Harbour Island is most renowned for its Pink Sand Beach, located along its eastern Atlantic Ocean side, and considered one of the very best beaches in The Islands of The Bahamas. Its pale pink sand stretches for some three plus miles and is 50 to 100 feet wide. The island's beach was featured in The Travel Channel's World's Best Beaches segment in March 2005. Named Best Sand Beach, Harbour Island was one of 10 beaches worldwide to be included in this program.
The pink color of the sand comes from microscopic coral insects, known as Foraminifera, which have a bright pink or red shell full of holes through which it extends a footing, called pseudopodia, that it uses to attach itself and feed. Foraminifera are among the most abundant single cell organisms in the ocean and play a significant role in the environment. These animals live on the underside of reefs, like the nearby Devil's Backbone, on the sea floors, beneath rocks and in caves. After the insect dies, the wave action crushes the bodies and washes the remains ashore and mixes it in with the sand and bits of coral. The pink stands out more in the wet sand at the water's edge. Unlike other parts of the world, the sand here is always cool, so you can walk about freely with bare feet.
Snorkeling and swimming are made safe and easy by outlying reefs, which provide large areas of relatively calm and shallow waters. Horseback riding on Pink Sands Beach is a popular activity for honeymooners.