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Abaco, the second largest island in The Bahamas, is best known as a yachtsman’s paradise. Abaco and its cays are scattered over 130 square miles of aquamarine water. Its two major islands, Great and Little Abaco, have a myriad of small cays flanking the mainland. The sea channel between the islands allows for good cruising. Abaco, located in the northern Bahamas, typically boasts pine forests and is frequented by hunters of wild boar and ducks. Its waters abound with fish, including the marlin and sailfish. It also has bonefishing flats.

Abaco is the third most populous island in The Bahamas and bears a resemblance to New England from which it attracts so many of its visitors and winter residents. Marsh Harbour is the commercial centre located on Great Abaco. The first settlement on Abaco was Carleton Point, located at the northern end of Treasure Cay, a luxury resort development. Carleton was settled in 1783 by 600 Loyalists refugees from New York, fleeing the newly independent United States.

Acklins/Crooked Island
Known as two of the more remote islands, Acklins & Crooked Island are as natural as they were when The Bahamas was first discovered. Separated by a 1,000-square-mile lagoon known as the Bight of Acklins, both islands are a haven for bonefishing, snorkelling and diving. You’ll also find miles of undisturbed sandy beaches, coral gardens, limestone caves, magnificent cliffs and even remnants of slave and cotton plantations. It’s the perfect way to forget about the complexities of life. In short, Acklins &
Crooked Island are The Bahamas’ definition of seclusion.

Crooked Island has among its ruins the building said to be the first Post Office in The Bahamas which is located at Pitt’s Town. The northwest tip of Crooked Island has ancient British fortifications. It is believed that Columbus landed near this area in 1492 on his voyage through The Bahamas. The island’s capital is Colonel Hill where government offices are located. South of Pitt’s Town is Landrail Point, a good anchorage, and home of an ancient plantation ruin called Hope House.

Acklins forms the eastern side of the Crooked Island triangle, with many bays and caves along the coast. Settlements have inviting names such as Delectable Bay, Lovely Bay, Snug Corner, Golden Grove and Spring Point. Acklins, like Crooked Island, once had cotton plantations. Hard Hill, with ruins of a lookout tower, is the highest point. At the southern end of the Acklins is Castle Island, which has a lighthouse and must be approached by boat.

At 2,300 square miles, Andros is the largest island of The Bahamas and the fifth-largest island in the Caribbean. Its miles of deserted beaches and freshwater lakes play host to countless species of wildlife, marine life, flora and fauna. Andros is covered with vast areas of wetlands that create channels perfect for bonefishing. In fact, many consider Andros the Bonefishing Capital of The World. When visitors feel like taking a break from all the adventure, the island offers quaint settlements and secluded beaches known for their local charm and laid-back lifestyle.

Here, you’ll find the world’s third-largest barrier reef, mesmerizing blue holes that some say are home to the mythical creatureLusca, the Tongue of the Ocean (a mile-deep abyss teeming with vibrant marine life) and numerous species of flora and fauna. If you’re an ecotraveler, kayaker, bird watcher, hiker, snorkeler, diver or fisher, Andros should be your first stop when visiting The Bahamas.

The Berry Islands
With  land mass of about 31 square km, the Berry Islands are a cluster of 30 tropical islands and almost 100 cays lying 56 km  north of Nassau. Home to a population of approximately 700, the wonderfully secluded, unspoilt beaches are a private paradise for wildlife such as terns, pelicans and noddies, as well as the occasional visiting millionaire yachtsmen, stopping over between Florida and Nassau. In fact, there are more millionaires per square inch on The Berry Islands than most places on earth.

Swim-ashore beaches, championship sport fishing and spectacular golf courses are just a few of the highlights that make The Berry Islands a desired destination. Many of the 30 cays that comprise the islands are great for snorkelling, hiking, diving and beachcombing. Great Stirrup features a now-abandoned lighthouse built in 1863 during the reign of Prince William IV. Little Stirrup Cay is a private island that's used by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a one-day stopover. Chub Cay is known as The Billfish Capital of The Bahamas, as it borders the Tongue of The Ocean and attracts countless numbers of baitfish. And then there's Great Harbour Cay. It boasts seven continuous miles of magnificent beaches and one of the best protected harbours in The Bahamas.

Bimini, known for its big game fishing, uncrowded beaches and partying nightlife, is also referred to as author Ernest Hemingway’s retreat. Hemingway, who first visited Bimini in 1935, engaged in sport fishing or big game fishing in Bimini for a number of years. He also frequented its bars and his novel, Islands in the Stream, captured his impression of Bimini and also his battle to catch large fish in the Gulf Stream.

