Visit Acklins & Crooked Island
Absolutely rustic, undeveloped and untouched are perhaps the three words that can describe Acklin aptly. It's a sleepy island with a few settlements that are sparsely populated... life here revolves around fishing and some small scale farming.
Actually Acklin and Crooked islands are two neighboring islands separated by a large 500 square mile lagoon called the Bight of Acklin. Crooked is the north western island while Acklin is located south-east of Crooked Island. Close to Crooked island to its south west is Long Cay, another small island.
Like most other islands in the Bahamas, proper settlement here began when the British Loyalists arrived from the America along with their slaves in late 1700s. They had set up nearly 50 cotton plantations in the islands with around 1000 slaves. However cotton production did not last long and many who continued to live here eventually turned to fishing and farming for their livelihood. Several old ruins of plantation houses can still be seen in Crooked Island.
Although centuries have passed by, these islands have barely seen any developments. Being located far south east of Bahamas and hardly known as a tourist destination, these islands have remained unaffected through time and offers pure virgin landscape and afro-Bahamian culture to those who are seeking out a vacation in seclusion and amidst nature.
Map of Acklins & Crooked Island
You know already that you can not come to Acklin and Crooked island with an expectation of shopping, nightlife and package tours. But if you come with a mind to spend a few days like a Bahamian and like to be left on your own to explore, then there is no better place in the Bahamas.
Apart from miles of lovely sandy beaches that are ideal for swimming and lounging, you can explore many creeks for flora & fauna, look at stunning rock formations and cliffs, limestone caves and coves.
While both Acklin and Crooked island are great for snorkeling and scuba diving due to the presence of coral gardens and numerous reefs offering a range of exotic marine life, the large expanse of knee deep shallow waters at the lagoon area is known to be one of the best spots for bonefishing. In fact making a 10-pound bonefish catch every day is quite common here. You will find guides and boat rentals to take you to the right water area for fishing.
One of the key attractions in Acklin is the site of original Lucayan Indians who lived in the island centuries ago. Acklin is known to have been the largest settlement of the original Lucayan tribes in the Bahamas. One of such large Lucayan settlement site is located along Pompey Bay Beach (south of Spring Point is Acklin). National Geographic Society Archeologists have unearthed 10 Lucayan settlement sites in Samana Cay alone and many others island-wide.
Another great attraction at Crooked Island is the Turtle Sound ... there is a nine-mile long natural waterway known as an inland river which starts from French Wells Channel and ends at the northern part in Turtle Sound water body. Take a boat along the river and you can see a wide range of marine life, mangroves along the shores and bird life, and of course wonderful views around.
The Pitts Town at Landrail Point settlement area in Crooked Island is the place where the first post office of the Bahamas was built. You can still find its ruins there. There is good anchorage facility at Landrail Point. Here you can also see the ruins of an old plantation house known as Hope House.
There are few other places here that you should visit. Castle Island is located off the southern tip of Acklin and can be reached by a boat. Here you can see an old lighthouse. Plana Cay (a small island) is located off Spring Point. It's a reserve for Iguanas (indigenous large lizard like creatures) and Hutias (rodents that look like guinea pigs).
Acklin has an airport at Spring Point while Crooked Island has an airport at Colonel Hill (which is the main settlement and Capital). There are regular flight connections from Nassau to these airports. Mail boat services are also available from Nassau to Spring Point in Acklin and Colonel Hill at Crooked Island as well as to Long Cay. Charter flights can also be arranged.
There are several lodges, villas and B&Bs here including Bonefishing lodges. Hotels usually arrange for the airport and ferry transfers. You can rent a car. There are limited taxi services.
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