Bahamas Vacation? It's Better on a Boat.
We take pleasure in offering our charter clients a comprehensive cruising guide to the Bahamas.
Only a short distance from Florida, a vacation or holiday in the Bahamas on a fully crewed sailing yacht or catamaran, power boat or motor yacht is the ultimate cruise vacation.
If your primary objective is to use a yacht for transportation from the Mainland to Nassau, don’t even think about it.
If you are looking to charter a yacht on the mainland and explore the Islands, it’s usually better to fly over and pick up your yacht in the Bahamas. This way you will avoid potential bad weather and rough seas on the Gulf Stream. There is no ferry service from the mainland except for a new ferry service BALEARIA that can take passengers from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport / Lucaya on Grand Bahama Island.
There are 700 islands in The Bahamas covering 150,000 square miles of tropical sea with approximately 5,000 square miles of land. The islands have flat coral formations with some low rounded hills. It is a beautiful country and a difficult one to administer: ferry services between the islands constitute the main communications and transportation medium for commercial goods and people.
Each island of The Bahamas has its own personality and something different to offer. Enjoy a variety filled vacation or holiday by visiting as many islands as time allows. Spend a few fun days in cosmopolitan Nassau with its duty free shops, golf, museums and restaurants. Lie back and relax on the bright white sand of Long Island’s deserted beaches. Experience the dive of a lifetime in challenging wreck sites off the coast of San Salvador. Witness the spectacle of nesting flamingos and other exotic wildlife in Inagua National Park. Cruise through the Exumas’ 100-mile-long string of pristine cays. The hard part is deciding which islands to visit!
Why Visit The Bahamas?
The Bahamas is one of the most geographically complicated nations of the Atlantic. It’s a coral-based archipelago comprising more than 700 islands – hundreds more if you count the rocky outcroppings that have damaged the hulls of countless ships since colonial days.
Most of the population is centered on New Providence Island (Nassau / Cable Beach / Paradise Island) and Grand Bahama Island (Freeport / Lucaya).
The 760-mile-long chain of islands, cays, and reefs that make up The Bahamas stretches from Grand Bahama Island, whose western point is 75 miles almost due east of Palm Beach, Florida, to Great Inagua, southernmost of The Bahamas, which lies about 60 miles northeast of Cuba and less than 100 miles north of Haiti. Cay (pronounced “key”) is the Spanish word for small-island.
Sandy beaches, fishing (some of the best in the world), boating, nearly perfect weather (even though the islands are in the often stormy Atlantic Ocean), and accessibility to the U.S. mainland put this archipelago on the world tourist map. The Bahamas lies right off the Florida coast and is ideal for both quick 4 or 5 day jaunts or much longer vacations.
It is important to note, that less than 50 of these islands and cays offer highly populated towns, villages, or community centers. Out islands might be small outcrops with limestone shorelines, cays with interesting wildlife, or a sparsely inhabited island with miles of beautiful beaches. No matter where you travel, just about every stop will offer beaches with hints of pink, peach or sugar white sand. One can find miles of mangroves, lush vegetation, hidden blue holes, and abandoned ruins reflecting interesting local history. On land you will find curly-tail lizards, hermit crabs, birds, interesting insects, and on a few islands pigs!
The amazing turquoise water is the Bahamas’ most remarkable feature. These beautiful ocean waters are filled with sharks, sea turtles, spiny lobsters, queen conch, crabs, shrimp and fish of every color. The pace and culture are charmingly Caribbean. Residents are friendly and welcoming. With some research, you will be able to find fuel, water, provisions, and amenities to make your visit truly enjoyable and filled with memories to last a life time.
Sailing in the Bahamas—Visit Many Islands!
Luckily for cruising and yachting enthusiasts, there are some very well defined areas that are pretty much self-contained for cruises of a week or more. It’s impossible to see all the islands on one trip, but if you organize yourself you can explore the different regions at your leisure over time.
The main cruising regions are:
We will describe each cruising area and recommend what to do and see and how to get the best from your Bahamas experience. View some of the boats that cruise and charter in the Bahamas.
So close and yet so far – the islands of the Bahamas are so close to the mainland United States but unfortunately the best islands to visit for a charter vacation are the ones that are further away. The archipelago is so huge, in fact, that many of the remote islands are closer to the Dominican Republic and Cuba than they are to the United States.
