Our Island Expert Alison Watkins spends each summer sailing the Abacos, and over the years she's gotten to know this stunning section of the Bahamas very well. If you missed Part I of her post, which covered Green Turtle Cay, just click here. Otherwise, let's go to Abaco!
Located in the northern Bahamas, the Abacos are a 20-mile–long chain of narrow islands with the Atlantic Ocean on the eastern seaboard, and the Sea of Abaco on the west. If you come by air, Marsh Harbor, and Treasure Cay on Great Abaco Island are your points of entry. The outer islands can be reached by ferries, or rental boats. The population on most of the islands is under 500, with the main mode of transport being golf carts, boats, bikes and scooters, making them an ideal place to slow down, unwind, and enjoy a truly tropical vacation.
(Gorgeous beach in the Abaco islands, the Bahamas.)
Man-O-War Cay is famous for its long history of boat-building, beautiful Abaco dinghies and unspoiled beaches.
A 20 minute ferry from Marsh Harbour, Man-O-War offers local cottages for rent, lovely craft and gift-shops, the Dock and Dine restaurant, and lots of opportunities for boating, paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming and snorkeling.
A favorite stop in the “hub” of the Abacos, don’t miss a visit to Albury’s sail loft with their superb canvas hand-sewn bags and totes while on Man-O-War Cay.
Hopetown, a quaint and colorful village on Elbow Cay, is just a 20-minute ferry ride from the public dock in Marsh Harbour.
With plenty of island-style shops, outstanding beachfront hotels, private homes for rent, plus a well-protected harbor for boaters to anchor in under the familiar red-and-white striped lighthouse, Hopetown has lots of entertainment and dining choices.
Some of our favorite eateries include the Harbour’s Edge, Cap’n Jacks, and the Boat House Restaurant, all with open-air dining overlooking the harbor.
The beaches at Hopetown are pristine, with an easily reached snorkeling reef swimming distance from shore.
The center of Abacos, Great Guana, is notable for its wild and not-to-be-missed Sunday pig roast at Nippers, for its easy-to-each and great snorkeling less than a 100 yards offshore, and for its most uninhabited 8 miles of coral pink sand beaches.
Guana sports all the amenities for a fun and relaxing vacation, with several excellent island-style hotels, Grabbers Bar and Grill, numerous rental cottages, and a plethora of gumbo-limbo trees.
Once you've visited the Abacos, you'll understand why people return year after year. From the beaches to the people, these islands cast a potent spell...
Thank you, Alison, for this glimpse into the Abacos and for sharing your stunning photographs. We can barely wait to see these amazing Bahamian beauties for ourselves.
All photos copyright Alison Watkins.