For future travel plans: it’s really better in the Bahamas
SHERYL NANCE-NASH | 7/30/2020, midnight
There’s a reason they say, “It’s better in the Bahamas.” Take a dip in those gorgeous aqua waters and you’ll know why. When the Bahamas are ready for U.S. visitors, you can find all safety and protocol information in detail on Bahamas.com.
Maybe you’ve been to Nassau/Paradise Island, but there’s so much more to the Bahamas. Venture further afield this time. Here are some other spectacular spots for a Bahamian escape.
The Exumas are an archipelago of 365 cays and islands. They say good things come in threes. In this case, it’s Great Exuma, Little Exuma and The Exuma Cays. Each is its own world. If you’re looking for A-listers, you’re likely to find them in the Cays, when they’re not cocooning in their lavish homes and condos. Great Exuma and Little Exuma are chill spots. One wow factor is the “Mile-long Sandbar,” a stretch of white sand that emerges from the blue-green water at low tide. Then there are the pigs. Pig Island at Big Major Cay, a little uninhabited island close to Staniel Cay, is home to the cutest swimming pigs. There’s more to the story, the Thunderball Grotto, underwater caves, and on Compass and Sampson cays, unspoiled beaches, cliffs and lagoons. Expect a color explosion in reefs and waters at the Exumas Cays Land and Sea Park and Warderick Wells Marine Sanctuary.
Andros is likely to be the next hot thing in the Bahamas. This is the largest island in the Bahamas but also the least inhabited. It’s home to the world’s third largest barrier reef and numerous blue hole ocean caves. Andros may be a secret to many people, but not to bone fishers who call it the bone fishing capital of the world. Andros is ideal for snorkeling, diving, sailing and any kind of boating. Andros is where you’ll find the oldest dive shop on the planet. The recently opened ultra-fab Caerula Mar is an ideal option for your home away from home.
You’ve probably heard stories about Dean’s Blue Hole, the second deepest blue hole in the world, 80 x 120 feet wide on the surface and 330 feet wide and 60 feet down. Long Island is where you’ll find this natural wonder. The Tropic of Cancer runs directly through the island, giving it two distinct coastlines, one with cliffs and caves and vigorous Atlantic waves and the other, a sandy edged lee side which slopes calmly into the Bahamas Bank. Long Island is also home to the ruins of St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, the oldest church in The Bahamas.
If you’re not a diver, you might not be gung-ho about going to San Salvador. But if you are, you’re in heaven with more than 50 dive sites. You’ll find reefs, ruins, shipwrecks, and walls. Devil’s Claw and Vicky’s Reef are home to stingrays and sharks; French Bay has unique Elkhorn and staghorn coral. The water wonderment doesn’t stop there. The Great Lake Preserve in the middle of San Salvador is a protected area stretching the entire length of the island. It’s 10 miles long and two miles wide. It’s ideal for bird watching.
Acklins & Crooked Islands
Talk about remote. This is off the beaten path for sure. Acklins is one of the least known and most preserved islands in The Bahamas. If you’re in the mood for privacy this is the spot. Think very secluded beaches. Where this area shines though is bone fishing. For a step back in the past, Crooked Island’s French Wells and Gun Point settlements recall the days of plantations.
If you’re looking for wild revelry this is not the island for you. Cat Island is the most secluded in the Bahamas. Only about 1,700 people live there. Don’t expect an array of restaurants, bars and uber luxe resorts. This is a place to go to collect your thoughts and settle yourself. Maybe you start to write that novel. You might want to go next June for the Annual Rake & Scrape Festival when the Bahamas’ indigenous music is celebrated.