the crashing ocean, and then are warmed by the sun, to create a “hot tub” for visitors to soak in (complete with the best view you’ve ever experienced from a bath). 

Leon Levy Plant Preserve

When you imagined a Bahamas trip, you probably had images of beaches in your mind, but Eleuthera is actually quite lush and green as well. Learn about the island’s diverse variety of native flora and fauna (including how to treat ailments with bush medicines and ways to spot poisonous plants) at the 25-acre Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve, the first National Park on Eleuthera. 

Lighthouse Beach Excursion

Cave on Lighthouse Beach on Eleuthera, Bahamas
Caroline Morse-Teel

Accessible only by a rough three-mile road or via boat, Lighthouse Beach makes you work for it, but it’s well worth the journey. Spare your rental car deposit and let Eleuthera Tours take you to Lighthouse Beach, where they’ll tell you the history of the island, point out all the best photo spots, cook you lunch over an open fire on the beach, and ply you with rum punch for the afternoon.

Located at the southern tip of Eleuthera, this pink sand beach is framed by towering white cliffs and edged by dense greenery. Brilliant turquoise waters sparkle for miles, and there are lots of little secret cliffs and coves to explore and to have all to yourself. 

Visit Lighthouse Beach while it’s still untouched—the area has sadly been sold to Disney and will become a private cruise ship port in the near future. 

Mariposa Spa Experience

After a hard day of relaxing on the beach, treat yourself to a spa treatment from Mariposa Day Spa & Salon, a mobile beauty service that will come to your vacation rental or hotel for in-room massages, manicures, or facials. The locally-run business will soon open up a new spa location in Savannah Sound, where you’ll be able to get outdoor massages with an ocean view. 

Boiling Hole & Cathedral Cave

Boiling Hole (left) and Cathedral Cave (right) on Eleuthera, Bahamas
Caroline Morse-Teel

Just off of the Queen’s Highway (don’t drive too fast or you’ll miss the sign) are two gorgeous Eleuthera attractions, the Boiling Hole and Cathedral Cave. The Boiling Hole is a deep blue body of water that gets its name from the appearance that it is “boiling” when it’s filled up by the ocean water from underground. Behind the Boiling Hole, you’ll find Cathedral Cave. Climb down the wooden ladder and admire the sunlight pouring in through holes in the roof of the cave. 

Explore the Beaches

There are over 130 beaches on Eleuthera, and they are all publically accessible—every stretch of sand is open to anyone who wants to enjoy them (up to the high tide line). You’ll find some of the best beaches on the island simply by picking a promising-looking dirt road and walking (or driving) down it until you hit the water. Some of our favorite beaches on Eleuthera include French Leave Beach, Ten Bay Beach (come here for sunset), and Cocodimama Beach. 

Where to Eat on Eleuthera

Tippy’s Restaurant & Beachside Bar

Tippy's Restaurant in Eleuthera, Bahamas
Caroline Morse-Teel

Located on a stunning pink sand beach, Tippy’s Restaurant draws in the crowds for frozen cocktails at sunset, mid-day lunch and beer breaks, and lively dinners. With a focus on in-season, locally-sourced food (and we do mean local—a working farm at Pineapple Fields Resort across the street supplies much of the produce and even some of the meat), the menu switches daily—so you’ll have to consult the everchanging chalkboards to decide what to order. Raucous local bands take the stage multiple nights a week, making it the place to party if you’re looking for nightlife on Eleuthera. 

Da Perk Cafe

With a charming outdoor patio overlooking the waterfront, Da Perk Cafe has the best view in downtown Governor’s Harbour. The owners of this family-run restaurant drive around to different farms on Eleuthera each morning to get what’s fresh and in season to serve for breakfast and lunch. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but if the passionfruit lemonade or quinoa bowls are on the menu, get them (trust us). 

Buccaneer Club

Serving up Bahamian specialties like a breakfast fish stew or dinner conch salad, the Buccaneer Club is the place to go to try the local cuisine at any time of day. The spacious outdoor patio fills up with happy patrons on live music nights, with plenty of room for dancing if the mood (or Goombay Smash) strikes. 

1648, An Island Restaurant

Located at the luxury French Leave Resort, 1648 is the best restaurant for a special evening out. Snag a seat on the outdoor deck overlooking the water and order one of the restaurant’s signature cocktails (like the Rum Old Fashioned or 1648 punch) to sip on as you watch the sun slowly sink below the horizon. 

La Bougainvillea

People dining at La Bougainvillea restaurant
La Bougainvillea

La Bougainvillea is an ocean-to-table restaurant that specializes in just-caught local seafood. Vegetarians won’t be left out, as all of the vegetables served here are grown on the island. Reserve a table in the open-air restaurant and enjoy Eleuthera’s tropical weather while you dine. 

Bacchus Fine Foods

We all know that you should never grocery shop on an empty stomach—fortunately, you don’t have to at Bacchus Fine Foods. This gourmet food shop imports hard-to-find on the island items like gourmet cheeses and wines so you can create the perfect beach picnic or stock up your rental house’s kitchen. An attached cafe serves breakfast and lunch to tide you over until you can cook up your haul.  

Island Farm

For the freshest produce, stop by Island Farm, where organic vegetables and fruits are sold straight from the farm. In addition to locally-grown items, you’ll find fresh-baked bread, specialty jams and hot sauces, hand-made sorbet, plants, and much more. 

Where to Stay

Pineapple Fields Resort

Caroline Morse-Teel

On an island with narrow roads (and left side of the road driving), it can be really nice to have everything you need in one spot. Experience the best of Eleuthera without leaving the property at Pineapple Fields Resort. Simply cross the street and you’ll be at Tippy’s Restaurant and Bar (the place to go for all your food and entertainment needs) as well as a stunning two-mile-long, pristine pink beach (that’s never crowded). 

Torn between the space of a vacation house and the amenities and service of a hotel? Pineapple Fields offers the best of worlds, with 32 one- or two-bedroom condos to choose from, all of which feature fully-stocked kitchens (crucial if you don’t want to waste time at a restaurant for breakfast before hitting the beach, or don’t want to eat out every meal), space to spread out, and front and back verandahs with ocean or tropical views. 

Pineapple Fields’ beautiful tropical grounds will make you feel like you’re in a lush paradise. Swim in the oversized outdoor pool when the ocean is rough, or walk the trails surrounding the property. Meet the pigs at the resort’s farm, or snag fresh papaya from one of the trees. Take a bottle of wine and follow the trail back to the viewing platform which offers 360-degree views for a memorable sunset or stargazing experience. 

With a mid-island location right next to the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve, Pineapple Fields Resort offers easy access to anywhere you want to go on Eleuthera.

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