Transportation Options for Rum Cay

You'll have to do your homework when it comes to transportation on Rum Cay

The smaller, less populated sister to San Salvador, Rum Cay is located 20 miles southwest of the larger island. Although the island is known for offering the authentic Bahamian experience complete with crystal-clear waters, a thriving reef, and ample opportunity for fishing, this island is one of the much lesser known amongst tourists. Because of this, planning how you'll get to the island can take some doing, so it is advised that you start looking into transportation options as soon as you decide to visit.

Getting There

Due to the lack of an international airport or a port of entry on the island, there is no way to directly and legally get to Rum Cay from outside of the Bahamas. Still, the extra steps you have to take along the way, whether you plan to fly or sail are worth it in the end.

A Note on Land Transportation on Rum Cay

Transportation on Rum Cay is limited to getting around on foot or by driving golf carts which can be reserved at the Sumner Point Marina. Just as is the care for renting a car in the Bahamas, when you rent a golf cart you'll need to be 21, have a valid driver's license, and be prepared to drive on the left side of the road rather than the right. There is one taxi driver on the island who can usually be found at the airport, near the marina, and driving around the main parts of town. This is George's Taxi Service, and can be contacted at 242-331-2809 or 242-479-0017.

Air Travel

In 2004, the Port Nelson Airfield (RCY) was given an upgrade, and now has an airstrip that measures 4,501 feet long and is made of asphalt. Still the building that accompanies this strip is limited, with not so much as a restroom or a telephone inside. Flights are available here by private charter from license local and international carriers, as well as from domestic airlines from the New Providence Island on New Providence Island. This means tourists visiting from international locations will have to fly commercial to New Providence Island then transfer to a smaller plane.


...easy-to-navigate channel...


If you're planning to sail to Rum Cay, you'll first have to make a stop at an official port of entry to clear customs since there is not one on Rum Cay. The nearest two are on Long Island or San Salvador, but over 30 more exist throughout the island chain. Whichever port you choose, call ahead over VHF Channel 16 to let them know you're arrival is pending, then fly your yellow quarantine flag to show you have yet to clear customs. An official will meet you when you dock and walk you through the process, which will include a review of the boat's paperwork, a possible inspection of the ship's stores, and the processing of immigration paperwork for everyone aboard. The cost for a combo cruising and fishing permit, plus departure fee is between $150 and $300 depending on the size of your boat. This covers five people for 90 days. Once all of the legislative business is taken care of, you can sail to Rum Cay through the easy-to-navigate channel which leads to Summer Point Marina in Port Nelson, the only full-service marina on the island. For more information, you can contact them at 242-331-2862.


If you're hoping to get in a little island hopping during your stay, the government-run Mail Boat system is a good – though time consuming – way to do so. The Mail Boats travel throughout the Bahamas dropping off mail and freight, but also has space for passenger transport as well. The ferries leave every day from Potter's Cay in Nassau on New Providence Island, and one of them, the MV Lady Francis travels to Rum Cay. The ferry leaves Potter's Cay on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. and takes 12 hours to get to Rum Cay with stops also in San Salvador, the Exuma Cays, Barraterre, Staniel Cay, Black Point, Farmer's Cay, and Highbourn's Cay. The return trip leaves Rum Cay at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and it costs $40(USD) each way.

A trip to Rum Cay means quiet and seclusion while you enjoy all the things typical of a Bahamian adventure, but it takes some work to accomplish this. Begin your planning as early as possible to ensure you can reserve everything that is important to making your getaway memorable, including transportation.


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