These islands are often referred to as the party islands in comparison to the virtual wilderness of the neighboring Exumas. The Abacos Bahamas boast all the natural beauty, amazing marine life, exquisite sailing conditions and welcoming locals as the Exumas. However here, beloved bars and restaurants in the towns, villages and resorts see to it that every day is a celebration. Whether you kayak over to Pete’s Pub for an icy Kalik, or beach the JetSkis at Nippers, dubbed the best party hangout, the Abacos Bahamas has a special festive energy.
Most visitors arrive at Marsh Harbour International Airport (MHH) by commercial or charter airlines via Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, or Miami. A typical flight from these destinations takes just 20 – 50 minutes.
Step aboard your charter yacht and let the vacation begin. Take a seat on deck, a special Bahamian cocktail in hand, and marvel at the many shades of blue in the surrounding sea. Take an afternoon ride in the tender for a swim and snorkel close to Marsh Harbour, or search the local shops for souvenirs, from kitschy to high quality. In the evening, relax on board your yacht, savor a dinner of freshly caught seafood with a panoramic view of Abacos Bahamas, and get to know your crew.
Day 2: Green Turtle Cay
Embark on the 3-4 hour cruise across the crystal clear waters of the Sea of Abaco to Green Turtle Cay. Here colorful coral reefs in 15-20ft of water are fantastic for snorkeling, diving and bone fishing. Shelling on the powder-soft beaches and offshore sandbars is among the best in the Bahamas. Take the tender to No Name Cay for a picnic lunch. Feed the swimming pigs the table scraps. Head back to snorkel and swim around Green Turtle Cay or explore the sites of New Plymouth. Visit the Memorial Sculpture Garden and the Albert Lowe Museum, with a basement of paintings by local folk artists including the famous Alton Lowe. The Tipsy Turtle and The Bluff House Marina have deluxe facilities with fine dining and live music most nights.
Day 3: Great Guana Cay
This island will enthrall sun worshippers, water sports enthusiasts, nature lovers and party goers alike. An astonishing 5½-mile beach fronts the third largest coral reef in the world, just 50 feet offshore. The forest is home to Abaco parrots, white-crowned pigeons, white-tailed tropics and other rare birds. Dive or snorkel the reef. Hop on the PWCs and pull right up on the beach at Nippers or Grabbers. Join the revelry for sundowners and return for dinner aboard, or party the evening away on shore, Abacos Bahamas style!
Day 4: Hopetown
Island hopping is a fabulous way to spend the day en route to Elbow Cay. Swim, sun and snorkel or attempt some offshore fishing aboard the tender. Spend the afternoon on deck for the three-hour cruise to Hopetown on Elbow Cay. This delightful village of gingerbread architecture, diminutive shops, mouth-watering bakeries and restaurants, is much loved for the excess of Out-Island Bahamian charm. Cars are prohibited, but the hilly terrain is fun to bike or golf cart around. History buffs should visit the Wyannie Malone Museum and the cemetery on High Street. Climb the one hundred steps of the candy-striped Elbow Reef Lighthouse. Its construction in 1863 was not welcomed by many residents who made their living salvaging the wreckage of ships that sunk on nearby reefs.
Day 5: Little Harbor
The ride from Elbow Cay to Little Harbour by tender is super fun. Keep a lookout for dolphins and sea turtles. Swim, snorkel and explore. Time your arrival to Pete’s Pub and Gallery for lunch. This island history reads like a screenplay. In May, 1952, a storm marooned Randolph Johnston and his family who took shelter in the cliff-side caves and became the island’s first human residents. The family thatched a hut and eventually built the house and foundry that stand today. Take a tour the foundry used by local artists to produce bronzes. Randolph’s son Pete showcases artwork, furniture and jewelry adjacent to cold beer and good food at his Pub. Time permitting, explore the “boiling” holes and underground caves of the island before returning to Hope Town for dinner.
Day 6: Inspiration Day
After exploring the archipelago and learning what Abacos Bahamas has to offer, spend the day doing whatever inspires you. Go ashore at Marsh Harbour. Take advantage of the upscale facilities at Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina. Have a Goombay Smash and a refreshing swim at the pool or beach. Take a paddleboard tour, or relax with a rejuvenating massage. Hire a car or taxi, and set out on the paved and graded highway to explore settlements with colorful names; Fire Road, Mango Hill, Red Bays, Snake Cay and Cherokee Sound. Set out by paddle board or kayak to explore the blue holes. Try bonefishing, or head off shore for some more deep sea fishing fun.
On the last day of what has been a wonderful week of exploring, great meals and great fun, anchor off of Elbow Cay. Launch the yacht toys and splash about. Relax on deck, soaking up the sun and capturing amazing photographs. Take the tender to the town dock for souvenir shopping. Stop at Firefly for an original Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, or try a refreshing Dragon Berry at Lubber’s Landing. Your crew will prepare a wonderful barbecue dinner on the beach, a perfect spot to watch the sun set and the stars begin to blanket the Sea of Abaco.
Seaclusion, is a gorgeous Hatteras 75 motor yacht with crew that specialize in Abacos Bahamas yacht charters. Many thanks to Captain Michael for his knowledge and contribution to this itinerary.
Contact Select Yachts to book Seaclusion for you next charter vacation or to review additional yachts available in the Abacos.
Abacos Bahamas, Our Favorite Places:
Little Harbour: Pete’s Pub & Gallery
Hopetown: Wyannie Malone Museum
Green Turtle Cay: The Tipsy Seagull
Great Guana Cay: Nippers Beach Bar and Grill
Marsh Harbour: Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina