Hartford Cave

Useful Information

Location: Rum Cay, 3 km north of Port Nelson at the road to the airport. (23.679180, -74.831806)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: Free.
Classification: Speleologysea cave
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=6.1m
Guided tours: Local guides are advisable.
Photography: Allowed
Accessibility: Not wheelchair accessible
Bibliography: J. C. Maynard (1889): Some inscriptions found in Hartford Cave, Rum Key, Bahamas, Contributions to science, Vol. I(No. I), pp. 167-171.
Address: Administrator's Office, Rum Cay District Council, King Street, Port Nelson, RC, Tel: 242-331-2854. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1888 visited by naturalist and ornithologist Charles J. Maynard (*1845–✝1929).
1888 visited by botanical illustrator and writer Lady Edith Blake (*1845, ✝1928), wife of Sir Henry Arthur Blake, former governor of the Bahamas islands.


Hartford Cave is a protected historical site of The Bahamas. Between 600-1500 AD this cave was used by the ingenious Lucayan-Arawak Indians. It was rediscovered by Rum Cay residents, who collected bat guano as fertilizer. Sometimes they found archaeological remains like clay plates, cups, and bowls while digging.

The walls of the cave are decorated with petroglyphs. This cave is said to contain the largest number of such petroglyphs within The Bahamas. The most famous petroglyph was showing a canoe paddle, but it cannot be seen in the cave any more. It was extracted and is now in the New World Museum on San Salvador.