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Abaco Islands: the loyalist islands of the Bahamas

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The Abacos islands are a chain of islands located in the northern part of the Bahamas archipelago, which extend for over 200 km on the Atlantic side of the Bahamas coral reef. The Abacos are made up of the main islands of Great Abaco and Little Abaco, and some smaller islands including Treasure Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Walker’s Cay, Wood Cay, Great Guana Cay, Umbrella Cay, Gorda Cay, Stranger’s Cay, Elbow Cay, Man-o-War Cay and Moore’s Island.

The population lives mainly in the towns of Marsh Harbor – located in the central section of Great Abaco – and Coopers Town – located at the northern end of the island of Great Abaco.

The islands were the favorite refuge of Americans who had remained loyal to the English crown after the American War of Independence. Here their descendants still live, in fact – the only case in the Bahamas – the white population represents about 50% of the 17,000 inhabitants of the islands.


Like all the Bahamas, these islands are also characterized by white sandy beaches bordered by warm and crystalline waters that make this long chain of islands a paradise for lovers of the sea and water sports, diving and sailing. The coasts are characterized by bays, inlets and protected ports where there are marinas and resorts where visitors can find all the comforts. Treasure Cay and Great Guana Cay boast miles of pristine beaches. Castaway Cay is instead a private island of the Disney Cruise Line where huge cruise ships loaded with tourists arrive.

But it is not only the sea that attracts tourists who visit this archipelago. There are old English loyalist settlements now enchanting colonial towns such as New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay and Hope Town on Elbow Cays. A spectacular golf course like that of Treasure Cay. Among the other attractions on the island of Elbow Cay is the Elbow Reef Lighthouse, a lighthouse dating back to 1862. The inhabitants of Man-o-War Cay are instead famous for the construction of handmade boats.

The islands also have two national parks: Abaco National Park and Walker’s Cay National Park. A marine and terrestrial park: Pelican Cays Land & Sea Park. In addition to three national reserves: Black Sound Cay National Reserve, Tilloo Cay National Reserve and Fowl Cays National Reserve.


To reach the Abaco islands you can use the two airports of Marsh Harbor International Airport (MHH) – which is the most important – and Treasure Cay International Airport (TCB). Both airports also have flights from the United States. Also there are landing strips on Moore’s Island, Sandy Point, Scotland’s Cay and Spanish Cay.

By sea, the Bahamas Ferry Services ferries that connect Nassau with South Abaco Terminal can be used. The Pinder’s Ferry, on the other hand, has daily connections between McLean’s Town Cay in Grand Bahama and Crown Haven on Little Abaco.

The climate of the Bahamas.



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