Christopher Columbus’ landfall, The Bahamas’ first plantation, and Dixon Hill Lighthouse make this our most historic island.
Originally called Guanahani by the Lucayan Indians, the island was renamed San Salvador by Christopher Columbus, which means Holy Saviour. It’s actually the exposed peak of a submerged mountain that rises 15,000 feet from the ocean’s floor. It has one of the most unique-looking landscapes in The Bahamas. The land is full of undulating hills, beautiful beaches, numerous salt water lakes, and amazing reefs that surround the greater part of the island. Plus, there are a few substantial plantation ruins that are important reminders of the island's Loyalist past — Watling's Castle at Sandy Point and Fortune Hill Plantation at Fortune Hill. Just over 1,000 people call San Salvador home. They’re descendants of slaves brought to the island by British Loyalists. Today, these San Salvadorans provide visitors with tourism activities such as fishing, diving, sailing and guided tours.
This lake in the middle of San Salvador has been designated a protected area to preserve its natural pristine wonder. The lake stretches the entire length of the island at 10 miles long and 2 miles wide and connects all of the island's major settlements.
San Salvador is renowned for great diving, with more than 50 dive sites on the island's lee side, including ruins and shipwrecks. Unusual ones are Devil's Claw and Vicky's Reef, with stingrays and sharks; and French Bay, with Elkhorn and staghorn coral.
Formerly known as the Bahamian Field Station, this educational and research institution is located on an old US Navy base. The Centre has been studying the island's Archaeology, Biology, Geology, and Marine Science for over 30 years.
Christopher Columbus reportedly made his first landfall at Long Bay, San Salvador on October 12, 1492, during his historic voyage to the New World. A big stone cross now stands on the spot and it is the most photographed site on the island.