Some of you may or may not know that the Bahamas holds a special place in our hearts. My parents went to Nassau for their honeymoon in 1977, my husband proposed to me in Nassau (because he knew that's where my parents honeymooned..so sweet), and we celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary in Exuma (check out my blog post about our trip). So, to celebrate our 2nd anniversary, we went to Eleuthera, Bahamas.
We completely fell in love with the Bahamas after our Exum trip and knew we wanted to visit as many of the islands in the Bahamas as we can (did you know that the Bahamas is made up of 700 islands and cays?). So when it came to picking where we wanted to go to for our 2nd wedding anniversary, we knew it was going to be somewhere in the Bahamas.
There are so many islands in the Bahamas so it was hard to choose. It came down to Eleuthera or Abacos. It was really hard to pick but in the end, we decided to go with Eleuthera, Bahamas. We decided about two weeks before Hurricane Dorian hit Abacos and Great Bahamas.
Just visiting the few islands that we have in the Bahamas, and knowing how amazing the Bahamians are, we were truly crushed to see on the news the devastation the hurricane left behind. We almost canceled our trip out of pure guilt. We felt like we shouldn't be going down there to have fun when the country is in so much pain. After seeing a bunch of posts on social media encouraging people to visit, we decided to still go. Did I mention Eleuthera wasn't affected by Hurricane Dorian?
Ok, lets' get to the trip already. So, when researching how to get to Eleuthera we came across a few hiccups. We knew we wanted to stay in Governor's Harbor (the middle of the island) and flying into their airport just made the most sense. The north airport is more than an hour away and the Governor's Harbor airport was maybe 10 minutes from our house.
Silver Airways was one of the only airlines that we were able to find that flew into Governor's Harbor. Haven't heard of them? Neither had I.
We were able to find a flight on Silver Airways that flew from Fort Lauderdale into Governor's Harbor. Yay! The only problem was that the flight left Fort Lauderdale at 10 am and no flight could get us to Fort Lauderdale before that. So, we decided to fly to Fort Lauderdale a day early, get a hotel by the beach, and start our vacation a day early.
I have to say, the waters of the Bahamas have to be some of the most beautiful waters in the world. It almost doesn't seem real. Here are some pictures I got from the plane.
After we landed, we picked up our rental car. We rented our car from Big E's, which I am not sure I would recommend.
I thought they were fine at first but we had two incidents with them that made me change my mind. One, they tried to tell me that I didn't pay them. I promptly sent him a screenshot of my credit card statement showing the payment and he emailed me back saying "oh wrong email". Second, the car had bad scratches on the side which we noticed right away. The day we left, hours after we dropped the car back off at the airport, I got an email saying the car had minor damage. I explained it was there when we picked up the car and how we noticed it right away and he decided to let it go. I just felt like he was trying to take advantage of us twice.
My suggestion would be to walk around the car at the airport with them and note any damages you see. It seems like they were trying to see if I would fall for it since they gave up so quickly.
The house we rented was about 10 minutes from the airport which was so nice.
We loved renting a house when we were in Exuma, so we did the same on this trip. Our house in Eleuthera was AMAZING!
This house wasn't directly on the beach but the comfort totally made up for it. Even though it wasn't right on the beach, it was only about a 200ft walk.
We rented this house through VRBO. The owners were SUPER thorough, which I totally appreciate. The house came with not only instructions for everything in the house, but they also had lists of restaurants and things to do. They also made a book that had 135 beaches, how they would rate the beach, and how to get there. It was amazing!
I talked about this a little bit on my Instagram already. We always pack as much as we can when we go to the Bahamas because groceries are so expensive. I pack as many dry goods as I can in my suitcase and then pack frozen meats in a cooler that we check.
For dry goods, I bring snacks (cookies, crackers, bars), a box of pasta, and a bunch of my go-to seasonings.
I know it sounds crazy that we pack frozen meat in a cooler, but it's a lifesaver. This trip was a little harder because we had to spend a day in Florida first. When we went to Exuma our travel time wasn't bad so I just packed the cooler with solid ice packs.
I packed an empty soft-sided cooler in my suitcase on the way to Florida. We headed to the grocery store and bought frozen ribs, frozen Applegate sausages, Applegate chicken patties, frozen shrimp, frozen fish, and bacon. We also bought a block of dry ice and some newspaper. When we got back to the hotel we put all the frozen meat in the cooler, placed the bacon on top (since it wasn't frozen), then wrapped the dry ice in newspaper and stuffed the rest of the cooler with newspaper. The newspaper helps slow down the breakdown of the dry ice (the unfrozen bacon, froze and stayed frozen till we got to Eleuthera). Dry ice lasts 18-24 hours.
Once we got to the airport, we told the Silver Airways agent we had dry ice and she put a special tag on our cooler. She also made us take the dry ice out so she could weight it. Check your airline before you go and they should tell you the weight limit they have for dry ice. Silver Airways has a 4.4 pound dry ice limit.
