Cat Island travel is going to bring you a pristine world to your senses. With it’s natural beauty, and its laid-back environment, it provides a unique destination to relax and unwind. And with 50 miles of rolling hills, endless nature trails and the eight-mile Pink Sand Beach, visitors can choose to do everything or absolutely nothing at all.
What makes Cat Island unique is that it is untainted and unspoiled, and there is much to be discovered on Cat Island. Named after the infamous pirate, Arthur Catt, the island runs deep with history and culture. Its 150 square miles of natural landscape offer every traveler a rich Bahamian experience. You’ll find the plot of land where Sir Sidney Poitier’s boyhood home once stood. You’ll also discover the birthplace of The Bahamas’ indigenous rake and scrape music, along with numerous myths and folklore that still hold a place in Bahamian culture today. The island is also home to one of the best climates in The Bahamas. Its location near the Tropic of Cancer means temperatures range from the mid-60s in the short winters to the high-80s in the summer, which make it perfect for getting out and exploring Cat Island’s untouched landscape and rich history. For more information on the best beaches on Cat Island, visit The Best Beaches in the Bahamas Guide.
The hottest month in Cat Island is August when the average maximum temperature is 91°, average temperature is 86° and average minimum temperature is 81°. The coolest month in Cat Island is January when the average maximum temperature is 79°, average temperature is 72° and average minimum temperature is 66°. September to May is the most popular time for visitors to Cat Island, when temperatures average from 70 to 75 degrees a day. Nighttime temperatures cool down by just 5 to 7 degrees. Seasons may vary widely in other vacation destinations, but that’s not the case in The Bahamas. Even the rainy season — May through November — rarely offers challenges for visitors. Even the occasional tropical rainstorm is usually short-lived. In fact, The Bahamas have about 340 sunny days a year, and, according to astronauts, the clearest waters in the Caribbean region.
Because of the tropical climate, you can fish, dive and snorkel year-round. You also can comfortably swim in the ocean, as water temperature in The Bahamas rarely dips below 72 degrees (22 degrees Celsius) near the shorelines.
Getting to Cat Island
There are two airports serving Cat Island: Arthur’s Town Airport (ATC) and New Bight Airport (TBI). Frequent domestic and international service is available via scheduled and charter airlines. By sea, there is mailboat service from Nassau to a number of towns in the north and south on a weekly (or more frequent) basis. To fly into the Bahamas, United States citizens are not required to present a valid passport. Instead, vacationers traveling by air must show proof of citizenship and identification. Typically, guests must present a birth certificate and a government-issued photo identification in order to enter the Bahamas, according to the United States Department of State (travel.state.gov). Although a United States passport is not required to enter the Bahamas, Americas will be required to present their valid passport upon returning to the United States. When flying to and from the Bahamas, many airlines require guests to show their U.S. passport. Receive Low Fare Alerts for Flights with Airfarewatchdog
Visiting boaters must clear Customs and Immigration at the nearest designated Official Port of Entry—Bennett’s Harbour and Smith’s Bay. As you enter port, fly the yellow quarantine flag and notify Customs of your arrival. No one other than the captain is permitted to leave the boat until your vessel has been cleared. Hawk’s Nest Resort in the south has the only marina on the island providing fuel, electricity, showers, water, a restaurant and supply shop.
Getting Around Cat Island
The best way to get around Cat Island is to rent a car and go off on your own. Limited taxi service is also available and you can call for one or pick one up at the airports. Although metered rates vary by island, they are reasonable and are fixed by law. Surcharges often apply for more than two persons and extra luggage. Suggested tip is 15% of fare. You must be 21 years old and possess a valid driver’s license for all rentals. Visitors may use their home driver’s license for up to three months or can apply for an international driver’s license if staying with us longer. But remember, when you take to the road, please keep to the left. Pedestrians should remember to first look right and then left before crossing streets. Avis is the best rental car company on for getting around on Cat Island.
