Eleuthera by Thiago Lopez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been classified as the Best secret island in the world” by Travel and Leisure, in addition to having a beach on the list of the 25 most amazing beaches in the world by Forbes Traveler.

In Greek, Eleuthera means “Liberty Island” but regardless of titles or classifications, I will describe here my experience in one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to, little known, and maybe I can convince you to spend unforgettable days on this Island which is less than 

1 hour by plane from Miami. Over time, some information may lose value, but the images might create a desire in you to go as quickly as possible to this incredible place

 

 

Why Eleuthera?

It was already my dream visiting the Bahamas and I´ve always heard about Exumas. 

My original itinerary would be a week in Exumas, but when I started researching about the country I discovered that Disney bought a beach on this island, and that the project included the construction of a resort and a port with the expectation 

of receiving a million tourists per year. These same sources of research mentioned: “if you want to know this wild and deserted beach, don’t waste time”. It was enough for me to change my mind and put Exumas in the background. The name of the purchased beach? Write down: Lighthouse Beach, a true paradise!

 

 

When To go?

Some Caribbean regions suffer with the hurricane season, being the period from August to October what concentrates greater activity of this phenomenon. Bahamas and cities of Florida are often hit. I use the “praiometrô”of Viaje na Viagem website for reference, in which every month several places are placed on a graph and classified accordingly with the rain pattern. So, I could conclude that the best time to travel to the Bahamas and consequently for Eleuthera is from January to May. It is important to point out that forecasts are just predictions. I went Traveling in February 2020 and a week before I was boarding occurred an earthquake of great magnitude close to Cuba that it was felt even in Miami. 

 

 

 

 

Understanting Eleuthera

A long island with 3 airports: in the north, in the center and in the south; 

A main road in good condition; By boat, it is possible to travel to other nearby islands such as Spanish wells (in the north) and Schonner Cays (in the south); 

Bahamas is a country with many islands, some with airports that only receive private flights. 

The local population is very religious. 

Favorite drink: rum ponch. 

Typical dish: conch salad (choose the tropical one). 

Criminality is small according to residents. Theisland suffers from the issue of plastic: the only measure I saw to alleviate the situation was the need to buy plastic bags in the markets, but I believe that the impact in front of the problem is very small. 

If you snorkel: put the signs that you are snorkeling. The beaches are generally very empty and eventually there are reports of accidents due to the difficulty in realizing that someone is doing the activity. 

 

 

 

Tap here for all locations

 

 

 

 

 

How To Get There

I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and thought that the most interesting option would be to fly to Miami and from Miami fly to Eleuthera. There are several airlines that make the route Miami Eleuthera: 

  1. American Airlines (the best in my opinion)
  2. Silver Airlines 
  3. Bahamas Air
  4. Pineapple Air.

The direct flight takes around 1 hour and as I mentioned there are no stopovers . It is also important to note that there are 3 airports in Eleuthera and I opted for the North airport, for the convenience of the flight schedule. I traveled to Exuma with Bahamas Air and Pineapple Airlines: if you are a cardiac avoid these aircraft, if they can be classified in this category. 

Painful! Silver Airlines also has bad reviews. 

Exploring The Island

 Rent a Car

It is necessary to rent a car and preferably 4×4. I researched different car rental options and the cheapest price I found was 70 dollars a day. As the airports are far from the companies or people who rent their cars, there is an additional charge so that they can deliver the car to you at the airport and you can also return it at the airport. Price for this little convenience = $ 80 on average. To get directions and information about the island, I recommend the Eleuthera Forum on Facebook, where moderators are always willing to help. 

Where to Stay

It’s hard to say where to stay specifically because the island is long and from north to south you spend an average of 3 hours driving. “I’ve planned this trip in a short period of time, so I found few accommodation options and chose to stay at Unique Village, in the central region of the island (which allowed me to go both north and south in the same time interval). The hotel was ordinary, has a good rating on booking and has a very interesting “private” beach. I watched the sunrise every day on this beach and it was enough go down the stairs to be in contact with the most valuable thing about Eleuthera: empty beaches and a unique feeling of peace. 

