Spanish Wells

Spanish Wells is one of the districts of the Bahamas.

District of Spanish Wells
Welcome sign in Spanish Wells
Welcome sign in Spanish Wells
Spanish Wells in Bahamas (zoom).svg
Coordinates: 25°32′45″N 76°45′40″W / 25.54583°N 76.76111°W / 25.54583; -76.76111Coordinates: 25°32′45″N 76°45′40″W / 25.54583°N 76.76111°W / 25.54583; -76.76111
Country Bahamas
IslandSt. George's Cay
 • TypeDistrict Council
 • Chief CouncillorRobert Roberts
 • Total1,551
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Area code(s)242

Spanish Wells is a small town on the island of St. George's Cay [1] 610 m (2,000 ft) wide by 2,860 m (9,380 ft) long, located approximately 500 m (1,600 ft) off the northern tip of Eleuthera island. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 1,551 residents.[2] Spanish Wells is extended, however, by a bridge that links it to neighboring Russell Island, which is 5.8 km (3.6 mi) long and has become an integral part of the community.[3] Spanish Wells is so small that many residents get around the island using golf carts instead of full-sized cars. Spanish Wells is known for its white powdery beaches, tropical breezes, laid back atmospheres and friendly people. [4]


Historically, the island was used as a last stop for Spanish ships returning to Europe, where these ships refilled their water supply from wells created for this purpose - thus the English name of the settlement: Spanish Wells. The first British colonists were the Eleutheran adventurers from Bermuda (intending to be some of the first settlers of Eleuthera), who suffered shipwreck on a reef, known as the "Devil's Backbone" off Eleuthera in 1647. After living in a cave known as "Preacher's Cave" on Eleuthera, they ended up at Spanish Wells. Among other, later, groups of settlers were Crown loyalists, who left the United States after the American Revolutionary War.

The area suffered extensive property damage during a direct hit from Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Floyd in 1999.


Currently, (2006) Spanish Wells is a centre for lobster fishing and tourism in the Bahamas. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Spanish Wells served as a transhipment point for illicit recreational drugs being shipped from South America to North America.


  • Everild Young, Eleuthera the island called Freedom, Regency Press (London, 1969)