Discover “The Boating Capital Of The World.”With its own calm sea surrounded by charming islands, each worth a visit, The Abacos are known as one of the world’s top boating and sailing destinations. With quaint colonial towns,
miles and miles of stellar beaches, great fishing and diving, and a
wonderful selection of hotels and resorts and restaurants and bars,
The Abacos is the most complete vacation destination in The Bahamas Out Islands.
The Abacos consist of their own 120-mile-long island chain, basically a mini-Bahamas complete with its own Out Islands. Great Abaco Island and Little Abaco serve as the “mainland,” with a string of barrier islands separating them from the Atlantic. The body of water between – a turquoise nirvana for those boaters and sailors – is the calm, shallow Sea of Abacos.
The Abacos is an island hopper's paradise.
Great Abaco Island is home to Marsh Harbour, the “bright lights and big city” of the Out Islands. And to put that into perspective, Marsh Harbour has exactly one traffic light (the only operating one in all The Bahamas Out Islands!). Along with having a great selection of hotels, restaurants and bars, Marsh Harbour is charter boat central, with several full-service marinas where you can dock your own boat or find a rental – both live-aboard sailboats and powerboats are available.
North of Marsh Harbour is Treasure Cay, a hotel, golf, marina and real estate development wrapped around a beach with the whitest, softest sand you’ve ever seen. To the south lies Little Harbour, a picturesque protected bay where you’ll find a small artist colony based around the Johnston family and Pete Johnston’s Pete’s Pub.
Set out across the Sea of Abaco from Great Abaco Island, and you can steer
toward any one of a number of islands – each a vacation destination in its own
The Cays of Abaco
The Abacos were settled by English colonists who remained loyal to the crown after the American Revolutionary War, which is why the settlements like Hope Town on Elbow Cay and New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay have the look of New England fishing towns complete with picket fences and gingerbread trim – of course with the distinctive Bahamian touch of pastel colors.
Hope Town is home to the famous candy-striped lighthouse, a favorite photo subject now, but quite controversial when it was under construction back in 1863 because up until then, the island’s residents had been making a comfortable living by salvaging ships that wrecked on the offshore reefs.
North of Elbow Cay, Man-O-War is another Loyalist settlement, a conservative “dry” island, and The Abacos’ boat-building center, with a wonderful naturally protected harbor and boat-fitting and sail shops. Next up the chain is beachy Great Guana Cay, famed for the Sunday barbecues thrown at Nippers Bar that sits atop the island’s tall sand dune, which overlooks Guana’s magnificent seven-mile-long beach.
For more information visit the official Bahamas website.