Abaco—The Sailing Capital of the World

H.G. Christie is the Exclusive Affiliate in the Bahamas

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Properties for sale in Abaco, BHS

ESSENTIALS

Population: Orewa: 7,326; Whangaparaoa: 22,788
Language: English
Currency: Bahamian dollar

DOWNTIME

With its charming colonial towns, three golf courses, beautiful beaches, great fishing and diving opportunities, and pristine calm sea, the Abaco Islands offer a wealth of exceptional recreational amenities for visitors and residents alike.


Abaco isn't a single island, but rather a chain of islands from Walker's Cay in the north to Hole-In-The-Wall in the south. Located 75 miles directly north of Nassau and 200 miles east of Florida, this arc-shaped configuration creates naturally protected waters so well-known among yachtsmen and fishermen that Abaco is often referred to as the Sailing Capital of the World.

Once here, one never has to go far to find excellent marinas, guides, and boats for hire, with or without crew. The hub of The Abacos is Marsh Harbour, a yachting center that has all the modern conveniences, from supermarkets, to banks, to fine restaurants - all only a quick ferry ride from charming 19th-Century towns.

Walking around picturesque Hope Town, with its candy-striped lighthouse, small wooden cottages and white picket fences, it's hard to believe people once made a living by salvaging wrecked ships. But the proof is right here in the Wyannie Malone Historical Museum.

Ironically, nearby Man-O-War Cay has always depended on shipbuilding for its livelihood. You can still find boats that are handmade without the use of plans, in a tradition that has been passed down for centuries. This tidy settlement is akin to those small New England towns, save for the palm trees and tropical breezes, and prides itself as much on what it has as what it doesn't. There are no jails, police, or high-rise hotels although there are an abundance of cottages for rent.

Farther north, there's a colonial fishing village on Green Turtle Cay, named New Plymouth. Here, salt-box houses are brightly painted and the people are proud of their heritage. The Albert Lowe Museum, in cheerful green and white clapboard, traces the steps of Loyalists who settled here over 200 years ago. But Green Turtle Cay is not stuck in the past. With fishing tournaments and an annual regatta, the pace can be quite energetic.

The same is true of Treasure Cay, where a modern resort boasts an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a marina and facilities for fishing, boating, and scuba diving.

There's also lush, secluded Walker's Cay, attracting those interested in deep-sea fishing, boating, and diving. And if that's not secluded enough, sail to one of Abaco's uninhabited cays where there is nothing but white-sand beaches and ultramarine seas to surround you.

At Pelican Cay Land and Sea Park, this underwater preserve presents a surreal setting for the scuba enthusiast. The Abaco National Park allows visitors to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature at its finest among a wide variety of flora and fauna native to Abaco.

This quaint region of the Bahamas is within easy reach as there are direct flights to and from both of Abaco's international airports from the United States.

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