Restaurants – Top Picks
$-Inexpensive $$-Moderate $$$-Pricey $$$$-Ultra High End
$$ – $$$ Halvorson House Restaurant
Local and international favorites are featured on the breakfast buffet and lunch and dinner menus at this restaurant. They stand out by using locally and regionally grown produce and fresh baked, homemade breads. Halvorson House Restaurant is a café that offers American and Caribbean cuisines, as well as coffee. One can expect the setting and food here to be very casual. They are open for business during breakfast, lunch, and brunch, so your family can try this restaurant almost any time the mood strikes. For more information call 242-359-9500, or visit them on the web at Halvorson House Restaurant.
$$ – $$$ Hawk’s Nest Restaurant
“Island food” is what you’ll find on the menu at Hawk’s Nest. The restaurant features a new island special each week, typically featuring the fish caught right from the on-site docks. Hawk’s Nest Restaurant is a popular bar and grill that happens to specialize in Caribbean cuisine. When it comes to dress code and level of service, this restaurant’s setting is informal. This dining option is on the table during dinner only, so don’t be shy about checking them out during their limited operating hours. Hawk’s Nest Restaurant has a bar and grill feel, with bright colors making up the decor and a 60-inch television broadcasting the latest game. For more information call 242-342-7050, or visit them on the web at Hawk’s Nest Restaurant.
$$ – $$$ Shanna’s Cove Restaurant
The ever-changing menu utilizes fresh, local ingredients to create exotic island treats. Dinner is a three course meal which includes an appetizer, entree, and dessert which is paired with homemade bread. Shannas Cove Restaurant is a grill that offers Caribbean and International cuisines, as well as seafood. The formality level you should expect at this restaurant is informal. This location is open for both breakfast and dinner, so make time to stop by; you could find a new favorite food. Dining takes place on a terrace overlooking the sea, lending to a relaxed atmosphere that every local restaurant aspires to. For more information call 242-354-4249, or visit them on the web at Shannons Cove Restaurant.
$$ – $$$ Da Smoke Pot
Have a relaxing dining experience while you listen to some Bahamian songs like rake and scrape music performed by musicians on the restaurant’s porch. Dining and listening are not the only things you can do here either. You are also encouraged to get up and dance! Recommended dishes and drinks include ribs, lobster, fish, wicked Bahama Mamas, sweet and sour conch, sweet and sour shrimp, and rum punch. Aside from those, the owner memorizes the diners’ names, adding a personal touch to an already awesome dining experience. You’re sure to have a smoking great time and a priceless experience at Da Smoke Pot! For more information call 242-354-2094, or visit them on Facebook at Da Smoke Pot.
Yardie’s Restaurant, Bar, and Conch Stand
True to its name, this restaurant boasts of the best conch salad on Cat Island Bahamas. The salad is spicy and freshly made, ideally paired with another crowd favourite at Yardie’s – the Jamaican jerk chicken. Diners also rave about the ribs, curried mutton, macaroni and cheese, fried red snapper, and other seafood and local dishes. Yardie’s is also a great go-to place if you need to buy water and other basic vacation necessities that you might not have included in your luggage. For more information call 242-354-6076, or visit them on TripAdvisor at Yardie’s Restaurant, Bar, and Conch Stand.
Things to Do
The Hermitage on Mt Alvernia
This small, stone, medieval-style monastery sits on the peak of Como Hill on Cat Island, the highest point in The Islands of The Bahamas at 206 foot above sea level. It was built in 1939 by a Roman Catholic priest, Monsignor John Hawes, known to locals as Father Jerome. An admirer of St. Francis of Assisi, Father Jerome called the getaway Mount Alvernia, after La Verna, a mountain in Tuscany that was given to Assisi as a place where he could peacefully contemplate, and it was where Assisi received the Wounds of the Cross.
A skilled architect and sculptor and self-described contemplative, Father Jerome built this retreat so that he could get away from the world. Going up the hill to the monastery, visitors will sense his religious devotion and see his beautiful and detailed work, including hand-carved stone reliefs of the Stations of the Cross. For More Information, Contact: Administrator’s Office-South Cat Island at 242-342-3032.
Bahamas Catamaran Charter
They offer sailing expeditions to any region of the Bahamas but, specialize in the southern, more unspoiled of the Bahamas islands. All of the charters are customized to suite the desires of the quests. Some of the more popular charter/expeditions include: fly fishing and offshore fishing trips to the most unspoiled corners of the Bahamas. For more information call 242-342-5155, or visit them on the web at Bahamas Catamaran Charter.
Top Cats Fishing Service
At Top Cats Fishing Service, they strive to provide the absolute best fishing experience available in the Bahamas. Cat Island is world renowned as a pelagic fishing mecca, its creeks and flats abound with bone fish and the crystal clear waters surrounding the reefs and coral heads are unsurpassed for snorkeling, with or without a spear. For more information call 242-342-7087, or visit them on the web at Top Cats Fishing Service.
