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Rum Cay


Sleepy, peaceful Rum Cay hides the secrets of its past in ancient petroglyphs, bowls, plates, and utensils found in Hartford Cave ̶̶ evidence that Lucayan-Arawak Indians lived here. In its heyday, the island had five settlements and around 529 residents; Port Nelson is the only inhabited town today, with less than 100 persons. Past industries producing cotton, pineapple, salt, and sisal from the land have given way to reaping bounty from the sea. Tourism draws divers, fishermen, and snorkelers to the island’s sparkling clear blue water and numerous colorful reefs.

Ancient Petroglyphs in Hartford Cave - near Port Nelson, Rum Cay – Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

Quick Facts

Area: 34 sq. miles (incl Conception Island)
Population: 50 persons
Highest Point: 130 feet
Location: approximately 283 miles southeast of New Providence
Origin of the Name: "Mamana" was what the original inhabitants called their home. The island was renamed "Santa Maria de la Concepción” by Christopher Columbus, who reportedly made his second stop here on his voyage to the New World in 1492. The current name might either be due to the cargo from a shipwreck during the rum-running days of the 1800's, or a reference to the Isle of Rhum in Scotland.

Nearby Places