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Rock Point, water's edge view
Great Abaco & Its Outer Cay's

There is no better way to explore the full beauty and expanse of the Abacos than by boat. Abacos outer cay's and reef shield its shallow sea from ocean swells, yielding protected water stretches between its many islands.  This reef protection creates a boating and island hopping destination that is second to none. Rental boats are available but in high demand since Hurricane Dorian struck in 2019, so book early if you plan to rent a boat. If you are planning on boating and this is your first trip to the Abacos, we highly recommend you pick up a copy of “The Cruising Guide to Abaco Bahamas,” written by beloved Steve Dodge.  It is an excellent navigational aid and provides invaluable advice on anchorages, marinas, and it provides some history about the area as well. 

 

Fishing, diving and snorkeling are phenomenal in the Abaco islands.  Captained day trips to various destinations are available through a number of local tour operators.  Most guides will pick you up on Elbow Cay (likely at the Dorros Cove dock next to Tahiti Beach) even if they are based on another island. 

While the Abacos have numerous and far reaching out islands, there are four main barrier islands with historic “settlements” that form the “hub” of Abaco surrounding Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island.  From North to South they are Green Turtle Cay, Great Guana Cay, Man-O-War Cay, & Elbow Cay. Ferries run daily from these outer cays to Great Abaco.  There are also ferries that run daily at various times from Marsh Harbor to various locations on Elbow Cay. 

​In between these island destinations you will also find several protected marine parks with world class snorkeling and diving. So much of the beauty and majesty of Abaco lies just below the surface. Make sure to dive in and discover all the natural beauty this beautiful destination has to offer! 

Abaco Islands Map

Green Turtle Cay 

Located roughly 30 miles NW of Elbow Cay is the historic and picturesque settlement of New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay. Like Hope Town, New Plymouth was settled by loyalists in the 1700’s. A stroll through the settlement offers quite a few options for a drink or bite to eat, as well as shopping. By boat there are a few dock n’ dine options, most prominent being Green Turtle Cay Marina, Bluff House, and Pineapples. Not on Green Turtle but just south of it is No Name Cay, known locally as “Piggyville” which is where visitors can “swim” with pigs on the beach. There is also a dock and bar there now called Big O’s.  

Man-O-War Cay

Located roughly 5 miles NW of Elbow Cay is Man-O-War. Life in this quiet local settlement has long been centered around boatbuilding and is home and birthplace to the now famed Albury Brothers Boats. A stroll along the harbour front allows one to peek in on the boat building process being carried out as it has been for generations, although now with fiberglass instead of wood. Wooden boats are still prominent in the harbour as many bring their wooden vessels here for upkeep and repair by a small handful of craftsmen who retain the skills of a quickly vanishing craft.  Don’t miss the sail shop where you can purchase bags handmade from sail canvas.   They have it all from purses and totes to full duffel sets.

Great Guana Cay

Located roughly 20 miles NW of Elbow Cay is Great Guana Cay, well known for its breathtaking Atlantic beaches and one particular beach bar that overlooks its stunning reef, Nippers Beach Bar & Grill. Every Sunday all of Abaco descends on Nippers for its Sunday pig roast & ultimate beach party. For a slightly more relaxed atmosphere on the bayside, be sure to check out “Grabbers” with its shallow beach which is great for kids and has a dock to tie up to. 

Pelican Cay National Land & Sea Park   

Roughly 10 miles south of Elbow Cay is Sandy Cay, located in the Pelican Cay National Land & Sea Park. Out front of Sandy Cay are several day-use mooring balls for diving and snorkeling. Sandy Cay is a premiere dive site with superb examples of large elk horn coral, which is a variety of coral considered critically endangered. Sand Cay is a must-see destination for snorkeling.  The marine life there is stunning and well represented.

Fowl Cay National Land & Sea Park 

Located between Great Guana and Man-O-War, Fowl Cay Land and Sea Park is a national trust protected area. Mooring balls for diving and snorkeling are located on its Atlantic side and mark some of the best snorkeling to be experienced in Abaco. Moorings are available for day use and help prevent anchoring on the reef in this area. 

Little Harbour 

About 15 miles south of Elbow Cay you will find Little Harbour on Great Abaco. A main  attraction there is Pete’s Pub & Gallery. It is a super fun beachfront bar alongside a bronze foundry started by “Pete’s” father Randolph Johnston in the mid 60’s. On display in the gallery and on the property are life-size bronze renditions of local wildlife. If you're lucky, you may even catch Pete working on his latest piece as you pass by his dockhouse “studio”. 

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