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San Salvador in the Bahamas

San Salvador, Bahamas
San Salvador is the Out Island in the Bahamas were Christopher Columbus set the first time land in the Bahamas and America. Three monuments on the island commemorate Columbus arrival and the 500th anniversary event was officially celebrated on San Salvador.

Learn more about Christopher Columbus on the Bahamas history web page.

This San Salvador travel guide provides you with information about the islands and the major resort on the island Club Med.

The island is about 12 miles long and 5 miles wide along the lake-filled portion of its interior. The Queen's Highway forms an oval that skirts the coastline alongside some of the most dazzling deserted beaches in the Caribbean.

Most visitors come for the peaceful isolation and the diving. There about 1000 residents and over 50 dive sites. There's also good offshore fishing and bonefishing.

San Salvador is well connected by flight, so it is easy to travel to the island. There are flights from Miami at the weekend by American Eagle and three days a week by Bahamasair. Bahamasair offers daily flights from Nassau and Spirit Airlines flies from Ft Lauderdale on Saturday only. Club Med has packages that include air charters from Europe.

The mailboat go once a week from Nassau to San Salvador and return a few days later. The trip takes 12 hours.

Columbus Cross, San Salvador
Fernandez Bay is the first anchor place of Columbus. the Bay is close to the main settlement of Cockburn Town. A cross in the Bay points to the landing place and an underwater monument marks the place of the anchorage.

A few miles north of Cockburn Town lies Riding Rock Point. The area is now home to the two major resorts on San Salvador Riding Rock Resort and Club Med Columbus Isle.

A couple of miles south of Graham's Harbour is the Dixon Hill Lighthouse. Built around 1856, it's still hand-operated. A climb on the top of the lighthouse offers a fabulous view of the island, which includes a series of inland lakes. If you knock on the door the keeper will let you in and he will take you up to the top. Don't forget the tip when leaving.

No roads lead to the Columbus Monument on Crab Cay. You have to make your own way along a bushy path.

On the way along the east coast you pass several small villages and ruins of plantations. The deserted white-sand beaches along the way are some of the most spectacular of the island.

When travelling to the south end of the island, you reach Sandy Point. On a hill, you will find the ruins of Watling's Castle, named after the 17th century pirate. The ruins are more like a plantation than a castle from buccaneering days.

There are several good diving spots around the waters of San Salvador. Doolittle's Grotto is a popular site featuring a sandy slope down to 140 feet. There are lots of tunnels and crevices for exploring and usually lots of fish for company.

The site Double Caves has two parallel caves leading out to a wall with lot's of fish activity. North Pole Cave has a wall that drops sharply from 40 feet to more than 150 feet. Coral growth is extensive on this site and you might see hammerhead sharks. Telephone Pole is a stimulating wall dive where you can watch stingrays, grouper, snapper and turtles.

You find more information about great diving spots in the Bahamas on the Bahamas Diving web page.

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