Known as the most scenic island in the Bahamas, Long Island is 80 miles of untouched beauty. Situated about 164 m southeast of Nassau, and with the Tropic of Cancer running through the northern quarter of the island, Long Island offers a variety of natural, and manmade sites each highlighting in their own way the rich history found on this beautiful island.
The northeast side of Long Island is noted for its steep rocky headlands, while the southwest coast is noted for its broad white beaches with soft sand. The terrain ranges widely throughout the island, including white flat expanses from which salt is extracted, swamplands, beaches, and sloping hills. Long Island is particularly noted for its caves, which have played a major role in the island’s history. Dean’s Blue Hole, located west of Clarence Town, is the world’s deepest underwater blue hole, dropping to a depth of 663ft, making it more than double the depth of most other large holes.
Long Island was originally called by the Arawak name “Yuma”, meaning “Long Island”. It was rechristened “Fernandina” by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage in 1492, during which Long Island is believed to have been his third stop, following San Salvador and Rum Cay to the east. Archaeological evidence, including ceremonial stools called duhos, shows that the Lucayan Taíno tribe settled on Long Island, probably in the island’s cave system. After the demise of the Lucayans, who were carried as slaves to Hispaniola and Cuba, there was no large settlement until the arrival of the Loyalists.
The original Loyalists were mainly from New England and New Jersey and arrived on Long Island after fleeing the American Revolution. These families started the first farms, primarily raising cattle and sheep. By the 1790s, settlers began to arrive from the Carolinas and proceeded to set up cotton plantations. The plantations flourished for only a few years and, by the time of the abolition of slavery in 1834, most had collapsed and been abandoned. There are many ruins from this era today, the majority of which are overgrown by bush.
On a Bahamas Revisited excursion you can expect to see the following:
- Deans Blue Hole
- Hamilton Caves
- Stella Marris Cave
- Hand Cut Canals
- Historic Churches
- Gordon’s Beach
- Columbus Monument
- Grays Pond
- Adderley’s Plantation
- Local Farm w/ Goats.