Eleuthera was founded in 1648 by a group of English Puritans, led by Captain William Sayle, in search of religious freedom. Fleeing from Bermuda, the crew’s boat shipwrecked on the reef near Eleuthera’s coast, now known as The Devil’s Backbone, and the surviving men took shelter in Preacher’s Cave. The remaining settlers named the island Eleuthera from the Greek word “eleuthero/eleuther” meaning “free/freedom.” These settlers gave The Bahamas their first written constitution.
The northern part of the island is located approximately 225 miles away from Miami, with its coordinates at latitude- 20°-27° N, longitude- 77°-79° W. The island’s total size is approximately 110 miles long, and on average about 1.5 miles wide from coast to coast. The island is very hilly and has an elevation of about 100 feet, which is higher than most of the other Bahamian islands. The population of Eleuthera is a little over 11,000 people.
Today, Eleuthera’s economy consists mostly of fishing, boating, and tourism. However, it is not nearly as developed as Grand Bahama (Freeport), or New Providence (Nassau). Eleuthera is famed for the sweetness of its pineapples, and holds an annual Pineapple Festival in Gregory Town each June.
The primary settlements of Eleuthera are: Governor’s Harbour, Rock Sound, Tarpum Bay, Harbour Island with its unusual pink sandy beaches, and Spanish Wells. There are many admired sights all over the island—such as beaches, caves, diving spots, and other beautiful landmarks. Some of the most popular landmarks are: The Glass Window Bridge, The Cow & The Bulls Boulders, The Queen’s Bath, Preacher’s Cave, Hatchet Bay Caves, Current Cut, and The Devil’s Backbone.
Eleuthera is an excellent image of the “Out” (family) islands of the Bahamas. The small settlements and villages that cover the landscape are filled with color, history, and culture. With an abundant amount of fun and thrilling activities to do and attractions to see on the island, there is never a dull moment on Eleuthera. Whether out on the water, soaking up the sun on the beaches, or traveling around the island to sight-see, there is always an enchanting feeling of old world charm, ruggedness, and survival mixed with the jaw-dropping beauty and alluring presence of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea surrounding Eleuthera.