Elbow Cay Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and safety tips for traveling to Elbow Cay in the Bahamas with this comprehensive guide.

Introduction to Elbow Cay

Elbow Cay is a small island in the Bahamas, specifically located in the Abaco Islands. It is a popular destination for travelers who are looking for a laid-back, picturesque vacation spot with outdoor activities, beautiful beaches, and historical landmarks. This guide will give you an overview of the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and helpful tips for traveling to Elbow Cay.

List of Places to Visit in Elbow Cay

Elbow Cay offers a variety of attractions from historical landmarks to beaches to outdoor activities. Here are some of the top places to visit on the island.

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Wyannie Malone Historical Museum: This museum showcases the history of the Abacos Islands and the settlement of Hope Town. Exhibits include photos, artifacts, and documents that provide insight into island life throughout the years.
  • Elbow Reef Lighthouse: This lighthouse is a landmark of Elbow Cay and is one of the last kerosene lighthouses in the world. It was built in 1863 and is still in operation. Visitors can climb to the top for panoramic views of the island.

Natural Attractions of Elbow Cay: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Tahiti Beach: This secluded beach on the southern tip of Elbow Cay offers crystal clear water, soft sand, and scenic views of the surrounding islands. It is accessible only by foot or boat.
  • Tilloo Bank: This large sandbar is a popular attraction for boaters. Visitors can anchor their boats and relax on the sandbar, or snorkel and kayak in the clear waters.
  • Hope Town Harbour: This picturesque harbor is a great spot to take photographs or grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants or bars.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Elbow Cay

While Elbow Cay is a small island, there are still several hiking and biking routes for visitors to explore. Here are some of the top routes:

  • Hope Town to White Sound: This route is a scenic path that takes visitors past the historic lighthouse and along the beach to White Sound.
  • Elbow Cay Trailway: This trail is a paved path that runs from the south end of Elbow Cay to the historic settlement of Hope Town.
  • The Abacos Trail: This 120-mile trail will take visitors through the Abacos Islands, including Elbow Cay. It is designed for hiking or mountain biking.

Best Things to Do in Elbow Cay: Activities and Tours

Elbow Cay offers a variety of activities and tours for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the top picks:

  • Snorkeling: Visitors can explore the coral reefs and colorful marine life around the island with one of the many snorkeling tours available.
  • Deep sea fishing: The waters around Elbow Cay are home to a variety of fish, including marlin, tuna, and sailfish. Visitors can book a fishing charter for a chance to reel in a big catch.
  • Island-hopping: Elbow Cay is part of the Abacos Islands, which means there are plenty of other islands to explore nearby. Visitors can book a tour to visit nearby islands like Man-O-War Cay or Great Guana Cay.

Week-Long Itinerary for Elbow Cay

For visitors who will be spending a week on Elbow Cay, here is a suggested itinerary:

Day Activity
Day 1 Explore Hope Town, visit the Wyannie Malone Historical Museum and climb the Elbow Reef Lighthouse
Day 2 Snorkeling tour to the nearby reefs
Day 3 Rent a boat and explore the nearby islands
Day 4 Relax on Tahiti Beach
Day 5 Deep-sea fishing charter
Day 6 Bike the Elbow Cay Trailway
Day 7 Visit Tilloo Bank and enjoy a picnic lunch on the sandbar

Food and Drink Scene of Elbow Cay

Elbow Cay has a variety of local restaurants and bars that offer fresh seafood and traditional Bahamian dishes.

Must-Try Dishes

  • Conch fritters: These fried fritters made from conch are a popular local dish.
  • Bahamian cracked conch: This dish is made from conch meat that is pounded until tender, breaded, and fried.
  • Bahamian-style lobster: The lobster is usually boiled or grilled and served with a variety of spices and sauces.

Local Beverages

  • Goombay Smash: This fruity cocktail is made with rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and coconut cream.
  • Bahama Mama: Another fruity cocktail made with rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and grenadine.

Where to Stay in Elbow Cay: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Elbow Cay has a variety of accommodation options ranging from luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses. Here are some options:

  • Hope Town Harbour Lodge: This beachfront resort offers ocean-view rooms, a restaurant, and a freshwater pool.
  • Sea Spray Resort & Marina: This resort is located on the beach and offers rooms and villas with ocean views, as well as a restaurant and a marina.
  • Hope Town Inn & Marina: This inn is located in the heart of Hope Town and offers a variety of rooms and suites, as well as a restaurant and marina.

What to Buy in Elbow Cay: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Visitors to Elbow Cay can find a variety of locally-made products and souvenirs to bring home. Here are some top picks:

  • Bahama Hand Prints: This shop sells clothing and accessories made from locally-designed fabrics.
  • Albury’s Sail Shop: This shop sells handcrafted bags and wallets made from sailcloth.
  • Abaco Ceramics: This shop sells pottery and ceramics made by local artists.

Local Culture and Customs of Elbow Cay

The Bahamas has a unique culture that blends African, European, and American influences. Bahamians are known for their friendly and welcoming nature, and visitors to Elbow Cay should respect local customs and traditions.

One of the most popular celebrations in the Bahamas is Junkanoo, a street parade that takes place on Boxing Day (December 26) and New Year’s Day. The parade features colorful costumes, music, and dancing.

Best Time to Visit Elbow Cay

The best time to visit Elbow Cay is between December and April, when the weather is mild and dry. The summer months can be hot and humid, with a greater chance of rain.

Do’s and Don’ts of Elbow Cay


  • Do respect local customs and traditions.
  • Do take sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • Do bring cash as some businesses do not accept credit cards.


  • Don’t litter on the beaches or in town.
  • Don’t touch or remove any marine life while snorkeling or scuba diving.
  • Don’t wear camouflage clothing, as it is prohibited in the Bahamas.

Safety and Health

Safety in Elbow Cay

Elbow Cay is a safe destination, but visitors should still take precautions to protect their personal belongings and themselves. Here are some safety tips:

  • Keep valuables in a safe place, like a locked hotel room.
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash or wear expensive jewelry in public.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone late at night.

Health in Elbow Cay

Visitors to Elbow Cay should take precautions to protect themselves from the sun and other health issues. Here are some tips:

  • Use sunscreen with a high SPF to protect skin from the sun.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes from the sun.
  • Drink bottled water to avoid stomach issues.

Getting to Elbow Cay: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Elbow Cay

The closest airport to Elbow Cay is the Marsh Harbour International Airport (MHH), which is located on Great Abaco Island. From there, visitors can take a ferry or water taxi to Elbow Cay.

Bus Stations Near Elbow Cay

There are no bus stations on Elbow Cay.

Other Options

Visitors to Elbow Cay can also arrive by private boat or yacht.

How to Get Around in Elbow Cay

The best way to get around Elbow Cay is on foot, by bike, or by boat. Taxis are also available for visitors who need to travel farther distances.

Where to Go Next from Elbow Cay: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Visitors to Elbow Cay can easily explore the other islands in the Abaco Islands, including Great Guana Cay, Man-O-War Cay, and Green Turtle Cay. These islands offer a variety of activities and attractions, from beaches to historical landmarks to outdoor adventures.


Elbow Cay is a picturesque destination that offers a variety of attractions, from historical landmarks to outdoor adventures to beautiful beaches. Visitors will enjoy exploring the island’s culture, cuisine, and natural beauty. Follow this guide to make the most of your trip to Elbow Cay!