If you seek to go to someplace tropical and get away from it all, Mayaguana Island in the Bahamas is one of the best places to visit. With a land area of 280 square kilometers, the island is home to just around 312 individuals. The island is considered the halfway point between Puerto Rico and South Florida. It is also 560 kilometers southeast of Nassau and 100 kilometers north of Great Inagua.
Although somewhat a less developed island, Mayaguana is a well-known stopover for boaters on a direct route to the Caribbean. Nevertheless, the island is one of the best destinations for travelers looking for a secluded and charming escape.
The Spaniards inhabited the island until early in the 16th century, when the last of the Lucayan Indians were brought to Hispaniola. Mayaguana was a spot favored by pirates before people from Turks and Caicos started migrating to the island in 1812. Nowadays, the island is composed of three major settlements – Betsy Bay, Pirate’s Well, and Abraham’s Bay.
The settlements are rustic, quaint and are located no more than 15 minutes from one another. This makes Mayaguana a closely-knit community within an island. Most of the residents make their living by farming the land or fishing for conch.
If you want to look for a quiet adventure, you can avail of a guided tour into the three settlements, reel in a bonefish, or dive through Northwest Point’s sea caves, among other adventures.
One other attraction is Booby Cay, which lies east of the island’s mainland. Its name is taken from the brown boobies that call the cay home. Booby Cay is also the environment for descendants of wild goats left by early settlers. Small rock iguanas also are found in the cay.
Horse Pond Beach is another place to go for a unique isolated adventure. Set 10 miles east of Abraham’s Bay, the beach is the best place to go ‘crabbing.’ You can search for land crabs that live among the rocks and bushes during the day, but walk during the night. The crabmeat is used in various local dishes.
The island’s best attractions, however, are the picturesque footprint-free beaches. The beaches are quiet and perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, snorkeling, and shelling. Offshore, you can find starfish, sand dollars, and coral heads.
If you want to escape from the Bahamas’s noisier parts and indulge in mundane seaside activities, a Mayaguana Island vacation is one of your best escape points. This is a hidden gem of the Bahamas Out Islands.