Not surprisingly, in addition to fishing Bimini offers tremendous scuba diving opportunities. Sapona, located off the coast of South Bimini, is a landmark sunken ship that was built by Henry Ford during the First World War. Another spot to explore is Piquet Rock, a large wreck of a Spanish ship, complete with rocks and cannonballs. A site that no diver will want to miss is the fabled Bimini Road, which some believe is a remnant of the legendary Lost City of Atlantis, which lies in shallow water just off the shores of Bimini.

Cat Island
Cat Island is perhaps the least-known inhabited island in The Bahamas. It is about 48 miles long and averages between one and four miles in width. With miles of idyllic deserted beaches - especially the 12 km pink sand beach - cerulean waters, word-class diving, snorkelling and fishing, beautiful rolling hills and rocky cliffs, Cat Island is considered to be one of the most beautiful islands of The Bahamas. It is believed that Cat Island was named after pirate Arthur Catt, who used to frequent the island. For more than four centuries, Cat Island was called San Salvador and thought by some to be the first landfall of Columbus in the New World. However, in 1926, Watlings Island, also named after a pirate, was re-designated San Salvador and the name Cat Island was used once again.

Pristine is the perfect word to describe Cat Island. From the weather to the water to the sand, every inch is breath-taking. Its untouched landscape is perfect for those looking to explore the island’s natural beauty, while its laid-back environment provides a unique destination to relax and unwind.

Eleuthera/ Harbour Island
Eleuthera, the longest island in The Bahamas, is generally called the Island of Freedom. Over 300 years ago, English Puritan Adventurers, now referred to as the Eleutheran Adventurers, in search of religious freedom travelled to Eleuthera and founded what was probably the first democracy in the western world. Eleuthera is an island of contrasts. It is just over one mile wide at most places but is 110 miles long with magnificent pink-white beaches, sheltered coves, breathtaking bluffs and cliffs and fine harbours. In the centre of the island is the hilly farming area, famous for pineapples and tomatoes. In the south the island is green and flatter with quaint villages.

Today, the island's lush pineapple plantations and natural beauty aren't all that attract visitors. Ask anybody on Eleuthera and Harbour Island – Bahamas residents will tell you all about the views! Eleuthera is an island of casual sophistication, housing isolated communities, well-developed resorts, rocky bluffs, low-lying wetlands and massive coral reefs that create magnificent backdrops. There's also the magnificent glass window bridge to the north of Eleuthera which offers spectacular views of the deep blue Atlantic on one side, and the turquoise Caribbean Sea on the other, out beyond The Bahamas. Eleuthera also has a scattering of settlements, grottos and hidden caves that combine to create the island’s remote and laid-back ambience.

The Exumas
The Exuma chain, comprising about 360 or more cays, stretches for about 130 miles beginning 30 miles southeast of New Providence. It is a haven for yachtsmen and is said to be the loveliest part of The Bahamas. The beaches and sea of a large part of the Exuma Cays are being preserved by the government under The Bahamas National Trust’s Exuma National Land and Sea Park. This comprises underwater limestone and coral reefs, drop-offs, blue holes, caves and marine life, and the last home of the Bahamian iguana.

With sapphire-blue water everywhere, The Exumas are an exotic collection of dream destinations. Footprint-free beaches and ultra-exclusive resorts and islands fit for celebrities make this tropical paradise an absolute gem. Here, nature outnumbers man, coastlines remain flawless and private homes play host to some of the world’s most famous stars. The Exumas truly are the ultimate escape.

Inagua is the most southerly and third largest island in The Bahamas. Its name is a corruption of its earliest designation, Heneagua, derived from a Spanish word meaning ‘water is to be found there’. Although it is mostly low and flat, it has James Hill on the north coast rising to 90 feet, East Hill rising to 132 feet and Salt Pond Hill on the south coast rising to 102 feet. There is a natural harbour and its coast is fringed by a reef.

Home to over 80,000 flamingos, the national bird of The Bahamas, Inagua is a haven for birdwatchers. Along with the flamingos, birding enthusiasts will find over 140 species of native and migratory birds, making Inagua the Birdwatching Capital of The Bahamas. The island is also home to many water birds, such as the unusual roseate spoonbill, pelicans, herons, egrets, black-necked stilts and Bahamas pintail ducks. One of the most exotic birds in Inagua is the endangered Bahama parrot: a vibrant green colour with a pure white head, it feeds among the Inagua oak trees. Visitors to the National Park may be lucky enough to see the Bahama woodstar, a dazzling native hummingbird that is found nowhere else in the world. In addition to the various exotic birds, visitors can see feral donkeys and endangered freshwater turtles. And, accompanied by experienced guides, travellers can explore Inagua's limestone caves and enjoy fabulous beaches and snorkelling.

