Detailed Guide For A Wonderful Vacation In San Salvador Bahamas

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San Salvador Bahamas is, without a doubt, the most historically significant of the Out Islands. Your vacation here will be unforgettable, since it is home to more monuments, ruins, shipwrecks, and Christopher Columbus memorials than any other island.

Overview about San Salvador Island

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Overview about San Salvador Island

San Salvador Island Bahamas is a small island with a big heart and a big soul. Because there are so few tourists on the island, you’ll feel as if you’re the only one living there.

San Salvador Bahamas is a distant and secluded island in the Bahamas’ southeastern islands, offering world-class scuba diving and gorgeous white sandy beaches. It was here that Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Bahamas, in 1492.

San Salvador Columbus is a fascinating dichotomy, blessed with stunning beaches (blinding turquoise water), natural landscapes, as well as modern amenities and infrastructure. The name of the island has changed three times. It was first known as Guanahani by the Lucayan Indians, then “Watling’s Island” until 1925, and ultimately San Salvador (which means Christ the Savior in Spanish) as it is presently.

The island’s population is estimated to be around 1,200 people. Nassau, on the other hand, is the same size geographically but has a population of 200,000 people.

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San Salvador Columbus has the air of a tiny town, where everyone knows everyone and everyone is pleasant and helpful. It’s an area where you can stroll, ride, or drive about without fear of being attacked.

San Salvador, in fact, does not have a functioning jail because there is no crime. The jail was even joked about closing due to a lack of business by the residents. Many residents told me that they don’t even lock their doors at night.

We noticed the extent of the damage caused by past hurricanes as we explored the island (the biggest one was in 2009). The storms, on the other hand, did not damper the locals’ spirits.

Despite its remote location, the island’s residents displayed extraordinary fortitude in the aftermath of each storm. When we arrived, the majority of the structures had been repaired or rebuilt. During our time, we traveled the island and interacted with several residents, and everyone was friendly and made us feel comfortable and welcome.

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How can I travel around San Salvador?

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Travel around San Salvador by scooter

The preferred method to tour the island is via car or scooter, which you can rent near the airport for around $80 USD/day (car) or $90 USD/day (scooter) (scooter).

If you’re in decent form, you can ride around the island (which we did) — it’s very flat, but pack enough water because it gets hot during the day.

You can easily traverse San Salvador on your own thanks to the Queen’s Highway, a well-maintained paved road that runs all the way around the island. Keep in mind that automobiles are driven on the left side of the road in this part of the world!

Things to do in San Salvador

Dixon Hill Lighthouse

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Dixon Hill Lighthouse

The airport at San Salvador is roughly 15 kilometers (10 miles) away. The 400,000 candle-powered lighthouse is still manned and controlled by lighthouse keepers who replenish it by hand every 2 hours and 15 minutes.

It’s one of the few manually operated lighthouses left in the world, and one of just three in The Bahamas. The coolest part is that you can walk inside and climb to the top instead of just looking up at it!

Once inside, the stairs are steep and almost like a ladder, but at the top, we got some incredible views of the surrounding area.

  • Location: Port Nelson, San Salvador
  • Opening Hours: 24 hours

Landing Point

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Landing point

Located on Long Bay Beach (one of the island’s most stunning beaches), approximately 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) from the San Salvador airport. To reach here, turn left (south) from the airport.

Monuments commemorate the location where Christopher Columbus first set foot on American soil in 1492. This is the island’s most photographed location.

A massive monument commemorating the 1968 Mexico Olympics is also just a few steps away. It was created when the Olympic torch landed on the island for a brief stopover while the plane carrying it refueled in San Salvador.


The beaches in San Salvador, Bahamas, will compete with those in the Caribbean and other regions of the world.

Not only are the beaches breathtaking, but there are no other people in sight. Only the lapping of the waves and the lovely air through the coconut trees can be heard. The following are some of the lovely beaches we’ve seen on the island:

  • Long Bay Beach 
  • Grotto Beach
  • Snow Bay Beach

Bring a towel, sunscreen, and a swimsuit when exploring the island. You can have the beach to yourself if you park your bike or scooter on the side of the road.

