On our beautiful island, you can get immersed in rich culture and history; it’s the birthplace of our country’s traditions.
Untainted and unspoiled, there is much to be discovered on Cat Island. Named after the infamous pirate, Arthur Catt, the island runs deep with history and culture. Its 150 square miles of natural landscape offer every traveler a rich Bahamian experience. You’ll find the plot of land where Sir Sidney Poitier’s boyhood home once stood. You’ll also discover the birthplace of The Bahamas’ indigenous rake and scrape music, along with numerous myths and folklore that still hold a place in Bahamian culture today. The island is also home to one of the best climates in The Bahamas. Its location near the Tropic of Cancer means temperatures range from the mid-60s in the short winters to the high-80s in the summer, which make it perfect for getting out and exploring Cat Island’s untouched landscape and rich history.
Originally called "San Salvador" and thought to be the gateway to the New World, Cat Island was given its present name in 1926—reportedly for the pirate Arthur Catt (a friend of Blackbeard), who used to make frequent stops here.
Mt. Alvernia has the highest elevation in the country, at 206 feet above sea level. On the hill sits The Hermitage, a medieval monastery hand carved by Father Jerome out of rock, along with the steps leading up to it.
Academy Award winning actor, Sir Sidney Poitier, grew up on Cat Island, just outside of Arthur's Town. He became the first black person to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for Lilies of the Field in 1964.
Rake and Scrape, The Bahamas' indigenous music, is celebrated here with the Annual Rake & Scrape Festival. Music is made using recycled objects—a saw, a piece of wood, fishing line, a tin washtub and a goatskin drum.