About 130 miles southeast of Nassau and Paradise Island near the Tropic of Cancer lies Cat Island. There are only a few towns on the island; the largest ones are Arthur’s Town, Orange Creek and Port Howe. The entire island is somewhat hook-shaped and is only 48 miles long and between 2 to 4 miles wide. Cat Island also happens to be the sixth largest island too – and like all the other islands of the Bahamas, it is surrounded by gorgeous secluded beaches.
This island’s distinct virtue is that it is home to the highest point in the Bahamas – Mount Alvernia – an astounding 206 feet (63 meters) above sea level. On it’s peak is a monastery called The Hermitage, built by Monsignor Jerome Hawkes, who came to The Bahamas as an Architect and an Anglican priest to repair Anglican churches on Long Island.
Cat Island is most probably named for the pirate, Arthur Catt. This 18th-century pirate supposedly came to the island repeatedly to hide his treasure. One alternative theory claims that 18th-century English settlers on the island were astounded by a large number of wild cats, presumably descended from those left behind by earlier Spanish explorers. Some also say that the island resembles a cat when seen from the air.
The amazing and spectacular beaches, caves, ruins and coral reefs are unspoiled by modernization, and provide a unique vacation for those who want to get away in a private, relaxing, laid-back environment.