Even though we brought a good amount of food with us, we still needed fresh things like eggs and produce.
I wasn't such which store was going to be the best to shop at, even after all my research. Thankfully, the property manager for our house had recommended going to Rock Sound Market (about a 40 minute drive one way). We had stopped in the two small stores in Governors Harbor and Rock Sound's store was 10 times better. They had everything!
We picked up some rice, eggs, potatoes, green beans, melon, bananas, bell peppers, onions, spinach, and a few other little things.
Ten Bay Beach
Our first full day we decided to go to Ten Bay beach. We knew it was on the Caribbean side so it would be calm, but we didn't know how calm. The water was not only super calm, but it was also so shallow that you could walk out almost 100 yards and still only be mid thigh deep in water.
Our second day wasn't the best. I was probably the most excited about our second day. We drove all the way to the southern tip of the island (about an hour) to Lighthouse Beach.
I wanted to go to Lighthouse Beach because Disney recently bought it and is going to turn it into a cruise ship port. Which means it will be closed to the public.
I had done a lot of research and knew the road to the beach was pretty bad. Pretty bad doesn't even come close to describing the road. This road (if you can even call it that) was just torn-up chunks of rock that were so uneven I don't even know how we made it in a car and didn't pop a tire or bust something under the car. My stress and anxiety were on another level. Not only was the road bad, but it was also only wide enough for just one car and lined with brush and trees on both sides. Just awful.
Once we made it to the beach, we were both not impressed. Don't get me wrong, the rocks on the beach were really cool. It was also a very cloudy day which doesn't help the color of the water (the water always looks better in the bright sunshine) and the water was SO rough. When we safely returned to the paved road, we agreed the stress the drive caused wasn't worth it.
French Leave Beach
French Leave Beach is the beach that our house looked out on. It was really pretty! It's on the Atlantic side so it has rougher waters but that made it great for wave jumping.
We spend most of the day being extra lazy (we may have stayed up super late drinking too much the night before). After laying around most of the day, we ended up walking down to our beach at around 3:00 pm.
This is where I am certain I got eaten alive by sand fleas. If you read my Exum blog post, then you know this happened to me last year. They must really like me! This time, the bites I have are 10 times worse than last year and I probably have 10 times more (well over 100 bites on my feet, ankles, and thighs). I have been pretty miserable the last few days. I have tried everything to help with the itching (hydrocortisone cream, aloe vera, Benadryl, and ice packs). The day we got back home I took a Claritin and an oatmeal bath and felt SO much better. I think the Claritin really helped! It's safe to say I am packing some Claritin on our next Bahamas trip.
Our last full day on the island was a pretty packed day. The first stop of the day was Queens Bath. Queens Bath has natural pools (carved by centuries of waves pounding the rock) and is filled with crashing waves, shells, and small sea life that wash over from the Atlantic Ocean. When the water has settled, the shallow pools are heated by the sun and create "hot tubs". We didn't get into the pools because I could see things swimming in there and the waves that came in were so strong. You have to climb down rocks to get to the pools so bring water shoes or old tennis shoes. This was one of my favorite things we saw. You only need to spend about 5-10 minutes there but it was so neat so plan to stop on your way to something else (like Harbor Island).
Glass Window Bridge
The next stop after Queens Bath was Glass Window Bridge. Glass window bridge is just a bridge that you have to drive over on the north part of the island. What makes this bridge so cool is that it is the narrowest place on earth, and you can see the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. My husband was brave enough to climb up the rocks to get a better view of the bridge. I stayed on the ground lol!
After Glass Window Bridge, we kept heading north to catch the water taxi over to Harbor Island (the more touristy part of Eleuthera). The water taxi is $5 a person one way and only about a 5 minute ride. Once you get to Harbor Island you'll see that most people get around on golf carts. When we got on the dock someone asked if we wanted to rent one for the day, so we decided to do it so we didn't have to walk. It ended up costing us $50 to rent. We drove around and explored a little bit then headed down to the beach.
I wanted to go here because they are known worldwide for their "Pink Sands Beach". I'm not going to lie, I wasn't impressed. The weather wasn't great, which could have affected the color of the water and sand color. I felt like the sand and water looked the same as the pink sand at French Leave Beach which was in front of our house. This is one of the things that everyone said you had to see so I am glad we went. In my opinion, it wasn't any better than our house beach.
Also, we weren't able to find any place on Harbor Island that was open for lunch. I know it is off season and most things are closed, but at least on the main island, we were able to find a few places to eat.
In the end
In the end, we overall had a great time! I would highly recommend the house that we stayed in. We loved it! Also, if you like to explore then this is a great place. If you want more of a resort feel, they have a few on the main island and some up on Harbor Island. I can see us visiting again someday, but till then, onto the next Bahama Island. What's it going to be?