Island Facts & Weather
A Bit of History
Visa and Marriage Requirements
Entertainment & Restaurants
The word "Eleuthera" is the greek word for "freedom." The island is long and narrow island (100 miles long, 2 miles wide) and sandwiched between the deep Atlantic to the east, and the calm shallow Carribean to the west. There are plenty of beaches where you can walk for miles and not see a soul; hidden coves, and small island settlements with friendly people. Local hitchhikers are plentiful, and provide a bountiful supply of good information on island lore, activities and interesting sites. The population of Eleuthera is about 11,000, most of whom are engaged in fishing, farming, and the tourist industry.
Bahama Villa, a secluded beach house located at Ten Bay, is the nicest little romantic getaway on the island.
WEATHER on Eleuthera is tropical, meaning mostly sunny and hot during the day with occasional thunderstorms. click here for Nassau airport weather, a 15-minute flight from Eleuthera. Also, June through early December is hurricane season. To check on the latest hurricane or tropical storm, go to the the National Weather Service website for a great tracking map.
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A Bit of History
One and a half centuries after Cristopher Columbus first set foot on the island of Guanahani, (San Salvador), the Bahamas again saw the presence of Europeans on its soil. Eleuthera (formerly called Cigatoo by the native inhabitants) was settled by William Sayle, a former governor of Bermuda, and his small band of followers seeking religious freedom. Sayle and his band shipwrecked off the northern tip of the island of Eleuthera in 1647, eventually making it to Governor's Harbour in 1648 to set up the first republic in the New World, as well as the first permanent European settlement in the Bahamas.
The settlement was not to last, however. Faced with poor growing conditions, rocky soil and few resources, disputes naturally arose. Sayle's tenuous republic eventually split up, with the leader and some followers making their way to the island of New Providence - and its natural harbour - to establish the Bahamian capital at Nassau.
Map of the Bahamas / Map of Eleuthera.
For many years the Bahamas and Eleuthera were havens for swashbuckling pirates, mercenaries, and British loyalists who sought asylum during the American revolution. Locals have made money in activities like "wrecking", blockade running during times of civil war and prohibition, fishing, and farming, mostly pineapples. The pineapple boom went bust, however, when the mainland United States - Eleuthera's biggest customer - cut off all trade with England's islands to subsidize the newly-colonized Hawaii in the early 1900's. In recent years, the Bahamas has gained independence from Britain (1973) and established itself as a major center for banking, investment and tourism.
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Visa? Getting Married?
Travel/Visa Requirements: The only thing a US Citizen needs is proof of citizenship (passport or birth certificate). When applying from other countries, see Traveldocs.com for full details.
Marriage Requirements: The island has an enthusiastic Justice of the Peace in Joshua Culmer of Palmetto Point (right). He will unite all "bachelors and spinsters over the age of adult consent" for a small fee. His services are internationally legal (Chap. 106, Sec. 19-G of the Marriage Act of the Bahamas), but you must both be present and
No blood test is required, but be sure to ask for any other details from the Bahamas Tourism Office, particularly if coming from a country other than the US.
- Be at least 18, or have parental consent
- Present a photo ID and proof of citizenship
- Bring documentation of any divorce or death of spouse
- Spend at least a day in the Bahamas prior to submitting your application
- Bring documentation (i.e., stamped passport) of your arrival
- Fill out the application at the registrar's office and pay $40.
Suggestion to the Groom: rent Bahama Villa and arrange for Mr. Culmer to perform an intimate sunset ceremony on the porch overlooking the bay at sunset, or under the Tiki Hut. The next day, drive north to Harbour Island, sip a few Mai-tai's at the Coral Sands Hotel, or other resort, then zip your new bride off to Nassau via the Fast Ferry for a day of gambling or shows, then back again. The rest of your honeymoon can be enjoyed on the beach, snorkeling, or doing whatever else Newlyweds do . . .
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Much entertainment variety can be found on the island, although our guests usually prefer the quiet kind off their back porch! Nothing beats soaking in the gentle Carribean View or the awe-inspiring splendor of an Eleutheran sunset from our villa. Click here for a Picture Tour. Afterwards, however, you might want to slip into town for some pulsating disco or ragae music. Check out the Millenium Club, Cambridge Villas, and the Cove Eleuthera on weekends. Also check out our favorite restaurants. They all have great food and some feature live entertainment ("Dr. Seabreeze" or one of the other local musicmasters can be spotted at various locations around the island). Ask a local; chances are, he or she will direct you to just the perfect spot.
For a day trip, go north to see the Glass Window (formerly a natural bridge that connected North and South Eleuthera), and Preacher's Cave. Then take the ferry to historic Harbour Island or Spanish Wells for some native arts and crafts shopping, then maybe a nice dinner or beach volleyball match at one of the expensive resorts. You can also rent bicycles, horses, surfboards, and other tropical playthings. For a comprehensive tour of the island and its townships, visit www.bahama-vacation.com.
Eleuthera has much to offer - gorgeous sunsets, exotic birds, caves, miles of empty beaches, and underwater coral reefs - that can be explored at your leisure. You'll probably just want to stay home, however. Bahama Villa is on Ten Bay Beach, one of the most beautiful spots in the whole Bahamas! (pictured below)
One taste of Eleuthera can be addicting, and may cause you to run away from everything you currently worry about. Visit this island only under the direct supervision of a boring, responsible adult whose limit for happiness does not exceed one week. The owners of Bahama Villa are not liable for your decision to leave your home and become our neighbor!!
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