Long Island
Breath-taking cliffs, brilliant coral reefs, serene beaches. Long Island is home to it all. Featuring dramatic cliffs that tower over its eastern shore, the island is a haven for fishers, divers and boaters, boasting world-class bonefishing and thrilling encounters with sea life. The island’s western shore is a bit more tranquil. Visitors will find soft pink- and white-sand beaches that gradually slip into peaceful turquoise waters. Long Island is also home to Dean’s Blue Hole, the deepest blue hole in the world.

Originally named “Yuma” by Arawak Indians, the island was renamed “Fernandina” by Christopher Columbus in 1492. However, Long Island earned its current name because a seafarer felt it took too long to sail past the island. The Tropic of Cancer runs directly through the island, giving it two very different coastlines—the dramatic cliffs and caves of the east coast that front the crashing Atlantic waves, and the sandy edged lee side which slopes calmly into the Bahama Bank.

Long Island, which has been called a ‘country of contrasts’, extends about 57 miles from Cape Santa Maria to South Point, and is no wider than four miles. At its north-eastern end it has rugged cliffs plunging into the sea. On the opposite shore, the area has broad white sandy beaches. In the southern part of the island lie the low, flat lands where salt used to be produced.

More isolated and less developed than any other island in The Bahamas, Mayaguana is the ideal getaway for travellers seeking a secluded escape. Whether it’s footprint-free beaches that look as though they could appear on the front of a postcard, a plethora of fishing hotspots or small countryside fishing villages inhabited by friendly locals, Mayaguana is the perfect combination of seclusion and charm.

Mayaguana is the only Bahamian island that still bears its original Arawak name, which is said to refer to a specific species of iguana found nowhere else in the world. The island was a favoured base for pirates before residents began migrating from nearby Turks and Caicos in 1812.

Aside from just those kind of welcome visitors, and passing yachtsmen stopping over on route to the Caribbean, the island is home to approximately 312 locals and The Bahama 'hutia' - a mix between a rat and a rabbit that, until its rediscovery in the 1960, was believed to be extinct. Most residents make a living by fishing for conch and farming the land. Visitors looking for adventure can dive through sea caves at Northwest Point, reel in a bonefish or take a guided tour of the three main settlements.

Ragged Island
Ragged Island is part of a long string of islands that stretch from the southern tip of Long Island, almost all the way to Cuba. This attractive little island is easily explored on foot as it only covers about 24 square km and is inhabited by around 80 people who mainly live in Duncan Town, the island’s only village. In earlier years, the residents of Ragged Island enjoyed good trade relations with Haiti and Cuba. Trade with both countries has since stopped. In 1950, Hurricane Donna hit the island and left considerable residential and property damage which forced many of its residents to relocate to Nassau.

Quiet and serene, Ragged Island isn’t as rough as its name suggests. The island is a haven for avid fishermen, with its unparalleled flats ideal for bonefishing. It’s not uncommon to snag an abundance of grouper, snapper, barracuda, tuna and king fish during just one day on the water. The beaches of Ragged Island are mostly unexplored, and the coves are perfect for picnicking, relaxing and combing for shells. Those looking to explore by land will find several historical landmarks, quaint towns and authentic handmade Bahamian crafts. It’s an adventure unlike any other.

San Salvador/Rum Cay
San Salvador is also called the land of lakes and Columbus’ Isle. It is about 12 miles long and five miles wide. Its original name was Guanahani. Later it was called Watling’s Island after George Watling, a noted buccaneer. Until recently, San Salvador was considered one of the least important islands of The Bahamas. However, with the quincentennial celebrations in 1992, San Salvador attracted much attention as it has been for years identified as the first landfall of Christopher Columbus in the New World. He landed at San Salvador on October 12, 1492, and was greeted by the friendly Lucayan Arawaks.

In addition to its profound past, the island showcases miles of secluded beaches, crystal-clear seas and sparkling inland lakes. Visitors looking to embark on an adventure full of history and culture will find that San Salvador Island is the perfect place to begin their journey. It’s no wonder that Columbus dubbed it “The New World.”

Rum Cay, a small, sparsely populated island, is located 20 miles southwest of San Salvador. It is mainly flat but has a few rolling hills rising to about 120 feet. The island was named Santa Maria de la Conception by Columbus. The modern name Rum Cay is said to be in memory of a wreck destroyed with a cargo of rum which foundered off the coral reefs which abound off the island’s shore.

Known as a “sleeping beauty” because it’s considered one of the best-kept secrets in The Bahamas southern region, Rum Cay is recognized for its historical ruins, vivid coral reefs, miles of pure sand beaches and thrilling surf. Just offshore in the crystal-clear turquoise waters is an abundance of vibrant marine life that attracts fishermen, divers and snorkelers from all around. Rum Cay truly is an authentic Bahamian experience.