Welcome to Cat Island, a land of beauty and mystique within The Islands of The Bahamas. Cat Island is known as an oasis of culture. Its settlements are rich with storytellers, dancers, and musicians who have a passion for our native rhythms and rhyme. This island is also a bastion of Bahamian cuisine, where you will be treated to delicacies freshly collected from the land and sea, and prepared in a unique fashion.
The roads of this island are lined with historic places of interest, including the ruins of plantation-era buildings. Just as satisfying are the many lovely beaches to which those roads also lead. Atop Como Hill sits a remarkable work of architecture called The Hermitage. On the hill, the nation’s highest elevation, you will find breathtaking architecture and a magnificent view of the island. The sights and sounds of Cat Island are sure to please, and a special place will always be reserved for you on this island of music and myth.
Cat Island, officially known as “San Salvador” before it received its present name by an Act of Parliament in 1926, is said to be named after the pirate Arthur Cat, who used to make frequent stops here. Residents still hold fast to the belief that Cat Island was the gateway to the New World.
It is a fishhook-shaped island, only 48 miles long and four miles across at the widest part. The island is located near the Tropic of Cancer, between Eleuthera and Long Island and about 130 miles southeast of Nassau and Paradise Island. It has one of the best climates in The Bahamas, with temperatures in the high 60’s during the short winters, rising to the mid-80’s in summer, with trade winds making the place even more comfortable.
Cotton plantation ruins are scattered around the island. There are remains of slave huts dating back to the 1700s and Arawak Indian caves waiting to be explored. Cat Island also prides itself on producing The Bahamas’ finest rake ’n scrape music and holds an annual festival dedicated to it. Friendly people with farming, fishing, and lobstering as their mainstay, quaint, tidy communities, and an abundance of peace and quiet – these are the qualities defining Cat Island.
The highest in all the land
Mount Alvernia is the highest elevation in the country at 206 feet above sea level. The hill served as the hermitage of Father Jerome Hawes, who settled on the island in 1939, where he built a miniature monastery and hand-carved steps out of solid rock.
Activities and beauty galore
Cat Island provides a unique vacation for those who want to get away in a private, relaxing, laid-back environment with 50 miles of rolling hills, miles of nature trails, and beautiful empty beaches, including the eight-mile Pink Sand Beach. Boating, diving, and fishing are among the main reasons to go to Cat Island, but you can also enjoy sunbathing, swimming, or snorkeling.
Stay in a remote and rustic village setting and relax under thatched-roof tiki bars; make your vacation home a cottage right on the beach; or select a fishing marina that caters to anglers on a quest for a big-game catch. Whatever you choose, there’s something to do and see on Cat Island. Of course, you may choose to do absolutely nothing at all.
How to Get Here