The Bahamas is an amazing destination for outdoor adventures and some of the clearest water on earth. With 19 main islands, many cays and semi-private islands, island hopping by boat is a popular activity. The Abaco Islands make up a significant archipelago where visitors can easily boat from island to island while soaking up the scenery and sun.
Beyond the beauty and adventure, there are other great perks for visitors coming from the U.S.: The Bahamas accepts the U.S. dollar (no need to convert currency), electrical outlets are compatible with U.S. devices, the CDC recently declared the Bahamas Zika-free and it's just a short 1-hour flight from southern Florida.
If it's long stretches of white sand beaches you're looking for, you'll find it in the Abacos. Visit the secluded Tahiti Beach at the southern tip of Elbow Cay or ferry to Great Guana Cay for a stop at Nipper's Beach Bar & Grill. Nipper's is a great place to spend an afternoon any day of the week, but for the true experience, you won’t want to miss the Sunday Pig Roast.
With the third-longest barrier reef in the world, you're sure to encounter some of the most stunning corals, fish, seahorses, sting rays, sharks, turtles and more. No trip to the Bahamas is complete without getting up close and personal with marine life. Brendal's Dive Center offers an assortment of adventure packages and gear rentals for a day on the water.
There's no shortage of fresh, delicious seafood in the Abacos. Although there are non-seafood options on the menus, you can't go wrong with cracked lobster, conch salad, grouper or fish fritters. Try a few Bahamian favorites: peas and rice, Johnnycake, coconut bread or a Goombay Smash for the adults. For meals that won't let you down, visit Firefly on Elbow Cay, Angler's at the Abaco Beach Resort in Marsh Harbour and Nipper's on Great Guana Cay.
Never miss an opportunity to stop and chat with someone who calls the Abacos home. They will be more than happy to share what they love most about the Out Islands. They'll even give you some fun insider knowledge, like how to know if a coconut is ripe, where to find the original Goombay Smash or how to feed a stingray (hint: with your toes!).
With a trip to the Abacos, you're guaranteed to spend some time on a boat, whether you charter a private boat or use the convenient ferry service that connects the islands. Either way, there's nothing like cruising through aquamarine water from one island in paradise to the next. If you want to spend a day out on the water, book a family adventure tour with Brendal's Dive Center on Green Turtle Cay. They will take you snorkeling at the coral reef, swimming with sting rays, turtles and nurse sharks with a break for a fresh grilled seafood lunch prepared on a private beach.
By Bridgette Langdon