The Bahamas has a lot of great islands very few people know about because it also offers many beautiful islands that are already popular for tourists and celebrities.
One remote island that you must consider visiting at least once is the Ragged Island Bahamas.
Located in the southern chain of islets in the Bahamas, it is a tiny island that is almost completely off the grid.
It has a small population and is well-known for its countless beautiful beaches.
There’s a lot to know before you head to this tiny island, so let's learn more about it so that you can plan your itinerary.
Ragged Island Bahamas
The Ragged Island is a small 5,500-acre island located in the southern Bahamas.
It is part of the Jumentos Cays and Ragged Island Chain.
Ragged Island is one of the smallest inhabited islands in the Bahamas archipelago. At present, it only has a population of 72.
It is a crescent-shaped island measuring 110 miles in length and includes cays like Double-Breasted Cay, Hog Cay, and Raccoon Cay.
Ragged Island is a quiet, hilly, and serene area and isn’t as rough as its name suggests.
It is a haven for fishers with its unparalleled flats, making it ideal for bonefishing.
In fact, on any given day, you will likely catch multiple fish species like barracuda, tuna, snapper, and kingfish.
All the beaches of this island are mostly unexplored. Plus, the coves are perfect for relaxing, combing for shells, and picnicking.
This is a must-visit island for those keen to explore historical landmarks, buy authentic handmade Bahamian crafts, and visit quaint towns.
What Is the Main Settlement of Ragged Island?
Very little is known about this island’s history other than the main settlement of Great Ragged Island was named the Duncan Town.
This was named after its founder, who was well-known for developing Ragged Island’s salt industry.
What Is Ragged Island Known For?
Ragged Island was believed to be a pirate safe house several years ago.
That is because of its caves and rocks that offer brilliant hideaways.
The Blackbeard’s Well and Blackbeard’s Bay signifies that the pirates may have established their headquarters here.
Most especially near the well because of its unique location.
How Do You Reach Ragged Islands?
Even though remotely located, the Ragged Island is easily accessible because it has a small airstrip located at the Duncan Town Airport.
You can arrange for charter air service through any certified local and international carriers via the Exumas, Nassau, or the Long Island.
That said, the primary mode of transport to get into this island is by a weekly mailboat into Duncan Town from Nassau.
Places To Visit
Ragged Island is a small island, so you would think there’s nothing much to explore here.
Let us tell you right away that that’s not the case at all!
In fact, there is quite a bit of attraction, and you can easily spend a few days discovering them.
Some of the most popular ones are:
1. Hog Cay Beach
This beach is located just north of the mainland Ragged Island. The beach is known for its breathtakingly beautiful shores, which have welcomed boaters for years.
If you are here during Valentine’s Day, you will truly enjoy being on this beach, as all the islanders, along with visiting yachters gather here for a daylong celebration for the annual Valentine’s weekend party.
On any day, you may find the locals or some tourists picnicking during their off-days or on special occasions.
The Hog Cay Beach is the perfect spot for those who want to birdwatch, have romantic picnics, and have bonfires at sunset.
That is because the beach is almost always empty.
You will also find the Maxine’s Beach Party Shack, which is an excellent place for drinks and food.
2. Pigeon Cay Memorial
Pigeon Cay is visible off the Ragged Island coast and near Gun Point.
The memorial cross was constructed to honor Henry Norris Churton, the Bishop of Nassau who died at sea back on the 20th of January 1904 when his boat capsized.
The Pigeon Cay Memorial is a great spot for sightseeing and capturing photos.
3. Little Ragged Island Beach
The Little Ragged Island Beach is privately owned, but no one actually lives here, nor is it frequently visited by the locals.
That said, the beach is open to boaters and ideal for swimming, beach-combing, and birdwatching.
4. Man-O-War Tower
The Man-O-War Tower is located on the island’s highest point.
It is about ¾ miles from Duncan Town in the southeast and on the same side as the salt ponds.
There is a light in the Man-O-War Tower that guides boaters coming into the island from the east.
However, it was initially used to illuminate the well fields around the holding tanks, which were a part of Ragged Island’s old water system.
You will also find concrete circular stairs on the outside of the tower.
These stairs will lead you up to the scenic point, offering a panoramic view of almost all of the island.
There is also a plaque constructed at the stairway's foot to honor local men who died at sea.
While the Man-O-War Tower is only accessible through a hiking trail from the street, it is still worth the trip.
5. Holy Innocence Anglican Church
The original church was built back on February 24th, 1904, under the rectorship of Father Floyd and was consecrated by Henry Norris Churton.
It is part of the Southern Archdeaconry in the Parish of Saint Andrew, George Town, Exuma.
The Holy Innocence Anglican Church was rebuilt, and the new structure was consecrated on February 11th, 1990.
If you’re on the Ragged Island during Christmas, be sure to participate in the Patronal Festival held every 28th of December.
Otherwise, you can take part in the Sunday Worship Services held at 11:00 AM.
Where To Eat
A handful of restaurants on this island serve local cuisine and drinks, so you will not run out of options!
Two of the places we highly recommend include:
1. Sheila’s Fisherman’s Lounge Restaurant & Bar
You will find a wide range of local cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with desserts available occasionally in this restaurant.
Just keep in mind that you must order in advance.
Upon request, you can also use this restaurant for a private party.
This is a popular nightspot on this island, too. That's because locals gather here to celebrate on holidays and mailboat days.
The Sheila’s Fisherman’s Lounge Restaurant & Bar is also a perfect spot for a game of pool or to dance to disco music.
Be sure to carry cash, though, since they don’t accept cards.
2. Ponderosa Bar & Restaurant
This restaurant also serves a variety of local dishes and drinks.
It is a great spot to enjoy friendly games like dominoes.
Where To Stay
There aren’t any hotels or resorts on this little island because it is quite remote with very few residents and even fewer tourists.
That said, there are homestays around the island where you can stay for your visit.
Make sure to call in advance to book your stay.
A Short Getaway
The Ragged Island Bahamas is undoubtedly one of the ideal vacation spots if you want to travel alone or as a couple.
That is especially if you are looking for some peace and wanting to be away from the more populated islands' hustle and bustle.
This small island is perfect for spending a day or two, for sightseeing and experiencing the local cuisine.
We are sure that you will appreciate this island as much as we did!