Abaco is a group of islands where time seems to have stood still, virtually untouched by modern man. There are no crowds, high rises, or casinos to be found here. The pace is relaxing and the dress is casual, with a barefoot elegant atmosphere. Daylight offers a variety of activities, including diving, snorkeling, fishing, island hopping, beach combing, and more. At night, relax under the glistening stars, listen to a local band at Nippers, or make new friends with others of like mind. The memories created in the Abaco Islands will be ones you will cherish for a lifetime.
These islands are a prime choice for a weekend getaway or an extended stay. Several airlines offer daily service to Abaco. Take either a one-hour flight from the East Coast of Florida or a thirty-five minute fight from Nassau or Freeport. There is good connecting service from all destinations around the world. You would fly to Florida then Marsh Harbour. Once in Marsh Harbour you would take a Taxi to the Guana Cay Ferry. On the boat you would radio Troy Albury from Dive Guana, he then will pick you up at the dock.
The third largest barrier reef in the world surrounds Abaco, creating a superb destination for divers and snorkelers. The water temperature ranges from 74 to 85 degrees and the outstanding visibility varies between 60 and 200 feet, depending on the weather and season. Many of the colourful underwater sea gardens, coral reefs, and shipwrecks can be reached by swimming 30 to 200 feet from the shore. A rental boat or dive operators provide easy access to areas which are further out.
These waters have been called the “sailing capital of the world”, making for one of the most popular cruising grounds for both pleasure and avid boaters alike. When boating these waters, land is always in sight and the cays are usually no more than 10 to 40 minutes apart, making island hopping a multitude of fun. A popular activity is renting a motor boat. On some of the cays, this is the only form of transportation. The boats are easy to operate and usually have an open hull, center console steering, outboard motor, and bimini top. There are several rental companies throughout the area, offering a variety of sizes to meet your personal needs. Since there are a limited number of boats available, it is always best to make your reservation ahead of time.
Offshore fishing will reel in the “Big Guys” such as marlin, sailfin, dolphin (also known as mahi-mahi and not to be confused with the mammal), wahoo, tuna, and more. Reef and bottom fishing will surely bring a succulent taste to your dinner table, with grouper, snapper, and yellow tail. Test your skills and patience while bone-fishing on the flats. There are several local guides throughout the area, with considerable knowledge of the Abaco fishing grounds. The guides offer full and half day excursions, for groups and private charters. Their rates include bait, tackle, boat, and some also include lunch and drinks. For those looking to fish on their own, bait and tackle are sold in the area and rods are available for rent. Fishing is good year round with peak seasons for each species.
Great Guana Cay offers a relaxed setting with a 5 ½ mile beach, extending the length of the island, and superb snorkeling off its shoreline. After a refreshing swim, have a bite to eat at Nipper’s Bar & Grill, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean Beach.
Beware, you may be nipped and grabbed on this island, with local drink specialties such as the “Nipper” and the “Grabber”, both are very potent.
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