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High Cays Private Island Excursion

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High Cays Private Island Excursion

This was the most enjoyable thing we participated in while in San Salvador. Imagine being whisked away to a private island where you can snorkel, climb (or more accurately, walk) and eat delicious cooked lobsters! Not to mention the endless beverages (rum punch, wine, Bahamian coffee).

  • Location: San Salvador island
  • Price: 165.00$

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Dive or Snorkel

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The island features at least 50 diving and snorkeling spots, which are rich in marine life and coral reefs. It’s one among the region’s top five wall-diving spots, with underwater visibility ranging from 100 to 150 feet. The water is crystal clear!

If you enjoy snorkeling, you can do so either on the beach or with a tour operator. There are a few diving centers where you may schedule your diving tours, including Club Med’s Seafari Adventures and the Riding Rock Resort.

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Fortune Hill

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The Fortune Hill plantation ruins are yet another remarkable historical sight. If you’re flying from Miami to San Salvador, be sure to pack your bags for all of the island’s amazing historical attractions. Visiting these attractions and getting a glimpse into the Bahamas of the past is always fascinating. The fact that the ruins of the main house, known as the Great House, are still standing distinguishes this location from many others. Fortune Hill will appeal to architecture enthusiasts because it is a tribute to the British colonial architecture’s unwavering endurance.

Flying from Miami to San Salvador with BahamasAir Tours can take you to a variety of interesting places. However, some of them have a bleak history. A trip to Fortune Hill will allow you to see the ruins of the slave quarters, which represent a dark period in the Bahamas’ history when slaves were carried from Africa to labor on the island’s cotton fields.

Location: Cockburn Town, Port Nelson, Clarence Town, Colonel Hill and Arthur’s Town

The Great Lake Preserve

Whereas many people go from Miami to San Salvador to see the beautiful Bahamas, the city is also known as “The Land Of Lakes.” This means there are a variety of water-related things to explore, both on the coast and inland. The Great Lake Preserve, located in the center of the island, is one of the greatest venues to learn more about these lakes.

The huge lake is unique in that it extends the full length of the island, with each of Christopher Columbus San Salvador’s major communities located on its banks. In fact, before the island’s roads were built, this lake served as the primary mode of transportation for inhabitants traveling between communities. This mode of transportation has subsequently been evolved into a one-of-a-kind tour. You may organize a trip to see several different communities while traveling across the Great Lake.

  • Location: Northern San Salvador
  • Contact: (242) 331 – 1928

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Rock Iguana

On your Bahamas vacation, you will come across the Bahamian Rock Iguana if you go from Miami to San Salvador, Bahamas. Because these Iguanas are only found on three islands in the Bahamas and are a critically endangered species, seeing them in their native environment is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Flying to the Bahamas from Florida and doing a Bahamas Island Hopping trip will allow you to see a wide variety of intriguing and unique creatures.

The Gerace Research Center was founded in 1971 when this species was classified as endangered. This station, which is housed in an ancient Navy post, works to protect both marine and terrestrial wildlife. The Bahamian Rock Iguana receives a lot of attention, and initiatives are being done to assist increase the population of this prehistoric reptile.

A trip from Miami to San Salvador will offer you the opportunity to see these interesting iguanas in the public viewing area. You’ll be able to see them in their native habitat and learn more about this species here.

Even if you merely schedule a Bahamas day trip from Miami to San Salvador, you will get a thorough and fascinating Bahamas vacation.

Iguana TourBring Your Lunch on Board$450$5754
Iguana TourIncludes a CookOut on the Cay$7004

Cockburn Town

Cockburn, pronounced Coburn Town, is the capital of San Salvador Bahamas and is located on the island’s west coast. It is also the largest settlement, which means there are plenty of activities and sights for your Bahamas vacation in and around it. The San Salvador Airport, where you can book all of your Bahamas flight charters, is also located in this town.

The huge almond tree that sits at the entrance to Cockburn Town makes it stand out. This is one of the most popular destinations for residents and a fantastic stop on your Bahamas trip for you to immerse yourself in Bahamian culture.

Within the town boundaries of Cockburn is another Christopher Columbus attraction. It was erected in 1992 by the Roman Catholic Diocese of the Bahamas to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ landing on the island of San Salvador. It was also dedicated to the first religious ceremony in San Salvador, which was conducted by Father Chrysostom Schreiner, a Roman Catholic priest. On January 25, 1891, Father Schreiner was baptized, and he died 37 years later.