Negative points: when making the reservation, I didn´t realized that breakfast was not included and even if paying, there was no self-service option (which I prefer, judge me). It was necessary to order a la carte with very few options. The apartment was large, well cared (I also didn’t feel the need to turn on the air conditioning at night) but the fact is that in this destination you enjoy the whole day exploring the beaches and the hotel is basically for you to sleep. 

But if you want to celebrate something special

I recommend The Cove hotel, expensive but incredibly
beautiful. I had lunch and dinner there a few times
and even not being a guest, you can enjoy its sight. It
is located further north and in my opinion
its closer to the places I found most beautiful in
Eleuthera.

How Long to Stay?

I recommend at least 5 full days to be able to enjoy the island with tranquility. There are some tours, such as boat to Schonner Cays, which depend on the conditions of the wind, so the ideal is to have extra days available to be able to enjoy as much as possible. I didn’t get to visit Schooner Cays, but there’s the tip
that seems to be an incredible place, mainly for those who enjoy snorkeling and marine life (it was what the residents of Eleuthera mentioned when I was in the island).

Where to watch the Sunset?

One day, I unpretentiously took my car in the middle
of the afternoon and went looking for a restaurant
that could have a nice view of the sunset and I found
one 15 minutes from the Unique Villas, the restaurant
Sunset Inn. I ordered a pasta that was delicious and
it was one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever
seen!From the front row, as people say. Fair prices
and a landscape that renews our hopes that tomorrow
could be better, I mean, it sure will be.

7 Useful Informations:

 

  • For Brazilians is required yellow fever vaccine. 
  • If you make a connection in the USA, American visa is required.
  • Like any international trip, it is important to have a universal adapter to charge cell phones, cameras and others electronics. 
  • In Eleuthera, as soon as I arrived I was addressed in relation to the drone issue and I had to fill a very detailed form with specific data from the equipment. You may or may not get the approval depending on the goodwill of the Supervisor. 
  • English hand: very easy to drive because there is simply no traffic. 
  • Repellents: very important during the day and night, as well as anti allergy. They are not black fly, you don’t feel the sting. I forgot to use the repellent one night and I woke up with the legs full of bites. In doubt: take even those you can put in the socket. The mosquitos do not play on duty. 
  • I didn’t see any machines to withdraw money, therefore, take enough money not to go through any trouble. 

 

 

 

Must See Places

 

Lighthouse Beach

Purchase by Disney, Now it is a private beach, but as the resort and the port of Disney are still in the early stages of construction, you can visit it without having to pay for it. There are 3 options: go by boat, go on foot on a route that takes around 1:30h or go by 4×4 car.

I recommend the last one.
There is a small problem: there is no signage. As I was alone, I chose go with the Eleuthera Tour by car in a group. The drive takes 20 minutes because of the bad road conditions. Negative point – the tour allows you to stay for a short period of time on the beach, around 4 hours in total. This is a place
for you to take your snack and spend the whole day. It is a paradise and one of the most beautiful beaches in the island. They claim to be the postcard of it, but I prefer the other one … the wonderful Ben Bay Beach..

Ben Bay Beach

A beach shaped like a horse shoe, crystal clear waters with great parts for snorkeling (I say that because I saw some people arriving with their small boats and stopping to make this activity outside the horseshoe area in the right corner). Getting there is not difficult, but the road gets more and more narrow because of the vegetation and you start to doubt whether or not you are on the correct way. I was lucky to find a resident in the path that confirmed that I should continue and in a few minutes I arrived at this beach which, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! 

Gaulding Cays

Another cove that is among my favorites.
Here the landscape changes according to the
tide creating unforgettable shades of blue.
Just like all the others beaches that I’ve
known, it’s a place of tranquility even with
some houses that are located practically in
the sand of the Beach. No waves and at low
tide, a real natural pool, it’s perfect for kids. It
is important to say here that in all parking lots
you don’t have to pay absolutely nothing. It’s
necessary on deserted, wild, unstructured
beaches that you always bring a snack, water
and for those who knows the famous “farofa”.
LOL

Queens Bath

It is located in the north, close to The Cove hotel and this is one of the few places I have seen adequate signage. To tell the truth I’ve only been to this place because of the indicative signs. 

You do a trail for about 10 minutes (there are some stones and you need be careful to go down to the natural pools). I visited this place twice: on the first time the sea was quite agitated, so I thought the water of the pools were a little cloudy and even then I considered the place incredible, but I must say that the second time I visited this point, it seemed like another place with an absurdly clear water and without waves, which gave me more security to stay in the natural pool without risking being taken by some sudden wave. Yes, being alone in places like these makes you think of all the possibilities. When I was already leaving an elderly couple arrived showing that there is no age limit to take advantage of this Paradise, that is, anyone can do the trail within its limitations

Sandbar

I took this tour with the Gold Star Company Adventure, which I discovered through Instagram. I negotiated by whatsapp on the day prior to the tour. Important to say that the sandbar only forms at low tide, then it is necessary to consult the best time for visitation. Lucky for me, on my chosen day, the low tide peak was at 10 am, great time to enjoy this paradise that reminded me of the Maldives. Initially we would only be staying one hour, but nothing like a little insistence, so they will let you double that time. 3 hours enjoying a little explored place. It looks small, but walking on this sandbar is tiring and with the tide very low, it’s hard for you to bathe. The tour costs 250 dollars. The boat and the route from the port located in the north to the sandbar take around 15 minutes. I super recommend! 

Saphire Hole

It remembers a Cenote, the water with different shades of blue. For me it was worth the visit just to be able to contemplate a different place like this. But to enter this salt water it is necessary to jump and the hardest part remains getting out of it. It is necessary to climb through a rope. Here I was not lucky: on the last day, it started a construction of a staircase to have access to this super special place. Next time! Note: all these natural attractions they are free. Your spending comes down to hotel, food and car rental (including some tours, if you have interest). 

Preachers Cave

This beach is located just minutes away from Saphire Hole and it’s very easy to get to. Of great extension, it is difficult for you to find someone around here. Crystal clear waters, here there was some small waves, but nothing that stops you from enjoying this incredible place. There is vegetation that guarantees shade to practice the Deboism. The water is not that cold, however it is not hot as in the Northeast. You can add this beach to your list and you will not regret. 

Rainbow Bay

It is not among my favorites, but it is a very beautiful cove and smaller compared to the others I’ve mentioned. Here, you will find some beach structure like sometables with parasols, but I didn’t see any one available to question whether it was necessary to pay or not, to be able to use that structure. If you have time available, worth the visit! 

Haynes Bookstore

A bookshop located in an old building that
draws attention for its beauty. I didn’t have
time to visit it because it opens at 9 am and
although I enjoy visiting places like this, I
have to confess, I prefer a good deserted
beach! But here’s the tip, because inevitably
at some point, you will pass through it during
your trip in the Island.

Bags Packed?

Private Beaches, Better like that, isn’t it?

Forget the ordinary Bahamas. Eleuthera, a slender island ribbon, whispers secrets of adventure. Dive into turquoise waters teeming with life, kayak through mangroves, or explore hidden pirate caves. Hike lush rainforests, relax on pink sand beaches, and savor local seafood in charming towns. From adrenaline rushes to barefoot bliss, Eleuthera offers an unforgettable escape with its laid-back vibe and natural beauty.

 

Thiago Lopez is a 39-year-old Rio de Janeiro doctor passionate about travel and photography.
Loves exploring nature destinations and paradisiacal beaches.
The hobby of sharing beauty through travel began more than 10 years ago in an unpretentious way through Instagram, inspiring people to go on adventures, overcome fears such as traveling alone, and discover incredible places.

 
🏖️Forbes Top Travel Instagrammer
Best account for summer by Travel and Leisure

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