Planning a Day Trip?
A chain of islands and reefs provides a natural barrier separating Abaco from the Atlantic Ocean. Land is always in sight and each island is generally no more than 10 to 30 minutes apart from the next by boat - which makes 'island hopping' the perfect way to explore the area. Trips by Boat: Green Turtle Cay, Great Guana Cay, Man-O-War Cay, Hope Town (Elbow Cay)
If you go nowhere else, we’d recommend visiting Green Turtle Cay.
You can charter a boat for the day, and ask the captain to include Green Turtle on the itinerary. You could also rent a boat yourself. But the easiest way is to take the Green Turtle Ferry from the Ferry Dock by the airport.
The main town of New Plymouth offers a surprising variety of shops to poke into and explore. Clapboard homes with gingerbread trim are painted in pastel hues and accented with picket fences. The streets resemble sidewalks lined with flowers. There are historical sites to see, including the 200+ year old cemetery and the island's original jail. You can watch local artists at the model schooner crafting shop.
Great Guana Cay is the casual alternative to Green Turtle Cay. Guana has a 5-½ mile beach that extends almost the length of the island, and superb snorkeling off its shoreline.
You can take the Prozac ferry right from Treasure Cay marina. Plan ahead and bring a snorkel if you go. Hike up and over the narrow island to the beach on the Atlantic side. The reefs right off the beach are called the Guana Gardens - a Bahamas underwater national park.
This Cay has been the capital of the Bahamas' boat-building industry for almost 200 years. Boats built on Man-O-War are still internationally known and recognized for their designs and construction. As a matter of fact, some boats are still totally handmade (without plans of any kind!).
No cars are allowed on this island – walking and golf carts are the only ways to get around. You’ll see the Cays' sea-going heritage in the well-kept homes' numerous "Widow's Walks" and the wide range of nautically-oriented shops and stores lining the waterfront.
Elbow Cay is home to the most famous landmark in the Abacos – the red and white striped lighthouse. The lighthouse functions the same way it did when it opened in 1863, using a kerosene light operated by weight and cable, which a keeper winds several times a night. Hope Town Light is one of only three kerosene-powered lights in the world (and all three are in the Bahamas!) The unique lens generates a light visible more than 17 miles. If you can, climb the 101 steps to the top - and bring your camera! The views are simply spectacular.
Located 20 miles south of Treasure Cay, Marsh Harbour is home to nearly 6,000 Bahamians, making it the third largest settlement in all of the Bahamas and by far the largest community in the Abacos. The city’s size makes it the shopping, banking, hardware and equipment supply center for all of the Abacos.
Although the town doesn't have the quaint New England charm of New Plymouth or Hope Town, the waterfront offers both boutiques and restaurants for visitors to enjoy. At the same time, there are shopping centers, warehouse stores and various other facilities not found in many Out Island settlements. Finally, regular ferry connections make Marsh Harbour a good place to jump off and explore offshore islands like Man-O-War or Elbow Cay.
Looking to venture off the beaten path? Little Harbour is a small picturesque community, located on the southeastern shores of Great Abaco about 45 minutes south of Marsh Harbour.
Randolph Johnston founded an art colony here in the 1950s. Recognized internationally for his lost wax castings in bronze, Randolph died in 1992. His son, Pete Johnston, has carried on at the foundry, creating incredible life size marine bronzes, furniture, and gold jewelry inspired by local motifs.
Little Harbour is also the site of Pete's Pub, one of the most laid-back, islandy pubs you'll ever see. The Pub is actually fashioned out of the pilot house of the sailing ship "Langosta", one of the Johnston family's original live-aboards. The gallery, shop, pub and foundry are open to the public in season.
If you want to claim that you’ve seen Great Abaco from one end to the other, then Cooper's Town is the northernmost of Great Abaco's main settlements. It is located about 20 miles north of Treasure Cay.
Cooper's Town was originally settled in the 1870's by families from Grand Bahama (the Coopers) and Green Turtle Cay. In the early 1900's, Coopers Town produced pineapples and sponges, both of which are hard-to-find in the Abacos today. It is a real Bahamian working town, with several local restaurants that are worth a visit!