Harbour Island isn’t big, it’s just about three miles long and a scant 1,500 people or so call this out-island of an out-island home. The only way to get there is by taking a water taxi from the comparatively gigantic Eleuthera island, one of the many islands of the Bahamas. Harbour isn’t your normal tourist spot though, it’s quiet and relaxing and it was there that I found my own little bit of paradise. Just as a note, I was there as part of a blog trip coordinated by Bahamas Tourism.
There are some cars on Harbour Island, but not many. Most people instead use golf carts to get around, from the basic to suped up versions with off-road tires and I imagine more robust engines. A friend and I had some free time, so we decided to explore the tiny island and thanks to our handy cartoon map (complete with smiley faces) we couldn’t imagine getting lost. Until we did.
The paved roads suddenly turned to dirt and rock and on either side of the road were massive estates, playgrounds for the rich and famous. Clearly this wasn’t part of the organized tour, but it was with a spirit of exploration that we decided to see where the road ended. I mean, it was an island how lost could we possibly get?
We didn’t have a high-powered golf cart though, instead we were given a basic tourist version and before long the road became impassable in our vehicle that was designed for fairways and not off-roading. So we did what any traveler would do, we got out and walked and am I glad we did.
Navigating the volcanic rock in ill-equipped flip flops, I walked over a small hill and was suddenly met with paradise. I don’t use this term lightly either, the majesty of the landscape was as close to tropical paradise as I’ve ever seen.
The light blue waters spread out in every direction and in the distance smaller islands dotted the horizon line. It was overcast, creating a cascade of shadow and light that added to the ethereal nature of the moment. I stood there, jaw agape and a huge smile on my face. I find it incredible that in a place as touristed as the Bahamas that it’s still possible to find quiet areas of paradise, but there I was, in my own private paradise. That’s the real beauty of the Bahamas I’ve learned. Sure, some parts of it are packed with tourists, but many of the islands aren’t; instead they are laid back and quiet. After seeing that vista I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to visit but I didn’t mind because for that moment I had my own part of the Bahamas all to myself and I loved every minute of it.
7 thoughts on “Finding a Hidden Spot in the Bahamas”
Great story Matt. There’s just something about the Bahamas. I think it’s the people and their laid back attitude and of course the natural beauty of these flat islands. I too am a big fan of the Out Islands. If I wanted tons of tourists and large beach side hotels I would stay here in Florida. A true Bahamas experience is getting away from it all, falling off the grid so to speak. That’s when you can slow down enough and really get to know a place.
Thanks Ryan, great comments from one of the great Caribbean experts!
After reading this I regret that on my visit to Harbour Island I stuck to the tour itinerary…the pink sand beach and all that; still, now I have an excuse to go back!
Definitely the best thing to do on the island is to grab a golf cart and just go exploring.
Matt – just awesome pictures of the Bahamas. I grew up in Nassau from 1955 – 1971 when I went to work on a cruise ship, the “Starward” with NCL. Although I have not been back in many a year, I am reminded of a kinder and much slower pace of life. I was too young to really appreciate Nassau, but I do now. When we went to Rose Island, it was deserted; Harbor Island was only accessible by boat and was well off the beaten path. In fact you had to take boat to Paradise Island in Nassau, where I would go horse back riding along 16 miles of trails and swim with the horses. Thanks for your post and my trip down memory lane.
Thanks – Paul
You are welcome Paul and thank you for the kind words. Rose Island doesn’t have much more than a bar and grill today and well you know hot big Nassau has gotten. And I am happy to report that Harbour Island is still only accessible by boat :)
Haha, things never go to plan when your only aid is a cartoon map, I think its a double wammy when its got smiley faces written on it also! I’ve never been to the Bahamas but I’ve got this picture perfect image in my head of what it looks like, and I think you kind of just made that a reality with you images. Keep up the good work buddy!
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