You can take a hike from our quaint village to Hartford Cave, a must-visit site with ancient Arawak markings found nowhere else.
In the early days, Rum Cay was home to Arawak Indians. But by the start of the 16th century, after the arrival of Christopher Columbus, a majority of the Indians had left the island. Evidence, such as cave drawings, bowls and utensils, suggest that a small group of them lived in Hartford Cave before departing. By 1901, Rum Cay had five distinct settlements, with a majority of residents calling Port Nelson home. Today, Port Nelson is the only inhabited village remaining on the island. Tourism plays a significant role to the few island residents, who warmly welcome seafarers and other visitors during chance encounters and while socializing in their quaint restaurants and bars.
There are two theories regarding the origin of the island's name — one is that a West Indian ship was wrecked offshore with a cargo of rum during the rum-running 1800s; the other is that it was named in honor of Scotland's Isle of Rhum.
Rolling hills, miles of pure sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters with stunning coral reefs, and exhilarating surf on the north coast are among the multiplicity of unique offerings that make this island stand out from its sisters.
Formerly called "Mamana" by its original inhabitants, the Arawak Indians, Rum Cay was renamed "Santa Maria de la Concepción" by Christopher Columbus, who made his second stop here during his voyage to the New World in 1492.
The town's street signs were made in the shape of the island, the only place in The Bahamas where you will see that. There is also a square here named for The Bahamas' first Governor General, Sir Milo Butler, who was born on the island.