Hatchet Bay Cave Hatchet-bay-cave, North-eleuthera, Bahamas

Once believed to be home to pirates, Hatchet Bay Cave is the most extensive known cave system on Eleuthera.

In November 1874, Harper’s Monthly magazine called this system “a cave extending 1100 feet under-ground enriched by stalactites of a brilliant brown hue. It is really worth visiting.” Spanning at least three levels and at least two exits, separated by 1/5 mile on the surface with over a mile of twisting, turning passages, this cave system has never been completely charted. Despite the numerous passages, however, most adulkt-sized people have limited opportunities to go astray as the direct path between the two entrances is fairly straightforward.

This cave is long and dark and there are bats inside the entrance, so be careful not to point your flashlight up because you’ll need it to lead the way for your feet. There is a small ladder to climb down near the entrance and to reach the lowest level there is another ladder, although we didn’t do that area since we it was not low tide and we didn’t want to wade through the water. After crawling under a low rock at the exit you can use a rope ladder to climb out and walk back to your car. The formations inside are very cool and the footing wasn’t bad, just a little slick in wet areas, but we all made it from ages 3 to 79. The exit was really the only place where you needed to crawl and you could opt to just turn around instead.

Near here is a pond that allowed us to snorkel with sea horses. If you park pointed toward the cave sign then the pathway to the pond is behind your vehicle.

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