The Abacos are a boomerang-shape cluster of islands in the northeastern Bahamas located about 160 miles east of the south Florida coast, a short one hour flight. The Abacos are the most popular of the "out islands".
Abaco is one large island with a group of barrier cays (pronounced "keys"), occupying the second largest landmass in the Bahamas. The chain of barrier cays is located about two to five miles offshore of the mainland and provides a protected body of water from the Atlantic Ocean which is the Sea of Abaco. The Sea of Abaco with its naturally protected waters has helped the Abacos become the sailing capital of The Bahamas. The Sea provides a safe & well protected environment to pursue the many water related activities the area has to offer. Marsh Harbour, the third largest town in the Bahamas, is considered the commercial center of the area. It is well stocked with shops and services to fill your every need.
The Abacos host internationally known regattas and there are numerous game-fish tournaments, providing a fisherman’s paradise. Offshore fishing, reef and bottom fishing and bone fishing are all very popular with anglers. However, there is much, much more to do than just fish or sail our gorgeous waters. There are numerous other activities including diving, snorkeling, surfing, island hopping, beachcombing or just plain-old relaxing.
Island-hopping is one of the favorite attractions. The various cays are about 10 – 40 minutes apart. Each is charming with a character all its own and different from the next. You must see them all. There are numerous deserted cays, coves, beaches, creeks and bays just waiting for you to relax and explore in your run-about. There are quaint fishing villages reminiscent of New England but in pastel colors. There is a candy-striped lighthouse dating back to the 1800’s. The third largest barrier reef in the world surrounds Abaco. Sandy Cay National Park & Fowl Cay offers some of the very best diving in the world.
The Abacos are uncrowded and unspoiled with no high rises or gambling. It is a very casual, laid-back, relaxed atmosphere and perfect for vacation getaways and longer stays. The dress is casual and the life-style is friendly. The local Abaconian people are warm and friendly. Fall in love and you’ll return again and again. Many have decided to make this their second home and there are services available to make your transition into our out-island lifestyle smooth and pleasant.
There are numerous resorts and private rental cottages, all catering to your needs for a relaxing, casual & fun-filled vacation. Some are on the mainland and others are scattered throughout the various cays.
Beautiful sunny days can be found no matter what time of the year you choose. Average temperatures range between 70 – 75 degrees from December to May and 80 – 85 degrees the rest of the year. Art galleries, gift shops, well-stocked grocery & liquor stores, full service marinas and numerous restaurants are found through-out Abaco.
Come to Abaco & let the sand get in your toes. Bahamians say, "If you get sand in your toes, you’ll return again and again."
Written by Sam Hoffer - Photo of starfish taken by Meakin Hoffer in front of our home, Lazy Days, on Lubbers
First published in Latitudes Magazine, 2003, American Eagle’s in-flight magazine.
For better viewing, click photo to enlarge.