The Bahamas is one of the best yachting and catamaran sailing destinations in the world. The waters are so clear and the sailing diving and fishing are so incredible that chartering a private yacht in these beautiful waters has to be the greatest experience in the world.
You cannot imagine that there are so many shades of blue. Aside from the raw beauty, the subtle changes of blue have been used by mariners throughout history to determine the depth of the water and the presence of reefs. Christopher Columbus christened the Islands as Baja Mar. Which means Shallow Sea in Spanish. And shallow it is…. Best to charter a shallow draft yacht like a catamaran so you can get close in to some of the more exotic islands. Nevertheless, a good captain can navigate the deeper channels and take you safely through the island chain.
Some of the best sailing and yachting itineraries take you down the Exumas to what the Bahamians call “the Out-Islands”. These include Rum Cay, San Salvador, Acklins and Crooked Island, Mayaguana and Inagua. A charter vacation to the Out Islands can also start in Georgetown at the Southern tip of the Exuma chain.
This is the really unspoiled Bahamas, the Bahamas that is not in the guide-books or in the glossy hotel brochures. The local residents are very friendly, scrupulously honest and always ready to help. Very few tourists or charter vessels except for the occasional delivery captain running a boat down from Florida to the Caribbean Islands.
If you are a bareboating enthusiast and like to captain your own boat the best locations are North of Nassau especially in the Abaco and Berry Islands. The Exuma and Out-Island experience is best with a skipper due to the strong tidal currents that require special anchoring techniques. As the marine charts say: “some local knowledge required”.
We always recommend that our clients fly into the Bahamas to start their charter either in Nassau, Staniel Cay or Georgetown all of which have small airports. The crossing of the Gulf Stream from Miami to the Gulf Stream Islands of Bimini, Cat Cay and Gun Cay can get quite tricky and very changeable. Better to fly.
The sea state of the approximately 40 Nautical Miles of deep water with a north bound current of between 2 and 3 kts is instantly affected by the wind direction and intensity as well as by distant Atlantic swells. When the wind is from the North or North East, it opposes the direction of the current and has the effect of forming shorter and more irregular wave patterns that can be quite disturbing. Generally speaking, we do not recommend crossings in the Winter, especially if you have an immovable timetable like 7 or 10 days into which you need to shoe-horn your vacation. What we’re trying to say, in a rather roundabout way, is that the Summer Months are generally the safest and most pleasurable for crossing the Stream.
On a powerboat, it is possible to go to Bimini from Miami in 2 1/2 to 3 Hours.
You can therefore go for the day although it will be quite expensive ($2,000 to $3,000 dollars) because there is no “regular” ferry service and you have to charter a boat to do the crossing and pay the Bahamas cruising tax to boot. On a sail boat, you’re talking about an overnight trip of about 8 hours to arrive in the morning. Care needs to be exercised on overnight trips, the Gulf Stream is a high traffic area with cruise ships, freighters, tankers, and recreational boats all doing their thing. Radar recommended.
Bimini is a Sport-Fishing Paradise. There is always a fine array of recreational fishing vessels, either locally or Miami based that will take you out for the day. There are also diving boats that will take you to the “Atlantis” rock formations and numerous power and sailing boats that will take you and the family out to “Swim with the Dolphins”.
On land at Bimini you will find the quintessential Hemingway memorabilia like “The Compleat Angler” bar and other places to share a beer or two with the locals. There are several marinas, some good eating places, a few hotels and a whole bunch of bars; macho atmosphere with the emphasis on pictures of heavy duty Sports-Fishing boats with stuffed swordfish and marlins on the walls. Nevertheless, Bimini remains a good weekend getaway or a good first stop on your trip from Miami or Fort Lauderdale across to Nassau or to the Berry islands. You need to check in to clear Bahamas customs and pay the rather steep $300 per boat cruising tax.
Gun Cay and Cat Cay are smaller islands just South of Bimini. Gun Key is uninhabited and Cat Cay is home to a pretty snooty yacht club where you can have an excellent but expensive dinner. The cut between these two Cays is one of the favorite recreational routes to get up onto the Grand Bahamas Bank and across to the Berry’s and Nassau. You should be quite careful navigating this cut, however; hopefully you would have done it before with a professional captain. If not, make sure your draft is less than 5 feet and follow the instructions in your cruising guide to the letter.
