Andros Island, part of the archipelago of the Bahamas, is a cluster of islets and coral shallows with many straits. Its length is about 160 km, and its width is about 65 km – this is the largest island in the archipelago of the Bahamas. The island is surrounded on three sides by warm, shallow waters. On the eastern side stretched the so-called Tongue of the Ocean, a long, very deep depression.
The island is covered with extensive thickets of palms, mahogany, pines and swampy mangrove forests. Andros is almost never visited by tourists – only extreme divers come here, attracted by the fame of the third longest barrier reef in the world, which stretches along the island (225 kilometers long, over 1.8 km deep, the average water depth above the reef is 4 m). Most visitors stop on the east coast of the island in three main cities: Nicholls Town, Congo Town and Andros Town (the capital).
The main secret of Andros is connected with the waters of the Blue Holes. They really appear inky blue due to the great depth. If you look at the island from above, you can see irregularly shaped dark blue spots – the entrances to the underground labyrinth of flooded caves, connected by passages and galleries. At high tide, the water rises above the barrier reef that surrounds the island and begins to slowly move in a circle. Whirlpools are formed, extremely dangerous, as they can drag even small fishing boats! Locals associate this mysterious natural phenomenon with the displeasure of a sinister monster named Luska, who, with his long tentacles, pulls everything that falls into the water into his lair. Then, at low tide, the holes spew out real fountains of water. This is Luska getting rid of the remnants of the lunch she had eaten.
Abacos is the third largest group of islands in the country, stretching for more than 210 km and forming an archipelago in the form of a boomerang. The group includes the main islands of Great and Little Abaco, as well as the Abaco Cays group of reefs, a necklace of tiny islands surrounding the main islands.
The large number of protected areas formed by the sinuous configuration of the archipelago attract a large number of yachts here. Near Abaco there are several dozen small islands, a number of which are inhabited: these are Walkers Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Great Guana Cay, Menowar Cay and Elbow Cay. Nature connoisseurs will be enchanted by the abundance of picturesque natural bays, and connoisseurs of local color will be enchanted by examples of the latest English architecture in the colonial cities of the island.
Great Abaco – the second largest island in the Bahamas – is called the sailing capital of the Bahamas. The island’s capital, Marsh Harbor, is the country’s third largest settlement and the main center of tourism in Abaco. Founded in 1784, Marsh Harbor has long been a center for lumbering and shipbuilding. Today, tourism has replaced logging as the main source of income, and the city’s marinas are now lined with expensive yachts and surrounded by the luxurious homes of the American rich. Marsh Harbor has eventually become a very quiet place, where you can find only a few excellent restaurants and cultural institutions, and the rest of the resort life takes place in the numerous resort guesthouses near the harbor, where the ferry brings tourists.
Walkers Cay is the most northerly island in the entire Bahamas and one of the best fishing spots in the world. This island has a comfortable hotel, a seaport, a dive shop and an airfield.
North Abaco is an island inhabited mainly by fishermen. At the end of the 19th century, the population of the island was also involved in the sisal industry.
Green Turtle Cay– an island measuring 5 km long and 2.5 km wide, it is characterized by a broken coastline with picturesque bays and wonderful beaches. In the distant past, many sea turtles lived on the island. Unfortunately, most of them were exterminated during a ruthless hunt. At present, a harmonious atmosphere has reigned on the island. Most of the locals are descendants of British loyalists who arrived in the archipelago at the end of the 18th century. It is also home to one of the most distinctive British settlements, New Plymouth, which features buildings in a unique English style with neat, pointed roofs and colorful façades.
Elbow Cay– an island lying 10 km east of Marsh Harbor, where one of the most visited villages in the Bahamas, Hope Town, is located, famous for its 37 m high lighthouse, the Wayanni Malone Historical Museum, the tiny Whale Museum and many beautiful old houses. Walk Cay, washed by the Gulf Stream, is one of the main centers of sport fishing in the Bahamas, and its banks covered with pine forests are good for bird watching and hiking.
Until now, there are many legends about the location of sunken treasures, so once you are here, you can go in search of them. These legends are not groundless – not so long ago, two businessmen from Nassau accidentally discovered silver bars and gold coins from the time of the Spanish King Philip IV in one of the sunken ships. The discovery was made near the southwestern coast of the island of Great Abaco and brought the lucky ones an income of $ 20,000.