The Abacos is a group of islands, islets, and cays that stretches about 120 miles in the Bahamas. The islands in the chain include Great Abaco, Little Abaco, Elbow Cay, Great Guana Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Lubber's Quarters Cay, Man-o-War Cay, and Treasure Cay. For the most part, these islands are small and less-populated than the heavily visited islands of New Providence and Grand Bahama, making them perfect for quiet getaways. Because of the disconnected nature, getting to some of these islands can take some doing.
When it comes to getting to the Abacos, there are really two main choices: flying or sailing. The option you choose will depend entirely on the amount of time you have to spend traveling, the amount of money you spend, your comfort level with each option, and of course, if you have any knowledge of sailing.
Vehicles are not always easy to come by in the Abacos, and you could plan a vacation on any of the islands that doesn't involve more than a golf cart. Make sure you know your options before you travel so you are not shocked with the limited driving opportunities.
There are two airports in the Abacos that tourists can fly into internationally,and , both of which are located on opposite ends of Great Abaco. Although commercial airlines make the journey to these airports on a regular basis, it is rare for one to fly from somewhere outside of the U.S. state of Florida. This means that tourists from elsewhere in the United States, Canada, and Europe will have to make a connecting flight in Florida, usually in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, or Palm Beach, before making the final flight to Abaco.
Another option is to fly to one of the other larger airports in the Bahamas, either New Providence Island or on Grand Bahama, then fly domestically aboard to the Abacos. Once you arrive in the Abacos, you can take a smaller charter to one of the air strips on Marsh Harbour, Sandy Point, Scotland's Cay, and Spanish Cay. Otherwise, you'll need to take a ferry to your final destination if you are not staying on Great Abaco.on
Learn more about air travel to the Bahamas, including which airlines regularly land in this island grouping when you click here.
...many marinas and docks...
While the Bahamas' most well known maritime asset is the cruise industry, the natural and pristine waters found outside of Nassau and Freeport are prime spots for sailors, excursions, fishing trips, diving trips, and all other kind of sailing fun. Luckily, Abaco is a popular setting for all of that; with its many marinas and docks (including international docking services), and distance from the tourism heavy cruise ports.
Not every island in the Abacos has rental cars available. Most notably the island of Elbow Cay does not allow cars on the island, and it gets even stricter in Hope Town where no motorized vehicles of any sort are permitted. Green Turtle Cay is too small to make having cars worth the it, but you can rent a car on Abaco. Doing so is not necessary, but the length of the island makes it worth it if you plan to do a lot of exploring and don't want to spend huge amount of money on taxi services. Click here to learn more.
Taxis are available on Great Abaco, and tourists who decide to skip renting a car should have no trouble finding a local driver to take them around. Rates are set by the government, and many drivers have been through training held by the Ministry of Tourism to keep their skills in hospitality sharp. Note that taxis here are actually typically minivans in order to hold more passengers at once. Read our guide to Taxis in the Abacos for specific details about the cost of taxis on these islands.
There are three main ferry services that sail around the Abacos on a regular basis, and one smaller service that runs between Marsh Harbour, and offers daily service to Hope Town, Man-O-War, and Scotland's. Click here for an overview of all of the ferries that sail around Abaco.and . The most commonly used ferry service used by vacationers in the Abacos is , which has specialized in travel amongst the Abacos for nearly half a century. The service is based out of
As you plan your trip to the Abacos, you'll begin to pinpoint a specific island you want to spend the bulk of your time on, and then focus your efforts on what types of transportation options exist there. This will help you save money and time in the long run, and make your vacation planning and vacation in general a much more relaxed affair.
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