General Information about Eleuthera and The Bahamas

The Commonwealth of The Bahamas is a constitutional parliamentary democracy. The Bahamas gained independence on July 10, 1973 from the United Kingdom. While the country still recognizes the British Monarch as the head of state, the country is self-governing. The two main political parties are the Free National Movement (FNM) and the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).

Tourism employs, directly and indirectly, much of the Bahamian labor force. CEI and The Island School are built upon the grounds of the Cape Eleuthera Resort & Yacht Club, which closed its doors in the early 1980’s and has recently been rebuilt. The new resort is located a mile down the road from our campus.

Eleuthera is categorized as a Bahamian 'Out Island.' The name 'Eleuthera' comes from the Greek word for freedom, aptly named by the first European settlers. Eleuthera lies along the outer boundary of the Caribbean Sea, a gateway to the vast ocean that reaches east to Africa. The Island School is ideally situated to understand, serve, and explore this land and sea frontier. Cape Eleuthera is 210 miles (a 60 minute flight) from Miami, Florida.

Eleuthera by the numbers

  • Population: 8,114 (Preliminary statistics 2000 Census of Population and Housing)
  • Area: 200 sq. miles
  • Highest Point: 190 feet
  • Size: 110 miles long, 2.5 miles at widest points.

Getting to Cape Eleuthera


United States travelers to The Bahamas do not require a Visa, but all visitors must have a valid passport in order to enter the country. Visitors from outside the United States should check with Karen Knight if a visa is required. All participants will enter the country as students at the Cape Eleuthera Institute / The Island School on Cape Eleuthera. Your names will have been pre-authorized for entry by local immigration.


There are several ways you can travel to the Cape Eleuthera Institute. We strongly recommend, and only support transportation to and from Rock Sound Airport (airport code RSD). Rock Sound is the southern-most airport on Eleuthera and is closest to the Cape Eleuthera Institute. Once you have arranged travel to Rock Sound, we will arrange for a pickup at the airport and transport to CEI.

To get to Rock Sound, we recommend flying with any commercial carrier from the U.S. or Canada into Nassau International Airport then transferring for a domestic flight into Rock Sound, Eleuthera (about a 25 minute trip) through one of the following airlines:


Bahamas Air 

Southern Air (smaller plane) 

Pineapple Air (smaller plane) 

Rock Sound to Nassau

7:40 AM, 4:45 PM

7:35 AM, 12:35 PM, 4:35 PM

7:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 4:00 PM

Nassau to Rock Sound

7:00 AM, 4:00 PM

7:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM

7:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 3:30 PM

Be sure to check to make sure you allow ample time to clear customs and immigration in Nassau before your flight to Rock Sound leaves – we recommend 2 hours minimum. Please note that when making travel arrangements, we can only accommodate you for the actual dates of your course. While we would like to accommodate people for longer, our schedule and facilities do not allow this opportunity. Please also note that we will NOT be able to arrange an airport pickup from either Governor’s Harbour or North Eleuthera airports – Rock Sound will be our only pickup. If you do arrive into Governor’s Harbour or North Eleuthera Airport please be aware that the cost of a taxi one way from the airport to the Institute ranges from $100-250.

You are encouraged to travel with a cell phone in case you run into any difficulties during the trip. Below are important numbers to call if you need assistance while in transit:

  • Island School Bahamas Office: (242) 334-8551 or (609) 945-2322
  • Island School Boston Office: (609) 620-6054
  • Cape Eleuthera Institute: (242) 334-8552
  • Deep Creek Middle School: (242) 334-8414
  • IS Emergency Line: (242) 470-8053

Additional Information and Forms

For additional information and forms for visiting programs and scientists please see the links below. When contacting the Cape Eleuthera Institute about a visiting course, please email Karen Knight at

Once you have scheduled your visit to the Cape Eleuthera Institute or Island School, all guests must return the Medical History and Liability Release form at least two weeks before arrival. This form can be returned to us by fax at 954.252.2440 or by email to Karen Knight. The SCUBA form only needs to be filled out if you are a certified diver and planning on SCUBA diving while at the Cape Eleuthera Institute or Island School. If your itinerary includes discover SCUBA (an introduction to SCUBA diving that does not include certification) please fill out the Discover SCUBA form.