Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Eleuthera Bahamas...How to get to the island called Freedom

A friend of mine called today and asked if I had an recommendations on places for her and her friends to stay on Eleuthera in the Bahamas. I figured I would share that info with the rest of the world since getting to the Out Islands in The Bahamas is hard to do for most travelers.

About Eleuthera
Eleuthera is approximately 110 miles long and about 5 miles wide at the widest point. On this sliver of land in the Atlantic you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the best off-shore snorkeling, and the most friendly island people. What it lacks are major hotels, canned activities for the kiddies, night clubs, fast food chains, and public transportation. For a person who seeks the path less traveled, this island is paradise found. Although I once bought a shirt at Pam's Island Made Gift Shop in Gregory Town that said, "Eleuthera, its not for everyone."- Very true.

In this blog I will give you some tips on how to get to Eleuthera and where to stay. In the posts following this one I will detail how to get around and things to do while on the island.

Eleuthera Island is a hidden gem, easily accessible if you know the right route and the right places to explore. If you don't do your research before you head to the island, you might find yourself sitting one or two popular beaches for your stay.

Eleuthera has 3 airports. For the purposes of this blog I will be keeping lodging around the Governors Harbour area and therefore traveling in and out of Governors Harbour Airport. Other airports are North Eleuthera approximately 70 miles north of Governors Harbour. This airport is mainly used for people trying to go to Harbour Island. The airport to the south is Rock Sound. If you plan your trip in Governors Harbour and fly to either of these two north or south airports you will have to pay about $100 oneway or more, to get to central Eleuthera. Be careful when choosing your airports. If you use a travel agency, be specific about what airport. Simply saying Eleuther at the best price can get you into trouble.

First: try using one of these travel tools to book from your departure city to Governors Harbour (GHB).

Second: try to connect with a flight out of Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) or Miami (MIA) on one of these airlines.

American Eagle out of Miami 210RT
Continental out of Ft. Lauderdale and Miami 270RT
Bahamasair (Will go through Nassau. Plan for a long day. Not recommended)

Call the reservations line for the following airlines to find out schedules and rates. Lynx Air (aka Florida Coastal Airlines) is in terminal 4 at the FLL airport which makes for easy connections. Twin Air you will need to take a taxi to from the FLL airport (approx 15 one way). Lynx is habitually late. On departure day, make your flight 3 hours later than your arrival time into FLL airport from Eleuthera or you may be spending an extra night in Ft. Lauderdale and booking a new plane ticket home. Both Twin Air and Lynx are small 9-seater planes with 1 pilot.

Lynx Air $317RT
Twin Air $370 RT

If none of these work start back at step one and try to fly through Nassau with connections to Eleuthera on Bahamasair or Southern Air.

Where to stay?
If you have 4 or more people, renting a house is a good option. Here are some website to check out.

Rainbow Inn
They have two houses and villas on their property as well as a full service restaurant and bar and entertainment. They are great hosts.

Home rentals:
Coral Reef

Papaya House

If all else fails contact Jonathan. Let him know your budget and dates. He might be able to work with you.

If anyone is going to Eleuthera and would like more info just let me know. More tomorrow.