Cat Island features the highest peak in the Bahamas, a whopping 207 feet. More than that, on this island it is fun to get out on the road and explore, talk with locals and enjoy the heart of the Bahamas. One of the finest shallow Bahamian reefs, Dry Heads, is here, along with plenty of other shallow and medium depth reefs, miles of walls and a couple of excellent wrecks.
Top Cat Island Dive Locations:
First Basin Wall: 100-200ft. Deep-water drop-off facing the Great Bahama Bank
Blue Hole: 80-100ft.The circular depression leads to a descent along the outer walls
White Hole Reef: Circular depressions in the limestone basin surrounded by coral mounds
The Tunnels: 30ft. Shore coral garden with a series of crevices, canyons and fissures
Third Basin Reef: Wall 110-130ft. Nearly vertical drop-off with giant sponges and black coral bushes
Santa Maria Teresa: 20-30ft. 360-foot Spanish battleship sunk in 1898 during the Spanish American War
Dean’s Blue Hole
Dean’s Blue Hole is said to be the deepest blue hole in the world, and the second largest underwater chamber. This warm salt-water swimming pool dips some 663 feet into the ocean floor right offshore. At the surface it is 80 x 120 feet, but opens out after 60 feet into a cavern with a diameter of at least 330 feet. A school of tarpon hang in the shadows at 65 feet and friendly turtles and tiny sea horses sometimes come into the hole for a break from the ocean currents. The coral caves and sand banks on the side of the entrance harbor all kinds of tropical reef life, from tiny shrimps and colorful tropical fish to groupers and snappers. For more information contact Ms. Shelly Cant at 242-393-1317.
Top Cat Island Hotels
Rollezz Villas Beach Resort
Offering a restaurant and a private beach area, Rollezz Villas Beach Resort is located in Old Bight. Free WiFi access is available in this holiday home. The accommodation will provide you with air conditioning and a patio. There is a full a kitchenette with a microwave and a refrigerator. Featuring a shower, private bathroom also comes with a bath and a bath or shower. You can enjoy sea view and mountain view from the room. At Rollezz Villas Beach Resort you will find free bikes An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including fishing, hiking and snorkeling. The property offers free parking. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Rollezz Villas Beach Resort.
Greenwood Beach Resort
This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. Offering an outdoor pool and water sports facilities, Greenwood Beach Resort is situated in Port Howe Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Certain units include views of the sea or garden. Rooms are equipped with a private bathroom equipped with a shower. You can play billiards and darts at this hotel, and the area is popular for snorkeling. The hotel also offers free use of bicycles and car hire. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Greenwood Beach Resort.
Pigeon Cay Beach Club
This Pigeon Cay cottage is on the beach, 11.7 mi (18.9 km) from Blue Hole, and within 25 mi (40 km) of Fernandez Bay and The Hermitage of Father Jerome. Guests at this beach cottage will appreciate convenient onsite amenities such as barbecue grills and a picnic area. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Pigeon Cay Beach Club.
Orange Creek Inn
This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. This apartment-style hotel is on beautiful Cat Island in the Bahamas and features quick beach access, free Wi-Fi and excellent ocean views. Ocean Creek Inn has free parking. The spacious suites at this property feature air conditioning and a kitchenette. Guests can also enjoy a cable TV and a wardrobe, and the private bathrooms feature a shower and toilet. There is a small grocery store on site, and guests can find restaurants serving national and international cuisine within a 10-minute drive of the property. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Orange Creek Inn.
Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina
This property is 3 minutes walk from the beach. This island hotel and marina, in Freeport, Bahamas, is just 600 feet from Taino Beach and the Caribbean Sea. It offers free Wi-Fi access and bright rooms with cable TV. All guests have free access to the facilities at Flamingo Bay’s sister hotel, Taino Beach Resorts. Facilities include a large outdoor pool with a water slide, lazy river and a swim up bar. The oceanfront restaurant is also open to guests. Each room has kitchen facilities which include a microwave, small fridge, toaster and dishware. They are decorated in soft cool colors and have tile floors. Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina offers laundry facilities and a gift shop on site. A large water sports facility is available to guests as well. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina.