By Simon Harris
One of the outer islands of the Bahamas, Cat Island is a quiet
vacation destination for those who are really looking to
Among its varied pleasures and activities, a little
will turn up a historical oddity or two that add to the
individual character of the place. Beautiful beaches in
settings welcome the nature lover and peace seeker alike.
The Hermitage is a bit of an historical oddity, fascinating
strange. The hike up to see this religious site will take
visitors through small villages along beautiful trails, full
island flora and fauna. It is located at the top of Mt.
Alvernia, which is 206 feet above the sea and the highest
in the Bahamas. The Hermitage itself is made from the
of the cliffs, with each piece painstakingly extracted, shaped
and set by hand by the Canadian mule-skinner turned Anglican
turned Roman Catholic priest known as Father Jerome. The
built the structure to scale, designed it to fit his rather
diminutive form. Beloved by the island people, the priest
passed away in 1956 after reaching the ripe age of 80.
Other historical sites include an Arawak cave, found at
Columbus point, and plantation ruins, left over from the
islands efforts at joining the worlds cotton growers. Deveaux
mansion was once the residence of Andrew Deveaux of the US
Navy, who participated in the 1873 battles to get Nassau back
from Spain. Another well known ruins is the remains of the
Ambrister plantation, near Port Howe.
For those interested in water sports, the Cat Island Dive
Center is the place to contact. They operate out of the
Greenwood Beach Resort and have a variety of diving and
snorkeling packages available, and there are many fine areas
explore, offering a wealth of marine life and fascinating
geological formations. They also have water sport equipment to
Cat Island is the sixth largest island in the Bahamas, and
boasts extraordinary beaches. There are literally miles and
miles of virtually undisturbed beaches, where swimming and
relaxing can be done in near complete privacy.
Fine meals can be had at several locations on Cat Island.
Hawk’s Nest Resort and Marina serves a variety of dishes, but
among the best are the fresh, grilled fish and the roasted
of lamb. Fernandez Bay Village is the place to go for creative
and delicious native dishes, served either in the dining room
or a patio table by the beach. Greenwood Beach Resort’s
cuisine is complemented by their marvelous breads, which are
baked every day.
Cat Island is an excellent choice for vacationers who are
seeking a natural beach experience, and enjoy a peaceful and
very laid-back atmosphere. The island can be explored at a
leisurely pace, which is a much better way to enjoy the local
flora and fauna, as well as to enjoy the local culture.
it is so much smaller in population than many of the other
islands, it’s easier to get a real feel for the people and
their way of life. Cat Island is an interesting place that
make a lasting impression on its guests.
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