South of Cat Cay there are some uninhabited rocks that afford little protection but offer some pretty good fishing. South of these rocks at some distance, you will find the larger island of Andros. Although this island is quite large on the map, in practice it’s a huge swamp with small channels that cross it and a bunch of mosquitoes . Very Shallow here. The East side of Andros is now being slowly developed with some neat small resorts.
With landmass totaling about a dozen square miles, the Berry Islands are a cluster of 30 islands and close to 100 cays that lie 60 miles East of Bimini and 35 miles north of Nassau. A permanent home to approximately 700 people, the Berry Islands lure vacationers seeking privacy. Many desolate cays are home to those who have created their own private paradise, and are the nesting grounds of wildlife such as terns, pelicans and noddies.
These islands, (including Chubb Cay) mostly known to yachtsmen as a stopover between Florida and Nassau, have some of the most private, unspoiled beaches in the world. Underwater life is equally protected and tranquil. Many big game fish like sailfish, blue marlin and giant blue fin tuna roam these waters, making it yet another choice Bahamian spot for the dedicated fisherman.
Marsh Harbour, the bustling capital of Abaco, and Treasure Cay, offer a wide range of small family run hotels and villas. Restaurants are plentiful and nightlife varied. The outlying cays, nestled around Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay are made up of picture perfect villages, with quaint, white clapboard houses, trimmed in jewel tones. Elbow Cay is a short, 20-minute water taxi ride from Marsh Harbour. Its main town, quaint New England-style Hope Town, is situated on an almost land-locked harbour. The town is overlooked by a 120 foot candy-striped lighthouse, perhaps the most-photographed sight in Abaco. Hope Town is dotted by a number of small hotels and villas. No worries about traffic jams here, but be sure to watch out for a bicycle or golf cart whizzing by.
Green Turtle Cay ranks with Elbow Cay as one of the two most important destinations that have wonderful beaches and a relaxing atmosphere. The main town of New Plymouth also has New England look-alike pretty clapboard houses surrounded by white picket fences.
More than anything else, Abaco is synonymous with sailing. Marinas abound throughout the cays, and many are the permanent home to numerous yachts and bareboat charter companies. In addition to sailing, fishing and diving are popular activities in Abaco. Deep-sea fishing generally takes place off the Abaco cays, where the drop-off from the reef to the Atlantic is steep and the shallow marshy flats to the west of great Abaco are ideal for bone-fishermen. Deep walls, reefs and a multitude of shipwrecks provide excellent diving territory right around the Abaco cays. Several excellent dive operations are located in Abaco, including Walker’s Cay Undersea Adventures, home of the Shark Rodeo. The Moorings has a base in Marsh Harbour as do several other charter companies. Please Contact Us for a complete information package. Sailboats and Sailing Catamarans are ideal to cruise these shallow but protected waters.
Exuma has the distinction of being the only island in the Caribbean where not one but two James Bond movies were filmed. Those films, Thunderball and Never Say Never Again, were both filmed in Staniel Cay.
There are 365 islands and cays that lie strung out across over 120 miles of ocean that make up The Exumas. From the air, these cays look like jeweled stepping stones surrounded by a shimmering emerald sea giving this chain the distinction of being one of the prettiest in The Islands of The Bahamas. The bright white sand of the deserted beaches is a striking contrast to the deep aquamarine and jade hues of the water.
Most of Exuma’s 3,600 residents live on Great Exuma or Little Exuma, the two largest islands that are connected by a short bridge. These friendly and outgoing people are genuinely happy to receive vacationers. Most Exumians make their living fishing or farming, with the main crops being onions, tomatoes, pigeon peas, guavas, papayas and mangoes.
Visitors will also find wild cotton growing on Exuma, a testament to the importance of this plant in the island’s history.
Lord John Rolle, who imported the first cottonseeds in the late 18th century, had more than 300 slaves working on Great Exuma. The slaves, following the custom of the day, adopted their master’s surname. When cotton proved to be a financial failure for him and the prospect of emancipation loomed, Lord John Rolle deeded the 2,300 acres of land that were given to him by the British Government to his foremen slaves. This land, in turn, has been passed on to each new generation and can never be sold to outsiders. Today almost half of the residents go by the name Rolle and one of the largest settlements is appropriately named Rolleville.
