Visit The Abaco Islands
This is actually a 120-mile long island chain located in the northern Bahamas and is about 180 miles east of Miami, Florida. The mainlands of this island chain comprises of the two islands Great Abaco (which forms the central and southern Abaco) and the Little Abaco (forming the northern Abaco). The two together make the largest landmass of the island chain and are joined by bridges, and roadways going all the way from south to north connecting important places across Great and Little Abaco.
The most important place here is Marsh Harbor in Great Abaco, which is the main city of Abaco offering bustling island city life with great many resorts, dining choices, bars & pubs. This is where the main airport of Abaco is located.
Treasure Cay located north of Marsh Harbor and easily accessible by road in about 30-40 minutes drive, is a picturesque place dotted with picture perfect beaches of white powdery sands, one of them (Treasure Cay Beach) being in World's Top 10 beaches. This place is centered around a resort complex having a golf course, marina, a lovely beach and a residential area. Treasure Cay too has an airport.
Great and Little Abaco are surrounded by numerous cays and islets many of which are uninhabited. However there are several which make compelling tourist destinations of their own.
Map of The Abaco Islands
Hope Town in Elbow Cay is one place where you can go back in time and experience the old colonial charm as it retains the architecture and lifestyle of the early English settlers. It has a distinct resemblance with New England. It's a sleepy village with quaint little white & pastel houses where battery operated carts are the main transport on the road, and boats on water.
It has wonderful secluded beaches that offer magnificent swimming and snorkeling. This is where you can experience a real out island Bahamian life ... a laid back life in a slow paced fishing village. The Hope Town Lighthouse (also known as Elbow Reef Lighthouse) is a famous photo stop for tourists. Hope Town has a great marina and Elbow Cay as a whole offers excellent boating opportunities.
If you visit New Plymouth town in Green Turtle Cay, it would be a similar experience like Hope Town of Elbow Cay. Another island... The Great Guana Cay is very popular to islanders and tourists for the Sunday barbecue held atop the tall island sand dune which overlooks the wonderful beach.
All these islands can be reached by ferries originating either from Marsh Harbor or Treasure Cay. For example Elbow Cay is only a 20 minute ferry ride from Marsh Harbor. For Green Turtle Cay, you can take a short ferry ride from Treasure Cay. Castaway Cay which can be easily reached by boat from Sandy Point at the southern end of Great Abaco, is a Disney operated island.
So why should you visit the Abaco?
It's a mini Bahamas by itself offering a mix of everything. While you can get modern and exciting city life in Marsh Harbor with elegant resorts, villas, restaurants & bars, the outer islands of Abaco offer a wonderful serene and secluded life style with lovely white sandy beaches.
Abaco is known as the Yachtsman's paradise ... boating & sailing is huge here and so is fishing. Main catches in deep sea water includes Marlin and Tuna. Deep sea fishing can be done only a few miles off the shore as the drop off in Atlantic here is huge. There are great shallows for bonefishing as well. With so many reefs and shipwrecks lying around, Abaco is excellent diving and snorkeling destination as well.
There are six national parks in Abaco for nature lovers and those who want to explore the flora & fauna, several of them including Abaco National Park, Tilloo Cay National Reserve etc are bird watchers paradise. You can find abundance of pine forests in Abaco which also happens to attract hunters looking for wild boars and ducks.
Abaco is one of the rare island chains which offers almost all flavors of Bahamas.
Reaching Abaco is easy. There are regular flights to Abaco from Fort Laderdale (Florida), West Palm Beach (Florida), Atlanta etc connecting Marsh Harbor. There are also ferry connections between Nassau and Abaco with average sailing time of 5 1/2 hours each way.
And there are numerous ferry services between the Abaco's own chain of islands. Once in Abaco, you can use taxis and car rentals to get around the main island easily. You can also find many charter boat rentals at Marsh Harbor including motor boat rentals and live-aboard ones.
Top Attractions of Abaco
Nestled in the Abaco Sea the Abacos are a group of cays and islands that are in the north east zone of Bahamas. Out of these the two major islands are Great Abaco and Little Abaco which are flanked by numerous cays and strips of land extending into the ocean. Abaco is not as glamorous as Nassau or even Grand Bahamas but it has unbelievable diversity in terms of marine life and geological wonders. The attractions of Abaco are related mostly to its history... you should know that the island was occupied by the Lucayan Indians (who later became slaves of the Spaniards).
The loyalists who settled here in late 1700’s post the revolutionary war also form a great part of its history. Another treasure house of attractions is the Abaco sea that is quite shallow… its average depth of 5 meters and surprisingly clear waters makes it a snorkelers and divers paradise. The mangroves in the area, presence of blue holes and underwater caves, numerous beaches and stunning array of marine life as well as ample diversity of fauna... all make the Abaco a nature lover’s favorite. Come to the Abaco armed with plenty of cash (most places do not accept cards) and plenty of patience (time runs slowly and peacefully here).
Visit the links below and know more about Abaco, its cays and all they offer:
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