Recently, I’ve received a number of emails from folks wanting to know more about visiting Green Turtle Cay. This post is the first in a series entitled Green Turtle Cay 101: A Guide to Getting Here, Staying Here and Enjoying all that Green Turtle Cay Has to Offer.
If you visit the Bahamas and don’t get any further than the cities of Nassau or Freeport, you’ve really only scratched the surface. For a truly authentic Bahamian experience, you need to visit one of the country’s out islands, also known as the “Family Islands.”
As you’ve likely surmised, my favourite family island is Green Turtle Cay, because quite simply, it’s the polar opposite of Nassau or Freeport.
There are no duty-free shops or noisy casinos, no high-rise chain hotels or American fast-food joints, no cruise ships or smoke-belching Jitneys, no Bay Street peddlers hawking cheap t-shirts.
Instead, there is peace. There is privacy. There are pristine (and often deserted) beaches, charming locals, bikes and golf carts for transportation and more stars at night than you could ever count. There’s a vigorous domino game in town, rake-and-scrape music at sunset, local kids shooting hoops (you’re welcome to join in), home-baked coconut bread at the local grocery, and conch salad chopped fresh while you watch.
Founded in 1786 by Revolutionary War Loyalists, and named for the green turtles that once were plentiful in its waters, Green Turtle Cay lies three miles east of Great Abaco, Bahamas and 170 miles east of Palm Beach, Florida. Perched on the southwestern end of the cay is New Plymouth, a sleepy settlement with narrow streets and neat rows of pastel-painted clapboard houses.
For a small island (it’s three miles, end to end), Green Turtle Cay offers a surprising array of amenities, including two small resorts, several marinas, a half-dozen or so restaurants, three small but well-stocked grocery shops, two liquor stores, a boat yard, a post office, an art gallery, a museum, a dive operator, several fishing guides, and boat, golf cart, paddleboard, snorkel and SCUBA gear, kayak and bike rentals.
Green Turtle Cay is a welcoming, low-key destination that’s ideal for couples, safe for singles and incredibly family (and pet) friendly.
Next in the GTC 101 series: Getting Here