Bahama Vacation Ideas
Island of Eleuthera
Car Rentals & Taxis
Maps & Getting There
Travel Links and Sponsors
Bahama Vacation Ideas
The Bahamas has a wide variety of entertainment and relaxation to explore.If you're into gambling, parties, live shows, and neon, visit Nassau or Freeport. If you prefer peace, quiet, and deep relaxation, however, your must go to the outer or "family" islands. Of these, we recommend the Island of Eleuthera, with its gorgeous sunsets and many beautiful beaches.
Eleuthera is Greek for freedom, and you'll have plenty of it. Nevermore than a mile from some ocean (the island is 100 miles long and averages 2 miles wide) you can rent a private car at the airport (sorry, they don't have Avis or Hertz here), and drive to your reserved room, home, or villa. From your new home base, check out your interests, whether they be diving, surfing, fishing, or boating. Peak season in the islands starts around November and lasts until May or June. The islands are popular anytime, however, for fishing, boating, and relaxation enthusiasts!
Need a Romantic Log Cabin Getaway?
Island prices are naturally higher than in the states for many items because of the import duties and scarcity. The exceptions are liquor, haircuts, and some local art. Prices for a single hotel room start around $70 per night in the off-season, up to over $4000 per week for a house on the beach in Harbour island! Private cars rent for about $60/day ($50-55 long-term) and boat charters out of Spanish Wells, Harbour Island, or Governor's Harbour range from $200 to $500 a day and up if you care to try your hand at snaring some of Eleuthera's famous bone fish or crawfish (Bahamian lobster).
If you really want to go in style, rent a suite at one of the fancier resorts in Harbour Island - a playground for the rich-and-famous and those who aspire to be. Located a short distance from "the mainland" in the north by ferry, Harbour Island boasts of its pink sand beaches. Its like a mini-Bermuda, with prices starting around $230 a night for a room and several thousand for a beach house.
If, however, the idea of wearing flower shirts and sipping mai tai's in a crowd leaves you cold, rent a private oceanfront home for a week or more. Private homes will impart all the feeling and comfort of home in an exotic setting. For longer stays, hotels can't quite give you that - you still feel like a visitor. Even for short stays, private homes are economical ways to travel . . . unless you absolutely have to have that mint on your pillow every morning!
Regardless of your tastes, the Bahamas offers something for everyone, with Eleuthera or some of the other family isles being the place to go for deep rest and relaxing diversions. Contact us for help in planning your Eleutheran experience.
DISCLAIMER: Recommendations are based on our own experiences. There is no substitute for finding your own "buried treasure" through study, trial and error. We learn something new every time we go.
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Many private homes are available to rent seaside. There are several gorgeous homes and resorts on the Atlantic in Harbour Island, while others can be found near Gregory Town, Governors Harbour, Double Bay, or Windemere Island where the Royal family used to romp. Most of these places are pricey - roughly in the $2,000-a-week range and up for two and more bedrooms. If this is within your budget, do a keyword search with listings found in our Travel Links Section..
If you don't want to spend your kids' college tuition but still want ocean and beach, you can still get great views and decent lodging by renting a small villa or cottage. For example, the 2-bedroom oceanfront home called Bahama Villa at Ten Bay can be booked for rates starting at only $995 per week for 2 people. With its wrap-around porches that give a spectacular birds-eye view of the bay and beach, and such amenities as all-glass double doors, fully-furnished kitchen and bath, outdoor shower and barbeque, central AC, phone, TV/VCR, video library & games, and its a real value. A 2003 L.A. Times article (Travel Section, R. Dishon, 1/12/03) said "Ten Bay rates a 10-Plus... like a hideaway straight out of central casting." In February, 2006, another article in the New York Times Travel Section hailed Eleuthera as the mecca for a whole new generation of jet setters.
Other small cottages or condos near the Atlantic can be found with a little research - places like The Windswept, another private home near Hatchet Bay for about $850 per week, or La Tera Resort in South Palmetto Point with rooms or apartments near the beach range from $85-185 per night, plus tax. Other affordable villas, cottages and rooms may be found by checking out the individual townships of Gregory Town, Governor's Harbour,Palmetto Point,Hatchet Bay, and and Tarpum Bay. You may also shack up in a dorm room during off-season at The Island School on the Cape Peninsula to the south.
(DISCLAIMER: We are an information site only and do not organize trips, cruises, packages, or other travel-related services. Neither do we assume responsibility for any dealings you may have with vacation rental owners or hotels since we don't know them all. We recommend you check directly with the owners for rates, availability, features, amenities, and other information you may need before visiting the islands. The vast majority of owners are great folks and many are long-term residents of the islands. They want to make you feel at home and we will do whatever it takes to make you happy. If you find anyone linked to this site who has given you cause for concern, however, please give us your feedback.)
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Car Rentals and Taxis
Every airport in Eleuthera has a taxi driver waiting to give you a ride to wherever you want to go. Be aware, however, that the island is over 100 miles long and know your destination ahead of time, since a taxi bill can add up quickly. If you plan to stay for any length of time and want to see the island, get a rental car.
Normal car rental fees range from $55-85 a day, depending on the type of vehicle you want. If you're landing at North Eleuthera Airport, call ahead to North Eleuthera Service Station at (242) 335-1128 and have them deliver your car upon arrival. If you are arriving at Governors Harbour or Rock Sound Airports, you will have no trouble finding a rental car right there at the airport terminal. Although Hertz and Avis don't have booths here, some of the locals can set you right up.
If you're staying in the area of Governors, Palmetto Point, or Ten Bay, contact a graduate of the BahamaHost training school. Arthur Nixon (pictured above) exhibits a rare combination of warmth, charm and efficiency and will provide you dependable service with a smile. Mr. Nixon can meet you at the airport with your car or taxi and provide information on where to go and what to do during your stay. While his cars are not new (very few on the island are!), they run well and have reliable air-conditioning - an important feature in the tropics! If you plan to go on the back roads and need a more rugged vehicle, Arthur can help you secure one of those as well. (Bahama Villa guests ask for a $5/day discount.) You can reach Arthur on his cell phone at (242) 359-7879, leave a message at (242) 332-1006, or fax in your order to (242) 332-1879. You can also make car rental arrangements through your travel agent or vacation rental owner. Be sure to ask.
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Maps & Getting to Eleuthera
Depending on where you're staying, it's always a good idea to get your flight agenda lined up first, including the airport you will be flying into. Eleuthera has three airports, one in the north (North Eleuthera - ELH), middle (Governors Harbour - GHB), and south of the island (Rock Sound - RS). For great island roundtrip airfares, you can use the regular carriers like USAir Express and BahamasAir, or try some of the (slightly) less-expensive carriers such as Twin Air and LynxAir. You can also check directly with the airlines for other low-cost flights and fares. Sometimes we like to fly into Nassau (NAS) and catch the connection to GHB on Southern Air. Arrival dates vary, however, so check with the carrier for an updated schedule.
Taxis and car rentals are usually available for island visitors, but it's always a good idea to call ahead to make sure. At the present time, there are no USA-to-Bahamas ferry boats or rides except cruises and private charters. The Fast Ferry does travel from Nassau to a few of the outer islands, however, so check the same airline page for more details. For more information on vacation rentals and hotels around the world, transportation, cruises, travel services, insurance, and much more, see our Travel Links Section.
For a bigger view, Click on the maps.
Map of Eleuthera
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