Tips for visiting Elbow Cay:
- You can take a water shuttle from Marsh Harbor to get to Hope Town, the main village on this island.
- Island Life applies here. You can’t be in a rush to do anything or expect anything to happen on time.
- I read somewhere that there are only 9 restaurants on the islands, 3 grocery stores, and a few hotels and shops. Be careful to check the opening times for the restaurants, because there seems to be a dead zone between 2 pm and 6 pm. I had conch cakes and a kale salad at Harbours Edge and it was delicious! I also read about the Hope Town Coffee House after I’d left the island.
- You can easily walk around the little quiet streets of Hope Town. If you walk north, you will find a few other restaurants, shops, the cholera memorial cemetery as well as a few public beach accesses to a fantastic, long, wild, white-sand beach on the eastern side (apparently a great spot to snorkel-30ft from shore). If you walk south, you will find the Hope Town Harbor Lodge and past that, it didn’t seem like there was much other than house rentals.
- Most islanders walk, bike, boat or drive golf carts to get around as motorized vehicles are prohibited.
- Electricity came to the island in 1974, only 44 years ago!
- The local population is estimated at 260 people!
- Tahiti beach is a golf cart drive away from the harbor and one of the main attractions on this island. It’s said to be one of the most beautiful sandbars in that area of the world and not a very crowded place. Sadly I ran out of time and wasn’t able to make it this time around!
- Visit the Elbow Reef Lighthouse, built in 1864 and probably the most recognizable landmark in Abaco. It is one of the last manual lighthouses in the world and this red and white candy-striped lighthouse can be seen from 17 miles away. (I saw it from really far!)
Impressions of Elbow Cay:
I wish I’d had a little bit more time on this island, maybe 1 or 2 nights to wind down and chill here. It seemed like the tourists coming to this island were here for either weddings, a quick boat stop for a few nights, or a quiet retreat.
I met a couple who were renting an Airbnb and said it was very nice: it could be the way to go if ever I come back in this area as hotel standards are lower here than in the USA.
I enjoyed walking the around the silent streets of Hope Town and observing the locals in their everyday routine. The houses looked rustic and beautiful, painted in so many different colors. I also liked walking down side streets and finding that eastern (empty!) beach I mentioned above. I’d want to rent a golf cart next time and check out Tahiti beach as well as take the ferry shuttle over to the Lighthouse. I tried to do so but I ran out of time and everything here takes longer than expected.
My lunch at Harbor’s edge was very tasty and relaxing as there was no one around since it was almost closing time!