We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Eleuthera, Exuma or Harbour Island?

Charleston, West...
Level Contributor
231 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Eleuthera, Exuma or Harbour Island?

Looking into our first trip to the "out islands" and need a comparison between these three. Which has the best beaches, food, grocery stores,personality, caribbean feel.... etc? We have traveled to Provo, Anguilla, Cancun, Mayan Riviera, Maui, Jamaica, St. Martin, North Caicos, Middle Caicos, Naussa, Freeport, Dominican Republic etc... Looking for great beaches (like TCI) caribbean feel and ease of travel. Usually stay at mid-range properties. Thanks to all! :)

Mentioned in this post
Anguilla
Anguilla
Caribbean
Cancun
Cancun
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Jamaica
Jamaica
Caribbean
Freeport
Freeport
Grand Bahama Island
Mayan Palace Riviera Maya
Mayan Palace Riviera Maya
4,300 Reviews
Playa Paraiso, Mexico
Charleston, West...
Level Contributor
231 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Eleuthera, Exuma or Harbour Island?

bump

TRAVERSE CITY
Level Contributor
55 posts
145 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Eleuthera, Exuma or Harbour Island?

Eleuthera, hands down. Lots more options including a day or overnight on Harbor Island or Spanish Wells.

Eleuthera is not so touristy, has beautiful hidden beaches lots more than Harrbor Island and just as pink. Take almost any road either direction off Queen's Highway.

The northern part has Gregory Town (of Lenny Kravitz fame) and a nice gift shop, also the Glass Bridge.

Central Eleuthera has Gov's Harbor w/shops and a library and Friday fish fry, also: Coco di Mama, Tippys, Sky Beach restaurants, all high end with excellent food..

Southern Eleuthera has the quaint fishing settlement of Tarpum Bay,with D and D's Bar on the beach, best conch salad anywhere and the dock where you can buy fresh food and lobster almost every day. S. Eleuthera also has the Island School, Lighthouse Beach and the best shops for food/hardware/staples in Rock Sound.

Mentioned in this post
Eleuthera
Eleuthera
Out Islands
Gregory Town
Gregory Town
Eleuthera
Tippy's
Tippy's
900 Reviews
Eleuthera
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
800 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Eleuthera, Exuma or Harbour Island?

Great Exuma has a large number of mid-priced accomodations (Regatta Point, Peace n Plenty, Palm Bay Beach Club, August Bay, Coconut Cove) all located very centrally in and around Georgetown, which is the primary settlement. Just off Georgetown is Stocking Island, which boasts a number of small anchorages for sailboats in the winter months. There are also many beaches on both the Harbour and Exuma Sound (ocean) side to walk along. The Chat n Chill (excellent conch salad as well) and St. Francis are two must stop restaurant/bars on Stocking Island. You can also rent a small boat and explore the Harbour and beaches on your own. There is a water taxi available as well. In either direction from Georgetown are a number of beaches to explore on Great Exuma - Three Sister and Cocoplum towards the airport / Forbes Hill, Tropic of Cancer, and Williamstown on Little Exuma. Stop by Santana's in Williamstown for lunch. Great seafood, and the beach out front was the jumping off point for filming of Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3.

Just outside of Georgetown there is a fish fry as well.

Georgetown's airport (GGT) receives flights from Miami on American, Ft Lauderdale on Continental, Atlanta on Delta, and Nassau on Bahamasair, Sky Bahamas, and Western.

Edited: 12:27 pm, August 10, 2010
Mentioned in this post
Great Exuma
Great Exuma
Out Islands
Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale
Broward County, FL
Atlanta
Atlanta
Georgia
Nassau
Nassau
New Providence Island
Bahamas
Bahamas
Caribbean
Regatta Point
Regatta Point
52 Reviews
Great Exuma
Hope Town Harbour Lodge
Hope Town Harbour Lodge
312 Reviews
Elbow Cay
St Francis Resort
St Francis Resort
184 Reviews
Stocking Island
Chat 'N' Chill
Chat 'N' Chill
1,283 Reviews
Great Exuma
North Carolina
Level Contributor
383 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Eleuthera, Exuma or Harbour Island?

lynn57 have you explored Great Exuma and Stocking Island?

Mentioned in this post
Great Exuma
Great Exuma
Out Islands
Mobile, Alabama
Level Contributor
3,425 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Eleuthera, Exuma or Harbour Island?

Been to all 3 and Exuma gets my vote- you will have a good time in any of the 3 but they are all very different. I am not especially a fan of HI- you would find it very populated compared to what I think (have not been but researched it one time recently) you would have found in North or Middle Caicos; however, your destinations have been pretty diverse so I am not sure which you liked best of those you named. Are you comfortable renting/driving a small boat? That might make a difference in what you choose.

Mentioned in this post
Great Exuma
Great Exuma
Out Islands
Nassau, New...
Level Contributor
5,700 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Eleuthera, Exuma or Harbour Island?

Harbour Island has, IMHO, lost much of its charm and appeal due to crowding, bad attitudes and high prices. That said, it is worth a day visit all the same, and is easily reached from the Eleuthera mainland via a 5-8 minute speedboat ride.

While I cannot claim more recent knowledge of Exuma, having been many times some 25 years ago, it is a less-touristed island with much to offer by way of historical ruins, wonderful beaches, great little restaurants and lots to do and explore, particulalry if you are lucky enough to make your way to the Exuma Cays.

Eleuthera gets my vote hands down though, as this island offers the greatest diversity and places to explore and stay. A rental car is a must in order to make your way to the hidden beaches, go to the stores and restaurants, or just check out the 100 mile long island.

But my personal favourite is Long Island. A little more rustic than either Exuma or Eleuthera, it offers wonderful diversity, lots to do and explore, some of the finest diving and beaches anywhere. It is not for everyone, but for those that go, they are not disappointed.

Mentioned in this post
Harbour Island
Harbour Island
Out Islands
Eleuthera
Eleuthera
Out Islands
Great Exuma
Great Exuma
Out Islands
Long Island
Long Island
Out Islands
Charleston, West...
Level Contributor
231 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: Eleuthera, Exuma or Harbour Island?

Thanks so much for all the great info! Looks like now I must choose between Eleuthera and Exuma.. or maybe i can do both :)

Mentioned in this post
Eleuthera
Eleuthera
Out Islands
Great Exuma
Great Exuma
Out Islands
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
263 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Eleuthera, Exuma or Harbour Island?

There is a guy named Paul Petty who can take you from Eleuthera to the Exuma Cays. It's a day-trip from Eleuthera. That way, you can have it all (Exuma Cays, Eleuthera, Day trip to HI)

Mentioned in this post
Eleuthera
Eleuthera
Out Islands
Great Exuma
Great Exuma
Out Islands
Level Contributor
14 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Eleuthera, Exuma or Harbour Island?

Do you have any information renting cars in the George Town area? Is an international drivers license required? Is that the only practical way to get around? We are going in March. I have looked at the hotels you mentioned, we are also looking at VRBO cottages. Any information you could impart would be greatly appreciated

Mentioned in this post
George Town
George Town
Great Exuma
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
800 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Eleuthera, Exuma or Harbour Island?

Here are links and phone numbers to 3 rental companies on Great Exuma.

They all rent similar cars at similar prices. Airport and Don's are right across from the Customs/Immigration Building at the Airport. Thompson's is across from Palm Bay, closer to Georgetown, but i think they deliver cars to the airport. When we've needed a car for friends we've used Airport and have always been happy.

Airport Car Rental

http://www.exumacarrental.com/

Don's Car Rental

www.bahamas.com/vendor/1025/dons-car-rental

Thompson's

the-bahamas-car-rentals.com/thompsonscars/

International Driver's Licenses are not needed - just your local license. If you plan on doing some extensive touring on the island acar would be needed. You should also look into renting a boat to explore the Harbour. It's relatively calm and protected and all navigation is line of sight and very easy.

When are you planning on going in March? The Annual Georgetown Cruisers' Regatta is taking place Feb 28th - March 12th in and around Elizabeth Harbour, Georgetown, and Stocking Island. At that time, the cruising population of sailors will peak and events will be going on each day. There could be an increase in visitors during that time, in addition to the usual busy season visitors, so you should make any arrangements as soon as possible - especially for a boat if you need one.

The current regatta schedule calls for an "Around Stocking Island" Race on Saturday the 5th, and an "In-Harbour" Race on Wednesday the 9th.

Edited: 11:05 am, January 04, 2011
Mentioned in this post
Great Exuma
Great Exuma
Out Islands
Hope Town Harbour Lodge
Hope Town Harbour Lodge
312 Reviews
Elbow Cay