At the time of its construction, locals went as far as to attempt to sabotage it. Now, they fight to maintain it in the condition it was made. Right by the coast, the lighthouse has turned Elbow Reef into a must-see tourist escape.

Elbow Reef Lighthouse went into operation in 1963. It was constructed by the British, and not well received by the locals. However, you can now find it on the ten-dollar bill of the Bahamas. It is now an iconic artifact of the region's past.

Built in Hope Town, the lighthouse is already surrounded by a beautiful setting. With beaches, restaurants on the water, and many small businesses catering to tourism, there is much to do at Elbow Reef Lighthouse.


The history of elbow reef lighthouse

The British Imperial Lighthouse Service commissioned eleven manned light stations in the Bahama Island chain. The Elbow Reef Lighthouse was one of them. It was not a popular venture for the locals, they even sank craft carrying supplies to the building site. Locals feared that it would endanger their wrecking business.

The Lighthouse was finally completed in 1863, and would eventually become an incredible draw for the community. It is now the last lighthouse in the world to remain hand-wound and kerosene burning. The local community has contributed quite a bit to keep it that way.

If you reach out to Elbow Reef Lighthouse before you plan your visit they can help schedule you a tour of the lighthouse. It is the last of its kind, making it truly a sight worth snagging some photos and memories with. There is also a gift shop on the premise for anyone looking to leave with a few touristy items.

  • Schedule - open Monday to Saturday, 9 am-5 pm. CLOSED SUNDAY.
  • Address - G2QQ+W52, Elbow Cay, Bahamas
  • Contact - Twitter, +1 (242)577-0542,

What to Do in surrounding Hope Town?

Hope Town Canvas

This shop opened in 2013 as a simple kitchen table set up to sell their handmade bags. In 2015 they built their shop and studio and now they sell their canvas bags internationally. Even if you’re not interested in one of their bags, it would be worth poking around their shop for a bit.

  • Address - Front Bay St, Abaco, Bahamas
  • Contact - +1 (242)577-1615
  • Online Store

Related: Bahama's 'Blue Holes' Are Too Risky Even For Skilled Divers

Froggies Out Island Adventures

Froggies is a full-service dive shop located in Hope Town on Elbow Cay. They do charter diving trips to some of the most iconic locations in the Bahamas.

  • Address - Front Bay St, Abaco, Bahamas
  • Contact - +1 (242)577-1615
  • Website

Abaco Paddleboards

Here you can rent stand-up paddleboards, surfboards, boogie boards, tubes, water skis, and wakeboards. They also offer Eco-tours, water sport beach picnics, beginner lessons, SUP fitness classes and SUP surf lessons, and normal surf lessons. They also sell new and used stand-up paddleboards and surfboards as well as custom boards designed for you.

  • Address - Hope Town, Elbow Cay
  • Contact - +1 242-475-0954,
  • Website

A Salt Weapon Sportfishing Charters

Here you partake in a full or half-day of sport fishing from Hope Town Harbor, Elbow Cay in the Bahamas. The boat leaves in the morning leaving the main dock at 8 AM. It then travels 20 minutes to the fishing spot. They use a combination of trolling or chumming, depending on what they're fishing for, to help ensure there is plenty of fish to catch. They’ll also clean your catch so you can take it home for dinner.

Related: Bahamas: Did You Know There Was Once A "Republic of Pirates"?

What to Eat in Hope Town?

On Da’ Beach

As the name says, it is On Da’ Beach. With plenty of live music and great food, One Da’s Beach is an excellent place to spend your evening with some food, fun, and perhaps a few drinks by the water’s side.

  • Address - Abaco, Bahamas, Hope Town Settlement, The Bahamas
  • Contact -
  • Cost - $$-$$$
  • Must-Try - The jerk chicken fingers, the veggie kabobs

Firefly Bar & Grill

As part of Firefly Resorts, the Firefly Bar & Grill is just a few steps to the white sandy beach. It is decorated with rich Brazilian wood and rustic island decor. The Bar & Grill is open for both lunch and dinner is popular with locals and visitors alike.

  • Address - On the Abaco Sea, Hope Town Elbow Cay
  • Contact - +1 (242)366-0145
  • Cost - $$-$$$
  • Must-Try -The tuna tacos and hogfish


A Caribbean American joint, primarily for its ice cream, Munchies also offers great food at a great value. If you want some quality local food at a great value then this is your stop. This is the perfect stop for the more budget-minded traveler.

  • Address - Hope Town Elbow Cay
  • Contact - Facebook
  • Cost - $
  • Must-Try - The grouper strips and coconut ice cream

Next: Here’s Everything You Shouldn’t Be Doing In The Bahamas