  • Location: San Salvador Island

Bonefish Bay

If you’re looking for some fast-paced San Salvador Bahamas fishing, be sure to stop by Bonefish Bay on your Bahamas vacation. These lightning-fast silver streaks flutter across the shallows, making every throw, hit, and catch an exciting experience. Bonefish Bay in San Salvador is the best place to go fishing in the Bahamas. If you are a true fishing fan who wants to spend as much time as possible in San Salvador, Bahamas, your choice of resorts is fairly straightforward. Club Med Bahamas accommodation covers the whole west coast of San Salvador.

The Bahamas Club Med Columbus Isle is one of the greatest San Salvador Bahamas Resorts. Club Med Bahamas is high on the list of locations to visit because of its excellent service, beachfront accommodations, and some of the world’s most beautiful tropical vistas. The nicest aspect about the island’s size is that if you take a Bahamas air charter to San Salvador Airport or arrive in Cockburn Town on a Bahamas cruise, you’ll be minutes from Bonefish Bay and its world-class accommodations.

  • Location: 12565 Overseas Hwy #3534, Marathon, FL 33050
  • Contact: +1 305-289-0565
  • Price: ~296,27$

Graham’s Harbor

There’s nothing quite like visiting a new location and getting to know the local culture. 

A visit to Graham’s Harbor is the ideal destination to obtain a real Bahamian experience, with everything from cuisine to culture and customs. If you’re in the mood for some seafood, stop by the neighborhood Fish Fry. You may sample some of the local specialties, including a variety of seafood and conch, the most popular meat. This white, chewy flesh may be prepared in a variety of ways, ranging from deep-fried to served in a citrus salad to conch fritters.

  • Location: Graham’s Harbour, San Salvador, Bahamas

Where to Stay?

Due to the limited size of the island, there are just a few resorts, the most of which are run by locals.

Club Med Columbus Isle

The island’s largest all-inclusive resort with the greatest views of the Caribbean Sea. The majority of the activities are free. Some of the resort’s out-of-town guests come here to party or have dinner.

  • Location: Bonefish bay, Cockburn Town, Bahamas
  • Contact: +1 242-331-2000

Riding Rock Inn Resort & Marina

The Riding Rock Inn Resort & Marina is the place to be if you enjoy scuba diving or fishing. The greatest diving locations in San Salvador are close by, thanks to its location by the sea. Because the resort is all-inclusive, including meals, you may dive as frequently as you like.

  • Location: Bonefish bay, Cockburn Town, Bahamas
  • Contact: +1 242-331-2000

The Sands Residence Hotel

This hotel appeals to me since it is situated on a wonderful private beach in Cockburn town. It’s not like it’s a big concern on San Salvador Island, where practically every beach is deserted.

  • Location: Bonefish bay, Cockburn Town, Bahamas
  • Contact: +1 242-331-2000

Homestay The Bohemian

Because this vacation property is located near Sandy Point, 9.1 kilometers from the town center, you will need to rent a car. They started taking reservations in March of this year.

  • Location: 242 Cockburn Town, The Bahamas
  • Contact:+1 242-331-1018

Where to Eat?

The resorts are home to the majority of the major eateries. However, there are just a few eateries to choose from if you want to eat local cuisine.

Some of them require advance ordering. K’s Take Away, a little restaurant located opposite the airport, has the tastiest “crack conch” on the island!

How can I get to San Salvador, Bahamas?

These are several of the major hubs that provide direct flights to San Salvador or flights with only one stopover.

  • Canada: 4 hour direct flight from Montreal
  • Direct flight from Miami takes 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • France; Paris to Miami with a stopover in Miami before traveling to San Salvador — 9 hours and 40 minutes

While the majority of visitors to San Salvador Columbus will stay at Club Med Columbus Isle, you are not required to remain there at all times. There’s enough to see and do on the island, and you’ll never be in danger. The natives are welcoming and helpful, and they will treat you as if you were a friend. Get out there and see what you can!

The island of San Salvador will undoubtedly steal your heart! San Salvador is the place to go if you’re searching for a lovely Caribbean island that’s not too crowded, untamed, raw, and rocky. Have you ever visited San Salvador, Bahamas? What are your opinions on the matter?

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