Cat Island Landmarks and Attractions
Cat Island is rich with historical landmarks and natural attractions.
While Cat Island has superb diving off its south shore where there is an abundance of caves and coral canyons to traverse, remote Cat Island is hardly touched by tourism, let alone commercialism. For those who want a sense of true African-Bahamian culture however, Cat Island is the perfect Out Island vacation destination. Cat Island is perfect for those travelers looking to discover their own way off the beaten path and who do not need a site-seeing map to historical places, because there isn’t going to be a packaged tour guide here. Outsiders are few, making this island the perfect destination for quiet soul searching seclusion. The natural beauty of its rose colored beaches and dramatic cliffs add to its charm. Most of the historical landmarks are churches, plantation ruins and old buildings.
Eat a hearty breakfast then hike up the stone staircase of 206ft Como Hill to Mt. Alvernia Hermitage on Mount Alvernia, the highest point in The Bahamas. This small stone monastery built by hand by the architect hermit, Father Jerome, is at the peak and is worth the trek up this steep rocking incline, as well as the awe inspiring view.
Just south of the Hermitage are the ruins of Armbrister Plantation.
Armbrister Creek flows into a clear lake called “Boiling Point” or “Boiling Hole” whose tidal conditions cause bubbles and burps, the conditions which lead to folklore of a sea monster below its surface. Today, this is a great spot to spy rays and baby sharks and numerous birds that nest along its mangrove fringe.
Located in Bain Town is another lake. This 65ft wide 10 ft deep lake called Mermaid Hole is where many believe a Mermaid lives amongst the 4 bed holes within that lead to underground caverns and passageways.
The monster said to live in Big Blue Hole located near Orange Creek, just off of Dickies Road is said to devour horses. This deep blue hole has strong undersea currents that flow through its caverns linking to the sea, where many objects like dead farm animals tossed into the lake ended up. This folklore still scares local fisherman from venturing too far in this freshwater lake.
Dickie’s Road goes east to Griffin Bat Cave, once a hideout for slaves.
Sitting atop a ridge along side the road in the settlement of Old Bight is St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church another beautifully crafted legacy built by Father Jerome, with amazing frescos, engravings and sculptures. To get a look inside see Mrs. Burrow’s, a local woman in the house across the street to let you in.
In the Port Howe area of Cat Island, see the ruins of an 18th-century plantation at Deveaux House mansion. In its glory days it was given to Colonel Andrew Deveaux in 1783 for protecting Nassau from Spanish invasion and occupation.
Learn about the island’s history at Columbus World Centre Museum in Knowles, or visit the childhood home of Sir Sidney Poitier, Academy Award winner, in South Bight.