Over Valentines Week, my boyfriend and I ditched the cold Indiana weather in favor of a few days on the beach. We were looking for a quieter island with great nature and fewer tourists. Having started our accommodation search just weeks before our trip we were fairly limited on options. A combination of criteria for islands and available and affordable accommodations led us to settle on the island of Eleuthera.
This narrow island stretches 90 miles from north to south, and spare the northern and southern tips, is rarely wider than three miles at any point. February boasts the coldest water temperatures you’ll find in the Caribbean islands throughout the year. We had a wonderful and relaxing time and found the island to be absolutely beautiful.
However, it was NOT inexpensive – at least from our experiences. To give you an idea of what to expect for prices should you want to visit Eleuthera yourself, here’s a detailed expense breakdown of what we spent over six days.
Travel – $1537
$777 – Indianapolis to Nassau flights RT (2 people)
$356 – Nassau to Eleuthera flights RT (2 people)
Indianapolis doesn’t have any direct flights into the Bahamas, so we flew through Newark, New Jersey, on the way into Nassau. From there, we took a separate flight onto Eleuthera, as there aren’t really any water ferries like you’ll typically find in other island groups.
$320 – Rental SUV for 5 days
$25 – Gas
$25 – Nassau airport to hotel
$34 – Hotel to Nassau airport
Accommodations – $662
$534 – Eleuthera Hotel for 4 nights
$128 – Nassau Hotel for 1 night
Food & Drinks – $1,047
DAY ONE – $174
$13 – Bagels & coffee
$23 – Jerk chicken lunches
$5 – Rum
$13 – Juice & toothpaste
$120 – Dinner & drinks (2 each)
DAY TWO – $168
$71 – Lunch @ Tippy’s, two beers
$27 – Snacks
$70 – Dinner @ Fishbone
DAY THREE – $199
$47 – Breakfast
$94 – Lunch
$8 – Rum & chaser
$50 – Dinner
DAY FOUR – $383
$41 – Breakfast
$8 – Chicken – two lunches
$25 – Booze
$309 – Valentine’s Dinner
DAY FIVE – $64
$43 – Breakfast
$17 – Dinner
$4 – Snacks
DAY SIX – $59
$14 – Dunkin Donuts
$30 – Ramen
$15 – Subway
Attractions – $90
$20 – Leon Levy Nature Preserve
$70 – Harbour Island Day Trip
- $50 – golf cart for day
- $20 – water taxi to & from island ($5 p/p each way)
Miscellaneous – $54
$54 – Airport Parking
$0 – Pet Care (luckily our parents watched our cat, Lil Spooks, for free).
We did not make much of an effort to budget here once we arrived. Short of the flights, for which we felt we got a pretty decent deal, everything got more expensive from there and we just kind of went with it trying to enjoy ourselves.
We purchased about 2 drinks per dinner, including a special bottle of wine on Valentines day and a bottle or two of rum. You could definitely save some money by cutting out the booze at restaurants!
We also ate out for almost every meal and didn’t try to get the cheapest items, necessarily. There were few options for snacks and being an island, whatever isn’t native grown is imported with inflated costs. Bring some granola bars or snacks of your own to keep the edge off and save some money on eating out. Otherwise, keep an eye out for the local restaurant shacks. We found meals for $4-5 USD rather than $15-20 as you’ll find in most of the popular restaurants. (One place we paid $11 and $15 for veggie & steak quesadillas respectively.)
I’d also note that I am transitioning to a vegan diet and found that fairly hard to accommodate on the island. Our hotel offered some fruit plates and grits, but otherwise most substantial meals included dairy, meat, or seafood. Plan ahead if you have strict dietary restrictions.
Finally, we enjoyed our time on Harbour Island and had fun riding the golf cart around. That said, we thought it was easy enough to walk the half mile to from one end of the island to the other (maybe one mile at its longest). If you want to cut some more out of your budget, skip the golf cart.
This is not probably a great location for people on a strict budget or who prefer cheaper destinations. If money isn’t an issue for you or you are looking for a splurge like we were, then I’d really recommend Eleuthera for a romantic getaway!