The Abacos are one of the world's top boating and sailing destinations and have been The Bahamas' boating capital since colonial times. The number and variety of islands make this an island hopper's paradise. Calm waters, warm breezes and panoramic beauty make this 120-mile–long chain of islands a boating and sailing paradise.
But it’s not just the sea that attracts travelers from around the world. Those who prefer to explore by land will find championship golf courses on Treasure Cay, charming colonial towns on Green Turtle and Elbow Cays, and countless hotels, restaurants and bars throughout The Abacos.
Great Abaco Island and Little Abaco serve as the "mainland." Marsh Harbour has a lively downtown area with all city amenities. Treasure Cay boasts miles of pristine beaches, including one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Elbow Cay and Green Turtle Cay are old English loyalist settlements, where you’ll find beautifully preserved colonial architecture with a touch of Bahamian pastels, of course. And Guana Cay is famous for Sunday barbecues atop the island's tall sand dune, which overlooks a magnificent 7-mile–long beach.
On the mainland of Abaco, you may choose to rent a bicycle, car, golf cart or scooter to get around, but taxis are readily available via VHF Channel 6 and are usually stationed at the airports to meet incoming flights, at the docks and major hotels. To explore the Abaco Cays that are only accessible by water, you have the option of renting or chartering a boat, or using the regular scheduled ferry service to the major cays.
While on the cays, you'll find that bicycles and golf carts are the preferred mode of transport, in addition to walking. Pedestrians should remember to first look right and then left before crossing streets. Elbow Cay is home to The Abacos’ most famous landmark—candy-striped Elbow Reef Lighthouse in Hope Town, built in 1862. It stands at 89 feet and is one of only a handful of manually operated lighthouses in the world.
British Loyalists left the United States after the American Revolution ended to establish homesteads in The Abacos. The Loyalist heritage remains strong and their presence is still noticeable today in the colonial style homes of Hope Town and New Plymouth.
Two airports serve The Abacos: Marsh Harbour International Airport (MHH) and Treasure Cay International Airport (TCB), plus there are airstrips at Moore's Island, Sandy Point, Scotland's Cay and Spanish Cay. Frequent domestic and international service is available. Chartered air can be arranged through any certified carrier. By sea, you can travel from Nassau with Bahamas Ferry Services on a fully air-conditioned vessel, or a mailboat that provides service to several towns on a weekly (or more frequent) basis. From Grand Bahama Island, Pinder’s Ferry operates twice daily, leaving from McLean’s Town in the East. The fare is $50 one way.