One of The Islands of The Bahamas’ most prestigious events, the Annual Family Island Regatta, is held every April in picturesque Elizabeth Harbour in George Town. A tribute to tradition, the regatta is a race of Bahamian workboats, handmade sloops with wooden hulls, canvas sails and tall wooden masts.
George Town is also home to the Government Administration Building, a pink and white building modeled after the Government House in Nassau. A few steps north is St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, a beautiful 150-year old white building with blue doors and shutters that is an active place of worship today. Naturally, in the heart of the Exuma Cays, is the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, a 176-square mile natural preserve which is home to brilliant coral reefs, exotic marine life and the rare Bahamian iguana – some of which grow to over two feet long.
Harbour Island, or ‘Briland, as it is known by residents, is situated one mile off the northern coast of Eleuthera (just five minutes away by water taxi) and is just three miles long and a half mile wide. The island’s first major settlement of Dunmore Town, originally the capital of The Islands of the Bahamas, was named after the 18th century royal governor of the islands, Lord Dunmore. Harbour Island was actually founded before the United States was even a nation!
Today, Dunmore Town is renowned for its three mile pink sand beach and charming New England-style architecture. Visitors to Harbour Island enjoy strolling through the quaint town’s tree lined narrow streets, exploring the settlement onboard a golf cart, bonefishing in the pristine water off the island’s coast, and frolicking on the island’s sandy coastline. The Plateau and the Arch, both giant coral structures densely populated with marine life, attracts divers from around the world.
At one time Harbour Island was second only to Nassau in terms of prosperity. In the late 1800’s Dunmore Town was a noted shipyard and sugar refinement centre, both of which lent itself to a profitable secondary industry – rum.
The island’s charming New England architecture, which is reminiscent of the island’s Loyalist history, is still very much in existence. The pastel-coloured clap-board homes edged by white picket fences and tropical flowers line the old streets of Dunmore Town. For vacationers, Harbour Island’s popularity is founded on its spectacular three-mile powdery pink sand beach, its intimate inns and hotels, and the warm hospitality of its inhabitants.
Eleuthera, first settled in 1648, is perhaps the best known of the Out Islands of The Bahamas. Shaped like a praying mantis, the island is just under five miles wide and 110 miles long. The magnificent glass window bridge to the north of the island affords spectacular views of the deep blue Atlantic on one side and the turquoise Caribbean Sea on the other. Eleuthera attracts those who wish to explore, either by bicycle or car, the land and nature in its undisturbed atmosphere. Visitors may visit the island’s scattered settlements, grottos, and hidden caves that combine to create Eleuthera’s remote and laid back ambiance.
Despite a coral and limestone surface which may seem forbidding to farmers, Eleuthera is one of the agricultural centres of The Islands of The Bahamas. The hilly farming area in the centre of the island with its rich, red soil is ideal for producing pineapples, tomatoes and a variety of vegetables. In the late 1800’s Eleuthera dominated the world’s pineapple market with its luscious fruit of rare sweetness.
History reveals that in 1648 British Puritans seeking religious freedom settled in Eleuthera. Taking shelter in a limestone cave, they faced hardship but persevered on the island that they named Eleuthera after the Greek word for “freedom”. Led by William Sayle, a former governor of Bermuda, the group called themselves the Eleutheran Adventurers. They gave The Islands of The Bahamas its first written constitution which called for the establishment of a republic. The group eventually divided and later settled Eleuthera, Harbour Island and Spanish Wells.
The enterprising Eleutheran Adventurers were able to survive on the island with the help of their generous Puritan relatives in the newly formed colonies of Massachusetts and Virginia. The New Englanders sent supplies and the Eleutherans thanked them in return with rare and valuable wood – from which the proceeds were used to help build Harvard College.
Today, many visitors are attracted to Eleuthera for its abundance of water-related activities – there are plenty of great fishing holes and dive spots. The Devil’s Backbone just north of Spanish Wells is a long stretch of fringe reef that is a vast playground for a variety of reef and deep-sea fish, attracted to the many shipwrecks. The Current Cut, located between Eleuthera and the small island of Current is exciting for experienced divers, where changing tides send a tricky current through a 100-yard wide channel.
Ninety-five miles southeast of Nassau, Cat Island is known as the least inhabited island in The Islands of The Bahamas. The destination caters to those who are looking for total seclusion, miles of beautiful pink and white sand beaches, word class diving, snorkeling and fishing sites and the beauty of the island’s 50-miles of rolling hills, rocky cliffs, empty beaches, especially the 8-mile Pink Sand Beach, and cerulean waters.
