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Eleuthera or Exuma? Which do you prefer and why?

chicago
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Eleuthera or Exuma? Which do you prefer and why?

I am trying to decide which to fly to from Nassau for a couple of nights. It appears that everything in Exuma is more expensive.

Which has better beaches?

Which is easier to get around?

Where can you get more bang for your buck?

What I would like: a clean hotel near beaches with beautiful water--that's it! Which would fit the bill better?

Gastonia, North...
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1. Re: Eleuthera or Exuma? Which do you prefer and why?

with only a couple of nights you need to consider a place that's easy to get to and has everything you need so you don't feel the need to leave the property much. I would definitely go with a smaller island. Eleuthera is 110 miles long and while you could fly into Governor's and stay at Sky Beach Club or somewhere similar you'll be missing alot. And it's not easy to get around without a car. I saw your other post on Exuma and between the two, I'd pick St Francis and just stay on Stocking Island.

One more to consider is Cape Santa Maria on Long Island. You can fly from NAS to Stella Maris and the hotel will pick you up and take you to the resort. With limited time, just stay at the resort the whole time. There's loads to do, the food is so yummy and the staff is great. And it's one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. There is also the Stella Maris resort on the windward side of the island (CSM is on the leeward side)..

Oh, and if you are already in Nassau, you have the option of catching the early flights to the Out Islands so you can have your toes in the sand before noon! You really have alot of options.

Edited: 03 December 2013, 20:47
Windsor, Canada
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2. Re: Eleuthera or Exuma? Which do you prefer and why?

Eleuthera has better beaches and is less expensive. Exuma is easier to get around and has more of the hotels that you are looking for. I'd argue that it's not worth going to the out islands for two days, but if that is all you have then chose a smaller island.

chicago
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3. Re: Eleuthera or Exuma? Which do you prefer and why?

It's all too confusing!

2 nights in Nassau, 3 in the Out Islands, 1 more back in Nassau to celebrate New Years Eve before heading out the next day--think it's better to spend that last night in the Out Islands as well? Will you be able to see fireworks?

Thanks for the feedback jungledriver and windsordave. Oh, and jungledriver-SF is $175 more than Exuma...still think it's the better option?

Nassau, New...
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4. Re: Eleuthera or Exuma? Which do you prefer and why?

For a few days...can I choose "C"?!?

I'd go here, especially if you're looking for a NYE celebration - http://www.hopetownlodge.com/

Otherwise, I like busy, and I think your 2-3-1 sounds good.

Edited: 03 December 2013, 23:56
Gastonia, North...
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5. Re: Eleuthera or Exuma? Which do you prefer and why?

We've only eaten at Saint Francis but it was REALLY good food and the staff was awesome. We stayed there talking to them for a couple of hours. You do have alot of options since you're already in Nassau, it can get overwhelming. Since you are going in Dec/Jan, I would stay somewhere on the lee side of whatever island you choose. We've never been that time of year but even when the wind is up it can be chilly. Exuma is a bit different because most of the action is on the east facing beaches which are protected from the wind by stocking island and some other cays. The rooms at SF face the east so it can be a bit windy. The restaurant is more on the harbor side but there's not a beach there, at least I don't remember seeing one. Take a look at Cape Santa Maria on Long Island. Sorry, don't mean to confuse you more, just trying to figure out what is best for a shorter stay.

And if you really want to see a NYE celebration. I'd stick with Nassau. I would not consider the Abacos (hopetown) as you have a flight and a ferry to deal with. eats up too much of your time. Can you do 1 night in Nassau, then flight to out island then the remaining time in Nassau prior to NYE? Or go straight to the Out Island if connections allow, then the latter part of the trip in Nassau.

Edited: 04 December 2013, 00:44
Gastonia, North...
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6. Re: Eleuthera or Exuma? Which do you prefer and why?

Some of the ORD US Air flights connect at my hometown airport, CLT so getting to Nassau in time to catch a flight to the Out Island the same day should not be a problem. I would avoid packing up/moving accommodations 3 times if I were you. Just my 2 cents.

chicago
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7. Re: Eleuthera or Exuma? Which do you prefer and why?

Jungledriver-tickets were already purchased before I even knew about the Out Islands. Maybe I'll just fly out the same day as you suggest....but there is that Junkanoo parade that day (26th) which we would like to see-and the other parade on the 1st is when we are leaving so we'll miss that one.

Nassau, New...
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8. Re: Eleuthera or Exuma? Which do you prefer and why?

I agree with not moving hotels 3 times in such a short stay. Two should be easy enough. Depending on your arrival time into Nassau, you should still be able to to catch a flight into Eleuthera the same day (yes, my best pick for a first timer) Choose either Harbour Island (fly into North Eleuthera) or Governors Harbour (fly into Governors Harbour) Both are easy to get around. Harbour Island has golf carts for rent, though the island is very walkable -- being only 3 miles long. Governors Harbour airport is around 9 miles north of town, and a rental car is ideal. Have a look at Pineapple Fields, which is a lovely place with restaurant choices, a lovely beach, and a mile outside of "downtown" Car rentals run around $60/day - more for jeeps/vans. Yes, the island is nearly 100 miles long, but no one said you needed to drive from one end to the other. Just enjoy the immediate area -- there is more than enough to do and see there.

Then come back to Nassa (it's a 20 minute flight from Eleuthera). and stay your 2 or 3 days there. If you stay at the British Colonial Hilton, you will not only be able to see the Atlantis fireworkds (for free!!), but you will also only be steps away from the New Years Junkanoo parade. It begins shortly after mifnight and runs into the morning hours of Jan 1st, so there's no reason to miss this -- unless you have a really early flight!

The Hilton is also downtown with all the shops and restaurants with easy access to Paradise Island, downtown and Cable Beach. It's around 30 - 40 minutes by taxi from the airport. And if you are already in Nassau the day of your flight back to ORD, then you have no worries about late flights coming in from the out islands. A whole lot less stressful.

chicago
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9. Re: Eleuthera or Exuma? Which do you prefer and why?

No flights from Nas to North Eleuthera or Governors Island on the day we are flying into NAS -on the only 2 airlines I know about Bahamas Air and Sky Bahamas. This puts us in a similar situation with allowing us to go straight to Georgetown.

Appreciate the detailed feedback Dusty-t.

Nassau, New...
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10. Re: Eleuthera or Exuma? Which do you prefer and why?

There are lots of daily flights from Nassau to Eleuthera. Have you looked at Pineapple Air and Southern Air? Both fly at least 3 daily flights to each airport, including later afternoon ones.