Mention The Bahamas, and most people think of Nassau or Freeport. These two cities are the most popular destinations in The Bahamas. Unless you are an avid fisherman or a boating enthusiast, chances are you haven’t heard of Marsh Habour. Located in The Abacos, the cluster of islands in the northeastern part of The Bahamas, Marsh Harbour is the third largest town in The Bahamas. If you were visiting The Abacos, your first stop would be either Marsh Harbour or Treasure Cay. Its close proximity to Florida (about 200 miles east of Palm Beach), its protected waters, picture perfect beaches and excellent boating facilities are the reasons why The Abacos is the most popular Out Island, favored by pleasure boaters and anglers alike.
There are many islands in The Abacos, each with its own unique charm and share of deserted beaches. Here are the top 3 beaches and islands to consider for your winter getaway:
The magnificent crescent-shaped beach at Treasure Cay was written up in the National Geographic as one of the top ten beaches in the world. If you have seen the 3.5 miles of soft white sand powder and the crystal clear turquoise waters, you too would agree. Some part is so shallow you can walk quite a distance from the shoreline. If you are lucky, you might even find a conch or two!
Treasure Cay also boasts a golf course and a 150-slip marina, where you can hire experienced captains to go deep-sea fishing. In May, it hosts the Treasure Cay Billfish Championship, one of the most popular fishing tournaments in The Bahamas.
Great Guana Cay
Not only does Great Guana Cay have beautiful beaches that are also great for snorkeling, it is the location of the best beach bar in The Abacos. Perched high atop sand dunes overlooking a gorgeous beach, Nippers Bar and Grill is where everyone in The Abacos flocks to on Sundays. It’s the best place to eat, relax, and people watch. You can work up an appetite walking along the beach, then come back to get in line for the scrumptious pig roast and other delicious stuff like the to-die-for Johnny Cake. A band plays reggae, Calypso or some other island music, and after a few Goombay Smashes, you will see some wild dancing. And this goes on until midnight. You can pretty much hang out here the entire day swimming in the saltwater pool, lounge on the hammock chairs, or walk or play on the beach.
A short ferry ride from Marsh Harbour takes you to HopeTown on Elbow Cay. Of all the islands in The Abacos, HopeTown is the most touristy. Still, it is very picturesque, with lovely cottages lining the narrow streets. Beaches sparkling in an inviting aquamarine color beckon you to jump in. Climb up the candy-striped lighthouse to see a stunning view of HopeTown’s protected harbor. South of Elbow Cay is Pelican Cays, where you can find some fantastic snorkeling in the area (Sandy Cay, part of the Bahamian National Trust‘s Land and Sea Park).