For some reason San Salvador holds the most mysterious allure for my own travel yearnings. The island is one of the smallest of the main islands but has one of the best runway and airport facilities in the Bahamas.
Upon exiting the airport you expect rows of hotels and droves of tourists on the outside but in fact it is a much different world filled with historical significance and natural beauty. There is only one major hotel, a couple of small resorts and numerous rental homes.
Maybe the allure is the fact that Columbus first landed here in 1492 when he discovered the new world. Perhaps it is the history of the Lucayan and Arawak Indians and the numerous archaeological sites scattered around the island. Or, the pirates that patrolled these waters and the treasures they may have buried on the many beaches and coves around the island.
You don't have to explore very far to find the real treasures that blossom throughout San Salvador because the island can be casually driven around in half a day. For the more attentive traveler, it can take much longer to discover the hidden treasures above and below the sea.
The Dixon Hill Lighthouse is a beautiful national monument built in 1887 on the land of a former plantation owner. Watlings Castle sits high atop Columbus Landings in the southern part of the island with an advantageous view of passing boats. The New World Museum and numerous monuments paying homage to the 500-year anniversary of Columbus Landfall will spark the imagination.
For divers, the drop-off wall starts at 50 feet and there are unlimited dives and wrecks to explore. Captain Bruce is the island professional for the best diving and fishing experiences, or you can rent a scooter from Keith just outside the airport's arrival lounge and explore with a guide, or on your own.