Rum Cay is 20 miles (32 km) southwest of San Salvador Island, has many rolling hills that rises to about 120 feet (37 m). Christopher Columbus called it Santa Maria de la Concepción. The island is believed to have acquired its modern name from a shipwrecked cargo of rum. The main settlement is Port Nelson.
Rum Cay had many name changes since its discovery and was first called Mamana by the Lucayan Indians, the cay was later renamed Santa María de la Concepción by Columbus and its present name Rum Cay is a result of a lone rum keg found by the Spanish settlers washed up on the shore. The current population of Rum Cay according to the latest census is approximately 57 people. The history of Rum Cay dates back from the Lucayan Indians before Columbus and the Spaniards discovered the islands. In the north, there is a cave containing Lucayan drawings and carvings along with various artifacts.
Getting to Rum Cay is easy. There are twice weekly scheduled flights from Nassau and charter flight services from Long Island and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Rum Cay is not one of the most popular of the Bahama islands, but plantation here is rich and boundaries known as ‘margins’ can be seen throughout the island, dating back from the beginning of the 19th century, the days of the Loyalists. The town of Port Nelson is where the majority of its inhabitants live and the islands day to day business is done. Although Rum Cay is small in size, locals and visitors to the island can enjoy its vibrant nightlife and various daily activities, namely, diving, fishing, watersports, the shark show at the marina and beachcombing.
Adventurous divers can still find the shaft, anchor chains and hawser holes of HMS Conqueror. It sank in 1861 and can still be found in 30 feet of water in a staghorn gully near the breaking reef.