No one is quite sure how Cat Island acquired its name, however this island has many lives. A pirate and contemporary of Edward “Blackbeard” Teach, Arthur Catt was a frequent visitor to the island, which is one explanation of its name. Others say that the island resembles a feline sitting on its haunches when looking at it from above.
For more than four centuries Cat Island was actually called San Salvador and many believed this was where Christopher Columbus first landed in the new world. However, in 1926 a nearby island was redesignated San Salvador (as it is known today) and the name Cat Island was revived.
British Loyalists who were fleeing the newly formed United States settled the island in 1783. They established cotton plantations but when the cotton industry failed and the slaves were freed the people of Cat Island turned to farming peas, corn, potatoes, and later to growing pineapples.
A single road runs the length of the island making it difficult to get lost while exploring. Appropriately called the Main Road, it begins at Arthur’s Town in the north and ends at Port Howe in the south. Along the way visitors will spot residents participating in traditional activities such as straw plaiting (weaving) hats and bags.
The historical sites of the island are all accessible from the Main Road. Many beautiful churches dot the picturesque landscape. At Port Howe one can see the ruins of the Deveaux Mansion, a two story whitewashed building formerly used as a cotton plantation and now overrun with wild vegetation. Deveaux Mansion was once the home of Col. Andrew Deveaux of the U.S. Navy and was given to him as a reward for recapturing Nassau from the Spaniards in 1783.
The highest point in The Islands of the Bahamas is found on Cat Island. Mt. Alvernia rises up 206-feet through a thick forest. However this is not its only interesting characteristic. The Hermitage, a small monastery at the summit of this mountain, is to this day still shrouded in mystique. Father Jerome built the Hermitage and the rock staircase leading to it as a final act of religious dedication. An Anglican seminarian turned Catholic priest, Father Jerome was well know for having built cathedrals and convents throughout the islands.
Farthest to the east of The Islands of The Bahamas and looking out to the Atlantic Ocean lies San Salvador, just 12 miles long and 5 miles wide. Home to miles of pristine and secluded beaches, an emerald blue sea of sparkling clarity and challenging reef and wreck dive sites, San Salvador is the ultimate escape for divers, fishermen, yachtsmen and those who yearn to relax in a serene atmosphere. The island is actually the exposed peak of a submerged mountain that plunges 15,000 feet to the ocean floor.
The island’s several name changes are a reflection of its deep historical past. The Lucayan Indians initially named the island “Guanahani”. Then, in 1492, Columbus made his first landfall in the New World on the island. He named it San Salvador or “Holy Savior”, which he noted in his travel journal and described it as “the beauty of these islands surpasses that of any other and as much as the day surpasses the night in splendor”. Today, four separate monuments mark the exact spots where he came ashore, although it is generally regarded that he landed at Long Bay where a large stone cross stands. However, British Pirate Captain George Watling took over the island, making it his headquarters of the buccaneer and named it Watling Island after himself. The island retained this name until 1925 when it was then renamed San Salvador.
San Salvador is dotted with monuments, ruins and wreck sites, all illuminating its history. Besides lounging on secluded beaches, basking in sunshine and diving, snorkelling and fishing in clear waters, guests to the island enjoy touring the old plantation ruins, climbing to the top of the old kerosene-operated lighthouse and exploring the archaeological site of the Lucayan Indians.
Rum Cay is just ten miles long and five miles wide. The only settlement, Port Nelson, is home to the few inhabitants of the island. While rimmed with stunning beaches, Rum Cay remains one of the less developed islands of the archipelago, with very little in the way of tourist activities.
Only 80-miles long and 4-miles wide, Long Island is one of the most scenic hideaways in The Islands of The Bahamas, famous for its world-class scuba diving and bonefishing. The island is divided by the Tropic of Cancer and is bordered on each side by two contrasting coasts, one with soft-white beach, and the other with rocky headlands that descent into the sea and serve as boundaries for the crashing waves. The topography of the island varies as well – from sloping hills in the northeast to low hillsides in the south to stark white flatlands to swampland to pristine beaches, all of which combine to create a picturesque landscape and an ideal haven for seamen, sun-lovers and vacationers alike.
