Eleuthera, Bahamas

Living in Eleuthera

Iyna Bort Caruso

There are three airports on the island of Eleuthera but not a single traffic light. On this Bahamian destination of pineapple plantations and pink sands, the loudest sounds you’re likely to hear are the crashing of waves against cliffs.

Eleuthera is a pencil-thin island, 110 miles long and only a few miles at its widest, which means the beach is never far away.

Of the Bahamas 700-plus islands, Eleuthera is among the most populated with some 11,000 residents and a devoted following of A-listers. Prince Charles and Princess Diana famously spent time here.

Eleuthera enjoys a tourism-driven economy. Beautiful blushing beaches are just the beginning. A 25-acre national park, the Leon Levy Preserve, features rare orchids. Its most celebrated fruit is feted every June at the long-running Pineapple Festival in Gregory Town. Cave exploring, bone-fishing and dune buggy rides let people discover the island from every angle.

One of its most intriguing landscape features is the Glass Window Bridge. This 30-foot-wide sliver of land separates the deep blue of the Atlantic from the shallow turquoise of the Exuma Sound. Winslow Homer immortalized it in a 19th century painting. And then there is the diving, some of the best in the Bahamas. Dozens of shipwrecks, especially around a reef called the Devil’s Backbone, draw enthusiasts from the world over.

There are many sides to Eleuthera: artsy areas of musicians and surfers, colonial villages and rocky cliffs with breathtaking sunsets. One of the most coveted second-home locations is on a cay just off the northern coast, Harbour Island. Some say it’s reminiscent of Nantucket or Cape Cod with the village’s smattering of clapboard cottages.

There are no restrictions on international real estate purchases in the Bahamas, and investors who buy a home valued at more than $500,000 are eligible to apply for permanent residency.