48 Hours In Eleuthera, Bahamas

If there’s any time to escape the Great White North, it’s probably now. Just how cold is it in Canada? Colder than Mars or the North Pole. If you’re not so much a frostbite fan – and there might be a few of you out there – consider stealing away for a couple of days to a location where you’ll find yourself taking off, rather than putting on, layers.

The Bahamas welcomes more than six millions tourists each year, among them about 100,000 Canadians. Most that go are there to enjoy the warm year-round weather, the pristine beaches, local eats, and natural wonders.

If you only had two days to do Bahamas – just 48 hours to truly appreciate a myriad of natural beauty – your best bet is to explore the island of Eleuthera, about a twenty minute flight from Nassau airport.

Where to stay
We recommend three upper-tier resorts that offer the visitor a variety of island experiences, and exposure to off-the-beaten areas.

At the spacious suites at Daddy Joe’s, enjoy the luxuries of a fully furnished living room and stocked kitchen area, with ample play area in the bedrooms to sprawl out.

As an added “cool factor,” rock singer Lenny Kravitz (who owns a sprawling property down the road) has been known to pop by now and again. Moreover, Daddy Joe’s restaurant serves an array of authentic Bahamian fare, like conch fritters, fresh picked coconut and pineapple, and their own signature locally-caught spicy grouper. They also have live entertainment in the evenings.

Meanwhile, at The Cove, enjoy the breathtaking view of their private beach’s tranquil turquoise waters, a few metres away from any of their deluxe villas. They were rated the #3 Resort in the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and Bermuda by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice awards. And for good reason: the beaches are clean and well-kept, with doting staff there to offer towels and drinks.

Among the Cove’s amenities are snorkeling, Swedish massage, kayaking, paddle boating, a fitness centre, and outdoor hammocks off coconut trees in virtually every direction on the property.

Overlooking the ocean, the resort’s Freedom Restaurant & Sushi Bar, and Gregory Town Grill, offer indulgent culinary experiences, that fuses American, Bahamian and Asian cuisines. Two of countless examples are the jerk spiced tostones – crispy plantains with tomato chutney – and grouper ceviche, with coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger and jalapeno.

Several locals dubbed nearby Harbour Island “party town” and that is where Romora Bay Resort and Marina is located. The property, lined with palm and coconut trees, has 14 rooms, and a full three-bedroom house available to rent, each overlooking the water. Two on-site restaurants showcase Bahamian and American delights, in what is touted as a “casual bistro setting,” perched right next to the oceanfront.

Things to do
Eleuthera boasts a wide spectrum of world-class landmark attractions.

A must-do tourist drive is along the famous The Glass Window Bridge. A few jumps in one direction, see the tumbling of the cobalt-hued Atlantic Ocean; a few jumps in the other direction, see the serene splashing aquamarine waves of the Caribbean.

Queen’s Bath is an exciting phenomenon: just a few metres away from the oceanfront, it’s a Jacuzzi-shaped rock formation containing hip-deep naturally-heated waters. Sand Dollar Beach is an island surrounded by clear blue-green water, where there is nothing more than its pure, white, fine, silky sand. Tourists and locals enjoy digging around the area to see if they can find – you guessed it – sand dollars.

If you visit during off-season, you may find you’re lucky enough to not only enjoy those stunning beaches all to yourself, but anytime of year the waters are warm.

At five kilometers long and 2.4 kilometres wide, the aforementioned Harbour Island hosts, among many attractions, the renowned Pink Sand Beach, said to be visible in outer space. Typical among local beaches, the sand softly cushions under your feet.

A popular method of transportation through the narrow Harbour Island roads is via golf cart, available for rent to tourists. One can drive/wander amongst the boutique shops offering locally-made apparel, fresh island fare, and knick-knacks, as well as enjoy the scenic routes through the area’s local architecture.

If you’re looking for some action, you can swim among the vibrantly coloured Caribbean fish in the coral, with a snorkeling trip, led by local James Dunnam, of Bahamas Ocean Safaris. You’ll feel like you’re in a 3D IMAX version of Finding Nemo.

Dunnam is said to also be responsible for popularizing what is now a tourist staple, swimming with pigs (dolphins are so passé). His dozen porcine friends of many weights and colours will delightfully splash around with anyone in the shallow waters, while nibbling supplied wieners from tourists’ hands.

Now, go and impress your friends with those covet-worthy Facebook posts of you having loads of fun in the deliciously warm Bahamas sun.

By: Dave Gordon

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