Long Island was originally named Yuma by the Lucayan Indians and was renamed Fernandina by Christopher Columbus upon his third landfall in the New World. Then, in 1790, Loyalists from the Carolinas and their slaves settled Fernandina. They built large plantations and produced sea-island cotton until the abolition of slavery, which made them unprofitable.
Today, many of the Loyalist mansions still stand as a reminder of the island’s past. Although the plantations are overgrown and non-productive, agriculture is still a very important part of life. Pothole farming, which is a method that utilised fertile holes in the limestone where fertile topsoil collects, yields much of the food supply for the other islands, including peas, corn, pineapples and bananas. Raising sheep, goats and pigs is also popular amongst Long Islanders.
Pace of life has not changed much from Long Island’s deep past. The carriage road, built more than a century ago, is lined by the island’s major settlements of Burnt Ground, Simms, Wood Hill, Clarence Town, Roses and South Point, all situated around the island’s harbours and anchorages
Acklins and Crooked Island
Little-known Acklins and Crooked Island lie next to each other and are connected by ferry. They are an escapist’s dream with endless beautiful beaches lapped by aquamarine water. These waters are popular with the more adventurous tarpon and bonefishermen, as well as with divers, as a 50 mile barrier reef rings the islands. Crooked Island is the main island of the two, with most of the sparse population living in and around the capital of Colonel Hill. Experienced birders also know that the undisturbed wooded areas are a popular resting place for numerous species, including the ever elusive hummingbird.
Crooked Island, approximately 200 miles southeast of Nassau, is one of three major islands called The Crooked Island District. At the southeastern tip of Crooked Island, a ferry transports visitors across the ocean to the exotic Acklins Island – also part of The District – where gentle hills as well as the colorful scattering of the purple, green and blue houses make Acklins Islands a very unique site within The Islands of The Bahamas.
According to Bahamian historians, when Columbus was sailing down the Crooked Island Passage, the sweet aroma of native herbs and flowers drifted out to his ship and delighted his senses. Soon after The Crooked Island District developed the nickname the “fragrant islands.” However, it was not until the end of the 18th century that the first-known settlers, British Loyalists, actually stepped foot on Crooked Island. These Loyalists established almost 50 cotton plantations, but in 1820 the plantations were ruined because the crops were destroyed by blight and poor soil conditions. Those remaining were able to survive by adapting to fishing and small-scale farming. In addition, since the middle of the 18th century, Crooked Islanders have been stripping the Croton Cascarilla shrub and shipping the Cascarilla bark to Italy to be used as flavouring for the famous Campari liquor.
Some interesting structures, old plantation houses and the like, still remain on Crooked Island. The ruins, preserved by the Bahamas National Trust, overlook Crooked Island Passage, which separates Crooked Island from Long Cay, the third island in the Acklins-Crooked Island chain.
Yet another interesting spot to explore is Crooked Island Caves. These are dark passageways, which widen into gaping chambers and embrace speckles of sunlight that poke through holes from above.
Built in the north the glistening Bird Rock Lighthouse on Crooked Island is a popular nesting spot for ospreys and acts as a guard to the Crooked Island Passage, one of the most important sea passages for ships, which follow the southerly route to the Panama Canal. The Castle Island.
The ultimate desert island dream, Mayaguana makes Crooked Island and Acklins look busy! Similarly, Jumento Cays and Ragged Island, to the west of Acklins, are isolated with just a few inhabitants who make their living from fishing.
Inagua’s pristine environment is home to an exotic variety of wildlife and is one of the largest breeding destinations of the West Indian flamingo in the western hemisphere. The flamingo was saved from near extinction 30 years ago by The Bahamas National Trust, with help from The National Audubon Society. Today, more than 80,000 flamingoes live primarily in Inagua National Park. Visitors can witness the spectacle of nesting flamingoes, see adults standing guard over fluffy white chicks or feeding on tasty shrimp. The flamingo mating season runs October through February and the nesting season is March through April.
The island is also home to many water birds including the unusual roseate spoonbill, pelicans, herons, egrets, black-necked stilts and Bahamas pintail ducks. One of the most exotic birds in Inagua is the endangered Bahama parrot that feeds among the Inagua oak trees and are a vibrant green color with a whitehead camouflage. Visitors to the park may be lucky to see the Bahama woodstar, a dazzling endemic humming bird that is not found anywhere else in the world.
Other wondrous sights include burrowing owls, American kestrels in courtship displays, and ospreys. In the fall and winter many North American birds escape from the cold to Inagua. The most famous of these are the endangered Kirtland’s warblers that travel from their Michigan nesting grounds.
In addition to the exotic variety of birds, visitors can see feral donkeys and endangered freshwater turtles. Accompanied by experienced guides, travelers can explore Inagua’s limestone caves and enjoy fabulous beaches and snorkeling.
Inagua, mostly flat and scrub, is the third-largest island in The Islands of the Bahamas. The national park’s 287 square miles account for almost half the island and is dominated by Lake Windsor. About 1,000 people live on Inagua whose capital, Matthew Town, is on the southwest coast.
It is possible to travel by boat from the mainland to Freeport. There is a ferry service from Fort Lauderdale that takes 2 1/2 hours and is pretty reasonable.
There are some great Casinos in Freeport and many people travel over for the weekend to gamble and have fun in the resorts.
The holiday mecca of Freeport & Lucaya boasts wide tree-lined boulevards, elegant resorts, world-class shopping, superb beaches and a multitude of activities for everyone. This is particularly true for the sportsman and the nature lover. Golf courses and tennis courts abound on this 96 mile island in the stream. If your taste runs to the more adventurous, take a dive with the sharks or the dolphins.
Grand Bahama Island is also filled with natural wonders that make it a fascinating place to explore. If you head out on your own, be sure to take in the miles of exquisite beaches which line the southern shore. Spectacular Gold Rock beach is a favourite. Take time to visit some of the colourful smaller towns, or settlements as they are known, from West End and Eight Mile Rock to High Rock and McLean’s Town, you’ll think you’re on one of our Out Islands when you pass the wood-framed buildings lining the sides of the roads.
Ultra-modern conveniences and Out island warmth; it’s all here on Grand Bahama Island
Before we describe the nation’s capital in more detail, many people ask us if it’s possible to get from Miami to Nassau by boat or yacht and the answer is a qualified “Yes”. Yes, it is possible but it’s expensive. There is currently no regular scheduled ferry service from Miami or Fort Lauderdale to Nassau like there is to Freeport, Grand Bahama. However, there are plans for a ferry service in 2005. Therefore if you want to take a boat from the mainland to Nassau today, you’ll have to charter one. A one way trip on a yacht from Miami to Nassau will take about 8 to 10 hours and cost close to $5,000 dollars or more, depending on the boat. A sailing boat will take three days. It’s 177 Nautical Miles, a nice trip but a long one.
If this is in your budget range, call us, we’ll take care of you.
So, welcome to the nation’s capital, where old world charm meets the 21st century. Nassau, the capital of the Islands of the Bahamas and it’s thriving commercial centre, retains its colonial appeal. In the historic heart of Nassau, the British heritage is much in evidence in the pastel coloured Georgian architecture, and quaint wooden offices and shops scattered along lively Bay Street. Hire a horse-drawn surrey and take a leisurely tour of old Nassau while your driver regales you with the local lore; visit the numerous historic sites and forts and hand-carved Queen’s Staircase. Trace Bahamian history through the centuries with the Pompey Museum’s display of artifacts, documents and drawings. Don’t miss the contemporary Bahamian art galleries and the cultural Junkanoo museum.
Nassau offers activities to entertain the whole family – including golf, diving, tennis & squash and numerous other sports for the enthusiast. Shopping in and around Nassau is a delight. Souvenir hunters will enjoy the unique selection in the Straw Market – this is the one place on the island where you can freely haggle with the vendors, in fact, it’s expected. In the many stores throughout Nassau, duty-free savings on famous brands are passed on to shoppers.
Take a walk along the delightful and colourful ‘Bahamian Riviera’ of Cable Beach. Only 3 miles west of the city, and easily accessible by bus or taxi, this magnificent stretch of elegant resorts and homes on two and a half miles of golden sand beach is also the focus of the exciting nightlife on the island – night-clubs, pubs, restaurants and even a casino all just a short stroll away from each other.
Cross the bridge to paradise – Paradise Island that is. This two mile long playground is dedicated to fun and relaxation. Stunning beaches, a plethora of resorts, restaurants, shops, a golf course, a 14-acre aquarium and the largest casino in the Caribbean. All that’s missing is you.
Boat Miami knows the ins and outs of what would be best for your event. We believe in customer satisfaction and putting our clients’ needs foremost in our advice.